Last year on Oscar day, I made a joke on Twitter that "I picked the wrong day to have a last-minute colonic." Because poop is funny. I don't make the rules.
Ten minutes later, I had a text, a voicemail, and an email from a Producer at TMZ.
They wanted to talk to me about my tweet.
I don't make it a point of feeding the gossip machine, but I emailed her back because she wouldn't stop calling.
WHO DID YOU SEE? she wrote.
A Producer from TMZ saw my tweet and assumed that I had strolled down to my local Bob's Colonic Shack for a walk-in appointment and was turned away by the legions of stars who were hours away from Oscar gowns.
I realized in that moment that I could have made something up, but even I am not that much of an asshole. I explained it was a joke. She asked was I sure? I assured her that I knew what a joke was, and colonics-before-the-Oscars was my hackiest work.
I'll probably be livetweeting the red carpet today because it's way more fun that the ceremony. Follow along here if you'd like. Even HelloGiggles gave a shout-out, so it's not just my mom who thinks I'm funny.
And a PSA: Let's not celebrate women (and men - though you read about this less) voluntarily starving themselves to fit into clothes on the red carpet today. Every time Ryan Seacrest asks about an actress' diet he should be forced to make a donation to an Eating Disorders or Food Insecurity charity.
PPS. Can I do a self-callout? I just realized that colonics are part and parcel of terrible things people (again, mostly women) to do themselves to lose weight. Seriously, I am a complete fucking jerk and part of the problem and I am retiring that hack joke. Apologies.
Sunday, 3:17am: my alarm goes off
That alarm was three years in the making.
Will ran the LA Marathon for the first time in 2012. He was injured, and my friend Corrie and I walked up the course to bring him in the last four miles. She had run the marathon before. I hadn't. and I told her that under no circumstances did I ever plan to.
The next year, Will was feeling better. I still wasn't going to run the marathon.
A few months ago, Will and I moved to the West Side. Now I could do a long run without checking Twitter to see if had to change my route because someone was being mugged. Now would be a good time to train for the marathon, I thought.
I still didn't do anything about it.
My friend Chris ran his first marathon last year after training with the LA Leggers, a running group that met early Saturday mornings about seven months before the marathon. I'm not a joiner. I don't like being told when and where I have to be, and I certainly don't like not being in charge. It seemed like a perfect storm of things that should not work.
Four weeks into the Legger's training season, I joined.
I quickly took to the training: the 4 minute run/1 minute walk, the route, the idea that I just needed to follow the person ahead of me. I didn't have to think about anything but showing up and putting one foot in front of the other.
We did 14, 16 mile training runs. We did multiple 18 milers, two 20-miler, and a 22-miler that had me running the last full mile partially uphill (I needed to find a bathroom.)
I was ready for the marathon.
Will and I were up and out of the house by 4:45am. Traffic on the 10 was already backing up, but we managed to park and walk down to the shuttle by 5:25am. We were at Dodger Stadium by 6:15am. We met up with my Leggers pace group and waited.
The sun came up but downtown was still overcast and a little breezy. If the weather held, we'd be great.
SPOILER: The weather did not hold.
A few months ago, I called someone out on Twitter for making a shitty fat joke. Not that there's such a thing as a good fat joke. Shitty fat jokes are shitty. (Even Sarah Silverman agrees with me.) Have I ever made one? I'm sure I have. But I'm also sure that someone called me on my shitty fat joke, and guess what? I don't make shitty fat jokes anymore.*
Some people would call me an asshole for calling anyone out on anything. Those people are probably right. But the way we're going to make this universe better for anyone is for each of us to call everyone on their shit. We're gonna learn, people. We're gonna grow. We're going to become better bastards of human beings if it kills us. (Spoiler alert: we're gonna die anyway.)
People do same thing for me, too. While I am aware of the white-privilege bubble that I currently bounce along in, being aware and having diarrhea spurt from my mouth aren't mutually exclusive. (And please don't give me the free speech talk. You have the right to say what you want. Everyone else has the right to call you out for being an asshole.)
