For an explanation of the 30 Stories in 30 Days, start at Day 1.


The Truth About Eatin’ Shirts

Has this ever happened to you? One of my best friends likes to take things that I say to her as a joke and then repeat them to other people as if I was serious. She thinks that it’s HILARIOUS. I would probably agree, if it didn’t make me seem like such an an idiot.

The most famous of these incidents occurred sometime around 2000, when I was living in Greenwich, Connecticut. I had just bought a car, so it only took me about five minutes to get to my office in Stamford. I started coming home at lunchtime whenever I could. And one day, while home for lunch, I called her (in Seattle) for a chat.

She asked what I was up to and I told her I was eating leftover spaghetti. Later, as I was ending the call, I told her I had to go so I could change clothes. She wanted to know why, so I explained to her that I had worn a nice, white blouse to work, because I had a client meeting later that afternoon. When I came home to eat leftover spaghetti for lunch, I took off the blouse to keep it clean and threw on the t-shirt that I had worn to bed the night before as a temporary replacement.

I have boobs. Boobs are notorious for attracting foods like spaghetti sauce and salsa to white shirts.

Anyway, I made a joke (A JOKE!) about it, like, “You know–had to put on my eatin’ shirt!”

Now, keep in mind that I was talking to one of my oldest friends–someone who knows me. She knows that I don’t actually have a shirt–one shirt–that I only wear while I eat. She knows I was kidding around and pretending to be some sort of yokel to make her laugh. And she did laugh. And I laughed. We both got a really good laugh! And then we hung up and she continued laughing with other people.

The way she tells the story is this: “My friend Darci said she has an eatin’ shirt! She wears it so she doesn’t get food on her work clothes.”


The way she describes it, one would imagine I have a ratty old cotton shirt falling apart from years of use, covered in food stains of every color and crumpled in the corner of my bedroom gathering flies.

The truth is, I changed into a tee shirt one time so I could eat spaghetti.

And she knows that is the truth. But it’s so much more fun to say things that aren’t technically lies and let the people fill in the blanks with a funnier version of events.

When she told her coworker, who had never met me before, about “Darci’s eatin’ shirt” they both laughed about it for days. Then her coworker took a picture of my friend holding a chicken leg and making a crazy face. He had that photo put on a t shirt with the words “Eatin’ Shirt” on the back. He gave it to her for her birthday and she wore it around the office. EVERYONE LOVED IT.

Everyone but me.

TO THIS DAY, whenever I meet one of her Seattle friends for the first time, they light up at the sound of my name and ask, “Oh! ‘Eatin’ shirt,’ right?!!!”

For an explanation of the 30 Stories in 30 Days, start at Day 1.

Today’s story is dedicated to my friend Amanda, who, earlier today, wouldn’t stop telling me what an asshole our friend’s cat is.

First of all, I know he’s an asshole. I used to live with that cat. You don’t need to tell me.

Second of all, even an asshole cat is just a cat. You are still bigger and better than him. Why do you let him get to you?

And so, I present:


Nine Reasons Why Being You is Better Than Being That Cat
(And One Reason Why It’s Not)

You’re better than that cat because…

1. You’re taller. According to science, basketball, and all the guys I’ve ever dated, taller is always better. Always.

2. You can open the fridge. That cat can open doors. He can open pizza boxes. He can open a vein with one swift swipe. But he can’t open the fridge. Oh, I am sure that he has tried. That cat is a fucking pig. Remember when Betsy’s six-year-old son asked, “Is your cat a walrus?” It wasn’t because Betsy’s six-year-old son didn’t understand how walruses work. It’s because that cat is fucking fat, like a big blubbery walrus. And that cat is always hungry. And he can’t open the fridge, which is where all the good food is kept. And you totally can.

3. Toilet paper. That cat licks his own ass.

4. You know the other day when you were like, “Mmm, you know what sounds delicious? Spaghetti. I should make spaghetti,” and then you made spaghetti? And you ate the spaghetti and it was, in fact, delicious? And remember how you can do that any time you fucking feel like it? That cat never gets to make spaghetti! He doesn’t get to be “in the mood for Thai” or “feel like chicken tonight.” He eats the same dried-up mealy fish flavored cat food every single day. And you get to make spaghetti.

5. You have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from the School of Visual Arts at the University of North Texas. That cat can’t even spell “meow.”

6. You can drive a car and ride a bike and roller-skate. That cat can only roller blade.

7. I’ve heard that sex with you is awesome, whereas sex with that cat is pretty gross.

8. Remember that time you saw Built to Spill at SxSW? You waited in line all day for tickets, but then you got in and saw them play with Excene Cervenka from X and The Old 97s and they rocked your fucking face off? Remember how you laughed when they started playing “Freebird” but then it turned out to be surprisingly awesome? And then the next night they played a secret show, but you found out and snuck in and saw them again? That cat has never even heard of Built to Spill. What a loser!

9. You only sleep in a dude’s basement when you want to. That cat does it every damn night.


That cat is better than you because…

1. He is still on Facebook.

I’ve just moved.

Not just houses, but cities and entire lives. It’s exciting and new, a bit like the theme song from the Love Boat, but with no Gopher, no dancing girls and no stopover in Rio.


