Boys Can Be Just as Bitchy

I watched Mean Girls the other day, because I am a huge fan of Lindsey Lohan’s boobs.

They’re like two perfect melons, sitting next to each other in a hammock

They’re like two perfect melons, sitting next to each other in a hammock

This time, I didn’t laugh as much. I actually got a little annoyed. Let me explain why.

You might not know this, but the movie was loosely based on a self-help/psychology style book called ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes.’ The purpose of the book is to examine how girls interact with each other, and how deep down we’re all catty backstabbing bitches. Allegedly, unlike men, we engage in psychological warfare in order to fit into our respective groups. Apparently, men are immune to this incredible phenomena.

You ever hear a guy say this?

I’ll never understand chicks. When girls are pissed, they start all this drama and the fight drags on forever. When guys are pissed, we just punch each other a few times and then we let it go.

Bullshit? This is Essa calling. We need to talk.

Boys can be just as bitchy as girls, both to their own gender and to the opposite sex.

As most of you probably know, I have an older brother. Much to his frustration, I mention him regularly in this blog. Today will be no different. Sorry, bro.

In high school, my brother was extremely popular and he had many attractive friends. One of those attractive friends had the hots for my extremely attractive best friend. They dated for a bit, but it didn’t work out because she was into someone else.

Instead of just ‘letting it go’, the guy started talking about her behind her back and got all his friends involved. He and his friends called her some incredibly unflattering names, spread rumors about her and even wrote an offensive song about her. As I recall, it was called ‘Cum Dumpster.”

Yeah, it was super clever in the way only high school boys can be.

All of the supposedly non-bitchy boys participated, despite the fact that she’d never done anything to them and was in no way anything like they described her. Even the guys who didn’t know her got involved. The only thing no one did was defend her.

Much to my eternal shame, not even I, the queen of clever one liners and scathing insults, helped. Anyone who tried suddenly became the target and I had been the target for so long, it was nice to get a break and be able to fit in.

In short, these ‘straight forward boys’ who are so very good at getting over things, at ‘letting it go’, were actually one of the bitchiest groups of mean girls I’ve ever met.

On the flip-side, around the same time, I fell for one of my brother’s hot friends. When our relationship (i.e. occasionally screwing in the back seat of his car) didn’t work out (because he was occasionally screwing other girls in that same back seat), I didn’t enlist the help of my friends to mock him and make his life hell. I didn’t spread rumors or write stupid songs about him.

Instead, I dropped the dude with one incredibly sweet head-butt to the face and actually let it go.

Ok, to be honest, I still occasionally masturbate to the memory of the way he dropped to the floor and started crying like baby, but I’d consider that more creepy than bitchy.

My point is “who’s the bitchy one, again?”

Guys participate in the mean girl mentality too. They find the weak guy in the herd and torture him endlessly. They bully him in the locker room, give him wedgies in the cafeteria, and talk about him behind his back. Boys have cliques. They have alpha males and beta males. Betas suck up to the alphas to fit in, and they are just as likely to participate in passive aggressive behavior as women.

Trust me, I was once the only female in a platoon of 25 men; guys can be cunts too.

They certainly don’t ‘just throw a few punches and let it go.’

They might do that with their best buddies, but they don’t do that in their cliques. The truth is, boys are just like girls when it comes to friends.

They have their best buddies, the guys they help move and have as the best men at their wedding, and they have their ‘kinda friends’. Those are the guys that they only sort of know, and pretend to like, while they talk about them behind their backs. Don’t try to deny it boys; I’ve seen it in action.

Girls do the same thing. We have the girls that we would defend to the death (like I should have done for my high school friend) and we have the ones that we sort of know, who we don’t feel that guilty about talking about.

It isn’t the mean girls mentality and it isn’t the mean boys mentality. It’s human nature. We all want to be at the top of the pack. Unfortunately, some of us believe that means climbing over a few people to get there. We ALL fall in line, because it’s easier to be liked by a group of people you hate than it is to be the target.

Along the way, we wind up betraying people we care about in order to make that happen.

Even 20 years later, I’m still ashamed of the way I acted when the mean boys were making fun of my friend. Sure, I never said anything about her, but I didn’t stop it and that was wrong. My inaction made it seem like it was ok, and it wasn’t.

To my BFF from high school, know that I’m sorry I fell into the ‘mean boys’ mentality all those years ago. I wasn’t the same girl then that I am now.

Time (and a few near death experiences) has a way of changing you into the kind of person who no longer cares about fitting into cliques. I only wish I could go back, but as who I am now, because I would gleefully headbutt every single one of those assholes in the face.

I guess time also has a way of making us all a little more straight forward, regardless of gender.

