Likes This Status

Hello, my name is Bligh and I am addicted to likes. It's been...36 seconds since I last liked something. I think about liking things all the time. Like, I* like everything mostly. There's much to like. The things I want to like the most usually include, but are not limited to are the following: babies, anything related to Chipotle, anytime anyone mentions Beyonce, pictures of babies wearing sunglasses, love, witty comments, and any documentation of babies wearing sunglasses eating in a Chipotle while saying something witty and executing that lil handshake bit from Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video.

I'm trying to like less as I'm aware it's just a manifestation of the bigger addiction to social media. But the LIKES man! I need to click the like. It feels so good. It makes me feel like I've done something worthwhile with my day, regardless of the fact I'm still in pajamas youtubing "how to cornrow" ad nauseum. I've liked shit. I'm spreading love, one like at a time! And mayhaps, I'm like, the Buddha of Likes. I'm an Enlightened Liker! (This is now a thing. You should probably like it.)

And there's the word like. It's completely perfect. So many different, distinct meanings and phrases wrapped into such a wee, overused, generational trend of a word! Sometimes a like is all, "thank you." And then you see a friend's funny quip and you want them to know, "good one" so you LIKE all up on it! Another friend is with child? Fantastic! I LIKE that so much for you! Not for me. I'm good. But YOU. Namaste to you and your babe in the womb! Sometimes, a like simply means, "I saw that." I'm trying to avoid these likes...but...the temptation to make sure I catch every single thing every single person I've met once at a Wicked ECC says/documents/does is just...too much for this addict.

I know I like too much. In order to work on this little problem of mine, I've devised a plan of action. For each impetus I have to "like" something on social media a friend of mine has posted, I take a deep breath, and if applicable, I call their number. The first victim? My younger brother and Draco Malfoy impersonator, Eamon Wall Voth. Our interaction went something like this:

ME: HEY! Eamon! What's going on in your life today? How're things? How's that girl you met on OkCupid who manages that froyo store at home I like?

EAMON: ...that's over...

ME: But it just started?

EAMON: Yeah, she wasn't the one.

ME: ...Okay. And ALSO, I want you to know that I really like  your new profile picture.

EAMON: Thanks, it was taken on a rooftop.

ME: I LIKE THAT. I LOVE roofs! Awesome Eamon, really great.

EAMON: Are you doing alright? Go get a Dunkin, you'll feel better...

Based on the above interaction, I think it's time to find a different way to combat the addiction to like. I can't like it all. No one can. That's just silly. And there are things outside to do! And air to breathe! And books to read! And hair to cornrow! And human beans* to truly interact and connect with. I know this might not change overnight. Addiction is a strong and rude biddie that will vomit on your favorite pair of shoes and not even apologize. But we keep trying, every day, a little bit more. And the dream? The dream is we'll all "like" ourselves enough to not feel obligated to like or be liked by anyone else. That's the dream. I fuckin' love it.

*"human beans" is a reference from the awesome awesome book The Borrowers which I read at least three times while part of my Catholic school's elite (read: dorky) Battle of the Books Club right around the tender age of 11, and I think you should take a minute and read it, too, if you haven't already. Boom.


The Poor Girl's Guide to Luxurious Substitution

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July is so stupid. It’s just so stupid. Stupid July, stupid month where I’ve lost my monthly subway pass not once, not twice, but three times in the last week and a half. And no I’m not going to take responsibility for that because the moon is probably in some weird phase. So while I wait for MTA to get their lives together and refund me approximately $220.00 (hoefully before the winter of 2016) I will go back to my poor, poor-girl roots. Not the literal ones, although those are rearing their mousy brown heads, but the metaphorical ones. I took a little time, made a budget, cried, had a cup of tea and resolved to make a list of all my financial lifestyle shortcuts which manage to retain that oh so endearing air of bougie. If you’re fearing for your financial well-being like myself, I also suggest taking a deep breath and acknowledging that none of us came out of our mother’s vagina holding fistfuls of hundred dollar bills. Not a one. Without further ado here is:


Poor girl’s avocado- Eggs in every possible way they can be prepared.

Poor girl’s dessert- White toast with butter, sugar sprinkled on top.

Poor girl’s steak tartar- Raw hamburger meat.

Poor girl’s cocktail- Diet coke and Chateau Diana (I prefer the Merlot) mixed together served in whatever you own which most closely resembles a goblet.

Poor girl’s kombucha- Old strawberries in your fridge muddled in lukewarm water.

Poor girl’s energy drink: Pour a whole Emergen-C packet in your mouth, add a little bit of water and swish it all around.

Poor girl’s whiskey- Now we don't mess around here. Buy whatever you damn well please!

Poor girl’s botox- Bangs.

Poor girl’s facelift- A very severe, pulled back top knot.

Poor girl’s colonic- Coffee.

Poor girl’s manicure/pedicure- That $4 polish change from your favorite nail girl. Lest we forget Betty, remember?

Poor girl’s makeover- Sephora counter for a full beat, but buy ONLY the lip color.

Poor girl’s dry cleaning- 1 part rubbing alcohol 2 parts water in a spray bottle and go to town on anything that smells.

Poor girl’s itunes spree- SoundCloud.

Poor girl’s shopping spree- This blog.

Poor girl’s workout- Start a fight in a bar to the point where you run out fast for a few blocks (in heels).

Poor girl’s brunch- Diet coke and a cigarette.

Poor girl’s day out in NYC- Trip to go get a library card (DON’T forget that proof of address!)

Poor girl’s theatre date- YouTube the Kennedy Center Honors.

Poor girl’s movie date- Every Netflix documentary in the "Newly Added" section.

Poor girl’s fancy bar date- Wrap yourself in twinkly lights and spread a blanket on the floor and eat small pickles. This is what every bar in Brooklyn is like.

Poor girl’s Sara Bareilles concert- Drink a half box of pink wine and unabashedly cry and dance to the whole “Blessed Unrest” album.

Poor girl’s therapy session: Call a wise gay man.


For most of my life I've had the great fortune of being raised by drastically dissenting opinions on just about everything from religion to politics to education to art. Mama Voth is a all KINDS of liberal, Hillary Clinton is her spirit animal, while Daddy Voth is much more conservative. It used to make me very angry that there was rarely ONE topic of conversation that wasn't argued to death, or over analyzed or picked apart and challenged. But in hindsight it's allowed for the creation of my own very strong opinions without feeling the familial pressure to conform to a unified consensus. And so when I say I am one hundred percent behind gay rights and Equality, that is all me, all my choice. I love gay men. Gay men are my best friends, and my coworkers, my confidantes, my family. A lot of gay men happen to be my ex-boyfriends. I love and admire anyone who possesses the courage to live their lives honestly, with integrity, perhaps even when it is difficult to do so knowing that others will ostracize you for that honesty.

All that being said: I called a gay bartender a queen in the derogatory sense during Pride Week and now I feel like a huge asshole. I guess...well, no no, I feel really horrid. I've never been one for intense name calling in moments of duress and anger, mostly because my brain and mouth have the blessing of only working in tandem when I'm on a happy, funny roll. (That's a nice way of saying when I think I'm being happy and funny.) Fortunately or unfortunately I am a believer in the weight of words. Recently, when I've been angry, I'm going to call you a name. Probably a lot of names. Until I find the one that really bothers you. This seems to be a generational trend. If a woman doesn't want to sleep with a man, she's a bitch. If a man cheats on his girlfriend he's an asshole or a dick. Or both. If a gay man reads the crap out of you, he's a queen or a faggot or a slew of other names. And in the moment, when we've felt slighted or accosted, it seems absolutely acceptable and downright necessary to "protect" ourselves.

The reality is, there is absolutely nothing acceptable about using derogatory names. I just keep thinking how goddamn ignorant I was that night. For goodnesssake, I've gone to THREE fake colleges, I'm in a BOOK CLUB, I read the Washington Post (only the front page, and the Style section in its entirety) and I know better than that. No, but really, all humor aside, I do. This year, I just want to surround myself with intelligent, assertive, confident people and I (too often) am not one of them. I wouldn't want to be around me sometimes. I sit and preach from my blog pulpit of self indulgence about why you shouldn't call me a bitch (read this vintage blog post) and I profess to be enlightened enough to write my observations of people in this city and I have no fucking right. Not when I possess a wellspring of language that could intelligently articulate my feelings without stooping to lowest common denominator parlances.

One of the best parts of having a self-indulgent thing like a blog is that I can use it however I want. I want to say sorry. An honest, sarcasm free, sorry to Aaron the bartender. You called my friend a cunt. And I called you a queen. And none of that was necessary or mature. I'm sorry for not apologizing on the spot when I should have. I'm sorry for having the audacity to be offended when people call me names when I'm clearly no better. I don't know where you stand on the weight of words, but I know where I do. And if I'm not smart enough to respond to you name calling with poise and intelligence, than I shouldn't engage at all.

Should we allow racial or sexual epitaphs to have this amount of power? I don't know. Maybe not. Maybe there is a lot of peace that needs to be made with the words and a lot of accountability that needs to be held over the action or impetus of the anger behind their use. I can only speak for myself. I will still falter, that much is true. I'll still swear like a sailor, but to be fair, "fuck" is the Irish verb/adjective/pronoun of choice and that is a habit which (best case scenario) will die a slow, slow death. I'll do the best I fucking can. And maybe, let's all take a minute to assess if we are surrounding ourselves with people who challenge us to do the same.

