Archive for September, 2006

Organ Grinder

One of my neighbors started a new job last week, and she’s pret-ty damn excited! I ran into her tonight while walking the dog, and she looked all…dolled up and dressy-like, compared to her usual sweatpanted self. I foolishly inquired kindly: why the lipstick, Julie? And she proceeded to give me a mad earful about the inexplicable joy she’s found in her life selling organs in the mall. And by ‘organs,’ I don’t mean hearts and livers, I mean musical-type organs which I didn’t even know they still made, did you? I mean, I’ve been to the mall many, many times and I cannot recall with any sort of clarity ever seeing an organ store, but I suppose I’ll take her word for it, and assume it’s tucked in the back behind the JC Penney. Well, I have to believe it, especially given what followed:

“You know, I’ve been thinking, and you and your husband are really ripe for a pipe organ. Have you ever considered it?”

And then she made this big old sweeping gesture with her hand that looked…well, it looked rehearsed, and I felt like I was in that scene in Garden State where the kid with the pyramid scheme tries to rope them in selling knives or something while he looks skyward for some sort of divine inspiration. Her arm went swooping wildly as she mouthed the words “pipe organ” and her eyes turned toward the heavens dramatically. And um, she said “ripe.” Not surprisingly, I was completely speechless, because aren’t pipe organs huge? Like Phantom of the Opera huge? And perhaps more importantly: who exactly is ripe for a pipe organ? Who longs to spend their evenings holed up playing “Beautiful Dreamer” in varying honky tones?

I just…well, I just don’t know what else to say, frankly. And given that she’s trying to sell me a pipe organ on the street, I’m guessing her commissions aren’t rolling inm because who the hell is buying organs? I’m not even sure she realizes what a pipe organ actually is. Because I’m not sure either.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, late last week, I noticed that my skirt reeked of sour milk. This was determined after sniffing the entire contents of my desk, including my drawers, where, sadly, a fuzzy Tupperware container was indeed unearthed, but was not the cause of the stench. After I realized it was following me to my car, I started to consider the fact that I may have sat in something and shrugged it off as a one-time experience after sitting in ice cream.

Unfortunately, it was not a one-time experience, as three more days this week, I found that I smelled slightly sour, like baby formula gone rancid. And, um, wow, if that’s not an alluring odor, I don’t know what is, exactly. The culprit was discovered late yesterday to be a Werther’s Original caramel, washed and dried – melted, actually – and left to…well, left to fester in the back of the dryer, which, when mixed with Downy Clean Breeze, creates an extremely unpleasant smell, and I really don’t recommend anyone try this at home to recreate it, given that I spent my morning with some Goo Be Gone and a healthy dose of Nature’s Miracle. The all-clear has been given as of 7 p.m. this evening, but I can’t be sure.

And lastly, to continue the streak of completely unrelated drivel, I discovered that I am deeply, deeply in love with finding a bargain, and that there are no limits to this bargain-loving soul of mine. Yesterday, I discovered a store called Liquidation Groceries which, as you can probably guess, specializes in large volumes of oxymoronic near-expired non-perishables, which means it’s basically a giant warehouse full of generic Triscuits. However, I discovered that they do have Green Mountain coffee, which warms the cockles of my caffeinated soul, and because, I don’t know, I was afraid it was the last cheap Green Mountain coffee I would ever see for the rest of my life, I loaded up and bought 11 pounds of coffee for $4. I am kicking back with the remnants of Spicy Eggnog decaf as we speak. Because nothing says “holiday” like 90 degree weather and a house covered in a plague of breeding frogs.

Have a great weekend.

*Marilyn Manson

10 comments September 28th, 2006

You’re Crazy

While digging into my morning bagel, I remembered that I had a dream last night that someone at the Philadelphia Cream Cheese company had been secretly making their veggie cream cheese with breastmilk harvested at a breast farm (a breast farm?) in Colorado. I remembered this, of course, just as I brought the bagel to my lips and gah, I almost ran right off the road in revulsion, because gross.

In the interest of appeasing breastfeeding advocates, I’d like to be clear that breastfeeding does not repulse me. However, I would rather not devour an everything bagel with a stranger’s breastmilk and a slice of ripe tomato, thanks. Because, although this is not the case, in a strange sort of freakish way, it reminded me of…well, it was slightly twisted, like eating a product of a stranger would be cannibalistic, although again, I don’t actually feel that way when it’s done for babies/children, but adults drinking each other’s milk? No. And, well, it goes without saying that I didn’t eat the bagel.

Bagel ickiness aside, I slept for more than two hours last night for the first time in a long, sad time, and I can say for the first time in weeks that I actually feel rested. I actually woke up this morning with drool on my cheek, and for the first time ever, I thought that caked-on drool was nothing short of fabulous. I will also say that sleep deprivation is a terrifying thing, and although I published a post on it last night for all of 11 minutes, I took it down because it was astonishingly boring, and involved an entire two-paragraph dissertation on how I tried to fall asleep using Suebob‘s method of alphabetizing items, only instead of dog breeds, I went with fruits of the world, and finally had a eureka! moment when I remembered D for durian, only to be foiled by the letter F, of which there are no fruits. Nothing says ‘riveting’ like talking about alphabetizing fruits, especially given the fact that the action was absolutely…fruitless in every sense of the word. Get it? Fruitless! No FRUITS! Groan, just groan.

