True Life: You’re an Alien

By: Ali Benz

Do people even know what UFO stands for? It literally just means unidentified flying object. I consider a UFO to be that random scrap of meat the hibachi chef throws into your mouth and you just eat it no matter what because—showbiz. The term doesn’t directly relate to aliens, but it’s completely understandable if you grew up watching E.T. A UFO may be flying Japanese meat in my eyes, but to others, it’s the possibility of a whole other galaxy.

I’m down for an alien invasion just as much as the next guy. I just hope these slick extraterrestrials are single af. Everybody these days is either gay or married, so I’d take a handsome, tech-savvy E.T. any day of the week. My hopes are obviously up, but one can’t even be sure that the objects the Navy reported are extraterrestrial. The Navy is dramatic and prob just wants attention, or a day off from work. I told my boss I had tennis elbow to get a sick day, but I bet if I said I saw a UFO in 2015 he’d suggest a leave of absence for “personal reasons”.

Honestly, I think there are aliens all around us and we don’t even know it. For example, where in the world is Carmen San-Diego? Aka Melania Trump? I miss her so much. TBH Melania looks exactly like E.T. There. I said it. I am NOT bullying her. I know she is the obvious leader of the anti-bullying campaign. E.T. is super handsome. They both have that beautiful, copper skin, light eyes, and amazing figure. If they did a face-swap it would be the sexiest first-lady-alien alive, so don’t come at me like some alien body-shamer or whatever. I’m a fan. I just think it’s possible that Trump married an alien and was a huge fan of Steven Spielberg in the 1980s. Conspiracy theory people: Back me up here.

Everyone has their reasons for believing or not believing in intelligent-extraterrestrial life. The other week I was walking home from the bar and I was in a bind. My feet were too tired and Uber is unsafe so I made the obvious decision. I jumped on the back of a delivery man’s bicycle and asked him to drop me off on the Upper West Side. He pedaled me all the way home without asking any questions—and not just because he spoke zero English. As the wind blew through my hair on the heroic man’s handlebars, I realized that I was basically E.T. I’m clearly an alien too, or else I would’ve just taken a Lyft. I also learned that night that you shouldn’t drink on antibiotics. This was the year of realizing things, just like Kylie Jenner said! A modern Gandhi.

It’s rare that others will experience the spiritual awakening that I had. I think a lot of excitement around the UFO sightings is out of desperation. The state of the world is so wild right now that people want literally anything to believe in. From abortion bans to climate change it’s no wonder people are so quick to latch on to the idea of aliens. Maybe these UFOs are coming into awareness as our savior or a reason to give people hope. We all need something to put our faith in and honestly, I’m here for it. I thought Jonathan Cheban was our God, but apparently, he’s just a Foodgōd. Tragic.

This alien sh*t also could not have come at a better time. I just read an article about a new craze of people LARPing in the park with goats. Like there are humans literally role-playing as part of a goat fantasy at local farms in Connecticut. I hope the aliens abduct them first. As if CT needed one more reason for people not to visit. You really blew it, Nutmeg State. And yes, I’m from there. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be ~summering~ at Area 51. Montauk is for Muggles and my hometown is filled with LARP.

What the Smollett…

By: Ali Benz

I need to come clean: I walked around with a black smudge on my forehead on Ash Wednesday for personal gain. It wasn’t that serious, I just had to convince my trainer I gave up cardio for Lent. Genius, I know, but if I was a celeb it might’ve been cultural appropriation or some sh*t. It also didn’t help that I work out at the Jewish Community Center.

My little ash stunt wasn’t nearly as bad as recent scandals. I feel like we live in the Purge. Never seen that movie but I assume it goes something like this. There are literally no consequences for anything—especially if you have money. Jussie Smollett got away with his fake hate crime for the small price of 10k. Pretty good deal for a staged attack, don’t ya think? Must have been Black Friday (not a pun).