An Open Letter to My Landscapers

Living in an apartment comes with a couple of major benefits.

Benefit #1: I don’t have to do yard work.

Benefit #2: My yard work is done by a bunch of hot, sweaty, shirtless, muscular Hispanic men who have provided me with enough masturbation fodder to keep me aroused well into my 90s.

sexy gardner

As much as I enjoy looking at them, I have to say, it’s pretty clear they have no idea what they’re doing. Not that I have a problem with stupid men. Hell, young, dumb and handsome is exactly how I like them. But I think a few tweaks to their work plan are in order, before my entire complex is consumed in dandelions and rose bushes that are nothing but thorns.

#1 – That thing your weed wacking is a sprinkler head.

No joke, I just watched a guy go to town on a sprinkler head with a high powered weed wacker for twenty minutes before realizing that the ‘weed’ was made of green plastic. On the upside, I now have a pretty new mini-fountain in my front yard. Hey, silver lining, right?

#2 – You just spent $40 in gas trying to move ONE leaf.

I know the term ‘leaf blower’ is confusing, because it indicates a singular leaf. However, the leaf blower is actually meant to be used on large quantities of leaves. Now, look around. What kind of trees do we have here? Palm trees. You know, the kind of tree that doesn’t drop leaves. Why the hell do you even have a leaf blower? I haven’t seen a leaf on the ground since 2009.

#3 – Just leaving the lawnmower on isn’t a clever tactic for hiding from work.

Trust me, I am the queen of avoiding doing work, and I know a thing or two about pretending to be busy when I’m not. When you sit in the shade for half an hour, with your lawnmower running but not moving while you play with your iPhone, everyone can tell you’re not doing anything.

A lawnmower makes a shitty prop, because it makes it clear to people that you aren’t working as soon as it’s not in motion. Here are some ideas for better props.

  • The weed wacker – One of my friends used to do this one when he was assigned yard work in the military. He would get a weed wacker, and then he would just walk around with it. Whenever anyone looked suspicious, he pretended he was cleaning it. In the entire 6 months he was on the yard work detail, he never turned the weed wacker on once…and Fort Huachuca was nearly overrun with weeds.
  • The clipboard – This was another tip from my friend. When you carry a clipboard, you always look like you’re doing something important. There is just something about a clipboard that gives you an air of authority. Plus, it’s lighter than a weed wacker.
  • The ‘arms crossed while watching another group of guys who are actually working’ pose – This one is good too, because again it gives you an air of authority, without you having to do one single thing. As an added bonus, most people will just assume you’re with the government, due to the lack of efficiency in 6 supervisors watching two guys do all the work.

Look, I want you guys to stay forever. You’re fun to look at and I don’t understand what you’re calling me when you yell at me in Spanish. But it’s only a matter of time before my landlord realizes you are all nothing but very dirty eye candy. When that happens, you’re going to get shown the door and I’m going to get a new crew of significantly less attractive rednecks.

Please don’t let that happen. What we have is special and I’d hate to lose it.

Life – An Exercise in Futility

The other night was a lot like any night for me. I couldn’t get to sleep. See, I am one of those people who likes to save all my worries for bed time. Most of the time, my worries are simple and stupid, kinda like this. 

Essa lays down in bed. She scratches her boob. “Is this lump on my nipple a pimple? Or is it a cancerous tumor? Holy shit, it’s the beginning of a nipple hair! Fuck, I’m never getting laid again. What dude wants a girl with nipple hair? Sure, I can pluck it, but I’ll always know it was there….”

But the other night, my thoughts turned a lot more serious. Every year of my life has passed faster than the last despite the fact that they all feel the same. I’ve finally reached that age where you actually start to notice your age. I’ve finally reached the point where it feels like the clock is ticking down, rather than ticking up. I’ve finally reached the age where I realize that it ends.

To me, death has always been an abstract matter. Sure it happens to other people. Hell, it happens every single day. But it was never something I considered for myself. Much like the color orange, hip pockets and ruffles, I never thought that death was something that fit me.

But it’s going to happen, either tomorrow when I get run over by a car in the parking lot, or sixty years from now, when I die during a coke fueled orgy with a bunch of man whores.

When I think about dying, I get mad. Why the fuck am I trying so hard? Why do I care about my weight, how much I drink, how much I smoke, what I do for a living? It’s all going to end anyway.  Someday, I am going to disappear from this world like I never existed. That alone is enough to make me wonder why the hell I get out of bed every day.

My recent preoccupation with death drives most of my friends crazy, especially the older ones. “You’re still so young. You have years ahead of you.”

I wonder if John Ritter’s friends said the same thing to him. “Stop thinking about the end, John. You have 50 years left in you easy. ‘8 Simple Rules’ just got picked up for another season….”

