How to Give a Movie Recommendation – or WWEBD?

My brother is a pro at giving movie recommendations. This is because he has good taste and he’s not an idiot. Let me give you an example of the last time he gave me a movie recommendation.


Brother – Hey, you know what you should watch? Zero Dark Thirty.

Me – ok

Brother – <Hangs up the phone>


That’s it. He doesn’t give me an entire goddamn summary of the movie.  He doesn’t try to reenact a scene. He just says “I think you’ll like this” and lets it go.

Believe it or not, a lot of you fuckers don’t seem to have this skill. For some reason, you see something you like in a movie and then immediately think “hey, you know what? My buddy Essa would like this. I’m going to give her a call and provide her with a long, rambling, barely coherent description of the scene. That way, when she eventually sees this movie, all the fun will be completely sucked out of it for her.”

The earliest I can remember this happening was with the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” The scene in question was a scene that most people find hilarious, where the two guys are trying to order at a drive through and the cashier won’t let them finish. Most people crack up when they watch this scene. Not me. It has been forever ruined thanks to one idiot named Eric.

See, Eric is one of those people who is under the mistaken impression that he’s hilarious, when he’s really not. That was just fine with me… right up until he gave the below description of the drive through scene.

“Oh god, it was so hilarious. You really have to see it. The first guy was trying to order food and the lady at the register… no, wait, it was a drive through… the lady as the drive through was all like “and then?” And the guy, he just kept ordering more stuff. Or maybe it was his friend ordering more stuff? <Starts cracking up hysterically like he is the very embodiment of George Carlin> And then, the lady was like ‘and then’ again and the guy was getting madder and madder, but she just kept saying ‘and then’ over and over again…<goes on for another 10 minutes, saying ‘and then’ in a very poor Asian accent>”

Nothing about the above description is remotely funny. It removes all humor from the scene by removing all instances of comedic timing, voice inflection and character reaction. When I watched it in the theater later on, as everyone laughed their asses off around me, I sat there, blank look on my face, without cracking a smile.

To top it off, Eric was with me (yes, he considered “Dude, Where’s My Car?” enough of a cinematic masterpiece to see it twice in the theater.) When the scene came up, I could feel him looking at me repeatedly to see if I was laughing too.

That’s another one of my pet peeves when watching a movie with someone, especially someone who has given me the recommendation in the first place.  Stop watching me to see my reaction and watch the goddamn movie instead. You peaking over every 12 seconds, as you chuckle hysterically, trying to make sure I see the hilarity of whatever piece of shit you recommended to me, is distracting and annoying.

Even worse is when someone keeps telling you about a movie or TV show that you have no desire to watch at all. Again, take a page out of my brother’s book on this one.


Brother – Hey Essa, you know what show you’d probably like? Banshee.

Me – I did enjoy it briefly, but found the sex scenes exploitive and unnecessary

Brother – <hangs up the phone>


What can I say? My brother is a busy motherfucker. He also knows, because I have already indicated this is a program I would not enjoy, that he does not need to spend 45 minutes trying to convince me by summarizing the entire plotline. He doesn’t give a shit. He suggested it and let it go. It’s not like he has a vested interest in whether or not I watch “Banshee.” He doesn’t have money riding on it. He’s not getting kickbacks from the show. He just knows what I like, offered the recommendation, and moved on.

Now, let’s try this again with my buddy Eric.


Eric – Hey Essa, you know what show you’d like? Wilfred.

Me – I have attempted to watch the show, but did not enjoy it.

Eric – But you’d love it! It’s really your kind of humor. See, there’s this guy, and he’s bipolar. Or maybe he’s depressed? Hold on, let me IMDB it. <Five minutes of frustrated clicking> Yeah, he’s depressed. Anyway, his neighbor has this dog, but the depressed guy, he thinks it’s just a man wearing a dog costume and…

Me – <hangs up the phone>


When giving a recommendation, whether it be for TV or movies, take a page out of my brother’s book. Ask yourself “WWEBD” or “What would Essa’s brother do?” Hell, I even made a flowchart to help.


