Posted by: Mary Read | February 17, 2009

Drugs & More!


I was strolling through the Phoenix airport when I came upon this fine establishment. You know it took a constant plague of dumbfuck desert hippies thinking this was some sort of duty-free narcotics outlet before the store finally decided to add the “OVER THE COUNTER” and, for safe measure, “OTC” in front of the otherwise tantalizing “Drugs & More.”

Posted by: Mary Read | February 12, 2009

63% – Reject Darwin’s Theory of Evolution


This monkey is angry and so am I. Jesus H. Christ.

Granted, the people at Pew are playing numerical games and  reporting a double-barreled result by saying that 63% of Americans “believe that humans and other animals have either always existed in their present form or have evolved over time under the guidance of a supreme being. ”

There is a great deal of difference between believing evolution did, indeed, occur, but was overseen by the Invisible Man, as opposed to denying its existence entirely.  Yes, in my book they are both nonsense, but when it comes down to logic, the first position is an acceptance of scientific evidence but also an acceptance of a belief that is characterized by an absence of supporting or directly contradictory evidence (yes, yes, I know, you can’t prove that there isn’t an invisible alien in the room.) The second is a flat out refusal to accept scientific methods and evidence.

The solution is this: if you refuse to accept that evolution exists, that’s great. You no longer get to benefit from anything yielded from our understanding of evolution. Thus, we no longer allow those  in denial to take antibiotics–after all, the development of these medications is predicated on the notion that evolution is a constant process and thus we have to constantly modify our treatments as a result. Then, all it will take is a nice outbreak of something and, in a sweet denouement, natural selection solves our societal problem for us.

Posted by: Mary Read | February 11, 2009

Koalas are not precious

AP Photo/Mark Pardew

Credit: AP Photo/Mark Pardew

I dated a boy who called me Koala. The first time he said it, I arched my eyebrow at him–obviously I was not being abusive enough. He clarified: “All they do is sleep and eat, and they’re so picky they only eat fresh food. From far away, they look cute, but when you get near them, they are mean and nasty.”

This is true. While you’re cooing all over this damn picture, what you don’t know is that once that koala got hydrated, it slapped that bitch and threatened to claw his eyes out if he didn’t bring it some fresh motherfucking eucalyptus.

This is sheer prank mastery. This would have made my day in traffic. The only way it could have been any better is if it said “KOMODO DRAGON AHEAD!” That would be the scariest shit ever.

Posted by: Mary Read | January 31, 2009

Save me, John McClane



Dear Hollywood,

In some ways, I am your ideal consumer. I have an attention span that lasts shorter than a sixteen-year-old boy’s first fuck. Thus, I am a fan of crappy, running-gag and or witty dialogue movies (e.g., Billy Madison, Clerks) that require a budget of whatever it costs to supply the 21-year-old writer with Slurpees and porn, and action films that, while costly in production, do not necessitate any sort of annoying creative contributions like, say, plot or character development.

However, ever since The Matrix succeeded in making action films arty, you dumb fucks have decided that the key to success is whomever making fanboy-types jizz in their pants over a new special effect. Of course, rather than actually building a well-developed plot, complex sets, and intriguing characters in which to frame and present said special effect (like The Matrix did, or Terminator 2, for that matter), instead you just take whatever hollow-ass script you have, toss it to the manatees in the FX department, and give them creative license to build a plot around some lame “new” visual effect they’ve created. Fuck the critics: this is how you will make it to the hallowed crown of Sequel Bound! Congratulations!

Death to your progeny,


Since I’ve had the misfortune of being sick, I decided that renting a couple of movies would be enough mindless distraction to distract me from the desire to project my lung out of my mouth. As bed-riddedness isn’t conducive to exercise, I figured I’d go with some nice, violent, aggressive movies that would get my heart rate up. Clive Owen is pretty, so I grabbed Shoot ‘Em Up, and I had heard not-bad things about Wanted, so despite my personal distaste for Angelina Ho-lie I opted for that. It is worth noting that because these were provided for free by the library, I don’t have to weigh my legal options for restitution.

