Monthly Archives: April 2012

Uh…Do I Have Bell’s Palsy?

I need cosmetic surgery. There. I said it. This is something I had never considered considering before, but after struggling with my eye makeup and squinting into the mirror for several minutes I realized something. My eyes are crooked. This was not a surprise. I had noticed my offset eyes a few years ago but didn’t realize the extent to which my face was melting. The entire right side of my face looks like it gave up and is slowly sliding off into Bell’s Palsy oblivion. I am not exaggerating. If I don’t consciously raise my right eyebrow to be level with the left, I look like someone with developmental difficulties. I don’t know when this happened or why, but I do know that I will most likely continue to raise my eyebrow in hopes of strengthening these melting facial muscles and hiding my deformity forever. If I don’t, I’ll be sure to offend stroke victims everywhere as it looks like I’m continuously making fun of their aftermath.

 

I totally have Bell's Palsy.

Do people “come down with” fetal alcohol syndrome? Is this something with an “adult onset”? I didn’t realize that facial paralysis was a side effect of excessive weight gain. Clearly there is some underlying cause. Do I really need an eye lift at the age of 27? This branch of the “27 Club” is decidedly less cool than the one Amy Winehouse was inducted into, albeit slightly less permanent. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “hmm, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen my brow-bone”, then you know my pain. My eyelid is literally fat. I didn’t even know that could happen. So, if anyone walks past me and it looks like I’m auditioning for a part in a vintage Looney Toons cartoon, don’t worry. That’s just me exercising my eyebrow muscles. There probably isn’t a seductive rabbit sauntering past and causing my heart to beat out of my chest. Hubba Hubba.

Making the Video: The Williams Sisters Unscripted

My sister and I had a strange reaction to the realization that we couldn’t afford VIP Packages to a summer music festival featuring the New Kids on the Block. We decided to make a Youtube video and try our damndest to make it go “viral”. The goal, you ask? No idea. Of course we assume that all of the members of NKOTB will see the video, fall madly in love with us and leave their families. That’s a given. Beyond that, though, it’s just for fun.

We began shooting in my living room with a very solemn “written word only” introduction. In the video, we are known only as “The Williams Sisters” and made sure to explain that we were not Venus and Serena. I mean, the difference is obvious. We do NOT play tennis. After donning appropriate New Kids attire we headed downtown to our favorite bar to have a courage drink and force some patrons to sing along to “The Right Stuff”. In our heads, we had the bartenders singing behind the bar, the bouncers dancing on the sidewalk and the patrons bobbing their heads in unison. In reality, we played the song on the jukebox and had somebody film us flubbing the lyrics and laughing too hard to get any good footage. We’re really good at movie-making.

After noticing that nobody at the bar cared about our venture we made the wise decision to head to one of the gay bars to do some New Kids Karaoke. Not only do they not mind when we sing NKOTB songs, they encourage it. We set up the camera and did a rousing rendition of “The Right Stuff”, complete with dance moves and my visible windedness. At midnight, we realized we had to book it to Division Ave if we wanted to catch the gay club at its peak. On our walk, we experimented with some 80s dance moves across crosswalks and almost got hit by a few cars. It’s all in the name of art. We also managed to get some passersby to stop and lip sync some lyrics on the sidewalk. When we reached the door to the gay club we knew we had made the right decision. The sidewalk was crawling with flamboyant drunks and eager-to-please hags (of which I am one). Rather than dive right in, we decided to take our chances in the club and see if the DJ would play an NKOTB song.

After checking with the bartender on whether or not filming was allowed inside the building we headed to the DJ booth, got distracted by Montell Jordan on the way and stopped on the dance floor. I was filming my sister in her Joe Mac getup when a giant bouncer stopped me, beckoned for me to follow him and sternly instructed my sister to stay put. She was nervous. I was nervous. He silently urged me to follow him up some dark stairs and I went without question (in retrospect, I should probably ask questions before following a giant man up a dark stairwell in a sketchy club). When we got to the top of the stairs he explained (by pointing) that I could get an interesting angle from up there and I continued filming while my sister danced, scared and alone. I was then led to one of the go-go dancer platforms where I shot from yet another angle (and caught chlamydia) until I decided I had enough interesting angles of my sister dancing awkwardly by herself and thanked the giant.

We abandoned the dance floor and headed out to the street in hopes of exploiting some drunk gays. We got some great footage of a drag queen, a couple we deemed “Jack and Grace” and unsuccessfully tried convincing others to join in. At that, we decided to head back home to Eastown and try our hand with the bikers and punk rockers at their respective hangouts. Followed of course by Yesterdog. What we encountered in Eastown was not what we bargained for. We parked across from a man who was gearing up his motorcycle to leave and I quickly jumped out of the car to stop him. I was seconds away from convincing this middle-aged, bearded man to perch atop his motorcycle and lip sync some “oh oh oh oh oh”s when my sister “saved the day” by asking if she could simply sit behind him on the bike and sing the song. He creepily and enthusiastically obliged. While we were focused on the biker, a crackwhore (not exaggerating) was watching from the shadows.

