Monday, January 31, 2005


I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to plan my life when Astrology Zone will not update its monthly horoscope section. I have a lot of decisions to make and I need help.

Are you dead inside?

Recent studies conducted by reliable new media news sources (a.k.a. "blogs") indicate that nine out of ten Americans are actually dead inside. Are you one of them? Take our simple quiz and find out.

1) It's Wednesday evening. An old friend calls you up to announce that she is spinning at a club downtown. You have not seen this friend in several months, and she's really good with the records and such. Also: There will be free drinks. You:

a) Don't even bother to properly hang up the phone, but rather leave it dangling cinematically at the end of its cord, going beep-beep-beep, and dash out the door into a waiting taxi.

b) Say you'll think about it. Hem and haw. Have long discussions with yourself in the mirror while getting ready to go, a la Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, about whether or not you should go. ("She'll keep calling me. She'll keep calling me, she'll make me feel guilty and ... shit. I'll go I'll go I'll go and ... I'll go.")

c) Stay home. Lost is on!

2) It's Friday afternoon. This same friend calls you up and asks you to go to party with her in another city. She will provide transportation and a place to crash. You:

a) Ask if the people you're staying with have cats. You're allergic to cats. Also, how is her car holding up? Wasn't it making scary noises? Is it fixed now? Is it really fixed? Is she sure? Well ... okay, maybe.

b) Say no way, dude. You're on a new fitness regimen and you have to get to the gym every day or else. Nobody likes a fat girl.

c) Pack a change of underwear and go.

3) An old boyfriend is comes to town. Things didn't end on a terrific note, but for some reason he wants to see you, and to be honest, you can't actually remember what you guys broke up over anyway. Plus, he's hot. You:

a) Clear your weekend, put on date underwear and roll with it.

b) Make an excuse and stay home.

c) Actually, you know what? I have no idea what this has to do with being dead inside. I think this item belongs on the "Do you have any common sense?" quiz. I score particularly low on that one, but you all knew that.

4) Company Christmas party time! How much do you drink?

a) How much have you got?

b) I'll just have a lite beer. I don't want to embarrass myself in front of the boss, or anything.

c) No, seriously, how much have you got? Also, I hope you don't think we're going home after this. No, I don't want to hear it. No, I don't want to hear it. You are like my favorite coworker ever. No, you are! Lemme buy you a drink. Open bar? Okay, well, then, let me get you one.

5) When is it time to go to sleep?

a) When the party is over, the bar is closed, and all your friends have locked you out of their apartments.

b) About 10:00 p.m., give or take.

c) When you are dead, imprisoned, stripped of your driver's license or otherwise confined to your home.


I would calculate your points for you, but I'm too tired. Next time, okay? What? Where are you going?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention:

I have meetings all week long, so I probably won't be around much for the next few days. In the meantime, I suggest you amuse yourselves by picturing your old Auntie Jennie attempting to drive herself waaaay out into the hinterlands every morning, in the snow, to get to the hotel where the meetings are being held. It's pretty gee dee amusing, I'll tell you. If you think strokes are funny. The kind where your head explodes, not the band. Those Strokes are kind of funny, too, but not because they're trying to be.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Site stat update

Someone got to my site by Googling "inflatable pants." Actually, two someones. Or perhaps the same someone twice. I'm wondering who this person is, and why they were looking for inflatable pants. Do we have a clown contingent here at the Smash? Is this the latest in child safety devices? I remember when I was a wee small Smashlet and took figure skating lessons, my mother used to stuff a pillow down my pants so that I wouldn't break my tailbone when I fell down. These days, of course, nature has provided me with more natural padding. Plus, a general unwillingness to participate in sporting activities unless I can accurately measure how many calories I'm burning off by torturing myself.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The continuous catalogue of complaints: My arm hurts

I have the tendonitis again in my arm, mostly from type-type-typing all day long and passing out on various sofas when I'm done type-type-typing. I know it's probably tendonitis, but in my heart of hearts, I really think that it's a tumor. Because I always think that something is terribly wrong with me.

