The Double Helix

Posted by Lizzie on 10/14/07

I am sorry it has been so long. Actually, for most of the summer, I was walking around former colonial superpowers and didn’t have a computer. Then I downloaded–there’s no reason, I just did–something from AOL called Helix, which, as AOL promised, let me “multitask in fewer clicks and with fewer hassles”, mainly by crippling Windows* so absolutely that two baffled computer scientists, after two or three hours of tinkering, looked up and asked, “You backed up your data, right?”

Anyway, I have also, for various reasons, been thinking of finally officially closing down the blog, since several print publications with subdomains of their own have stepped into the whole “clever dinner party guest at a vast, faceless table” with great dispatch and enthusiasm (look above for VQR giveaway) and will probably trundle along for at least a few years before post-aperitif fatigue hits. If I did read blogs, I would read those, but lately I’ve been disentangling myself from the grid, since marching around my old daily online reading circuit seems to crescendo into a Nickelodeon-viewing level of overstimulation for me. Maybe it’s because after your twenties, when your thoughts are a crucial part of the public discourse, you’re supposed to descend into a period of hiberation until you’ve saved up enough opinions to be a blowhard through most of your dotage? Maybe it’s because I’ve finally had a karaoke breakthrough? (With Joni Mitchell, yet.) I don’t know.

That said, the decision to close down occurred at exactly the same time a bunch of strangers, unprompted, came forward to say they liked it and not to Helix the whole thing**. So I’m going to leave it up for the archives if you want them, and do mostly what I have been doing lately, which is to give you giveaways, slap up some Speedreaders, and let you know what I am doing in the world of print. (This is today’s review, and my debut, in the LAT, and I have some other things coming along soon, god willing.) If I want to tell you something or you want to tell me something, give me a call or messenger me a cuneiform tablet and I’ll see what I can do.

(But, if I were going to have a last personal side note, I would probably say something about, oh, I don’t know, a nonevent this morning’s at a farmer’s market [or Baltimore’s version a farmers’ market, which is located in an underpass, with an assemblage of rutebagas and used condoms and the aroma of crab cakes and urine]. So I am standing at the smoked-things stall when I heard this grating voice to my left. The voice happens to belong to a former boss, but believe me, it would be grating on anyone, even on someone I loved, and it’s unfair to bring it up but I just did. I didn’t realize it was said boss until I saw they were running out of sourdough to my left and I had to dash and could put grate to face. But here’s note on ignoring former employees whom you know very well are people you know when they are standing next to you and you are being too slow with the smoked-things guy: I’m not sure you should pointedly ignore anyone you know after the age of 13, but ignoring former employees, unless they stole from you or urinated on something, is fired–not least because the best way to torture a former employee is by being the bigger person. Seriously, I have had umpteenth teachable moments with this boss that have yet to take root in any action that I can see. Step it up, lady; I’m not made of patience. As anyone knows, taking it upon yourself to mortify a former boss with a huge hug and sparkling small talk gets old.

Anyway, I’m already the bigger person.

Okay, one last time:

YouTube Preview Image

* Please, Mac people, do not tell me to get a Mac. I don’t care.

** Before you tell me to get a Mac again because you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t care.

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Old Hag rarely interrupts with the contents of her inbox, but…

Posted by Lizzie on 05/18/07

I CHALLENGE you to find a better email than this:

You are! that was fun picking up those unavailable gay guys with you. When we doin it again??!!!

Seriously. It’s a challenge.

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Audio Amusements; Or, Much Ado About Podcast

Posted by Lizzie on 05/10/07

That’s it. I give up. One book is coming along poorly, and the other is not coming at all, so I am retreating back to the two things I apparently actually know how to do: light verse and blogging. So first: Wednesday I appeared on WYPR’s redoubtable Maryland Morning to share the mostly-scanning “Memo to Staff: Steps to be Taken in the Event HRH Queen Elizabeth is Accidentally Launched into Space”* (listen here), and second, Saturday I will be at Baltimore’s City Lit Festival, discussing blogging and books, or something, along with Sarah Weinman, a.k.a. Galleycat, and Scott Mackenzie, a.k.a. Slushpile.

I am also finally linking to this podcast interview (also here) with the lovely and talented Laura Lippman, whose latest work, What the Dead Know, you should read immediately if not sooner, LAST WEEK.

