From New York
Girl Power: The Girlfriends of Seinfeld
If Jerry’s string of girlfriends is anything to go by, a sense of humor really hooks the ladies (well, it certainly wasn’t those high-waisted jeans, the poufy mullet or fear of commitment, now was it?). In fact, Seinfeld proved quite the launching pad for TV’s blue chip babes. Here, we pay tribute to Jerry’s little black book. -Natalie
(who later went on to find fame as Frasier’s housekeeper, Daphne) makes her first appearance as the sweet virgin Maria who gets schooled in sex by Elaine, only to become embroiled the next episode in Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine’s quest to become “masters of their domain.”
Before she taught us The Bend and Snap
, Jennifer Coolidge
played a masseuse who refuses to give Jerry a massage, meanwhile attracting the obsessive attention of George.
(looking flawless in a skin-tight bodysuit and 501s) had her assets questioned when Jerry suspected her breasts were fake. All together now: "By the way, they’re real and they’re spectacular."
gets caught out when she poses as Jerry’s wife in order to take advantage of his dry cleaning discount.
(who made it as far as fiancé status) gets the boot when Jerry discovers they’re eerily alike.
Sex and the City’s Charlotte York would never be caught with such a doofus, but as Seinfeld’s girlfriend Jenna, Kristin Davis
winds up using a toothbrush that, unbeknownst to her, Jerry accidentally dropped down the toilet. Ewww.
plays a demanding waitress who briefly dates Jerry during the Summer of George, while Marcia Cross
was chastised by Seinfeld for popping her pimples. Speaking of George Costanza, his girlfriends deserve and honorable mention (in fact, he clocked up 43 lady friends over the course of nine seasons), including Megan Mullally
, Maggie Wheeler
, and—who can forget?—Marisa Tomei
, playing herself.
From Los Angeles
Get It Together: Ending Your Toxic Relationships
Writer, author, and relationship guru Steven Nereo (better known as the advice columnist Single Ape), gives us his tips us on how to cut ties with the toxic relationships we've kept in our lives once and for all!
Interview by Ally Mullen
Hi Steven! Before we start, can you tell us a little about your website?
I write on a site called Single Ape where I have answered advice for the past five years. It’s mostly hyper-wordy questions and responses that can usually be summed up by the idea to always have fun while remembering to get in where you fit in, because losing yourself doesn’t help anyone.
[Steven's true identity.]
Where did an idea for an advice column come from? Growing up, were you always the one your friends came to for advice?
It wasn’t until I was older that people really started asking me for advice, but the idea definitely grew out of the fact that I was always answering questions. Though more than anything, I’m just nosy and like to listen, so when I was looking to practice writing, it only made sense to answer questions. My mother was a therapist and wrote a weekly column on dealing with stress, so I guess it was inevitable I ended up here someday.
[Steven's mom's true identity.]
What are five deal breakers all men and women should have when dating someone?
If those convict-marrying women have taught us anything, it’s the fact that there really are no such things as definitive deal breakers. Everybody has their own thing, man. Here are a few off the top of my head I can personally stand behind.
1. People who drive Hummers or yellow cars. Or especially: a yellow Hummer. There is no explanation that is acceptable for this.
2. People who insist on getting a bi-sexual free-pass when in a relationship because, “It’s totally not the same thing.” It really is the same thing.
3. Political opposites. Maybe someone can make it work, though I’ve never seen it. I think your politics say a lot about your view on everything.
[Oh, so you're a Republican? Tell me alllll about it.]
4. People who get upset that their ex—who now has a new bf/gf—won’t be special-friendly with them anymore. There’s something about the entitlement of someone expecting to be treated as more than just an ex that rings the red flag alarm for me.
5. People who buy their dogs from breeders. With all of the awesome adoptable dogs out there, purchasing a vanity dog instead (in my opinion) is either totally selfish or completely ignorant. Both unattractive qualities in a person.
Aside from the deal breakers listed above, what are subtle things to keep an eye out for to make sure you're not dating someone who is wrong for you?
I’m a huge fan of humor. If you’re not making each other laugh, I have a hard time seeing how you’ll keep each other entertained for a lifetime, or even a year.
["LOL we're so rich"]
True or False: You can change a loser into a winner.
A guy I knew who was an acting coach once told me, “You can’t teach acting, you just babysit them until they figure out another profession.” A pretty grim assessment, but likely true. In the same way, I’m not sure you’re going to flip the total loser, but you can influence people to be better versions of themselves.
[At least he knows it.]
It’s one of life’s cheesy truths that sometimes we are only as good as our motivating factors, and the right person could be just the thing to raise these factors to new heights. Unfortunately though, you aren’t going to change anyone that doesn’t have the desire to change themselves.
Romantic relationships aren't the only ones that can be bad for you. What are a few signs you have a toxic friend ("frenemy") on your hands?
