Since Heartless Doll launched in July 2008, we've brought you lists concerning all things lady: news, geekery, beauty, fashion, sex, feminism, boozing ... the list could go on and on. In fact, today the list will go on, because today's list is a list of the top 10 top 10 lists, by hits, posted on Heartless Doll.
I've delved deep into the annals of our Google Analytics and am pleased to take you on a nostalgic journey through HD history.
Predictably, the Diggers were all a-digger about this nerd dating list I posted on April 22, 2009. For while dating nerds has many advantages, there are also some drawbacks--breathless sincerity and action figures in bed being two particular offenders.
An evergreen favorite, Bonnie Ruberg's video game panties list continues to trend for Heartless Doll. (Video games and panties ... yeah, go figure.) One of our first, posted July 22, 2008, this list wants answers about Lara Croft, beach volleyball and how in the world underwear passes for armor in the virtual world.
Ladies, how many hours a day would you all say we spend fretting about our looks? 23? 75? And of those hours, what percentage are we focused primarily on our fatty fatness--real or imaginary? 100 percent? That's what I thought.
I just signed up for a boot camp group fitness outdoors-y class with a group of other writerly women. This is way out of character for me for two reasons. One, I don't like group activities that don't involve alcohol, and two, I don't like the outdoors unless it's a patio with a bar.
So why am I doing this, you ask? Well, I really like these girls, so there's that, but also, a long winter of whiskey-fueled karaoke, stress and moving three times has left me feeling a wee bit bloated, and although I practice Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga regularly, I feel like a major jump start to my metabolism might help my pants feel more comfortable venturing away from my hips and waist on their own ... like grown-up pants.
And yet, I can't help but think about the time it will take me to drive to the boot camp location, exercise, drive back and shower and how much better that time could be spent, say, writing a novel or creating a sculpture made entirely of cat fur and hair bands. And when I look at that time over the past however many years I have been alive and exercising, and then add in all the time I have spent worrying about and convincing myself and hemming and hawing and feeling guilty about not exercising, well, it's kind of totally fucked-up how much time I have devoted to the idea of fitness.
Anyway, here is a list of careers I realized I could have totally excelled at had I not been spending my entire fucking life worried about how my butt looked in jeans. Thank you society. I hate you.
I imagine I would have been able to navigate by the stars, tack to the port side (I just made that up), and keel haul a cabin boy like nobody's business if I wasn't busy trying to hold in my tummy while wearing a bikini top and sailor shorts.
We've covered the embarrassing childhood photos already, but have you ever looked back at seemingly normal photos and really thought about the fashion trends you were participating in? Have you considered 10, maybe 20, years too late that leggings paired with a XL white foil-printed T-shirt weren't exactly flattering to that last smidge of baby fat and the swollen mosquito bites you refused to sheath with a pre-teen's first bra? Or that a Liz Claiborne purse with Nike trainers, a blazer and acid-washed tapered jeans probably wasn't the ideal outfit in which to campaign for 8th grade president?
I have. Because I just looked at my middle school yearbooks.
What follows are some personal mistakes and some offered by friends and family. All made in middle school. All regrettable. Some will rear their ugly heads again, I'm sure. Fortunately, not on my--or any of your--6th to 9th grade bodies.
10. Z. Cavaricci, or any fad pants, really
Why did I succumb to the peer pressure on this one? With my grandmother's ample thighs and a torso way longer than my legs, I still rallied against the logic of "classic pieces that flatter" and donned not only tapered, but pleated trousers...with a yolk. WTF, Cavaricci. Maybe TV's Brian Austin Green could pull these off back then, but I couldn't...and sorry, friends, neither could any girl in my middle school. Also, looking back, forest green was an awful choice. Let's go ahead and throw Girbaud "x-front" jeans with the slanty pockets into the fire here, too. Because baggy all the way down was just as bad when a yoke was involved. Jnco, you may also consider yourself served.
9. [Insert Vacation Spot] Polo Club clothing
Remember that time you went to the beach or some shit with your family and you got that shirt that said Denver Polo Club or Boston Polo Club or South Padre Polo Club because it had that neat green and red logo with the horse man on it and it looked like those shirts from that fancy Beverly Hills company? And remember how you never visited a polo club while you were on vacation?
