Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Random Anecdotes

Creature of Habit

This weekend my dad told me a story about something I said to him a really long time ago:

"When you were little, you would sit on my lap while I watched the news each evening. One night, I moved my drink from one hand to the other as you climbed into my chair.

"And you said to me, 'No, Daddy, that's your beer hand. This is your cigarette hand.'"

Veggie Tales

Thanks to Carly Rae Jepsen's hit song, I was reminded of this story:

When I still worked at the newspaper in Shreveport, I got an insurance card from our latest provider and, instead of my correct name, the card read:

May B. Mercer

I called the number on the card and told them my actual name and asked for a replacement. I got a new card in the mail a few days later and it read:

May B. Mercer

This time I called the number and said, "DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK I WOULD GO BY THE NAME MAYBE? MAYBE MERCER? Do you?! DO YOU?!"

The woman on the other end said, "Um? Maybe?"

The next replacement had my proper name.

Then I remembered another story: About a year ago, I got new insurance for the kids. When the cards came, the one for Kate said her name was Kale.

I called the company to let them know. The woman on the other end started laughing and said, "Yes, we should definitely change that!"

I said, "No, no! I love it. I'm calling to change my son's name to Broccoli!"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Speech About Grief & Loss

This is a beautiful, heartfelt speech Vice President Joe Biden recently gave to family members of fallen military heroes. He is candid about his struggles after the deaths of his wife and daughter, about depression and just how low it can take you. The speech is amazingly touching and a must-listen for anyone who has experienced grief. It is worth your time. 

"I probably shouldn't say this to the press, but it's more important. You're more important..."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts - Ten Minute Edition

I have ten minutes to write this morning, so here goes:

Horrible People Say Horrible Things
Want to hate on someone today? Here's your girl.

She's a member of the church where the pastor said this:

This guy doesn't know how to pronounce "against" and I want to punch him in his sorry, fat face "again" and "again" and "again."

So this woman defends him and somehow Anderson Cooper doesn't lose his mind during this interview that is full of more stupid than a Jersey Shore cast party Palin family reunion.
So I have an idea. Hear me out.

Let's all agree with these people. Let's tell them that YES! This is a brilliant idea. We will immediately begin building the massive electric fence. We will make all the homophobes and bigots feel safe and sound outside the fence.

But the truth will be that we have built a fence around them.

That's some M. Night Shyamalan shit right there.

I think it's high time we started doing something to stop the rampant spread of stupidity in this country.

Clooney Sighting
This is an ad for Getty using hundreds of stock images to create a story of a man's life. George Clooney is in here somewhere in the middle. See, every life should have a little Clooney in it.
OK, time's up.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day/Indy 500 weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Want To Go To There

Cinque Terre, Italy

Classics & Cocktails: A Room With a View

I am almost finished reading A Room With a View by E.M. Forster, the May pick for my 12 in 2012 classics challenge.

There are a couple of chapters left. I put it down because I'm a little worried. This is my first time to read Forster. Is he going to break my heart?

I am suddenly very invested. Lucy Honeychurch has to end up with George. If she doesn't, I am going to be terribly sad. I need them to end up together. I need love to win in the end. I hope desperately that this is not one of those classics that is a classic because the ending is horribly sad. I want a happy ending.

I need a happy ending.

And not the Jennifer Love Hewitt kind.

I'm not sure how much I believe in love and romance and all that baloney. Hmm, I guess referring to it as baloney gives some indication as to where my current belief stands.

But I can temporarily set aside my sorry, cynical worldview for a novel.

Here's how I've been picturing George, just because I can:
Lest you begin to question my loyalty to my pretend boyfriend, just know that George Clooney is way too old to be Lucy's George. But, what the hell, here's a photo of my George, too:

I finished the book.

Spoiler alert:
I was very happy with the ending.
I might have gotten a little teary-eyed.
But I haven't dusted in awhile and I have allergies.
It's not at all because I'm not still cynical and jaded and bitter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Girls Who Read

Tina sent me two links to fantastic blog posts, one from Thought Catalog and one that's a response. If you're a reader, if you love a reader, if you're a writer, if you love words, read both of these:

You Should Date An Illiterate Girl
By Charles Wanke
Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love.

