Humpday Haiku #7

Global warming explained in Year 3001

Annoyed by humans
Earth Gone Girled itself
Finally, some peace.


October 21, 2019 | New York, NY

“You’re sophisticated,” he said, taking a bite of his salad.

She considered this. A lifetime of studying magazines, movies, and TV shows had taught her there are things it’s better to be a little of (shy, clumsy, cynical) and things it’s better to be a lot of (witty, ballsy, good-smelling).

‘Phisticated’ by itself was never enough.
You had to be a lot of it.

She’d been trying really, really hard and now, look at her – so phisticated. She swirled her wine, took a sip, tasted the tannins, and graciously accepted the compliment.

Humpday Haiku #6

Positive affirmation post-embarrassing yourself

I’m a unicorn.
The world needs people like me
to give them stories.

An Obamasterpiece

October 14, 2019 | New York, NY

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves start changing color, one of my favorite things to do is curl up with books written by the Obamas. It brings me back to a more wholesome time just 4 years ago, when President Obama addressing us all in his State of the Union meant shutting off my phone, ordering tacos, and staring dreamily at the TV.

How wonderful it is, I’d think, that we have a president who makes dad jokes and plays basketball and does mic drops and rocks the hell out of a button down shirt. How inspiring Michelle Obama is with her toned arms and perfectly-timed bon mots. They’re like us, but better.

That hasn’t changed. While the nation’s currently every dictionary’s living definition of a Dumpster Fire, Barack Obama’s living his best life. Even more, he’s been writing his newest memoir – set to drop in 2020 – and we finally know the title: The Art of (Gracefully) Not Giving a F*ck.

President Obama addressing us in his State of the Union meant shutting off my phone, ordering tacos, and staring dreamily at the TV. I never expected a governing body to bring me such joy, but here we were.

“This book is a, uh, chance for me to reflect on the past 3 years and share my learnings with the American people,” the former president said in a (very) brief phone call.

In other words, it’s a masterpiece. The Art of (Gracefully) Not Giving a F*ck takes us through the process of adjusting to post-presidential life with vivid imagery and stirring prose. Lessons he learned along the way are distilled into singular chapters, with some standouts:

  • “Just Be Barack”

“I’m not somebody who gets real worked up about things,” Obama once wrote in The Audacity of Hope. He says this again here in his introductory chapter. What does ‘Being Barack’ mean? Be Cool-Tempered, he writes. Be an International. Travel to French Polynesia, Kensington Palace, the British Virgin Islands, and Twitter for reminders of who you are: Someone the World Reveres. Having a killer smile along the way will only help. So will a photographer who captures your essence.

  • “Oh, Word?”

Who but Barack Obama to remind us of the power of the written word in these trying times? This chapter highlights his dedication to posting lengthy, eloquent messages on social media. Never say the thing that’s bothering you most, he writes. Let the world read between the lines. The same goes for moving speeches and eulogies.

  • “Hollywood, Baby”

Here’s where it gets real. In a chapter that reads like a confessional, Obama tells us he’s finally tapped into who he really is: A Star. It starts with an appearance on David Letterman and ends with a recent Netflix deal to produce a set of films & series under his and Michelle’s production company called (what else?) Higher Ground Productions. “When Richard Branson and I went kitesurfing a few years ago, he told me, ‘Barack, you’re a star. Don’t you forget that,” Obama said, “I wrote that down on a Post-It and stuck it on my bathroom mirror.”

“When Richard Branson and I went kitesurfing a few years ago, he told me, ‘Barack, you’re a star. Don’t you forget that.’ I wrote that down on a Post-It and stuck it on my bathroom mirror.”

For Obama superfans, the book comes with perks. In the middle insert, readers will find letters both Obamas wrote in anger and put away in a drawer instead of sending to the intended recipients.

Footnotes from Michelle are also scattered throughout the book, guiding readers on mastering a well-timed eye roll, choosing clothes that’ll speak for you when you’re speechless, and letting us in on their method for coining iconic phrases (‘When they go low, we go high” was conceived during a dance-off between her and Barack).

“We wrote these portions of the book together, in restaurants, challenging and bringing out the best in each other,” Barack said, “While intimidating everyone around us.”

Therein lies the takeaway of The Art of (Gracefully) Not Giving a F*ck: You can choose to not give a f*ck and still care. “Don’t you see what we’ve been trying to tell you all these years?” the Obamas seem to say, “We’re just like you, only a little better.”

And here we are.

Humpday Haiku #5

Pros of summer almost being over

No longer need to
consistently dress like I’m
about to picnic.

Humpday Haiku #4

What breakfast taught me about body image

Blueberry muffin
is self-conscious about lumps.
Everyone loves them.

She Ready


Imagine this for a moment:

It’s Friday. You just got paid and you’ve splurged on a brand new pair of leggings. You’re at a dinner party with all your friends and your new boyfriend (who can’t quite seem to commit but he’ll get there, right? RIGHT?) is here too. But tonight’s all about catching up with the girls. God they’re really all moving on with their lives, you think as you smile and sip rosé.

You say hi to your one friend who brought her newborn. “Here, hold her!” she says. “Oh no, that’s okay,” you laugh, terrified you’ll drop her sweet, bald daughter. “Here, just for a second, so I can adjust this goddamn bra. Look, she loves you already!” she says, thrusting the baby into your arms. You stare at the baby. She blinks back at you. And suddenly, something inside you settles. This could be you. You could be a Mom. Look how good I look holding a baby, you think. You look around for your man, to no avail. I wish someone could take a picture so he could see what a hot mom I’d be.

At JCPenney Portraits, we have just what you need.

Our newest service, She Ready, provides candid-style photos to help you get on with your life. All you have to do is come to any one of our nationwide studios looking your best. We’ll provide you with a baby and photograph you against a variety of backdrops that answer one question: What kind of Hot Mom will you be?

JCPenney Portraits’ newest service, She Ready, provides candid-style photos to help you get on with your life. What kind of Hot Mom will you be?

Maybe you’d like to be seen holding a baby on a picnic blanket in the park, wearing your best sundress; maybe you’d like to be in front of a Christmas tree with the soft glow of twinkle lights; maybe you’re dressed as an astronaut, with a baby in one hand and a sign saying “Anything’s Possible!” in another.

Our finest work lies in the details, with a soft focus on the things that make you you: That ombre manicure, the perfect winged eyeliner, or perhaps, the look in your eyes as you contemplate the future: Anticipation? Hope? Terror? Whatever it is, we’ll capture it. You tell us what kind of mom you want your significant other to see you as and we’ll handle the rest.

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At JCPenney Portraits, we’re here for life’s big moments. Let the world see how good you look holding a baby. And get one step closer to your own.

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