Maureen Johnson’s Advice to Tourists

The ever hilarious YA author Maureen Johnson had a few words of advice for holiday tourists in NYC:

Maureen doesn’t usually condone violence, but the law’s the law, tourists. The law is the law.

I’d also like to add that I’m tired of yupsters coming up to me in my neighborhood to find out how to get to Park Slope or the C line. I have sunglasses and headphones on to appear less inviting; can’t you ask someone who sells drugs? They know every neighborhood inside and out!

Happy Holidays!

–The Libra

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The Mindless Libra

Hello, readers. I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’ve kinda disappeared. The Gemini has this weird thing in her graduate program called “finals.” In my graduate program the end of term usually meant someone had to revise a set of poems, which a few people found particularly stressful. It was also that time of year where I’d sit down and grade papers until my eyes glazed over. HILARIOUS.

Just kidding, it was TERRIBLE.

Anyway, my disappearance has been about an endless job hunt for me, which I’ve been documenting for all who hate me to drink in.

These are the things I’ve done since I last posted:

1.) I started a blog documenting my unemployment.

2.) I grew obsessed with “American Horror Story” starring Tami Taylor  Connie Britton as my new role model Mrs. Harmon:

I have virtually no complaints about this show. Completely flawless? No, but the flaws in the show open it up to important discourse on how our culture views women’s bodies.

3.) I watched, of my own accord, Swimfan. I got really excited when it came in the mail because I love Erika Christensen. And believe me, no one was more shocked than me when I found out that all the terrible things people said about this movie were true. I was almost embarrassed that I’d expected something more.

4.) I watched all of the sixth season of “How I Met Your Mother,” the only season I hadn’t kept up with in any way, shape or form. Ted Mosby is still a douche.

There’s a theme here, guys. I’m unemployed and watching too much stuff. The only one of them which is even remotely relevant to this blog is “American Horror Story,” except I don’t have the energy to tackle the issues going on in that show. And this is really not that kind of blog.

So, it’s feedback time. Is there anything you want me to cover during my free time? Send me on a mission. I may go! It’ll be like a Learning to Love You More assignment, except better because I would never call it art.

–The Libra

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The Gemini Relives Her Early Teenage Years

I loved boy bands in the late 90s/early 00s.  Duh.  I still listen to BSB and Nsync on the regular and get really excited when it becomes acceptable to play Christmas music again so people don’t look at me weird for listening to Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. Sorry they can’t appreciate the joy of listening to it in July!

Anyway. I recently read the fantastic news that 2GE+HER is planning a reunion (omg RIP QT), which got me thinking about my favorite less-popular boy bands. Full disclosure: what also got me thinking about this was the fact that I spend at least one evening a month YouTubing all my favorite forgotten 90s hits.

So with that in mind, here are some of my favorites that (with some exceptions) didn’t really stand the test of time—hey, we can’t all be I Want It That Way. I encourage you to regress back to your 13-year-old self and sing along.

Soul Decision, Faded

I had no idea what the word “faded” meant when I was 14, but it didn’t stop me from singing along. Loudly. Also, my Canadian friend informs me that Ryan Gosling is BFFs with a Soul Decision member and they still see each other on a weekly basis. Fascinating.

98 Degrees—The Hardest Thing

98 Degrees was such the ugly stepchild of boy bands. I never liked Nick Lachey, a feeling that continues to this day.  They only sang slow songs (with one notable exception), and they thought putting Screech in a video was a good idea. But I did love this song. And I especially love this ONTD thread.

5iveWhen The Lights Go Out

My 8th grade best friend & I made up a trampoline dance routine to this song. Enough said.

BBMak – Back Here

If you’re in your mid-20s, put this song on the next time you’re in a car full of similarly-aged friends.  If they don’t immediately start singing along, get out of the car and make new friends.

O-Town – All or Nothing

Spring Break 2001 was a significant time in my life. That Friday at 3:45 I said to myself, “I’m not going to do anything requiring effort until next Monday.” And I certainly kept true to my word. I spent the next week trying to perfect my Mary-Kate Olsen hairstyle, downloading Britney’s Pepsi song, and watching MTV’s constant Making the Band marathons. It was the greatest week of my teens, and I feel the same way about this song as I do about Ni**as in Paris—if you don’t like it (even if it’s just ironically), we can’t be friends.


Until I’m Back Here Baby,

The Gemini


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The Libra Investigates a Kollection, Part 2.

Apologies for the delay in this second installment. Life happened, in which I ate so many cupcakes I made while doing stress-baking. For those of you I promised cupcakes to, I’m sorry to say I’ve subsisted off of them these past days without any concern for my health or well-being.

Moving on.

The second part of the trip Virgolightly and I took into the hidden depths of Sears involved her trying on some of the outfits. It was like a quirky montage scene in a movie (think, The Sweetest Thing with Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate), except in muted lighting without a trailer to retire to for munching on assorted tropical fruit and triple-filtered waters.

Anyway, please feel free to applaud what Virgolightly was able to do with such shoddy material:

I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as we did, but I’m not sure. On the one hand, we actually had to go into a Sears. On the other hand, we got to witness history unfold. It’s bittersweet.