The tumor, if it exists, is sitting right in the socket of my arm, pressing on the nerve. It will not be discovered until it's too late, because no one ever listens to me. By that time, I will have to have my whole arm removed, right up to the ball joint. I will keep an orange in the space where my arm used to sit, and haul it out at parties.

I had a shrink once who told me that she had the perfect engraving for my tombstone: "I told you I was sick." Instead of laughing or rolling my eyes, I leaned forward in my chair and demanded, "Sick? Why? WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD?"

Thursday, January 20, 2005

One is silver and the other's gold

For various reasons, which may or may not be made clear to you all shortly, I have been thinking a lot lately about friendship, beautiful, beautiful friendship, and how hard it is, in this day and age, to know when you've actually made a friend.

I don't mean a social acquaintance. I don't mean a drinking buddy. I mean an honest to goodness friend, someone who will tell you that you're not fat and it's not your fault and yes, you have talent and blah, blah, blah, with a minimum of eyerolling, and maybe even at four in the morning, if it's really an emergency. Or, in the case of Ira Einhorn, The Famous Unicorn Killer, someone who will help you carry a heavy trunk out to the river and toss it in.

I am quite sure that at least a few of my friends would help me dispose of a body, but old Ira wasn't quite so lucky. Maybe they were pissed that he lied to them and told them that the trunk was full of "secret documents." Maybe they had carpal tunnel syndrome. Anyway, they didn't help. I mean, you know, thank goodness. In case you confused about my stance on serial killers -- I'm against them.

Honestly, I don't know why I keep watching these true crime shows, but it may be time to call someone. I think I watch like two of these damn things a day now. Soon I'll see serial killers when I shut my eyes, like the after-images of Tetris tiles burned into my corneas.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Girlhood dreams

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day when a man would look at me tenderly and say, "My girlfriend and I have a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."

Many girls have this dream. We cherish it so strongly, that we never ever mention it in public. It's like our longing to have a hysterectomy before the age of forty, or our desire to eventually give birth to a two-headed baby. It's just too precious to be spoken of, aloud.

When the gentleman I'm referring to told me about his "don't ask, don't tell" policy, I looked at him shyly, my eyes wide and shiny with unshed tears.

"You mean," I whispered, awkwardly reaching for his hand. "You're not going to tell each other that you're both actually GAY?"

Monday, January 17, 2005

It's a national holiday! Get back to work.

Can we put aside the fiction that there are actually any such things as national holidays anymore? Because it pains me to be lied to in this fashion.

Today is Martin Luther King Day, and yet here I sit at the website factory, cranking away. Many of my friends actually do have the day off. Others don't. I feel that this failure on the part of all of our employers to come to some sort of consensus regarding MLK Day is just plain wrong. Ideally, we should either all be working, or none of us should. Guess which one I'm voting for.

In other news, I have decided to start making up holidays, just for fun. If we're not going to have the day off anyway, why not have a holiday, like, once a week? Wouldn't that be GREAT?

Today is the International Day of Stuffing Your Face With Candy. You know what to do.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I'm the 'Fun Czar' around here

This is ludicrous:

Harvard hires 'Fun Czar' to spice up student life

Let me tell you how we did things down at the state school, kids. We made our own fun, out of beer and hormones, often on a very tight budget, while walking uphill, in the snow, etc. What is the matter with Harvard Students, that they need an actual Officer for fun times? That's one of my questions. My other question is, "How do I get that gig?"

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Okay, fine: Tsunami

I haven't posted about the tsunami yet, because I'm pretending that it never happened. This is fairly easy to do, because I'm excellent at denial and because, honestly, so many people died in it that I can't even fathom the severity of the situation. How many people died? I'm so glad you asked. Everyone but you and me and the guy who just sold you your Wednesday scratch ticket is now totally and completely dead.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

That's the sound of the Smash...

A short time ago I was dating a guy who informed me that in his opinion, I am a workaholic. This was far from his biggest complaint about me, but it was clearly an issue all the same, and when we broke up, it was one of the things I mentioned when I was complaining about him to my friends.

