When Poets Blow It: Guess The Celebrity Bards!

It can be very hard for celebrities to know what they’re bad at. I say that with genuine empathy. Once you reach a certain level of fame, you are probably surrounded by people telling you how wonderful you are at everything. It must be difficult to parse out who’s just humoring you. Somebody at some point told all of these celebrities that they were good at poetry, and you know what? I have to commend them for trying. See, even though an enthusiastic fifth grade teacher probably told all of us that “everybody can write poetry,” the fact remains that most people shouldn’t.

These stars aren’t exactly Dylan Thomas staggering through Chelsea or Mary Oliver roaming through a woodland with, like, a gentle fox, but they put forth an effort. Some of them – though not technically great writers – even managed to capture their personal voice in their poems, something that even accomplished writers can struggle with. Don’t believe me? Try guessing which celebrity wrote these tragic verses. If you’re up for it, you could even stage a poetry reading! With verses about three-way phone calls, an assistant named Fe, and bitchy organic food enthusiasts who don’t know how to stay in their gluten-free lane, you’re in for a good time.

Like all good fifth grade workbooks, we”ll even provide a “word bank”:

  • Suzanne Somers
  • Ashanti
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Pamela Anderson
  • Britney Spears
  • Sean Penn
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • James Franco
  • Sarah Palin
  • Kate Moss
  • Ally Sheedy
  • Jewel
  • Kristen Stewart

Okay, here come the poems!

I reared digital moonlight
You read its clock, scrawled neon across that black
Kismetly … ubiquitously crest fallen
Thrown down to strafe your foothills
…I’ll suck the bones pretty.

  • ANSWER: Kristen Stewart, From My Heart Is A Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole

Lucky in love
Lucky in love
Didn’t forget me when I asked you to leave me
Didn’t forget me
Now you’re alongside me
You’ve brought luck to love
I’ve been hit by a truck in love.”

  • ANSWER: Jennifer Aniston, re: John Mayer

honeymoon at last, to get away from it all
My assistant Fe gave me the call.

I remember it well, as she was smilin’
She said it was called Turtle Island.

I packed my bags light and quick,
Then grabbed my pink dress & favorite lipstick.

  • ANSWER: Britney Spears, in Honeymoon Poem

There had been a time
When we were up for the same roles,
10 Things I Hate about You
Based on The Taming of the Shrew),
And The Patriot —
Funny, you were Australian and so was Mel —
You were the knight in A Knight’s Tale
Although I’m sure you wished you weren’t.

  • ANSWER: James Franco, in Ledger

Excuse me, aren’t you…?”
“Hey, you look just like…”
“Oh my God, that’s…”
“Sorry to interrupt your dinner, but aren’t you…”
“Look, I never do this, but, my wife thinks you’re…”
“My friend is so convinced that you’re…”
“I’m so embarrassed, but, aren’t you…?”
“I know you must be tired of this, but…”
All eyes held in stare, all mouths locked open in shock, as he pulled the latex [REDACTED] mask from his head, revealing the rotted skull of President Lincoln.

  • ANSWER: Charlie Sheen, in I.D. Blues (redacted = “Charlie Sheen,” of course)

Organic girl dropped by last night

For nothing in particular

Except to tell me again how beautiful and serene she feels

On uncooked vegetables and wheat germ fortified by bean sprouts—

Mixed with yeast and egg whites on really big days—

She not only meditates regularly, but looks at me like I should

And lectures me about meat and ice cream

And other aggressive foods I shouldn’t eat.

  • ANSWER: Suzanne Somers, in Organic Girl

I do not like this Uncle Sam. I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like — oh, just you wait — I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their crony deals.

I do not like this spying, man, I do not like, ‘Oh, Yes we can.’

I do not like this spending spree, we’re smart, we know there’s nothing free.

I do not like reporters’ smug replies when I complain about their lies.

I do not like this kind of hope, and we won’t take it, nope, nope, nope.