And pop went the aneurism.

Life isn’t fair. The fact that death happens at all proves that. You can spend your entire life building something, or you can spend your entire life doing nothing; either way, you wind up the same.

Organic matter.

This is the reason that I have always stayed away from atheism, despite being staunchly anti-religious.  The last thing that I want to consider is that if I die, it’s just all over. I need to know that something more happens. That it doesn’t just all stop. I need to believe that somehow, someway, my end isn’t actually my end, but an entirely new beginning.

Because the sad fact is, if the atheists are right, my life has been an exercise in complete futility. Sure, it was a good way to waste some time, but I’m not that important. If there is no higher purpose, nothing I did ever really mattered.

If the atheists are right, I am the human equivalent of a game of ‘Fruit Ninja’.


I really don’t want to believe that. I’ll be honest. If I died tonight, the world wouldn’t change that much. Sure, some people would be sad for a bit, but then, I’d turn into a sanctified memory. The people who were reading this post after my death might find me a bit more fascinating because I was dead, but that still wouldn’t make anything I did matter.  

My dog would find someone else to follow around the house. My readers would find another blogger to follow. The books that I wrote would be worth more and someone would hire a ghostwriter to finish off the rest, like what they did with VC Andrews. My death wouldn’t give me permanent fame. I am midlist at best. People don’t remember midlist commercial fiction authors. They remember best sellers. There is really nothing about me that would be that memorable. I am neither a particularly good person, or a particularly bad person. I’m just Essa, living somewhere in the middle. The perpetual fence sitter.

Despite being a significantly better person, I would matter less than Joe Valachi or Jeffrey Dahmer. My name would never be famous or infamous. It would just disappear.

And the fact that the end is as inevitable as a hanging pendulum makes me wonder “should I have been braver?” Have I been ballsy enough? Should I have quit that job sooner? Should I have bitch slapped that girl who cut me in line like I wanted to? Should I have had more kids? Should I have gotten married?

Should I have kept up that old meth habit?

The end is nigh, people. This depressing post isn’t just true for me. It’s true for all of us. Life is nothing more than an exercise in futility. When you’re lying on your death bed, if you failed to say everything you wanted to say or do everything you wanted to do, you will have regrets.

If the atheists are right, then my best possible goal is no regrets. So let me say a few things I have been dying to say, but have avoided saying, simply out of some outdated feeling of decorum;

  • Most of the people I have known who have quit smoking would have been better off sticking to the habit. Seriously, I would have rather you all stayed thin, happy people rather than turned into fat, judgmental bitches.
  • Most men have no idea what they’re doing in bed and I have no idea why you all can’t find the clitoris. It’s a giant pink button in the center of the vagina. It couldn’t be more findable if it had neon arrows pointing at it. The only orgasms I’ve ever had have been 100% relating to something I did. If you’re reading this and you slept with me, know that I was faking it so you would leave me alone and I could go to sleep.
  • On another note, I lose all interest in a man the second I sleep with him. Not sure if it’s due to the lack of orgasms or some deeper psychological issue.
  • Dr. Smith, I lied about how much I drink. When I checked off ‘4 drinks a month’ it should have been ‘4 drinks a day.’
  • If we are friends, know that at one point, I was almost 100% sure that you were retarded due to something you said or did but said nothing out of politeness
  • If you are one of my female friends, know that I am 100% sure you talk about me in an incredibly unflattering way behind my back. Rest assured, I am not offended…because I do the same thing to you. It’s just part of being a girl.
  • Dark haired dude that I used to work with, I’m pretty sure we were soul mates, which is a rare statement for me. Feelings, emotion and the idea that my life could ever potentially be a harlequin novel makes me flinch…which is probably why I was such a cunt to you. It is so much easier to reject someone in advance than wait for them to reject you. It was a bitch move on my part and the biggest regret of my life. Rest assured, you got off easy. I’m a fucking train wreck anyway and you were too good for me.
  • Marijuana made the majority of my life tolerable. Even when you thought I wasn’t stoned…I was.  
  • I am fully aware that I would have made a fantastic lesbian, but I’m not. Aside from the few occasional same sex dalliances, I much prefer the fruit of the banana to the fruit of the fig.

Life is short, life is cruel and life is fleeting. But it is also beautiful. My recent obsession will go away and I will go back to giving you all tips on how to buy weed on the internet, but rest assured, I haven’t forgotten the lesson. Say what you want to say now. Live how you want to live now. If the atheists are right, you don’t get another chance.

And Fruit Ninja is an AWESOME game.











