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Balls! Or: Which Team Do You Play For, Or: Gratuitious Use of Euphemisms for a Sports-Related Post

Apparently, some sports season is winding down and/or another one is winding up. Something about brackets? I’m not sure. I just know that there’s been more talk of teams around the office and the group emails from my college alumni group are starting to be full of lots of ticket swap talk.

Unofortch, no one is anteing tix to see these fellas play.

I really wish I got the sports thing. I think this is the one only-child trait that I hang on to. I’m not overly selfish. I can play well with others. I don’t mind sharing. But I just don’t understand team sports. I remember standing on the volleyball court in school and thinking “So…did you want to handle this or do you want me to? There’s like 6 of us. Are we really all needed, because I have some arpeggios to practice if you’re good.”

HOW many people does it take to get a ball over a net?? The ball's not heavy, the net's not that high, just have that one gal toss it over, done!

You’d think I would have absorbed something useful about sports by now. I am, after all, from Texas, where football is a very big deal. And because I was extra cool, I was in marching band in both high school and college. So I went to a LOT of football games.

Yup. I sported that outfit. Proudly. Go LHB!!

But the things I most looked forward to had nothing to do with the game. In high school, we were allowed to take the boxes our hats came in into the stands with us to store our bright, white feathered plumes before and after the half-time performance. But you know what else those boxes could hold? Calculus and French text books!!! I was always so happy to have an extra four hours to work on homework, that I generally forgot to watch the field.

In college, my favorite part of the game was right after the half-time show when we would get applause and apples. They’d pass around this box of fruit and it was just delicious!! I mean, I think I was supposed to be happy that one of our players won a Heisman or something and that I got to see him play every week. But those apples were like the best apples ever.

There are a few general reasons why I can’t get on board with team sports:

I hate seeing men cry. I mean, I love it when men are emotionally avail, but it just breaks my heart to see them cry.

It's okay, little soldier. I'm here. I'm right here.

And guys often cry after losing a game. They’d try not to, but through their clenched lips and stern looks, you could see tears just welling up and them doing that not-blinking thing so that the tears wouldn’t actually fall. I’m misting up now just thinking about it.

I put things in perspective.  A friend was lamenting the fact that the Buffalo Bills have lost four Superbowls and thus people make fun of them. And I’m like “But they WENT to the Superbowl!! They made it there!! I can’t get to the Superbowl. That’s a serious accomplishment.” Apparently, just making it to the SB isn’t quite good enough. I’m a giant perfectionist and I still don’t get that.

I can’t stand to see people get hurt. I’m a huge baby when it comes to other people’s pain. My roommate once broke his toe in front of me and I had to call a doctor because I was the one who passed out.

And when it comes to specific sports, there’s just too many things that don’t make sense.

Baseball: You get in trouble for doing the right things. In the spirit of “okay, maybe I can learn to like this,” I played softball once a couple of years ago. I was up to bat. The pitch came toward me and I steeled myself for the contact. Dug my toe into the dirt, rotated back and CRACK!!! I hit the ball really high and really far. It was super impressive flying into the sun like that. Like a bird. A round, wingless birdie.

Like a kiwi! Only I'd never hit a kiwi with a bat. Even to give it the gift of flight.

And then I got OUT!!! Excuse me?? I just did something GOOD. I just demonstrated a serious piece of timing, strength and coordination and you PUNISH me for it??

Fuck that!

I haven’t played since.

Soccer: Thought I was gonna like this one because they don’t stop the clock. Yay!  A night, tight 90-minute game with nice, tight bodies running up and down the field. Low scoring, but that’s okay… until they do that bullshit kick off at the end!

I don’t remember what the score was, but at this match I went to in Australia, apparently, the judge or ref or officials or whatever didn’t care what it was. These players had just exhausted themselves and instead of going with what was on the scoreboard, they had a kick off where the first one to make a goal won the whole effing game! What?? Why not just do that at the beginning if you don’t care about the effort that went into it? Sheesh!