I think I have partly avoided linking to the interview because I am catastrophically embarrassed at how much I say “um”. (It’s obscene, truly.) But I also think it is largely because the podcast comes full circle in a way that, for lack of a better phrase, is sort of blowing my mind. Old Hag, which now approaching something close to its 4th year (unacceptable) would not have been here, ever, were it not for Laura.


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HOW can we be expected to post about books when this mystery remains unsolved!

Posted by Lizzie on

No comment, unnamed page renamer–except insofar as posting this image IS A COMMENT.

(click to enlarge)

We are still pulling for “Hot Ribs”!

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Just put “1-800 HOT RIBS”

Posted by Lizzie on 04/18/07

Okay. Scroll to #4, or witness below.


Now, click yet again.


Google, why do you torment me. I mean, keep it up, but why.

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Posted by Lizzie on 04/12/07

cicovsm.jpgThis just in: So, good news and bad news. On the plus side, we managed to sell out our print run in about a year and a half, which is nice. But unfortunately, fiscal considerations won’t allow our delightful press to reprint the book anytime soon, if ever. Nine copies left; reprint schemes welcome.

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You’re past caring, we know, but…

Posted by Lizzie on


Some Speedreaders coming soon. MAYBE EVEN TODAY.

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A) It’s called “Family Auto”, seriously and b) we got $50 back

Posted by Lizzie on 04/11/07

We’ll return to books eventually. BUT. Is it good business practice, would you say, to greet the customer with, “I’m in a bad mood….I was up ALL night with this car,” and then tell said customer you’re taking anger management classes because you chased a man through a parking lot and beat him senseless for touching your bike? Fuck you, give me my car. And explain to me what this $399 is for!

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Divest, Young Man! Divest!

Posted by Lizzie on 04/10/07

What day is it again? Okay, this is not a joke. Apparently there was something, or someone, in the fuel tank. Anything is possible at this point. When we reached the mechanic at 4:28 today, he was wrestling the apparatus and its inhabitants to the ground, and claims, circa 4:30 p.m. Tuesday April 10, 2007 A.D., that it will be finished two hours from same. Sure, whatever. Turning, as one does at such times, to questions of spirituality, those of you not in the know should be advised that we here at OHQ have actually had all our worldly belongings in storage since September since leaving Baltimore, currently sublet from a dear friend in NY, and have, we’re slowly realizing, stayed with about 19,845 others just in these last many months like some well-showered version of a vagabond. This perforce losing of the car, our last possession, along with our ability to “steer” our own “course” while drinking from a “travel mug”, is, we are starting to realize, *a sign*, and we would like to say OKAY, WE GET IT, and remind God once again that we CALLED THE AMBULANCE for that GUY for god’s sake and that we have taken all this advice from above to heart and are reading “Eat, Pray, Love” and bought a travel guide and a map and are putting all our stuff up on eBay and taking three months off to travel the world because we have something like 75,000 points on our OnePass and feel free to lay off the heavy symbolism any time now.

UPDATE: Are we jinxing ourselves? Lord, we hope not. As of 11:16 p.m. it is declared fixed. We are declared to bed.

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Never Leaving Baltimore Update. For Those of You Who Care…

Posted by Lizzie on

…the part that arrived was apparently in worse shape than the part that needed replacing. A new part will apparently be here “by 4”; we will apparently be out of here “by 6”. We would just like to remind God WE CALLED THE AMBULANCE FOR THAT DEAD GUY, and it’s not our fault he wasn’t dead.

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Monday Morning Updating

Posted by Lizzie on 04/09/07

Sorry for the week-long silence. We were too busy a) figuring out why our car was shaking in that strange way while we drove to Baltimore, b) learning how much Baltimore would charge to make it stop doing so, c) prevailing on a friend to help us find the best rates at Enterprise, d) happening upon an apparently dead man — really! he looked dead! not drunk or anything! — calling the ambulance, being scornfully told by what was apparently the entire Baltimore City fire department he was NOT DEAD, HON, e) finding out at the Enterprise counter our license was expired and that card we had been carrying around was actually a CHANGE OF ADDRESS CARD and not a TEMPORARY LICENSE, for God’s sake, f) learning that it costs only $30 and 2 hours to get a new license in a state where you haven’t lived in half a year, g) driving to West Virginia, e) discussing coal-mining in the 1900s, dining from dollar buffets to Muzak f) buying a strapless bra, g) giving our first toast at a wedding h) eating bacon. SO MUCH BACON! i) depending, unconscionably, on the kindness of strangers and non-strangers pretty much all over the place, lolling around on their spare couches and beds, eating them out of house and home, and j) calculating that we may have paid it back by calling the ambulance for that man on the street. BECAUSE HE REALLY LOOKED DEAD.