Finding the right gym is like finding the right cocktail--it should have exactly what you want in it, leave you refreshed after you finish it and also come at the right price. Ideally, it's also something you can have several times a week with no problem. Perhaps that complicates things, but let's go with the metaphor.
You've found your gym. It's affordable, has a zillion of that one machine that you like and isn't overrun on Monday nights. The only thing left in this sweaty work-out cocktail is the right playlist, which I think I've finally whittled down to the best of the best. These are my 10 favorite songs to work out to right now--and also why they should be yours, too.
10. "Starstruck" by Lady Gaga
This is the first Lady Gaga song on the list, but it certainly won't be the last. "Starstruck" has a nice chunky, powerful beat that doesn't sound exhausting the way "Just Dance" does. Also ideal for fantasizing about pop-stardom while you're in the last minutes of a cardio hell.
9. "Bounce That" by Girl Talk
Mash-up experts Girl Talk mix all kinds of pop, rock and hip-hop samples into an energetic cornucopia of "Holy cow, I can't believe this is--Britney Spears? Smashing Pumpkins? Fleetwood Mac? Wreckx'n Effect?!" I often get so into digging the samples that I forget how long I've been jogging.
Abortion is a toughie. Sure, it can be a difficult decision for some women. But the real headache with abortion is how to talk about it. The most politically contested medical procedure of all time, abortion is shrouded by coded language. If you're for legal abortion, you're actually pro-choice. And if you're anti, somehow you're still a pro. Pro-life, that is. It's as if one side says the word and its hand is forever tipped. Oh. Abortion? That's what you meant?!
Luckily, pop culture has long used euphemisms to talk about abortion, so we have no shortage of substitutions. In today's top 10 list, we look to books and movies to tell us the best ways to talk about the procedure without having to say the a-word.
10. "And is he taking care of all eventualities?"
In J.M. Coetzee's 1999 novel Disgrace, Professor David Lurie asks his daughter Lucy if a doctor gave her an abortion after she was raped. Lucy didn't go through with it, deciding to bear the child instead.
9. "It's your day!"
In the movie Greenberg, which came out this year, grouchy Roger Greenberg accompanies his on-again, off-again fling Florence Marr to the hospital to abort another man's child. Greenberg tries to cheer her with the above statement.
Relationships are hard, amiright, ladies? It's difficult to get a man. And then it's hard to keep a man. It's nearly impossible to get one to marry you. And then after that, you have to convince him to have kids with you. After that, he has to have his arm-twisted not to leave you for a woman half his age.
But ladies, if you simply refrain from committing these 10 classic relationship mistakes, you'll be on your way to forever-love bliss!
10. Talking about feelings.
The quickest way to get a guy out the door is to start yammering about your problems. Especially problems that have to do with reasons why you think you're unhappy with your current relationship. Men hate talking about their own feelings, so what makes you think they want to talk about yours?
9. Improper grooming.
Quick! What's the name of your waxer? If you don't have this information memorized, or at least programmed into your phone on speed dial, it's no wonder you're single. Body hair--pubic in particular--grosses men out, so you should do your best to keep yours to a minimum.
Of all the single lady stereotypes on television these days, the emotionally unavailable and unattached crime-solving lady is the most ass-kicking and respected. She does not lament her singlehood. She does not spend her days in a cubicle surrounded by cat photos. She solves crimes! She comes home and barely has time to sleep before she has to go out and solve more crime! And look meaningfully into the eyes of victims for whom she will stop at nothing to get justice!
This list is a celebration of the EUUCSL, who would totally contribute her super-smart, self-defense-rocking genes to further the welfare of humanity if she wasn't too busy taking care of business.
10. EUUCSL's have a seemingly unending supply of brilliantly sexy quips that say, basically, "I am out of your league, buster."
"You do remind me a little of Hooch." OH SNAP.
9. EUUCSL's have the ability to explain complicated human biology and behavior in just a few short sentences.
Whether it's demonstrating how potassium overdoses can cause heart attack-like symptoms or diagnosing a mystery brain tumor that went undetected by every doctor a victim ever saw, the medical examiners and other lab-rat ladies who populate crime shows can explain incredibly complicated chemical and biological concepts in the time it takes most of us to pour another glass of Franzia.