I'm sorry, was I complaining about something? I suddenly got distrac---

Basketball: Too many points. If it’s that easy to get points, it’s just doesn’t seem challenging. I would like it better though, I think if the guys went back to wearing those shorty shorts that they used to.

No surprise that the sports I do like are individual events. And super white.

Tennis: I played when I was in school. Classy, simple, elegant. And if you’re a girl, you get to have fun making the audience feel like pervs when you vocalize your impacts and efforts.

exactly how I looked when I played in school. Perhaps explains why I never went pro.

Equestrian Things: Who doesn’t want to have something and powerful between their legs? Seriously, though, horses are wonderful and they can fly!

Lindy Hop: If you think swing dancing isn’t an athletic pursuit, you clearly haven’t seen this video.

Tissu: Just getting into this now. First class is this weekend. Went to Cirque a couple of weeks ago. Squealed like a little kid throughout. Signed up for a class. Have clearly overestimated my hand and shoulder strength, flexibility, stamina and comfort with heights, but  looking forward to it!

If I get into this position, I will never get out.

Click here for an Oreo guide to regular sports.

And here to choose the right NCAA team for Oreos.

And if you’re of color and you’re going to play a sport, be sure no one else looks like you, or you’re going to confuse reporters.

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If you’re a sports fan, what is it that draws you into a game? Did you play yourself? Do you have friends who play? Let us know in the comments!

******

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Racist or Just Busy?

Politicians have this way of saying things that to the untrained ear sound “mean” or “racist” or “really really dumb.”

But I don’t think it’s that sinister. What do you think? Check out the video and then let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Sappy Songs on a Sunday

Next on my list of ways to procrastinate instead of just writing the pages that I’m supposed to hand over to people tomorrow (sorry, M and J!) is to make a playlist of songs that I love…but that also make me cry a little bit.

I’ve already exhausted watching episodes of the BBC hit “How Clean is Your House,” making my own bathroom cleanser from scratch, annoying my cats and convincing myself not to go to the Cicada Club tonight (is anyone going to the Cicada Club tonight?). So this iTunes journey seems like the next best thing.

Here’s what I have so far! These are some of the songs that will cause me to show up for 8:30 a.m. production meetings with smudged mascara because I couldn’t just had to listen to them as I pulled into the parking lot at work.

Tom Waits – San Diego Serenade. This song gets five out of five tear stains. Just so lovely and evocative and simply lyriced.

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. All of the versions of this song make me just want to slit my wrists they’re so gorgeous. But this one is the first one I heard. That’s not true. The first one I heard was done by a men’s a capella group from an Ivy League College. This is the second one I heard. And it is glorious!

Tim Minchin – If I Didn’t Have You. This is one of my favorite pieces of art ever. It sounds flippant at first, but then is just wow. Poignant and lovely and true. Also, he’s an Ozzie, so he pronounces the word “drama” as “dramer” which is equally as awesome as the song.

This Song from Next to Normal – Maybe. If you haven’t seen this play. See it, but be prepared to develop a drinking problem immediately afterwards. It’s beautiful, but depressing as eff.

Elaborate Lives from Aida. I know, there’s a black person in this video. But she’s dating a white dude, so it’s all good. Also, she’s Heather Headley who is hands down amazing. And she GETS TO KISS ADAM PASCAL. I would probably give every thing that I’ve ever owned or will to re-make this video with Adam. He did touch my shoulder once. I know he thought it was as special as I did. There are 46,000 views of this video. I’m pretty sure that 45,900 are mine .

Part of Your World. Yup.  A song about a girl dreaming to be something she’s not. How could that not move this Oreo to tears?

Also, the lyric “…How many wonders can one cavern hold…” Am I the only one who thinks that’s secretly dirty?

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What songs make you tear up? Let us know in the comments!

******

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

I just read a book should be required reading. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s as crucial as the classics, as informative as an encyclopedia and as page-turning as [insert name of popular graphic novel franchise here].