Hashtag Perspective

Today, I lost my ID. This might not seem like a big deal to you, dear reader, but my ID was the only article that I've SOMEHOW been able to keep ahold of for the last ten years of my life. I've lost two cell phones, a half dozen clutches, my favorite romper EVER en route to the dry cleaners on a windy day, and years of my life and brain cells to the Real Housewives franchise. But I've never lost my ID. I took pride in that. It was always like, "My dignity has been lost in Bethesda, Maryland but I STILL HAVE MY ID!" And now? Now I can't even brag about that menial success. I was feeling pretty poorly about myself, about how I'm a shoddy excuse for an adult and I will probably die alone surrounded by empty containers of chocolate frosting and 17 cats, still sans ID, when I realized: this is ridiculous. There are real problems. This surely cannot be a real problem. I mean, yes it is, because it's an inconvenience. And I guess I'll have to bring my passport to Trader Joe's Wine Shop now. But it'll be fine. And there are PLENTY of things I haven't lost in my 25 years on this earth! Like, important things that make me happy! That matter more than a picture of me that had my weight (which I DID NOT sanction) and height written underneath a shot which made me look like I was in women's prison. Let me tell you something. The secret to being a happy person? Lists. I swear to you. Make em biddies, they will never let you down. So without further ado, here is:


1) My last name. -Still got it! Not married! Still mine! And it's scary to look at, so the fact that I've never discarded it is nothing to scoff at. Voth. It's strong, it makes a guttural sound when spoken aloud, and people pronounce it two different ways which gives me an air of my head...after wine.

2) My grandmother's gold charm bracelet. - I love that thing, but that thing has also been a great many places it shouldn't have. Like Cabo. And college. Aside from any monetary value, that charm bracelet makes me feel very elegant and lady like and genteel and it reminds me of my grandmother. It should come out on special occasions like Christmas and the day Peeps become seasonally appropriate to carry in your local CVS. Not for girl's trips to Mexico. No.

3) My Shoe. -I have never ever been THAT girl who's like, "I lost a shoe somewhereeeeeelikkeeeeeat like, Bowery and Houston?!?" She says this when you are absolutely nowhere near Bowery and Houston. I have never been that girl. I've done silly (read: moronic) things LIKE this, but never this.....please let me claim my small victory.

4) My IPad. -Now this is a true triumph because many a many a MANY a time I have left my iPad places but I always remember where it is and quickly retrieve! Just mere months ago I left my iPad on a Megabus and the minute I realized, ran through Union Station like Holly Golightly trying to save that cat in the rain! (Side note: I had to google "top ten famous romantic movies" to find a reference I liked most. And like, A LOT of romantic movies end with a run-back-to-the-one-you-love scene! Except for A Walk to's that.)

5.) My keys. -Boom. That's a big one. Lots of people lose their keys! NOT ME MOTHERSSSSS. I mean, they're impossible to lose because I carry a key to almost every place I've ever lived, everyone I work for, and at least three copies of my home key in Virginia. Daddy Voth likes to make spares for me because I tend to lose them and well shit I guess this doesn't really count now.

6.) Bobby pins. -Listen. Bobby pins are like a modern-day girl's calling card. I leave these things EVERYWHERE. Bligh's been here. Look. There are those annoyingly blonde bobby pins. (SECOND Side note: WHY HASN'T ANYONE INVENTED BOBBY PINS THAT HAVE A BIT OF A BRUNETTE ROOT?!? You know, just inquiring for a friend.) Yes, I leave bobby pins all over the place but I always have the necessary amount with me. Always. Every time. And I can't remember buying any new bobby pins since 2006, so either I'm stealing them and blocking it out or I've managed to retain a large quantity through osmosis and prayer.

7.) My credit card(s). -Many many moons ago a younger, smarter me decided to get a credit card that depicted one of those creepy/annoying Anne Geddes portraits of a baby dressed as a strawberry on a pepto bismol pink background. I love that credit card. I have NEVER lost it. The original intention behind getting one of these Anne Geddes homage credit cards was twofold. 1) She did that HYSTERICAL and uncomfortable photo shoot with Celine Dion (my spirit animal) holding babies disguised as fruits and vegetables that really spoke to me. I equal parts love and hate those photographs. I'll never forget the Anne Geddes coffee table book in my gynecologist's office that (I believe) single-handedly prevented me from being a teen pregnancy statistic. 2) THE CARD WAS OBNOXIOUSLY PINK. I thought it would always be easiest to find in a pile of cards. And, my sweet biddie readers, I was right.

I'd like to end this post by coming clean and saying it was originally intended to be a list of 10 things I had managed to not lose. But the truth is, I can only think of 7. And you know what? That's enough. I'm tired of beating myself for not being perfect, or having all the things all the times, or making sure everything is just right. Sometimes you lose things. And that's ok. Things can be replaced. Life is about the silver lining, no? So here's mine: no longer will I have to endure that almost ten year-old picture of me with flat ironed hair and sparkle glitter eye-shadow. See? Perspective is a beautiful thing. And I have no intention of losing that.

How to Deal With This Winter and Stop Binge Watching Netflix/Crying

I'm not one for profanity. That's a lie. Well, now I might as well tell you. I'm a liar with a penchant for profanity. And this weather....this winter...deserves a gigantic "fuck you." Some will read this and think, "Bligh! It's winter! It's a cold season! Don't be so overdramatic!" And to whoever is thinking like that, know that I would LOVE to give you a solid "fuck you" too, but I won't because I'm a lady. And because I might've gotten kicked out of cotillion but I remember that a lady doesn't swear at strangers. Yesterday whilst cleaning my closet I found a box of sun dresses and started crying. This is a true story. I wept tears for sun dresses yet to be worn and appreciated. I can't anymore. I can't bundle up like I've willingly chosen to move to the Ukraine. I can't continue to eat all the bread and excuse the behavior as my "building a protective layer against the wind." I want to wear my transitional coats*! I want to do that thing white people do where we wear shorts way before it's acceptable to do so! (#86 on Stuff White People Like) I want to live!

It might be getting warmer soon, who's to say really. I stopped checking the weather on my phone four weeks ago when I realized my morning lookup for the day's temperature coincided with time in line at my Dunkin and I was throwing unnecessary anger and sass at the people I love the most. Now I just dress exclusively in layers and large swatches of colorful fabric. I look like a retired high school theatre teacher in head to toe Chico's 2013 fall/winter line. And you know what? That's FINE! I've embraced it! And I've also developed some habits to fight this winter and think/live positively for the impending spring. Please, let me share with you:


1) Secret It. -I've never read "The Secret" but I have heard it works. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's just bullshit New Age spiritual philosophy that we all pretend to believe because Oprah says we should. I DON'T KNOW. Let's just try it? The process of "secreting" (to me) involves singing a simple jingle written by three luxury ladies and I five years ago in a dressing room. I wish you could hear it, but the video no longer exists. Just sing, "the secret works!" I suggest a vowel modulation for "works" so that it comes out more like, "weurks-uh!" I also suggest getting a few friends together and singing this jingle in a three part harmony. But, you do you.

2) Get an obnoxiously happy nail color. -See below. This is annoying mostly because no one feels like this is a color that exists anymore. But the sky used to be this color. Remember? It did. And every time you look at your nails, you'll smile. Promise.


3)Drink like it's the summer. -This one is so easy! Eschew your dark liquors and Hot Toddys! Drink something that needs a wee umbrella to be considered properly garnished! And, although I call tequila "wanna know my secrets" I have warmed up to it again. Life is too short to not actively pretend you're on a tropical island, ten pounds lighter, drinking an unnaturally colored drink served in a fish bowl while making friends with a small monkey who you caught trifling through your beach bag. So order that Mai Tai and drink like it's the summer!

4) Lie to a stranger. -Okay. I do this a lot. But recently, I do it more because I've been walking less and taking more buses (read: cabs) and there seems to be more opportunity to socialize with humans you will NEVER meet again. People on the bus are chatty! They want to know about about ya life! They do not want you to be talking on your phone, but they would like you to engage them in conversation, especially the ones over the age of 95. I've been doing this for years: making up elaborate stories about myself and my background and what I do for a living. It used to be exclusively an airplane practice. Whomever was lucky enough to be my assigned seating partner on long plane rides would hear about how I graduated high school at sixteen and was taking a few years off to travel the country searching for a long lost aunt who had joined a cult in 1973. But now I do this ALL THE TIME. The other day a lady on my bus ride heard about how my lucrative hairdressing career was about to propel me to young entrepreneurial status as I was just about to open up a salon. My cab driver last Tuesday thought I was an opera singer. Just try it! You will never see that person again, and it'll keep you on your toes. You might colossally embarrass yourself and get caught in a fib, but then you'll probably blush and get heated and then it's kind of like summer, no?

5) Go on a very short, brisk walk. -The trick here is to walk far enough so that you might not feel your fingers, but your lungs don't hurt from the intake of frigid air. It's a fine line, but the exhilarating feeling that you are ALIVE is worth the gamble. It's also a nice moment to look around and acknowledge no one is smiling. SO smile at them! They might smile back, or they might tell you to "fuck off," I don't know I'm not in charge of that.