  • ANSWER: Sarah Palin, in an actual speech at a real convention


I’ve been thinking you’ve been cheatin
and you know that’s just not right
So just to be sure
I gave you a call
to see exactly what you’d say
You said, “Girl you know I’m not lyin!”
Good, lets call her on three-way

  • ANSWER: Ashanti, in Three-Way

…ME – I miss PLAYBOY – The end of an Era – Chivalry, elegance, celebrated imperfections…

  • ANSWER: Pamela Anderson, in Untitled Facebook Poem

we wait
it passes
kito – we figured out
was the place they stopped
b4 the galapagos

ee cummings was just lazy

  • ANSWER: Rosie O’Donnell in Aloha

brighter and brighter every day
my insides slosh about like a nauseous ocean
it takes great gulps of air
words from religious books
and Diet Cherry Coke to quiet the sound

  • ANSWER: Ally Sheedy in On The Road

I saw a woman
whose teeth were
straight like
White picket fensces
Until she looked
at her husband-
They they looked like
Shattered windows

  • ANSWER: Jewel in Untitled

What is this on my chin…?
It’s f**king s**t, man
All right
F**k this
F**k it
Give me a f**king shower.

  • Sean Penn in This Water’s Cold



Amy March Was A Total Bitch

Growing up in the 1990s, it was sort of normal for a girl to be into the 1800s. The American Girl catalog was in your mailbox, the Little House books were in your Scholastic orders, and everyone had a mom or grandma who was really into Dr. Quinn. The 1994 film adaptation of Little Women was right in the zeitgeist. When I saw that it was on tv around Christmas, nostalgia got the better of me. I had to watch. And, umm… something jumped out at me that didn’t when I was a kid. So, I decided to re-read the book on my bus rides to and from work, and it was confirmed.

Amy March was a huge freaking bitch.

I accepted early on that Amy was my March counterpart. While I loved writing and piano, I was neither a free-spirited tomboy like Jo nor a gentle, shy dead girl like Beth. And Meg — seriously, did anyone ever want to be Meg? Leave a comment if you did. No, I was an Amy. I’m also the youngest of four, and I – like many youngest children – am kind of hammy and want everyone to love me. Like the youngest March sister,  I’m even the only one of my siblings to miss out on getting a nickname. Alcott never mentioned it, but I just know that Amy felt like she got the shaft there.

So,while it does pain me to say this, let me repeat: Amy March was a total bitch. Let’s discuss:

Nobody Cares About Your Nose, Amy.

Amy hates her nose, which is described as a small, flat snub nose. Oh, so an adorable nose? A nose that is too cute? What a trial that must be – like those girls who complain about being “too pretty.”

Amy wants a “Roman Nose,” which according to Wikipedia, is “a human nose with a prominent bridge, giving it the appearance of being curved or slightly bent.” Wow, March. Have you ever got shit taste in noses. That’s probably what my nose looks like, and you know how I got it? Not by sleeping with a clothespin on it – no, I  broke it. Twice.

Oh, You’re Too Good for Hand-Me-Downs? Can it, Amy.amy-little-women-helen-page

The hardest thing in Beth’s life was dying of scarlet fever and the hardest thing in Jo’s life was having a dumb-bitch little sister who stole her manuscript, Eurotrip, and Laurie, but Amy — the hardest thing in her life was having a tiny, cute nose and having to wear hand-me-downs.

Alcott writes: “Amy was in a fair way to be spoiled, for everyone petted her, and her small vanities and selfishness were growing nicely. One thing, however, rather quenched the vanities. She had to wear her cousin’s clothes. Now Florence’s mama hadn’t a particle of taste, and Amy suffered deeply at having to wear a red instead of a blue bonnet, unbecoming gowns, and fussy aprons that did not fit. Everything was good, well made, and little worn, but Amy’s artistic eyes were much afflicted, especially this winter, when her school dress was a dull purple with yellow dots and no trimming.”

Look, I had a cousin who was an only child, and her mom shopped at the good stores. The day I’d get the big black trash bag of her hand-me-downs was like a freaking holiday. Oh, Florence’s mama sent you a red bonnet? Well my cousin’s mama sent me skorts and shortalls, and I was happy to have them.

Amy. Limes Are Stupid.

Poor thing. Always thwarted in her search for citrus fruits.

Pickled limes were the fashion at Amy’s school, because apparently she was educated with a bunch of other little dummies. So, Meg gave Amy the rag money to buy some limes, and I’m not even completely clear on what “rag money” is, but I’m pretty sure that if your family is poor enough to rely on something called rag money to supplement your income, safe to say you’re pretty hard up and shouldn’t be wasting your money on preserved citrus fruits.