Like this, but not as scary

She fell into step with us as we headed toward Yesterdog and made conversation. She remembered the New Kids and wanted to be in the video. I happily joined her in a round of the running man and sang another portion of “The Right Stuff”. We thanked her for her time and began walking away only to realize she wasn’t leaving. She asked if we could spare some cash and of course we said we didn’t have any on us. She very helpfully pointed out that there were several ATMs within walking distance and offered to escort us to one, reminding us that she had just allowed us to use her in our video. Entrapment! She went on and on about how her and her daughter were hungry and asked if we were going to Yesterdog. I said we were and asked if she wanted us to get them some hotdogs. Her reply was, “oh no, we don’t eat pork”. Uh. What?

We had already agreed to go to an ATM, get cash and break it at Yesterdog to give her a few dollars. We got the money and headed back in the direction of the food when she insisted we go into the liquor store to get change instead because it was “closer to where she was going”. At that point I started to get irritated. I told her that we weren’t going that way and that if she wanted money she’d have to just suck it up and follow us to Yesterdog. While I was all puffed up and preachy, my sister had already headed into the liquor store. I shook my head and followed her in, noting that the crackwhore opted to wait outside. The guys in the store offered to go outside and tell her to leave, as they had dealt with her before. They said she didn’t have a daughter, she didn’t want food, and she did, in fact, want some scratch-off lottery tickets. A wise investment. My sister and I opted to go tell her that they wouldn’t give us change and tell her to follow us back to a more populated area. She did. We told her we had to pee and ducked into the punk rock bar, promising our quick return. We hid in there until last call.

Miss crackwhore was gone when we came out and we were finally on our way to hotdog heaven. Only a line of about 25 drunk people stood between us and some Ultra Dogs. While waiting in line, we naturally began quizzing the other hungry queuers about NKOTB. Our video-research was mistaken for flirting and we managed to adopt two line-stalkers in a matter of minutes. One was an old man who looked a lot like Sean Penn (now, not then) and the other was a douche I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a lineup today. Generic. They talked our ears off throughout the entire wait until it was our turn to order. Generic Douche insisted on buying our food ($4 total. Big spender) and then we were obligated to sit with them, since the hotdogs all came out on one tray. My sister enlisted the help of a more attractive and less annoying line-waiter and formulated a plan for him to storm up and demand we leave with him. He chickened out and left so we were forced to come up with a last-second plan b. Sean Penn was getting touchy-feely and giving me vibes like he thought he was going to sex me, so I was in panic-mode. My sister looked at me for a split-second and bolted from the table. I took a moment, mumbled something about her being my ride and ran out of there as well. We literally ran down the street to our car, looking behind us to make sure Generic Brand and Wrinkley Rain Man hadn’t followed us and giggled all the way back to my apartment

This would have been ok

This was gag-worthy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Little Pack of Weirdos (Buffalo Part 1)

The Williams Sisters arrived in Buffalo shortly after 9pm and found our hosts sprawled out in the living room, no doubt awaiting our arrival with bated breath. They tore their attention away from reality television long enough to give giant hugs and ask the requisite travel questions, but returned shortly after. We dumped the bags in our “quarters” for the weekend and headed downstairs to say hello to another pack of  beloved weirdos, finding two teens and a breast-filled TV screen in the basement. Completely within the realm of what I thought I’d see. On the tame side, in fact. I love it there. 🙂

There are never less than 3 twenty-somethings living there at any given time. Add that to us, my friend and her husband and whoever else may be passing through for the weekend and it’s a built-in party. Within half an hour, we were settled around the kitchen table/counter enjoying a bottle of chocolate wine and catching up. I casually mentioned my self-appointed “90s Pop Culture Expert” status and was immediately deflated by the lady of the house. She ever-so-coyly brought out a game of Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit and quizzed me with random cards. I did not do well, my friends. Not at all. The only answer I was able to come up with was the message written on a stage-crasher’s chest during an awards show. “Soy bomb!” I had to slink away in shame and admit that I may have been a bit premature with my title. The business cards are already printed, however, so I shall remain a self-appointed expert and lie to whomever challenges me. Like all successful people before me and all who come after.

Aside from knocking down my bravado, the conversation between us not-so-youngsters and the owners of the house is usually dripping with sarcasm, word play, off-color jokes and whatever else pops into our unfiltered brains. Did I mention that I love it there? The pace of conversation around that table or counter is akin to Gilmore Girls banter. If those women were foul-mouthed and thought of nothing but the worst possible things to say. Having polished off the bottle of wine and realizing that we didn’t have any other social lubricant, we sent some of the menfolk to the beer store to bring back provisions. “Daddy Ford” and Jesus (our name for the lady of the house because well, she is magic) retired for the evening and us gen-nexters headed to the apartment above the garage to continue our reminiscing and drinking. Loudly.