Regarding my love of action movies, let it be known that I am a permissible audience. I can get behind the impeccable aim of my movie’s protagonists, their ability to drop witticisms under duress, and the inevitable and abnormally large explosions that result when a car hits any number of items. I take it for granted that the protagonist’s life-meter, if you will, is at least a dozen times that of his or her enemy’s, that s/he can endure more beatings and bulletholes than the average person. And I expect that, no matter what the pattern of destruction, our primary antagonist will make it to the final climactic scene, which will be drawn out to ridiculous lengths because, despite all other efficient one-bullet deaths, Major Enemy Number One can never be an easy kill.

After sitting through both of these poofests, however, let me make something clear: there is a not-fine difference between a willful suspension of disbelief and the complete dismantling of one’s shit detector.

Shoot ‘Em Up tries and tries and tries to be over the top, and succeeds in being trying. Let’s get past the tired-as-fuck stereotypical dark, mysterious, monomonikered, trench-coat wearing anti-hero and his stripper-call girl-no-prostitute requisite female company, whose boobs have more lines than she does. Really, this movie is a competition between which scene is more unenjoyably ridiculous. Delivering a baby with one hand and making one-shot kills with the other? Shooting dozens of bad guys while running with an unprotected baby in his arms? Picking off baddies while fucking the hooker on the bed, the floor, and against the wall? No, I’m going to have to go with the physics-defying sky-diving scene, where bullets make magical trajectories and falling bodies don’t bother to heed gravity. Do not, under any circumstances, waste lifespace on this, even when rolling on NyQuil and Red Bull.

Wanted lost me at the first scene where Ho-lie’s anorexic arm-like appendage lifted a massive gun. Sorry, but you can’t convince me that bitch could bicep curl a can of Pork ‘n’ Beans, never mind a piece like that. I kept looking for where the plastic darts came out of it. Oooh, the bullets curve? Laaaaame. Throw in an extremely poorly cast James “Get Thee to a Period Piece” McAvoy, Morgan Freeman losing more of my respect playing yet another Omniscient Respected Paternal Type Yet Implied Badass, and a fucking LOOM (!) as the mastermind, and we are DONE. Seriously, the only thing this movie made me want to do was get high on ‘Tussin and try to read secrets in those loop-potholder things I was forced to make as a Girl Scout.

Anyway, I hope I have saved some of you some pain. Fuck all of this, next time I’m renting Die Hard With a Vengeance for the eighth time.

Posted by: Mary Read | January 30, 2009



OK, enough with the emails, haters. I confess, I have had a touch of the mung and haven’t been up to much recreational writin’ as of late. Now that I’ve been to the doctor, though, I’ve been refueled with venom, if not wellness.

Look, docs, I get it. Antibiotics are overprescribed. People are wusses and they take them at the slightest appearance of illness. Bad.

I, however, never come visit you. I hate going to the fucking doctor, mostly because my broke-ass insurance means I go to a clinic and get whatever crapshoot one of you has the misfortune of doing their charity work that day. I don’t have the kind of money that means I go to the doctor every time I have the sniffles. I come to you when I feel like death is a knock-knock-knockin’ at my door, and my old school Kentucky remedies (Watkins’ carbo-petrol salve, generic Robotussin, pork, and bourbon in the mouth and/or wound) aren’t quite making the cut. Thus, I get mighty pissed when I waste my time and money for you to tell me that you aren’t going to give me anything, and rather I should spend the next week or so continuing to choke on furry phlegm monsters and waiting to see if it develops into pneumonia?!?!