The Mueller Report essentially exonerated President Trump. This was a bigger let down than 7/11’s ban on Mango Juul pods. It’s fine that they found no collusion etc., but like why be so dramatic about it? There was this huge build-up for literally nothing. Does Robby Muellz just like the spotlight? Everybody is a star these days; My dog, hot lawyers, idiots on Summer House that blackout in the Hamptons—anyone. And it’s not even their fault. All of us want a story, so they give us a show. It doesn’t matter what’s wrong and what’s right, just keep it interesting.

Aunt Becky did not disappoint. Lori Loughlin bribed USC to enroll her daughter and now she’s more relevant than ever. She might even get a show! I tried to bribe a teacher once and he reported me. Still unsure how “If you round that up to a 90 I’ll cover your tab” is inappropriate, but I guess that’s what happens when you bump into your professor at a Ruby Tuesday. Although Loughlin’s “influencer” daughter, Olivia Jade, lost her make-up sponsors, she’s still winning in my book. I have literally never heard of her. Now I’m writing about her. I got waitlisted from USC and I slipped a twenty in my application but nobody wants to talk about that now do they? OJ (can I call her that?) slips a casual 500k with her Common App and all of a sudden she’s a BFD. Go big or go home I guess. Tragic.

Hate to bring up this rando again, but Jordyn Woods—WTF?! This girl dragged us through a devastating cheating scandal and now she’s America’s next top model? I fought for you, Jordyn! I cried and battled multiple strangers on the internet for you, Jordyn! Where is the loyalty? You played me for a fool, Jordyn! But you knew what you were doing. You caught the scandal bug. I respect it, considering you drop-kicked the Kardashians, shed a few tears for the people back home, then rose to fame overnight. I just wish some of us got the same treatment: When Woods blacks out at a party and hooks up with someone, she calls Will Smith. When my friends blackout at a guy’s party, we call Planned Parenthood. I just feel like it’s slightly unfair but whatever.

One minor step backward, two huge steps forward. Give us a good scam and we’ll sling you to stardom. I finally get why they say no publicity is bad publicity. Keep the people talking. I just wish my therapist understood. Every time I get kicked out of a bar she says I need to quit drinking. Jokes on her because all of downtown has been talking about me for weeks. If my calculations are correct I should be a star by noon.

 

Advanced Guide to Resume Building and Job Applications

By: Ali Benz

If you don’t have ‘Proficient in Excel’ on your resume, did you ever even create a resume? Just because you made that mailing list for your step-sister’s Quinceañera, doesn’t mean you’re an Excel pro, but you better believe it’s on my list of skills, right next to ‘Works well with others’. Doubt it.

Applications are just too confusing these days. I love how, in a desperate attempt to appear less prejudiced, forms will put ‘White’ as one of the second to last options. This is cute and all but I can literally never find it. Sometimes, for the sake of time, I just circle a random race so I’m not late to the interview. It was only awkward that time I chose Pacific Islander because I thought it sounded like a cocktail at Red Lobster.

The questions just get harder and harder. Do you ever get hit with the ‘Hispanic or Non-Hispanic’? It might as well say can you dance or not. I always feel a little offended by this one. They’re basically asking if you’re exotic or a basic b*tch. Not slick. Also, I never really know how to answer this super personal inquiry. In my heart, I do feel a little Hispanic—I did spend that one summer in Punta Cana and I might have dated a Salvadorian—but the question isn’t clear as to what qualifies. My advice is to just leave that one blank. First amendment type sh*t. #KnowYourRights.

It seems I’m not the first one to be confused by an application. Senator Elizabeth Warren was clearly a bit rattled when applying to Harvard. Maybe she wasn’t sure to what extent Native American they meant—just like I’m still confused if I could be considered Latina. Then again, I was just trying to get into Costco, not an Ivy League school. What she did was probably wrong, but I bet she would’ve been accepted even as a Pacific Islander. You can’t always just name-drop Pocahontas and get the job. Sometimes, you have to actually meet the requirements. For example, Jamie Lee Curtis is my fourth cousin and I still didn’t get the part in Freaky Friday. Lindsay Lohan is just a better actor, dancer, activist and—this is how you throw a party in Mykonos, b*tch.