For those of you who don't know him, Phil Dunphy is a dad of three, a husband, a real estate guy and the object of my undying affection. He's a geek for tech gadgets (iPad and insane remotes, included), a former cheerleader and an aspiring coach of anything his kids are interested in. He wears damn good pants, has gotten stuck in a porta-john and looks awesome in a fake cop-stache. Need I go on? Yes.
Admittedly, I'm a fan of Ty Burrell, the actor who plays Phil, but there's just something--at least 10 things, actually--about the bumbling goof with the good heart and the burly eyebrows that makes ABC's Modern Family more like a fantasy...in spite of the fact that I would never consider having three children (TV or otherwise).
Now, I don't know Ty Burrell from Adam (though I'm sure he's fabulous), and I'm fully aware that I'm discussing a fictional character, which is why the following is a list of reasons that I would TV-marry Phil (as in, I assure you I don't believe he is real), crush on Ty (as in, a celebrity looks/talent combo crush) and maintain at least a modicum of dignity (as in, I'm aware I'll get teased for this, but I'm also guessing I have some fellow TV-wives out there).
10. Claustrophobia/Severe Fear of Clowns
I appreciate a good phobia. I like a man that tempers his masculinity with a little vulnerability. And yet, while Phil is so tooooooooootally freaked out about small areas such as the crawlspace below the house or by his brother-in-law's surprising presentation as a professional Auguste clown, he's going to try his best to hide it from his kids. Mind you, that best isn't necessarily good enough, but the attempt is awesome. "My boy was in trouble, so I put my fears aside and I came to his rescue. Now, does that make me a hero? Yes it does." It also means that I could tackle the painted faced horrors and the closets if he could take care of any stray possums that might wander into my general area.
9. His Atrocious Attempts at "Peerenting"
As it says in his bio and he explains on the show, Phil "acts like a parent and talks like a peer." While Phil thinks this makes him the proverbial cool dad, it really doesn't. What it does do, however, is make him adorably loveable...and someone I'm routinely embarrassed for, but if that's not a perfect combo for a TV husband, I dunno what is. (Sidenote: I love that actor Ty Burrell can rock a character this funny and also nail a serious role like Allan Arbus opposite Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr. in Fur.)
As the end of the school year approaches, many of our high school readers (did we ever figure out if anyone who reads this blog is actually in high school? Where you at, class of 2010? Holla back) are preparing to venture off to college next semester, and if they are anything like I was in high school, their thoughts have already turned to the vast social and educational world that is about to open up to them. It's super-exciting, y'all. Those of us who've been there and now have to exist either in the real world or the world of graduate/professional school miss it like you wouldn't believe. Never again will your amount of free time be so high and the expectations placed upon you be so low. Take advantage of this time, future college students: learn some things about drinking.
You're likely going to be drinking for the rest of your life. With every year older you get, however, making rookie drinking mistakes like peeing on your friend's couch because you think you're in the bathroom become more and more passé. For me, college was the time to learn those important life drinking lessons. Experiment for yourself (as those kids on Reading Rainbow always said, you don't have to take my word for it), but I humbly offer this 10-point primer to get you started off on the right path.
10) Treat a night of drunken debauchery like an athletic event
Sure, a night of drunken debauchery is a good time, but it also takes a toll on your body. Hydrate, before, during and after. Also, make sure to carbo-load. I remember celebrating a new job once in college by eating a giant Italian dinner and then going out for a night of carousing. The next morning, I woke up feeling like a million bucks. The lesson of the night: fill your belly with breadstuffs before you drink! You won't get as drunk (good) and you won't feel as bad the next day (even better).
9) Try to drink good booze if you can find it
Should you find yourself at a house party with a keg and BYO liquor, be sure to survey the bar before resigning yourself to the Natty Light or Lone Star or Beer 30 (yes, that's a real thing) that's in the yard. Did someone bring a bottle of something sort of decent? Maybe a Jack Daniels? Or a decent vodka? Take a healthy glass of that good booze and make it last the night. You'll thank yourself the next day.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This is not in any way, shape, or form an advice column for teens. Look at this list as a kind of retro-active bildungs roman or a fictional memoir of sorts. THIS IS NOT A MANUAL FOR THE UNDERAGE OF THE WORLD.
