February 12, 2014


Sara & Claire Sweat it out.

Written by Sara Feinstein & Claire Matson
Edited by Sara Feinstein
A Must Be Nice Production
Song “Ash” by Secession Studios

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sweating it out must be nice hard to be us challenges

April 30, 2012


National Honesty Day

In order to properly acknowledge National Honesty Day, I must pay homage to my most honest friend. She is of the mindset of George Washington, she does not tell a lie. If it weren’t weird or continuing to link her with dead presidents, I would probably attempt to have everyone call her, Honest Abe.

To give you dear, dear, readers a better example of this deep rooted honesty, I will share a story which I shall call, “The Moral Compass in the Candy Store’.

It all started on a Sunday afternoon, most likely after brunch when we happened upon a candy store. Now as most New Yorkers know, these little candy store / bodegas exist all over the city and provide a wide range of treats. They have your standard gummy candies, they have chocolates and licorice too. They have gumballs and jaw breakers and that’s really the tip of the iceberg, however, I digress.

We each took a paper bag and began to peruse the candy selection. I loaded up on gummy candy and those chewy fake raspberry and blackberry candies. While I waited in line to pay, I dipped my hand into my bag and casually popped a few in my mouth. I continued, reaching into the bag to have a few more and I thought that despite the fact that the store was small, I was still being discreet.

As we are waiting to pay, Honest Abe turns and looks at me shocked. It was a look of terror which was on par with seeing a ghost. I thought maybe there was something behind me that had provoked this facial expression, alas, I was wrong. While I continued to eat my gummys before approaching the register, Honest Abe says in a voice only slightly quieter than a scream, “THE CANDIES ARE CHARGED BY WEIGHT, YOU DO KNOW THAT, RIGHT?”

Well, I was aghast, of course I knew that they were charged by weight. Doesn’t everyone know that? I simply just wanted to have a sampling while waiting to pay. Of course I realized that I was essentially ‘cheating the system’ but who in actuality doesn’t?

While Honest Abe paid in full for her candies, I continued to snack on the ones in my bag while getting dirty looks from the owner of said shop.

So today, I salute you, Honest Abe, and all other people are able to live by the laws of the land.

If you need me, I’ll be scamming some Sour Patch Kids,

Claire

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April 26, 2012


Annoying Things a Co-Worker Might Do

1.     Audibly sigh on a consistent basis. Sighing is loud enough that anyone in the small office can hear and comment on sigh.

a.     Sigh about certain muscles being sore due to specific physical activity.

b.     Sigh about a technologically related problem.

c.      Sigh after a personal phone call.

2.     Claim that most things are “the funniest thing ever.”

a.     There is no clear standard and/or measurement for what constitutes “the funniest thing ever.” However, most things will fall under this category.

3.     Pace back and forth across the office at random times. Co-worker might also stop pacing and stand directly behind your desk. Co-worker might also stand there and stretch whilst sighing.

4.     Talk to you as if explaining something you are interested in. You are not interested.

a.     Imagine you asked a question. Co-worker might give you that answer without being prompted.

5.     If you do engage in conversation, Co-worker might get up from co-worker’s desk and walk closer to your desk. Co-worker might sit/lean on the opposite desk, anticipating a lengthy conversation.

6.     Suck up to your superior.

a.     Make jokes with your superior at your expense.

b.     Drink the same coffee as your superior regardless of co-worker’s own tastes.

7.     Repeat jokes that did not “hit” the first time.

8.     Repeat jokes that did “hit” the first time, however, are no longer funny since this might be the 8th time the joke has been made.

9.     Prompt conversations regarding co-worker’s personal life that will result in an awkward series of nodding /saying the words “yes” or “right.”

