how my parents facetime

"how my parents facetime" -- In which est. 1975 and her sister Cheeks imitate their parents on FaceTime. #funny #humor #blog #comedy #facetime #est1975blog @est1975blog

Me: Have you talked to Dad?

Cheeks: Not today, we’re supposed to FaceTime tomorrow

Cheeks: I’ll let you know how that goes

Me: I’m sure it will go like this


Cheeks: Or like this


Me: Lol way too many teeth

Cheeks: Yeah, but with less teeth

Cheeks: This is how Mom FaceTimes


Cheeks: Or like this


Me: Bahaha

Me: This is where I end up whenever Mom and I are FaceTiming with someone together


Me: Just busting me right on out of frame

Cheeks: Haha I just love watching her trying not to have a double chin

Cheeks: Or holding the phone two inches away from her face

Me: Like this?


Cheeks: Baaahahaha ok these are cracking me up

Me: Here’s one of Dad’s FaceTime moves


Cheeks: BAHAHA omg I was going to do that too

Cheeks: This is a classic Mom move



Me: Here’s another of Dad


Cheeks: OMG too real

Me: You know I’m going to blog about this

Cheeks: Yup

Me: You know Mom will be so mad

Cheeks: Yup

Me: You know Dad won’t even care or know

Cheeks: Yup


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all the naked ladies

As many of you loyal so-and-sos are already aware, I live in a land-locked Midwestern city characterized by frigid winters, infernal summers, and a transcendent amount of big-box retail. To add insult to injury, my town is populated primarily by:

  • Skunks;
  • Stinkbugs;
  • Dudebros;
  • Basic bitches;
  • Mediocre indie rock musicians; and
  • Fanatical weirdos with a primal and disturbing devotion to college football.

Still, in spite of all its flaws, I do love my city. It’s affordable. It’s easy to get around. Every place I could ever possibly want to shop lies within a 5-mile radius of my house. There’s culture if you know where to look for it. The schools are good. The people are nice. I have loads of friends and family nearby.

I’m happy here.

Nevertheless, there are times when my family and I need a break from this wasteland of fast food, strip malls, and aluminum siding. And there’s not a doubt in my mind that of the three of us, my husband feels the urge to get away most strongly. After living half of his life near the ocean, every day he spends away from the sea kills off a small part of him and his hot, tight body-boarding butt cheeks.

My husband his hot, tight bodyboarding butt cheeks.
My husband and his hot, tight body-boarding butt cheeks.

So we save our pennies, and journey to the West Coast whenever we can.

We spend the majority of our vacation time in San Francisco, as that’s the city my sister Cheeks calls home. It works out well. The menfolk spend their time doing outdoorsy stuff, and the womenfolk spend their time crabbing about having to do outdoorsy stuff.

My sister’s boobs taking a nap in Dolores Park.

As many of you know, San Francisco is a very unique and diverse place, and in many ways it is the antithesis of where I live. Because of this, whenever my family and I go there, we try and do things that we can’t do at home. We visit Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park, Sausalito and Angel Island, Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District.

And of course, the naked bathhouses.

****record screeches***

Let me explain.

A few years back, when my son was four and AWFUL, my family was planning a trip to San Francisco when Cheeks assessed—quite correctly—that I needed some girl time.

“I’d like to take you to a spa,” she said.

“Omg. That sounds awesome,” I replied.

“I need to warn you. It’s a … different kind of spa.”

“What do you mean?” I asked warily.

“Well,” said Cheeks. “I haven’t been there yet, so I don’t know the exact details. But it’s a Japanese bathhouse. And you have to be naked.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAhahahaha” I laughed.

But she wasn’t kidding.

Cheeks sent me a link so that I could read about the place. We looked over the web site together, spending about .000001 seconds reading about the spa’s actual services, and close to three hours laughing our way through the image gallery, which included pictures of:

“So you just sit in these baths, naked, in front of God and everybody?” I asked Cheeks.

“I guess,” she said. “There’s a whole bathing ritual you’re supposed to follow. I thought it could be fun.”

“Will there be dudes there?”

“No. The men go on different days than the women.”

“Huh,” I remarked.

“So what do you say?” asked my sister. “Do you want to try it?”

I hesitated for a second. Then I realized I was 37 years old and didn’t really give a fuck. “Sure.”