The end is near. It's got to be. I don't mean the end of the earth, although an old man did tell me it's all over for us in 45 years. But even if that is the case, that means we're looking at approximately 44 more winters like this until life as we know it ceases to exist. So, let's practice some positivity, let's drink something infused with an exotic fruit, and for all that is good and true in this world let's lie to a stranger.

*transitional coats: light jackets that you buy with the intention to wear for the three and half days every fall and spring where the weather is really lovely but there's a slight, chilly breeze.

To Grand Plié Is One's Personal Choice

My friends are fantastic. I think everyone must think that about their friends, but, my people are the real deal. They are smart, funny individuals. They listen when I talk. They've learned to tell me all social events start hours before they actually do so I am on time. They stick up for me. And they have inspired me to write about topics that move me, that I find pertinent, that I emotionally connect to.

 So now let me tell you about the cleanest, safest, most luxurious places to use a public restroom in New York City. No no no, let my friends and I tell you. Below is the direct transcript from family dinner a few weeks back, after I made my friends Tarragon, Epiphany, and Hashtag* this fannncyyy desert, from scratch: 



ME: Alright. I'm recording this. Favorite places to pee in NYC. Go.

HASHTAG: So I'm super horny---

ME: Focus please, this is business. Tarragon, go.

TARRAGON: My favorite place to pee is Eataly. 

ME: Why Tarragon, why? 

TARRAGON: Because it's cleaned every hour.

ME: Do you know that to be true?

TARRAGON: Yes, positive. Every time I got they're cleaning. And I've seen the check list. They clean every hour. I know this. You also don't feel any pressure to buy anything because it's really big and there's lots of stuff. There are three different entrances. And, get this. Best part? TEN stalls. Ten. All of them cleaner than the last. 

ME: Yeah. I hear you. I'm taking in this information and your passion. Love and light to you's not so so luxury in there. I want like, individual rooms and eucalyptus towels and--

EPIPHANY: Champagne. You want Beauty and Essex.

ME: Yes I do, thank you Epiphany.

EPIPHANY: Yes, but Tarragon means in a pinch, where would you go when you're in Flatiron.

ME: Ok ok ok. So where do you go then in Midtown?

HASHTAG: The Marriott. Everyone chooses the Marriott. 

EPIPHANY: The Marriott is so standard. 

TARRAGON: The Marriott is tricky though because their bathroom's have closing hours. 

HASHTAG: No they don't girl.

TARRAGON: Yes they do. The second floor Marriott bathroom has closing hours. The ones near the box office.

HASHTAG: You're talkin' about the second floor. I'm talkin' about the lobby. I do the LOBBY girl. I get in and I press 8J or whatever and I go to the 7th floor--

EPIPHANY: 8th floor. Obviously the "8" stands for the 8th floor. 

HASHTAG: OKAYYYY 8th floor. And I go to the 8th floor and I use the fancy bathrooms and...sometimes...I get a drink. 

ME: Before or after you use the bathroom?

HASHTAG: Same. Time. 

ME: Epiphany, favorite place to pee in New York City and why?

EPIPHANY: I would have to say...Bloomingdales...

EVERYONE: MHMM. Yes. But of course!

EPIPHANY: Oh. I know. The one on east 59th or whatever. That one. And let me enlighten you as to why.

ME: By all means, please. 

(at this moment, all discussion stops as a wee little puppy does something so cute that we can do nothing but make noises of sheer delight and revel in her adorableness.)



EPIPHANY: Ok. sorry for the break. The reason why I choose Bloomingdales is for its cleanliness, its proximity to Forty Carrots, and its location on the bedding floor so when you're looking for new quilts you ca---

TARRAGON: Why would we be looking for new quilts?

EPIPHANY: YOU KNOW! For winter, and things like that....Beauty and Essex really does have a great bathroom though.

(The group murmurs agreements whilst EPIPHANY dreams of quilts.)

ME: You know what I'm over? This like, fancy town restaurant or bar experience where there are only small, tiny mirrors with some antiqued shit on the corners so you can't REALLY see anything. Over it. How're you supposed to check your eye-liner? Or tease your hair? You can't. I'll tell you what. You simply can't. Rant over. Also, I like that nail color.

TARRAGON: Thank you. I forgot what it's called.



ME: Stop. This cannot go further. Ok, what's the name of the brunch place I got kicked out of?


ME: Yes, Co-Op. I'll tell you why I don't care to return to that establishment anyways, they have those silly co-ed bathrooms. What is that???


ME: You feel strongly about this!

EPIPHANY: Well I can't SEE! And I like to clean a toilet before I go in, is that so much to ask?

TARRAGON: You sit down? Like, actually sit down?

EPIPHANY/ME: Yes, yeah. You clean it off, and then you put some toilet paper down and you sit. It's very simple. Straightforward. 

TARRAGON: Oh no. I never have time for that.

HASHTAG: Nervous you never have time.

ME: Tarragon, so you hover? 

HASHTAG: She does like a grand plié. 

TARRAGON: Most women do this, yes.


ME: Not most women.

HASHTAG: Why don't ya'll just sit down. Like why don't you just---(at this point Hashtag gets cut off because he's in a room with three opinionated women and a lady pup who, even at the mere age of six weeks old is demonstrating opinionated tendancies. He might have had really useful information or suggestions, but the world will never know. This is his plight.)

ME: I FEEL like, the grand plié style is torture. Like a barre class after a big-night-out. Just seems like a lot of work.

TARRAGON: IT IS. You use your core. Your balance. And you have to hold the lock too. 

ME: This has reached a level of paranoid peeing that I will not stand for or engage in conversation any longer. 

TARRAGON:...I do have a really good power squat. 

ME: Now you're bragging. 

HASHTAG: Wine's out. 

EPIPHANY: Let's open another bottle and I'll teach you all how to pee in a leotard.

 And what an informative night it turned out to be! What I want ya'll to take away from this nonsensical entry is: 1) Alcohol and a tub of chocolate frosting do an evening make! 2) The crux of friendship could possibly be finding people who have their own, specifically beautiful definition of a pleasurable public restroom experience. It's important to surround yourself with people who grand plié and sit through life. 3) Going to the bathroom in a leotard is not for the faint of heart. Namaste.   

 *Sometimes my friends request a little anonymity. And that's ok, so long as I can give them horribly trendy, children-of-west-village-independently-wealthy-artist-parents pseudonyms.  

I'm Not Your Friend, I'm Your Mother.

Today is "Homage Friday." I just made that up. Because I do what I want and because today is my Mom's birthday. At first I thought: will she like this? Will she like being called out publicly on her birthday? Of course she will. She's my mother. When entering my intensely precarious teenage years, my mother made it very clear we were not friends. She was my parent, I was not to be her best friend, confidant, or equal. It seemed extreme and unfair at the time. Why couldn't we be friends, Gilmore Girls style? She was from New England like Lauren Graham and I had porcelain (read: translucent) skin like Alexis Bledel! But now I'm glad we aren't friends because without our relationship rooted in brutal honesty, love, and a little bit of fear I don't think I would be the kind of woman I am and still strive to be.

Thanks, biddie. Thank you for always surrounding yourself with smart, funny, assertive women who taught me what to look for in friends of my own. Thank you for being part of a mom club who referred to themselves as "Moms on the Loose," or MOL's. It's kinda cool you're in an acronym group. It's like a gang. But with less violence. Thank you for teaching (through effortless example) how to throw a dinner party on a whim with whatever's in your pantry and a prayer. Thank you for instilling in me the healing powers of hot cheese and raw brownie batter after a hard day. Thanks for loving Mexico and going so often that I always have an emergency and questionable z-pak in times of need.

Thank you for being a hard ass. You're right, most allergies are fake. And sleep away camp is for rich kids. Now, I know you don't think asthma is real, but some people do suffer from this respiratory condition. But it's your birthday, let's not fight. Thank you for always telling me it didn't matter if I was pretty, it mattered if I was smart. Thank you for introducing me to the calming qualities of diagraming a sentence. It still remains the quickest way to soothe my soul.

Thank you for always having my back. When I wasn't allowed to enter that 8th Grade Inter parish dance for NO REASON, you told that vile woman who kicked me out to "fuck off." Thanks for that. In the moment, I was mortified. But looking back, it was really cool of you. Speaking of being mortified, the day you and Auntie Nina locked me in the car to impress upon me that " giving oral sex is FINE, just so long as you always date a man who gives it back" was revolutionary. I was twelve. So...that was a lot. But, um, thank you?

Most of all, thank you for having the invaluable tool of finding the humor in any situation life has ever presented you. The longer I write, the more I write, I think about how much my voice is a product of yours. Not your physical voice. Love you so hard, but you have a tendency to sit on your chords. But your humor. Your distinct view of the world and people and your ability to be uniquely yourself, even when it's not necessarily the main stream. You are not my friend, you're my Ma. It's your birthday and I love you.

So if Mama Voth had a Facebook or Twitter or an Instagram or some version of social media, I'd tell you, dear reader, to find her and wish her a happy birthday. But she doesn't. She sneaks on my brother Eamon's accounts. So, like, friend him. She'll see it. She'll deny she saw it, but that's just part of her charm. Wish I could be there with you today Ma, but I'll power-clean the apartment to Peter Allen's greatest hits. I'll stop for a quick cry during "I Honestly Love You," chug a TAB, and buy a large piece of art no one likes but me. All in homage.

xx Bligh Blue

PS: a GIGANTIC THANK YOU for never letting me go to a prom or a Homecoming dance dressed like a miniature hooker...and that's all I really have to say about that.