For posterity’s sake I kept a bit of a journal of my first week in San Francisco and have decided to share it as a peek into the inner sanctum of my life. I’d call you all voyeurs for reading, but in actuality I’m just a hideous narcissist who wants to show you photos of my closet.

Tuesday, July 1st- DAY ONE

Arrive from Sydney, Australia to new home found and rented on Craigslist. A home I have never actually seen yet in person, with room-mates I’ve never actually met. Feel a tad apprehensive but filled with hope.

Arrive at house with five suitcases, tired from an exhaustive flight spent trying to ignore the surreptitious hand jobs being given (and received) in the seats next to me (by two randy college-age fucktards from Arizona who obviously felt the need to join the mile-high club and were too lazy/ignorant/selfish to do so in the bathroom like normal people) only to discover that the keys left out for me do not work in the key hole provided.

Have moment of extreme near-meltdown and decide to sit in the driveway in the sun and relax until a solution presents itself. Discover the word “peace” written into the concrete of said driveway and realize everything will be fine.

Wednesday, July 2nd- DAY TWO

Work. Jet lagged. Fall over a lot. Laugh. Walk home from work jingling keys in pocket and feel really peaceful and a bit like someone has given me a Roofie.

Go pick up gift of beautiful old electric guitar. Stare at it a lot and wonder what the fuck to do with it. Shrug and smile.

Thursday, July 3rd- DAY THREE

Try to do stuff. Jet lag bites ass and bed prevails. Unpack clothes into walk-in closet(s) and feel conflicting emotions of joy and disgust at how many useless dresses I own. Love closet. Hate self for loving closet.

Friday, July 4th- DAY FOUR

Cognizant at last.

Spend the evening of July 4th rearranging my kitchen and nesting (insert chicken noise) (lay egg) (peck at floor) (eat bug) (ruffle feathers) (shit) (squawk).

Cook my favorite pasta- see recipe below- leaving enough for my lovely environmental lawyer room-mate to eat when she comes back from work (because if you’re looking after Mother Nature’s business someone else has to look after you).

Open the doors to the freezing Summer night and let the recently relocated New York City cats out onto the balcony. With wide eyes they sniff the strange fresh air. I sit with them and mutter and coo “reassuring” noises but they pay me no heed.

Put some Bob Dylan on and folk around in the kitchen cupboards for a bit.

The sound of the fireworks echoing between the hills in the deep fog sounds like the wild west. I feel like I’ve been transported back to the Civil War. I’ve never actually heard any canon fire before, but a big fucking boom is a big fucking boom, right?

Saturday, July 5th- DAY FIVE

Get kidnapped in Vanigan and transported to Point Reyes for fresh oysters on the beach. Learn three chords on an acoustic guitar and arrive home happy. Stand outside my pretty house and stare at it a bit before going inside and passing out.

Sunday, July 6th- DAY SIX

HEAT WAVE! Discover concrete slides. Yes, I said CONCRETE SLIDES. Take friend up to top of park at end of street and force her to sit on a raggedy piece of cardboard and project herself down the steep incline. She screams really loudly. Success! Pick plums from the overhang and discuss plans for potential bourgeois-neighborhood anarchy. Pick flowers from other peoples yards as a build-up to said anarchy. Lie in sun and get sunburned ass. Spend evening itching ass in front of people and enjoying their reaction.

Monday, July 7th- DAY SEVEN

Go and pick up key for share car, tune guitar and wonder exactly how many more chords there actually are. Laugh at self. Play with cats. Hang hummingbird feeder. Curse rude hummingbird that ignores feeder. Pick some plums and go to work.

Realize, on way to work, that I have never felt more at home in any city anywhere, despite the fact that I know few people at all.



Recipe for Zoe’s favorite summer pasta- (for her mom who needs to learn how to make it again)

About 8-10 Green olives, marinated in plain oil NOT vinegar. diced
1 tbsp Capers, in salt not vinegar either. Yuk. squished
1 clove garlic. finely chopped
2 fresh chili’s. finely chopped
juice of 2 lemons
3 zucchinis sliced very thin lengthwise. potato peeler works well.
a couple of big handfuls of arugula
1 large tuna steak, sliced thinly OR 1 can of ITALIAN or AUSTRALIAN* tuna in olive oil, drained.
*This is important. American tuna is revolting. Italian will cost you, but it’s worth it, it tastes like fresh tuna steak not cat-food.
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
a dollop of butter
a splash of olive oil
1 chunk of imported parmigiana – grated
1 packet thin spaghetti
lots of red wine to drink while you’re cooking.

Lightly saute the strips of zucchini in a small bit of olive oil and remove from pan.

Throw the olives, capers, chili and garlic in a small frying pan, on low heat, in enough olive oil to have them simmer but not swim. You’ll figure it out. I believe in you.

While they are slooooooowly infusing the oil with their tasty goodness put a large pot of water on to boil. Throw salt in to pot. Do not waste your olive oil in the water (common misconception). When it boils put in pasta.

Add the tuna and lemon juice. Let it sizzle for a few minutes.

Add butter, zucchini and arugula. stir long enough for the arugula to wilt a little. Salt and pepper the fucker.

When pasta al dente remove from stove, drain and throw over the fishy stuff. Stir it all together. The pasta should be coated in oil lightly, not drenched in it. Add extra lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with parmigiana all over it.


Later on you will poop it out, but don’t let this occurrence freak you out, it’s perfectly natural.