Monday, December 31, 2012

Me and My Succubus

I used to be fun. I mean seriously, I used to be so much fun. I went out every night. I wore something scanty and I looked good in it. I never said “no,” to a drink, or a smoke, or a bump. But now, it’s New Year’s Eve and I can’t even pretend that I’m considering going out to do something. I don’t even care. And this is the first time I don’t give a shit that I don’t care about New Year’s Eve.
In past years I’ve tried to pretend to myself and others that I wanted to do something. I’d show all the appropriate enthusiasm while hedging about the specifics, and when the big night came I’d conveniently remember early work. In those last minute and obviously highly lamented cases it’s acceptable to stay home and have a few drinks and watch the ball drop on tv. But the truth is, I’m asleep by then. I may even be asleep when it drops in New York, but certainly I’m drooling happily into my pillow by the time the countdown commences on the west coast.
I’m just really looking forward to being home tonight. I plan to write a little, maybe watch some TV, specifically this amazing show that Netflix suggested to me last night. It’s called “Lost Girl” and it’s about a mystery solving succubus. I mean, come on. I just can’t imagine there’s anything in a bar better than that. And I just got really excited when I thought about the succubus show. The kind of excited I used to get when I was going out. So I’ll be right here. Watching TV and swilling champagne, because I still never say “no,” to a drink. But these days I always get to puke in my own toilet. Which is nice.

Happy New Year All!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Scars Are Sexy (But Not When You're Three)

I got my nephew a skateboard for Christmas. That was the easy part. The question of knee and elbow pads was far more controversial. The debate raged on for weeks.  It was between the me that is so protective of him that I want to knock down other kids at the park if they look at him wrong, and the me that wants him to be a little tough, and a little rebellious, and knock those kids down himself.
                That’s the me that says, “Scars are sexy right? They’re cool badges of honor for shit you’ve done, and you get to wear them right on your skin.”
The other me counters with, “If he hurts himself he could be so traumatized that he’ll never enjoy the skateboard or anything else.”
And then I’m all, “I don’t want him to be hurt unnecessarily, but I don’t want him to be deprived of cool scar stories. Plus scars give you something fun to talk about after the first time you sleep with somebody.”
I respond with a shocked, “I hope you’re talking about his wife on his wedding night.”
Then we laugh because neither myself, nor I are uptight about sex. Of course there’s a fine line between protecting a kid and not letting them have any fun. To those parents that make their kids wear knee pads and helmets to the park to play, you have gone too far. Your kids are not going to be ok when they grow up. I’m sorry, but they’re not. And they’re going to hate you.  
Not wanting him to grow up hating me because he’s scar-less, I decided against the pads, but then there was the couch incident. It is riotously fun to stand on the arm of the couch and flop onto the cushions. I was alarmed when this game first began, but it’s been going on for quite a while and he’s gotten really good at not killing himself with the couch. So my guard was way down when he went off the arm of the couch backwards and whacked the crap out of himself on both the table and the floor.
It was all very traumatic for both of us and there were tears, and an icepack, and finally a cookie which brought the wailing down to a whimper, and then he had to stop crying altogether so he could demand more cookies. I felt like a terrible watcher and it became obvious to both of me that he doesn’t need help collecting cool scars. We all have them, no matter how much our parents and super-cool aunts tried to prevent it. So I went ahead and got him the damn pads, but not the helmet, because real men can take a head injury.
Of course, so far nothing has convinced him to put them on.
            P.S. As of this post, neither of us has actually knocked another kid down. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Christmas For You!

I just found out that Christmas is cancelled. Not worldwide or you would have already heard about it. Not even the whole day, just dinner. Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ house is cancelled. Now we always knew that at some point the holiday dinners at the grandparents’ would come to an end because my grandparents are ninety, and Nana has been threatening to die for the last fifteen years.
But as of this posting, everyone is fine, yet dinner is still cancelled. Of course there was the heart attack incident at Thanksgiving, but I’m pretty sure the three year old is to blame for that, and anyway, what are the chances it will happen again?
The word is that my uncle is tired of cooking every holiday, although the only reason he cooks every holiday is because we thought he liked it. It’s not like we locked him in the kitchen and threw crackers and clam dip at his head if he tried to come out, although if I was going to fling dip at anyone it would probably be the clam. But I can understand, because I don’t enjoy cooking either, there’s so much preparation and work and you have nothing to show for it by the end of the evening. Maddening.   
Nana says she wants to go to a special Latin mass, which ok, I’m not a big church-goer (in fact I don’t even remember when I was last dragged screaming into one) but I like Latin, it’s my favorite language that isn’t English, so I get it. But we could have dinner after church.   
Then there was the “too old” argument. You’re never too old for Christmas. It’s a bullshit reason. And a sad reason. Plus, I don’t like change. I hear nobody likes change, but I feel like I don’t like it more than most. It’s documented. There was further nonsense about it being time to start our own traditions. Well, we already have a tradition and that tradition is going to her house. (I refer mainly to Nana here, because although there are two grandparents, she is the force.) The time to start a Nana-less tradition is when there’s no more Nana. Which we hope won’t be for a very long time. And it will be far more picturesque if when our new tradition starts we are lamenting Nana’s recent passing rather than lamenting the fact that she doesn’t want us around. We love you, Nana.
If it’s really cancelled, then we’ll eat dinner at my sister’s, which was always the back-up plan. Well, technically the someday plan for when the grandparents have gone into that good night. Gently I’m sure, because let’s face it, someone who’s been announcing their impending death for the last decade or two is probably not the rage, rage type. I know, and I do not approve, but what are you going to do? It’s not my fault that I’m insensitive about this. I’m not generally so que sera sera about death, but like I said, we’ve been hearing about it for a really long time and she’s worn me down. So I hope you’re happy Nana, the world is now judging me for being callus, and it’s your fault. It’s ok, she’ll never read this, and I’m positive she would laugh if she did.
Although, if Christmas is cancelled because I blogged about Thanksgiving then maybe she wouldn’t. I know that’s a tad self-aggrandizing, but that’s straight where my guilty mind went when I heard. I figured it was either the blog or our drunken revelry, but we get drunk every holiday, and the blogging is new. But the blogs were very endearing, and I didn’t use names, so come on family. But I don’t have to blog. I will swear off the Christmas day blog for you Nana. Tweets only, I swear. And I’m sure we can tone down the revelry and drunkenness. I’m sure we’re all ok with that. And by “we,” I mean all those that participate in the revelry, not the royal we that I sometimes fall into when in the throes of mental discourse.
I just wasn’t ready for a change this year. But it will be wonderful I’m sure. My sister is also an amazing cook, so the quality of the food won’t suffer, and on the bright side, no one at her house will complain when I have to put my Tofurkey (leave it alone spell-check) in the toaster oven. It’s possible I’ll be allowed to use a real oven, but I won’t get my hopes up. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanks, But No Thanks