5 Amazing Awe Inspiring Ideas That Actually Aren't All That Revolutionary and Have Nothing to Do With Beyonce OR Cats Making Silly Faces

You see that title there? That's a title of an article I would probably click on. And it states, quite clearly, that it is:1.) not that great 2.) not about Beyonce 3.) there aren't any cute cat pictures

....but I would still click on it. Because I'm a procrastinator. And because I am product of a generation that's petrified of what they truly have to talk about if we haven't clicked on, "read", and shared the latest Buzzfeed article depicting all the Disney princesses with unibrows. Why do I know and/or CARE about the opera singer who can't stop farting and lost her job? And, most importantly, should I actually be living in Chicago? The internet says I should. But what does Jennifer Lawrence think and--- the fuck is wrong with me?

Do you remember when you were little and your mother would tell you to go out and play? I grew up in a city where the teenager at the end of the block had his nose cut off in a gang fight...we still went outside every day. My neighborhood friends and I would play wiffle ball between the hours of 3pm and 4pm, as that was when General Hospital aired and Mama Voth could not be bothered to parent while the saga of Luke and Laura played out. Who was Lucky's real father?! And would the evil Cassadine family be returning from their private Greek island to Port Charles this season? These questions deserved answers and therefore, took precedence. So I got real good at wiffle ball. Not that cheater's red bat wiffle ball either. Old school, yellow bat, big white plastic wiffle ball, wiffle ball. First base was a fire hydrant. Second base was oncoming traffic. Third was the old Toyota Corolla that our hoarder next door neighbor had NEVER driven in, as far as I was aware. And home was right back where you started. Your best shot at a home run was to aim for the second story window of any row house to the left or right because then the defense would have to hop a wrought iron fence and dig around in a bush or a flower bed to retrieve it. If you were really lucky, the house had a planter out the window and you could aim to lob the ball into that. Remember how you smelled after playing all day? Like a cross between sweat and an open scrape on your knee, mixed with dirt and triumphant exhaustion? Maybe you even smelled like a wet dog, or old towels that didn't quite try dry correctly? No? You didn't? Yeah, me neither.

Buzzfeed thinks I should know about "35 Strange Doritos Flavors From Around the World (But Mostly Asia)", Upworthy wants me to know that 300,000 people die each year eating ONE of those flavors, and gosh darn it's time we ban together for the sake of mankind and address that problem, and Huffington Post just wants us to take them seriously (insert picture of HuffPost sad-eating a large bag of Cool Ranch Doritos because they're depressed we know they're fake.) I can laugh and judge this type of journalism all I want, but the truth is, it's successfully sucking me in and keeping me invested. I rarely read anything not entitled with the following equation:

"(Ambiguous Number) Types of (Over the Top Adjectives) (Noun) That Leave You saying '(INTERJECTION)!'"

WHAT HAPPENED TO OLD BLIGH? Old Bligh used to be brazen. Old Bligh used to walk into bars with her expensive fake ID and proclaim, "Who's going to buy me a drink?" That girl was fun! She wasn't binge-clicking through pictures of a slow loris eating a rice ball! She was LIVING.

I'm nervous times. I'm nervous that we are becoming accustomed to bits of news and information, and we are losing the capacity to retain information in any other form besides captions and laundry lists. I'm nervous because "apparently" I've spent 32 DAYS on Facebook since 2006?!? And I'm incredibly nervous at how long it takes me to finish my guilty pleasure teen literature lately. I spend so much unnecessary time taking quizzes, watching videos, and reading lists that I've forgotten how much I used to enjoy living my goddamn life, making a bit of mischief now and again.

Do me a favor? Tomorrow morning, wake up whenever you damn well feel like it and try not to reach for the phone, or computer, or Ipad to scroll a newsfeed or read an email or check your favorite "news" sites. Maybe, instead you wake up and chug a cup of coffee and poop and then go outside? Go try a new breakfast place? Read a real book? Go converse with friends? The Halal Guys on the corner of 14th and 3rd are some of the kindest new friends I've made this week. Go out, let a stranger buy you a drink with your real (or fake) ID? And, PLEASE do not hesitate to call if you're in the New York area and you'd like to do me a solid and play a pick up game of wiffle ball.

The Color of the Pepper is Inconsequential

Winter is a tricky biddie. This winter has been the trickiest biddie of them all. For whatever reason, I cannot stop eating. I'm eating because it's cold, that much is understood. But I'm eating like it's so cold and I'm preparing for a reality television show "The Donner Party Revisited" and I must put on the necessary weight so as to avoid eating my grandmother. Or getting gangrene. (Do not google image that.) google imaged gangrene, didn't you. WHY DID YOU DO THAT? I told you not to! No matter, the problem I was getting to is that for a woman with an insatiable appetite for all food, I lack the required cash monies to support the habit. And it's causing me to do a lot of...questionable things. Like, last weekend at my home in Virginia, I may or may not have "borrowed" roughly $20 in quarters from a jar labeled, "Father Cosmos' Kids." That's right. I stole money being raised for orphaned children in Africa. And for the record, I am NOT proud of this. I'm horrified. But I have every intention of paying it back. AND my favorite guilt-ridden lapsed Catholic friend Rob told me that all is well if I pray the Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary on the next Friday or Tuesday. He knows things. He also has the special knack for locating a Croatian mass that DOES serve coffee and donuts within a five mile radius. Which is truly, a lost art.

So I have nothing to eat. Well, that's not true I have this:


That's a picture of basmati rice, spaghetti, one red pepeper, one onion, one tomato, an egg, garlic tomato sauce, 5-layer dip from Trader Joe's, and this magic asian remedy syrup I swear by called (I think) Nin Jiom Pei PA Koa. Here it is, expertly staged, up close.

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...So you can get this at most Asian markets. Just ask for "family size honey loquat" and see what happens. If that shit costs more than $5.50 and they DON'T offer you complimentary acupuncture in your right foot, you need to leave, and fast. I wish I could tell you more about Nin Jiom, but the entire packaging is in another language and the ingredient list is just a picture of herbs that, I assume, are in this concoction. Just buy it. Take it. And thank me when your skin starts to glow as bright as the sun and you sing like Jesus.

I digress. Back to my hunger. These are the things I can cook with tonight. My ginger bunny roommate and best friend Whitney has decided to make us chocolate chip cookies so I return that kind gesture with a BOX OF WINE. Yes, that's right. Only the best for my friend.

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The man at Trader Joe's said that it was the best boxed wine he'd had all day. And who am I to argue with that? So we each get a healthy pour, save for Jackson, the dog, as he was really going through it a while back and spent most of 2013 in this wicked, alcohol-induced stupor. Bless his heart.

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I found this website where you put in the ingredients you have in your kitchen and it spurts out what you can cook. It's kinda awesome. Apparently I could make Spanish Rice?!? Well isn't that something! And it gets better because I can ALSO make over 199 recipes with my paltry pantry. God is real.

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As I click on the recipe for Spanish Rice, I first hone in on the "1 hour cook time." Nope. No. It takes approximately four minutes door to door to get dollar pizza. But I guess if Donna Moore says, "I've had this recipe for awhile. It is very easy to make," then I can suck it up and wait patiently. We get it Donna, it's easssyyy for you to cook. Good for you! As I go in for my second glass of the wine that is boxed, the following conversation transpires:

WHIT: Hey, um, I see you're busy with the wine, but would you mind if I just prepped the cookie dough mix for us?

BLIGH: Ohmygodno! You do you!

WHITNEY: Also, why are you procrastinating?

BLIGH: I think I need a green bell pepper instead of a red and I have to be very quiet and mediate on that right now.

'Twas true. I was becoming increasingly stressed about the color of the pepper. Whitney dismissed it as a non-issue stalling tactic (which it was) and so I made her cut the pepper. And then I made her cut the onion because I have sensitive eyes.

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All ingredients cut, oven pre-heated to 400-degrees and not the prescribed 350 because ain't nobody got time for that when I realize...I don't have enough tomatoes. I didn't even USE canned tomatoes like they asked! Will a teaspoon or two or three of tomato sauce suffice? Why not, it's worth a try! Let's add that egg in there too, for good measure.

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I then added red pepper flakes and garlic powder because I do what I want. And then I prayed. Here is the before:

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And what I busied myself with in between for forty or so minutes:

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And here is the after.

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And here it is being all presentational and fancy times with a baby bed of mixed greens and a homemade white wine vinegar/dijon mustard/garlic dressing.

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It was good. But you know what was GREAT? The seemingly unnecesary (at the time) 5-layer dip purchase at TJ's earlier in the week. Because Donna was right, it was an easy recipe, but it lacked spice! Or it did until I put allll the 5-layer dip on top of it. There was a TJ's seven-layer dip option which I abstained from because five is a luxury unto itself. And as Jo March says as she gives the rag money to silly Amy for that damn orange, "We are not destitute, not yet anyways." So get your dip, however many layers your heart so desires! Use what you have in your pantry! Cook with and for the people you love! And never hesitate to accept a glass of boxed wine from a friend, even if they are gangrenous because I looked it up that shit's not contagious.