I've been called out for an shitty joke. Sometimes they're right. And it smarts. And then I get smarter. That's not why they call it smarting, though. Or maybe it is? Language is weird.
Sometimes they're wrong. That's the beauty of the universe, too, is that you don't have to take anyone's word on anything. There are sitting members of Congress who still think our President was born in Kenya. Someone might call me out for using the word "asshole." You can catch more flies with honey, they tell me. But who the hell wants a wad of sticky flies? Asshole.
While my crabby exterior might suggest otherwise, I don't think making a shitty joke makes you a shitty person. The quickest joke is the easy joke which can often make it a shitty joke. Whenever I tread into shitty territory, I ask myself "who's the butt?" Because asking "who's the butt?" is fun to ask but also because figuring out who you're making fun of is the key to figuring out whether it's a shitty joke. Which is why I mostly make fun of Bigfoot now.
Let's write better jokes. And be better people. Or just pick one.
I'd like to think that the person I was an asshole to about their fat joke thinks of me when they're about to make another one, but they've blocked me on all the social networks. They're probably a murderer anyway.**
*I'm not positive I ever made shitty fat jokes, but I'm sure I made shitty [insert something that doesn't deserve a shitty joke] jokes before. So choose your own adventure on this one.
**They're not a murderer.*** They are a perfectly nice human being who made a shitty joke.
***But this statement won't hold up in court if they're thinking of murdering anyone.****
****Don't murder people.
Last night, I live-tweeted the Emmys Red Carpet, because I've been doing it for years and it's a thing we do now. (I don't make the rules, Internet.)
Good to see that the Emmys are finally diverse enough to include brunette white women AND blonde white women. #Emmys— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) September 22, 2013
"TINA FEY WORE RED LAST YEAR AND SHE WORE BLUE THIS YEAR AND I KNOW ALL MY COLORS WHERE'S MY JUICEBOX?" - Kelly Osbourne #Emmys— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) September 22, 2013
Welcome to the Hollywood Awards Show, where no matter your accomplishments, you're just a fabric-swaddled meatsack with jewelry! #Emmys— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) September 22, 2013
There's some comfort in the predictability of the Red Carpet: who made your dress, who loaned you your jewelry, this jewelry is worth 1.2 million dollars and yes, the unemployment rate is at 7.6% but they gave me a bodyguard so this jewelry is a job creator, etc.
Every time a white girl orders a pumpkin spice latte, Modern Family wins an Emmy. #Emmys— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) September 22, 2013
The Red Carpet is a fluffy piece of claptrap designed to let us live in a fantasyland and to give Ryan Seacrest an opportunity to practice sucking up to people so Joan Rivers can tear them apart the next day. (Again, Internet, I don't make the rules.)
To fit into these confections of fashion, already-skinny actresses have to do some organ rearranging. I don't understand why they can't size up a size 00 to a size 0 to accomodate these clearly corpulent beauties, but BEAUTY IS PAIN or somesuch which is why I spent the Emmys on my sofa trying not to get Popchips crumbs on my laptop.
But last night's Red Carpet coverage highlighted something that I don't think I had noticed before: women were being celebrated for not eating.
As actresses ascended the staircase to talk to Sir Ryan Seacrest (eventually our socialist country will devovlve into a monarchy where we'll all have health insurance but Ryan Seacrest will be knighted, I'm pretty sure I read that on Drudge) a new question was added to the lineup: what did you do to fit into the dress? Was the dress tight? Have you had a carb? TELL ME ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT, JULIE BOWEN.
It wasn't a condemnation, but a celebration. A pat on the back. A high-five after the home run of voluntary starvation. I HAVEN'T EATEN FOR DAYS DON'T I LOOK PRETTY?
Maybe it's a matter of timing: last week, the House voted to cut 40 billion dollars from SNAP, the Federal Food Stamp Program. One in six Americans faces food insecurity. Many of those are children, the elderly, the disabled, or veterans.