Fuck Forms

Today, I saw an article about a Pennsylvania couple that was charged with contempt for filling out jury forms filled with sarcasm and profanity. While most people were attacking the couple, all I could say was ‘more power to them’.


Finest quote in this form? “You can’t have an education when your grey matter is in a Dyson.” Truer words have never been spoken.

Who among us isn’t sick of filling out forms? Who among us isn’t sick of people giving us pages and pages of incredibly personal questions to answer with no regards for our privacy or our time?

Everyone I make an appointment with does not need to know my employment history, my PCP, my middle name or if I am white, black, Asian, Latino or ‘other’ (because there are only 5 kinds). When I go to my doctor, she doesn’t need my full employment history, unless that history includes working in a coal mine and my diagnosis might be pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. (round of applause for Essa, for finding a way to put the longest existing English word into a sentence)

I say rock on Pennsylvania smart asses. Jury selection forms are nothing more than gathered data designed to allow some slime ball attorney to stack a jury and get their dirt bag client off on a technicality anyway. As far as I’m concerned, the courts don’t need to know my employment. They don’t need to know my financial history and they don’t need to know if I’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Because I’m not the motherfucker on trial.

You want me on your jury, fuck your forms. You only need to know two things. You need to know my name and you need to know that my ass is small enough to fit into one of those horrible wooden jury chairs at the court house.

Forms are ruining society. They are what people give you when they don’t know what else to do. You lost your luggage at the airport? Fill out a form. The doctor is 45 minutes late for your appointment? Fill out a form. The cops beat you within an inch of your life during a standard nonviolent arrest and you want to complain? Fill out a form.

I hate forms.

A few months ago, my son brought a form home from school. On one side was a bunch of requested information. On the other side was a request for the exact same god damn information.  Apparently, someone in my kid’s guidance office can’t be bothered with the lofty task of turning over a piece of paper.  I marked it ‘see other side, idiot’ and haven’t heard back since.

Which only goes to prove that no one reads those fucking things.

Yes, I am aware that sitting on a jury is a civic responsibility. That is why I don’t vote, to avoid civic responsibility. But filling out forms is not a civic responsibility. It’s a nuisance and a big one at that. So props to the Pennsylvania couple for telling it like it is.

In their honor, if I am ever forced to fill out a jury selection form, I will make a point of making it twice…no triple…as offensive as theirs was.

Because it is my duty as a patriotic America to exercise my freedom of speech…whether out loud, in a blog post, or via form.

God bless America.

My Life is a Yo-Yo Diet

I saw a picture of myself recently and I was surprised to see how much weight I had put on. I did all the self denial stuff we all do when we see a picture of ourselves looking chubby.

“I was just bloated.”

“The camera adds ten pounds”

“It was the way I was standing.”

I almost convinced myself all that was true, but then I stepped on the scale. Nope, verifiable fact that I have gained weight. While it’s not a ton, I generally like to cut these things off at the pass. You know, before I turn into one of those giant ladies who has to be cut out of her house so she can appear on a Doctor Phil episode about morbid obesity.

So it’s back to dieting. I love fad diets. I’ve tried everything in the interest of loosing weight quickly. You would be amazed at the things I have put in my mouth (and I’m not just talking Spring Break 2001). I’ve tried shakes, cotton balls, diet pills, diet bars and everything in between. The worst I have tried to date was “The Master Cleanse”

Who knew this was a recipe for a slow, painful death?

Who knew this was a recipe for a slow, painful death?

I made it one day. The day starts out by drinking 3 quarts of salt water. It ends with you laying on your bathroom floor, praying for a quick death.

Slim Fast was useless. It was only after the first day that I realized it was just a clever way to starve myself.

You know what I miss is Fen-Phen and Ephedra based diet pills. Now those fucking things got the job done! Swear to god, after I had my kid, I dropped like 80 pounds in a month. The hallucinations were pretty friggen sweet too. Who cares if I can’t use my left arm anymore?

Unfortunately, as I don’t have access to heart damaging stimulants, I will have to do this the old fashioned way.

Switch from beer to weed and start going to the gym.

You ever been on a treadmill stoned? It really is a mind altering experience. After a few minutes on the thing, you start philosophizing about how it’s really a metaphor for the way the world works. How we all think we’re constantly moving, but we never really get further than where we started. How everything, even time, is an illusion.


Before you know it, you’ve been on the thing for forty five minutes and you haven’t even broken a sweat. And then you go over to the Stairmaster, and you have the exact same thought, but you think it’s totally new, because you forgot what you were thinking about on the treadmill.

I lost about 20 pounds in two months just doing that. I’m patenting it as “Distracted Dieting – the Essa Alroc Guide to a Better You.” Weed not included.