I am not the most courteous person in the world. I almost always remember to say “thank you,” but I’m terrible at “please.” I think I feel like it’s implied. And it is. But I guess I should say it anyway. Then  of course, there are the more blatant no-no’s like, “Fuck you, buddy!” or “Hi, how are you? You’re getting fat.” Nana, I’m talking to you. (Because she says that, not because she’s fat.) And what I just did, calling out my Nana just because she has a fondness for keeping the family informed of their various states of heftiness? That was just rude. Seriously, who raised me?
But there are worse things.
I just got off the phone with customer service and there was this whole rigmarole about how am I, and the day is so nice, and he is so fucking pleased to have this wonderful flower filled opportunity to serve me; and it was horrible. And it only happens on the phone. No one pulls that shit in person, because they would be killed. I don’t need to be thanked for my question; I just need the fucking answer.
Seriously, please don’t be that nice to me. I know we’re not really friends, mostly because none of my friends would ever utter such nonsense without sarcasm being involved. I know you don’t really hope I have an amazing day. I don’t think you hope I have a bad day, I just don’t think you care one way or the other. Honestly, I would much rather you help me quickly than waste ten minutes of my life by gushing  pleasantries which are not actually pleasant because they’re pissing me off. Because this is not a personal relationship.
That doesn’t mean that “please,” and “thank you,” and “have a nice day,” are not acceptable to me, they are. But that’s it. Just basic quick little courtesies, not time consuming, annoying, could not possibly be sincere kinds of courtesies. I don’t mean to be an asshole. But I only have so much time left. Quit stealing it from me. If you really want me to have a nice day you’ll help me and hang up. Ok, you can say goodbye and I will too.
And that’s another thing: reciprocity.  When you say, “I’ve been so happy to assist you today, it’s made my whole life and I actually just came in my pants, is there anything else I can do for you because I’m greedy and I want a second orgasm,” not only do I have to sit through you saying it, I have to say, “Uh…Thanks you too,” or “me too,” or fucking something along the lines of “right back atcha.” And it’s not true. I did not just come in my pants, because I am annoyed.
I don’t blame you. I’m not bitching about you. And I know it’s not your fault. I know they make you say these things.  Not your fault. In fact, you have my sympathy. As excruciating as it is for me to hear all this bullshit on the random occasions when I have to call the cable company, or the phone company, or eeeesh the bank, you have to say these things every day, over and over like you’re stuck in a time loop a la Buffy or Mulder without the awesomeness of being Buffy or Mulder. You must get to the point where you cringe every time you open your mouth. It’s shitty. It’s all bureaucracy. Stupid rules thought up by people who have no idea what it’s like in the trenches. So we all get screwed.
But it’s going to be ok. Because I’ve invented a code word. Whenever you hear me, or anyone else say the word, you’ll know that you’re dealing with one of us, with someone who doesn’t expect you to jump through flaming hoops of salutation, you’ll know that it’s ok to just cut to the chase of what you do, what you really do, and that we will appreciate you all the more for it. That word is, “hi.”
                Show this to your bosses. Forward it to HR. Not the part about the code word; that’s only for the revolutionaries. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

...And I Feel Fine

So this is it. Or not. Probably not. Our last year, month, fortnight, whatever. I’m not sure of the final date because I haven’t been paying attention, due to not caring, the not caring being closely linked to not believing. But what if? If these are my (and everyone else’s) last days I’m doing a lot of stuff I shouldn’t be bothering with, and not enough good stuff. I just paid a bill. And rent. See what I mean? Totally pathetic. This is not how I should be bringing in the end. Of course, if January does roll around the pets will still expect to have a place to live.
I can’t give up the responsibilities just yet, but I can add more laugh-in-the-face-of-Armageddon fun. Sex comes to mind, that whole passion in the face of death thing, but eh, I’m thinking more along the lines of something I haven’t done before (goodbye white wedding) like maybe skydiving. Of course the point is to make my brief remaining time spectacular, not to hasten the end, so maybe not skydiving. I’d like to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, but mainly so I could say that I had if anyone ever asked, which no one will be around to do. That leaves killing a man just to watch him die. And if you’re thinking I got to that too quickly, let me tell you that I got to it first, and then added the other options so I wouldn’t seem like a psycho.
Besides, it wouldn’t be that mean. It sounds mean of course, “Kill a man just to watch him die.” That’s horrible. But maybe it’s only mean if he has a long life ahead of him. It might not be so bad if I did it on the 31st right before the ball drops. I would like to have it wrapped up before the New Year’s Eve countdown so I could enjoy some champagne. It would probably be smart to start on the champagne a little early just in case, and I would recommend that for your New Year’s kisses as well. A little early, just a small cheat. So if I wait until the last possible moment, he’d only be losing what? Twenty seconds? And obviously it would be someone who completely deserves to lose twenty seconds. Some complete jerk, like maybe the guy from Ralphs. No, I’m sorry guy from Ralphs, I forgave you. I forgot.
                Instead of murder, I could do something heroically self sacrificing like give all my stuff to charity and donate my organs to a needy stranger. Hopefully the stranger that I choose needs a kidney, because I just went to all the trouble of removing it, and I don’t think it’s all that easy to do yourself. But then if the world doesn’t end, I’m stuck moving in with my mother, and I can’t even drink or read because I gave away my liver and my books. I need a scenario in which no one has to die or live with their mother.
I’m going to have a drink and try to come up with one. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It’s A Stingy Fucking Lifetime*