Anyway, I’m not sure how much you should exaggerate on a school/job application. Maybe just enough? Like, if your idea of fluent in Spanish entails watching Narcos without the subtitles, then, by all means, throw it on the res. Just don’t apply to any positions that specify bilingual as a requirement. That’s a bigger let down than a Starbucks in a Target. No one wants a caramel macchiato from the place that sells tube-socks in bulk. Know your audience.

Race and name may influence some outcomes, but with all these ancestry tests who even knows what’s real. I’m surprised they don’t require you to attach your results to the common-app. Had there been a 23andMe kit back then, I would’ve checked off way more race/ethnicity boxes and really expanded my horizons. White girl from Connecticut just never had that “wow” factor. Luckily, my grandma forbids this testing because “why would we just hand our DNA over to the government?” Once again, I do not know what secret opps she’s running out of Boca Raton, Florida, but I continue to respect the hustle.

It’s no secret that everyone exaggerates a little to get a foot in the door. Just look at Paris Hilton. She managed to convince the whole island of Ibiza that she was a DJ, when really, she had spent the past ten years blacking out at Ultra Musical Festival and occasionally dancing near one of the Chainsmokers. All you can do is work hard to surpass the lies that are your resume. Get that job you are completely unqualified for, then become so great that you don’t need a last name, like Dunkin’ Donuts. Did they really change their name to just Dunkin’? Who do they think they are? Cher?

Hopefully, this helps you land your dream job. Takeaways from this post: always lie just enough to get inside, subtle brag that Jamie Lee Curtis is my fourth cousin, don’t rely on DNA testing. Anything is possible. I’ve received opportunities way out of my league, and I thought Big Pharma was the name of a rapper. Tragic.

 

Taylor Swift is Kind of a Big Deal

By: Ali Benz

There is no tougher security in the world than the ladies of the JCC front desk. I have literally snuck into clubs by telling bouncers I was already inside, but these women at the J are relentless. I could’ve known some of them since birth and they still wouldn’t let me in without ID. I’d have a better chance sneaking a guy into 1Oak by saying he’s my gay cousin.

Men are so quick to shame women of power because they’re intimidated. They troll them for being unladylike when they are fierce, brilliant, and courageous. No matter the position, women need to continue to stand their ground and fight, not letting misogynistic labels fear us into weakness. That’s why Irene at the Jewish Community Center is my hero, no matter how many times she kicks me out. Apparently, you need an actual membership, not proof of Bat-Mitzvah.

Whether you’re a female CEO, athlete, drug-dealer, whatever; you deserve equal rights. Growing up in a family of therapists was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because I was able to learn empathy. My siblings and I were encouraged to pursue our dreams, regardless of gender barriers—though I do wish someone stopped me from wearing basketball jerseys in every school picture. It was a curse because I was constantly being analyzed. If I was crying, my mom would always hit me with the “what’s this really about” line. I’d think I was crying because I fell off my pogo-stick again, but she’d help me realize I was acting out because I carry the burden of my great-grandfather who suffered through The Depression or something. I love therapy.

I am blessed to have my mom as a role model. She went back to school to get her psychology degree while we were growing up. In a time and place where she was expected to be a stay-at-home mom, my mother decided to get her Masters and begin a fulfilling career (not that raising me wasn’t fulfilling enough). It’s amazing to see more and more women become entrepreneurs and embody positions of power. However, we still need a steady number of housewives so that we don’t lose Bravo.

Seeing the way my mom runs her business and has evolved into a highly-respected psychologist has been incredible—especially because I have the best therapists in the city at my fingertips. I only wish she’d gone into a slightly less holistic field. I can’t tell you how many rocks and shells I’ve received as gifts that have a “spiritual meaning.” I appreciate the effort Cheryl, but I’d rather have a scarf, not this stone from your Healing Garden.