How I Got a Faux Boyfriend at Trader Joe's

I don't know if anyone has told you, but this week in the New York of Cities was a cold one. No one's been talking about it, so, in case you were wondering. It was cold here. But that's alright because Downton Abbey is back on, I'm a wanted woman in the state of North Carolina due to a reckless driving ticket and failure to appear in court (exciting!), and my mother gave me a Trader Joe's gift card. That's right. I'm 25 and I got a gift card. Gift cards are the nucleus to living the most bougie life possible in NYC. I know this in my heart to be true. I'd like to preface by saying that while I wanted to spend the entire card at the Trader Joe's Wine Shop, I refrained from doing so. A lady has to eat once in a while, and how does one even BEGIN to entertain without a fridge stocked with a variety of cheeses and cornichon? I fucking love those little pickles. So to Trader Joe's you go. With your gift card. At 5:30pm on a Monday. In 5-degrees. Fahrenheit...that's the measurement scale that's supposed to be a big number.

Now the thing about the Union Square Trader Joe's is that, once in a while, you have to wait to get inside. Like it's some hip speakeasy that you shouldn't "know" about but was written up in TimeOut, so everyone does. And the thing about waiting outside on a Monday at 5:30pm when the temperature is in the single digits is that you start to lose your mind. Or any semblance of sanity you had possessed earlier in the day. And it was at this precise moment when I proclaimed to the entire line, "This is Russia. We are in Soviet Russia I think." "Yes," says an elderly woman in front of me. She knows because she was probably there. The NYU student behind me just giggles, but I know she agrees. She's probably hiding her copy of Animal Farm in her backpack and trying not to create waves, I get it.

We wait. And we wait some more. Four come out, and two are let in. What is this fuzzy fucking math going on here?!? It's FREEZING. I hallucinate how I need to rush home to care for my ailing grandmother. She needs new shoes, she needs a new coat. I must provide. In my mind, my grandmother sounds like Angela Lansbury and we are playing with this little music box. She tried to catch my hand and hoist me onto the train, but I hit my head and OKAY I know this is now embarrassingly historically inaccurate. But again, it was so cold.

Finally, I get allowed in. It is warm! I can start to feel my toes again! Life is so good. But then, I see the line. It's easily distinguishable because it starts forming the minute you enter. And then it wraps around the circumference of the entire store. Men and women carrying large flags that read, "LINE STARTS HERE" in obnoxiously bubbly font want you to join the line. I don't want to join this line! Where is my choice? I want to wander around the aisles searching for those dark chocolate covered marshmallows! I want to grab four packages of Inner Peas, not because I NEED THEM but because everyone else is grabbing them and they might be gone and then when I do WANT them the moment will have passed me BY. I think about revolting and joining the damn line when I'm good and ready...but I'm not trying to be in this Trader Joe's for the next four hours of my life. So I join. Reluctantly.

As we wind at a turtle's pace in and out and around each aisle I start to notice a common trend. Couples. Couples in Trader Joe's are killing the game! They start together, as a family, by joining the line at the beginning of the store. Then, one stays with the cart while the OTHER ONE GETS TO WANDER. The cart person collects the groceries easily accessible from the line and gets to check their Facebook and send emails and read Buzzfeed articles. This is some brilliant new-age hunter/gatherer shit and I want in. I noticed a single man behind me. Would me maybe wanna...I don't know...couple up with me in this Trader Joe's? A biddie doesn't know until she tries. "Heyyyy," I say while smiling and displaying my good dimple, "I don't know what your plan is in here today, but what say you to sharing a cart with me and you tell me what you want from those middle aisles and I'll go run get it for you? Before we make this commitment to one another I think it's fair I warn you: sometimes I run, sometimes I hide, sometimes I'm scared of yo---" "Omg!" handsome man shrieks, "I'm so gay stop quoting Britney lyrics to me! Let's do this!"

Something magical happened to me during this Trader Joe's excursion. What originally appeared be an inescapably long night, alone, fighting for the last Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip turned into a beautiful partnership. Shawn has long-term boyfriend and a fancy-town apartment on Irving but that didn't stop me from dreaming about our adopted Asian daughter who we would name Perestroika, but call "Roika" for short. She would take tap on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but if it got in the way of her Suzuki violin training, we would pull her out. Every Monday night we would go to the Trader Joe's in Union Square, all three of us, shopping together in perfect harmony. Taking only what we need, leaving what we don't. The reality? I may never see Shawn again. But what we shared, the camaraderie we felt will never fade. We'll always have Roasted Garlic Hummus. Do svidaniya, my love, until we are back in the U-S. Back in the U-S. Back in the U-S-S-R.

The Love of My Life Does Dirty Things for $9

There were two self-imposed rules for this blog when it began: 1.) only write what makes you laugh and 2.) never write about people you're in a relationship with. And so far I've been able to keep both. But with my move back to New York so close I can taste it, I'm getting antsy. Why is time apart and distance so telling? Every day for the last two months I wake up, look at my hands, and need you to hold them. I want you to smile at me and giggle when I speak too quickly and you don't understand. I want you to squeeze me into your busy schedule, simply because you know I can't have anyone else. I will not be silent any longer. Betty at Top-A-Nail on 14th and 1st, I am in love with you. I left you, and that was a mistake because no one has ever taken care of me the way you do. I knew I loved you from the moment I walked in the door. It was a busy weekday. I was new to New York, and you could smell my trepidation from a mile away. Do girls in NYC wear feminine pastels or bold primaries? Do I get a shellac manicure AND pedicure? Do I need to get my brows waxed too? "No," you say to me in calming hushed tones, "You have good, full brow. Don't touch it."

Why did I doubt these feelings? Even after that first encounter, sometimes, I would go to Nina instead of you. BUT TO BE FAIR, often you were...busy. I didn't know what kind of gal you were. My emotions are fragile. Was I really as special as I felt? Did I dream our entire connection? But then, one busy Saturday morning, you fit me in. Didn't think I caught it? Yeah, I saw. I saw you move some scheduled appointments around to accommodate my hasty polish change. And then I had the audacity to pay you in Sacagawea golden dollar coins, like an asshole, and you didn't even bat an eye.

Betty, I'm scared. I'm scared that you might be mad at me. I left abruptly, I know. And I've seen some...other people here in DC. But I didn't even learn that girl's NAME at Golden Nails. She meant nothing to me. I just couldn't hold out any longer, I needed that muted champagne mani for a social engagement. Do you understand? I didn't even enjoy it and I haven't seen her since. I swear. Check my phone. Read my disappointed Yelp review.

It's been 2 1/2 years and you are the most consistent relationship I've ever had. You like me for me. You know I'm not going to return those flip flops after my pedicures, and yet, you let me take them home as false promise after false promise pour from my lying mouth. Often times you let me have that quick-dry top coat for free. And, sometimes, when you cradle my palm as you file each nail into a perfect square cut shape, I know we are actually holding hands.

Take me back. You can do no wrong. I will write you 365 letters. I will write you every day for a year, and read each letter to you, while my boom box blasts whatever shit Peter Gabriel song you need to hear! I will make space for you on my raft! You had me at "complimentary paraffin wax." For, till that moment, I never knew myself.

I Spent Two Hours In a Hot Tub, And Now Everything Makes Sense

In 2008, I did a show that changed my life. I got to tap dance whilst singing about lesbians, dressed as Jerry Springer. But more importantly, that show became my impetus to stop people pleasing to the extreme. I decided to be honest. Or, at least try. That summer, with the help of some of the most brilliant friends, Honesty'08 was born. And so was a summer where I was fucking infallible. No, really. Without going into humble brag detail, I did mostly everything and anything I wanted. Like, I had a day job where I watched True Blood from my desk....AND GOT PAID FOR IT. I did a show that I was/still am proud of. I produced and directed a cabaret that I cast all my friends in. I had ridiculous calf definition (thanks bougie desk job gym membership!) Life was good. And it was incredibly honest. I love my ridiculous yearly mantras. I love how people have been contacting me about what 2014's will be, and therefore I've decided to do a lil recap of each mantra since then.

2009: GO GREEN '09 ....This one. This one was riding the coattails of Honesty'08 like a lil biddie. It was not thought through. But I was unsettled by the state of recycling in this country. I think I had read an article while heavily medicated...To this day my three most irrational fears are 1.) I'll die without being remembered 2.) I have a mustache that no one's telling me about and 3.) The earth is destroyed beyond repair. So...I still believe in a more "green" form of existence, but perhaps not as a full year's mantra.

2010: ORIGINAL PROJECTED COLLEGE GRADUATION YEAR '10 Well, when you do two freshman years, you can get prickly about when you "were" supposed to graduate and when you "did." This year had a lot of mantras actually, but this is the one that has stuck with me. Honesty '08, this is the year I started to get a bit lost.

2011:..... Did 2011 even happen?!? I can't remember! There seems to be some thought that, perhaps, the mantra had something to do with love. "Lovin' in 'leven?" Who's to say, really. This was the year I got fired from like, four jobs. Let's just forget it, as a family.