Today is the beginning of 25 days of crappy Christmas movies and I’m so excited. I mentioned this to my sister yesterday and she laughed at me, and gave me a look that may have included an eye roll. I’ve forgiven her because she’s not usually so judgmental and because I am such an amazing person. Even though she didn’t use her words, I know what that eye roll meant. It meant that those movies are stupid and poorly acted, they’re completely predictable and full of sad, fallen stars that used to be on great shows we loved. My point exactly. I mean, of course if you’re going to judge based solely on quality of things like acting, script and directing, they’re crappy. So you have to hold these movies to a lower standard, because sometimes low standards are awesome.
I bet in some of them there’s going to be love, and in some there are going to be presents, and in some, there will be the greatest gift of all, love! That’s the magic of Christmas. Because for twenty-five days every year, I can love humanity, find the cuteness in strange children, and when I see a man with an axe, I can believe he’s getting ready to chop down a tree for his family not preparing to dismember me. And yeah, there’s some potential for the unfortunate whenever there’s a strange man with an axe, but again, magic of Christmas.
I’m only mildly ashamed to say that I let out an involuntary scream of joy when I came across The Consultant, starring David Hasselhoff as, “A consultant who helps a workaholic mother survive the holidays.” There’s also, Finding Mrs. Claus in which, “Santa Claus travels to Las Vegas to help a little girl and her mother.” And who’s in this? Mira Sorvino. I didn’t know she had fallen on hard times, but she has Christmas movies to keep her going. That’s amazing. But if you continue to scoff at the quality of the actors I will point out the existence of The Christmas Blessing, starring Neil Patrick Harris, and The Christmas Hope, starring Madeline Stowe. There’s an orphan in that one, and you really can’t top a Christmas orphan. Unless it’s with Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street. She was only half an orphan and it is not a crappy Christmas movie, it is the best Christmas movie ever, the original, not the remakes which are crappy in a crappy way, not a good way, and anyone who participated in those should be ashamed. Santa hates you.
Today I watched The Christmas Caper, because that was obviously the best way to kick off December and optimize my Christmas joy. It has Shannen Dougherty as a cat burglar who has to hide out with her family for Christmas. And there’s a Christmas decorating montage in which someone falls off a stepladder into someone else’s arms, and I’m so happy when I watch that I could pee myself, but I don’t because I have that kind of control. For some reason, this one is not on Lifetime, and I bet someone got fired over that. But I have it on dvd. Obviously.  And I fucking love it; the movie not the firing, although that was deserved. Anyway, I own it and I watch it at least twice every year. Because you know what? I’m just completely fascinated by Shannen Dougherty for no defensible reason. I’m not going to apologize. I feel bad inside, but it’s not hurting anyone else. Not really. So, ok. Not all the movies are actually on Lifetime. But that’s ok. I’m not letting technicalities ruin the spirit of crappy Christmas movies. And that’s what matters.
And sometimes when the movies are not so great, when they are so spectacularly bad that I could never make it through if I was paying attention, I turn down the volume and try to figure out how to work Pinterest. Don’t follow me there until I get my shit together. I’ll let you know. Seriously, don’t look it’s embarrassing. And no, this is not reverse psychology. Leave that shit alone! Please.  In case you’re curious, this post was written under the influence of Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, which I would call a seven on the special standards scale, and that’s still enough to make me cry at the end, and only partly because Christine Baranski deserves better. Merry Christmas to me, and to you, and to all. Goodnight.

P.S. I’ve noticed that the movies are only on the weekends and not actually for an entire 25 days, but there are still like nine movies a week so I get to watch one every day anyway. I think it was different last year, but I can’t prove it. 

* I really wanted to call this post, It’s a Wonderful Lifetime, but since I didn’t think of that until I saw it (on Lifetime) there was just no way to avoid the fact that it would have been plagiarism, or copyright infringement, or something. So Fine. Stingy fucking Lifetime.**

** Sorry Lifetime. I think it's obvious that I secretly fucking love you. Dammit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Is Gross. You Were Warned.

        This is Napoleon.

                A few days ago Napoleon stole a can of peanuts and ate almost the whole thing, and those peanuts are still in my life, and in fact may have caused me to expose myself to my neighbors. Possibly even the neighbor from the standoff/shootout and I don’t want to have to deal with him looking at me like I’m the crazy one.
                The reason the peanuts are still around is because I didn’t bother to pick up the peanut poop because I was busy taking pictures of it, and also I’ve been lax about taking a bag when we’re just going out to the dog run behind the building, because maintenance scoops it. But only every so often.
                So he ate the peanuts, he pooped the peanuts, and the peanuts are still there; and now he wants to eat the peanuts again. He tried to eat the peanuts last night and I managed to shoo him away, luckily he didn’t realize there were peanuts until everyone was pretty much ready to go. But this morning, he remembered. He was on a mission to re-eat the peanuts. But I am smarter than my poopy-peanut eating dog (I thought), and I took a bag to scoop those piles up out of eating range.
                So he’s trying to eat the peanuts and I’m trying to bag them up, but it’s not working that well because they’re not a cohesive unit like most piles of poop, and they’re crumbling apart into individual peanuts every time I grab a pile. This is bad for me, but Napoleon is pleased because even when I get to a pile first, there are inevitably stray peanuts left for him. Now I’m wondering if his plan is to keep eating the peanuts forever, and I’ll forever be trying to snatch the peanuts before he can eat them, but he’ll just keep pooping more and eating those, and this is not how I want to spend eternity.
 Also, I’m not wearing any underwear because I haven’t showered yet, and I just threw something on to walk the dogs, but it was the wrong something. It’s a little dress that’s really a cover up which looks perfectly respectable (seriously, it comes to my knees), as long as I don’t have to squat down, or bend over without my underwear. Unfortunately, I am doing all of these things quickly and repeatedly, and once I actually do a bit of a duck walk because there are two piles very close together and I’m all caught up in the heat of the moment and yes I am victorious, unless you consider shit for dignity a poor trade.
 So I’m racing from pile to pile, almost always a step behind (which is annoying because Napoleon’s legs are like three inches long), and I really want to get the peanuts before he eats any more of them, because they’re poop peanuts now. I mean they look fine. They look exactly like they did before they went in the first time, except now with a little something extra, like maybe they’re wrapped in nougat, but it’s not nougat. It occurs to me to try to bury the piles, but as soon as I’ve buried one (with my foot because of course I’m not prepared with a shovel), I realize that if I bury the poop peanuts they will never be picked up and I will only be creating a fun and rewarding version of hide and seek for Napoleon. Thankfully, the other dogs have no interest in the peanuts.
 Maybe this is all karma, from not picking up the poop in the first place. Maybe it was all nice and gooey and sticking together when it first came out and I would have picked it up in one fell, panty-wearing swoop without exposing anything to the neighbors. I get maybe half the peanuts before giving up, collecting the dogs (Napoleon has to practically be dragged away from the goodies), and slinking back upstairs. So yeah, it’s possible that Napoleon will be eating the same can of peanuts forever. It’s possible that my neighbors have a new familiarity with my junk. (Is it still junk if it’s not a penis?) I don’t know. However, it’s also possible that right now some other dog is down there discovering the peanuts, and that those damned indestructible legumes are on their way into someone else’s life.
Here’s the picture in case you’re wondering if they really still look intact. 