Seriously, what kind of fucktards are running this place? You think I would actually waste my money coming back to this joint if I got sicker? Hell no, those fuckers just let it happen! If I went to my mechanic and s/he told me my brakes were probably going to fail, but s/he wasn’t going to do anything about it, and as a result I had a near death experience on the 101 when the brakes did fail, do you really think I am going to patronize that asshole again?? Uh, no. So why would I go back to someone whose medical advice was “Wait until you feel more like shit, and then maybe I’ll do something”–?

Fortunately, I decided to do a cabinet sweep and managed to scrounge up some shit from the last time I was sick, two years ago. I’m experiencing similar symptoms, so I’ve started popping those. And what do you know: magic! My phlegm has now officially devolved and is no longer bipedal, and I’m starting to be functional again. Be thankful I’m not posting pictures of that.

Posted by: Mary Read | January 22, 2009

Billboardsforlife = billboards for my amusement


Hmmm…was that word “fuck”?

I am also pretty sure that the nativity scene is made out of chocolate. Baby Jesus, you’re delicious!

Posted by: Mary Read | January 20, 2009

It’s Time.

I am very, very happy to be retiring this shirt. Halle-fuckin’-lujah.

Posted by: Mary Read | January 9, 2009

IKEA = “Fine Quality”

IKEA quality

IKEA quality

Trips to IKEA are always filled with magic, but never before have I seen such honesty about their products.

Perhaps I should forgive them for the quotation marks; after all, they’re Swedes.

Posted by: Mary Read | December 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home


Holy shit, I love being home.

It’s not just the weather–yes, it’s been in the 70s a couple days, and I have been a happy happy camper–as the bipolarity of a Kentucky winter is well-documented and unpredictable.

And it’s not just my friends, although of course I am giddy with perpetual socializing.

It’s when I am trying to pull out of the gas station and someone stops their car and waves me into the lane in front of them. It’s when I find myself shooting the shit with a nineteen-year-old clerk at the mall about how happy she is to be home from college and her troubles in English class.  It’s when I’m replacing my headlight and having trouble getting the cap off the lamp when some guy getting out of his car comes and helps hold wires out of the way while I twist and tug. It’s being stuck in a long, long line at the department store and collaborating with your fellow queuers to put on an impromptu talent show to pass the time. It’s discussing the merits of various local pizzas with the guy perched on the stool next to you sampling the bar’s fare, and having him proceed to hold out his fork to you. It’s debating the merits of the Kroger brand beans in the grocery store aisle with a mother of six and having a spontaneous recipe exchange.

This is why I love Kentucky.

This shit rarely, if ever, happens in California. People shuffle past one another without making eye contact, never mind exchanging a friendly greeting.  I try to strike up conversations with random strangers all the time, and they give me the side-eye as if I’m going to shiv them with my car keys. I don’t know what to blame: is it the technology? Is it the unmelted pot of our backgrounds? Is it the everpresent illusions of money and materialism that breed competition and contempt for others? Whatever the explanation, the Bay Area mentality is all about me, me, me: no sense of community or collaboration or warmth.

So it’s no wonder that the first night I am back in town, catching up with friends and meeting random people, that some point of nearly every conversation goes like this:

Me: “I am just so happy to be home.”

Person I Just Met: “Where do you live?”

Me: “California.”

Person I Just Met: “Ew. Why?”

Damn, I wish I had a video camera to capture their looks of revulsion, like there is no worse fate on Earth. Once I confirm that yes, it sucks, they sympathize and ask why I don’t move back or when I plan on moving back. I was giddy all night with the reminder that no, I am not just a random, bitter Bay Area Hater: here, I am among those who know, those who understand. Really, I just relish this converse experience of what I typically endure in California. People note the accent and ask me where I’m from, and once I say Kentucky, their eyes widen: “Oh my god, I bet you’re soooo glad to be out here.” Hellllll no, people. I would–and not-soon-enough, will–sacrifice the near-year-round produce, the fantastic and omnipresent Indian and Vietnamese and Thai cuisine I so love, ocean accessibility, carpool lanes, and slightly milder winters/summers for the human connection of genuine Kentucky warmth.

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