Limes were outlawed in Amy’s classroom, but obviously all of the kids still brought them in, kind of like tamagochis in my school, circa 1998. [Sidenote: the spell-check suggestion for tamagochis is “masochists,” which is pretty apropos. What were we doing to ourselves? At least when limes are the 6th-grade trend, you don’t have to sneak off to feed it every 3 hours.] But, Amy wouldn’t give this girl Jenny a lime because Jenny was being a total bitch, so Dumb Bitch Jenny told the teacher that Amy had limes. He made Amy throw the limes into the snow and Amy had a fit even though a citrus fruit will do just fine in the snow. As a matter of fact, Amy couldn’t have known this, but in like 70 years they’ll invent this magical box that keeps food cold all of the time and – will wonders never cease – the food lasts longer. Also Amy’s limes are PICKLED, which admittedly is gross, but it means they can stay outside for a minute. [However, the limes do get stolen. We’ll go there later.]

Oh, and then the teacher hit Amy’s hand, which was majorly not cool. Our biggest bitches in this story are really the teacher and Dumb Bitch Jenny. Still, Amy’s a bit at fault for squandering the family’s rag money on some stupid limes.

Amy March Hates Irish People. This Irish Person Says Amy March Can Suck It.

The Republic of Ireland has retaliated by naming its least-appealing souvenir porcelain doll after Amy March.

When Amy’s limes got thrown into the snow, she wasn’t upset because she lost her limes – she was upset because the limes were “exulted over by the little Irish children, who were their sworn foes.” Yep, Amy March’s sworn foes were anonymous Irish street urchins. You bet your sweet bippy that one didn’t make the Winona Ryder movie. It wasn’t losing the limes that made Amy cry like – forgive me – a little bitch, it was the Irish kids getting the limes.

Amy. You live in Boston. Concord, whatever. You know those little Irish street children? They’re going to run your city. In 100 years, the descendants of one of those lime-eating Boston Street Micks is going to be our nation’s president. Your city’s basketball team is literally going to be called the Celtics. Don’t worry about what basketball is. If your grandchildren ever get arrested, you know who’s going to do it? An Irish cop. But you don’t even have to wait 100 years. Even in the 1860s, every one of those Irish kids has a pack of 14 siblings to back them up in a fight. And those kids are scary. They have been working in silk mills since they were 5. You know how my great-great-great grandmother survived the Potato Famine? By eating GRASS. Honestly, poor Irish children from Boston in the 1860s are probably the worst “sworn foes” you could make.

So, on behalf of Irish and part-Irish Americans, let me just tell Amy March that she can suck it. Know what she can’t suck, though? A lime – because the Irish kids got them. Booyah, March.

Ruining the ONE THING Your Sister Loves? Pretty Bitchy.

Remember when Amy was a little piss who burned her sister’s manuscript because Jo dared to have fun without her? God. What is your beef with Jo, Amy? Tell me. Because it’s sort of a recurring theme throughout the book.

On the plus side, I’d like to thank Amy March for the world’s first lesson that you should always, always back up your work.

You’re Using It Wrong, Ames.

I just cannot with this basic girl and her five-cent vocabulary. Honestly, though, Amy is 12 when the book starts, and that’s an 1860s 12. In 1860s Massachusetts, you could be a six-year veteran of the mills at 12. You could be betrothed at 12. But no, Marmee sent Amy to the ol’ schoolhouse instead, probably because of the child’s demonstrated inability to speak the English language. Look, Amy wasn’t spending her time watching tv or instagramming. The only thing to do was read books and learn how to use words properly, yet she was somehow incapable of doing it. For instance: “label” for “libel” (when she actually meant slander) and “vocabilary” for “vocabulary.” You just know this bitch says “liberry” and “pisgetti.”

I’m not saying I’m glad her teacher beat her at school, because I’m not, I’m just saying that if any of the March sisters deserved a formal education, it wasn’t Amy. All I know is, if Amy March lived today, she’d be that little cousin of yours whose tweets and Facebook posts are so incomprehensible that you basically have to do an English-to-English translation every time you read them.