10. Talk simply because the office is quiet.

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January 5, 2012


The Profile Picture Epidemic

Currently, there is an epidemic spreading rapidly across this great nation. It is a grave situation, affecting 1 out of 5 girls everyday, with the statistic rising steadily with each passing minute. This disease, called Narcissistically Cropped Facebook Profile Pictures, NCFPP, is in dire need of a cure. Heck, a woman whom you know personally is most likely suffering from this ailment. So I’m sure you’ve seen it.

NCFPP is most commonly seen in an extremely long and narrow photo, two inches wide at best. Encased within the frame is a girl (let’s call her Tiffany) making a kissy face, engaging in a wink or throwing up a peace sign. Tiffany could be smiling but you know it’s insincere, a strategy enacted for the purpose of picture taking. Objects that are often found in said photos include a plastic happy tiara*, or a beer in either a bottle or a solo cup.

The picture uploaded on Facebook will show Tiffany alone in her profile picture, but you notice that this was not always the case. Ah yes, there is it! You see the glimmer of two other people, to her left and right sides. Perhaps you see a left nostril and ear, or a right elbow. Or you might see the remnants of an expensive blowout and someone else’s hand wrapped around Tiffany’s waist. Though sadly you’ll never see this person and you’ll be left to wonder what major offense they committed to be removed from the shot. The photograph has been extremely tightly cropped; it is truly a photographer’s nightmare. The image’s aspect ratio is wrecked beyond repair.

And for what purpose? Why do these girls continue to reek havoc on their friends’ and relatives’ mini-feed? One word - narcissism. Most likely, the girl recently attended a party. She put on a sausage casing dress, disguised her face in several inches of make up and went out dancing in hooker heels. She looked good, or so she thought. A potential suitor snapped a photo. It came out great, until she realized that there is a grave problem - her friends snuck into the photo! What’s worse? They looked even better! She could never post this image of the three of them on Facebook; it would be too risky. So she uploads the photo to Facebook and uses its expert crop tool - don’t gasp in disbelief, no matter how wholesome you are, I bet that you too have used this tool.

Alas, the damage is done: she has caught NCFPP. Usually victims of NCFPP will keep up the same profile picture for months on end. That is, until Tiffany gets invited to some other shin-dig which she deems appropriate for the same inappropriate clothing, her profile picture may change. The rate of recovery of NCFPP is pretty low - if you scroll through Tiffany’s profile pictures or any other girl with NCFPP you will see the same photo 100 times. The pictures all show the same rotation of faces and poses - just with different clothing and hair extension lengths.

So friends, please stop with the Myspace photos, don’t pull a Miley and most importantly, don’t crop me out because if you do, you will be getting an angry email from me.

*A ‘happy tiara’ is a generic plastic tiara which is donned with ‘Happy Birthday,’ ‘Happy New Years,’ etc. Its sole purpose is for girls to have an excuse to wear a tiara because face it, there’s only one Kate Middleton.

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December 21, 2011


        

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December 12, 2011


Love, Lust and Other Lessons Learned at the Age of 12

As with many other prepubescent romances, mine began at sleep-away camp. I was 12 and the month before had just had my Bat Mitzvah.
 
I should probably start over. Our real tryst began at my Bat Mitzvah reception. The boy, I shall call him Eric Schneider, and I had previously been through some normal 12-year-old flirtation, mostly seeing each other around the camp Bar/Bat Mitzvah circuit. So when the day came for my own party, my friends decided it was time that we make it official. I remember at one point the two of us were forced into a room to discuss where our relationship was going. I think we decided that we’d pick it up again once we got to camp for the summer.

Once the summer began and we arrived at camp, I knew I’d made the wrong decision. Even at age 12, I think I knew that I liked the idea of “dating” Eric more than Eric himself – poor kid. And there was nothing wrong with Eric. He was cute and nice, and was going to treat me well (he would hold my hand at canteen). But I kept up the charade for a little bit. Let me now say that the relationship lasted for two days, after which I decided I must finally come clean and be honest that I was not so smitten for him.