2012: TICK TOCK '12 The Mayans ya'll! Remember that? The world was supposed to END in 2012 and, like sand through the hourglass, so were the days of our lives! 2012! I loved 2012. Even though it was the end of the world, I did a lot of excessive, passionate living. Thanks, bullshit Mayan doomsday for helping me up the stakes.

2013: RISKY '13 This last year has certainly been a risky thing. My favorite blonde-secret-time friend Mike and I were the only two who actively referred to Risky'13, so perhaps it didn't quite catch on as we had hoped. But it did live up to its name. I took a LOT of risks. Not like, scary times active things (although I did watch my brothers jump out of a plane and by sibling default I feel like I did it too) but risky things nonetheless. The riskiest thing I did? I fell in love with my goddamn self.

Last night in a hot tub at 4am, a few dear friends and I figured out all the things over ONE Mike's Hard Lemonade and questionable eggnog. We discussed our plans and hopes for the next year and expressed how much we mean to one another. There was no talk of grandiose New Year's resolutions that will go unfulfilled. There was no guilt or remorse for the past year. Just fantastic conversation. Today, I can't stop thinking about what made last night with them so lovely. And what made this last year so beautifully brilliant? I think, all of a sudden, I have an undying sense of self-belief. I think I have found people who also have undying self-belief. And it's pretty fucking wonderful. So, my biddie readers, whether you care or not, I urge you to take what you loved from last year into the next, leave what you don't. Let it go, do the next thing. Work towards and keep that undying self-belief. And then, in 2014, lock it up.

Tis the Look Better Than Everyone Else: A Lesson in Holiday Picture Posing

The thing about the holidays is people want to take a lot of pictures. And then they want to post all about them over the internet. And so, you sweet biddie reader, need to be ready. Family is sneaky. Family is like, "Oh hey everyone get together for a picture all of us! Let's use this florescent lighting over here! OH and let's make all the women squat! GREAT IDEA! Flattering and incredibly simple to do in that holiday dress, yes?" No. I don't play when it comes to picture taking, and neither should you. Can I break it down for you? Thank you much. THE FIVE CARDINAL RULES FOR PICTURE POSING

1.) It's going to hurt. Namaste it out.

-The thing about a luxury picture is, it will hurt you. Natural posing does not exist. You think all the fancy times models are comfortable while posing for Vogue? No they are not. They are uncomfortable. You need to be ok with this because the final product is worth the momentary pain. Try to cultivate friends with quick flash cameras because no one wants to sit through some 1995 Canon PowerShot long exposure bullshit whilst holding a show bevel. No. Not today, Geraldine.

2.) Find your side.


-My friend Whitney has an incredibly strong left side. Which is perfect, because I can give you a strong dimple and mischief half-smile on my right. WE POSE PERFECTLY TOGETHER. (See above, what a beautiful little ginger bunny she is, no?) I'm not saying pick friends with a good side different than yours, but I'm saying pick friends with a good side different than yours. Practice your side. Spend a little time in front of the mirror figuring that shit out. Additionally, it is imperative that you are living in truth about your weak side because during the holiday season, one's fam-jam may do sneaky things after the third or fourth bottle of Yellow Tail has been consumed. Family has a blatant disregard for your good side at this stage of the night. WORRY NOT. Just collect yourself, and finagle your way to your good side. Everyone will make fun of you. But know that history will remember this moment through the strong Instagram filter chosen. And it will remember that you look good.

3.) When in doubt, get in the middle.

-The Divine Queen (Beyonce) has made it clear time and time again that posing in the middle of a strong group of women only makes you more awesome. There's not a great deal of science behind this next statement but I FIRMLY believe that years of middle-posing with Destiny's Child is the crux of her solo career confidence. Take that as you will. I've been to three fake colleges. Below is a picture of my LUXURY show sisters at our opening night party for a show, me giving you a solid rule #3 in full effect. See what I mean here? They look great, yet, I'm winning. BUT to my right, Kellee's strong "clav-to-arm-to hip" stance is fantastic and brings me to the next rule...



-Kellee always gives you a strong contoured arm to hip stance. This is just one of her many gifts. Me? Clavicle FAH DAYS. No matter what. Even those days (read: weeks) where I decide dark chocolate and rose is a normal and acceptable breakfast. My dearest dear, Mike needs to teach a master class in the half-smile. He might've invented it, it's so good. But the point here is: when you know and love your body and your assets, you will always have the posing upper hand. Even at family holiday parties where your Mom nonchalantly mentions that, "last year Bligh was sadder but she was also thinner." That cannot phase you when you have that brilliant clavicle. And an Irish-coffee in your hand.

5.) Just enjoy your damn life.

-A few weeks ago in the lady's dressing room I ran this blog entry topic by the women and we laughed and posed for a good long while, just enjoying how ridiculous this all actually is. Then, last week in NYC I had luxury diner breakfast with Alex and Whitney and we further discussed the posing techniques, and laughed at ourselves all over again. I wish someone had been there to take a picture of us. Because from where I was sitting, they were both so beautiful. Same with my dressing room loves: they are most lovely when we are all just laughing and enjoying our lives. Joy is stunning. Be joyful all the time, and once in a while, take a picture to remember that joy. I am fucking brilliantly lucky to have spent the last year of life laughing with my honest and funny family, my kind friends, and my energetic and talented colleagues. Rule #5 is a picture-posing technique, but it's also my rule for the company I keep.

...feelings. Ugh. With all that being said, I need to go shower and finish Christmas shopping. So I leave you biddies with this: this holiday season, love your life. And try out this next pictured pose which I call "The Dead Rag Doll." Just do it. And Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Rule Number One: Never Tell the Spin Instructor Your Name

I made a not so luxury choice. I signed up for quite possibly the bougiest of spin/yoga studios (they had a month deal, I'm my mother's daughter) and now I can't feel my who-hah. No, seriously. People should tell you that. Spinning hurts your who-hah. But don't get me wrong, the high after a class is BRILLIANT! A post spin class Bligh feels like she could hammer out an entire book, let alone a lil entry! Post spin class Bligh wants to go on a run! And not just to the Dunkin and back! A real run! That all being said there seems to be this sub-culture of spin that ties the class itself to goals and personal intentions. I love this shit. BUT honestly while other forms of exercise pull a more retrospective and zen side out of me, spin does no such thing. In spin class my whole body is screaming, "WHY ARE MY THIGHS ON FIRE? IS THAT LADY IN FRONT SPINNING AT DOUBLE SPEED? IS SHE LIKE, FIFTY? I HATE HER!" Spin does not make a kind, Christian woman out of me. But I continue to go because this month was only $90 for unlimited classes. And because I'm trying to be more goal oriented. And because it was $90...I felt the need to mention that twice.

I get into class and immediately look around lost and confused until someone comes over and readjusts the bike seat and height for me. I do not understand the bike. I respect the bike, but as far as the mechanics go I am a bewildered biddie. So naturally this points me out to the teacher as a newbie to her class. She asks me my name and here is where I make the first mistake. "Bligh," three diet cokes in me exclaims! See, now she knows. She knows me by name and therefore I am now the focal point of her class questions/announcements/goal coaching. I am her example. She is my nemesis and I am the brunt of her torture.

"Bligh! turn up your resistance I need everyone in this room at 85/90!'

"Bligh did you fake turn your resistance up? I saw that girlfriend!"

"Bligh! Remember your goal!"

....Okay so here's this whole goal thing. A bunch of women in a room on bikes spend the first few seconds of class being told to visualize a goal/personal dream so that you have something seemingly tangible to spin for or towards. I dig it. But what I don't so much prefer is that in this class the goals moment was not so much a personal intention but a declaration to the entire room. That seems excessive. I am all about a personal moment to give your workout a bigger meaning, but must it be shared as a family? When I spin, all I am spinning towards is the goal that one day my thighs will be smaller. And that my butt will be a bit perkier. And that I can get away with a few faux resistance dial turns in the next 45 minutes to an hour. These are my paltry goals, no need to share.

Mid-way through class the drill sergeant or "instructor" starts to scream over the club mix of Gavin DeGraw's "Best I Never Had" that it's goal time. I'm half-listening because it's the first moment she hasn't singled me out by name as a slacker. My legs hurt. My arms hurt. My who-hah has officially fallen off, I can no long feel it. I'm sweaty. How many more minutes is this class? Will I have time after to get Chipotle? I'm in this frame of mind when I realize the spin-nazi is asking us all to go around one by one and yell out the goal/intention we set at the beginning of class. "That's rather personal," I think to myself while trying to decide if I'll be honest and say I'm spinning towards a smaller ass or if I have time to up the stakes and come up with something more eloquent. At this moment the VERY hard working woman next to me is asked her goal and she yells, "I'm spinning towards my unborn baby!" WHOAH! That is beautiful and forthright and inspiring and also, A LOT. I'm feeling this for her! So much so that, by sincere accident, when the instructor next yells for my goal I respond with, "ME TOOOO!!!"...WAIT. Did i just steal that nice, hardworking woman's spin goal? Am I now spinning towards HER unborn baby? OR MY OWN? Wait, no no no no no babies in 2013/2014. No no no. May I take that back? Is it too late? She's staring at me and so is the instructor. I can't tell if their physical expressions read as disbelief that I, too, would be spinning towards a future babes or if they're impressed or disappointed. But the moment to fix has passed. I shall now spin towards a baby...for whomever so needs or wants one. Goal proclaimed. Baby, I spin for you.