My family landed in San Francisco a week or so later. My sister picked me up at the hotel and took me straight to the spa, which meant I was filthy with travel grime, and badly in need of a shower. (After all, it’s only polite to rinse off before getting into a public bath with a bunch of naked weirdos.)

Fortunately, shower stalls were available at the bathhouse, so I stripped down and got into one. In the meantime, my sister also stripped down, parked herself on a nearby wooden bench, and began rinsing off with a pull-out faucet. The scene looked something like this:

Guys. Stop. I know my art skills are amazing, but you’re just embarrassing yourselves with the constant bouquets and the fan letters and the endless parade of compliments. Seriously. Have some dignity.

Now at this point I feel I should mention that one of the rules of the communal baths is that everyone bathing must be as quiet as possible. Silence is preferred, but you can whisper to someone if absolutely necessary, as long as you do so at the following volume:

10 is normal conversation. 0 is a piece of dandruff landing on a t-shirt.

There is even a mechanism for regulating the noise level in the communal baths—a small gong that bathers can ring to alert rude assholes that they are being too loud.

Yes, you heard me right.


To hit with a mallet.

To keep the room quiet.

I’ll just let that sink in for a second.

Okay, back to the story. My sister and I were completely naked, in front of a bunch of completely naked strangers, and we hadn’t seen each other in a really long time. So naturally we were a little bit giggly and slap-happy. Don’t get me wrong—we were whispering—but apparently we were doing so at a volume above the acceptable level of “a single Kleenex landing on a marshmallow.”

We had barely been in the spa for 5 minutes when:


At which point we were immediately confronted by the angriest naked lady in the history of angry naked ladies.


Managing not to say “do you also have a condition where every sound you MAKE is incredibly loud?”, my sister and I quickly apologized to the insane naked woman who was trying to achieve peace and serenity by bashing on a gong and yelling at strangers.

Ah. Tranquility.

We didn’t say anything to each other from that point forward. We didn’t want any more encounters with hostile ladies of the naked variety. In cowering silence and abject nudity, we began the following bathhouse ritual:

  • The steam room (120 degrees): This was nothing special. It was just a run-of-the-mill steam room—hot and humid and sweaty and boring. However, my sister did have a funny experience while in there, which she texted me later:


  • The dry sauna (140 degrees): This was lovely for about 15 seconds. Then I became a desiccated mummy that had to gulp down 900 glasses of cucumber water just to stay alive.
  • The cold pool (55 degrees): I’ve been swimming off the coast of Maine in 55-degree water, so I thought I had this. But I was wrong. So, so wrong. The minute I submerged my nether parts, my naked labia cracked into a million tiny pieces, and with no bathing suit and accompanying mesh gusset to contain them, they fell off, floated away, and were never heard from again.
  • The hot pool (104 degrees): This was essentially a heated swimming pool, which after the cold bath, was just fine by me. Cheeks and I hung out here for some time, despite the elderly Asian lady who kept following us around the pool and STANDING REALLY UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO US. Still, incredibly old naked women with no concept of personal space aside, the hot pool was by far the best part of the ritual.

While we were sitting in the hot baths, Cheeks and I took notice of a woman walking slowly back and forth between the steam room and the dry sauna. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Like a slow naked tennis ball.

We watched her FOREVER. She was completely fascinating. She was just doing what she was doing, being naked, giving no fucks, pacing slowly between two rooms, but never actually going INTO either one of them.

Then, suddenly, she had a turban.

Cheeks and I blinked. And looked at each other. And looked back at the turban. Where did it come from? When did she have time to put it on? Were the spa’s towels made of magic? Could they simply be willed into turban form? Or was the whole thing like a video game Easter egg, where if you walked back and forth over a specific area a certain number of times, you would unlock a turban?

Cheeks’ rendition of the naked woman and her magic turban, as drawn on my son’s travel-sized magnetic Diego board. I think she’s saying: “Sup.”

After a while, it was time for Cheeks and I to go home. And the minute we set foot outside of the spa and were finally at liberty to laugh our asses off without being gonged into oblivion, that is exactly what we did. It had been such a weird experience that we couldn’t help it. But after a lengthy assessment, we both agreed that we had enjoyed ourselves.

10/10. A++++. Would bathe naked in front of people again.