What I don’t need is you describing scenes or summarizing the plotline. I have the internet for that, and those people actually know what they’re doing. Your bumbling attempts to garner my interest are actually making me less interested.

I’m usually pretty good at picking out my own shows. I’m a bit of a movie buff and a professional movie reviewer to boot. I know what I like and I don’t need your help. But if you absolutely must make a movie recommendation to me, ask yourself ‘WWEBD?” beforehand to avoid pissing me off.

Science is the Closest Thing to Magic… Not Facebook Chain Posts

Magic is something that has appealed to people for centuries, simply because it has the potential to give us something for nothing. Want to make money? Buy this stupid bag of rocks. Want to fall in love? Here, drink this snake oil. Everything you want will come to you; all your dreams will come true, as long as you’re willing to pay the low, low price of $9.95 to buy these magic rocks on Etsy.


I bring this up because I woke up to a Facebook stream FULL of images from people forwarding chain posts. I checked my email and found a few more forwarded emails telling me if I sent them to all my friends, I’d be a millionaire by nightfall.

To all my chain mail forwarding friends, I’m going to explain the evolution of a chain email one more time. Hopefully, if I do it in children’s story form, someone will catch on.


Once upon a time in the land of Nigeria,

A scam artist wanted to spread his scam like bacteria

The problem he had, which he had to resolve

Was finding a way to get his email contacts to evolve


As a poor northern boy, with very few friends

He didn’t have the contacts to meet his evil ends

He needed a way to get emails enmass

Without wasting time or wasting his gas


So he came up with a plan on how to begin

His potential victims would do the gathering for him

He wrote up a letter, promising fortune and fame

And in the ‘BCC’ hid his very own name


They need not send money or do any work

They just had to press a button and act like a jerk

Sending the message to everyone they knew

And getting their friends to do it too


Each time ‘forward to all’ was clicked by a fool

The scammer had his own new email harvest tool

Soon his new contacts were filled to the brim

And he knew it was time for the real scamming to begin


As cute as this story is, I’m not making it up. That’s where chain mail really came from. It came from scammers who hid their email addresses in your BCC, so when you hit forward to all, they would get all your friends’ active emails as well. Then, they earned themselves a huge database of people they could send scam letters to…all because some idiot apparently thinks chain mail is magic.

If there is any kind of magic in the world, it comes from science. Hell, if someone mailed an iPhone to 1864, I’m pretty sure it would get burned as a witch. Science is magic, but people don’t invest half the amount of time in it because you have to work for the magic of science.

It’s not something that comes from pressing ‘forward, forward, forward’ on every piece of junk that pops up in your timeline. If those messages worked, just about every fucktard on the planet would be married to the love of their life, sitting on a giant pile of money. They’re not. They‘re broke, lonely, and sitting at home pressing ‘forward’.

And they’re giving all their friend’s emails to scammers.  I’m sure there are people out there who are like ‘well, I only do it as a goof’ or ‘just in case’. Let me explain this. There is no ‘just in case.’ Scientifically, forwarding that email has a 0.000000000% chance of making you rich.

The reason I have to change my email every four years or so is because of this. It’s because through no fault of my own, I wind up on some fucking scammer’s email list… thanks to someone sending me chain mail. Then, my email gets sold to another scammer, and another, and another, until my email is so flooded with announcements that I’ve won the lottery, a free iPad or an inheritance from some relative I didn’t know I had that I need to shut it down and start all over again.

I have 5 different email addresses right now for this very reason.

But what about Facebook? That’s not forwarding chain mail, right?

Right. Instead you’re giving them Facebook friends to harvest and making the chain mail originator’s page look legitimate, thanks to all your ‘shares’ and ‘likes’. In my opinion, that’s just as bad.

People, you want magic, look to science. You want to make your life better, do something about it. Leave the house, meet people, find a better job. But don’t sit around expecting to get something for nothing. That doesn’t happen.

Unless you’re a scam artist looking to get hundreds of emails for free. That happens all the time.