I don’t do well on little sleep, and it makes me feel like a big baby. It’s not that I just get tired – being tired is miserable, yes – it’s that I get crazy. Late night thoughts aside, it can literally feel like your mind is coming out in slow, spaghetti-like strips, fresh for Dumbledore’s pensieve, and it’s not unlike going through some sort of elevator ride into madness. (I totally just made the lamest Harry Potter reference ever.)

Two nights ago, I got myself all worked up over the fact that Oscar de la Hoya has a musical career which, while upsetting, is not worth losing sleep over. I was almost in tears remembering that Shanna Moakler’s ex-boxer dude actually got a Grammy nomination, which is wrong, so wrong. The night before, I slipped into hypochondriacal mode, and I woke up to a few scrawled notes on my night table, that said “SCHEDULE COLONOSCOPY” and “DO BREAST EXAM.” Sadly, the madness also started to pervade my waking life, as I found myself examining every bump on my body, every bruise, every, um, bowel movement. God, I was so paranoid. I was getting fired. Adam was going to leave me. My friends hated me. Sunny hated me. I cried when I dropped a penny. I felt drunk while I was driving. It was petrifying, dude, and it’s how I get every time I don’t sleep well for an extended period of time.

Sleep loss is the single biggest fear I harbor in relation to having a child. It’s not that I get tired. It’s not that I get grumpy. It’s not anything as selfish as that: it’s that I get insane, literally, mad with anxiety and misery, and honestly, I could see how it could manifest itself in destructive behavior, especially given my personal history with anxiety and depression. I’m not saying I’d go all Andrea Yates on anyone, but I do imagine myself dragging my infant to and from the doctor’s office, wild-eyed and crazy, screeching, “WE HAVE EMPHYSEMA, SIDS, AND ALSO, THE HERP. HELP US.” And if anyone refused to help us? Then, well, I see very scary things, and also, a lot of crying and maybe some food-throwing. And certainly a lot of calling Adam at work and begging him to come home and save me from the evil, terrifying madness of this very, very dark place that I’m not sure I could dig myself out of. And while I can already hear the parents commenting, telling me that yes, it happens, and yes, it’s survivable, I’m saying, man, I am honestly not sure, because I get crazy.

God, honestly, it’s icky how vividly I can see the trajectory to this very scenario, and it scares me half to death to think about the consequences of the sleep issue. And truthfully, it’s why I’m not sure – even now – that something like breastfeeding is for me, breast farm dreams aside (and not because it repulses me, because again: it doesn’t), because I could see needing some help at night to keep me from treading in the wild waters of dark madness, and the safety and mental health of all involved seem…more important. Although, add post-partum hormones and a world turned upside down, and I’m not sure any of it is a good idea, no, not at all. And no, I am not pregnant, it’s just that not sleeping gives you a lot of time to think , even if it’s only about random things that have not happened yet, alongside the ill-advised musical careers of various and sundry athletes (Ron Artest? Such a bad idea to get that rap career going.)

In summary, my peaches tumble right out of the basket when I don’t sleep, and it freaks me right out to Springfield. And what’s crazier? A good night’s sleep, and the insanity is gone. I felt sober. Healthy. I did not schedule a colonoscopy. I don’t have breast cancer. I poop just fine. I was even able to enjoy the damn Guns n’ Roses marathon on our local classic rock station, which, well rocked. I am reluctant to admit that I love GnR, but I do, rather intensely, even if Axl has anger issues, and is also batshit insane. And I maintain that it’s impossible to be in a bad mood listening to five solid hours of Axl. Impossible.

*Guns. And also, Roses.

14 comments September 27th, 2006

Lost Cause

I’ve given up going to the health food store. To a certain extent, I feel disingenuous trucking around buying organic products at lunch, then heading home for a meal chock-full of conventional products, and maybe also some processed junk food and/or a restaurant meal. And honestly, I just can’t buy into the concept for any other reason than I am a small-minded jerk. The completely obnoxious, contrarian cynic in me is irritated by organic foods, like what, they think they’re so much BETTER than the peppers I can get at Publix? I am better than YOU, peppers.

I know it’s stupid, and again, I am small. So very small. And while my teeny constitution is part of my healthy exodus, it’s also that there’s this customer that I keep running into at the deli counter, no matter when I get there for my free-range assless turkey on some sort of sprouted grain. Honestly, she was the last straw in my fake-organic life. Every time I see her, I feel like she was planted there to torture me like some sort of bizarre SNL character.

The other customers look normal. There are even some people like me! Colleagues, even. Families. And yet: I get stuck next to the woman in head-to-to batik with the long fuzzy hair and ancient Birkenstocks. She always orders the same thing: a double shot of wheat grass juice, and every SINGLE day, without fail, she launches off on the same tirade about how wheatgrass is “the same as eating 2 and a half pounds of fresh vegetables, you know!”
And then she hovers while she sucks down the shots, and I. just. can’t. take. it.

For starters, while my wrap is being made, she makes comments to me about the woman who is making it: “She’s an artist, you know,” she nods knowledgably. “Look at the way she’s placing those sprouts! It’s BEAUTIFUL! She’s beautiful. The sprouts are beautiful. It’s pure artistry. Beautiful. Beautiful sprouts.”

Swoosh! Swoosh! goes her giant skirt. Swoosh! goes her hair.

“The water just beads off of my skin since I’ve been drinking four shots of wheatgrass every day!”