I’m talking about The Game – the expose into the society of Pick Up Artists by Neil Strauss.

Fresh off the heels of something disappointing with some dude, a good friend told me to read it. This is a friend who lives by the “rules” of dating. I don’t have time to wait X number of days to call someone or not return emails so as to appear “unavailable” and I kinda like the ol’ ones and twos too much to sport a fake chastity belt so that Mr. RightAfterIFinishWatchingModernFamilyIt’sAReallyGoodShow!! thinks that I’m a good mother-virgin-whore. So when she suggested I read this book, I was reticent to do so.

Listen, Phil. I know you're married...and not real. But you know, if anything changes... I'll be right here

If you haven’t read it, here’s the sitch: The book follows the author as he descends into the world of Pickup Artistry. Basically, these dudes get together and perfect elaborate games, schemes and tricks to make women sleep with them. They keep score, they try to “sarge” as many “two and three sets” as possible while “pea-cocking” at clubs. There’s a whole lingo and costumes and general douchebaggery.

This is one of the "masters" of the art of pick up. He gets girls. Lots of them. And they let him touch them. Ah well, everyone has a type, I guess, right?

The worst part of the story is that the tricks seem to work. Hot women fall for this madness and make life more difficult for regular looking heady girls like.. um.. you know, no one in particular.

One of the favorite tricks goes like this: Step One: Find a woman you’re interested in talking to. Step Two: Insult her. She will feel the need to defend her honor to you and will then suck up to you to prove to you that she’s not mean/ugly/smelly/needy/bitchy/boring or whatever it is you told her she was. Step 3: Show here where you keep your meat and two veg.

Though idk why women would be insecure. Not like this is part of the beauty standard or anything. Also heehee, you can see her buns!!!

There’s also a bunch of stuff about hypnotizing people on the spot and duping girls into threesomes by pretending you know fuck all about Eastern massage techniques.

I read the book, fascinated by its exploration of hubris and pathos and certain that no regular person would ever think that this was the way to try and relate to other human beings.

And then I started paying attention to the way strangers talked to me.

And then I wanted to weep for all of mankind.

I don’t know that the three men I’m about to describe were actually and actively trying to hit on me. And maybe they really did just want me to go away. But there was something about the cavalier way that they were so super rude that it made me think they might believe this is how you’re supposed to talk to people.

A few nights ago, I was at a networking event. I was meant to meet someone there and they hadn’t arrived, so I was standing there feeling very awkward and trying not to look like it. I remembered one thing that the book DID suggest that is actually just helpful for starting conversations with strangers in general.

It described the benefit of greeting strangers with something other than “hey, what’s your name?” That is a boring way to start a conversation and makes people feel like you’re going to stand there forever and chat them up. Instead, they suggest, start with either a fun question about the event/picture you’re both looking at/drink you’re both drinking, etc. Or to ask them a question that they might be able to answer. This changes the interaction from interview to conversation immediately.

I approached a couple of guys and asked if they knew the host of the party. We were all invited via email list and didn’t know the guy throwing the shindig personally. They said they didn’t and we joked about how he might be a ninja or a wraith or some sort of rogue operative. It was fun and light and everyone was having a perfectly good time.

I asked the guys what they did. It was an industry networking event, after all, and so questions about the industry should be expected.

“Ugh!” one of the guys said. “I hate that question. It’s so fake and LA. I always ask ‘what do you do creeeeativelyyyyyyy?’ That’s way better.”

“Oh, I said. Well, it was great meeting you, then.” And I turned and walked away.

About 45 seconds later, I found myself at the beginning of another conversation. This time with a photographer. We got to talking about models and photoshopping and I said something about feminism and photography and he said:

“Well, if you’re such a feminist, then why are you wearing a short skirt?”

“I’m wearing this because I like it,” I snapped back. “I think it’s cute and fun and it’s comfortable. And, it was nice meeting you.”

And I turned and walked away.