I’ve been yo-yo dieting my entire life. I’ve gotten the lectures from doctors about how it’s dangerous to lose 20 pounds in a month, but I keep doing it. Healthy eating and regular exercise is boring.

My life is a series of binges.



A Look Back on Your Life as an Algorithm

The Facebook nostalgia video has officially gone viral. It’s called the ‘look back’ and it is designed to tell you what was really important in your life thanks to how many of your friends halfheartedly liked something.

Of course, because the vast majority of my friends are idiots, my video is nothing more than a pile of loud garbage. Generally, the drunker I am when I post a status update, the more people like it. Despite writing approximately 5,000 articles for various news outlets, publishing 3 books, raising a kid, changing careers, getting my masters degree and all the other life changing things I have done, this is apparently the most important thing I have had to say in the past 10 years.

Facebook video

I genuinely hate my Facebook page. As far as I can tell, it’s nothing more than a digital exercise in rejection. Even someone as together as me gets a little bit hurt when I post something that I think is pure genius, and no one likes it. When someone does like it, I think that they only clicked like in order to get me to go to their page and like something they made. I can’t help it, it’s pure psychology.

So I’ve decided to fix the problem by encrypting all of my Facebook status messages using PGP.

 PGP Facebook

Now, I will truly know who actually cares what I am posting, as these people will be forced to spend 15 minutes hunting down my public key, and then another 5 decrypting it. In addition, I will only respond to comments that have also been encrypted using PGP.

As an awesome side effect, it will ensure that any future ‘look back’ videos created on my behalf come out as pure gibberish.

**In case you were wondering, this encrypted message says “haha fuckers, good luck making a video about this.” A valuable resource put to good use just to piss off my Facebook friends. I truly do have far too much time on my hands.***  



Smoking – A Star Crossed Love Story that Kicks ‘Labor Day’s’ Ass

I hate being a smoker. I hate waking up in the morning and wheezing. I hate looking at every canker sore that I get and comparing them to mouth cancer photos on the internet. I hate the waste of money, the waste of time and the way I always smell like an ashtray.

But once upon a time, me and cigarettes were in love.


It all started when I was 11. The guidance counselor pulled us all out of class into the gymcafetorium (it’s gym+café+auditorium in white trash speak, for my fancy readers). We watched a video about the dangers of smoking. In that video was a section on why people smoked in the first place.

One of the ladies in that video said she smoked to stay thin.

“Thin?” My pudgy 11 year old self thought. “I could be thin?” At the time, I was an outcast. Overweight, bad teeth, worse clothes and a complexion that resembled the greasiest thin sliced pizza in New York. Anything that could magically make me prettier was considered a blessing, no matter the danger.

That night, I swiped the first cigarette I ever smoked from my father. It was a GPC, (aka Generic Price Cigarette) regular. It tasted like ass and it make me vomit.

But after the vomiting came this amazing feeling of euphoria. It was the first time I’d ever caught a buzz on something and it would be a feeling I would chase for the rest of my life.

I kept smoking and a few months passed in a haze. Before I knew it, I’d lost 20 pounds and my greasy skin had dried out from the nicotine.

I went from being hideous to marginally attractive overnight.

After a while, it was impossible to keep stealing cigarettes from my dad, so I started buying them at a store with very lose age restrictions. One day, I was stomping out of the store when the coolest chick in school saw me packing a new pack of smokes.

“You smoke? That’s cool.”

I had no idea it was cool too! I thought I was just trying to stay skinny. Soon, me and the rest of the bad assed 12 year olds were heading off to ‘the trail’ on a daily basis to smoke cigarettes and bitch about our parents,

I had to keep up the cool persona. My dad’s cigarettes weren’t enough and the dude who used to sell them to me got fired. So I started stealing them.

I remember the first time I stole a pack of smokes. This was back when they kept them in the isles, as opposed to behind the register. I stole that first pack and all the blood rushed to my head. I was sure I was going to pass out right in the doorway. My hands were shaking so bad I could barely get them in my pocket.

But I did. That first theft increased my confidence. Soon, I was stealing 4 or 5 packs a day and selling them to the kids at school. I became the go to chick when you needed a nicotine fix for those under 18.

In short, cigarettes turned me from an overweight misfit to a marginally attractive badass with some badass skills. If it weren’t for cigarettes, I would have never developed a little skill called confidence. Hell, I’d probably be some 33 year old overweight loser working in a convenience store getting yelled at by a boss with an associate’s degree.

Cigarettes didn’t just get me physically addicted; they got me emotionally addicted. They define who I am today.

Need a break from daily life? Go have a cigarette. Got into a fight with an idiot? Go have a cigarette. Conversation making you uncomfortable? Go have a cigarette.