I was a terribly late bloomer in regards to High School Shenaniganer-y, and while I had a college boyfriend with whom I had The Sex, I did not drink or do drugs or swear or do anything which might have made my later teen years bearable. I have a lot of regret about this, if only because I hated high school, and I believe I would have done really well drinking responsibly and making out with/engaging in safe, mutually respectful sexual situations. But I did not. I read a lot of science fiction and quietly deflowered the boy of my dreams right before graduation.
I guess that counts for something.
Onward with the wishes of things I'd done at that iconic milestone of the American High School Experience. Sigh.
10. Erik Kleist
BUT I DID HIM LATER. RIMSHOT! HEY-O!
Erik had floppy hair like the dudes in Dead Poets Society. He surfed, skateboarded, played the guitar and piano and took college level physics classes at UC Irvine. He was the only person I'd ever known besides me who had met Ray Bradbury.
OF COURSE I HAD SEX WITH HIM. I am not stupid.
9. Binge Drink
I think binge drinking would have been awful and fun. The puking would probably have been horribly embarrassing, but the experience of being really, super-drunk at the Newport Beach Hilton and finally saying all the things I'd wanted to say to everyone at school and possibly a few valet guys? Priceless.
It's the day we all dread. You get a friend request from your mom. Facebook seems to be the most likely outlet for this kind of horror, but it can come from anywhere-- Myspace, Twitter, FourSquare. No matter which way you look at it, it's just WRONG. Having your mom connected to you online is like having her tag along when you go to the mall with your friends. She's always peering over your shoulder to see what you're buying, butting in with news from Aunt Sally or...god forbid, trying to use hip slang.
Luckily for me, my mom is almost 95 percent computer illiterate. (Hooray!) Her office just got computers about 3 years ago, and while she can figure out how to instant message me, she always signs her IMs like a letter. "You must be in the shower. Talk to you later. Love, Mom." This doesn't mean she isn't curious though. She knows I spend about 95 percent of my life on the computer, and when she tries to ask me about Twitter, she struggles with what to say. "Are you, twittering...tweeting....tw...What are you doing?" Here's what I think my mom would tweet were she capable of signing up for Twitter.
Sometimes I really wonder about the fashion advice doled out in ladymags. Suggesting 4-inch heels with a $400 price tag for summer concert-going? Advising women to keep cool in a tube dress that requires constant vigilance? But the spring season is thoroughly upon us (actually, down here in Texas, it's practically summer by now) and a game of seasonal wardrobe musical chairs is in order. I scoured the internet for 10 springy finds that are practical, affordable and that won't make people wonder if you're trying to imitate one of Carrie's less successful Sex and the City outfits.
Take note, then! Here are 10 spring styles that don't suck serious sack.
This series of summery tanks is accessorized with actual vintage scarves fashioned into flowery shoulder-bunches, allowing you to indulge in the giant-flower-or-bow-or-whatever trend without being overly ostentatious, especially if paired with a dark jean. Of course, if you like ostentatious, they have that too.
I don't suggest wearing this tote like this mannequin is--obviously the lower coverage is a little lacking--but it's a unique option for your spring-and-summer hauling around of beach gear, booze and snackage. In fact, it's actually meant to be a green-friendly grocery tote, so its reinforced handles and big, big size make it ideal for shopping or sunning.
Last week I expressed my disappointed feelings in regards to celebrities who Tweet. This week I am expressing my feelings about celebrities I wish would Tweet. Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't throw some dead famous people in the mix, because the Lost Gens would've thrived on the internets, too, am I right? Can't you all picture The Dome or Harry's bar peopled with Kiki and Hemingway and Genet Tweeting up a storm about the daily trips to the AmEx Wire Office and the joy/disappointment in receiving/not receiving enough money to buy some absinthe or whatever?
Anyway, here is my list of The Fames (living and dead) and their imaginary Tweets I imagined for them. Enjoy.
10. Timothy Olyphant
"Getting coffee at Starbux. Tried giving up caffeine for Lent but it just made me feel like Deadwood so I think a cup is Justified. GET IT?"