Go here for the rest...

Date A Girl Who Reads 
by Rosemarie Urquico
(In Response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date An Illiterate Girl.)

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Go here for the rest...

The Tom Hiddleston Post

Yesterday, my friend Shannon revealed to me her current actor obsessions: Michael Fassbender and Tom Hiddleston.
This is Tom Hiddleston. Michael Fassbender is no Tom Hiddleston.

So I confessed that I've seen The Avengers twice and I told everyone that Thor, God of Thunder, is my new superhero crush, but my actual new crush is Loki, the God of Mischief. I love the movie the most when he is on screen. I've decided I do not care what this says about me. I think it actually says more about what a compelling screen presence this guy has and says nothing at all about how I like to make out with bad boys.
"I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose. It is the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation."
I decided Vodka Cranberry Clooney needs a little Tom Hiddleston 101 post, because my pretend boyfriend George isn't really doing anything interesting lately. (I really need to get a job. My level of boredom with my life has reached staggering heights.)
Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Tom Hiddleston

A quick Google search showed me that Shannon and I are not alone. There are numerous blogs mentioning the actor and a ton of YouTube videos. (Go watch the videos. He is charming as can be.) Watch this one right now:

 At any given moment, there are 20 something new Tweets mentioning the actor or the character of Loki. It's obvious that Tom Hiddleston is having a moment. I hope it lasts a really long time. He's an incredible actor in addition to being totally dreamy. Here's a photo he tweeted of himself last night (I want that T-shirt). You can follow him on Twitter here.

Movies Tom Hiddleston Has Been In:
The Avengers


War Horse
“All through the film, I noticed that whatever I was feeling, the horses would reflect back to me,” he says. “They sense fear, arrogance, and they can sense a kind of inner peace.”

The Deep Blue Sea (This will be released on DVD July 24)

Midnight in Paris

Here's a Loki-inspired cocktail from this great blog:

"For added authenticity spike your friend's drink with Tobasco. Then when they start sputtering, yell 'Loki'd' at them and run away." 

Wednesday Wonderings

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the people most likely to talk about how much they loved world's-worst-example-of-writing-in-a-nasty-porn-novel Fifty Shades of Grey are the same people most likely to tell you how much they love Jesus?

Why the hell is Maroon Five singing a song about pay phones? Can Adam Levine not afford a cell phone to call whichever hot chick he's currently banging? What year is it? There's an actual phone booth in the video. Someone alert Clark Kent. The poor dude hasn't been able to change into his Superman outfit in public since the early 90s.

Why do people get so up in arms about videos like this or this, but these same people love videos like this or gifs like that one below? So, let me get this straight: Teasing little kitties with yarn/making them attack a wall = good. Teasing big cats through thick safety glass = bad. I just want to know whether I'm supposed to respond with a comment that reads: "SQUEE!" or "Zoos make me sad! How dare someone stand next to the viewing window at a zoo."

Yesterday, someone on Facebook posted a rather long story about an atheist philosophy professor and a Christian student having a debate. It ends with the student "schooling" the professor on faith. The end of the story reads: "P.S. The student was Albert Einstein. He wrote a book called God vs Science." I showed the story to Jacob. He would not let me log off Facebook until I agreed to type this comment underneath the silly story: "My son insists that I point out that Albert Einstein was Jewish and he never wrote a book titled God vs Science."

Sometimes, Jacob will leave a photo open on my desktop so that I'll see it the next time I open my laptop. Here are the photos I've been greeted with the past few weeks:

 Last time we ordered pizza we added a special request for a unicorn. Here it is. Jacob declared it "sub par." The pizza, however, was delicious.
Next time I want to request a picture of Jesus reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Does Marcellus Wallace Look Like, Siri?