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a christmas chat with cheeks and my girl T


It’s been too long, my loyal so-and-sos! Which is why I wanted to give you guys something funny to read before the holidays. Check it out while you’re waiting in line for seven hours at Target tonight, or while you’re waiting for your kids to FALL ASLEEP GOD DAMN IT on Christmas Eve, or while you’re delivering a big brown Christmas present to the toilet.

Speaking of presents, consider this blog post my holiday gift to you! Albeit a crummy one that you totally don’t even want. And that has the remnants of a scratched-off clearance sticker still on it. And that also looks suspiciously used and gross. “Enjoy!”



  • Love Christmas
  • Think everyone else should love Christmas
  • Are full of the Christmas spirit
  • Are full of any kind of holiday spirit at all
  • Actually enjoy having your kids home over Winter Break
  • Think cooking, cleaning and hosting are JUST! SO! MUCH! FUN!
  • Can get through the holidays without 17 gallons of boozy eggnog
Cheeks and I enjoying some boozy eggnog last Christmas. DEM CHRISTMAS NERLS!hard-returngif

Forging ahead, then? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So a couple of days ago, my sister Cheeks, My Girl T, and I were online having a lovely, cheery, holly-jolly Christmas chat. Except for the lovely, cheery, and holly-jolly parts. What I’m saying is that it was mostly complaining. Complaining about a) men, b) Christmas, and c) men that do nothing to help over Christmas. So, all of them.

Let’s go!

Yay the Christmas tree fell over and broke a ton of ornaments and ruined some presents

Oh no really? Was it the cat?

Nope, it just tipped over


Aww man that sucks so bad

It’s probably because the new carpet is so squishy
The new carpet which is already disgusting and stained everywhere

What did you do? Can you rescue the tree?

Yeah, not only did I have to basically decorate it myself last night, I had to do it again this morning


I also like how I am the only one who can do a dish or wash a clothes

Your husband needs to help more
For reals

Oh like your fiancé is just a paragon of housekeeping lol

Lol well he does clean the dishes at least
But he also cannot wash a clothes

Or change a litter

Oh I don’t do any of the cat chores anymore since two pregnancies
It’s why he hates the cats so much haha

Oh please
I saw the “cleaned” litter

Well I have low standards

Don’t worry my husband doesn’t do it either unless I throw a fit

Your husband really helps out around the tennis court


Kinda like how my fiancé helps out around the sailboat


Oh lord
What a Christmas dumbass

Do you know how many people he has to buy presents for? Like 3.


Me, our son, and his dad.
I’ve done everyone else for him already.

I made my fiancé do his own family and he was on Amazon like… yesterday
Paying a million dollars for shipping

Oh my husband didn’t even get me half the things I wanted because they wouldn’t get here in time
Even though I gave him my Christmas list like 5 weeks ago



Can’t wait! For the food I have to plan and cook!
Can’t wait! For this gift I bought myself and also wrapped for myself!

I especially loved being told four times yesterday that I have no Christmas spirit
I threw a fit

lol good
Want to know what dumbass thing my fiancé did? Chartered a sailboat the whole week of Christmas


He thought it would be fun family times

Fun for who

Certainly not me when I’m getting sick from being below decks with two screaming babies

That’s horrible

I told him he should just go sailing on his own and I wouldn’t mind
But no
He won’t go if he’s not dragging all of us into it
Because FAMILY

That sounds horrible

Lol I do not know WTF

I would have said hell no

“You know what Christmas needs? A sporting adventure!”

“On the high seas!”

I just picked my nail and it shattered and flew into both eyes

Kind of like my Christmas tree


“Merry” Christmas, everyone! “Happy” Holidays!

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

hilarious anecdote crudité

Hello loyal so-and-sos! Today I’m going to share some funny stories with you that are just a little bit too short to warrant their own blog posts. Think of it as “hilarious anecdote crudité.” One story probably won’t fill you up, but if you cram a whole bunch of them in your face, you’ll be all good.

So! Carrot sticks and broccoli florets await! And I didn’t even stretch the ranch.hard-returngif

story #1: the earwig

I almost ate an earwig this summer.

I’m assuming you’ve seen these plastic Starbucks tumblers before. They’re dishwasher safe, they come with sturdy green straws that you can wash out and reuse, and let’s face it, they’re absolutely adorable.