9. Christian Bale
"What about a...like a...Bat Newsie? Is that anything? HELLO? I AM TRYING TO FUCKING BRAINSTORM HERE AND YOU'RE FIXING A LIGHT OR SOMETHING? WTF?"
We've all heard of a quarterback sneak, triple Salchow, back court violation, slapshot to the fivehole and other sporting terms that sound a little strange but are clearly related to a specific sport. There are, however, quite a few sporting terms that, without a solid context, sound like legitimate sex acts.
Like, you know, things people do to and with other people looking to score. Stuff potentially done on a dare or with protective equipment (possibly helmets -- I'm not ruling anything out). Things that could be captured on tape...not necessarily done on the 50-yard-line, but possibly involving a home run. (See what I did there?)
10. Bunt (baseball)
What it actually is: When a batter taps the ball just in front of the plate and into play, usually to advance a runner
What it sounds like: Giving or receiving a blow J in plain view of security camera. Why did I think of this? Because I'm a nerd, and Allen Funt was the creator and host of Candid Camera. Variation: Blowing someone while watching Candid Camera or a show of the same style.
9. Dribble penetration (basketball)
What it actually is: When the player dribbling the ball drives into the free-throw lane and, essentially, penetrates the other team's defense
What it sounds like: Hey, I never said they'd all be good. This sounds like it'd also be known as a taint's worst night ever. Think of it this way: Someone with jack rabbit syndrome also has excessive slippage and bad aim.
Like most of my bad (as defined by my mom, doctor and society at large) habits, I got into it in college ... watching soap operas, that is. I tried to hide my dirty little fixation, until it starting interfering with my daily schedule--lunch dates, library sessions and all-important hang-out times on the Quad--which was nothing compared to the latest disaster befalling Fancy Face and Bo on Days of Our Lives. My concerned friends finally sat me down for an intervention.
When I fessed up to my crime, they were more horrified than if I'd informed that I was secretly Rush Limbaugh's fancy lady. Feeling defensive, but armed with nothing but the powers of rationalization more potent than those of Nancy Grace, rusty research skills and a battered clicker, I set out to prove them wrong. And hey, as it turns out, there are often more well-rounded female characters on soap operas than in your average rom-com or big budget movie. Below, 10 kick-ass soap opera characters who prove that just because you subscribe to Bitch doesn't mean you can't appreciate The Bold and the Beautiful.
10. Stephanie Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful
She busted onto the small screen in 1987, when power was sexy, shoulder pads were rad and Donald Trump was considered to be (gag) kind of a stud. Stephanie Forrester (née Douglas), played by Susan Flannery, strut onto the telly, embracing all of the glory--and none of the bullshit--of the great age of ceiling shattering. Yes, folks, she had it all: brains, beauty, a career and a family! Her marriage is ridiculously rocky, of course - otherwise, we'd probably all hate her. Why she's a role model: On screen, whenever a "creative partnership" between two lovers is established, the woman is almost invariably either the sexy muse to the male artistic genius or the flighty creative type who is resolutely brought down to earth by her rational male partner, who funds her "little project." But Stephanie bankrolled partner Eric Forrester's designs and was an exec at the company.
9. Kim Reynolds (for a short while) on As the World Turns
Paging Dr. Freud! Pre-sexual revolution, women were always painted as submissive victims of male lust (Virgin Mary complex) or wanton ho-bags (ah, the slut complex). But in 1973, the writers of As The World Turns strapped on some serious cojones and created a character who not only successfully seduced a married man, but also managed to display some of the infinitely various complexities that color erotic relationships and emotion - complexities that didn't involve being an unsympathetic hustler or a walking, talking blow-up doll. Unfortunately, her character was too racy for the show's sponsor Proctor & Gamble, which decided it encouraged sanctioned immorality (though they were happy to sanction countless storylines involving men seducing women), and forced the writers to change tacks. One writer, Irna Phillips, refused to accommodate P&G and ended up getting the boot (she died shortly afterwards). Why she (was) a role model: Instead of waiting for a man to tell her what to do, or merely reacting to his action-taking, Kim was in control of her own destiny and sexuality.