She rubs her arm gently. Up down. Up down.

SWOOSH! goes her bell sleeve.

The first time I asked for cheese on my wrap, she lectured me about the “mucal properties of casein-based foods.” Mucal? MUCAL. And every day since then, she asks me if I’m still consuming “casein and other mucus-based products?” It took me a few days to realize she meant dairy. Yes, I’m still eating dairy. I practically grew up on a DAIRY FARM, for God’s sake, I AM EATING DAIRY EVEN IF IT’S MUCUS.

I can’t take all the artistry, swooshing and mucus-talk. I can’t. I know not all health-food people are like this, but I keep getting STUCK with her, and although it’s my fault for not telling her to stop (I probably encourage her with my bizarre nodding and smiling and “wow, mucus?” mumblings), I no longer have any desire to think about snot-related products over my lunch hour.

I’ve taken to the Greek restaurant up the block from my office that I walk by every day. And though it’s not organic, and although the woman who takes my order over the phone is about 100-years-old, and also, completely deaf, forcing me to scream, “SMALL GREEK SALAD. EXTRA FETA.” “No no, EXTRA feta!” “No, not NO FETA, EXTRA FETA,” it works for me. And there is that time she insisted my name was Jennifer Morris and that I owed her $110 for a giant order of moussaka that Jennifer paid for with a bad credit card. Although she eyes me suspiciously and still believes it was me, I’ll take the fisheye over hearing about mucus any day of the week.

But the real reason for this long, drawn out foodfest is Freddy, the restaurant’s resident bird. Dude, have you ever been around a sun conure? This is my first, and I love hearing him murmur in a slightly lecherous tone, “Hey, pretty girl!” every time I walk by, even though I’m sure he says that to all the girls.

I’m a loud sneezer – picture the loudest, screamingest horking-snot sneeze you can imagine, and, I don’t know, amplify it. I’ve tried everything I can to stifle it. I’ve tried being all delicate-like, and I just end up sneezing more, and snotting all over myself. The only way to sneeze is loud, and is usually followed by something like, “Hoo!” or “Oy!” I’ve tried to fix this. Adam has begged me to fix this. I can’t. I recognize that right now most of you are thinking that you would rather eat birdshit than be around me, but this is just…well, it’s just the way it is.

Anyway. Today I walked by Freddy, and I sneezed loudly as usual. “GAAAACHOOOO! OY!”

And then he started practicing it, tentatively at first, “GAAACH!” “OOO!” “GAATCHOOO!” And then a random, “Oy!” He bobbed his head up and down up, up and down, “GAATCHOO! OY!”

He greeted me with “GAAATCHOOOO! OY!” all day today. And it was friggin’ awesome.

*Beck

22 comments September 25th, 2006

Bookends

You know how there are those things that you remember that cannot possibly be recaptured if tried again, due to a specific set of ephemeral, long-past circumstances? Example: I am no longer a poor college student who hits the bong every weekend, which drives the need to snag some cheap lo mein at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. And yet, we found ourselves waxing nostalgic about those days, and lo, we found ourselves at the local King Buffet without the benefit of a pre-gorge blunt of course, and no. No it wasn’t a good idea. I have no viable explanation for why we thought it might be a good idea.

OH! And I ate fresh-ish spinach at said buffet, because I actually FORGOT, and I’m a little afraid to think of where it came from, because where the hell can you get spinach? I also ate some pickled ginger that tasted precisely like mildewed towels (and I mean exactly, in this horrible, visceral sort of way), and thus spent most of Friday night on Stomach Watch, waiting for the E.coli to course through my system like the danse macabre. It never did, but I didn’t sleep in anticipation of wild cramping, and it didn’t help that the light cover for our shower stall decided to mysteriously unhinge itself and come crashing down at 4 a.m. Whether it was sleep-deprived logic or some sort of mystical presence revealing itself to us, we found ourselves considering that the only possible explanation for this was that there was a ghost in the bathroom, because there were screws unhinged in this process. Screws. Screws! Who unscrewed them, and why?

In my sleep-deprived madness, I started thinking, “What if someone I love just died, and they’re trying to COMMUNICATE with me through the light fixture, and I am IGNORING THE SIGNS?” So I laid awake all night panicked about who it could be, whispering softly to myself, “Mom, is that you?” and “Daaaaaad?” and working myself up into this stupid, silent frenzy while random Simon & Garfunkel songs ran on repeat through my brain, which meant that I was not quite awake, since I always hear Paul Simon when I am hovering between sleep and dreams. And thank God, because who thinks like that when fully rested? For the record, after sleeping, I now recognize that was insane.

I haven’t slept well in about two weeks, and it’s become this miserable vicious cycle where I lay awake consumed with unfocused anxiety, convinced there is some sort of tragedy about to befall me that my subconscious is trying to bring to my attention. This of course makes it impossible to sleep, when really, it’s simply the fact that I haven’t slept that is bringing about the crippling anxiety. And the cycle continues…

One of the biggest things that wakes me up in the middle of the night is this irrational fear that I have strategically placed obscenities into documents that I have set up to go live, either in something I’ve written for publication, or a news release set for the wire, back when I did that sort of thing. The fear only really takes hold after the document is no longer fixable, i.e., it’s on the wire/press/shelves already, and the first time I pick up the finished product, I read it with one eye closed from a shroud of terror, fully expecting a giant “FUCK YOU” to appear spelled out within the document in big, bold letters. *

The weekend was delightful, and included a trip to the local art museam, where we saw a traveling Seuss exhibit. I’ve never been a huge fan of Seuss books, as I just don’t have the patience for obscure, seemingly non-sensical rhymes, and frankly, I’ve always thought even the most benign of creatures, such as Horton (of Hears a Who fame), looked…unfortunately deranged and rather malicious, like they would lure you into some dark cave with ham and eggs, then saw the flesh off of your arm and serve it up on a green platter, rhyming all the way home ( “I eat your arm, o farm! o farm! I wish to do you harm!” Farm? Shut up. It’s the best I can do.)