I tweeted this picture when it first happened because I thought that was going to be the end of it, and it was pointed out to me at the time that this was kind of gross. Implied rather, because my friend who brought up the gross factor probably didn’t want to hurt my feelings by pointing out how deranged I am to be posting pictures of my dog’s poop, although it’s barely poop it’s mostly just gently used peanuts. Which is ok. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Speaking Of Hell...Highlights I Didn't Predict

4:36        An argument breaks out over where the chairs should be placed around the table. The conflict is particularly heated over a certain corner. We have a volunteer for the crappy seat and violence is averted.
4:40        This may be worse than usual. We think the mashed potatoes have been flung into the sink, but perhaps we were mistaken. At least I hope so, because later we are served mashed potatoes. Ben still hasn’t arrived, and dinner is in twenty minutes. This probably won’t go over well after all the fighting that took place over seating. I’m told that this is a better arrangement than previous years, but I can’t help but notice that this is the first time there has been this much conflict over where chairs should go. Although there’s always some.
4:41        I don’t know why my mom keeps addressing us as ladies and gentlemen, because we’re not.
4:58        I’ve never had to grab my crotch so many times for so innocent a reason.
5:09        Ok, I totally just spit on the table to clean it because it was sticky, but I totally had permission from my sister, and she’s really sane. And it was the patio table not the dining room table.
5:23        There’s a mosquito in my wine. I announce a rescue, and am told I may be bitten. Someone else thinks there’s no hope. He’s wiggling his little wing when I fish him out. The rest of him is kind of plastered to my finger because he’s soaked in wine. At the other end of the table there is sudden discussion of drinking flies that end up in the milk. The mosquito is now wiggling two parts. He’s probably anxious to get away from these insect swilling madmen. I’m trying to dry him so he can fly away. People are sighing at me, because I’m holding up dinner and most of the family thinks I’m insane for wasting time on a mosquito. Also, many of them think he’s diseased, but that’s just an unfortunate prejudice. Now they are listing mosquito diseases. I tell them I’m ashamed. The three year old announces he is done, although most of the family are still attempting to say grace. We manage to free the mosquito from my finger and take him outside.
5:26        Someone can’t find their dinner roll, the one that is on their plate, and I am told that this should not end up in my blog.
7:01        Nana is sleeping in her chair in front of the oven.
7:54        I’m forced under the table by my mother, and not allowed out. My sister joins me in solidarity. Something about latches and table leaves. When people start shoving the table back together, it’s like we’re in the trash compactor scene from Star Wars. We scream and thrash like we’re being crushed, and are soon dragged out by our ankles.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Speaking of Hell...

So, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I’m excited. Holidays with my family are extra fun because half of my family is very religious, and the other half is not. And I don’t mean in an, “I believe, but I don’t make it to church more than twice a year,” kind of way, I’m talking actual atheists. The only halfway reasonable people are the token agnostics and the three year old. He’s very non judgmental. And once the alcohol has been flowing for a while we get excitement of (come on, I have to), biblical proportions. Because sooner or later someone will let slip a blasphemous comment, usually unintentionally blasphemous (usually), and suddenly one half of us will announce that the other half of us is going straight to hell. If this happens after we’ve eaten then perhaps the evening just breaks up a bit early, but sometimes it happens before dinner, and that’s when things get really nice and awkward. And this year there will be moonshine.
So the day is going to go something like this. We will arrive at my grandparents’ (aka Nana and Grandpa), sometime in the early afternoon. (By “we” I mostly mean the younger two generations. There are four total.) We will begin drinking immediately. I’ve already mentioned this, but it deserves repeating mostly because I am excited about it; this year we are going to have moonshine. We’ve been sticking to beer and wine the last few years because my grandfather isn’t supposed to drink, so my grandmother hasn’t been keeping liquor in the house, which is such a bummer man, even though they never let us use the good whiskey for whiskey sours anyway. Something about expense and desecration.
So once we’re armed with libations it’s out to the patio, so that the smokers, who are dwindling in number, can indulge. In fact, I believe we’re down to one this year, don’t worry, mostly due to quitting, unless I have a relapse, which is possible (see moonshine), or unless Fun Jon makes an appearance, which is probable (see moonshine), and awesome, because Fun Jon out drinks, out smokes and out blasphemes us all. I’d like to say more about him, but by day he has a business to run, and my nephew to support, and my sister to adore, so his identity must be kept completely secret. Shit, I may have said too…Nah, it’s probably fine.
 Anyway, usually we play board games, loud board games, it’s amazing how much shouting and swearing is required for a game of Cranium. They don’t put that in the instructions. While we are outside shaming Nana with our rowdiness, Grandpa is inside trying to get a drink (only if he’s awake), if not, he’ll try for wine with dinner, but Nana won’t let him, because he’s on prescription medications for being old. Some people are uptight about booze and pills and Nana is one of them. I am not uptight about that at all, but unfortunately I have no reliable way to get prescription medications because I have yet to come across one of those great doctors that prescribe whatever you want. I hope that’s not an urban legend.
Then we’ll have dinner. At dinner there will be conversation. Sometimes it’s normal catching up family stuff. Sometimes, we debate things like what kind of poop would be the least unpalatable to eat. Really and truly. Of course in the scenario you are somehow forced to eat the poop, it’s not recreational poop eating. If you don’t already know, bunny poop is the best, because you can just swallow the little pellets without chewing. Theoretically. As far as I know this has not been tested in the field. Also, full disclosure, we did not reach a consensus on the bunny poop.
 At some point, no matter how those of us who are at all sensitive to conflict try to avoid it, religion will come up. This is when the real fun begins.  There will be some yelling, somebody will cry, and at least one person will be told that they are going to hell. Interestingly, the person who cries is never the person who has just found out about their impending damnation; the crier is usually the person who informed the damned of said damnation, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Of course I could be underestimating how draining it is to break that kind of news to a loved one.
After that, if everyone hasn’t fled, we adjourn back outside. There will be more alcohol, because by then we really need it. We may play more games, and we may take the opportunity to poke gentle and oh-so-discreet fun at the evening’s combatants. Eventually there will be dessert, lovely dessert, some of it from the store, the best of it made. And that’s it. The sick part is I’m really looking forward to it. And not just for the moonshine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Don't Want Anyone to Die Because of This