An Enormous Green Rage Monster

"That's my secret, Captain. I'm always angry."
- Bruce Banner, The Avengers

I was reminded again this morning why I gave up watching Today. I found, on a regular basis, the morning program was making me angry or sad or simply irritated by this country's fixation on the stupid and shallow. If it's not Joy Bauer telling me, for the zillionth time, not to drink diet soda, it's Ann Curry making me uncomfortable with her overly earnest questioning style.

This morning, I turned it on just in time to hear a report on Mary Richardson Kennedy, the late wife of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Mary committed suicide last week. By all accounts, she suffered with depression and addiction for years. She and RFK Jr have been separated and RFK filed for divorce in December 2010.

"Mary suffered from depression. Her whole life she was battling, battling those demons," a friend of hers was saying, when I first turned on the TV.

Then this from the reporter: "Kennedy watchers say the Richardson family feels Robert Kennedy didn't do enough to help Mary. And photos like this of Kennedy and actress Cheryl Hines, the two reportedly dating, didn't help."

Oh my God, seriously? Cheryl Hines, this is not your fault. Don't let any assholes on Today make you think otherwise.

Then some old man, whose name they didn't bother putting on the screen, said, "Mary's sisters say if Mary hadn't met Robert Kennedy, she would probably still be alive."

If you "google" stories about the funeral, which Robert Kennedy did not attend, you find quotes from unnamed sources saying Mary didn't have a history of depression, that this is Robert's fault, that "we didn't know her that way."

And here's the thing, "friends": No, you didn't know her that way. And you don't know when she would have died had she not met Robert Kennedy. It could have been sooner. Playing the "what if" game gets you nowhere. I tried it. What if I hadn't met Charles? We wouldn't have our children and how can I now imagine a world without them? What if I'd left him at the right time? When would that have been? What if I'd driven him to rehab just one more time, third time's the charm? What if I'd never been born?

People constantly shock me with their insistence that everything there is to know about a person is right on the surface, always on display for the world to see. Or that they know what goes on behind closed doors between two people in a marriage.

I can say, for a fact, that innumerable people were shocked when my ex-husband committed suicide. "Was he depressed?" people asked me.

He was a drug addict. He'd been fired from his job. He didn't have a place to live. He was broke and in debt. Yes, he was having a hard time.

Oh, he made you laugh? He seemed OK when you ran into him at the gas station?

Well, sure, that's all you need to know then.

After Charles died, someone messaged me and said, "I've been thinking about you. I looked on Facebook and I'm glad to see you're doing OK."

Really? I looked OK on Facebook? I'm so glad because at night I was imagining myself committing suicide in the garage where Charles died. Oh, you didn't see that status update? Because why the fuck would I put that as my status update?

I know I sound angry. I've been going through a phase lately. I think, perhaps, it's the way I mentally pull myself out of a depression. It gives me a boost of energy, even if it's the energy of a green-skinned beast. Recently, someone made a comment about me making peace with Charles's death. Underneath this comment, there was the sound of a ticking clock. I know people who can't make peace with insignificant bull shit that happened to them in high school twenty years ago, but somehow I should be completely at peace with something that happened less than three years ago in the place where I live.

The complicated truth of the matter is that when my children celebrate their birthdays each May, I feel angry that their father isn't here. I feel sad that Charles doesn't get to take Jacob to get his driver's license. I feel happy that I am here to give the driving lessons, to see Kate and Jacob grow into amazing people. And I also accept it. I can feel all those things simultaneously.

Emotion is a one-stop shop. You can toss all of the available products into your basket at once: a loaf of sadness, a jar of denial, a can of whoop-ass.

Anger is part of the grieving process. It comes and goes. No one likes it. They want to shame you for it.

According to their chatty friends, Mary Kennedy's family is angry. I don't want to shame them for it. It's natural. Some of that anger may help them get through this horrible time. Anger has energy. It is nearly impossible to lie in bed and cry when you are angry.

