Christmas Time in the City!

By: Ali Benz

It’s that time of year again. Time to get controversial. With the holidays coming up, everyone is high stress and loves any opportunity to complain. Everything is magical but this is New York—aka we need to be angry. It’s a perfect time to donate to the Salvation Army then immediately kick someone in the face. An amazing day to feed the homeless then cause a scene in a Popeye’s. Too soon?

The holidays are wonderful. I can’t tell if I’m seasonally depressed or clinically confused. All I know is that this Macy’s is beautiful. I want to spend every day in the Christmas Macy’s. Normally, I would need at least three Xanax to enter a department store, but not today. Today I am free and I will buy a faux fur on sale in the wrong size while listening to Michael Bublé serenade me as I try to locate a cash register in the Calvin Klein section. It will turn out to be returns-only and they won’t help me at the perfume counter but my spirits will remain high because the salvation army man is still dancing.

If you missed Black Friday because this is 2019 and you own a computer, fear not. Cyber Monday is just around the corner. If you missed Cyber Monday because today is Thursday, fear not as well. Every day is a cyber one with Amazon Prime. Instead of feeling pressured to buy your dog the perfect winter scarf that screams sexy yet elegant, just wait. The internet doesn’t sleep. Also, don’t cut corners with your pet. If you love your Schnoodle you’ll pay full price. Never settle for burgundy because they don’t have it in jet-black.

Fashion dominates the market this time of year, but we get riled up over the simple things as well. Starbucks has happy hour but we don’t care about that because their cups are so controversial. ‘Tis the season to freak out over a coffee mug. Oh, it’s red? Absolutely not. This establishment is racist. I’ll still take that tall blonde skinny vanilla latte though, thanks. I think the issue is that all this holiday cheer gives people a false sense of security. We suddenly think we’re invincible because there’s a wreath on the doorknob. I don’t get it. If plant-decor could make one feel so powerful, then why hasn’t my ficus been working? Someone please look into this.

Maybe there’s something in the air. Whatever it is, I keep catching it. I think I’ve been on antibiotics since September. Not a good look. I see my doctor so much she invited me to her Hanukkah for night three. It’s a bad month to be on medication. With all the holiday parties and such, I don’t get why they keep prescribing me things that say “don’t mix with alcohol.” I mean, could you be more specific? What else am I going to mix this with? Someone please let me know the wine pairing for Amoxicillin.

Cheers to making it through this holiday season. Make sure they put a Menorah up in your workplace because the tree is so banal. Hit up an ex to go ice-skating even though you hate sports. Buy your mom a Rumba so she can multi-task during hot yoga. And if your older cousin invites you to Ann Taylor Loft, remember that it’s not a secret rave in Brooklyn. It’s a literal clothing store from like, the 60’s. Tragic.

November: Doing the Least

By: Ali Benz

It’s that weird time of year again between Halloween and Christmas. A time where people do the absolute least. Everyone is exhausted from planning their slutty Halloween costumes and no one is sure if they’re on vacation or not. I just ordered a caesar salad and I’m pretty sure this girl just gave me mayo on romaine. No chance I’m eating it but I respect the minimal effort.

Halloween also lasted through November, and might still be going on now, but nobody knows for sure. I’m so pale right now I look like Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka so my costume is going strong regardless. Thank god the clocks set back because I need some time to recover from what I saw this spooky season. So many slutty Pokémon my childhood is ruined. Also, a guy asked me to be a pod to his Juul but I’m an independent woman who don’t need no man so bye Felicia. Find another pod.

Also, ‘tis the season to not shut the f*ck up about the weather. Why do people love to talk about temperature so much? Yes, Karen, the leaves fall around this time of year every year. Get over it. I once talked about the rain with a co-worker for thirty minutes. I will never get that time back and all I learned is that it was already raining. Next topic.