Giving Thanks – A Lesson in Gratitude

I don’t know if you could all tell this from my posts, but I’m a very negative person. I’m not negative in that annoying ‘oh, my life is so bad’ kind of way. Instead, I find myself often being negative simply for the purpose of being amusing. If there is one life lesson I can pass on, it’s this;

If you’re going to bitch, at least make it funny.

As a massive cynic, I find myself complaining about just about everything. I have no right to. My life is good. I get paid to do what I love, have a lot of friends that tolerate me no matter how many times I drunk and text them, and a supportive family of enablers who will happily allow me to drink and smoke myself to death. I have a kick ass Wi-Fi connection, an unlimited weed supply, and access to a completely free, completely streaming porn site.

So why the hell do I complain so much? It’s time to start being grateful for things. That is why I give you, in no particular order, the things I am grateful for everyday.

#1 Minivans

I have a theory about minivans. I think if you get the lowest possible score on the driving test at the DMV (while still passing) they automatically assign you a minivan. This is so the rest of the world will know what a terrible fucking driver you are.

Whenever I see some asshole doing 35 in the fast lane, with their left blinker on the whole fucking time, they are in a minivan. Something about these vehicles was designed to say to the public at large “pass as quickly as possible, in the breakdown lane if you have to. The driver of this stupid looking vehicle is guaranteed to hit something in the next five minutes.”

So thank you minivan manufacturers, for telling us which drivers truly are idiots before we find out the hard way.

#2  The phrase ‘no offense intended.”

I love this phrase, because it lets you say whatever you want! Then, if the person gets offended, they’re the one who’s the asshole. Here’s an example;

Girlfriend: My mother invited us to brunch this weekend.

Boyfriend: I don’t want to go.

Girlfriend: Why?

Boyfriend: No offense intended, but your mother is a fat whore.

See how easy that is? I don’t know who invented the phrase ‘no offense intended’, but I’m grateful. I’m also sure whoever it was, they were a massive asshole… no offense intended.

#3 Foreign content writers

As a freelance writer, I often find myself competing for jobs with people who bid $10.00 for ten 500 word articles. People who need writers will contract with these guys to save money. The funny thing is, these people never consider the fact that to make a living, someone would have to churn out like 50 of these a day. They always make excuses, like “oh, the cost of living is lower in (insert country client usually knows nothing about). That’s why they can charge so little.”

That’s not why. The reason they can charge so little is because they can write an article in about 25 seconds. Let me show you how.

Step 1 – Google the topic. For today’s purposes, my topic is ‘ass warts’

google screen shot

Step 2 – Pick the first article that comes up and copy it, word for word.

Anal warts (also called “condyloma acuminata”) are a condition that affects the area around and inside the anus. They may also affect the skin of the genital area. They first appear as tiny spots or growths, perhaps as small as the head of a pin, and may grow quite large and cover the entire anal area. Usually, they do not cause pain or discomfort to afflicted individuals and patients may be unaware that the warts are present. Some patients will experience symptoms, such as itching, bleeding, mucus discharge and/or a feeling of a lump or mass in the anal area.

Step 3 – Slap it in a spinner with no regards to the end product at all.

Butt-centric warts (likewise called “condyloma acuminata”) are a condition that influences the zone around and inside the rear-end. They might likewise influence the skin of the genital range. They first show up as modest spots or developments, maybe as little as the leader of a pin, and may develop huge and spread the whole butt-centric territory. Typically, they don’t result in agony or uneasiness to tormented people and patients may be unconscious that the warts are available. A few patients will encounter side effects, for example, tingling, dying, bodily fluid release and/or an inclination of a knot or mass in the butt-centric territory.

Step 4 – Deliver article and ignore all angry emails from the client. After all, what are they going to do? Sue you for $10?

Now, was that butt-centric or what?

So why am I grateful for these dudes? They’re making me rich! After the client gets all these terrible articles, they need to pay someone to fix the damage. This is where I come in and charge a butt-load (or anal-cargo, for you spinners) more to fix it.

There we go. A few of the things I’m grateful for every day. For all you minivan driving foreign content writers out there, no offense intended, but your idiocy is actually making my life better.