The difference between us is probably only that my favorite target for my anger is myself and a dead man and a God I'm not sure I believe in. I am the RFK of this situation, the one who didn't do enough, who left an addict who couldn't sober up, who selfishly tried to move on with her life, who committed the serious crime of wanting to be happy.

What people need to know is that the five stages of grief are not stages. Everyone should stop believing that lie. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who came up with this theory even said that these stages are not complete or chronological. They do not happen in a nice, neat order. I'm in denial. Now I'm angry. Now I'm bargaining. Now I'm depressed. Now I accept it all. Yea me. I sure hope I did all this in a time frame acceptable to society at large.

If you don't really understand grief, just understand this: Stop putting those sort of crap expectations on your friends.

Your friend might be angry today and then tomorrow she might be depressed and the next day she might be fine, happily going about her chores. That one day of being fine does not mean she gives up her right to express outrage over what is undeniably the most horrendous, unfair tragedy of her and her children's lives.

A friend posted this to her Facebook page today and it beautifully expresses what is at the heart of the expectations we place on people. We love them and we want them to be happy and we wish desperately we could repair the damage they have suffered: "When you can't mend what is broken at the center of a friend's life, you learn a deeper truth; how to accept the unacceptable and, however slowly, move along together." ~ Catherine Calver

When I first went to counseling, I talked about something cruel someone said to me. My counselor said, "If you need a mental punching bag for awhile, let it be her."

Sometimes that's what you need. Sometimes you need a small player who does not matter at all in your life story to be the target of your rage.

You figure out pretty quickly who you give a damn about and who can suck it. You also figure out who you can call (for me it's my mom) when you need to cry about something you've cried about a hundred times already or you need to rant about the fools and assholes of the world. Because you can accept the wound, certainly you can, but it doesn't mean that wound doesn't still bleed.

I think it's terribly sad that there is a reported rift between these two families because there are children involved. It will do those children no good whatsoever to have half their family members blaming their father for something that is not his fault.

I'm always amazed when people blame a husband or wife of an addict and say he or she didn't do enough to help the person. Seriously? I'd love to meet all these people who have the secret for helping addicts. I sometimes want to ask these self-righteous folks to imagine what they could do that would make them deserve the weight of blame for someone else's suicide. Cheating? Yikes, watch out. There's a ton of cheaters out there. Lying? Spending too much money?

What if your worst crime is leaving someone who uses drugs and won't stop? Being incapable of working the magic spell that makes an addict sober? Moving on with your life after years of a painful marriage? How dare you do things to save yourself from being the one who chose the Hemingway solution. You should have done more to help this other person.

But it's not true. You can do all you can, but you also must put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

I hope that Mary's family will grow to understand that one man cannot carry the weight of that blame. It's a tragedy. Mary, like her friend on Today said, was battling demons. Sometimes those demons win.

You can get good and pissed off about it. You should because it's awful and wrong. You can be angry that your thousands upon thousands of prayers weren't answered. But try to direct your anger at things and people who don't matter a bit in the grand scheme of things, like the Kardashians or Snooki's literary agent.

Try to offer love and forgiveness to the people who are working their way through this new, broken world with you, the people who actually do matter.

On good days, you will wake up and feel less like an enormous, discolored version of yourself knocking airplanes out of the sky. You will feel mild-mannered and your demeanor will be socially acceptable. You will be Bruce Banner. You can accomplish great things.

And no one really has to know that beneath your calm surface, there is an enormous green rage monster waiting to get out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

You Might Be Old (Or a Hipster)...

I usually listen to my iPod in "shuffle" mode and, recently, I noticed that several songs on my iPod mention breakups and records.

There's Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye. When my 11-year-old daughter Kate is in the car, this song is on repeat. (If you're interested, on a typical Friday night at 9 pm, it takes four playings of Somebody That I Used to Know to drive from the skating rink on Hwy 280 to my house.)

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number

The song I play most frequently is probably Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams.

I wish you would 
Come pick me up 
Take me out 
Fuck me up 
Steal my records 
Screw all my friends behind my back 
With a smile on your face 
And then do it again 
I wish you would 

Today, You'll Think of Me by Keith Urban came up on shuffle.