And now, millionaires dripping with jewels (job creators!) on my TV screen are being lauded for their ability not to stuff a muffin in their mouth.
I know I'm part of the Hollywood system (I was even nominated for an Emmy for writing on Lizzie McGuire.) I like the Red Carpet. I love the Red Carpet. It's Hollywood Prom.
But let's celebrate them for winning the DNA Olympics, for being good-looking and talented or just damned lucky, and stop fawning over their ability to voluntarily starve.
Aliens seeing red carpet footage years from now will think awards shows are about starving people forced to discuss fashion for food. #Emmys— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) September 22, 2013
A couple of days ago, Dick Van Dyke's Jaguar caught on fire on the 101 Freeway.
Used Jag for sale REAL CHEAP!! pic.twitter.com/SpQMsg3s2O— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) August 20, 2013
MOST IMPORTANT: Mr. Van Dyke and his wife are both 100% okay.
SECOND MOST IMPORTANT: Dick Van Dyke's wife (who seems lovely!) is 40 years old.
I am 40 years old.
I COULD HAVE MARRIED DICK VAN DYKE?
I've never met Dick Van Dyke. I've never been in a quarter mile proximity of Dick Van Dyke.* Outside of the fact that I am a TV writer and Dick Van Dyke is a TV GOD, there is no reason for Dick Van Dyke's and my paths to cross.
I COULD HAVE MARRIED DICK VAN DYKE.
I relayed this information to the person I actually married.
Nothing could make me feel more conflicted than if @slackmistress left me for Dick van Dyke.— Will Stegemann (@BeTheBoy) August 20, 2013
Will and I celebrate our seven-year anniversary next May. This means we'll have been dating seven and a half years next May. I didn't accept his first proposal (which came on our second date.) But I accepted the last one (which came four weeks later.) It's been a pretty fun ride.
But still. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE ALL THE FACTS.
*I did work on "You Wish" which starred Jerry Van Dyke, so you could say I was Dick-Van-Dyke-Adjacent.
DISCLAIMER: I am a fan of Dick Van Dyke, and which him and his bride all the very best. (BUT WOULD IT HAVE KILLED WILL TO LET ME KNOW?)
Many of you know that Will and I were engaged five weeks after we started dating in 2006, and got married five months later.
We didn't discuss china patterns or life plans or goals or living situations or finances. The only thing I remember warning Will about was that I didn't want kids or puppies. If we were going to be together, he needed to steel himself for a lifetime of adopting old dogs.
That took about thirty seconds.
(Then I imagine we went back to watching MST3K and eating cake.)
Tonight @slackmistress and I had THE talk. (Do we watch all of the new Arrested Development episodes at once or spread them out.)— Will Stegemann (@BeTheBoy) May 23, 2013
BadRap has a new video out about why adopting an old dog can be hard, but ultimately worth it. This sounds vaguely like an argument for another big life decision, but I can't imagine what that might be...
Around 4pm yesterday, I got a tweet that said something of mine was read on ABC News by Diane Sawyer.
I was pretty sure I hadn't been arrested and relatively confident that I wasn't at the center of a scandal consider I don't really leave the house or interact with real-life humans on a regular basis.
It turns out that it was a tweet I wrote about Valerie Harper, aka Rhoda.
The reason the Internet is so sad about Valerie Harper is because WE ARE ALL THE RHODA.— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) March 6, 2013
First: Valerie Harper has terminal brain cancer. And that really sucks.
Second: the joke is a spin off of a scene in Romy & Michelle High School Reunion.
But it ended up on ABC News with Diane Sawyer - who referred to me as a "fan," because when you're a Peabody and a multiple-Emmy award winner, it's pretty undignified to say things like "slackmistress." Imagine how I feel.
On TV, the tweet looked a little skinner, as it was edited like this:
What we've learned from this exercise is Diane Sawyer isn't a Romy & Michelle fan. :(