The plastic Starbucks tumbler of which I speak.

My plastic Starbucks tumbler lives in my kitchen cabinet, which is where it was on that fateful day in late June. The weather was boiling hot, my mouth was a dry as a bone, and I had THE THIRST. Nothing but a 20-oz. glass of iced tea would do.

So I brought out the tumbler, filled it up, inserted the reusable straw, and screwed on the lid. Then I took my first sip.

Which is when IT happened.

I’ve given this a lot of thought, and the best explanation I can come up with is that at some point, an earwig out on its morning constitutional thought to itself: “I’m tired. Why not crawl into this sturdy green straw and die?” Because crawl into the straw and die it had. And when I took that first sip of what should have been a cool, refreshing glass of iced tea, a decaying earwig corpse slid right up the straw and into my mouth.

At which point I thought it was a piece of crushed ice and BIT DOWN ON IT.

When the alleged piece of crushed ice was not hard and crunchy like ice, but soft and “whatever the fuck this is, it shouldn’t be in my drink” like an earwig, I spit it out into the sink, saw what it was, and gagged forever.

Eventually I managed to collect myself, rinse my mouth out with cold water, and join the land of the people who had not just almost eaten earwigs. I then proceeded to march around the house for two hours impressing upon my family just how traumatized I was. BECAUSE EARWIG. IN MY MOUTH.


A text exchange I had with my friend Lori shortly after “The Incident.”


story #2: the shopping cart

The holidays had arrived.

My sister Cheeks and I were visiting the old homestead in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Winters there are never really a picnic, but on this particular day, it was chillier than a dead earwig in a glass of iced tea.

If I recall correctly, there was no actual snow, but there was cold and rain and wind. All told, it was definitely a day for staying inside, and most of the people in our town were doing exactly that. Of course, whenever other people are being smart, Cheeks and I end up doing things that are incredibly dumb. So, in keeping with that tradition, we decided to go to Target.

I honestly don’t remember what we actually went there to get. All that really sticks in my memory was that a) it was FRIGID and b) the entire town was DESERTED. We literally didn’t see a single soul on our way to the store. The residents of our hometown had chosen to remain indoors rather than brave the elements to get . . . Pringles, or whatever the fuck it was we thought we needed.

Cheeks and I finished our shopping and emerged into the Cold ‘N Shitty parking lot. Two spots down from my car was a man sitting in *his* car. He hadn’t been there before, but we paid him little mind. It was freezing, after all, and we were hyper-focused on getting our cheap bras and nacho cheese Combos into the trunk of my car tout suite.

After we unloaded what I’ll generously call our “groceries,” the skies opened up, and Cheeks and I felt ourselves being pelted by an icy drizzle. We looked around for a place to put our empty cart, but the corral was maybe eight to ten feet away literally a million miles across the parking lot. In a windy, icy Chicago rain? Forget it. We weren’t going to walk that shit over there.

So Cheeks did what we have all longed to do at one point or another—she simply gave our cart one good hard shove in the general direction of the corral and yelled: “FLY FREE!” At which point, the cart went maybe two feet, turned sharply, and fell over in the middle of the street.

And we decided to leave it there.

Laughing like idiots, we scrambled to my car in order to flee the scene of The Stupidest “Crime” Ever Committed. And that’s when we noticed that the guy in the parking spot two cars down from us had witnessed the whole thing and was laughing so hard he was crying. Like “wiping tears from his eyes” crying. Like “I can hardly breathe” crying. Like “these two people are the biggest morons I’ve ever seen” crying.

Enjoy this holiday picture of me and Cheeks. My husband took it. He thought he was being funny.


story #3: one million poop jars

My son wants to get in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Him: “Will you help me set a world record?”
Me: “Uh, sure. For what?”
Him: “Most consecutive hours watching television.”
Me: “Um…”
Him: “You could make me a bed on the couch with lots of pillows and blankets.”
Me: “…”
Him: “And get me like… twenty Capri-Suns.”
Me: “Twenty?”
Him: “Hmm…not twenty. Fifty. No, a hundred.”
Me: “Okay…”
Him: “And a LOT of snacks.”
Me: “How would you go to the bathroom?”
Him: “One million pee jars.”
Him: “Yeah.”
Me: “And what if you have to poop?”
Him (with “duh” expression): “One million poop jars.”