Take your records, take your freedom 
Take your memories, I don't need 'em 
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me

This is just a tiny sample from my 8GB iPod. I haven't even listened to all the songs on it because my cousin (and music advisor) Richard downloaded hundreds of songs for me when he was here last month. I'm working my way through them. I'm sure there are many, many more that mention breakups and records. The number is probably only rivaled by the number of songs that mention the phrase "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

When You'll Think of Me came on, my 16-year-old son, Jacob, was in the car with me. I checked him out early because they have exams this week and he doesn't have any this afternoon. We took the opportunity for him to have a little driving time (he'll get his license in late June).

I turned to him and said, "Who the hell even has records anymore? Other than old people and hipsters? All these songs say 'You stole my records' or 'Come get your records.'"

"What do they mean by records?" Jacob said.

"You know, like music records. Vinyl records."

"Oh," Jacob said. "I thought they meant records like data."

Yep, it's official. I'm old.

And so are you.

Kate knows what records are. She thinks they look awesome on walls.

Related videos:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts

Me, Lollie, and my mom in Sausalito
Today has been one of those days when I'm reminded that I am blessed with amazing friends, that sometimes the universe sends you just what you need.

This morning, my friend Lollie called and said, "I'm in town. I'm coming to get you and we're going to lunch and getting haircuts."

I haven't had a haircut in a long time. So long I can't actually tell you the last time. It was hanging down to the middle of my back. I've been wearing it in a ponytail usually. The thought of drying it made me instantly tired.

Lollie and I met at the bus stop on the first day of sixth grade. Through various moves across the south and across the country, we have remained friends. She's the kind of friend who always pops up right when I need her.

When Charles died, she came to the funeral and helped arrange places for my mom, stepdad, and brother to stay in Shreveport. Back in Birmingham, she came over one day and treated me and the kids to Chick Fil A. She slipped money into my hand. "I want to help. This is what I can do so let me."

So I let her.

Today, we went to the salon where Lollie's best friend from high school works ("We're going to let her play with your hair," Lollie had announced when she called me this morning). I got a much-needed haircut. I love it. My hair feels softer and healthier. I feel lighter.

She pushed me away from the register and paid the bill. She treated me to lunch in the food court at the mall. We ran a few errands. We talked about our lives, about things we've been struggling with, about the weight of the world. I feel lighter.

Lollie is back on the road to Atlanta now. She flies out Sunday to return to San Francisco. She called from somewhere on I-20 East and said, "I'm so glad you were home. You did so much more for me today than I did for you."

I can't see how that's true, but I'm glad. I hope her burdens feel a little bit lighter now, too.

Random George Photo
My friend Amy posted this to my Facebook wall earlier. I love when people see George and think of me. And any day with a random George Clooney photo posting is a good day.

This Week's Random Rap Video
My friend Michael shared this find. "This is so Vodka Cranberry Clooney material," she said.
She's so right.
Enjoy. And your welcome.
Just kidding. You're welcome.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lucky Dog...or whatever

I'm kind of tired of photos of George Clooney, living his great life, hanging out with dogs on the beach.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Look Who Tweeted Me!

I spent most of Mother's Day in bed reading Zone One, a zombie novel by Colson Whitehead. It was a perfect day. So, of course, I felt compelled to inform my legion of Twitter followers. If each of my followers gave me a penny, I'd have enough to buy two Snickers bars. But not at the Chevron down the street. I'd have to buy them at Aldi, the discount grocery store, where Snickers bars are only 69 cents. 

Anyway, I just saw that Colson Whitehead tweeted me back. This totally made my afternoon because I have a big ol' writer's crush on Colson. The man is a master at crafting sentences. 

Clearly, I crush on men with brains. Maybe this is why I am so zombie-obsessed. I crave brains. 