After class, I'm trying to leave as fast as possible (mostly to avoid the teacher but also because I have definitely earned a burritio and have to book it to Chipotle and back in time for work) when she catches me. Not the teacher, but the lady working out for her baby. "Thanks for the support," she says quickly before sprinting up the stairs. I think two things:

1.) Ok so maybe it wasn't exactly MY personal goal for class, but I think it made this woman feel less alone, that I was also spinning for her to get that baby. That's cool as shit. People supporting other people is cool. I feel good about that. Maybe spin isn't so horrid after all.

2.) I really can no longer feel my vagina.

What I choose to take away from this: don't tell the spin instructor your name. She'll remember it. And she will single you out. But maybe that's alright because someone in that class might be spinning for a baby and you faux turning up the resistance and getting caught might make them laugh. Maybe the'll be a little less stressed. Keep spinning biddies. We got this.

This Wrote Itself

I have been remiss in writing. So much so that Mama Voth said I was "losing relevance."....Like, as a person? Or a blogger? As her offspring? She wasn't specific enough. And therefore I decided to dedicate this entry to her, and my crazy Irish-Catholic family, and the plethora of brilliant and insane things they actually say. Here's my suggestion for you biddie readers: if you are going to be around your family this holiday season, please PLEASE, I implore you to get a lil tipsy bout it and WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU HEAR. Because this entry, truly, wrote itself. In respect to familial privacy, all names have been omitted but there are a few common references that you'll need to know to "understand" these quotes. So here is a lil lexicon of commonly referenced words/places/phrases that would behoove you to know going in.


Holyoke: A city in western Massachusetts where my family is from. For a long long time I thought the only businesses in Holyoke were cemeteries and funeral homes. They have like, a disproportionate amount of both in Holyoke. Dyin' to get out. They DO have a drive-thru Dunkin and the third largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country. Nay, the world.

chinamen:....I can't. An incredibly outdated name used for people of Asian decent....

B-12: A vitamin that APPARENTLY you can have shot into your body by people who have never been to medical school and are not licensed doctors.

Foamhenge: This weird place in Virginia where some idiot made a full-size replica of Stonehenge out of styrofoam.

turkey-fat fries: Actually the very best thing you will ever eat in your life. First you fry a turkey and then you put a whole bag of fries into the fat and oil leftover from frying said turkey and then you eat them and then you know God is real.

AND NOW that you are properly educated, here are some luxury, direct quotes from real conversations via Thanksgiving, green bean casserole, and an entire large bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonnay. You are all so very welcome.

1.) "Puerto Ricans Love me."

2.) "Would they be really mad if we just made another batch of these turkey-fat fries and stayed home and didn't go to Thanksgiving? Like, how mad could they really be."

3.) "I'm 19 and disillusioned."

4.) "Please pass the rolls! The good ones! Not the shitty ones we eat after the good ones are gone!."

5.) "Anyone want a B-12 shot? I can give em! I think I'm kinda good at it!"

6.) "Please stop talking to me right now I'm meditating."

7.) "No no no you're wrong there were TWO pairs of conjoined twins in Holyoke. And one one them were chinamen."

8.) "I just don't want this to be the Thanksgiving when..."

9.) "More gravy boo?"

10.) "One time whilst eating a cannoli in Italy..."

11.) "Everyone be quiet! I need to tell you about Foamhenge!"

12.) "#bluesweater #yellowundershit #nile #onedirection #cousins #brother #youdontknowwhoonedirectionis? #ignorance #familydisappointment"

13.) "Why are all the rolls gone always?"

14.) "Hey we have an extra seat at the table this year. OH! It's for Elijah right?!? Oh fuck, that's the other Jewish holiday."

15.) "Well you know what they say about four men beside a fire pit...well, you know."

16.) "Let me see your bangs up close....They are very short. No, give me a minute. I'm trying to understand why you did this."

17.) "And then I threw a bottle at him. BY ACCIDENT!"

18.) "Hey I think I have a stress whisker. Can you see it?" "No." "Do you even love me? Look at it in the light!"

19.) "...and he was smuggling drugs too, but he was smart. Never got caught."

20.) "A man goes into the jungle with a big yellow hat, lures a baby monkey, traps him in a bag, and takes him away! And we read this to our children? Not in this house!"*

21.) "Does it hurt when you run?" "Yes." "What do you do?" "I wear two sports bras." "Does that hurt?" "Yes." "...I don't understand. Why run?"

*Curious George reference, and such a legitimate point.

5 Reasons to Date a Real Man: a Rebuttal

Listen. If you know me, you know I have a little bit of a mouth on me. I was raised in a house with a luxury, strong Irish-Catholic mother who really does treat the word "fuck" as just another choice verb. The one thing she would not tolerate was telling someone to "shut up" as that was the most demeaning way to tell another human that whatever they had to say/feel/express was an unnecessary share because no one cared. My father on the other hand HATES swearing of all shapes and sizes. "Bligh you are so smart," he would say, "Why use crass language when you have such a broad, intelligent vocabulary?" Which is why it's taken so long to write and edit this entry, my lovely readers. I had to edit out a lot of language....But I've decided to treat this story and the decision to post just like I do shoe shopping: if you try shoes on and you want them and you do NOT purchase in the moment and you wake up the next day thinking about those shoes, you have to go back, Jack.* You have to go back and get those damn shoes. Well, I can't stop thinking about this. I wish I could namaste, not my pig not my farm, you, Tuthmosis and your article "5 Reasons to Date a Girl With An Eating Disorder.**" I cannot. This is my pig, this is my farm and I'd love to rebuttal with some feelings I'm feeling. So here is:


1.) He likes that you eat.

-I love food. Anyone I have ever dated is gonna tell you the same. I love cooking, I am a great baker, and I don't think anyone enjoys a luxury meal out more than I. Real men like women who eat. What's sexier than a woman who can put away a bacon-wrapped filet and a loaded baked potato whilst wearing a killer outfit and making you laugh? Nothing I tell you. Nothing. I have worked at too many restaurants and bars to not appreciate and intelligently speak on truffle oil risotto and the differences between my favorite bourbons and rye whiskies. So I talk about food. I enjoy food. Food makes people happy. Happy women want to have sex with you. Real men like women who eat. Boom.

2.) He exudes confidence.

-There is a difference between a boy and a man and it goes by the name of confidence. Men are confident with what they bring to the table. They know who they are and what they want and they also seek that out in a partner. Real confidence attracts confidence. And it certainly doesn't hide behind a pen name. I believe this. Of course confidence is in constant flux: human nature is to question if what you are doing and the direction your life is going is "correct." Confidence wains. But that's why real men and grown women compliment one another so well. They have the foundation of confidence built to a degree that when self-doubt rears its ugly head, they don't crumble and attack one another. They support each other.

3.) Your success does not threaten his success.

- This is something I have seen first hand from some badass actor couples who live this adage. I've seen men become the stay-at-home parent because their talented and SUCCESSFUL partner is going from show to show and booking consistent work. EMBRACE THAT. Real men do. What about a woman's success deters from your own? If you are confident (see Number 2) in your own success, how could ANYONE else's take that away from you? Success is subjective and cannot be negated by a partner who produces her own.

4.) He doesn't prioritize money over you.

-Women, hell, PEOPLE like nice things and the feeling of being cared for. I love being taken out to a nice dinner or a 3-part date (I'm going to break that down in another post, don't even worry bout it) but you know what else I like? A handwritten letter. A walk somewhere nice. A beer. Fuck, you bring me a medium hazelnut coffee from Dunkin with skim milk and I'm good. Effort is good. Money and effort are not synonymous. And any REAL man wants to exert effort, regardless of if it costs $2 or $200. Real men get that.

5.) He knows how to take care of YOU.

-And yes, I am ABSOLUTELY referencing sex. Men make YOU a priority. They aren't sitting back, preying upon "your insecurity, neuroses, and daddy issues" so that they get off and you don't. Nope. That't not how that works. Uhhh usually they want to take care of you, first. That's how a man acts. If you're a male and you don't prescribe to this approach to sex, I suggest getting a blow up doll. SHE WON'T EAT AT ALL. Or have, you know, opinions or talk or cost you any money after the original $19.99 plus shipping and handling. Can you spare that, Tuthmosis? You need to borrow some money, boo?

I dislike that I felt compelled to respond to this article. Giving this air only prolongs your infamous notoriety and your paltry excuse for journalism. So, please Tuthmosis, let's clear some things up now. I don't hate you. I waste no energy harboring ill will towards you. I do worry about you. In this country you have the right and privilege to free speech, however ignorant and chauvinistic it may be. But it's your apparent infatuation over female bodies which lack healthy weights, curves, or womanly figures that worries me. I worry that you seek out "girls who are fragile and vulnerable." ....What you define as your ideal girl really does scream "girl." No, it screams 13-year old CHILD. And FORTUNATELY there are laws where that's concerned. But, who am I to speculate and judge? I'm just a WOMAN with a healthy appetite and thick thighs, raised by two awesome parents who taught me to choose men, not boys. And I hate to disappoint them both right now but Ma and Dad, there's just no better way to say it. Tuthmosis, shut the fuck up.

*that's a LOST reference. Get into it.