Accept or Adapt; The Fizzy Water Argument


I hate fizzy water. You know, the kind with bubbles in it? Here’s an odd fact that you might not know. Germans love fizzy water. In fact, if you order a glass of water at a bar or restaurant in Germany, they will automatically give you fizzy water, unless you order ‘no gas.’

Yeah, I know it’s weird, but it’s true.

When I was in Berlin during the 1999 Love Parade, I woke up one morning with a massive hangover and a serious case of dry mouth. I went to a café nearby and ordered a huge bottle of water. Then, I took an equally huge gulp…

And promptly vomited fizzy water all over the floor.

I, of course, realized my mistake. In Germany, it’s part of the culture that fizzy water is their default water. I apologized to the waitress, paid for the fizzy water and ordered a bottle of flat. She was actually very nice about the whole thing.

I didn’t berate the waitress for not understanding that because I’m an American, she should have known I didn’t mean fizzy water. I didn’t demand that the café comp me the bottle of fizzy water and claim it was their fault I threw up. I didn’t do either of those things because the incident was MY fault.

It wasn’t the waitress’s job to adapt her standards to my culture. It was my job to adapt myself to German culture. After all, I was a guest in their country and in their country, fizzy water is just water.

This post isn’t about my dislike of fizzy water (though I do deeply hate it). Instead, the anecdote was kind of designed as a metaphor for the cultural ‘tolerance’ that is overtaking this country right now.

Tolerance for other cultures is somehow becoming intolerance of our own.   I see news story after news story about people being told to remove American flags from their properties because others might be offended. I see people who are against kids saying the Pledge of Allegiance because they think it disrespects the culture of their birth. I’ve even met people who think that the official language of the US should be Spanish because so many Spanish immigrants have moved here.

Here’s the deal, the land doesn’t adapt to you. You adapt to the land. Americans shouldn’t have to hide our heritage because people from foreign countries don’t like it. Not to sound like a redneck buffoon, but if they hate America so much, why the fuck do they live here?

Awhile back, my mom went to WalMart. While she was there, she bought a pork roast. When she got to the register, the woman behind it told my mom that she’d have to scan and bag her own groceries because she couldn’t touch pork.

To which I say, get bent. It wasn’t my mother’s job to ensure that her grocery cart fit the dietary restrictions of a minimum wage cashier’s religion. It was the damn cashier’s job to pick a job that didn’t contradict her religious beliefs.

The second your religious beliefs impinge on my freedom, you are in exact contradiction to one of the founding principles of this country. Your personal Jesus does not trump my freedom and if I feel like hanging bacon Christmas lights (patent pending) this year, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I don’t give a fuck what your wacky god things.

Oh, and by the way? Yes, I think your god is wacky. As long as I’m not committing a crime, I am in no way required to respect your religion. Deal with it. I think being Muslim is weird. What are you going to do? Spank me or take away my birthday? (Just so you know, I’m kind of into spankings and I haven’t celebrated a birthday since I was 29.)

Oh, right, you can actually do NEITHER of those things… because it is my right as an American to express my opinion…using the English language.

Accept that fact that Americans aren’t a multilingual people. We speak English here. Yes, I am aware the rest of the world thinks we’re idiots for only speaking one language, but that’s the way it is. If you want to come as a guest, feel free to speak your own language. But if you want to live here, learn to speak English.

It’s called adapting to your surroundings. Try it; it will make life a shitload easier.

Our founding fathers fought for this country. They fought for freedom of religion and free speech. They fought for the right to speak English without having to spell color with a ‘U’ or call an apartment a flat.  Respect the damn culture or get the hell out.

Look, foreigners who come here expecting America to change just for you… it’s incredibly awesome that you’ve got the whole American arrogance and sense of entitlement down. But all the entitlement in the world isn’t going to make this country change. That’s another part of being an American you might dislike. You have freedom of speech, but there is a very strong likelihood that no one gives a fuck what you have to say.

America is a lot like that bottle of fizzy water I got on that hungover Sunday morning. It might not be exactly what you were expecting. Hell, it might even make you throw up. But you can’t change the fact that it’s fizzy water. You either need to learn to like fizzy water or you pay for your water and walk away before the waitress notices you just puked on the floor.