Last night, I hate-watched the season premiere of The Bachelorette. I decided a better name for that show would be Parade of Douchebags. Most of the men seem desperately dull. And I can tell the whole season is going to be all about saving poor, sweet Emily whose first true love died in a plane crash. Reality TV should be renamed Hyperbole TV. 

I might play a drinking game during which I take a shot every time one of these dullards says that Emily "deserves" love. I will destroy my liver within the hour. 

Sure, the men are all conventionally attractive with a low percentage of body fat, but meh. You can show me your ripped abs all damn day, but if you're not saying something interesting, what is the point?  

Anyway, here's my cheap thrill for the day. 

Related posts:
Crushing On...Writers
Friday's Random Thoughts

What Happened at Clooney's House

A friend sent me this controversial Time magazine cover today.

OK, it's not a real cover. But it's better than that stupid "Are You Mom Enough?" cover from last week.

You know George's teat yielded something like $15 million to the Obama reelection campaign, right? That's a lot of nutrients.

If you "google" the term "limousine socialism" from this fake cover's fake blurb, the first thing that comes up is a definition of "limousine liberals." I guess we're just taking the phrase a step farther to socialism to fit in with this era's version of the Red Scare. Socialism is the new communism.

"Limousine liberals" are people who go on about saving the planet, yet ride around in SUVs and own private jets. Or that's what I learned from Wikipedia: "Limousine liberal is a pejorative American political term used to illustrate perceived hypocrisy by a political liberal of upper class or upper middle class status; including calls for the use of mass transit while frequently using limousines or private jets,[1] claiming environmental consciousness but driving low MPG sports cars or SUVs, or ostensibly supporting public education while actually sending their children to private schools.[2]"

News flash: People are hypocrites. People are all "Do what I say, not what I do" and "What would Jesus do? Other than give away all his stuff to help the poor and love one another because those won't work for me. But can I judge people? That's the one I like!"

And it's on all sides. There's certainly no doubt about that.

And not to go all magazine editor on something silly, but the blurb and image don't really work together. Shouldn't it be Obama (government) nursing George (privileged elite)? Isn't the blurb saying that government is the nanny or, a better term, the wet nurse?

Or is the point that government wants to suckle at the breast of the 1 percent?

I'd be sending this back for an edit.

It did make me laugh out loud, though.

Craig T. Nelson Is Confused

On a related note, this is my favorite example of dumb ass hypocrisy of late:

"I've been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No."


The truth of it is that it is not going to be bird flu or bat flu or some man-made virus that causes the zombie apocalypse. 

Cognitive dissonance is the illness that plagues us, exhausts us, makes us give up, makes us hungry for brains. Because, clearly, brains are in short supply. 

Things That Are Wrong With the World (Jessica Edition)

1. Jessica Simpson is being paid $800,000 by People Magazine for the first photos of her daughter, Maxwell Drew. There are a lot of things wrong with this, but let's boil it down to this thing: Magazines never should have started paying celebrities for this shit.

2. Jessica Alba is a liar. "I don't really care about my body image anymore because it just doesn't matter now that I have children."

Now, in addition to trying to figure out if you are "Mom enough," you should also feel bad that you worry about your body. Nothing should matter now that you have given birth to little angels. Please. I care about my body image. I have two wonderful children and yet, somehow, I am still a person who worries about her soft stomach and wide hips. I wish I was as evolved as Jessica Alba, who has come to terms with her body and accepts it just as it is, no matter how thin and fantastic it might be. Nope. Doesn't matter.

3. The price of Jessica Biel's backpack would pay my mortgage for three months and still leave me with $500 to put toward the next month's payment.

Apparently, she tweeted a photo of herself wearing a backpack from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's fashion line, The Row. This is how I learned that there are backpacks that cost $3,900. (No worries. Jessica didn't pay for it. It was a gift. This is how the world works. Famous, rich folks don't pay for anything ever.)

Then I learned this: There is another version of the backpack that comes in crocodile skin. It looks like this:

It costs $39,000. That would pay my mortgage for almost three years.

I once had a backpack that looked a lot like this. I believe I received it free with a subscription to Marie Claire.