I almost just killed a bunch of people because I’m tired and I don’t feel like getting up in the morning. In my defense I also have cramps, but that’s no justification. However, it would totally have been an accident.
I spend Thursdays with my nephew which is generally awesome. But in spite of the awesome, sometimes when Thursday rolls around, I’m fucking tired. I know I should seize the day, and treasure every moment, because soon he’s going to be older and way too cool to hang out with his aunt, unless it’s his other aunt who’s only like seven years older than he is, but definitely not the aunt who’s like twenty years older than he is, ok thirty years older, ok anyone who is doing math in their head right now, just stop it. (Hi Z! Love you, love our days together, don’t take this personally, fuck it you can’t read yet, so you probably won’t ever read this, unless someday when I’m dead, you want to know a little more about me because you didn’t know me very well, since you spent all your time hanging out with your young, fun aunt.) I mean, they’ll probably be going to the same parties or something.
 I know. It’s admirable that I’m secure enough to admit that I feel threatened by a twelve year old girl. It’s just that I feel a little possessive sometimes. Even though I know I don’t have first claim and I’m totally fine with that. Obviously, the people who chipped in the raw materials get first dibs, that’s just how it works. Plus there’s the whole issue of me being tired on my one day a week, so if I had all the days, every day of every week… just… wow...
Anyway, I think we’ve mined that tangent, which brings us to where I kill people with my mind. Unfortunately, it’s not in an amazing River Tam kind of way. So the night before Zander day (yes that’s what I call it, he obviously calls it “Anne day”), I was tired and I was wishing I didn’t have to get up the next morning, then I thought, what if my wish comes true in some sort of drastic, horrible, monkey’s paw fashion. What if in like half an hour, I find out that everyone was killed on the freeway on the way home from Disneyland, and by the way, the other aunt was with them at Disneyland so it would really be a two birds monkey’s paw, so now four people are dead because I wished it, because that’s the only way I wouldn’t have to get up in the morning. Except it’s not the only way, and I don’t know why the monkey’s paw can’t see that, and of course, I didn’t actually wish all the deaths. Not any of the deaths. The imaginary deaths.
 I mean my sister could have gotten a sore throat or something and stayed home from work, not that I’m wishing a sore throat on my sister, that would also be horrible, although obviously not as horrible as the freeway thing. Except, I wonder if the sore throat would be worse on some level if I had actively wished it on her. Probably not, because it’s hard to top death. Plus she’d opt for the sore throat. Definitely. Although to clarify, I do not wish her or anyone else a sore throat. Or death.
That’s not true. I might wish sore throats on some people. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

If You Can Read This...