If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.


Photo credits:
“Starbucks Tumbler”:

cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975

July 4th, 2006. Independence Day.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It was the best of times because I was young, I was thin, and I was about to get married to a fine piece of Spanish man meat. It was the best of times because my sister Cheeks was visiting and she was staying with me for a whole week.

It was the best of times because back then we had no family obligations to prevent us from getting drunk, playing video games, and staying up until Bad Idea o’Clock.

But it was also the worst of times, because right in the middle of my sister’s visit, a quantity of rust-colored water that I could only classify as “OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL?” began to pour down the walls of my apartment and Would. Not. Stop.

The water was clearly coming from the apartment of my upstairs neighbor – let’s just call him Drug McDealer – and when I bolted up the stairs to tell him “your home is leaking, and also don’t shoot me,” he did not answer my panicky knock.

In what was probably not my smartest decision, I planted my ear firmly against the door and listened. Nothing. No sounds, no movement, and thankfully no bullet blasting through the door, down my ear canal, and into my brain. Mr. McDealer was not at home, and my ear lived to hear another day.

I ran back down the stairs to my apartment and called the “emergency” maintenance service, but as with my upstairs neighbor, nobody answered. I left a message, but an unacceptable amount of time followed during which I heard not a word from them, so I called again. Still nothing. In the meantime, my bathroom, furnace room, linen closet, and hallway were becoming saturated with water that looked A LOT like piss but thankfully wasn’t.

Needless to say, my sister and I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing while the maintenance people were busy *not* classifying our situation as an emergency, so we jerry-rigged a temporary solution. Notice the water *actively* dripping into the bowls:

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
A sophisticated water containment system that you can feel free to usurp as your own.

Finally, at around 10 P.M., the “emergency” maintenance service called me back and agreed to send someone over. And boy did they. About ten minutes later, a man who could have easily played the role of Schneider in One Day at a Time showed up at the door and introduced himself to us as “Wally.”

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975

Wally came inside and investigated for about .0000001 seconds before wisely determining that the water was “coming from the upstairs apartment.” He left us and went to let himself into La Casa del McDealer. He finally came back down after about an hour and a half and told us: “Don’t worry. It looks like your neighbor went out of town and accidentally left the water running. I turned it off and the leaks should stop soon.”

I nodded, relieved. In fact, I was so happy to have the problem solved that I didn’t ask myself ANY of the following questions:

  • Does it really take an hour and a half to turn off a faucet?
  • Who leaves their water running while they’re on vacation?
  • No, really. Who does that? Like nobody, right? Unless you’re in a television sitcom or something. Am I right?

At last it was time for Wally to take his leave, and after a little while the leaks did stop, just as the goodly maintenance man had promised. Cheeks and I cleaned up the fallout as best as we could – ignoring for the moment the bubbling ceiling plaster and the dirty yellow water stains all over the walls. It was around two in the morning, after all, and we were tired. We headed bedwards.

Imagine our surprise and disgust when we woke up to find that all of the leaks had sprung up again overnight.

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
I’m sure all this water dripping into the furnace/mechanics room was totally, totally safe.

I had to go into work that day, so my sister was on “repulsive water duty” until I could get home. In the meantime, I called the property management company and told them:

  • That Wally the Maintenance Man was Full of Shit. It was clear to me now that he had discovered a real problem up there, but didn’t want to deal with it at 10 PM, and just slapped a Band-Aid on it that he thought would hold until morning. But didn’t.
  • That my apartment walls, vents, and ceiling were obviously now full of water and I didn’t trust the property management company to clean it up thoroughly enough to not cause a mold problem later.

Luckily for me there was a vacant townhouse in the complex, and after a stressful rent negotiation, it was allowed that I could move in the very next day. Unfortunately, that meant that Cheeks and I were going to have to spend yet another night in The Land of One Thousand Leaks. But we had to make the best of it, and what better way to make the best of it than a PRETEND TEA PARTY!

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
In this photo we see Cheeks partaking of the finest “Dirty Water Champagne” and a hearty bowl full of “Filthy Urine-Lookin’ Nastiness Soup.” Please note the bottle of wine, white linen napkin, and full place setting including knife and fork.
est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
Sarah sits in front of her sparkling clean furnace room door and toasts the competence of her trusty maintenance man Wally with a glass of Martini & Grossi Asti Spumante.

