Monday, August 19, 2013

The Joy of Ordering In

So, I ordered a pizza and the guy on the phone was like, “Oh everybody from there is ordering tonight.” Apparently I’m the third person in my complex to order.
When I got off the phone, I started to worry that the pizzas would be all mixed up, which led to this conversation that never fucking happened.  
Me: Excuse me, but this isn’t mine, I ordered cheese and mushroom.
Pizza guy: Ugh. God lady, can’t you just eat that one?
Me: I can’t. I don’t eat meat.
Pizza guy sighs in a put-upon manner, snatches the pizza from my hands and stomps off down the stairs. He returns two minutes later.
Pizza guy: Here.
Me: Um…
Pizza guy: This is your pizza.
Me: Where was it?
Pizza guy: It was at your neighbors.
Me: Could I have a new one, please?
I would probably forget to actually say "please," because I’m prone to doing that, but the please is implied.
Pizza guy: Lady, it’s fine. They didn’t touch it.
Me: Did they open it?
Pizza guy: Lady, you opened the one you had.
I’m not sure why he keeps calling me ‘Lady.’ I hate imaginary Pizza guy.
Me: Exactly. So we should all have new pizzas.
Pizza guy: They’re your neighbors. What’s the problem?
Me: If they opened it, then they breathed on it, and I really don’t know my neighbors that well, so the thought of them breathing on my food kind of freaks me out.
It freaks me way the fuck out.
Pizza guy: The guy who cooked on it breathed on it.
Me: I try not to think about that. And I’ve never seen the cook, so I don’t have a mental image of him breathing on my pizza. At least, I didn’t.
Pizza guy: Look lady, they’re nice people. They didn’t do anything to the pizza. Just eat it.
Me: I didn’t say they did anything to it. I would just like a nice, fresh pizza that hasn’t been passed around my apartment complex.
Pizza guy: You’re a crazy bitch, you know that?
In most of my imaginary arguments someone ends up calling me a bitch. That probably means something. I’m not sure if it’s something bad or good, because in my real life arguments, I get called much worse things.
Pizza guy: Fine. I’ll be back.
But at this point I just want to cancel my order, because I’m convinced that either someone is going to spit on my new, fresh pizza, or Pizza guy is just going to drive this pizza around the block and bring it back. With spit.            

P.S. It was a really stressful forty-five minutes to an hour, but as it turns out, the correct pizza was delivered, and the pizza guy was completely pleasant.  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Say My Name(Ish)

            I have a couple of neighbors who think my name is Anna. I wouldn’t be so bothered by this if they didn’t insist on saying “hi Anna,” every time they see me. I don’t expect everyone to know my name. That would be ridiculous. I wouldn’t care if they had no idea what my name was. I just can’t understand what is so wrong with a moniker-free greeting. Why must they always make such a point of addressing me by not-my-name?
The worst part is I’ve made myself complicit. It’s been over a year, and I haven’t corrected them. I’m assuming that when we met, I told them my actual name, because (and yes, I mean to brag) I have never fucked up the process of telling someone my name. Not even when I’m drunk, because I’ve had a lot of practice at both of those things. So, I am completely sure I did not tell them my name is Anna.
But for whatever reason they started calling me Anna, and I didn’t correct them, because I’m really not that social, and it’s not like we hang out. Also, I had no idea they were going to be so persistent about saying hello, or rather, “Hi Anna.”
 So now I live in constant fear of being accosted with the wrong name as I scutter to or from my apartment. I know it seems like an easy fix, and it would have been, once, but now at this point I’m going to look like a douche if I say anything, mostly because I’m actually being a douche.  I’m spending way more time writing this post than it would take to march my ass across the way and say, “Hello, my name is Anne. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” But what if they didn’t get the reference? To be fair, I’m totally fucking up the syllable rhythm by using my own name, and only my first name at that, so it’s not like I’d blame them, much, but it would be pretty awkward. They would think I was crazy, which is valid, but for the wrong reasons, which I don’t want to encourage.
There is also the worry that if I speak up, I may set off an entire conversation. Something like:
Me:  I just wanted to let you know my name is Anne.
Them: We know your name, Anna.
Me: No. It’s just Anne. Not Anna. I should have said something sooner. Sorry.
Them:  Why didn’t you?
Me:  Because I dreaded the conversation that’s happening to me right now.
Them:  What’s wrong with you, Anna?
I’m left feeling resentful every time they say “hi Anna.” Between the two of them it happens at least five times a day, and it’s exhausting. They’re so aggressive about it that I’m never allowed to slip by un-greeted. And I get stressed out about the whole situation every time. Lately I’ve been wondering if they’re calling me the wrong name on purpose just to torture me.
The thing is, if they legitimately liked me enough to justify their urge to bury me in salutations, they would know my fucking name. It’s not normal to greet someone so often when you never otherwise converse. There is no one I say “hi,” to five times a day. Except for them, because I have to say it back or I’ll look overly antisocial.
I am the one who’s disgruntled, so I should speak the fuck up. But instead I’ll probably just bitch about it here, and continue to quietly resent them. I hope no one got into this post looking for a moral.

