To the left you will see the beautiful and accomplished woman known as Cristen Conger. You can tell from this picture that she is full of joy and a very talented baker (I am actually not certain of the later of these two facts, but am using context clues i.e: the super fancy standing mixer she’s embracing.)
Cristen is impressive. Not only is she the the co-host of podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You and the hostess of the YouTube series of the same name, she’s also a staff writer for HowStuffWorks.com. Outside of knowing lots of things, her work has been featured in Jezebel, Bitch, MSNBC, and other places. In short: Cristen Conger is an authority figure on your life! Yes, yours!
Cristen, you’re the brains behind “Stuff Mom Never Told You.” So, I have to ask… Why didn’t she tell me?
Mom is a tad passive aggressive and was relying on me to tell you because she prefers to make her communication as indirect as possible — as in via her daughter, through a podcast, into iTunes and into your not-so-delicate ears. And mom never actually told me that; I had to infer it from years of her talking about how much she wished she had a daughter who co-hosted a podcast.
It’s just hard to figure out what her prerogative is here, you know? I mean… hasn’t she seen the movie Psycho? Mommie Dearest? or more recently Mother?
I know, right? Let’s just say that you won’t find any wire hangers in my closet.
What is in your closet?
Skeletons — and lots of them!
Kidding, kidding. I keep those under my bed, of course. Seriously, why would anyone keep skeletons in his or her closet rather than tucked away under a box spring or couch? Otherwise, every time I got dressed in the morning I’d have to look in at said skeletons, which would really screw the pooch on the whole repressive function of those skeletons.
I do, however, have a treasure box of sorts in my closet containing all of my childhood and teenage diaries, commemorative issues of People magazine from Princess Diana’s funeral (for the pics of Prince William, natch) and rolls of undeveloped film that I should probably get around to developing sometime before it’s too late.
It’s creepy to imagine catacombs under your bed, Cristen. Although – I’ll admit, I wouldn’t want skeletons popping out at me at every wardrobe change, especially on those days where nothing fits right and I end up changing seven times.
Do you read a lot of Edgar Allen Poe, then?
At the risk of sounding like a literary hillbilly, I don’t. I did, however, get an A on my high school paper on “A Cask of Amontillado.”
Your question also reminds me of an NPR story I heard about someone who mysteriously visits Poe’s grave in Baltimore every year on his birthday and leaves gifts of cognac and whatnot. Now, call me an alcoholic, but doesn’t that sound like a terrible waste of perfectly good liquor? On second thought, please don’t call me an alcoholic.
No, I totally agree that is a waste of liquor. Was Poe even known for his drinking? I mean — it wouldn’t phase me to leave a bottle of rum or whiskey at Hemingway’s place of eternal rest. But Poe?
If I were to leave a gift for Poe, it would be a raven pinata filled with candy that I would burst upon reaching the grave so that I could take the candy home and eat it. I’m as thrifty with candy as I am with cognac.
Or I might just leave behind that “Cask of Amontillado” high school paper to create a buzz among other visitors who’d be impressed with my piercing literary analysis. “Poe who?! That Conger girl could write circles around that guy,” they might tweet, or Facebook status update, or caption on a Pinterest pin of picture of the decapitated raven pinata they happened upon at Poe’s tombstone.
Maybe I should ditch the podcast and go into viral marketing…
Maybe you should ditch the podcast and go on a year-long pilgrimage to literary legend’s gravesites to upstage them after they’ve departed. What do you think of that? Who else would you hit up aside from Poe?
I think that you might’ve just outlined my path to instant notoriety, so thank you. Writing one’s way to recognition can be extremely time-consuming, and this is likely a much quicker way to get my name in the history books. Or at least in the books of People Banned From Graveyards that graveyard bouncers keep on hand.
Next up, I’d probably hit up the Bronte sisters resting places since they’ve held such a Corleone-esque monopoly on the whole “women writer” thing. Or Mario Puzo’s grave where I’d leave behind a copy of my Godfather-fan-fic-with-a-female-twist, “The Godmother.” Gender equality, am I right?
That’s a brilliant idea! Do you write a lot of fan fiction? How often does it star Justin Bieber? Be honest.
Honestly, I’ve only ever tried my hand at “slash fiction” starring, you guessed it, Justin Bieber, and myself. Except in “50 Shades of Bieber,” I played the role of the dom because all the creative license in the world cannot make J. Biebs wielding a cat-o-nine-tails anything less than preposterous. Otherwise, I feel like he’d grab the whip and just start doing some hip hop dance routine with it and ruin the mood.
Could you whip up an excerpt of yourself and Biebs for us in the Godmother real quick? You know, to quench curious minds?
“Whip up,” eh? Nice play on words there.
Due to a nasty litigation hate triangle I’m embroiled in with the Mario Puzo estate and Usher Enterprises, I can’t offer any direct excerpts from “The Godmother Part 1: An Offer Justin Bieber Can’t Refuse” in which an unassuming young pop star abandons fame to join the ranks of a different kind of mafia (wink, wink). But I can tell you that instead of waking of up next to a horse head, young Bieber rips back the sheets to find a gimp mask that he then struggles to put on, as his iconic floppy hair keeps getting stuck in the zippers.
That sounds so picturesque. Who do you hope to sell the film rights to?
While I don’t want to jump the gun, so to speak, I’m pretty sure that Sofia Coppola is going to jump on the project ASAP since it’s pretty much the perfect opportunity to salvage her reputation as ruining the entire ‘Godfather’ film franchise. And I hear she’s quite a Bieleber.
Not making any promises but… what would you do if the Biebs himself attended your reading on the 17th?
I’d ask him if he was looking to hire any feminist-minded women with a flare for erotic fan fiction for his entourage. Or for Usher’s phone number.