That night I checked out ye olde dating profile (I really should take an effing break from that shiz) and someone messaged me and said that he just couldn’t understand why that was my favorite movie. It’s just so maudlin and over the top and dull.

Not dull.

Though he did get points for using the word maudlin, I was like: “What’s with all the insults??”

There’s a huge difference between saying “I hear there’s some contention in feminist circles over traditionally “girlie” clothing. What do you think about that?” And an accusation of being a liar.

If you’re taking the time to email me via my dating profile, why tell me that my fave movie is stupid?

And even if the weird black girl is hurting your game with the models (and oh, there were models) who I’m positive were just waiting to rip your pants off, why be a dick about it?

Conversation is not a competition.

And Sunset Boulevard is an excellent film.

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Does being a jerk at first blush really ingratiate you to most of the population?

What do you think of the rules? Do you play by them? How’s that going? Let us know in the comments!

******

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Awkward Questions and Answers About Black Hair (an FAQ)

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Yesterday was one of those days when I walk into the office and someone says, “Did you… cut? your hair?”

I didn’t cut my hair.

“But it looks…different. What did you do?”

The answer to that question is not simple. Well, technically, it is. The actual answer is “washed it.” But to say that opens up way more questions and I have production reports to print out and copy.

Aww, haven't an allusion to Rob Schneider in forever! Those are still relevant, right?

These questions also present one of the trickiest things about being a dedicated Oreo. No matter how many show-jumping ribbons you’ve won, you are still have to deal with maintaining, and explaining, what’s going on up there.

So I’m devising this FAQ to hand out whenever my hair changes. Feel free to print it out and pin it up on the wall for easy reference. If you are an Oreo yourself, consider these talking points.

Q: So…did you cut your hair?

A: Nope. Oh! Did you see La Traviata this weekend? Just gorgeous!!

Truth be told, I was hoping to see Die Zauberflöte.

Q: Huh. It looks different.

A: It kind of has a mind of its own. And how hot was it Saturday? I could barely enjoy that Farmers’ Market at the Marina. And now my mangoes are totally overripe. It hurts me to squeeze them.

Q: …was that some sort of euphemism?

A: Not at all. I’m just really bummed about how tender my beautiful, gorgeous mangoes are now. I mean, just look at them.

Ah well, when life gives you bad mangoes, grab some vodka and turn that sh*t into a 'tini.

Q: I don’t think that’s appropriate.

A: All right, well, I’m taking them out at lunch if you want to see.

(See what you’ve done? You’ve created a diversion! Congratulations!)

Q: Well, whatever you did to it, your hair looks great.

A: Thank you.

Q: So…what did you do to it?

IF THIS CONVERSATION IS HAPPENING AFTER A RELAXER….

A: I got it done.

Q: Oh… What does that mean?

Here’s where you have a choice. You can either say: “Well, I spent two hours having white goop spread on my scalp to make all those annoying tight little curls go away.” But again, that brings up a lot of technical questions that really take some time to get into and those production reports are not going to print themselves.

A: I just… get it…straightened.

Q: Ohhhh, so your hair isn’t naturally straight?

This is a dumb question. By and large, black people hair is not naturally straight. But it’s one that a lot of people ask. And once it’s asked, the floodgates tend to open. If there’s anyway to stop talking at this point, do it. Fake a seizure, have someone call your cell phone like you’re on an awkward first date, start bleeding.

If you can’t reasonably get out of it, play along. You’re a good Oreo after all and to act embarrassed or self-conscious or irritated that people can’t just leave your hair alone would just make you look all uppity.

A: No, it’s not.

Q: So, if you just grew your hair out, what would happen?

A: It’d just get big.

Q: Like would you have…?

A: An afro, yes.

Q: You know, I kind of think those little afros are cute. Have you ever thought about growing one?

A: Oh god, no.

Q: Really because [random celebrity of color] has one and she looks really cute.

A: Oh really? Well, have you thought about making a bow out of blonde extensions and putting that on top of your head?