I will say, however, that the exhibit changed my mind, and Geisel/Seuss was one hell of a talented dude, and his forgotten art – well beyond the books and cartoons that are so familiar to all of us, even those who tried to avoid it – are really astonishing. And if the exhibit comes to your town, take the time to go, as it’s totally worth it. He did some pretty amazing stuff.

The rest of the weekend included trips to Costco for toilet paper, gazing longingly upon the Roombas at Sharper Image, talking ourselves out of the Roomba because we’re tiling the floors, then regretting not buying the Roomba (and the Scooba!) after reading this.

All in all a thrilling weekend.

In gratuitous cuteness, after said Chinese buffet, Dog and I got caught in a rainstorm, which required me to towel her off adorably:

I don’t think there are many who could resist this.

Ooh ooh: late aside, There is nothing more awesome than this. (I’m not sure if she still has it password-protected, but if so, I must simply explain that it is a photo and post from another blogger, whom I like very much, who made her pug pose with her in front of a condom on the streets of Paris, in honor of this moment. And did I mention that she’s a very cool and totally talented French lingerie designer who makes – wait for it – CASHMERE UNDERWEAR, among other things? Is the Internet not the greatest thing in the world? Yes. Yes it is.)

*My friend Erica shares this fear, and it’s bonded me to her ever since.

**Simon & Garfunkel

18 comments September 24th, 2006

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

I saw the world today through a miraculous Cloud of Grump. I planned – for the fourth day in a row – to switch my schedule around and get up and go to the gym in the morning instead of at night. And suddenly, thirty pops to the alarm clock later, it was the miracle hour – 8:15 – before I knew it. I’m certain that there is some deep, Freudian reason for this early morning self-sabotage, but at that hour, I don’t very much care what it is.

Sleep has been pretty shitty lately, so mornings come far too quickly for me to be happy about it. Mostly, I’m wondering what the hell happened that I can no longer make it through the night without waking up with a terrifying desire to pee. Is it just me? I can make it to 5 or 6 a.m. at best, and when that moment comes, it’s pain not unlike an overweight cow resting comfortably on my bladder, squeezing its torturously fat udders all over my lower abdomen (oh god, I just grossed myself out with the udder visual). And yet: I push through it. I convince myself that if I fall asleep again, I will no longer have to pee, and I will get to sleep – SLEEP! – right through the urge to pee, because who cares if you have to pee if you’re sleeping? You’re sleeping! Bladders sleep!

Well, my subconscious cares, and it cares deeply. Invariably, I have one of those dreams where I’m searching, searching, searching in vain for a bathroom – any bathroom at all, hell even a toilet standing on the side of the road – and yet, the only bathrooms I can find are a) disgusting and fraught with nasty wet toilet paper all over the floor; b) full of mysteriously broken toilets with lids you can’t actually lift; or c) occupied with some sort of wild public figure like Condoleeza Rice hovering over me, asking me really crazy questions while I try to eek out a satisfying pee ( “Tell me everything you know about Gitmo. What kind of fast food do they have? WENDY’S OR MCDONALD’S?”)

Thankfully, my bladder never wins the war over my subconscious desire to create scenarios to prevent myself from peeing the bed at the age of 30, so I wake up terrified over and over again, never fully get back to sleep, and then I have to get up around 7 a.m. to pee anyway. Which, wouldn’t you think that it would be a good idea for me to get up for good, for God’s sake, since I’ve already made it to the bathroom? Of course not. I instantly rationalize right then and there that because I didn’t get quality sleep for the last two hours because of Condi and the Bad Toilets, I must somehow make up for it right then, or I will be a miserable, tired wreck for the rest of the day.

Early morning bladder aside, our bed isn’t helping matters. A few years ago, we bought a giant, Michelin-man bed which, while awesomely large and spacious (which we need, as I am a spread-eagler, a snorer, a sweater, a solitary sleeper, and a host of other annoying sleep-related things), I fear we’re starting to abuse the vast field between us. A gander just now to my left reveals my phone, Adam’s phone, four television remote controls, the light/fan remote and a pair of wireless headphones I made Adam get a few years ago for his late-night television viewing (so he wouldn’t disturb my precious slumber). And mysteriously, there is also a pair of tweezers skulking around in there. Oh, and when we’re sleeping, we each put our respective (eye)glasses between the pillows, which means that I’ve almost broken them about a frillion times, in between bouts of almost stabbing myself in the eye with the tweezers.

And yet: I don’t change a thing night after night, even when I change the linens – I put the stuff right back where it was atop the fresh sheets, laid out to torture us again. Three times in the last two nights alone, I’ve rolled over in my sleep and cranked up the volume on the television, slammed the light firmly into the “on” position, and hit the fan on such a high speed it actually shook on the ceiling. It’s like I’m some kind of toddler who keeps touching a hot pan over and over again. Compulsive.