Keep it Klassy,

The Libra

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The Libra Investigates a Kollection, Part I.

A couple of days before learning of Kim’s Very Sad News, FFBR’s friend Virgolightly (nicknamed just now for her willingness to model clothes like Holly Golightly) decided we should investigate the Kardashian Kollection at Sears. I was like, “Hell, yeah! As long as I don’t have to wear or buy anything!”
In this two-part installment we will investigate the horror that is the Kardashian Kollection. Now, you know I love Khloe and actually adore Kourtney; up until Kim’s failure year, I didn’t mind her. I thought she was cute in the way that other people’s Yorkies are, until they pee on the rug. So, I actually walked into this whole thing fairly open-minded, you know, for a cynic.

But guys, the pictures don’t do this lollection (a typo, which I’m allowing for the sake of punning) justice. You have to feel the rough scruff of sticky, humid polyester-rayon blends or shirts as stiff as a salt-heavy sail in Maine to really understand our horror/delight.

The second installment will feature when Virgolightly bravely tried outfits on. Lots of nice shots of her laughing hysterically in a dimly lit dressing room in a sad part of Queens.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this: a middle-aged, petite lady comes up to us while we’re photographing, shaking her head, and says, “100 dollars for a dress? For this dress?” It was a purple number made of some stretchy material with vague stitching to indicate couture.

“This is the only piece of quality clothing,” the lady said, pointing to the one cotton tee shirt (featured in the picture series). “This? This is nice.”

“Yeah, it’s actually cotton,” Virgolightly said.

The Fabric of Our Lives.

–The Libra

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The Gemini Declares a Moratorium on Kim Koverage

Guys. I can’t. Seriously.

When I first read the news, I was like this:

But then I woke up this morning and was like this:

I’m talking, of course about Kim’s divorce. The one that I, along with every other person who watched her wedding special, knew would come eventually. We’ve defended Kim a lot in this blog before (ironically or not), as she’s basically the epitome of Famous for Bad Reasons. If someone can make a $65 million brand out of a sex tape, they’re a better businesswoman than me. If she wants to get married and divorced ten times, that’s her prerogative. I’m not here to tell her how to live her life.

But I’m not writing about it anymore. I don’t care how many ridiculous anti-Kris stories her friends tell TMZ. I don’t care if she elopes to Vegas for her next wedding. I don’t care if she spends $30 million on her sixth. I don’t care if I read a People cover story in 50 years about how sad she is that she died alone because she only really loved money and fame.

This isn’t a moratorium on all things Kardashian—I’d obviously never turn my back on Khloe and Lamar. But you’ll have to look for the Libra for any Kim coverage from now on (though I wouldn’t hold my breath).


The Gemini

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PSA: The Libra Talks About Boobs

We live in a culture that eroticizes and makes mockery of the boob. It’s why I’m saying “boob” and not “breast.” It’s why women are often shunned if they breastfeed in public. It’s why I get looks when I’m wearing something low-cut and sauntering down the avenue. The issue of what ladies do with their breasts even infiltrates into business casual (nothing too revealing, or your supervisor may be talking to you about your décolletage). With wardrobe malfunctions and push up bras and sex tapes and beer ads, boobs dominate everything.


But Jesus Christ, with all this talk about boobs, we should be talking about the most important aspect: a proper fitting.

So, for you ladies reading this, one of my greatest fashion tips is to find a small chain or independently owned business that fits ladies, and head on over. BOOB LOVE. I went to Intimacy, a small chain, on Third and 62nd in NYC, where I was greeted by a friendly, adorable crew. They fetched me water while I stared around, trying to will myself to be comfortable with being topless in a bit.

There are many hilarious things about being a woman in western culture. You get to shop for embarrassingly titled products emblazoned with pink lettering. You get catcalled by strangers who want you to just adore them for objectifying you. Your anatomy is discussed publicly more than men’s. Then you get to pick up magazines that tell you how to focus on pleasing the anatomy of men, all while you’re being told to buy embarrassing products for your vagina. Then you’re expected to live on a planet where men conflate PMS and menstruation, as if they’re the same thing– both are seen as detriments to your character.

By hilarious, of course, I mean awful.

When I got my bra fitting, this is what happened: I was treated respectfully and as if I were being helped into a pair of jeans. I was like HELL YEAH I COULD GET USED TO THIS.

Could you imagine a world where your boobs aren’t really that big of a deal? I mean, sure, they can make you look good and be a part of your aesthetic, but maybe not in such a DUUUUDE way, you know? Is that too much to ask for? Like, I’m okay with your general appreciation of my boobs, but I’d like it to be more– you know– like how it feels to be helped into classy, well-designed bras.

Lessons learned:

1.) Boobs are fabulous, no matter what they look like.

2.) Go get a proper bra fitting, especially at a place with a friendly crew. You have every right to run away if the service is unkind.

3.) Spend money on nice, well-designed bras. It’ll make you feel great.

4.) World, be nicer to boobs. They didn’t do anything to hurt you.


The Libra

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