Well, there’s the obvious, like if they are trying to sleep with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Then there are the more subtle hints, such as recognizing a person who is actively campaigning other friends against you, or shooting you down at every opportunity. The smaller versions are the person who are only interested in their own drama, and never yours, or someone who just never makes you feel like much of a homie.
[Just imagine two frenemies playing this against each other.
] Uh-oh you just made us realize we have a few frenemies. What's the best way to go about ditching them without being too cruel? Because, you know, we're the good ones here.
My mom once told me, “Sometimes some people who once had a place in your life no longer do.” I’d like to think she meant you just accept this as a fact of growing up and fade them away maturely instead of Twitter-blasting them before telling them to eff-off in the middle of a crowded bar while someone restrains you from swinging. If you suspect the time they are spending with you is toxic, quietly stop finding the time for them.
[Pulling the sick card always works, especially when you're a whore.]
Any frenemies, bad dates or toxic relationship stories that you can share with us about how you got out?
Nothing too exciting. I’ve found that eventually all bad relationships tend to work themselves out, with the problem being timing instead of people. If someone was once a friend, or a BF/GF, there is usually a reason you were attracted to them. With a little time, distance and age, you might remember what that reason was and find a way to get along in the end. That's the best outcome possible, because hating people takes way too much energy.
[Don't you know that you're toxic?]
From New York
Analisa Teachworth is an artist who pushes her existence
through self-made experiments. She's currently working on a piece where telepathy is practiced to interact with house plants. In her controlled study, the air plant she had been communicating with at one point had stretched its limbs to give her a hug. That's just an example of one test in her series of studies which she calls Cognitive Synergy
. Time to get hyper in touch with our surroundings! -Maggie Lee
From New York
Gillian Anderson in the 2001 film-version of House of Mirth.
Party Girl: Lily Bart
In honor of our party theme this month, we're taking a look at some of history's notorious party girls. Here, meet Lily Bart.
The heroine of Edith Wharton's 1905 novel The House of Mirth
, Lily Bart might have been the first modern-day party girl. The story takes places against the backdrop of New York high-society in the 1890s. Long before Carrie in Sex and the City
, before Mary in Party Girl
and even before Holly Golightly in Breakfast and Tiffany's
, Lily Bart was the prototypical single girl in New York, the last one at the party when everyone else has moved on.
For the past 11 years, the lively and beautiful Lily has been a fixture in the fast crowd and on the social scene. Though once wealthy, a series of misfortunes changed that, a situation worsened by gambling debts that she has accrued. Lily decides that her only way to escape the fate that is rapidly closing in on her is to find a wealthy husband.
Author Edith Wharton
Lily's plan for finding one is to say yes to every social engagement she's offered, but she soon finds that she can no longer afford the fashions that she once considered so important. "If I were shabby no one would have me: a woman is asked out as much for her clothes as for herself. The clothes are the background, the frame, if you like: they don't make success, but they are a part of it," she says.
But now, at 29 Lily's beauty is fading, and she's forced to come to terms with the fact that "younger and plainer girls were being married off by the dozens." It doesn't help matters that, in the past, Lily turned down several marriage proposals because she considered the suitors weren't good enough for her. "I have been about too long," Lily complains, "People are tired of me."
Sadly, The House of Mirth is not a story that ends happily ever after and Lily never does find her prince, and it's a true tearjerker.
But, in no way should that keep you from going out tonight, and you're probably going to need something to wear.
One Hello World
One man's Tumblr has become something of a confession booth for the world. Call in to his voicemail, leave a message about anything you'd like, and he'll put your words to music and post them on his blog. Callers to One Hello World have already discussed sensitive issues like coming out to their families and breaking off engagements, but this one will definitely stay with you all day.
From San Francisco
Your Mother Is So...
Your Mother is so... tumblr is the best new deal started up by my friend Andreas Trolf. He is one of my favorite writers so it's no surprise he takes the "Your Mom" jokes and turns it into this crazy great read. He is always looking for adjectives for new posts so feel free to send one over! X - Jen
From New York
The Significant Objects project enlists talented writers to pen stories and odes about everyday old stuff, then it auctions it on eBay, testing the theory that when something has a story, it's worth more. Even if you don't buy it (ha!), it still makes for fun reading.
From dog piles to sock piles, lots of gently sloping earth and piles of actual dogs, Mmmmound's motto is "If it piles up, we post it," and it's finally giving the small hill its due.
From New York
NYT Mustache Review
The New York Times explores the resurgence of mustachioed males and pays tribute to some from the past, like Mr. Macho himself here. Really, facial hair—and Hawaiian shirts—doesn't get any better than this.
Sometimes when we're sitting here blogging it out we just want to kick up our feet and dream about traveling to a foreign land, one with clouds and sunsets and maybe a unicorn or two. Well, now the Desktop Landscape peeps have made that a reality. We just stare at one of these bad boys and we're there.
From San Francisco
Did you ever want to know where we hide all those pesky UFOs? So did Trevor Paglen, whose 2nd book, I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me is a glimpse into the visual culture of “black” military programs and their use of patches.