Like this.

Q: Um.. no, why?

A: Oh, well Gaga did that at some awards show, so… you know

Note: Don’t do this. Oreos are sweet, kind, accommodating people. We do not make points or draw attention to gaps in logic.

Q: Really because [random celebrity of color] has one and she looks really cute.

A: Huh, I can’t picture him/her right now. S/he wasn’t in Terrence Malik’s latest, right?

Q: Uh… no.

IF THE QUESTIONS DO NOT COME AFTER A RELAXER….

Q: So what did you do? It looks… fluffier?

A: Just regular washing. Eventually, my hair just ‘goes back.’

Q: What does that mean?

A: It just starts to get curly again?

Q: Oh, so your hair’s not naturally straight.

And there you have it. Though sometimes, you’ll get a few other questions.

Q: Can I touch it?

A: Eh, I’m really weird about personal space.

Q: But c’mon, we’re making out. And I’m already touching your pretty pretty face. Can’t I touch your hair, gorgeous?

A: Okay, fine.#blush(ifIcould) #swoon

Q: Have you ever thought about extensions?

A: Every day of my life. Black hair is really difficult, time consuming and expensive to manage. You have to either buy specialty oils to keep a natural ‘do looking good. Or you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get your scalp burned off once every 6-8 weeks. Or you have to spend more hundreds of dollars to have someone else’s hair sewn into your scalp. And also you have to answer questions like these on the regular.

NOTE: Do not say that. Just say yes. Or better yet “mais oui!”

Q: How do you wash it?

A: With a very delicate regime of shampoo, conditioner and water.

Q: Did you see that documentary Chris Rock did, Good Hair? That was really interesting.

A: I’m not really a Chris Rock fan.

Q: No? I think he’s so funny! I love his stand up.

A: I mean, I would turn down a ticket, but I’d rather go see Eddie Izzard.

If you don't get the joke on this button, go Google it right now and watch the brilliance that unfolds before you. Don't worry, we'll be here when you get back.

Q: So what–

A: Agh, I hate to cut you off, but I have got to get these production reports done, put these mangoes in the fridge and find someone to frame this dressage certificate.

—–

The one good thing about black hair care is that it’s all pretty painful. Relaxers burn like fire, pressing burns with oil that feels like it’s on fire and extensions are woven so tight you get an instant face lift. It’s a little bit of perfectly reasonable self-punishment to bring absolution like fasting or the Silas belt from The Da Vinci Code.

But you do have to choose wisely and pick the pain that’s right for you. Use this primer to weigh the pros and cons and tell us what you think!

And as you know, we love awkward situations here at The Oreo Experience. Whether it’s a a fancy engagement party or during a hike to the Hollywood sign, embarrassing moments are awesome. What are some of your best cringe-worthy stories? Let us know in the comments!

And I’m not saying I didn’t trust you to look up that Eddie Izzard bit. Buuuuut, just in case you didn’t. Voila!

******

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Talking Vagina Hands Are Big Douchebags

Huzzah! Summer’s Eve found a way to make women hate both their skin colors and their lady junk!

But BOO! Thanks to Fourth Estate outrage, the ads were pulled.

Yup. That's what Summer's Eve thinks a vagina looks like.

The douche company (literally, that’s not a slam) put out a series of ads where hands pretend to be vajayjays and extol the virtues of their completely unnecessary product that dangerously changes the ph levels inside of a very sensitive area leading to fun things like yeast infections and thus even more self-loathing while taking on the persona of various ethnicities, of course speaking with completely accurate, non-stereotype-tastic vernacular. I mean, when my squish mitten talks to me, it always says “Girrrrrrl” first.

I don’t think an ad campaign has made me shudder about my skin so much since McDonald’s PR geniuses said this on their website.

Like the unique African Baobab tree, which nourishes its community with its leaves and fruit, McDonald’s has branched out to the African-American community nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities.