P.S.  I know both of their names, and their kid’s name. And their dog’s name. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

But I Didn't Throw the Poop


Walking with three dogs is a slow business thanks to the generally unsynchronized sniffing, and lifting, and squatting. While we were stopped for a squat, a woman messing around in the trunk of her car shined a flashlight in my face. I tried to assume it was an accident, but then she did it again. And again. We had to pass her to get home, although to be completely honest, we would have gone over there anyway, because I was really annoyed, and because it’s everyone’s duty to stand up to inappropriate flashlight behavior when they see it.
And as we approach she shines it in my face again. Now, we are not out in the country. There is the ambient light that one gets in any city, not to mention the actual streetlamps. It is not that damn dark.
Me: “Could you not shine that thing in my face?” I’m thinking: What the fuck is your problem?
Her: “Sorry, Ma’am, I couldn’t see who was there. It looked like you were hiding behind a tree.”  Although she technically said the word “sorry,” it was not in any way an actual apology. And in case you missed it, she called me Ma’am.
Me: “I’m just walking my dogs.” This is a phenomenon she should be familiar with since there are probably almost as many dogs as people in my neighborhood.
Her: “Well, I’m sorry, Ma’am.” (Again not being sorry at all.) “I have bad eyes and I can’t see at night.”
Me: “Well, maybe you shouldn’t be out at night.” Grown women who are afraid of the not-really-dark should stay inside always.
Her: “Do you know how many times my car has been broken into?” Probably never while you were guarding it with that wicked flashlight.
Me: “Well, it wasn’t me any of those times.” Is she implying I’m a car burglar?
Her: “And did you pick up your dog shit?” Not that it’s any of your business but…
Me: “Yeah. Do you want to inspect it?”
Her: “Ugh. No, I don’t think so.”
I’m thinking:  Are you sure? Because I’d be happy to throw it at your head.
Her: “I can tell just by looking at you that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t pick up their dog shit.” That is so judgmental. And so incorrect, since…
Me: “I’m holding a bag of dog shit right now.” Don’t call her a cunt. Don’t.
Me again: “Why don’t you stop being so judgmental and fat?”  Dodged the C-word. Good for you.
Her: “I’m pregnant.”
And now we’re in a bad sitcom.
Her again: “Why are you such a cunt?” It’s called the moral high ground, lady. Come join me.
            Me: “It’s too bad that whoever knocked you up doesn’t care enough to come help you with that box.” There was a box. It was big. She dropped it, which was probably really embarrassing. I may have enjoyed that part.
            Her: “Your dogs are ugly.” Which is ridiculous. My dogs are beautiful. She was projecting.
So that was my night. And I hope she’s still fighting with her husband or whatever about how he didn’t help her with the box. Other than that, I’ve let it go. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Better, Stronger, Chompier