To the man standing behind me in the checkout line at Ralphs, I wasn’t moving up to give you room to move up, I was trying to get away from you. If my ponytail is swinging in the wind of your breath, you are way too close. Please develop a sense of personal space, if not for yourself then for me. I’ve always thought of you and others of your ilk (because it is so super fun to use the word ilk), as evil, inconsiderate, serial killers, but it finally occurred to me that you just don’t get it. You have no idea that you’re making me (and others, lots of others, I can’t be the only one), crazy.
To the people who like to come up behind me in the bread aisle, please don’t hover. I glance back and you’re pretending to look at bread, but you are so abnormally close that I know something else is going on. There’s just no legitimate reason to peruse groceries over someone else’s shoulder. And you’re breathing all over me and my potential bread. And now my insides are screaming and my own breathing is a little off kilter, but at least I’m keeping it to myself, and part of me is sure you’re back there arranging your garrote, so of course, I can’t even focus enough to decide what kind of bread to get, which shouldn’t be that hard because I have three bucks, so I’m getting the bread that costs less than that. But I’m kind of panicking, so I leave without the bread and have to go back when you’re gone, or I grab the bread that I don’t want (the four dollar bread), and have to take it back when you’re gone.
To the guy who touched the seat of my bike when you were making room for yours, it was like being felt up by a stranger, and not in a good way, and yes, I know the difference. Not really, of course I don’t, that would be so slutty. Unless I was drunk.  Or on the subway. I wonder if you ever think of me.
To the person who once sat next to me in a movie theater during a matinee when there were like five people in the entire place, what the fuck were you thinking? Why would you even want to share an armrest with a complete stranger when there are thousands of unoccupied armrests for the taking? What sick joy do you take in struggling to maintain your fair share of armrest, while avoiding that other person’s arm, always aware that the two are a tiny shift away from shameful contact? And contact can’t happen. Because then there’s the waiting, arm touching arm, until someone can move away casually, because if anyone yanks their arm away, they might as well stand up and scream that the other person is repulsive, which is what I want to do, not because it’s true, but because I’m totally freaked out by random contact with strangers, especially when I’ve been obsessing about it through seven previews. On top of that, I’m holding in all my anguish because I’m worried it would be hurtful. There’s just no way to concentrate on a movie with all that going on. This is why I still don’t understand the Matrix. Never sit next to a stranger if there is some other option. Obviously. Because that happened like twenty years ago and I still think of you whenever I go to a matinee, so thanks for the trauma.
I get that this is me. (And lots of other nice people.) In my head I understand that we all have a right to be in the bread aisle at the same time, even though there’s really not room, and I was there first. And guy from Ralphs? Maybe someone was standing too close to you, and you were just trying to split the difference, so I forgive you. This time. See how rational? I get that other people can stand shoulder to shoulder, side by side, top to bottom, front to back, and now I’m thinking of a particularly uncomfortable family photo. Not mine. It’s in one of those books. It’s not that I don’t love my fellow humans. It’s not. IT’S NOT. I’d just prefer to love them from afar, with no touching. Unless I’m drunk.
Also, the family photo thing reminded me of the family at Disneyland who were all wearing the same shirt, the only similarity being that these behaviors are equally incomprehensible to me. Their shirt was bright yellow and had their last name printed on the back, at least I assume it was their last name, but you can’t really ask because it would be rude and uncomfortable, and if I was going to talk to a strange family at Disneyland wearing matching shirts it wouldn’t be to ask if that was their last name printed on the shirts, it would be to ask, “WTF is up with the matching shirts?” Is it a form of bonding, that you may love each other all the more? Is it in case you don’t recognize your family, like if someone gets amnesia in the middle of the park? If that’s the case I don’t think a lot of people would have the presence of mind to check the back of their shirt for a last name, and I’m including myself. Is it to label themselves as a group to the rest of us, so no one bitches when the stragglers come blundering through the 45 minute line to catch up with the others? Actually, that one makes sense, so I’m quitting here. I didn’t mean to go on so much about the ugly family shirts. Oh yeah, they were spectacularly ugly. Not one of them is going to look good in the vacation pictures. But in their defense, not one of them stood inappropriately close to me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I got a request for boobs. While I was in line for Star Tours. Not to see them, which is the normal form a request for boobs takes, or to play with them,  or whatever. You know what people like to do with boobs. But it was not about any of that, and that’s good, since the request was from my sister and I’m not up for intensive therapy right now.
So I’m going to talk about my boobs because I know them the best. Sorry, I’m straight. They’re good boobs overall, and they have gotten me some good stuff over the years, lots of free drinks,  some sex, and were possibly the deciding factor in my getting credit for a college course that I neglected to take. They’ve been the focal point of many Halloween costumes, including both bad/sexy/in heat kitty and dominatrix (it’s surprising how versatile a skintight vinyl jumpsuit is), as year after year I celebrated both the holiday and my right, nay my duty, to parade around in the sluttiest costume possible. The year I was a slutty genie, they saved me from a ticket for running a red light (on a dare), and from incarceration, because I was underage and drunk. Older, wiser, moving on.
But they’re not as young as they used to be. When they were as young as they used to be, older women hated me wherever I went. One place I went anyway. One time. But it was traumatic. I was sixteen and working retail, so obviously I was minding my own business and doing the bare minimum I needed to do not to get fired. Anyway, I was wearing this little black and white spandex dress (there’s no way I’m going to justify that with a decade), and this woman, I don’t remember if I was helping her or not, I hope not because she didn’t deserve help, except of the mental health variety because she was disturbed, asked me if I was wearing a bra. I’m not even going to get into why you shouldn’t ask minors about their undergarments, or lack thereof, I’m going to skip to the part that happened after I admitted that I was not wearing one. She said, “I hate you.” And she said it vehemently. Again, I was sixteen. I was a child. She had to have been at least fifty. And she told a poor little girl with big, perky boobs that she hated her for no good reason.  And that girl was baffled. I totally get it now. But there was no reason for her to be a bitch about it.
So although they are not sixteen anymore, the boobs probably could still get me free stuff if I were so inclined, but it doesn’t seem worth it anymore, it seems like a waste of time to hang  out with someone who would give me free stuff just because they like my boobs. And when did that happen? Seriously, when did I become that girl. Why would I want to do something for myself, if there’s a possibility that someone might do it for me? What the fuck is that about? It’s aggravating. And it’s not like I’m brilliantly self-sufficient. I’m barely self-sufficient. I’m kind of ineptly self-sufficient. We’re all alive here, and everyone has eaten today, but sometimes Napoleon eats my underwear and I don’t think that’s something that happens to people who really have everything together. Their underwear is safely in the hamper. But the electricity has stayed on all summer, thanks to my white knuckle bill paying (none of the money was earned with the help of my boobs), so we never went without air conditioning, which is important here because it's the desert.
The moral of the story is I used to have amazing boobs, and now I have the pride and self respect that come with buying my own drinks at the bar. Except I usually just drink at home, it’s more peaceful and I can keep an eye on Napoleon because he’s a fucking maniac. Oddly enough, I wouldn’t switch back. Not that it wasn’t great. So gather your rosebuds, and free Cuervo shots, and if you can get away without wearing a bra, don’t fucking wear one. See ya next week. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Which I Participate in a Standoff and the Police are Less Than Appreciative