How You Really Know You’re a Hipster

Recently, I was accused of being a hipster because I was wearing an ironic T-shirt. As the majority of my clothes comes from garage sales, this is a frequent, but unintentional occurrence. Anyway, I am not a hipster. I’m just lazy and unkempt. But for those who are wondering if you are, here is a helpful listing to let you know if you’re a hipster.


You pay $85 for a haircut that makes you look homeless and $120 for pre-torn jeans.

How do I put this politely? Fuck Urban Outfitters. The only reason people shop in those stores is because other people shop at those stores. Be honest people. When was the last time you said, “hey, you know what? I want to pay $54 so I can wear an ugly, vintage inspired sweatshirt of a band that I don’t really listen to?”

suicidal tendencies


You want a modern day version of the Emperors New Clothes? Think Urban Outfitters. No joke, those fuckers are laughing at you.

You wear jeans that have to be zipped with pliers.

I hate the skinny jeans trend. As a curvy girl, I don’t really have the stature to pull them off. To get an idea of what I look like in skinny jeans, think ‘denim sausage wearing flesh colored inner tube’.


The last thing I need is some 24-year-old androgynous dude to look better in jeans than I do (and have smaller hip measurements). As a protest to the skinny jeans movement, I refuse to wear pants until it’s over.

Take that, America.

Regardless of how stupid your political opinion, you take a condescending view of everyone else’s.

To be political, you need to get your news from places other than the Daily Show and conspiracy blogs.  If you’re not political, just say you’re not political. I’m not political. When I write a political post, I just make up the statistics that sound right.  It’s surprisingly easy to trick people into believing you’re political if you use the right words. But hipsters are required to have a political opinion, even if they think that ‘Whigs’ and ‘Tories’ are still the major voting parties in this county.

Personally, I’m voting Tory next time around. “A Modest Proposal’ convinced me we needed major poorhouse reform in this country.

You think you’re counterculture, when you are the exact opposite.

People started rejecting society’s norms and turned rebellion into a lifestyle as early as the 1960s. As those people grew to adulthood, never getting married, recreational drug use and distrust in the government became the new norm. Old counterculture is the new norm. If you were really counterculture, you’d be a Christian republican who is against gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana. I’m sorry, but your world views are no longer edgy when your parents agree with them.

Look, I’m not a hipster. I’m not affecting an air of laziness and disdain. I’m actually just lazy and disdainful. I have been since I was four. I don’t leave my hair messy to convince you of how little I care. I just haven’t been able to get my brush in two weeks, because I dropped it under my bed, and deep down inside, I know there’s a monster underneath there.

My life isn’t a lifestyle. It’s what happens when a depressed alcoholic spends too much time in the sun. I’m not a hipster. I’m not hip or trendy. I’m simply mostly buzzed and mildly grumpy. My behavior isn’t a social statement.  It’s a cry for help.

Fuck hipsters.

Crazy Talk

In honor of the late, great Joan Rivers “can we talk?”

Specifically, can we talk about crazy talk? One thing that flabbergasts me is people who talk about how crazy they are, when they’re really not. I heard this one recently from a girl whose idea of crazy is watching Special Victims Unit with the subtitles on. She said to me, “we’re having a girl’s night, so I hope I don’t wind up in jail. You know how crazy I can be!”

The thing was, I didn’t. Then it occurred to me that this girl might think she’s crazy simply for wearing open-toed shoes in November. That’s because there is no litmus test for what constitutes crazy on a night out. It’s purely subjective…

Until now. Using many scientific methods, I have created a test that will tell you once and for all if you truly are crazy.

You will be given a question, then a series of three options. Your answers will determine your level of craziness.

1) You wake up in the morning after a night on the town. On the kitchen table, next to your car keys is a top hat, a radio station bumper sticker, and an extra large set of anal beads. Where did these items come from?

a) One of your drunk friends gave them to you. Why she had Mardi Gras beads in September, you’ll never know.

b) The memories are a bit hazy, but you believe you got them while bar hopping. The top hat you probably stole from a guy.

c) You have no fucking clue. The entire night is a black hole. Then, you turn on the radio and hear yourself giving a glowing endorsement of BJ’s Hardcore BDSM Club, using your full legal name. How you got the top hat remains a mystery, but you keep it because it might be magic.