Regardless of current political outcomes, women cannot back down and need to be heard. Don’t let insecure, frat boys scare you from sharing your truth. Who knew Taylor Swift was capable of more than making us cringe at award shows? Ever since T-Swizzle got candid about her opposition to sexist candidates, voting registration rose by 65,000—ironically the same value of assets Bart O’Kavanaugh claims to have. Taylor Swift, a female, has a net worth of $280 million. Just saying.

Unfortunately, Trump is now only 75% a Swiftie, so I doubt he’ll be attending her Reputation Tour. Maybe he can use that time to hit happy hour with the Pope. They can discuss how much they love rape but hate abortion. Always nice to find common ground with a new friend. Tragic.

 

 

 

Mercury is Not in Retrograde

This has been an all-around weird week. I don’t know what it is, but something is off, so much so that I even googled if Mercury was in Retrograde, and I don’t even know WTF that means. And it’s not.

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Maybe it’s because I pre-gamed my Orange Theory class last night and got a minor concussion, or maybe it’s that Donald Trump finally texted me back, but I have not been able to think straight. For example, my dad just called and asked if I keep up with “The Moth.” I got super excited and was like, “OMG yes the memes with the lamps?!” There was a long, uncomfortable pause, and then he told me “The Moth” is actually an NPR segment, not a platform for the top moth memes in the country. He then carried on being a disappointed father. JK (I think)

Like most basic b*tches, my Lululemons and I went to Starbucks this morning for a cold brew. I was feeling wild, so I asked the cashier to throw in a spinach feta rap as well. She came back empty-handed and was like, “We only have one left”, and so I was like “Ok b*tch, hand it over.” As she rang it up, she looked me dead in the eyes and goes, “Are you sure you wanna do that?” and I’m just standing there panicking like yes, keep it down. I’m usually more alert but I fell for the trap when she asked for my name. Once they were done sautéing and flambéing my wrap in their luxury microwave, this girl has the nerve to yell, “Last spinach-feta wrap for ALI. Last one, for Ali!” and then literally hand-delivers it to me. I could feel the death stares from all surrounding basic b*tches in identical Lululemons. They practically shamed me out of my local Starbucks. Now I know how it feels to be Ted Cruz at a diner.

I’m also just realizing that this post is more basic than tragic, but, I’m too concussed and hungover from gluten-free pumpkin beer to care. F*ck. Not helping my case. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good weekend, except for Colin Kaepernick. Nothing political, I just hate his face.

Casamigos On The Ice

By: Ali Benz

Reality star Brett Kavanaugh made it very clear that he likes beer. Boys and girls like beer. V cool revelation. I, however, only drink Casamigos. I could go on about its vanilla undertones and sh*t, but seriously, you’ve got to try this tequila. Life-changing.

If you didn’t blow all of your summer money on Juul pods and sparkling seltzer, chances are you’re back on your bullsh*t. With this cold weather approaching, we are all gearing up in our best liquor blankets. No coat-check necessary.

As I made my triumphant return to nightlife, strictly for investigative journalism purposes, I grew extremely disappointed. Finding: people are still ordering bottles of Vodka to the table. I don’t care that your Tito’s is gluten-free, Sebastían, I want some f*cking Tequila. More specifically: Casamigos.

When I asked if any good alcohol would be coming, this uncultured swine of a bottle girl offered me a shot of Patrón. Tragic. I mean, did I take it? Yeah—there are sober children in Africa. I’m not a monster. But it was awful. My palette is clearly way too refined.

At least it wasn’t Vodka. Tequila comes from the agave plant and is way better for you according to, like, science…and Pitbull. Dalé.

If only Casamigos knew how much (of other people’s) money I’ve spent on their products. Maybe then they wouldn’t have left me on read when I slid in the DM. Over it.

Anyway, if you don’t idolize Mr. 305 the way I do, then maybe you should know that this tequila was founded/blessed by silver-fox George Clooney himself. So, if you’re having trouble stomaching silver-sex-offender Kavanaugh this week, grab yourself a bottle of Georgie’s Casamigos, and try to black-out the way poor little Brettski never could.