But that first night, we did kiss on the mouth. I had this peach flavored lip-gloss from the Gap that I had put on prior to this intimate moment. We were playing some form of truth or dare. But the real game was, “who is going to kiss who?” Though I knew I really didn’t like Eric in that way, I still was not going to waste this opportunity to kiss a boy. God only knows when I’d have another opportunity! So it was our turn and we had a closed mouth kiss for a quarter of a second. It was sweet and he appreciated my scented lips.

After this high point, things went pretty downhill. I remember being at an evening activity with my bunk and having a serious discussion with them about not wanting to go to canteen and see Eric. I was talking about skipping our precious time where we were able to mingle with awkward boys! This was a dire situation, clearly. And I realized that female conversations about boys/men never change. I could have been 22 and the banter would have been the same.

So I do end up going and this is when I have the break up talk. Eric was visibly upset but he took it well. Then my older brother is enlightened on the situation and he, being the protective older brother he is, gathers is cronies and picks poor Eric up by his ankles in some incoherent attempt at retribution for kissing me on the mouth. It probably was a very traumatic night for Eric, and I commend him on not flipping a shit.

Eric and I remained friends and though we don’t really speak nowadays, I will always think of him fondly.
-Sara

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December 7, 2011


Cartoon Envy

During my work-day, I’ll sometimes think about the “lives” of fictional television characters, mainly cartoons. Mostly I’m envious of them. They never seem to get hurt and they always accomplish an insane amount of things in approximately 21 minutes.

Dora the Explorer: That bitch is bilingual and well traveled. She’s so accomplished at such a young age - we should all be so lucky.

Carmen Sandiego: She is not only smart, but has figured out a way to evade the police even while wearing a bright red hat and trench coat. She miraculously finds out a ton of confidential information without the help of a cellphone or the Internet. Also, people are dying to find her. If I disappeared, (with or without the Hope Diamond) no one would notice for at least a week to ten days that I was gone. Or if they were keen to find me, you know it would be because of the diamond, not because anyone cared where I was.

Steve from Blue’s Clues: Boyfriend must be tripping on some heavy shit 24/7 because he seems to be able to talk to figments of his imagination, including salt and pepper shakers. Though I can understand Steve. When I was unemployed, I too found comfort in having lengthy, existential conversations with my cat but I hadn’t shared that information with anyone until now. Regardless of the fact that I think he’s absolutely nuts, I’m still jealous that he can find comfort in wearing the same shirt every day and singing joyfully about the mail time delivery.


Patrick from Spongebob Square Pants: Somehow, this guy has managed to get by on his sheer idiocy. Unlike Spongebob, who has responsibilities and is usually in charge of shit, Patrick gets to swim through life doing basically nothing. All he has to do is hang out with his friend and frequent a fast food restaurant. It’s a pretty nice life if you ask me.

Doug: Doug has it so good. He has a dog that can more or less talk and give him advice, his best friend is blue and an awesome wingman, and he has a mortal enemy who is actually jealous of him. Also, his parents are pretty mild mannered. They never give him any trouble for being out at the Honker Burger and what not, even though he’s only in second grade. They are usually like, “go ahead Doug. Go out into the world and learn a vital life lesson.” My parents were all, “no, you’re in second grade, you can’t go out by yourself and catch a Nematoad or go to a Beets concert.” Doug is also going bald at age 8 and he doesn’t give a fuck.

Tommy Pickles: Talking baby, enough said.

Hey Arnold: I wouldn’t say I’m envious of Arnold, but I do admire how little he complains. Ok, the guy lives in a boarding house with random people and is raised by his grandparents who are bat-shit crazy. I’m surprised he doesn’t have some major psychological issues. But at least he has a cool black friend named Gerald.

All the Kids from Rocket Power: They might have the best life ever. I think it’s perpetually summer where they live, otherwise they just don’t go to school. Their lives are basically surfing, skateboarding, shenanigans, and mild childhood problems. Also, they have a pretty rad handshake that they do at least 7 times an episode. And you know Tito, the “fun uncle” of the show, would be willing to go get a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich like anytime they wanted.