**I refuse to link the writer Tuthmosis' article to my blog, but please feel free to look it up yourself if you feel so inclined.

Relax...Well, Not That Much.

I think we can say, as a family, that we all put our bodies through some insane things. Like four to five cup coffee days. And drink the brown liquor like it's water days. And eat raw brownie batter because it's been a week already days. I am not proud of this but during my second Freshmen year of college I was feeling all kinds of sorry for myself because well, Boston was real cold, I had no friends, and I spent the majority of my time binge watching Nip/Tuck that I developed a serious addiction to butter and brown sugar. Yes. You read correctly. If you take a stick of butter, melt it a little bit and add about a half cup of brown sugar and mix all that together you are living a dream. Not THE dream, but something close. Suffice to say my body was not pleased with this snack vice of choice, and it took a winter break home with my loved ones politely saying, "get it together" and a few months of Weight Watchers meetings in Copley Square with a gaggle of supportive middle-aged Bostonians for me to realize things needed to change. And they did! I learned all about the point system and eating to be full and that white wine was NOT a basic food group! And I discovered yoga, and started running races, and swimming again. And it's from this springboard that I have become that girl who will try any workout, class, competition, challenge, cleanse, holistic practice, meditation. Expect p90x. That shit looks crazy. Which brings me to a weekday in the not so distant past in New York City. My luxury managers offer Reiki healing to their clients as a means of utilizing the practice while auditioning. Reiki is based on the idea that there is this "life force energy" that flows through us and when that energy is low, we get sick or stressed, or unfocused. I. Love. This. I drink the Kool Aid for stuff like this. "Why not try it?", I think to myself. It's complimentary, it's offered to me in a calming environment, and it's gotta be safer than that time I got sketchy acupuncture next to a transgendered heroine addict. So, I sign up for a time and eagerly await the next way to give BACK to my bods.

I show up at my assigned session overly caffeinated but also excessively hydrated. The Reiki healer lady (who is the epitome of earth-mother-goddess luxury!) had suggested we drink a lot of water before the session because it can take a lot out of you and you're never fully aware how your body will respond. I took that to heart. It was 2pm and I was on my fourth (read: probably more like second) full 2-liter bottle of water. I had to pee. But just a little bit. And I was so SO excited about what Reiki was all about that a bathroom break would have to take a back burner to my spiritual energy awakening.

So here's how Reiki went for me. You lay on a table and try and breathe through the bottoms of your feet. That sounds impossible? But it's not and it feels INCREDIBLE! Try it. Try it right now. Breathe through the bottom of your damn feet and tell me that doesn't feel kinda cool. And if you feel nothing take a minute to laugh at the fact that you just tried to breathe through your feet. Because that's funny, too. Ok, so after feet breaths are established, the healer starts touching you and applying delicate pressure with their hands all over your body....Now you wanna try it. Be real. It feels like the healer's hands are glowing and radiating light all over you and your body and your muscles are taking all this energy and relaxing. Like, RELAXING. I felt like what I assume a a B-list celebrity feels like after a Betty Forde stint. I was so relaxed I could feel myself melting into this table. I couldn't hear anything besides the healer's voice and my own breath...through my feet. If magic is real, it goes by the name of Reiki, that's how quickly I became a converted believer.

And then, just as quickly as it had started, it was over. But I was different. Like, all my neck tension was gone and I was standing straighter and I could breathe fully. I was so relaxed. There was a slight buzzing in my ears. I decided not to worry about that. I thanked the healer as I guzzled the half bottle of water I had left and exited the building. Life was good. I felt like my whole body was vibrating and all was right in the world and I could vaguely taste the color blue and everything in my life was going to be fine and I would win that Teen Choice Award and somehow I'd be able to pay my rent this month and the hole in the Ozone Layer was fixing itself and Heaven was real and OH MY GOD AM I PEEING? Am I PEEING a lil baby bit on the corner of 28th and Broadway IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY??? Yes. I am. I was so relaxed and focused on my breathing feet and vibrating body that I guess, I forgot to pee. And so I guess my bladder was like, "gotcha." Because here I was, peeing. So then I do what any normal person would do. I start to lightly jog down Broadway. After peeing a lil bit. On the busy streets of the New York of Cities. Just a solid, healthy afternoon jog...with a big-ass bag carrying my rep book, heels, and the giant water bottle that got me into this mess in the first place. I proceed to jog all the way to 14th and 8th, then cross town to the east side, through Union Square, all the way home to 14th and Ave A. Like a lady.

What I want to say is this: Reiki healing is still awesome. I'm just clearly challenged. Most adults have the ability to be entirely relaxed and reap the benefits from healing practices and still remember to, you know, use the bathroom. Not me. But NOW I know. And have your own opinions about Lululemon as a company, but that "moisture wicking" component to their clothing is the REAL. DEAL. When you get home after your pee jog of shame you'll be glad you wore wonder unders. You'll make yourself a butter and brown sugar snack and all will be right in the world. Take a deep breath. Through your feet.

How to Be a Diva: Lessons from a Three-year Old

These last few days I had the awesome pleasure of a lil mini vacation in Charlotte, North Carolina with my faux sister Wes and her beautiful, kind, hysterical, smart children. Willow-cat is six months and perhaps the chillest baby ever. She rarely cries, she smiles on command, and she understands the serious importance of accessorizing. Her future is bright. Chase-times is brilliant, sensitive and kind, and filled to the brim with imagination. Chase is also three, and therefore feeling all the things. Now fortunately, I find the hysterics of a three-year old little guy not only ASTOUNDINGLY FUNNY but also, informative. Three year olds get it. They play a saucy game that rivals the genius behind Sorkin dialogue. They do what they want. They are the purest divas and divos I have ever met. Let me teach you. Nay, let Chase teach you. He knows. HOW TO BE A DIVA(O): Lessons from a Three-year Old

1.) Just say "No." -This seems to be the crux of how to live the diva(o) luxury life. For example, if someone asks you to do something you really REALLY find unnecessary that is putting a cramp in your style, just calmly look into their eyes and say, "No." It's quick. It's to the point. You're not being mean, per se. You're just simply stating that what they've asked you to do or adhere to is not in your agenda for the day. Here is a successful scenario.

WES: Chase, please get in your seat. CHASE: No. WES: The car is moving, please get in your seat. CHASE: (perhaps with a bit more insistence, and eye contact) No.

See? Brilliant. No explanation. No attitude. Just straight forward luxury with insistence and intention. Boom.

2.) Don't ever wear pants. -Yeah. This one I should've though of myself YEARS ago. Pants are so stupid. Why is not okay yet to just hang out like, everywhere in your underwear?? I don't get it either, Chase! Life is comfy sans pants! I truthfully think I do my best work without pants on! And yeah, it's fall and getting colder but a true diva or divo need not wear something so constricting. Social standards will say that pants are necessary. But what if society is wrong? These are the things that Chase has brought to my attention. MAYBE we are only thinking straight at three years of age, whilst pant-less. Let's all stop wearing pants, my friends.

3.) The Turn-Around Technique -This, my biddies, I saw in action a few times and it is the epitome of brilliance. A true diva or divo need not apologize for their behaviour when it reaches a certain unfavorable melt-down state, but the best of them know how to "turn it around" in their favor so as to keep their loyal subjects. Picture this. A COSTCO in suburban North Carolina. A small divo who has reached the level of "over it." A toy that was indeed promised to him but then must be taken away due to a saucy tantrum moment. A three-year old in hysterics, legs and arms flailing all around, tears galore to the point of snot running down front of face. Loud (yet impeccably supported) screaming, "I WANT MY TOY! WHERE DID THEY TAKE MY TOY! YOU ARE BEING SO MEAN TO ME!!" Now here's the brilliance right here. After the melt-down, the trick is to turn it around so fast that perhaps, the regular humans that take care of your basic needs think they imagined the whole thing. Example:

WES: Are you feeling better now that you've calmed down, Chase? CHASE: (accompanied by a hug and smile) I love you Mom. Best family ever.

...WHAT? THAT IS GENIUS! Not only did you deflect from your questionable melt-down, BUT you've complimented your caretakers about the work they do for you, and their "family." It's simple, it's direct, it's deflecting in the purest form. Bravo, little one.

4.) The Single Tear -Every once in a while even the most legitimate of divas and divos feel remorse and regret. It's natural. They are humans too, allbeit the more advanced and entitled form. And truthfully, sometimes they do the wrong thing. Not often because they usually do what they want (refer back to "Just Say No" above, please), but when it happens it is important to show the correct amount of guilt and remorse. Did you throw something? Did you kick a ball in the house? Did you break a glass bowl from the dining room? Did you tell the babysitter you were trying to give away your younger sister? Okay, fine. We all make mistakes. But the trick is to give your loyal subjects ONE SOLITARY tear of remorse. No more, no less. Mostly because giving more would exert serious energy and you need to stay hydrated. But also because, a three year old diva(o) really understand that less is, in fact, more. Leave them wanting more biddies. Works. Every. Time.

Even after all these lessons were made so clear and apparent to me, there is still so much more to learn. And so many tricks of the trade that I fear can only be learned through close observation and study. I'll have to do with this direction for now. These, and the ladybug Chase gave me the day I left, accompanied by, "Good luck in DC Bligh. I love you." I'll say it again. Fucking brilliant.