"And he said -- get this -- HE SAID I WAS A WORKAHOLIC."

My friends were sympathetic, because they love me and because they all work sixty hours a week themselves. So really, who are they to throw stones? But it does occur to me, in looking over the past week or so, that my ex-boyfriend might've had a point. I worked most of the weekend, and nearly every night once I got home, plus a full day at my office. This is the kind of craziness that caused the Japanese to jump out of office buildings in Tokyo in the eighties.

The real secret is that I like working. I like it so much, I don't even take lunch at my office. I'm happier when I have lots to do, and I need a great deal of structure, otherwise I feel insane. I like lists. I like notecards. I like highlighters. I have an office supply fetish. Staples is my adult entertainment center. It may be sad, but hey. I could argue that the secret of a happy life is figuring out who you are, exactly, and then behaving like yourself as much as possible, without hurting anyone. I am a neurotic workaholic freak. And so I will behave as such.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Fads I am opposed to: Pointy shoes

Winter is a bad time for me, sartorially speaking. I get really, really lazy. How lazy? I realized the other day that I haven't put my contacts in in at least two weeks, and also that I seem to have completely stopped wearing foundation (that's the glop girls put on their faces, fellas).

The funniest part of it is, I don't think I really look all that different than I do when I get gussied up. Maybe, you know, a little less sparkly. And the glasses are pretty obvious, I guess, because I favor the Large Dorky Frame of the Moderately Hip.

But even under the best of circumstances, there are some trends that I will not participate in. Chief among these: Pointy shoes.

Pointy shoes were put on this earth by Satan to torture the faithful. I believe this, just as I believe that George W. Bush watches Monday Night Football while wearing a tutu and Uggs and drinking wine coolers. I have many beliefs, some of them suspect. But I digress.

I don't like pointy shoes because my feet are not pointy. Do you see? And so wearing pointy shoes would hurt my little feet, and that would make me cry. No one wants that. So I'm doing everyone a favor.

I have friends who do the pointy shoes, and they tell me that the secret is to buy them larger, so that the shoes start narrowing after your toes stop, but I feel that this would make me look like Bozo the Clown, with my size 11 shoes hanging off my poor wee feet. Also, would they even fit? I'd look pretty sexy, clomping around in my stylish footwear. I just don't think it will work.

I want round toes to come back into fashion. I might hold my breath.

The week ahead with Jennie Smash

Hey, guys, I wrote this week's Incoming! column for the Black Table. Go check it out! (Don't make me beg.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Ma Smash update

I know from talking to some of my twelve readers that my potty mouth is sometimes problematic, at least in terms of folks being able to read my musings at work. Well, I'm sorry about this, but honestly, I've cleaned up my act as much as I can in this regard. Also, I'm starting from a deficit. I have a genetic predisposition toward filth. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

My sister and I were sitting around at my parents' house, talking about dogs, as you do. We were discussing specifically Meg's mother-in-law's dog, Bingo, and the fact that his little operation didn't seem to take.

"I mean honestly, I'm sitting there in the car, minding my own business, and Stephen says, hey, Meghan, look in the back seat, and I look and there's Bingo, grinning at me, with his huge red dick hanging out."

At this point, my Mom came into the room, looking puzzled, as anyone would having come into that conversation mid-sentence.

"What's going on?" She asked.

"Bingo had the snip, but it didn't work."

"Well, I know that!" She said brightly. "At your cousin's wedding, he tried to fuck my ankle!" Her face changed for a minute. "And I wouldn't mind, but I knitted that dog a sweater."

People, I ask you. Was there ever any hope for me? Clearly, there was not.

New Year's Eve 2004: Shrieking heteros, dancing homos and one very frightened marine biologist

This New Year's Eve, unlike most others in my memory, did not blow, nor did it suck, mostly because I made a couple very intelligent decisions about how to spend my night:

1) I went to a friend's house, for a small party, instead of shelling out for a Big Stupid Party at an overpriced bar downtown.