2) There is a cute guy eyeing you at the club. You;

a) Wait for him to approach you

b) Approach him first

c) Approach him first and put your hand on his penis before you know his name.

3) That same cute guy wants to take you home;

a) No way! You’re not that kind of girl.

b) No problem. You can spot a serial killer from a mile away.

c) Say yes, but ask him to bring you by your drug dealers house first. What he doesn’t know is that the drug dealer is also an ex-boyfriend that you’re trying to make jealous. While there, a massive domestic disturbance ends with you clutching onto the ex-boyfriend, crying as the cops drag him away, for assaulting the guy you picked up.

4) During the evening out, you are stopped by a cop on a bicycle. The bike cop thinks you might be too intoxicated to be in public. You;

a) Apologize and promise to go right home. You are near tears and the ordeal is one of the most humiliating of your life.

b) Get offended and try to act sober.

c) Drunkenly berate the cop for being a bike cop. Use some of your favorite bike cop jokes like; “you know a bike cop’s Kryptonite? Stairs.” When the cop gets extremely offended and threatens to arrest you, you mockingly ask him “what are you going to do? Bring me to jail in your little basket?”

Mostly A’s – The craziest thing you’ve done lately is drive around with a set of anal beads hanging from your rearview, but that’s because no one has told you they’re not Mardis Gras beads yet.

Mostly B’s – You might fall into the wild category, but you’re not crazy. While you might take the occasional dude home, or do an illicit substance or two, your craziness is tempered with common sense.

Mostly C’s – You’re crazy.  You’re the kind of crazy where you should probably start carrying around a notebook, so you can keep track of people you need to apologize to the next day. My notebook usually just says ‘everyone’. Then, I send a mass email. Let me know if you want the template.


Some women seem born with this innate ability to take perfect photos. These women are having a lot of fun in the age of the never ending stream of selfies on Facebook, as they post photo after photo of themselves looking adorable…or like they just had collagen.

I envy these women. I envy these women because I can not take a good photo. I see these chicks pop out their cell phones and get this great photo with one shot. Meanwhile, mine looks like this;

blog pic


Despite the above photo (where I was apparently having a stroke while taking a dump) I wouldn’t call myself an ugly girl. All of my features are in the right place and I still have everything I was born with.

Something about taking a photo stresses me out. As I stand there, awkward smile on my face for a never ending amount of time, I feel more and more stupid. Soon that awkwardness starts to show on my face.

I have this internal discussion every time one of my friends forces me to take a group shot on a night out;

Oh, great, this again. Ok, chin up. No, literally bitch, chin up, otherwise you’ll have four….and they’ll be on Facebook. Ok, chins up, leaning forward. Now, how big should I smile? Like an open mouth laugh smile? Now I feel stupid. Is everyone looking at me? Focus, must focus. Oh, fuck chin up! God dude, take the picture. Fuck am I about to sneeze? I’m about to sneeze. Oh god, eyes are watering, I feel idiotic, can not hold this sneeze in. Take the goddamn picture! Jesus, it’s an iPhone not a particle fucking accelerator. “Ahhchooo!”


Apparently, I am allergic to having my photograph taken. You know what my only cure is? Alcohol.

When loaded, I can take one hell of a picture. Ok, so I might drunk and dial you (or email), key your car, vomit on my bathroom floor and potentially get a stern lecture from authorities, but I’ll look real nice when I’m doing it. But I can’t be loaded in all my pictures.

So I’m trying to practice in the bathroom mirror. You know, like all those chicks do on American’s next top model. But as I simper at myself in the mirror, do that duck bill thing (ridiculous, I look like that blond girl Muppet who never opens her eyes) or try any other method of looking sexy rather than ridiculous, I can’t help but envy the chicks that can pull this off.

So I’m probably just going to pull a Kim Kardashian and Photoshop. I might even give myself a neck tattoo!




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