Hell, I even use it now as a negotiating tactic.

“We’re only willing to pay 30 cents a word. “

“I charge 50.”

“We can find someone else…” the threat, that should hang in the air and make me uncomfortable is null an void because I no longer care about making the deal. I just want to get outside to smoke.

“That’s cool.” I reach into my back pocket and smile as my full pack reassures me. “You need to do what you need to do.” I race out the door, ignoring their protests, as my nicotine craving calls to me.

10 minutes later as I’m chain smoking a 305 menthol on the sidewalk in front of the building, I get a text. They’ll pay my rate.

My cigarette tells me to up my rate to 60 cents a word, because they wasted my time.

Smoking made me. It made me brave. It gave me confidence and it made me do things that I never thought I’d be capable of doing. When I started freelance writing, 30 cents a word was an offer I would have jumped at. But my cigarettes know me better than that and they know that I deserve more. If it wasn’t for smoking, I wouldn’t have the friends I have today. I wouldn’t have done half the ballsy things I do. I wouldn’t be me.

I’d probably be some sad, overweight WalMart cashier who never got to experience the joy of telling a boss to go fuck themselves.

Smoking is more than a hobby. It is a life calling. It is a definable attribute. Just like I have blue eyes, just like I serve angry quips and cynicism, just like I have balls the size of watermelons, I am a smoker. It is part of who I am. It is not just some nasty habit. It is me.

So understand that asking me to quit smoking is like asking me to give up a part of myself.

I heard once that smoking is 1000 times more addictive than heroin. Now, I’ve tried heroin and I have to admit, I didn’t find it addictive at all. I found it nauseating. But that is because heroin is physically addictive. I can avoid physical addiction easily. Hell, I haven’t eaten solid food for four days now.

But smoking is an emotional addiction. It isn’t just something I do. It is part of me. It played a huge part in making me who I am.

And turning my back on it now feels a hell of a lot like a betrayal.


What’s in a Name?

I have a friend who is about 3 months pregnant. One of the best parts of being pregnant, from my own memory, was the picking out names. But many parents only concentrate on the fun, and forget about the responsibility.

Choosing a name for another human being is a huge responsibility that way too many people take far too lightly. Name your daughter Destiny or Cherry, and you’ve just set her up for a lifetime of stripper jokes. Give your boy a common name like John, and you’ve set him up for an identity crisis as he tries to make himself stand out from all the other Johns. When naming a child, the margin for error is huge.

Which is why I don’t understand why anyone would put that responsibly in the hands of a pregnant, hormonal woman.


Anyway, we were talking and Desdemona* confirmed that she was expecting a boy. Then she started listing off her top picks for names. Her number one choice? Applebee.

Yeah, I’m sure you have the same horror stricken look on your face right now as I did when she told me. When she noticed my look, she laughed a little.

“It’s because me and John met at Applebee’s. I figured it would be cute.”

I responded, “Yeah, it would be cute…for about 3 minutes. But when the novelty wears off, your kid would still have to spend the rest of his life with that name.”

Look people, naming a child isn’t like creating a novelty license plate. You don’t get points for creativity. Instead, you just get a little kid, with a really weird name, who grows up to be a bitter adult.

Essa Alroc isn’t my real name (shocker, right?) It actually came from a modified anagram of my own name, minus a few repetitive letters. My real name is an 18 letter monster of a thing, that while pretty, is less than practical.

When I first started writing, and realized my own incredible genius, I also realized that eventually, I might be called upon to sign one of my books or give an autograph. I had nightmares about being at a book signing, with hundreds of angry fans watching, as I took twenty minutes per customer while I signed my gigantic name. I pictured hardcover novels that had to be made 2 feet wide to fit my name.

I thought back to the frustration I had as a child, when my teacher gave “Amy Smith” a gold star because she figured out how to spell her name on the first day. It took me the majority of the first grade.

I thought about the awkward silence every time I sign a check or credit card receipt, when it takes just a little bit too long to get it done.

I thought about the frustration I feel every time I call a company to make an appointment, and need to repeat my name twice, spell it, and then repeat it again.

I thought about those obnoxious fucking government forms, where there never seems to be enough boxes to fit my name in.

I thought of all that, and I then I elected to change my name. I just wish I had thought of doing it sooner.

Parents, when naming your child, please be practical. Naming a baby isn’t just a fun chance to pick out the trendy new thing or throw a dart at a baby book. It is the single most important thing that you will give your child.

So try not to fuck it up.

* Name changed so my pregnant friend will understand what it is to have a horrible name.

Time Heals All Wounds…An Experiment in Schadenfreude

Have you ever heard a woman bitch “it’s not fair; women get worse looking with age, while men only get more ‘distinguished’”?