The next day I took off work and we spent the entire day moving my stuff in the hot hot heat of a Midwestern July. Well, let me rephrase. My husband, his brother, his father, and my best guy friend spent the entire day moving my stuff in the hot hot heat of a Midwestern July, while my sister and I fucked around doing absolutely nothing.

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
We thought this nugget of wisdom was worth preserving for all the ages.

At one point my sister and I walked from my old apartment to the new apartment carrying literally ONE HAMBURGER BUN. And funny you should ask! I *do* have pictures of it!

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975

After we were done, we were all starving, so we went to a local Greek place and ordered the best, saltiest Greek pizza that ever was. And we ate SO. MUCH. of it. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much before or since. But it was worth it. Even though Cheeks and I literally woke up in the middle of the night needing to drink all the water that ever was:

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
I’m pretty sure olives are grown in orchards. Aren’t they grown in orchards?
est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975
Yes, Cheeks. Yes it was.

All in all, even though the Great Gross Water Disaster of Ought Six was disgusting, inconvenient, and ruinous to many of my personal possessions, it left me with a great story to tell and lots of laughs in retrospect. Including my favorite from Cheeks:

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975

I don’t know, Cheeks. Maybe I’ll ask him. After all, he did leave me his number:

est. 1975 spins a lovely yarn in "cheeks, leaks, and drug mcdealer" about when her apartment was suddenly flooded with pee-colored water. #funny #humor #leaks #water @est1975blog #est1975blog #est1975


If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.


Photo credits:
“Schneider”: Television still of Pat Harrington, Jr. as Schneider in One Day at a Time.

how to throw a frugal wedding

During the summer of 2006, my sister Cheeks and I both got married.

It was her first wedding; it was my second. She chose June; I chose August. Hers was an outdoor ceremony; mine was a church do. She later exchanged her husband for a better model; I hung onto mine.

As you can imagine, the months leading up to the summer of 2006 were a nauseating blur of “talkin’ bout wedding shit” that started to bore even us after a while. Because there are really only so many “wedding shit” chats, texts, emails, and phone calls that two people can have without wanting to drive a pair of white satin spike heels into their eyeballs.

Luckily for you, we started to entertain ourselves a little. So sit back, take a load off, and enjoy: Sarah and Cheeks’ 2006 Guide to Throwing a Frugal Wedding.



Sarah: Okay. The first thing you have to get for a wedding is the bridal gown. We already mentioned a burlap sack. I recommend a plastic grocery bag for the headpiece. You can just jam it on over your hair. Instant veil!

Also, do your own makeup in a dimly-lit church basement for minimum cost and maximum hotness.
PRO TIP: Do your own makeup in a dimly-lit church basement for minimum cost and maximum hotness.

Cheeks: The bridesmaids can wear whatever they find in the ‘One Spot’ at Target.

Sarah: So, flip flops and a dress made of magnets.

Cheeks: baahahaha
Cheeks: and plastic bangles

Sarah: and scrunchies

Cheeks: and glitter

Sarah: and tea lights


Sarah: I think we already discussed the bouquets – sticks, dead stems, dirt, and cat barf
Sarah: held together with a 10-year-old scrunchie
Sarah: or one of those plastic claw clips that went out of style 100 years ago

Cheeks: I say boutonnieres made of leaves scraped out of the gutter
Cheeks: pinned on with those black clips you can steal from work

Sarah: BAHA
Sarah: For decorations, how about the gigantic Christmas ornaments that Mom finds on sale at “Home Goods”
Sarah: for 25 cents
Sarah: where you can clearly see the remnants of the orange “Clearance” stickers half-assedly scratched off

wedding boobs
A fabulous idea for homemade centerpieces. You’re welcome.

Cheeks: Hahaha that’s good
Cheeks: and strings of Christmas lights that half don’t work

Sarah: The outdoor kind. The huge ones. And half of them are broken and in shards.
Sarah: Also, for flowers? It’s back to Home Goods for the fakest, ugliest, cheapest ones we can find.
Sarah: “.0005 cents apiece for huge, fake, bright orange carnations with the leaves half off? I’ll take 10,000!”