1) Congratulations and love, Marshall and Emily!

2) If you did not see it, here’s our latest review in the Times.

UPDATE: Interesting. So, apparently, WE ARE NEVER GOING TO BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE BALTIMORE. The starter engine is dead, and there’s a huge tsunami headed towards the New England coastline if we don’t start cutting energy costs by using fluorescent lighting, or something. On the plus side, this didn’t happen in West Virginia, where it’s still December. People we’re thanking so far, in order of forbearance: Jane, Anton, Margot, Liam, Liz, Aunt Virgie, Shannon, the boys at Enterprise, Liz again. NOT the Swedes, or the people at Stadium Auto. Not until they stop shaking their heads every time we pull up, that is.

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Fine, Internet Explorer, you broke our Windows…

Posted by Lizzie on 03/22/07


But we still found another computer and uploaded this, fuck your TOTALLY UNFIXING XP Hotfix patch!*

(P.S., Tide386 at Microsoft, oh ye frequent reader of this site–yes of course we check our stats are you kidding–not that you don’t have better things to do and all–BUT CAN YOU HELP US OUT? We are VERY busy and important.)

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Playtex, no reason

Posted by Lizzie on 03/15/07

This is rapidly becoming one of those blogs wherein personal ephemera so wholly overtakes any ostensible theme or focus that we are as a muttering old person on the subway is to Barack Obama on a podium, but anyway, we just have to say, we noticed there’s an update to our favorite ad OF ALL TIME, which, if you haven’t seen, is:

YouTube Preview Image

We were searching around for the new one to show you all, since we a) think it’s vastly inferior and b) know you’ve been on pins and needles about it for weeks. We couldn’t find it, so your collective disgust joining ours will have to wait.

We did, however, find this.

You know, we were walking around feeling like the inspiration and wisdom we gained from parsing the particular brilliance of the Playtex thwack above was something we pretty much only shared with our friend C while texting on a caramel candy popcorn/Ina Garten high. Guess what? Apparently our delight was shared…. in a well-regarded mainstream news publication…. by a boy.

Okay, traditional media. Here is another thing we are obsessed with:


This means “I just rolled my eyes.”

You can also say:


We have an associate with a treatise on the “, lol” phenom, when you are ready for us to file.

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Just FYI for the interim….

Posted by Lizzie on 03/08/07



We’re going to try it someday.

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Nyquil Day or Nyquil Night? Is There a New Nyquil Day Dawning, Friends?; Or, Clearly We Just Took Both

Posted by Lizzie on 02/27/07

Old Hag has a bad cold. She’s sorry, but more specifically, really, really cracked out on cold medicine. She will post the results for the contest very soon. P.S. how AWESOME was that contest! Let’s have it every day!

Also, anyone with intel on why visitorship just tripled in the past few days welcome, by the way. Stats, as usual, reveal nothing.

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[Your Joke Here; We’re Tired; This Was a Long Post]

Posted by Lizzie on 02/14/07


(Click to enlarge…and be enlightened!)

So the results of our first offical Old Hag Reader Can You Even Handle This Action Survey are in and….wow! You guys absolutely do not have enough to do. You should get on that. But we were unsurprised to find that, in planning the rest of our year, a) most of you wanted us to do reviews for which we do not get paid; 2) pretty much the same amount of you were perverts, lazy, in love with Leonardo Dicaprio, or poetry-seekers (hard to choose, right?); 3) Podcasts and Pride & Prejudice people insisted on being tediously alliterative, 4) almost the same amount of people wanted more real-world reviews as didn’t know who we are. That’s fine; the people who read the reviews don’t know who we are either.

Since you apparently have nothing better to do than hang around here and click on things, you won’t mind if we take these one by one.

1. Speedreaders
Coming; we have a few real-world reviews first and then it’s going to all happen for you.

2. Real-World Reviews
See “Speedreaders”

3. Podcasts
Coming; don’t care if you want ’em

4. Poetry
Incoming shortly; check out our porn haiku in the meantime.

5. More Leo fakeouts


Duh. Done. DIRTY LEO. Grrrrr.

6. Who is Old Hag?

7. Pride & Prejudice

Fucking done….most ardently!

8. Seriously, who is Old Hag?

9. We avoid working

10. Porn? No porn?
We’re the only pervert around here, sorry. But here’s that Old Hag/Young Woman picture all the rest of you are looking for.

11. More pics of adorable nephew (Write-In)
We’ll do you one better. Three things to note: a) This might take a sec to load; b) yes, that is Marketwatch; it’s never too early, and c) seriously, you might die. DIE!

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Just a quick note of thanks….

Posted by Lizzie on 02/09/07

….to the passengers of the uptown bound F train at the 47-50 station yesterday at 7:32 p.m., who:

1. Literally held open the doors from crushing us for like EIGHT MINUTES despite the conductor’s attempt to do so;

2. Grabbed our bag and pushed it back from the doors so we wouldn’t be dragged to the next station in a trail of imitation leather, and;

c. With quick great alacrity and skill, threw! our! phone! that! fell! to! us! through! the! closing! doors! before the train could pull away.

Seriously, THAT GUY. Omigod, do we owe you! Feel free to get in touch for one free cell phone or any other prize of your suggestion! And to that guy who just looked at us like, Dude, WHAT the eff is wrong with you, we can respond only that–as a character in the show we were on our way to see commented–if we knew, we would have it fixed.*

* Yes, we saw Follies! Did you see us? We were the one who was not a gay man, middle-aged season subscriber, overly be-makeuped theatre major, or any combination thereof.

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An Inconvenient Refill

Posted by Lizzie on 02/05/07

pledge.jpgWe usually try to do good for the environment*, but that part of our sad life, as of about four minutes ago, is over. Are we the last person to discover the Pledge Duster Plus, for Christ’s sake? The spray bottle that allows you SIMULTANEOUSLY polish as you dust? The glovelike tines that surround the fluffy head? The super-fresh scent? The fact that it only comes with one refill…well, that’s the part where we destroy the environment. But fuck Al Gore–he has maids to enable his Powerpoint lifestyle, maids that you know throw out his recyclable cloths and sneak this shit in when he goes off to shame the President on some other midwestern college campus. We’re sticking. And if anyone else knows of any other wondrous innovations in the world of cleaning of which we’ve remained woefully ignorant, please let us know immediately. It’s like Juneteenth up in here.

*Humor us

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Medicine for Maudencholy

Posted by Lizzie on 01/24/07

Take one or two large onions of any nature and one large lemon. Peel onion and chop roughly. Fill a soup pot up with a few cups of water and deposit same; cut lemon in half, squeeze each half and drop in. Simmer low until water has boiled and onion is translucent-y. Strain; fill mug with remaining liquid. You can put in sugar but that makes you a pussy; smearing pulpy onion on your chest will dispel. Whatever. Drink, and it will make you well.

(We could have just emailed this to the lady in question–but then it wouldn’t also count towards this request. Yes, Liam, it’s a crap recipe, but you didn’t submit a porn haiku.)

Go vote! Otherwise, the Czechs win.

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We’ll continue parsing keyword strings, whatever happens. Don’t worry–you’re welcome!

Posted by Lizzie on 01/22/07

The Old Hag is busy. Bizzzeee bizzzeee bizzzeee. But we have so much work we might dieseveral new plans for the site, so we thought we’d take three or four hours and install a poll plugin from the Czech Republic to better assess your needs and desires in the new year. We don’t care that much about your answers; it’s just that we want you to acknowledge HOW AWESOME THIS FREAKING POLL IS IT’S INTEGRATED INTO WORDPRESS WITH AJAX AND EVERYTHING. And, actually, we do care. Your thoughts will have a radical effect on the three or four posts here you see before August.

On Old Hag, I would like to see more...
Total Votes: 82 Started: 1/23/2007 Back to Vote Screen

UPDATE: Okay, you fuckers–more answers to your dreams later, but for now:


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