I would like to take this opportunity to call bullshit. Most of my female friends in their 30s and 40s are utterly smoking hot, while most of the men I know are completely falling apart. I myself, at the ripe old age of 33, am far more attractive than I was in high school.


Then…we all make bad choices in high school. Red hair dye was mine

Now...amazing how much hotter I am when I'm actually happy

Now…amazing how much hotter I am when I’m actually happy











But while delightful, that is not what this post is about. Instead, it is about how time, and the complexly karmic nature of the universe, can fix just about any heartbreak.

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘time heals all wounds’ before and thought that it was yet another platitude that people throw out when they don’t know what else to say. But the fact is, most platitudes come into existence because they are true. There are plenty of fish in the sea. What happens really does happen and time does heal all wounds.

Thanks to gravity and a high carb diet.

Let me explain. If you can believe it, I fell in love in high school. Yes, back then, I had a heart, a ticking biological clock and a fully functional sex drive. I fell in love in that desperate, grasping way that teenage girls do, with a guy who wasn’t even remotely interested in me.

At the time, it was soul destroying. I spent most of my time agonizing about him, complaining to my friends and crying.

God, I must have been really fucking annoying back then.

Nothing aside from a few romps in the back seat of a car ever really happened between me and my high school crush but I obsessed all the same. It was painful, it was hopeless and it was depressing.

It was part of being a teenager.

I left my home town about two weeks after I graduated high school and aside from the occasional week long visit, never went back.  Life went on. It changed. I met other men to obsess about and men who actually got obsessed with me (creepy, yet flattering). I joined the military, had a kid, went to college, built a career, destroyed that career, and built another career.

For 16 years, I never thought about that crush. He went from comprising 90% of my conscious thoughts, to absolutely none of them.

Then, about a week ago, that crush popped up in a friend of mine’s timeline on Facebook.

I saw that name, and I’ll be honest; for a second, my heart skipped a beat. I was back to being that obsessed teenage girl. I tried to resist, but I couldn’t. I clicked on his profile, sure that he’d be successful and just as gorgeous as I remembered. I was ready to get obsessed all over again. Then, his current profile picture filled my screen…

And I snorted so hard, beer came out of my nose. After my coughing fit was done, I smirked, closed down the page and said to myself, ‘what the fuck was I thinking?’

Either I was legally blind at the age of 17, or my high school crush had gotten the shit beat out of him by Father Time. No joke, this dude looked like the paper towel guy ‘Brawny’ …if Brawny went on an all bacon diet and stopped trimming his beard.


About 20 years ago, this guy was all I wanted. Today, he would be yet another creepy fat dude that I avoided eye contact with at the store.

“This has to be an anomaly,” I told myself. “Surely karma doesn’t work that fast?”

So I pulled out my legal pad and I made a list. I didn’t make a list of every guy who’d ever broken my heart. In some cases, the breakup was fully warranted, mutual or necessary. For those guys, I expected no karmic justice because they weren’t at fault. Sometimes, we like someone who doesn’t like us (or the other way around) and we just have to accept that.

No, instead, this list was focused on the guys who had used and abused me or who had dumped me horrifically (like the dude that took me to McDonald’s on Valentine’s Day and dumped me after making me pay for his Value Meal).

Then I started Googling. During those Google searches, I learned one thing. Apparently, I am a super hero; my vagina dispatches karmic justice.


Every guy who’d ever made me feel utterly destroyed and useless had gone through some horrific metamorphosis. They went from being handsome, ambitious toned young men to harry ‘Jabba the Huts’ living in clapboard houses and working menial jobs.


You know that phrase ‘schadenfreude’? In case you haven’t, it means ‘shameful joy’. Well that night, I schadenfreuded multiple times, in multiple positions, and it was fucking fantastic. After I was done, I smoked half a pack of cigarettes and slept better than I’d slept in years.

To the ladies out there, if you’ve had your heart broken, I urge you to try this experiment. Of course, keep a few things in mind.

  • All my worst heartbreaks occurred more than 10 years ago. Something turned off inside me in my early 20s and I really haven’t felt a thing since. I think the ‘ripening’ from karmic justice occurs at about the 10 year mark, so I really wouldn’t recommend looking up the guy who dumped you 3 months ago.
  • Don’t look them up drunk. Nostalgia and alcohol don’t mix. You might start thinking of ‘the good old days’ and forget that you’re talking to a bald fat loser
  • Be fair in your assessment. I only looked up jerks that treated me like shit. I’m sure if I’d looked up some of the dudes that dumped me for a damn good reason, they would be doing quite well and I would just be jealous.