2) I reduced my expectations from "Greatest Party Night of the Year" to "We'll all get drunk and act like fools!"

3) I bought a beautiful pair of silver shoes that made me look adorable, just adorable I tell you. They had bows and everything. ADORABLE.

The party was at my friends Ashlee and Laura's house, and it was mostly full of lesbians, except for me, my friend Meredith, and a few straight couples like my pals Cathy and Isaac. This was fine with me. If I wanted to get assaulted by ageing frat boys, I would have gone into Boston proper. New Year's with the All Women Football League of Jamaica Plain was exactly what I was looking for.

Not everyone at the party felt the same way, however, as I discovered halfway through a conversation with Cathy's friend David, a very nice, somewhat quiet, and definitely attached marine biologist.

"We live in Florida," David said, referring to himself and his girlfriend. "But we're on different coasts. Megan works at..."


I turned to my right, where an obviously deranged and hopefully drunk straight girl was standing at my elbow. She was clutching a beer like it was the one dependable center of the universe and yelling right into my ear.

"Okay," I said. "Hi. And you are?"

"I am [Annoying Straight Girl]. That's David. HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND, YOU KNOW."

"Yes, I know. We were just talking about her. It's nice to meet you, [Annoying Straight Girl]."

"There are no single men here. NONE."

"Well, you know, it's kind of a lesbian party."

The annoying straight girl stomped off pretty soon after, but my conversation with David, the charming marine biologist, was spoiled. We both now felt that we were doing something wrong, just by having a conversation. I crossed my arms over my chest and he backed up a pace or two. After an awkward moment or two, I excused myself, and went into the other room to dance to bad R&B with the JP Football Team.

Just as we were all demonstrating the calling power of our milkshakes, the annoying straight girl ran into the livingroom and made an announcement.

"There are no men here," she said.

If we were in a movie, there would have been that sound effect where the needle scratches off the record.

"There are no men here, and the ones that are here are all MARRIED," she amended. "And I'm leaving, because I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE."

She slammed the door behind her, and we all went back to dancing.

"You know, if she's looking for straight men, there are about a hundred thousand guys in Downtown Crossing right now who are dying to slip her some roofies," my friend Meredith observed.

Later on, we made our New Year's Resolutions. In keeping with the low-key evening, I decided to make mine as non-self-improving as possible. So here they are:

1) Learn to operate a cotton gin. (This was inspired by my observation to one of the footballers that while I might not seem drunk, I certainly wouldn't operate a cotton gin just then. Apologies to Augusten Burroughs, whose line this is.)

2) See a zebra, in person.

3) Learn to change a tire.

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Various news outlets: Blogging is cool

So, according to a number of news outlets that are important but too hard to look up when I have a sniffle, blogging is the thing of the year. You thought it was nipples, but no, it's blogging. Sorry.

I was shocked too, because the last time I checked, blogging had been around for like, a million years now. Or at least a million hours, which is the same thing in Internet time. Anyway, my point is that blogging is not new. The way you can tell this is that I'm doing it, which means that it could not possibly be cutting edge. I fear new technology. I just got a DVD player and I'm starting to think about maybe getting an iPod. But only if my sister uses hers for another three months without getting electrocuted.

In other, totally unrelated news, I'm very glad the holidays are over. I am now so fat that the outer edge of my thigh feels like it's about a hundred miles away from the part of my leg I am actually conscious of owning. It feels like I'm wearing inflatable pants. Fortunately, I have the evil cold that's going around, so I don't feel like eating anything. I know you've been dying to know how I've been feeling, both physically and emotionally, so I'm telling you.

Attention, various news outlets. This is what blogging is really all about: The state of my health and self esteem. I understand that some people use their blogs to discuss politics and current events, but I honestly don't know how anyone finds the time, in between worrying about what horrible diseases they might have, Googling boys they have crushes on, and monitoring their pants size. It's exhausting to think about, frankly. I might have to go lie down.