I’m rambling. Anyway, I had a grumpy day that also involved road rage, unfortunately on my part, and I’m shamed to admit that for a good half-mile today, I drove with my middle finger dangling out the window for the benefit of people who were behind me while I screeched out the window some sort of wild, irrational obscenity that I’m actually embarrassed about. There are moments, I am horrified to discover, when I fully understand why people who aren’t as…balanced as I am (?) can really lose their peaches and start shooting people in the streets over a poor driving decision. It just feels like such a personal violation of good manners, and the great irony is that I want to see their bad manners and raise them a good screaming match and maybe a middle finger or two. God, I just felt murderous towards that woman who wouldn’t let me merge as my lane was closing.

And lastly, after yesterday’s conversation, I will leave you with this bizarre opening line from the Glock website that reads like bad porn spam, and while it tries to affirm the idea that guns are a little on the dangersexy side, it cruises right past sexy into smarm.

I trust you will find it both informative and an enhancement to your shooting pleasures.

Well, indeed.

*The Smiths

18 comments September 19th, 2006

Me and a Gun

Over the weekend, there was this insane sort of standoff in a nearby neighborhood involving some dude after he got into a fight with his girlfriend. They fought, he was angry and so naturally he walked outside with his handgun, fired off a couple of rounds, and casually went about his day. I guess it freaked her out a little, she went running to the cops and it escalated. Next thing you know, there is a SWAT team and a K-9 crew outside their house wearing fatigues and screaming at him to surrender his weapon and come out, come out, wherever he is! Which was, I feel compelled to remind you, probably at the 7-11 having a Slurpee, not in the house surrounded by the SWAT team.

In discussing this today, a friend and I were marveling at the stupidity of the entire thing and she pointed out that in her neighborhood, people step outside and shoot handguns all the time. You know, they just pop outside the front door, let loose with a round of bullets to blow off some steam, and head back in for another go at the bean dip. And what’s scarier is that I had to agree, because me too. I mean, I’m not shooting outside, but people have gone out to shoot behind our house with their children (CHILDREN) for no apparent reason, and what’s sad? What’s really, really sad? I’ve stopped noticing. I spend hours agonizing over whether my ear eczema is life-threatening, and meanwhile, I’m going to get taken out by a rogue bullet before the week is out because I am just used to hearing the sound of gunfire out here. I did call the cops last week on a kid running through the streets with a paintball gun, because you could shoot your eye out, you know, with those pellets. But in handguns, I guess I am apparently entirely desensitized.

At a recent group lunch, out of nowhere it surfaced that every single one of them had a concealed weapon permit. They had Glocks in their glove compartments, for chrissake. I drove back to my car with one of them, my eyes glued to the glove box the entire time thinking, wow, she could shoot me now, bury me behind the hardware store and no one would notice.

I’ve always been terrified of guns, andI won’t own one, but somewhat recently, I went to the local shooting range with my father-in-law, and I am somewhat shamed to admit: It was a lot of fun. There is something so…sexy about holding a gun, I can’t even pretend to feel otherwise. I totally dig why people have them, because, truthfully, it’s hot, dude. In particular, I had a great time with a Walther, which is smooth, easy to shoot and, well, just hell yes. At a public shooting range, however, the strange fetishist reverie is easily broken when you turn your head to see some freakish survivalist not far from you firing off machine guns towards human-shaped targets, and suddenly you realize, oh my God, I’m holding a gun and holy shit, I could totally kill someone, who cares how sexy it is? (But again: Walthers are totally hot and yes, quite sexy, in an abstract kind of way, and maybe children shouldn’t read this, because it sounds like I’m suggesting guns as foreplay, and I’m not. Well, not really. Maybe unloaded? Kid! I kid! No really!)

My point is…hell, I don’t think I have a point right now, except to say that this whole experience was already scary, and now we can add gun-toting wild citizens to the whole shenanigan. Not only am I torturing myself with this most ridiculous discussion of the sex appeal of guns, of which there shouldn’t be any (there totally is), but I am apparently completely and totally desensitized to anything gun-related unless it relates to sex, I live near an entire cadre of gun-toting fools, and I have seen more uzis in action than I ever thought possible. Oh, and I live near an area where SWAT teams are used on a regular basis for small-time domestic disputes. And people shoot guns outside their front doors to cool down after an argument. And I’m acting like I find the whole thing strangely arousing, which means, hoo boy, it is time to go.

An interesting aside to this is that after that day where I shot the Hot Walther, my purse was filled with spent shells from being near the range and, well, it didn’t go over well with airport security when I went to get on a plane, but that’s a story for another day.

And lastly, and speaking of hot, unattainable crushes (uh, guns?), the majority of mine have been dropping like flies for me lately. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a slightly effeminate musician in eyeliner (we can explore the bizarre implications of this another day, but I promise you that my husband is neither of these things. No eyeliner here, and yet, I still find him superhot.) Until now, Brandon Flowers (of The Killers) has been almost everything my depraved little heart could possibly hope for, but lately, his performances have been leaving me cold, and the VMAs was no exception. Hot in photos, killer voice, but the performances and movement? Cold. I’m cold. Maybe he needs a gun. I mean, not really of course. God.

Link to the performance on YouTube, if you care, here.