The WS with Angela: The reason for the visit

The night ended with a rousing bout of “Trivial Pursuit Drinking Game”, where I redeemed my status and arbitrarily handed out drinks to my fellow players. We laughed, played pool (badly), darts (even worse) and celebrated with a high kick or two. Then we went to bed where my sister decided it was the best time to practice her fist-pumping skills. I did not agree.

I haven’t shared a bed (platonically. Ok…or otherwise) with someone in a long time, so I wasn’t exactly keen on the idea of sleeping rump to giant rump with my sister. It is especially interesting when she had  just the right amount of beer to make her slap-happy, while I had enjoyed my drinking  to the point of sleep. (Or I was just tired from the drive). Our ideas of what should happen when we retired to bed were vastly different and I just sort of stared at her while she shook the bed with her giggling and ridiculous dancing. I must have tuned it out and gone to sleep because I woke up to her staring at me and the smell of blueberries in the morning. What a weirdo.

We followed our noses downstairs to find Jesus diligently working away at a giant bowl of fresh fruit that she had set near a towered platter of assorted baked goods. (See? Jesus.) She pointed me in the direction of fresh coffee and put me to shame with her bright, fresh-face and chipper demeanor. I squinted a thank you and dove headfirst into my coffee cup until my friend descended the stairs to join us. We stayed in this unkempt state for a couple of hours until it was decided that we should probably go eat some chicken wings. In Buffalo, I only move for food. I’ll begin the next segment at Bar Bill where we ate the best wings in western New York. Get those jealousy glands ready!

Ohio is Not for Lovers, It’s for Dirty Looks and Huge Birds

My sister and I have been slacking on our pimping when it comes to upholding the splendor that comes with “The Williams Sisters” moniker. We used to be a thing, and we vow to be that thing again. Even if we are older and slightly (a lot) less attractive now.

To get the ball rolling on our quest to revitalize the name fame, we decided to take a road trip to visit my dear friend in Buffalo, NY. She lives in California and was in B-Lo for one week only. It was a perfect time to catch her on this side of the country and ignore the fact that her family wanted to spend quality time with her. Because neither of us has a car that would survive a trip outside the state, and because we had to take the long way around the lake (rather than taking the Canadian shortcut and claiming not to understand that 100 km/hr is not the same as mph) due to a lack of passport on my sister’s side we had to rent a car to take the trek. This car had NO frills at $14 per day (plus $300 in fees and mileage that they don’t tell you about outright) so we brought an entertainment package to distract us and other drivers on the 8-hour journey.

Entertainment for The Williams Sisters usually involves making other people uncomfortable, and this was no exception. I furnished the car with a dry-erase board and marker so that we could easily communicate to other drivers when we felt something snarky or creepy was necessary, as it often is. Our first written message came when we noticed that an abundance of drivers were texting while driving. I know, shocking! The drive through Michigan was pretty uneventful, but as soon as we passed into Ohio the mayhem began. There were a ton of (mostly male) drivers with their faces planted in their phones who were completely oblivious to the road and our sign of “Texting & Driving is a NO NO!” We had to move on to plan b. Rather than wait for the right timing and for someone to fortuitously glance our way, we created our own hilarious situation. As I was driving, I pretended to be texting furiously while Arika held up the sign to other, more attentive drivers and looked absolutely terrified. Hilarity ensued. We had to stop after a few cars lest someone call the police on us, however.

The car we rented was a Yaris and didn’t have manual window-height locks like our 90s cars do, so we were unable to execute our favorite driving joke. Our oldest road trip act involves driving near an affluent-seeming person (preferably white and middle-aged) and peering at them sideways while obviously (yet slowly) locking our door. As if driving through a crime-ridden neighborhood while a band of ethnic youths encase the car. These people always look absolutely shocked and confused when we do this. And it’s funny. Alas, we had to settle for the white board and a novelty-sized Tootsie Pop.

We're old school comedians. Novelty-sized = gold

We had almost resigned ourselves to the dullness of the trip and settled into making fun of LFO lyrics (“ruby-red slippers and a bunch of trees”) when we passed into Pennsylvania and drove behind a very affectionate couple for about 20 minutes. The female passenger was lovingly stroking the male driver’s head for the entire time we were behind them which sparked an idea, albeit a crass one. I wrote “Wrong Head!” on the white board and held it up to the driver’s side window enthusiastically. They were a young couple, college-aged or slightly older and I thought at least the man would find it amusing. Not the case. They simultaneously gave me the most horrified/disgusted looks and then refused to glance back. Oops. Sorry Pennsylvania! I still think it was funny…and at least we succeeded in our ultimate goal: Making people uncomfortable. I wish I could have been a witness to the conversation (or awkward silence)  that took place after my lovely display.