Daria: Ah, the sweet, cynical life of Daria. She makes it look so easy. Daria seemed to skate through high school. She managed to not kill herself with her overly eager parents and annoying younger sister and also avoided social conformity like the plague. She also was able to escape without having to play team sports. I wonder how her life turned out…

Baby Sinclair of Dinosaurs: Not only a talking baby but a prehistoric talking baby. He gets away with hitting his dad on the head with a frying pan and overdosing on sugar. He knows how to work the baby voice and takes full advantage of his cute-ness. Also, he’s has zero responsibilities and does whatever the fuck he pleases.

Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Even to this day, I find this so hard to fathom. So, this punk ass kid from West Philly, spends his time, “chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool” and then spends the rest of his time playing b-ball outside of school. Either he’s in a gang or gets into a fight with one and somehow manages to get shipped off…to Bel-Air. Like Must Be Nice. When I vandalized school property, I always expected to get shipped off to my secret aunt and uncle’s house in California, instead I got to go to boarding school.

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December 5, 2011


Grievances #006: The Freezing Cold Bathroom In My Office

I work in a relatively ghetto office building. I’m not complaining, this is simply a fact. I’ve accepted the seven months of construction happening in the lobby, which may or may not ever be finished. I have tolerated the transsexual woman who has opened a permanent makeup practice (?) next door. And I’ve endured the Hispanic man with Alopecia who works at the front desk sometimes and consistently hits on me.

However, what I cannot tolerate is the temperature of the women’s bathroom. Just like anyone else, during the winter months, I like to be toasty. There is a certain happiness that comes with sweaters, hot coffee, and coziness. My actual office is a nice temperature. Warm, but not warm enough as to have a spell of narcolepsy.  But the damn bathroom is cold. And when I say cold, I mean frigid. I walk into the water closet and I get goose bumps. The toilet is cold enough to chill a margarita. I could keep my egg salad sandwich in that loo and feel comforted knowing that it would stay fresh the entire day. But that is not the primary purpose of my lavatory visits. I go there to relieve myself…and also to waste time by taking a break when I’ve been sitting at my desk for too long. I don’t think I’m asking too much to enter a restroom that is not as cold as an ice skating rink. How can I enjoy my secret five-minute break when I can’t feel my face! I mean come on, I have to pull down my pants in that room!

And here is the kicker. The reason that the bathroom is so freezing is that the cleaning lady opens the window! She cleans the restroom and opens the window halfway. Why? When it’s December and the temperature has dropped below 50 degrees, why must you leave the window open? I know I haven’t been overly friendly to her, but why must she take retribution by freezing my private area? It is a complaint I have but can never really fix. I’m not going to call up the management and complain that I’m feeling chilly whilst using the porcelain throne. No. I have more dignity than that. Nay, I will continue my battle with a frostbite-ridden bum and accept that some things cannot be fixed. It can’t be sunshine and magic all the time, especially in the bathroom.

-Sara

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November 28, 2011


Apartment Hunting in New York City: What They Really Mean

Finding an apartment is difficult, especially if you are trying to live in New York City. It is a challenge for an infinite number of reasons. Mainly it is competitive, expensive, and nearly impossible to find something that fits the B (B being Budget). While browsing listings via Craig’s List or wherever else you may look (good luck searching the New York Times real estate section. You will be inundated with multi-million dollar dream townhouses, and then you will cry), beware of “code words” or “jargon” that realtors use. In theory, these words should describe the apartment. However, they are carefully crafted to make said apartment sound 300 times better than it is.

Charming/Cozy: Your bedroom will only fit a twin bed and not much else. Are you inheriting a gorgeous mahogany desk from your grandpa? Well good luck trying to fit that bad boy into your room. Maybe try an Ikea loft bed. Every night will feel like a true adventure.