You know how police standoffs/shootouts with the neighbors always happen when you’re trying to do laundry?
My crazy neighbor (pretending that only one of them is crazy) had a standoff with the cops.  I was here for the entire thing, but I missed some of the specifics while I was on the phone relaying the action to my sister, contemplating the logistics of an evacuation, and making coffee.
I know most of this seems like normal activity, but I was totally losing my mind. And not in an appropriate, I’m really scared, why must we have senseless violence kind of way, but in an excited, this could not be a better Wednesday morning kind of way. I was actually giddy. Giddy. I think that was my third time.
People were bringing chairs and breakfast out onto their balconies to enjoy the show. I didn’t do that, but I don’t usually eat breakfast. The point is we are all idiots. There could be a burst of gunfire coming my way any second. This is not a good situation. Why am I gawking? Why? I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me. But I continue to dart from window to window, keeping an eye on all aspects of the action. I’m practically dancing. By now there are at least six regular cops, a SWAT guy with a possible sniper rifle and a guy in a bowling shirt who seems important because since he’s arrived, all the other cops want to huddle with him. The last guy seems familiar, like maybe he arrested me when I was a teenager.
So the timer for my laundry goes off, and the problem is that if I leave it there someone is going to move it, because god forbid someone’s laundry should sit in the washer for more than a minute after the cycle is finished, and if someone does move my laundry I’m going to flip out because I don’t know where their hands have been and now they’re handling my underwear. So that’s my big problem right now, I can choose to leave my undies to the mercy of mysterious and possibly grubby fingers or I can risk getting shot. Sophie had it easy.
At this point I notice my white haired neighbor has gone to fetch her mail and who am I to be fainter of heart than a demure and fragile retiree, and yes I know older people can still do stuff and I’m sure when I’m really old I’ll object to young assholes speculating about my frailty, or incontinence, or dementia, but it’s just part of the cycle of life. Anyway, as I was saying, anything a ninety year old can do, I can do better, so I traipsed down to the laundry room and not only moved my wet things to the dryer, but audaciously started a brand new load as well. Here’s some foreshadowing for you: I was going to regret it.
So I’m back at my window and one of the cops with his rifle or shotgun or whatever catches my eye and waves me out. So I go trotting downstairs since I’m not getting much from the window at this point because the crazy guy is inside with the blinds drawn. So the cop tells me they are going to evacuate the building and asks if I’m alone. I say no, I have pets. He assures me that they’ll be fine. I assure him that there’s no way I’m leaving them. So he says I should go start getting everyone together. Now what I’m wondering as I trot obligingly back up the stairs is, if it is so dangerous that the building needs to be evacuated why would he motion me outside? Surely, I would have been safer inside, peeking out the window or not, than out in the open consorting with those who were surely seen as the enemy by the crazy man.
Now I’m in kind of a tizzy, because those pets I mentioned? There are five of them. Plus I need clothes, and my computer, and my brand-new-fucking-too-expensive-to-leave-in-case-the-shootout-leads-to-a-fire-bike, and my books. I know the books are impossible so I mentally let go of them pretty quickly, but I’m trying to imagine how I’ll  arrange everything else in my tiny car and what or who I’ll take out first. I’m afraid that if I take the things out first the cops won't let me come back in, and the pets will be stuck in a building with a madman. I’m afraid that if I take the pets out first I could be killed going back for the stuff and then they’ll be stuck in the car indefinitely because the cops are too focused on the crazy neighbor to care about animals. I mean they didn’t want me to even take them. It seems best to just stay here and hope for the best. If they come to drag me out I’ll end up with only the pets because I know if it comes to that I won’t get to make multiple trips, but fuck it. I’m also reluctant to leave my laundry and I can’t get the washer open until the cycle ends, and that’s not happening for another twenty-seven minutes or so.
When stuff starts happening downstairs I’m obviously pleased because if they get the shootout over with no one will have to evacuate. Unless the fire happens after all.
The crazy neighbor is messing around with the blinds on his sliding door which is one door over, below and across from me. Although technically that’s several degrees of separation, I can actually see him really well and the thing that I notice is that he has a walker. He’s not using it, he’s sitting, so I think that maybe he can’t get to the door like the cops have been demanding and maybe this is all a terrible, soon to be tragic misunderstanding because the poor guy can’t get up. When I see he’s in a wheelchair it seems like a good idea to make sure the cops have this valuable information. They were surprisingly unappreciative. Apparently they already knew.
Then the SWAT guy got tangled up in someone’s fake Halloween spider webs which was pretty fantastic. Nothing personal SWAT guy. I feel bad because (SPOILER ALERT) I laughed before I knew no one had died, but there’s not much I can do about the order of events. Although if we look at things from a quantum, time is an illusion kind of place, maybe I could do something about the order of events, but damn it Jim, this is not a science blog.
Time for the end. The cops decide to pop out a window to grab the unarmed, crazy wheelchair guy, but before they can, a shot rings out. I still have no idea where it came from. No one got shot. Maybe the crazy guy let one off inside his apartment; if I find out I’ll let you know.
Anyway, it went something like: Gunshot. Napoleon barks. I think crazy guy killed himself and I feel really bad for referring to him in my head as crazy guy, but then crazy guy manages to slide open his patio door. Cops start yelling  and advancing on crazy guy who is trying to wheel himself out the door while keeping his hands up which didn’t look as easy as it sounds. Then cops drag crazy guy out of his apartment and wheelchair, which looked gentler than it sounds.
The aftermath included handcuffs, a pat down, a search of the apartment and camaraderie between the cops themselves, which I get, and between the cops and the crazy guy, which I don’t.
So that is basically that. And between living it and writing about it, I’ve lost like three hours of my day, but luckily I saved the time I would have taken thinking up a blog topic for this week. And crap, now I’ve come right out and admitted I plan on doing one every week, so I’m panicking a little. I’m also worried that between this blog and the last one I am coming across as kind of a bitch, so let me just say that I like puppies. A lot. I’ll talk more about that next time. Not too much though, I don’t like puppies in ways I shouldn’t. Just in perfectly appropriate ways. I don’t know if that’s weird or quirky and adorable. The sentence, I mean. I’m leaving it because it’s supposed to be adorable. I have to stop now. Goodnight. It’s not night, but I already know I’m not accomplishing anything else today. That makes it time to drink.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Second, Do No Harm