Cheeks: Bahahaha
Cheeks: Of course, on clearance.

Sarah: Of course, with orange stickers.


Cheeks: For the DJ you could hook up a 20-year-old ‘tuner’ set to the AM jazz station that fritzes out every two minutes.

Sarah: No, even better – public broadcasting.

Cheeks: Bahaha like NPR

Sarah: Playing fusion jazz and world music, occasionally interrupting for “All Things Considered” and “Car Talk”


Sarah: Of course, the whole ceremony will be conducted in someone’s sun room or screened-in porch
Sarah: with everyone sitting on random mismatched lawnchairs, most of which smell like the basement or cat pee.

Cheeks: Bahaha oh of course
Cheeks: with ferns encroaching on personal space


Sarah: For appetizers, we will have ten-year-old biscotti in a big plastic jug from Sam’s that we can all pass around.
Sarah: For “butlered hor d’ouevres” we will have pizza rolls and “Bagel Bites”

Cheeks: taped to the cat
Cheeks: Oh and “Italian Dippers”

Sarah: BAHAHAaaaaa and mozzarella sticks
Sarah: and that artichoke dip that smells like feet
Sarah: For the main course? Campbell’s soup. “Chunky Style” if you want to splurge.
Sarah: And day old bread.

Cheeks: And salad in a bag.


Sarah: For the wedding cake, we will have “defrosted” Sara Lee pound cake, and by “defrosted” I mean you could totally bust a wall down with it.
Sarah: With Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream.
Sarah: For the bride and groom figures it will be one naked headless Barbie doll, and one “butch” Barbie doll with her hair cut real short, and wearing Ken’s clothes.


Sarah: What else is left? Oh, photography. Well, duh. DISPOSABLE CAMERAS PEOPLE

Why not save money on photography by letting your friends take pictures with disposable cameras? Because of shit like this. That’s why.

Cheeks: Oh, not even.

Cheeks: It will be like one shitty webcam in the corner
Cheeks: broadcasting over “C-U C-Me”

Sarah: And someone will accidentally sit on it

Sarah: and release a series of farts, which will preclude any other audio from being transmitted.

Cheeks: It’s okay, it will be more entertaining than the fuzzy NPR from the tuner.


Cheeks: Invitations will be made in “Print Shop” with dumb church bell clip art
Cheeks: and printed on some shitty printer that leaves a bunch of lines.

Sarah: PRINT SHOP BAhhhhhh
Sarah: We’ll make them in the basement on the old Apple II+.

Cheeks: Yes and print them on dot matrix printers.


Well, folks? There you have it. When you’re interested in throwing a frugal wedding you know who to ask for advice. You heard it here first!

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

purple gravy

Children, vagrants, and loyal so-and-sos – it is now time for you to gather round the fireplace and listen in astonishment and wonder as Granny Sarah tells you the fabled story of The Purple Gravy.

(Though, if Granny Sarah was smart, she would save the story of The Purple Gravy for the month winding up to Thanksgiving. Then she’d publish it, sit back, and watch it go viral. But Granny Sarah is a willful sumbitch who may or may not be dumber than a box of pubic hair. And she wants to tell the tale of The Purple Gravy RIGHT. NOW.)

So hitch up your britches, have a seat, and listen as Granny Sarah spins the extraordinary yarn that is:


Thanksgiving 2009 was not a good Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about it, because I have sworn to protect the privacy of a certain douchebag who ruined the whole holiday, but suffice to say it was *extremely* uncomfortable and stressful. By the time Thanksgiving dinner FINALLY rolled around after the longest and most distressing three days of my life, everyone involved was at the end of their wits. (Yep. End of their wits. I said it.)

My sister Cheeks, who is an amazing cook, was the one in charge of the gravy that year. But thanks to The Douchebag Who Must Not Be Named, she was frazzled, distracted, and overcome with anxiety. She went to strain the turkey drippings — and forgot to put a receptacle under the strainer. The base for our gravy went right down the sink.

Fortunately, we had back-up gravy, and a Thanksgiving dinner crisis was neatly averted.

Still, Cheeks was bound and determined to make up for The Great Gravy Disaster of 2009. Enter Thanksgiving 2010.