She’s not even that good at art so maybe she should just shut up about it.

Amy March isn’t a real person, but she was somewhat based on Louisa May Alcott’s sister Abigail May. May probably had a lot of gifts and talents, but art wasn’t one of them. Here are some of her drawings:

Compare the scale of Marmee(?) in the chair with the girl to the right. It’s like a Cabbage Patch doll next to a Barbie.

My favorite part is the floating table.

May died young, and that’s sad, but you know what else is sad? These sketches.

I Ain’t Sayin’ She’s A Gold Digger (Yes, I am. Yes, she is.)

So, first Amy gold-digs her way into Fred Vaughn’s heart. Then, she sees the opportunity to get with Laurie, who in addition to being wealthy, also provides her with the opportunity to ruin Jo’s life. So, she does that instead. Either way, she’s a gold-digger.

Steals Jo’s Trip

Eyes on the prize, Li’l Amy. Eyes on the prize.

Jo put up with Aunt March’s Crappy Plumfield Storytime every day, with the understanding that at some point she’d get a Eurotrip out of the deal. Look, for a 20-year-old girl in the 1800s, it wasn’t as easy as just finding a college with a good study abroad program.

Then, Amy – freaking Amy – swoops in, befriends Aunt March, and gets the trip. As an indirect result, Jo had to move to a boarding house and marry an old German man.

Steals Jo’s Man

Jo and Laurie were endgame. I refuse to hear differently. Sure, Jo shot down Laurie’s proposal, but I think it was just the wrong time — she was coming back for him later, and that’s all there is to it.

So, when Laurie proposed to Amy — because she was the next-closest thing to Jo — Amy should have had the decency to know that Laurie was Jo’s one true love.

Instead, Amy was a total bitch, so she married him.


After all that, here’s the truth: now that I’m an adult, Amy is my favorite. Beth does nothing, gets scarlet fever, then dies. [Also, please don’t stone me, but did anyone else think Beth wasn’t exactly playing with a full deck?] Meg does nothing, twists her ankle, then gets married. Jo ruins her chance at true love, and acts so obtuse about how to behave in human society that I think she’s just doing it to get on her sisters’ nerves. She’s like that one girl in college who tried to be unconventional just for the sake of it, and you were always like “you know what? You’re not Amelie. Stop trying to be Amelie.”

Whether or not you think Amy is a huge freaking bitch (and don’t get me wrong, she is), that girl knew how to go after what she wanted. Somehow, she was ridiculously well-liked, but at the same time, you sure as hell didn’t walk all over Amy March. But, if I ever ended up with an Amy March of my own, I would need to make like Marmee and send her to live with a great-aunt for her teenage years – because honestly, what a little bitch.

In Defense Of Light Blogging

When you write stuff on the internet, the age-old online axiom “never read the comments” doesn’t apply to you. If you don’t read the comments on your own blog, there’s nobody to approve them, you know?

Here at Cookies + Sangria, we’ve been blessed (or #blessed, I think is how you do it on the internet) with some really fantastic commenters. We can count on one hand the number of truly troll-y comments we’ve had, and those all get deleted. They’re not worth the bandwidth.

Then, there are the gray areas. The comments that you don’t quite know what to do with, so they languish unapproved until you eventually delete them. They’re not abusive, or unkind, but they’re also not the sort of thing you want to start a Comments War by addressing.

Like the Cold War, comments wars involve little actual physical conflict, result from ideological differences, and could best be resolved by a rousing Arm Wrestling match.

About three of those have been sitting in our Pending Comments folder for a month. In one of our entertainment posts, they are all comments saying “why are you talking about celebrities and movies?  There’s so much wrong in the world, and we should be paying attention to that.”

So, here’s my answer: Exactly. There is so much wrong in the world. I don’t think you’ll find a single person who doesn’t find the world very, very heavy at times. Some of it is lead-weight heavy: famine, genocide, and so on. Even the people with the best lives deal with that sort of wet wool sweater kind of heaviness: bills to pay, sickness, all of that. If the only things that any of us were allowed to read and write about were the most grave and pressing matters of the day, the world would be even weightier than it already is.

Aran Jumpers, because if anything represents struggles and negativity in the universe of knit woolens, it’s got to be the Irish sweater.