*Tori Amos. And please, I’m not advocating gun totage, really, and of course, I advocate responsible gun ownership, but really, that’s not my job, and I wouldn’t be very good at it, since I do not own a gun, okay? And if I actually thought I was in any danger on a daily basis, I would buy entire outfits of Kevlar. I’m still thinking about it.

17 comments September 18th, 2006

Proof

There are a bunch of really angry Disney lovers who have painted me as a vitriolic, Disney-hating crazy who wants to kill anyone who likes processed pork products and/or visits Disney with their screaming children. I guess I angered Disney-lovers with my long-ago disdain for all things theme park, but secretly, my appearance on a Disney-sponsored message board was worth the price of admission, seriously.

I only rarely get hateful or even critical comments or emails, but for some reason, my website has made an ungodly number of appearances on various and sundry Internet message boards. What’s funny is that the original poster never puts it together that I would see what they’ve written, thanks to the wonder of referrer logs, and truthfully, I like it that way. They say exactly what they think, and sometimes – no, most of the time – it’s hilarious, done kindly, and I see their point. I had no idea Disney lovers were so…passionate about Mickey and friends, and that I did indeed offend a large portion of rabid fans with my early summer Disney-snark.

Invariably, when something I write is posted to a board , it is always in the context of a Glamour Don’t. It’s fitting, as I think we can all agree that nowhere here do I pretend to be at all graceful and/or competent in many of the basic things that constitute life. And it never fails to crack me up, what people say in conjunction with something I’ve written or posted. There was a hliarious thread on a popular home decorating network/show website that posted links to pictures of my house (that I posted here some time ago) as a fine example of how decorating can really go awry, and why paint and color should be used more judiciously than what I’d done there. Oh, and they hated my red couches, calling them “gauche.” Unfortunately, I can’t find the link anymore, otherwise I would surely share it with you.

Nothing has been really all that personal, so I find 99% of it amusing, if not downright hysterical. Although that person who posted my full name, date of birth and home address on some angry website? Maybe that wasn’t so nice – especially the part where they tried to incite people to send me bloodied pig feet or something. Not that my date of birth bothers me, oh no! December 27, 1975. Why yes, I am a Christmas Capricorn, and now you can buy me seasonally-appropriate presents. In birthday wrapping paper, please.

Separately, this weekend was incredibly uneventful, which is exactly what we needed after the excitement of last week, and given that A. is still operating on a stress level that is currently breaking tension records along the greater eastern seaboard. There wasn’t a lot of sleeping going on, however, since the cat inexplicably decided to scream, howl and otherwise disturb all beings with their eyes closed as soon as the eyelashes hit the cheeks. Friday night, his desperate, plaintive cries were so pitiful that I ran down the stairs to comfort him as he screamed at the toad torturing him out the front window, but by Saturday night, I was locking the yellmonster deep, deep in the laundry room, screaming, cursing and weeping from exhaustion.

And lastly, I’ve noticed few results from my gym efforts, which, well, my patience is wearing thin, no pun intended. Four or five miles a day, four or five days a week for at least eight weeks, and I weigh…wait for it…exactly the same as I did when I started. Fine – yes, I am no longer winded when I walk up the stairs (shut up), and I kind of feel a difference in my thighs, in that they are no longer rubbing together with enough friction to start forest fires, but still.

Can the gods of weight loss throw me a bone please? I don’t entirely buy the whole “muscle weighs more than fat” thing, really, although if anyone wants to tell me that with any authority, I might be inclined to believe you, and maybe send you a big box of chocolate covered cherries. I’m not subsisting on a diet of celery and lettuce, but I’m not Augustus Gloop-ing my way through the kitchen on a nightly basis either. Whatever.

And all of this – all of this odd little minutiae that makes up the weekend, and I suppose, our lives, adds up to an extraordinary level of frustration that, when matched with The Husband’s stress level, is causing our home to vibrate with bemused discontent.

*Paul Simon

13 comments September 17th, 2006

Lorelei

In keeping with Biohazard Week, I discovered that Sunny, like most dogs, has been snacking out of the cat’s litter box, which is disappointing, but not deal-breaking, although I’m thinking twice before I let her suck on my earlobe. What was almost devastating, however, was the oderous gas she’s had for two days that I’m trying not to chalk up to you know, semen, or some sort of other foul substance she’s ingested on my watch. I kept smelling farts all day and thinking, did I fart and not know it? Have things dipped that low?

They haven’t. She’s just gassy. Thank God. Or whatever.

Anyway, I didn’t mention the other day that after the, uh, incident, that I called my health insurance provider’s health line to make sure I couldn’t contract any diseases from handling a stranger’s bodily fluids. I think it was the fact that I sniffed my hand that really set me off. Fluid. Mucous membranes. Whatever.

Gah, I don’t know. I mean, I’m not an idiot who thinks you can get pregnant from dirty dancing or anything, and I know how disease is transmitted, but there is a reason nurses wear gloves, is all I’m saying. And you know, I put my fingers to my nose before I even knew what happened, and God, I know I’m sounding dumber by the moment repeating this, and all I can say is this: if you think this sounds stupid, picture the scene with the nurse:

Jonniker: “Hi, do I have any diseases? I unexpectedly had my hands all over a stranger’s semen!”

Nurse: “Well, have you seen ejaculate before?”

J: “YES! Of course! All the time! I mean, not all the time, but sometimes! I am familiar with it! I know semen when I see it! ”

And so on…I don’t think I ever even properly explained how it happened, or why I was concerned, or even anything remotely intelligent or coherent. And I basically told her that I handle semen on an hourly basis, which is awesome. And look, I know you can’t diagnose diseases over the phone, much less STDs that are highly unlikely unless I had a gaping gash on my hand the size of San Andreas and poured about three gallons of schmutz on the open wound. I was panicked. But somewhere, there is a call center full of nurses having a field day at my expense, but I’ll say it again: semen, dude.

Speaking of gashes, I was in CVS yesterday and the woman in front of me was standing with her son talking to the clerk, and all I overheard was, “Yah, darlin’, Junior’s friends here done broke into our house last night and damn near ripped his ear off! They stole our television and ripped his durn ear off! Junior ain’t got no ear!”

And then I spied the Frankenstein-like stitches on the back of where Junior’s ear should have been. Junior really didn’t have an ear, as his friends stole it, along with the television. And then I realized: holy shit, please sweet Jesus, I need to get out of here.

In keeping with the theme of absurd randomity, how about that Rockstar? Or should I say, the fuck, dude? I was tooling around another part of my office today, separate (like way, way separate, as in they do not know who I am) from where I sit, and overheard a sales guy say to another, “Rockstar, dude? Lukas!” And then I leapt over about 300 cube walls just to join the conversation, because that’s just how desparate and pathetic I am, and oh, did I! I launched off almost immediately with a tirade about how shoddy Lukas is, and how Toby should have won, and then I went off and actually sang the words, “CONTROL ALT DELETE” the way Dilana did to make a point that made no sense, and then I talked about how hot Ryan was, even in eyeliner, and I think the words “get laid,” accidentally referring to myself came out of my mouth, and they were so impressed they just stared at me and blinked.

*blinkblinkblinkblinkblink*

So, I uh, just went back to work and I haven’t spoken of it since, but suffice it to say I would consider it a massive chunk of time wasted if not for the eye candy that is Ryan Star in eyeliner, because: LUKAS.

And finally, tonight at the gym I humiliated myself not once, but two whole times, first by singing out loud while my iPod blared. No, no I did not hear myself warbling “Lift up your toes! In my mouth!” as I tried to imitate Elizabeth Fraser, which is uh, impossible. I finally noticed the stares of a fellow treadmill runner to realize that while I might have matched her breathiness on the track due to exhertion, I did not sound coherent, nor did I want to be screaming about sucking toes in public.

And then, when the horror of that moment passed and I’d given up on the iPod due to its inherent hazards, I started sobbing at the end of a Grey’s Anatomy rerun where the dude who killed another man’s daughter is apologizing, and then the man puts his hand on his chest and ohmyGod, it was so moving, even though I’ve seen it before, and have you seen that episode? Because Jesus. Moving shit right there. And there were full, heaving hiccuping sobs that ensued while running, which caused me to choke on my own saliva and hack like an emphysema patient, which forced me to get off the treadmill for a moment, lest I kill myself from lack of oxygen.

And here ends the most nonsensical shit ever. Not unlike Elizabeth Fraser’s lyrics, so today’s title is fitting. Have a great weekend everyone.

*Cocteau Twins. I realize an alarming number of people have done songs called “Lorelei,” but I am quite specific here. Lift up your toes! In my mouth! GUILTY BOY.

11 comments September 14th, 2006

Can’t Keep it In

I never liked Dick Van Dyke. I watched the show on Nick at Nite, surely, but my affection was always reserved for Laura Petrie. And I firmly believe that his campy presence ruined the Golden Girls, and for that, I’ve hated him forever, and would you ever put him
with Bea Arthur? Of course not.

It’s no surprise, then, that when he told me via Johnson and Johnson, I think, that I should never stick anything smaller than my elbow in my ear, that I ignored him. Because, duh, everyone knows that elbows can’t reach ears, and I don’t care if that was your point. I had an intensely itchy ear last night, and because I was alone, I rooted around with a Q-tip in there, and I think I jammed a ball of wax the size of my coffee table even deeper in there. I’m blaming Dick. Has anyone ever had their ears candled, other than Sarah Silverman?

I’m talking about earwax because I’m having trouble talking about what happened today, as I am still thoroughly traumatized. SunnyDog exacted the most divine revenge for the Poop Incident today, and I can’t get over it, and I don’t know anyone who could, frankly. Since I’ve had her, I’ve had to remove an alarming number of toxic, foul and completely bizarre items from the clenches of her sweet little lips. Some of the more offensive items include cigarette butts with greasy pink lipstick lining the filter, discarded pre-chewed gum of all kinds, rotting fast food, various and sundry dead insect and animal carcasses, and of course, the toad of death.

But this. Oh God, dude, I can’t even say it. Deep breaths now.

I pulled a used condom from Sunny’s lips today. A recently used condom. With splooge.

Are you dead yet? Because I’m writing this from beyond the grave.

I brought her to work today, and when I took her for a walk in the back parking lot, she picked it up, and I had acted quickly before I even knew what it was until (OH MY GOD) it emptied on my hand. Repeat, it EMPTIED ON MY HAND. She picked it up from the bottom, and someone else’s STUFF spilled on my fingers all slippery and freaky-like, and it was the worst thing that I’ve ever handled ever and I’m not sure I can go on. And oh, of course, even after the spillage, the condom was STILL IN HER MOUTH, so I had to fish around in there and pluck the rest of the condom along with, I hasten to add – because I cannot sit with this knowledge by myself – A STRANGER’S SEMEN ONCE AGAIN.