We went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving that year. It was just Cheeks, my parents, my husband, my son, and myself. The marked absence of The Douchebag Who Must Not Be Named was noted as an auspicious start to the holiday weekend. There was also a Wii and Super Mario involved. Things were going to go great!

Here’s things going great! And my enormous mouth.

And things did go great… for about twelve hours. Then I got the stomach flu the day before Thanksgiving and started barfing all over everything and shitting all over everywhere.

It was a 24-hour bug. Which was fortunate because my sister and I were in charge of preparing the Thanksgiving meal, and I needed to be back on my feet in order to cook. And I was. THANKFULLY. (See what I did there?)

Here are some pictures:

The most effective cure for the stomach flu is drinking a shit ton of cheap wine.
Cheeks getting psyched up to cook. Quit staring at her face-butt, you big perverts.

As we laid out our strategy for the meal, Cheeks asked me if she could handle the gravy, to compensate for the previous year’s “incident.” Knowing my sister to be an excellent cook, and well aware that The Great Gravy Disaster of 2009 had been a once-in-a-lifetime culinary whoopsie, I said:

“Go for it.” 

Famous last words.

Fast forward four hours. The turkey was done and had come out of the oven to cool. Almost as if I knew this was going to be a blog post someday, here is a picture of me posing with it.

Which is bigger? My mouth or the turkey’s gaping b-hole? Don’t worry, I know the answer.

Cheeks strained the turkey drippings, this time making for damned sure that there was a receptacle underneath the strainer to catch them. With a good quantity of drippings well in hand, she began to prepare the gravy, though she was worried it was going to end up a little thin. I said:

“Add a little corn starch.”

More famous last words.

Per my instructions, she started adding some corn starch. In fact, here’s a photo of her doing it:

It’s eerie how the cheeks always seem to be staring you RIGHT IN THE EYE.

I turned my attention away from Cheeks and her gravy preparations and focused on one of the other tasks that needed to be completed before the turkey was cool enough to carve. But I wasn’t at it long before Cheeks said:


Which was then followed by a “COME TASTE THIS” that did not sound promising. Not promising at all. It was certainly not a “Mmm! This is delicious! Come taste this.” It was definitely more along the lines of a “This tastes like throw-up. Seriously. Come taste this.”

Cheeks handed me the gravy. And I tasted it. And it tasted bad. Like — BAD. Not rancid bad. Not “I think this might be poisonous” bad. Not even “two flavors that don’t go together very well, like orange juice and toothpaste” bad. Just horribly, completely, indescribably BAD.

I spit it out into the sink.

“What the hell happened?” I asked Cheeks.

“I don’t know!” she said, stupified.

Me: “Well, what did you do?”

Her: “I kept adding corn starch to it until it thickened up.”

Me: “How much did you add?”

Her: “I dunno. Like… about a cup?”


ARGO Cornstarch recommends using 2 tablespoons per cup of broth to give it a thicker, more gravy-like consistency. Let’s be generous and say we had two cups of turkey broth going on that fateful day. If we take Argo’s suggested ratio as Bible truth, Cheeks *should* have used four tablespoons to thicken that shit up. One cup, which is roughly what Cheeks put in the gravy, equals SIXTEEN TABLESPOONS. Which is why the gravy tasted like baby powder soup.

And we did NOT have back-up gravy.

We panicked. We knew it was unthinkable to have a Thanksgiving dinner without gravy. It was, as Wallace Shawn says in The Princess Bride, “inconceivable!” So we practically broke our butts running to the Internet.

Neither Cheeks nor I remember the exact recipe we found but it was something like this – a red wine and onion gravy that did not require ANY meat stock, since we did not have even one drop left to use. We thought it sounded kind of barfy, but as actors on BBC America say, “Needs must.” So we made it.

It was purple.


It didn’t actually taste that bad. It wasn’t GOOD, exactly, but it wasn’t bad. My seventy-year-old father barely touched it, of course, but the rest of us managed to suck some down. We finished Thanksgiving dinner, marveled at Cheeks’ continued bad luck with gravy, and went to bed.

Which was when my sister got the 24-hour stomach flu and spent the rest of the night puking up purple gravy.

And the moral of this story? ALWAYS have at least two jars of back-up gravy. ALWAYS.

Also: when in doubt, throw a glass of red wine on the floor.


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