Highlights of the videos included an African American pudding hatch gettin’ ready to go to da club and a Latino yippee bog saying things like “Ay yi yi” in an accent Speedy Gonzalez would be proud of.

And don’t worry, Blanchetourage members, they didn’t leave you out. The white ham wallet like totes wants to be BFFs!

The vids aren’t avail on youtube anymore, but thanks to Adweek.com, you can watch them here. Please do. It’s a real treat. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

UPDATE: A friend (who may or may not choose to remain nameless) found one of the vids on yt! Here it is. Until further notice (ie. more of my friends do the hard work for me), check out the other two vids at the link above.

NEW UPDATE: Summer’s Eve pulled the videos again and again, but here they are!! Again, courtesy of Adweek.com

Summer’s Eve may not know how to take care of ladies’ bodies, but at least they’re helping make more Oreos! If after watching the video any new converts have questions, start here and send me a message letting me know you’re in!(Special thanks to Bloodhound Gang for writing the following song and thus contributing largely to this post)

To see an ad make forced labor look like high fashion, check out this post.

And for another video requisite for Oreo training, click here.

What do you think of these vids? Did Summer’s Eve make the right move by pulling them? What does it imply they were made in the first place?

And in case there’s a fave euphemism of yours that I was not able to use above, let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Oreo Road Trip! 3 More Places to Feel Really Awkward About Being Black

Being an Oreo (or supporting a friend in their Oreo journey) requires regular visits to places that make you pretty bummed out about not being white.

We talk about how going to the movies can achieve this.  Spending time with the right friends and co-workers can, too.

But if you feel like doing a bit of driving (in your Oreo-approved Mini Cooper–the originals, not the new ones that obliterate the purpose of being mini by being the size of a totally regular car– or on your Vespa) here are three places to check out on your journey away from your ethnicity.

DAVE AND CHANTAL’S HOUSE

What Will You See There?  Pictures of their recent South African wedding (awwwww!)…where they chose a “colonial”  theme (awwww—okaaaaay) and to round out the effect, and made sure that all the all-white crowd was attended to by a fleet of all black servants–just like in the good ol’ colonial days!!! (awwwwwkward!!!)

The smiles were as genuine as the nostalgia

*Bonus points if you hang out with the wedding coordinator who, upon hearing this idea seconded it and unembarrasedly put out an employment notice requesting the specialized staff.

PLANTATION CHAPELS

What Will You See There?  Beautiful homes (awwwwww!) that were home to wealthy wealthy slave-owners (awww–kaaaay) and where slave quarters are kept in preserved, working conditions (awwwwwkward!!)

Well, black families did do really well on plantations, right Bachmann?

*Bonus points if you don’t skip the Confederate flag as a commentator who was mentioned in this article on the trend suggested.

THE PINKBERRY NEAR MY HOUSE

What Will You See There? I mentioned recently that a very helpful employee at my local Pinkberry suggested that out of all the flavors available, I might like watermelon the best. I decline and went with my staple mango and original tart.

I thought this was a one time thing, but no! I went back and the conversation went very similarly:

Pinkberry Worker: What can I get for you?

OreoExperience: Mango and original tart, please.

Pinkberry Worker: Watermelon?

OreoExperience: Mango and original tart, please.

Pinkberry Worker: Oh, okay. Oh.. are you with them?

I turned around and saw another black family at the back of the store. They entered about 3 minutes after I did. We hadn’t spoken to each other and our body language was in no way open towards each other (thanks for following the rules, btw, Other Black People!). Surely he couldn’t’ have meant them.

OreoExperience: Who?

Pinkberry Worker: Them.

He did.

OreoExperience: No.

Pinkberry Worker: Okay…. I’m sorry, did you say wa–

OreoExperience: Mango

For toppings, I'll take yogurt chips, kiwi slices and just a spoonful of embarassment

*Bonus Points if you keep going back to this Pinkberry….like I do.

___

Where are your favorite places to road-trip, awkward or otherwise? Let us know in the comments!

******

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!