Exposed Brick: This ‘exposed brick’ is across the street; you can see it out of your bedroom window which faces an alley. Or better yet, it might face an empty shaft! A fun game is to press your face against the window and try to see if you can glimpse the bottom of it. I’ll bet you can’t!


Affordable: Your rent will be cheap, but only if you live 10 stops off the L in a shady Brooklyn neighborhood. A benefit of this is unlimited access to tons of bodegas. You might be able to snag a few cans of that black market Four Loko.


Pre-war: The building and apartment have had no renovations since it was built. So when it rains, you’ll know. Also, this could mean that your living area will have no overhead lighting. It will really feel like you’re living in the 1930’s; that’s how they did it then!

Utilities Included: You won’t pay for the electric, but it won’t work. Only 1 out of 3 burners on your stove will function. You will also only take cold water showers. But this will make you tough. Also, anytime you go home to visit your parents, a hot shower with water pressure will feel heavenly!

 

Nook Kitchen: Your kitchen will include a sink, a stove, and a refrigerator. You will not have any counter space or room for a table. But you will burn more calories when you stand and eat.

 

Family Neighborhood: Look forward to kids screaming at 8 o’clock in the morning, ruining your precious days without the alarm clock on the weekend. But this means you’ll get stuff done! Do you really need to laze around on a Saturday? Go outside and make something of yourself!

Laundry in the Building: There may be washer and dryer units, but they are broken. But this can be the perfect opportunity to befriend your friendly neighborhood Korean Laundromat. Fun tip: bring your Asian roommate and get a discount!


Sunny: You will only get natural light in your apartment between the hours of 12:30 and 2PM. Be prepared to buy some lamps. But let’s face it. You’ve always wanted to have a creatively decorated apartment; this is your chance.

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November 10, 2011


Fairway: The Crowded Amusement Park of the Upper East Side

                              

When people think of the Upper East Side, they think of a quiet remote neighborhood. Family oriented, kids running around everywhere, The Gap. Well, now Fairway can be added to that list. Fairway replaced the space where the bankrupt Circuit City once stood. Throughout the summer, everyone waited in anticipation for their new mecca and had a small celebration when the brown paper came off of the window. Opening day, everyone and their mom, literally, strolled in to check out the produce section.

There’s no denying that Fairway is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Usually, due to my schedule, I find myself sauntering into Fairway at approximately 10:30 / 10:45 on a Monday night. I walk in like it’s nobody’s business, hit the deli counter to get food for work for the week and then casually meander over to the pickles & olives section, which if you haven’t checked out already - you’re a fool. Based on this late night shopping routine, I always pictured Fairway as being a peaceful shopping experience.

Due to stupidity and the foresight to do grocery shopping on a weekend - I made the mistake of going to Fairway on Sunday. I saw that it was crowded but figured, I’ll be fine, plus I’m already here. Three words: I was wrong. Fairway on a Sunday brings out the worst in of all of us - kind of like drinking on an empty stomach, it’s a bad idea.

Immediately when I walked in, I was pushed by small children, started dodging shopping carts like I was in the US Army’s boot camp, and was even yelled at by old patrons with canes for moving too slowly. Though I was trying to hit the deli counter - I felt that I was the one being slaughtered. After getting my body bruised and my ego harmed, I made it to the counter. This was the first time that I actually experienced having to take a number. It felt like being at an auction house, shouting, pushing and trying to make yourself visible until you get what you want, be that smoked salmon salad or a couple knishes.

After waiting for a little while with still a long time to go until my number was called, I realized that there was a way to cheat the system so to speak. If you wait for a lull and no one answers when a number is called, you just raise your hand and pretend it’s yours. I had weaseled my way to the front while I thought of this carefully mastered plan, then after waiting an additional five minutes - I sprang into action. “Number 42?” “…THAT’S ME.”

Lesson learned: Everything is fair game at Fairway on a Sunday.
Also, probably avoid Fairway on a Sunday at all costs.

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