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.