It wasn’t an old condom. It wasn’t even dirty. It was RECENTLY USED BY SOMEONE IN OUR BACK PARKING LOT PLEASE SAVE ME NOW.

Please help me.

In other, brighter news, my crush on Ryan Star is back on, baby. Yes, yes, he may move about like a four-year old on a precariously placed ladder, and is kind of an asshole and FINE, whatever, but dude, that song. The permanent five o’clock shadow. The hair. Hell, even the eyeliner.

Anything to get me to stop thinking about the splooge. Anything.

*Cat Stevens

40 comments September 12th, 2006

Meet Virginia

I woke up to carrot shit, and hell if that isn’t a way to jump-start the day. I’d given Sunny half a carrot last night while making spaghetti sauce, and promptly forgot that it would, um, fly through her system, so when she cried at 5 a.m., I ignored her, thinking she was being dramatic, and Donna, her weekend caretaker at the doggie spa, had let her take advantage by catering to her neverending whining and crying whims. When I opened her crate at 7 a.m., an explosion of stencherous carrot filled the house, and I had to wade through half-digested carrot shit all the way to the kitchen. Screw carrots.

Other than in that sauce (which I have eaten for four straight meals), I no longer have any use for carrots. Or carrot shit. And please, don’t remind me that I am a piece of carroted shit myself, for I am a mother who lets her puppy wallow in carrot poop because she thinks her dog is capable of being dramatic. She should just go live with Donna. Donna probably would have heard her pleas, let her poop, and then served her another plate of freshly steamed kosher chicken because Sunny is a “Jewish pug princess from Boston!” (Donna was very excited that we were from Boston. And yes, she actually served Sunny kosher chicken all damn weekend.)

Speaking of, when I dropped her off, I ended up getting chased into my car by a giant pit bull with a huge set of balls, and what the hell, dude? I’m terrified of dog testicles. I hate the macho attitude they usually represent, and I hate the alarming number of assholes who refuse to neuter their pets. But mostly I’m just afraid of the way they dangle like a pair of plump, overripe plums. There is no reason for dog balls, and I’d rather if everyone out there could just have their damn dogs neutered so that I didn’t have to look at damn testicles. Please.

We went to Boston for the weekend for all of 36 glorious hours, and hell yes, it was fabulously gorgeous. And the wedding was bar-none the best wedding I’ve ever been to, and that’s saying a lot, given that I generally hate weddings. And brides. I’m not a fan of any and all things bridal, but all of this stems from the fact that I hated being a bride, so don’t hate me if you are soon to be, or ever were a bride. I’m sure you were/are lovely, and I would moon over you because I am a sucker, and I like you. And B. was the most stunning, gorgeous bride I’ve ever seen and I cried when I saw her about nine times because again: holy shit, she was gorgeous, as she always is.

So yes, I hate weddings, but I loved this one. My hatred stems from the fact that my engagement was a miserable mishmash of stressors and fights that involved screaming and food hurling – food fights, if you will. On more than one occasion, there was the wild and angry tossing of chicken fingers and lo mein and when we moved out of our apartment, there was a Chinese food stain on the wall that we couldn’t cover. No amount of scrubbing, painting, and by Jesus, not even that painfully mundane and ineffectual Magic Eraser, could remove the wall of duck sauce borne out of a screaming match that had something to do with whether or not we should bow to the pressure to have ice sculptures with the hors d’oeuvres. And dear God, if you’re wondering the answer, we didn’t. Or did we? I don’t remember, nor do I really care. The most important thing is that I drew first blood with kung pao. Remember that instead.

I think weddings are designed for women who like being the center of attention and all that, and despite the fact that I blog, which is strangely exhibitionist, you may or may not be surprised to learn that I would rather die than be the center of *anything* in real life. The only way to survive a wedding as an introvert is to down more Bloody Marys than you can squeeze into your gullet without breaking the seams of your dress, and did I ever. This is also the sad reason why I do not remember really, um anything from my wedding, and I’m actually embarrassed at the number of photos that depict me drunkenly hugging and kissing random people who were the dates of people I invited whom I actually had never met before. Oh, and there are lots of nice photos of me kicking back at the bar with my feet up while smoking cigarettes. I’m sure my parents are so proud.

But I digress, and the point is, B and M’s wedding was flat-out fabulous and would have been even better if we didn’t have to leave at 9 p.m. to get up at 3:30 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight home. And wouldn’t it be great to have pictures of this wonderful wedding?

Yes, yes it would. Except I left my damn camera in the car, because I’d forgotten to pack my evening bag, and thus, had to bring my big bag for emergency purposes only, and then I left the bag in the car, because a giant canvas tote didn’t exactly flow with my outfit. And after a few Bellinis, does anyone really care where the camera is? The answer is no.

Here is the only photo I took, en route to the wedding.

If this isn’t one for the ages, I don’t know what is.

*Train. Around the time this song came out, the bride in question and I had a very deep drunken discussion about this song, and for a few weeks following, she left me me no fewer than four drunken messages on my voice mail singing that song in its entirety. I’d give anything if I still had them.

15 comments September 11th, 2006

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