 The decision to blog about fun, light stuff is a deliberate one. With so much heaviness, our goal is to write the kind of things that we’d enjoy reading ourselves. I hope that you can come here during your coffee break, or when your favorite show goes to commercial, and find something to make you smile. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a waste of our time to write it, or yours to read it.

If I’m being honest with myself, you’re probably reading our blog while you’re at work, drafting an email, with a show up on hulu, while texting a friend. That’s why we need to invent adult exer-saucers, where they plunk you in the middle of it and there’s a different device everywhere you turn.

If you want to learn about the big issues in the world, the internet is a big place, and there are plenty of qualified people writing about them. Just because you aren’t reading about them here, I don’t assume you aren’t reading about them anywhere. In return, I hope you all realize that just because I’m not writing about the serious stuff here, doesn’t mean I don’t care.

Every Saturday, I teach English to refugees. These are people who have lost absolutely everything, from their homes to their nationalities to their loved ones. And do you know what we do at class every week? We laugh – a lot. Part of this is because laughter is one of the universal languages. [The other ones are math and music, but doing math would make me dread the class, and my singing would make the class dread me. Also, Esperanto, but that didn’t really take off, now did it?] If me looking stupid is going to help the English language stick in their heads, I’m glad to do it. However, even if they aren’t learning anything, I don’t think that the two hours we spend laughing every weekend are hours wasted. These are people who know, first-hand, that the world is heavy enough. You shouldn’t ignore that, and I don’t think that any of our readers do. Still, wherever it is you can find some lightness – a funny article, a tv show you look forward to every week, a cat meme – you have to take it. And if you can’t find enough of it, then maybe you should write it yourself. No matter what those gray-area commenters say, there are people out there who need to read it.

Best of C+S 2013: A Sneak Peek at My Memoirs

Happy New Year! We hope that 2013 was a wonderful year for you, and even if it wasn’t, we hope you’re excited for a fresh new year ahead. Maybe you’ve even made a New Year’s Resolution or two. If one of yours is to finally begin writing that book, we understand. Last year Traci got as far as drafting some working chapter titles for her memoirs. We think you’ll relate to them.


Working Chapter Titles for my Memoir

Originally Posted on March 1

Like any normal 27-year-old girl who can’t seem to call herself a ‘woman’ quite yet, I’ve come to reflect a lot about my life up to now, and how my peers are living theirs in comparison. If I were ever to write a memoir, these are some working chapter titles which highlight key moments in my life, thoughts that plague my head from day to day, and other random things that are completely unrelated.

•How to tell someone their baby isn’t cute
•Valentine’s Day engagements are tacky, not romantic
•How cookie butter changed my life
•YouTube fan videos: underrated pieces of art or just plain creepy?
•Extreme couponing
•Unfriending hurts more than you know
•Why hasn’t anyone carded me in two months?
•Alcohol is expensive
•I wish WebMD counted as going to the doctor
•An ode to GIFs (ebook version only)
•X Pro II vs. Lo-Fi: The stress of picking the perfect filter
•Just Dance : Not just for kids
•My quest to being internet famous
•Traci’s guide to keeping cool after recognizing a celeb
•Kate and Leo, Zanessa, and other couples that could have been
•Dear Mark Zuckerberg
•What ever happened to Lou Bega?
•I’m calling it a night
•PPOs, HMOs, and LOLs
•I’m not coming to your wedding if there’s no open bar
•Wedding photo stalking 101
•Amy Poehler

Sh!t The Daily Mail Loves

Please tell me I’m not the only person who hate-reads The Daily Mail? There’s no need for me to do this. As an American, the news and gossip are irrelevant to me. As a writer, the nonsensical sentences, redundancy, and clichés make me cringe. As an educated lady, reading it is probably the worst thing I could do next to slut-shaming Susan B. Anthony even though we all know that Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the real ho-bag. And as a lawyer, the piss-poor analysis of high-profile cases makes me want to bulk-ship my bar exam study notes to the editors — or at least some Law & Order DVDs.

And yet… and yet. I can’t stop. It’s like eating Cheetos when I’m in a situation where someone has Cheetos. I don’t want to do it, but somehow, I’m compelled.

If you read the Daily Mail often enough, you’ll notice that the “news magazine” freaking loves the following things — and yes, all results are from the past 90 days alone:

Calling legs “pins”

  • Vanessa Hudgens reveals her fins (not pins) as she dresses up in shell bra for mermaid photoshoot with friend Kim Hidalgo
  • Grey matters: Alessandra Ambrosio flaunts her slim pins in ghostly paisley jeans alongside daughter Anja
  • From day to night! Karolina Kurkova sticks to super skinny jeans as she squeezes her slim pins into tight trousers twice in one day
  • Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and Jessica Paré highlight their curves as January Jones flaunts her pins in a mini skirt at BAFTA event

…and literally 24 more where that came from

Telling us what people’s faces say

  • Is this the smile that says I’m back with Bieber? Selena Gomez beams amid rumours of yet another reconciliation
  • The thumbs-up that says we’re free! Kidnap victims Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry finally return home after 10 years in captivity
  • Smile that says he’s on the mend: Prince Philip strides out… in his surgical stockings
  • The grin that says ‘I do’! 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden and Ben Jorgensen exchange vows on a rainy New York day

Scare quotes

Things President Obama does that cost money

  • Obama under fire as he turns the G8 Summit in Ireland into a family trip ‘that costs U.S. taxpayers $5.2million for just two days abroad’
  • The moment First Lady Michelle Obama giggled like a schoolgirl as she got to meet her musical idols at lavish White House soul concert
  • Documents: Obama administration paid at least $2.5 MILLION for hotel rooms and rental cars during the 2012 G-20 meeting in Mexico

Gruesome tales of child neglect

Capitalization in article titles for EMPHASIS

Sarah Jessica Parker’s twin babies walking places

– Over the past three months, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Twin Babies (SJPTB, I call them) have used scooters, held cell phones, listened to stories, worn outfits, and looked different from each other, according to the DM. But most of all, they’ve walked places – and DM has been there every tiny, Mary Jane-clad step of the way.

When grown-ass women have sex with teenage boys

– I don’t think you understand. I gave up counting when I hit 20 female teachers who had sex with teenage students. There were still 9 pages of results to go. This was the past 90 days alone. Obviously this is a problem, but the degree of glee DM gets out of reporting these crimes – versus the one-paragraph mention of the over 90 rapes that were reported in ONE day during the riots in Egypt… well, y’all don’t want me to get started on what that says about the state of things. Just know that wherever a high school math teacher is pregnant with the child of her 17-year-old student, the Daily Mail will be there. I assume they have a Google alert set up. That, or a particularly gossipy teenager planted in each high school in North America.

People doing horrific things while on bath salts

The Garner-Afflecks

– I mean. I even know what Violet’s school uniform looks like.

Telling you why you’re fat

This month the reasons are: sadness, skim milk, caffeine, your job, food labelling, the fact that your obese mother didn’t have weight loss surgery before you were born, juice, meat, staying with your grandparents as a child, chips, soda.

Twitter feuds

Duchess Kate alternately looking or not looking pregnant

– When that damn baby is born, Daily Mail is going to explode into a million Union Jack-printed pieces, like a British Kool-Aid man.

Animals who seem to have feelings

– Also, people having feelings about animals. A town in Texas threw a funeral for a beloved local stray dog, for instance. The article would have been bigger, but the dog wasn’t also friends with a baby monkey. The Daily Mail LOVES when non-monkey animals are friends with baby monkeys. So do I, though. So do I.

Photosets from Abandoned Places

I like looking at crumbling high schools and moldy teddy bears in Chernobyl and Detroit, and by God, so does the Daily Mail. Always – always – these are from some guy’s blog from 2006.

When women are “scary skinny”

– If you are female, and exist in public, and have a BMI below 18 or so, you run the risk of having the Daily Mail call you “scary skinny.” It’s just because they’re concerned.

When women “flaunt their curves”

– If you are female, and exist in public, and have a BMI above 18 or so, you run the risk of having the Daily Mail declare that you are “flaunting your curves,” which – don’t worry – just means “wearing an outfit” in Daily Mail-speak. Note that there’s no real line between scary skinny and big ol’ curve flaunters.


– Daily Mail fucking loves sinkholes. I don’t know why.