I strongly recommend trying this at least once in your life. No joke people. It will restore your faith in humanity and the universe in general.

So You’re Moving to Florida…

In about a month, I will be leaving Florida to take on the great, classy city of Las Vegas. I get the urge to change states every 4 years or so to outrun all my warrants take in new scenery.

Anyway, most of the people you will meet in Florida are transplants. In the years I have been living here, I have only met 1 or 2 ‘born and bred’ Floridians. Everyone else came from freezing cold states, and were lured here with the promise of eternal summer.

I have to agree that the weather is beautiful. As most of my friends are shoveling out their driveway, I sit here in flip flops and complain when the weather gets below 60.

But there are a few things that I wish someone had told me when I first moved, and now I’m going to share those things with you.

#1. Only hookers wear panty hose in the Sunshine State.

With weather that tops 100 on a daily basis, and an average 90% humidity rate, most people are practical enough to forgo an extra layer of nylon covering when they go out. The ones who don’t are the ladies who need to hide their varicose veins and track marks. Unless you’re looking to get solicited by a car full of college boys, leave the tights and pantyhose at home.

Seems weird that the people who wear the most pantyhose are also the ones who need to take it off the most.

Seems weird that the people who wear the most pantyhose are also the ones who need to take it off the most.

#2. Never trust the outside appearance of a neighborhood

As an apartment dweller, I’ve always been careful to avoid places with bars on the windows or mattresses in the yard. But Florida landlords are getting wise to that and now slap enough window dressing on any apartment complex to fool prospective tenants into moving into a ghetto neighborhood.

17 inch Kobe rims on a $900 car? Why the hell not...

17 inch Kobe rims on a $900 car? Why the hell not…

How to avoid it? When looking for a place to live, don’t look at the landscaping in the complex. Look at the cars in the parking lot. If you spot more than one 1998 Corolla with window tint, spinning rims and a stereo system that Blue Books for more than the car is worth, move on.

#3. There is no such thing as an ‘outdoor’ pet.

You won’t see a lot of stray cats roaming the neighborhoods in Florida. Here, stray cats are alligator food and they will not last very long. The only people who leave their animals outside in Florida are the meth dealers who need to leave their Rottweilers outside to protect their meth labs.

Believe it or not, this story has a happy ending.

Believe it or not, this story has a happy ending.

#4. Rudeness saves lives

Florida comes in at a hefty third place, right behind California and New York, for the most victims of serial killers. Remember these two words; Fuck ‘em.

But you only get the free candy if you help him find his lost puppy...

But you only get the free candy if you help him find his lost puppy…

A person broken down on the side of the road and they’re trying to flag you to stop? Fuck ‘em. A person knocking on your door looking for their lost dog? Fuck ‘em. A person in a cast wants help carrying their groceries? Fuck ‘em.

Yeah, I know it sounds terrible, but I don’t care. I’d rather a stranger think I’m rude than some Buffalo Bill nut job think I’m an easy target.

#5. ‘Palmetto bug’ is Floridian for ‘creepy assed flying cockroach’.

A Palmetto bug, aka the Periplaneta Americana, is a member of the arthropoda phylum and resembles a cockroach with the same approximate size as a small dog. While they do not bite, the first time you have one fly into your face in retaliation for spraying it with Raid, expect to be scarred for life. I’m not fucking around people. It will haunt you to your grave.

They can survive a nuclear holocaust…and they can fly. We are all fucked.

They can survive a nuclear holocaust…and they can fly. We are all fucked.

#6. Manatees do not exist

I think they are some kind of fake endangered species made up by a corrupt Florida official in order to get government funds for preservation. While I have no statistical proof, I can tell you that I have been to 3 manatee festivals and have yet to see one actual live manatee.

Essa hasn’t seen it = Doesn’t exist

Essa hasn’t seen it = Doesn’t exist

#7. All your neighbors will be nuts.

Again, something about the heat drives people nuts here. In my short time in my middle class apartment I’ve seen;

  • A guy try to light his girlfriend’s place on fire…while completely nude
  • A high speed chase, ending in a police standoff in my neighborhood, where the man claimed to be receiving secret messages from the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba.”
  • An invitation to join a cult
  • Another note telling me I’m going to hell for not joining said cult
  • A bronies convention (Google it)
  • A six foot red headed Asian woman with 6 toes on her right foot, who will gladly show the mutation to anyone for $1

If you don’t have any crazy neighbors in your Florida neighborhood, guess what? You are the crazy neighbor.

Florida has been fun, and it’s given me a lot of material, but its time to move on. For anyone about to move to “The Penis of America” (<- slogan is copyright of Essa Alroc) , I hope my guide will prepare you for what is sure to be a memorable stay.


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