No one really likes to discuss Thanksgiving. TG is so random. No idea what pilgrim sorcery this is but I’ve already been invited to like six potlucks. I don’t even know how to cook and now I have to bake a pie for my best friend’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s cousin. I really need to stop RSVPing to things. That reminds me, I also committed to a 5k Turkey Trot. After seeing the psychopaths who ran the New York marathon, I don’t know why I’d involve myself in this treachery. If I wanted to travel uncomfortably for 26 miles I would’ve just booked a flight on Spirit.

This run might be the most I do in November. I thought about booking a flight to Boca Raton to get some color and also visit my grandma, but that seems like effort. Also, I’m trying to partake in no-shave November and going to Florida will require a razor. This is a scary month for me because I have a fear of beards/ facial hair. Every guy is about to look homeless until December first. Thank god Emma Watson coined the term “self-partnered” so I can tell my relatives I’m technically not single. Someone from Harry Potter said I’m dating myself. Perfect.

While everyone looks like Hagrid this month, maybe you can focus on your career rather than your nonexistent love life. The only reason people have boyfriend’s in NY anyway is to afford an apartment with exposed brick. Sorry, that was kind of a dig at my sister and her boyfriend, but I’m just salty they got a new place without me to take their relationship to the “next level”. Not sure why they wouldn’t want to be roomies. I could’ve absolutely gotten them to the next level in a two-bedroom in West Village on top of a pizza shop where we all share one bathroom and the laundry machine is in the kitchen. Tragic.

Anyway, back to your career. Now that it’s cold, as your co-workers have alerted you every day, you can spend more time building your resume and less time blacking out on rooftops. It never hurts to check in with yourself and see what else is out there. I know I said November is about doing the bare minimum, but opening up LinkedIn is really not that hard. It might even be time to update your picture from a selfie to an actual headshot that doesn’t scream “I still do keg-stands on the weekend and have a really good relationship with my weed dealer.” It’s time to upload that psychotic smiling over the left shoulder pic with the blue backdrop that will let recruiters know you may have drank PBR through a funnel in the past, but now you sip martinis at a one drink limit and pronounce Barcelona with a “th”.

Whether this month leaves you in limbo or at a new career, just know it’s almost over and winter is coming. Mariah Carey saw her shadow so we’ll be hearing that Christmas song soon. At least I think that’s how it works. Just be grateful they’re not playing “Disturbia” in the lobby anymore and I can stop pretending I’ve seen Hocus Pocus. Don’t @ me. Now all the scary stories will be real, like T.I. taking his grown daughter to the gyno or the one about the Ukrainian orphan dwarf. Look it up.

Your Diet Starts Here

By: Ali Benz

As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, many of us are scrambling to get in shape to drown ourselves in rosé in the Hamptons. I even considered observing Ramadan to lose weight, but I realized that was kind of ridiculous. It’s brilliant that they schedule the fast right before the first beach weekend of the year, but starving yourself is not the move. I stan a spiritual fast, but if you don’t even have the religious involvement or clothing, it’s not for you. Ramadan, but make it fashion.

You’re crazy if you think there’s such a thing as the perfect body. Seriously, like not even Kendall Jenner. I remember last year when she got shamed for having strange-length toes. Weird flex, but ok. Aside from imperfect feet, no one seems to ever be content with their weight. I always thought it was super annoying when boys would complain that they were too skinny.  Are you kidding me? The last time I complained about being too thin was in 6th grade when I couldn’t fill out a jean skirt from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Men are insecure about being too small while women fear being large and in charge. Can’t we just meet somewhere in the middle? Not to bring up the Kardashians again, but I’ve always admired their commitment to strength and fitness. These women work out like crazy and take pride in their thicc, muscular bodies. I find it super empowering. That’s how Kim landed her role in Paris Hilton’s music video for her new single “Best Friend’s Ass”. Obviously a very powerful, thought-provoking jam that you’ll be showing your grandkids. With lyrics like, “F*ckboys everywhere tryna get a pass / but I can’t stop staring at my best friend’s ass”, you know you’ll be hearing it at mainstage at your nearest music festival as you get knocked around in GA by girls shuffling in nipple-tassels and that one guy who consistently brings a glow-in-the-dark hula-hoop and asks if you want a light show. Tragic.

Speaking of music festivals, I am taking a hiatus (don’t quote me on this). I used to say if you want to lose a few pounds just go to EDC Las Vegas or something. Between sweating all night and walking around looking for your car for three hours in the desert, you’ll be shedding pounds in no time. I know it sounds luxurious, but this is also not a healthy weight-loss method. That’s like Ramadan but on molly and with no spiritual awakening—unless you’re that forty-year-old in the crowd that keeps tripping on acid and claiming he’s talked to God.

I will also be taking a break from these events because last night my friend said she was going to Alcatraz and I asked her who would be DJing. It’s a prison. Not a music festival. Everybody was disappointed that day. If you are worthier than me and attending an actual festy, I understand you might want to diet and look your best in the crowd—or in your pics taken in the crowd, I should say. Especially now, seeing as how Tinder has decided to make a “Festival Mode” because that’s exactly what we all needed after the Herpes outbreak at Coachella. Thanks, Match Group! I just googled who owns Tinder and it said Match Group if you didn’t get the reference either.

If you will be using Tinder Festival Mode, there are other ways to get fit for your future #RaveBae. Starvation and deprivation are so 1900’s. Both men and women should focus on eating a healthy diet and exercising in a way that is best for them. If you have a beer or five at a Yankee’s game it’s not the end of the world. Enjoy yourself and focus on being the best version of you. Women: don’t be afraid to go hard in the gym and lift weights—muscles are beautiful on every gender. Men: stop complaining about being too skinny because it’s f*cking obnoxious. Just roll with it and know that the entire female community is envious of your situation. If everyone would stop judging each other and their body types, the world would be a better place.

Who cares what it says on the scale. The number doesn’t matter, I’m pretty sure it’s random anyway. Super dramatic that my doctor must weigh me literally every time I see her. Get over it it’s like you’re obsessed with me or something. Then I always have to minus like ten pounds for my shoes and everything in my pockets like that one piece of gum and my hair tie. Forget about the number and hone in on how you feel. Treat yourself, and wear that bikini that your mom said was too smol. Just not to a work event.

The Most Dramatic Season Ever

By: Ali Benz

The blog is back by popular demand. Shout-out to my three (sometimes four) super-fans that keep me grounded. Has the fame changed me? Yeah, a little bit, but getting six likes/comments from followers in Argentina will do that to a girl. You wouldn’t get it. Anyway, this is a holiday blog (I just decided) so get festive b*tchez.

How do I feel about Hanukkah, you (no one) asked? Hanukkah is super dramatic. Eight days? Why? Relax big fella we could wrap this whole thing up in one but you need a week and a day. I know I’m kind of a hypocrite because I’ve been celebrating my birthday since July, but that holiday revolves solely around me so it’s like way less stressful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m down to get as lit as the menorah and gamble my Bat-Mitzvah savings away on the dreidel, but this year I just wasn’t ready. Why did Hanukkah have to make a dramatic entrance on December 2nd? I legit still have stuffing in my fridge and a few more costume parties to attend. Welcome to Halloweentown. That might be a personal issue, but seriously who doesn’t enjoy a nice Christmas/Hanukkah collab? Now all I can do is hope one of my random Catholic friends invites me to their ham dinner or whatever. I don’t want to spend the afternoon with that mall Santa again— Although he does have some dank weed.

I don’t smoke, but that man must be high as a chimney to jump down…. all those chimneys? Sorry, I’m Jewish I don’t know how these things work. I have Amazon Prime though so I’m not too worried. I can order six Kylie Lip Kits and have them here by Friday without feeling obligated to prepare a midnight snack for the delivery guy. My house is gluten and dairy-free anyway so that thicc St. Nick probably wouldn’t even enjoy my spread. Tragic.

Also, we need to talk about gift etiquette. Wrapping paper and holiday cards are extremely dramatic. Eight dollars for a sparkly card with some BS haiku about winter? Thank u, next. You can miss me with that one. That’s why I have mad respect for my grandma. Homegirl wraps our presents in tin foil, throws down some fire lyrics on scrap paper, and calls it a day. Now that’s what I call Christmas: Volume 4.

The only one who hustles harder is Mr. Claus himself. He literally works one night a year and has “travel blogger” in his bio, right after ~wanderlust~. The man is clearly a trust fund baby with the work ethic of a millennial. How old is he anyway? I wouldn’t be surprised if big Nick was giving out promo codes for Fit Tea. After all, he did tell me he lives in the North Pole but summers in the Hamptons. At least his sleigh is cleaner and greener than the Jitney, but would it kill him to throw down on a table at Gurney’s once in a while?

I know I sound like the Grinch or something, but I’m not. TBH I love this sh*t. I’m wearing a Santa hat and pounding Manischewitz as we speak. I’ve been listening to the Justin Bieber Christmas album since November and I’m not apologizing for it. The truth is, holidays are overwhelming. Your family is insane and you have to see your weird uncle but it’s all good ‘cause, like, presents. Duh. So, go ahead, send that annoying holiday postcard that your mom signs ‘Love, the Bennett’s & Boe!’ as if your dog was the mastermind behind the photo and not a victim to your dramatic tradition. Buy your boring co-worker that stupid snow globe for secret Santa. Hook-up with your Rabbi’s first-born son. Get it all in while you can, because come January, we’re starting all over again and what a disaster that will be. Happy holidays!

Sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By: Ali Benz

Halloween is amazing. The costumes get crazier and more confusing every year. For example, last night, I met a black man wearing a sweet George Washington costume. Naturally, I asked him if he was George Washington Carver. He said, “No! I’m Ric Flair (b*tch)!” Then I jumped off a bridge. Just kidding. I’m not racist, just an idiot. I’m not even sure who GW-Carver is but I’m sure he’s a lovely guy. We then preceded to get a ~ spooky ~ drink together and he followed me on Instagram and I’m buying his mixtape. All’s well that ends well!

I just love how it’s socially acceptable to dress up like an idiot, consume your weight in chocolate, and black-out on a Wednesday all because of this random holiday. I mean, to me, that’s just another day in the life, but it’s great to see the community getting involved.

I’ve never actually planned a Halloween costume. I have no idea how you psychopaths do that. My method is to throw on all black (shocker), douse myself in paint, find the nearest headgear, and call it a day. Then, you go out and whenever someone asks who you are, you obnoxiously say “What does it look like I am?” However they respond is now what you are. Basically, that’s how you become a skeleton, pirate, cannibal, and sexy pumpkin all in one night. That’s just showbiz, baby.

Lucky for me, my Italian hair-dresser saved the day. She legit stuffed one of her black smocks (smock is a weird word) into my bag and said: “Here, have a cape.” Sexy witch, here I come. Stylist Deb doing G-d’s work—I love it. Clearly, her selfless act did not go unnoticed. I caught the attention of a guy dressed as a sexy cop. He asked for my full name, address, birthday—and then I realized he was indeed not in costume at all and I was indeed receiving a fat fine for public intoxication. Stupid hot narc.

Bottom line, Halloween is the best holiday of the year. A bunch of weirdos running around half-naked or covered in blood—you never know what you’re going to get. Also, holiday-hack: if you’re a girl in your twenties and put on a mask and channel the voice of a small boy, you will never have to stop trick-or-treating. I don’t do that, I just heard one of my friends did it. And I was there. Don’t judge me. I have no idea where else to get 100 Grand bars without knocking on a stranger’s door disguised as a ninja turtle. Gender roles, am I right?

Super depressing that it’s over, but at least it’s about to get worse. All your slutty pics are about to surface and literally ruin your life. Bad weekend to be a school teacher. The best is coming into the office after all your ~ spooky ~ activities. All the Karens and Toms ask you what you did and you tell them “nothing special,” as if three hours ago you weren’t funneling handles of Fireball dressed as a sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg and vomiting into a pumpkin. Life experiences are everything. Happy Halloween!