I don’t like to share. I don’t like people to touch my fucking shit, I don’t like people to borrow my shit, I don’t even like people to see my shit. I want to be someone who likes to share, who says, “Oh here, take mine,” and really means it, because those are such nice people, except, that they actually make me feel shitty about myself, so maybe they’re bad people deep down. Maybe they shove their lending and their niceness down your throat so you feel horrible about the fact that you don’t want to loan your books out because you never get them back. Nobody gives books back. I don’t. Sometimes I do eventually, but not for a really long time. They sit on my bookshelves until they become emotionally attached to my books and then they can’t leave because it would be too traumatic for everyone.
Also, sometimes stuff gets broken or lost, which brings me to my next point, using the word “point” fairly loosely.
I spend every Thursday with my nephew. (It used to be Fridays, which is not relevant, but since I’m not going to lend you anything, I can at least give you accuracy where possible.) This started when he was six months old or so, I’m not really sure (where possible), let’s just say once a week for roughly three years. He’s irreplaceable. It took nine months and literal blood, sweat and tears to make him. I won’t let my autographed copy of American Gods leave the house and my sister lets me take her child. She doesn’t even instruct me. I mean, I’ve been doing it for a while now, but even the very first time she didn’t do much more than point out the formula. She didn’t tell me not to drop him on his head, which I imagined doing every time I carried him for like a year. At least. Not imagined in a wishful way, you understand, but in a nightmarish way. In my head, I would trip walking down the hallway, and the floors are tile so there would be nothing soft to drop the baby on and probably I would end up falling on top of him and crushing him anyway, so it wouldn’t really matter that the floors weren’t soft. But there was never a, “Don’t drop the baby,” or “Don’t leave him alone in the car/dryer/tub,” or even, “Don’t let him suck on a knife,” which, ok, any adult should know, but still. She just handed over her very best thing and trusted me. To me, that is amazing.
                You’re probably thinking, ‘Her sister lets her borrow a baby, a firstborn only son and she won’t let her borrow a fucking book?’ Well, I will let her borrow a fucking book. I often offer to lend her books. The fact that I have a copy of her house key and therefore the ability to repo any book at any time hardly crosses my mind. If you’re wondering why I suddenly got onto books it’s because all my favorite things are books or dogs…not that dogs are things, and not that I’d lend them. And not that my nephew is a thing either. Don’t make a big deal about the order there; it was a random train of thought.
It may be appropriate to put some trust of my own into the world to pay it forward, although I hated that movie and swore never to be nice to anyone after I saw it. Sometimes things strike me in ways that I’m sure were not intended. In spite of that, this is a call to put more trust in humanity, well some humanity, and I’ll see how it goes. Don’t worry, I’m only calling myself, unless you want to be called, it’s your decision. And for the record, I’m totally generous with my crappy stuff. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Of Mice, Not Men

So I didn’t make big promises in my first post right? No great expectations going on out there that I should be aware of? Then let’s get started. The blog is orange now, which I kind of like, although I’m worried that it’s too bright. On to something else, because how neurotic can one person be? Although obviously, since this is written, I’ve had a chance to edit it and whatever neurosis are still on the page are intended to be. Or, I just didn’t notice them. But clearly I’ve noticed them; I mentioned them. Unless when I mentioned them I was thinking of one thing while the things that are apparent to others are entirely different issues of which I’m not even aware. I’ll lose a little sleep over that.
No more talk about the blog itself. Ok, limited talk about the blog itself. It’s new and I’m obsessed with it. Sorry. In six months I’ll probably be like, “Ugh. Fucking Blog. LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Since you’re still here, I’ll tell you about the mice. It’s not much as rewards go.
Once when I was little, we had mice. Not pet mice, mice in the house. Wild mice that sped across the floor, over toes, and under furniture with an abandon undeterred by the most hysterical shrieks, or any amount of scrambling for safety onto the aforementioned furniture by the humans of the house, namely my mother and I. I think it was the rapid and unpredictable movement that was so alarming; theirs, not ours.
After a while, the mice acquired names. All of course, cute mousy little names. The names were given by my mother, who could actually tell them apart. A mouse would go scurrying across the floor while my mother and I cowered on the couch with my dog Star, who was also terrified by the tiny invaders, and my mother would identify Mickey, or Minnie, or Mighty. I believe Mighty had the upturned nose.
I feel like there were at least two or three more, but my memory isn’t the best. That could be thanks to a few substances or it could be I’ve blanked the names out for emotional reasons. Maybe the ones I can’t remember were my favorites.
It was decided, at some level beyond my clearance, that living with a houseful of wild mice was not the thing. It wasn’t long before the bodies started turning up, and one by one Mighty, Minnie, Mickey, and the others were, by the shape of a nose or the quirk of a tail, gaily identified and disposed of.
And was strewing all that poison around when a dog and a child were in residence the best idea? Evidence of a simpler time, I guess. Before the days of pesky public service safety announcements, when one could still plausibly say, “Oh my god. I had no idea she would eat that. Who ever heard of a four year old putting something so inappropriate in her mouth?”
Somehow, Star and I made it through unscathed, physically at least, and to Mickey and company, I feel safe in saying that I’ll never forget you. I know. I’ve tried.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog

      Perhaps I should start by asking forgiveness for my audacity. I'll mull that over for a bit. I mean the gall, the arrogance of me assuming anyone wants to know what goes on in here. I'm actually cringing as I write. But you don't have to read it. A blog is not a book. There's no story, no characters that are lovable or despicable, nothing I can claim is worth your time without feeling a bit megalomaniacal. But still, here I am, blogging my first blog and hoping.
     That's the whether, now the what. Maybe language I love, (thanks for the inspiration Shakespeare, if that's your real name). Perhaps on writing; I'm the proud new mamma of my first literary bundle of joy, surely that qualifies me to advise everyone else who's ever had a yen to put pen to paper. The trials and tribulations of a spanking new professional writer? That's sure to have wide appeal. 
     The problem is I don't even post on Facebook. I share and I like, but I almost never comment. When I do, it's something glib and inoffensive. To everyone except my mother. To me, there is something vulnerable about committing thoughts to paper, or to server, or to wherever these thoughts of mine will go to lurk patiently until it is time for me to run for office or accept my Nobel Prize, at which point they will come winging back through the space/time/internet continuum to bite me on the ass. 
     But, fear has no place in creativity. So to better serve my creativity, I will embrace the thing that scares me, I will pursue and practice until I no longer writhe with embarrassment at the thought of clicking the publish button.
     So, I'm not sure what I will blog, but I will blog.    
      If you didn't hate that too much, the link to the book (and yes, of course there is a book), is: