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Whateverland: Learning to Live Here by Alexis Stewart
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0470907584, Hardcover)
From the Authors: Directions to Whateverland
1. Depart: Shame. Leave it behind and never go back.
2. Flip through the front of the book and read the alternate definition of "whatever." Make sure when you read it that you pronounce the word this way: "What-EVVV-er."
3. Flip through the book and look at spectacular photos of young Alexis and Jennifer as they grew up. Be sure not to miss the photo of Alexis running naked in a field as a toddler (p. 122) and Jennifer's giant prom hair and dress (p. 213). Then go back to the beginning of the book.
4. Read through Introduction and make sure you're clear about the fact that this is a funny un-self-help self-help book that's going to help you more than an actual self-help book because it's not going to try to change you. Whateverland was written to get you to accept yourself even if you are a disorganized semi-hoarder, a Pop Tart eater, or someone who firmly believes in sex on the first date.
5. Arrive: "What the Hell is Homekeeping?" Ponder the miseries of having a houseguest, being a houseguest, and having workmen (hot or, mostly, not) use your bathroom. Check out Jennifer's safe side of the bed theory and Alexis' explanation for why she is the way she is (being forced to leave New York City at a young age for a house in the wilds of Westport, Connecticut, in which the doors had no doorknobs).
6. Depart: Homekeeping chapter. Arrive: "Does Talking to Pop-Tarts Mean You're Crazy?" Don't actually answer that question because Jenny and Alexis fight about it and about other food and eating-related topics, including chicken fingers, children's menus in restaurants, and when people go out to dinner in restaurants but don't order anything because they say they're not hungry even though it's really because they're dieting.
7. Depart: Food chapter. Arrive: "Getting Married in a Gray Flannel Suit." See the photo that proves Alexis actually did get married in a gray flannel suit (complete with a priceless expression on Martha's face) and read how her honeymoon was the beginning of the end of her marriage. Listen to Jenny explain her "Irresistibility-to-Annoyingness Ratio" relationship survival theory. Leave chapter with a new and profound respect for the fact that any relationships ever work out and that you're not the only one who's crazy when it comes to dating and connecting in romantic relationships that often end in cheating.
8. Rest stop. Take a few minutes to look at more pictures. Consider the photo of Alexis proudly holding one of her first pastry masterpieces (p. 207), Jenny-in-pigtails eating a giant candy apple (p. 28), the letter from Martha to Alexis at summer camp (p. 128), or the photo of Barbra Streisand enjoying Christmas with Jenny (p. 143).
9. Back on the road. Depart: Marriage and Relationships chapter. Arrive: "Not a Hoarder, Still a Slob." This is one of those chapters you secretly bought the book for because it contains Alexis' secrets for organizing her home and closets.
10. Enough with the cleaning and organizing. Back to sex. Arrive: "Should Sex Ever Involve Food?" Spoiler alert: No. Feel free to sleep with this chapter on the first date! It's that good.
11. Depart: Sex and Dating chapter (no guilt or apologies necessary). Arrive: "Wrapping Your Own Christmas Presents." Read Alexis' and Jenny’s epic, screamingly funny tales of growing up dysfunctional! Feel the full power of Whateverland start to take effect. You're not the only one who had a crazy childhood and a dysfunctional family. Important travel tip: don't forget the tissues—there's some wonderfully weepy stuff here.
12. Hungry? Perfect timing. Arrive: "What Do You Mean You 'Can't' Cook?" Understand how having Martha Stewart teach you and your friends how to cook while wearing little child-sized toques in your own house would probably have had a profound impact on you, too. And learn that some people think chicken on a Caesar salad is right (Jennifer) and some people think chicken on a Caesar salad is very very wrong (Alexis). Drool over a selection of Alexis' recipes, including the one for chocolate chip cookies she came up with at the age of thirteen.
13. Travel alert: Ignore all signs for off ramps to Guilt. They will take you back to Shame and delay your journey.
14. Arrive: "Drawing the Line at Fat Elbows." Another spoiler alert: Jenny did, and she lost over 70 pounds and changed her life. Body Image and Weight Loss chapter highlights include their unisex Rules for Looking Presentable and Not Repulsing People.
15. Depart Body Image/Weight Loss. Arrive: Chapter 9: "The Devil Wore Palazzo Pants." You can certainly get fashion advice here but really, the highlight is the pictures. Hi. Freakin’. Larious.
16. Prepare for final stop in WHATEVERLAND: "You're Only as Sick as Your Secrets." This amazing chapter catalogues Alexis’s and Jennifer's deepest, darkest secrets and personality quirks which should prove to you that learning to accept yourself for who you are -- however imperfect and odd you might be -- is the only way to go through the rest of your life.
17. Park, check in, unpack your bags. You're going to like WHATEVERLAND and you won't want to go anywhere else. Enjoy.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:18 -0400)
"An exuberantly, hilariously irreverent guide to life from the hosts of Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer and Whatever, Martha!No one tells it like it is quite like the Whatever duo of Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt. Now they share their colorful commentary and edgy common sense on every aspect of life, from food and eating ("Does Talking to Pop Tarts Mean You're Crazy?") to fashion and grooming ("The Devil Wore Palazzo Pants") to cleaning and organizing ("Not a Hoarder, Still a Slob"). You'll see it's okay not to measure up to perfectionistic standards of behavior and achievement at home, at work, and in relationships. Once you level with yourself and lighten up, life can be happier--and a hell of a lot more fun. Tackles essential life issues--including sex and dating, weight loss and body issues, marriage and relationships, cooking and kitchenphobia, and more Shares Alexis and Jennifer's outrageously funny and honest stories and surprisingly helpful advice Reveals Alexis and Jennifer's deepest, darkest personality quirks Shows the importance of self-acceptance, complete honesty, and a wicked sense of humor So what if you're not perfect--whatever! Get the real-deal advice of Alexis and Jennifer in Whateverland. It's definitely not your mother's self-help book"-- "In this irreverent self-help book, Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt help readers realize that they're not the only ones who fall short of perfection in their careers, relationships, and daily lives. With wit and humor, Whateverland shows readers how to live better and achieve the life they want through honesty and self-acceptance"--
(summary from another edition)
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