Sometimes, in life, you get a broken front tooth. That’s not a metaphor. Last week, a beautiful, sweet dog was overcome with excitement to greet me and rammed my face with his face, resulting in a large chunk of my front tooth going missing.
The result was visually quite unfortunate, but relatively pain free, until I went to the dentist. The procedure itself was ok, since I’d been shot quite full of Novocain, or whatever. In fact, I had a pleasantly rubbery face for quite a while after I left. Turns out, I should have seized that pain free hour, because by the time I stopped dallying around, so had the drugs.
Unfortunately, I still had a stop to make. And it took all of my limited strength of character not to dart in front of the old man who was creeping toward the door as I approached from the parking lot, because I really wanted to get in line before he did. I actually have that urge all the time; so far I’ve managed to suppress it. I could be an amazing douche if I let myself.
Anyway, the door in question was the AAA door, where you can go instead of going to the DMV, and in most ways it is infinitely preferable. However, what I can say for the DMV is this: people don’t go there for directions. Directions. Yeah. It’s called Google maps, old people. Or even regular maps. I know you know about those. Or you could try your luck with your GPS. I’m pretty sure Cadillac has those. Sorry old people, as I write this, I’m still in pain. And I’m not prejudiced. I’m practically one of you.
I’m waiting my turn, counting the number of inane questions per minute (it’s three), and the numbness is really wearing off and this is reflected in my mood. I have to remind myself that these other people are people too, that they matter as much as I do, even if they are ninety and have apparently pilgrimaged to AAA for the sole purpose of insisting that they are excellent drivers (which inherently means that they are not), they deserve their turn. Their long drawn out turn.
There’s a lady who has got to be eighty, who’s  worried that her handicapped license plate is going to, “alert the cops.” She has already extolled her driving skills. I’m rolling my eyes politely to myself and trying not to let my jaw clench because I’m in more pain every minute and I’m not sure why they didn’t send me home with something for that because surely, this could have been predicted by the professionals, but it was not. Or else they wanted me to suffer.
 And I’m cranky and feeling guilty for all the rude thoughts I’m having about everybody else in the waiting room and bad about the fact that I’m reminding myself that they’re people too, because who has to remind themselves that other people are people? In my defense, I don’t have to do this every day. But full disclosure, this wasn’t the first time either.
When it’s my turn I draw the shortest of sticks meaning a trainee who doesn’t know how to do what I need done. He assures me he knows how to do other things, and lists some of them. I heroically refrain from leaping over the counter. A brief wait later, I am rewarded for my patience with a full-fledged employee and we manage to wrap up my errand so I am free to rush home and self medicate with tequila.
Flash forward two weeks, when I go back to have a permanent veneer put on. The doctor tells me that they usually don’t need to use anesthesia for this part. I prove to him that I am a special case by whimpering the minute he touches me with an instrument.
Some tugging, and filing, and flinching, and gluing later I have a brand new pearly white. They have rebuilt me. They have made me better, stronger and chompier. Or at least restored me to a state of dental symmetry. Now everything is fine, except the pain is back. So for the rest of the afternoon, I will be on the couch watching GoT and wondering why no one will step up and (SPOILER ALERT!) murder Joffrey. Although I’m only on the second season, so perhaps by now someone has. Happy thoughts.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Flying the Shrieking Skies


I had to wait to write this until I could calm myself and be reasonable. I didn’t want the entire post to be profanity; because it was that bad. Some people may be offended and judge me, and that’s ok. But here’s the thing: babies should not be allowed on planes, because they’re horrible. Babies, not planes.
By now you probably think I hate children. I don’t. I have a nephew and he’s awesome, partly because he never shrieks at the top of his lungs. And it’s not just about being greedy for the pleasure of screech-free flying, although I am. There are health issues to be concerned about. I’m referring to headaches, deafness, (which ironically would be a blessing) and the stress that is caused by suppressing one’s natural instincts; namely the urge to fling peanuts, SkyMall catalogues, or whatever else is within reach at the offending baby.
I get it parents. You like your babies. You like to take them with you. But you have to balance your, I have to use the word “selfish,” want against what you’re putting other people through. If you do insist on taking a baby with you on a plane, (a small enclosed space where people are trapped with your horrible baby) then bring shit to entertain it. Please don’t rely on it being enchanted by the nozzle of the air conditioning vent. As I know from personal experience, that fascination is fleeting.
Pack a toy; and maybe some Nyquil, the airline will provide the booze. And yeah, all that stuff is for the baby. “Oh no,” you may be thinking. “I don’t want to drug my baby when it’s not even sick, that’s horrible!”  It’s not that bad. People used to put brandy right into the bottle, and drink and smoke while pregnant. And breastfeeding. The human race survived. And so will your baby. Probably. I’m not a pediatrician, but probably.
Well, maybe. I mean, there’s really no way of knowing what will happen. But I do know that sobriety is no guarantee of a safe childhood. Anything can happen. Besides, I believe they make Nyquil just for children. And if something is made specifically for children, then it would be bad parenting not to give it to them. It would be like denying your baby vitamins. Because drug companies care.
And if your child is shrieking and giving someone all the way across the aisle a headache because it’s so damn loud, don’t smile around as though you think it’s cute, and don't expect anyone else to think it’s cute. Shut that kid up. Screeching is not adorable. And when you act like you expect me to find it adorable, I want to hit you in the face.
Airlines: don’t let babies fly for free. You’re just exacerbating the problem. Make them pay at least full fare, perhaps with an additional noise hazard tax of 100%. And consider turning one or two of the bathrooms into soundproof penalty boxes for particularly rowdy babies. Better that the rest of us have to hold it, than have to listen to some rowdy infant scream as though it’s being skinned because it dropped a pacifier.
It also wouldn’t hurt to penalize the parents of bad babies. Perhaps a modest fine could be imposed on those that allow a baby to get out of hand. Like a dollar. Per passenger. Payable every time their baby shrieks. Or cries. Or stinks. Incidentally, if that policy had been in effect during my last flight, my next flight would have been paid for. And that would have been justice.  
Please remember airlines, that frequent flyer perks aside, you have an obligation to treat your passengers equally and fairly. If I behaved like a certain baby named Quinn*(whose parents passed out earplugs and candy at the beginning of the flight, which I should have taken as a sign of end times instead of mistaking it for a courtesy) you would fly me over Guantanamo without passing GO and push me out a hatch. Fair is fair.
To the babies: Just stay home. Ask for a babysitter. Remember, anyone who cares will come to you. I’m talking grandparents. Yeah, that’s it, just grandparents. Everybody else is waiting until you’re a little older and less terrible. It’s ok. The rest of the world will start to warm to you when you can say words and poop in the toilet. And babies? One more thing: It’s bullshit to scream when you’re upset, and then scream when you’re happy. Get a grip.
*Seriously, she’s the devil. (Whom I didn’t even believe existed until this kid sat behind me for two hours.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

For "Ease" Read, "Holy Shit this is Hard!"

Nobody died. And it was amazing. And no one made fun of anyone else. Except me. I made fun of one girl. But I didn’t make fun of her because of any sort of physical ineptness, because that would be mean. I only made fun of her insistence on whining during such a spectacularly fun occasion. It was discrete mockery too; for the ears of my sister only.
In spite of the ominous lawyerese on the release form it was abundantly safe and so much fucking fun that you need to go do it. Right now. Call in to work, whatever it takes.
            Fair warning, the back of your legs will look like this:



And this can happen to your pants:  




             And it’s a lot harder than it looks. For me. There is something horribly wrong with my body that prevents me from getting my legs over the damn bar in the normal way, so I had to learn an alternate way. Which they say is harder. I didn’t know if that was true or if they just say that to make people feel better about being sent to remedial trapeze school. But I proved to my satisfaction that it is in fact more difficult, by immediately getting my leg tangled in both the trapeze and the safety line, which no one else was able to do. Hence the pants. Anyway, I finally managed it.
             However it’s hard to catch up to the others when you get sent back. To remedial trapeze school. Like I did. So by the end of the session, I was losing my mind. Half the people had crapped out, and the other half had managed to perfect their timing, and were being instructed on how to do the catch. I was pretty much left to go again and again.
             In my crazed determination to perfect my timing, I was forgetting all the safety rules and had to be reminded once by a fellow student and once by an instructor to hook up my safety lines. The instructor actually made me climb down the ladder and take a moment to breathe and calm myself, so I was probably pretty much a wreck by then.
             I didn’t get to do the catch because I totally fucked up my last turn, and I had been warned there was some concern that I might crash into the catcher and injure us both. I was so hyped up that I was totally prepared to take a head injury, but they are a bit overprotective of their staff. So fine.

Here is what I did on my final turn:


video

And here is my sister doing it properly:


                                            video

             So it was awesome. And the people who were good were very sweet and encouraging to those who weren’t. By the end that was just me, because everybody else had quit. So I got to be the plucky girl who didn’t give up, even though she sucked. Which is not what I was planning; but it wasn’t so bad. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

With the Greatest of Ease


Saturday morning I will be flying through the air with the greatest of ease; or else I’ll be dying, probably also with the greatest of ease. Trapeze school is finally upon us, and no, you didn’t miss anything, I haven’t mentioned it. I imagine myself doing flips and catches and whatnot, and in my mind I’m suddenly endowed with the grace and coordination that is noticeably lacking in my usual interactions with the physical world.
 Hopefully that actually happens because apparently (according to the terrifying release I’m supposed to sign) in the world of trapeze there are consequences for physical ineptness, “…could result in physical or emotional injury or death. I understand that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity.” Ok. I get that they can’t guarantee no injuries when they’re letting you swing around like monkeys and the only thing keeping you from falling is the untrained and sweaty hand of another trapeze school newbie, but I have to question the idea of emotional injury being unavoidable. Are they going to make fun of us if we don’t do well? Post photos of us fearful and sprawling on the internet? Surely, some restraint could be shown there. Falling on your ass is bad enough without the professionals making fun of you for it. And if I do fall on my ass it will be because I wasn’t properly instructed, so heal thyself, trapeze guy.
And there’s not just the danger of me falling; there’s the possibility that shit will fall on me. “The risks include…being struck by objects dislodged or dropped from above.” Well, perhaps we don’t need to keep so much clutter on the trapeze platform. Seriously, what the fuck do they keep up there? And dislodged could be accidental, but dropped? Sounds like someone up there is out to get me. 
Then there are the trapeze people. “…employees have difficult jobs to perform. They are not infallible.” Ok, that’s kind of a given, albeit not something I necessarily want emphasized right before I literally put my life in their hands. But even though they’re not perfect, they are surely highly trained and as close to infallible as is humanly possible.
Except for the part where they’re not particularly observant. “They might misjudge the weather or other environmental conditions.” Really? Because the trapezing actually takes place outside. In the weather. What I’m hearing is, “If we don’t kill you by flinging bricks at your head from 100 feet up, the lightening will finish you off because we’re not properly trained to look at the sky.”
And it seems that’s not all they’re not properly trained to do. “They may give incomplete or inaccurate instructions or warnings.”  You’re starting to sound lazy, guys. How about taking a little pride in your work. Consider how nice it would be to go home and say to your wife, husband or cat, “No one died today, and there were only a few close calls, because I had the initiative to tell people to hold on tight.”
“The equipment being used might malfunction.”  How much can a new trapeze cost? It’s essentially a rope and a stick. Maybe I should bring my own. Except I don’t know where to get a trapeze on short notice. But, I might know where I can borrow a sex swing.* Those things are pretty much interchangeable, I believe.
“I certify I have adequate insurance to cover any injury or damage I may cause or suffer while participating...” I wish I could, but I’m sure they won’t check. At least not until after one of the aforementioned unfortunate incidents has occurred.
In spite of the eager specters of death, paralyzation, and embarrassment, I’m excited. I’m a little worried that the trapeze people will see this and not let me on. But I can’t post it after, well, maybe I could, but it’s not certain. And because I’ve gone to the trouble of writing it, I don’t want it to be a wasted effort if I die. Speaking of dying, if I don’t make it back, would someone please feed my dogs?
*I absolutely do not know where I can borrow a sex swing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sweat the Small Stuff


Last night at the grocery store, I noticed that the sign above the speedy checkout lane that used to say, “Fifteen items or less,” now says, “About fifteen items.” As far as I can see, this can only mean one thing, and that thing is that people are douchy enough to count other people’s items and yell at them if they have sixteen items. Or seventeen.  Sometimes, twenty. Not that I haven't been tempted to comment shrilly when someone has eighteen items, because I have. But I make an active effort to be less of a douche than the person who has nineteen items when they should have fifteen, in fact, that’s my goal in life.
So I don’t yell, because yelling about it seems slightly worse. It’s possible that some of these people just can’t count. But I love that others are not so restrained. I really do. I love that the store had to change it to, “about,” to prevent bloodshed. Because there’s nothing better than living amongst people that are prepared to come to blows over that sixteenth item. I’m not judging. I’m not so entertained by this because I would never do such a thing. I’m entertained by this because I can barely restrain myself from doing such a thing.
 We (you) have to act now. Time is running out. Soon all the grocery stores will cave in and replace their set in stone, enforceable checkout rules with guidelines. I’m not a lawyer, but I feel like fewer checkout altercations would go to trial if the victim could be accused of breaking a rule, a grocery law if you will, instead of merely having committed a shopping faux pas. Also, there’s nothing like a good brawl in the checkout line. So raise hell about that extra item. Be righteously indignant. Take action. Speak up. Throw things. Throw a punch, throw an apple, throw your own sixteenth item, (how the hell did that get in there?) so you don’t look like a hypocrite when it’s your turn to checkout. It makes no difference what you throw as long as you get involved.
And if someone has fifteen items and tries to add a pack of gum at the last minute, don’t let them get away with it. These bougie assholes need to know that the rules (or polite suggestions) apply to them. Let them know that their aspirations to minty breath don’t make them better than everyone else. Go forth and make your mothers proud. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Rock and a Sad Place


The other day at the park my nephew had a wreck. He was jumping off the side of the slide (because as any fool knows slides are not just for sliding down) when he was sabotaged by a glitch in coordination.  It wasn’t a bad fall; he only had a couple superficial scrapes to show for it. But there were a ton of people around.
After we clean him up, he decides he wants to do one more slide before we leave, but he chooses the smallest slide and goes down halfheartedly, and it’s all very sad. On the way to our next stop we discuss whether it still hurts, which he tells me it does not, and whether he’s embarrassed which he also denies.
But he’s still tremendously sad.
Eventually it occurs to me that “embarrassed,” may not be a word most people are familiar with when they’re three, so I ask him if he’s sad because all those people saw him fall and he says, “yes.”
Now I’m pissed off at those people for existing, because I feel like Z wouldn’t be upset right now if they didn’t, and what right do they have to be wandering around the park with their eyes anyway? On the other hand this is hideously unreasonable, and I’m really just pissed off at myself for not catching him.
“It’s ok,” I say to him. “None of those people were laughing at you. Everybody falls. I fall, and your mom and dad fall, and Ben falls, and all those people at the park have fallen too, I promise.”
Pointing out the misfortunes of others is perhaps not the most inspiring method of comforting a child, but it’s what came to mind. And still, he was bummed.
We get to the arts festival, but only kind of, because we have to park far away. We start walking, well I start walking, and I’m carrying a sad three year old, a heavy, sad three year old, and I think the sadness is making him heavier than usual. When we finally get there he doesn’t want to go in. He says he wants to sit. So we sit. On the curb outside the arts festival.
He says, “Don’t look at me, please,” and I oblige.
 He picks up a rock. I ask him about the colors in his rock. We discuss that for awhile.
So there we are, sitting on the curb, not looking at each other, discussing rocks instead of feelings. It’s like I’m participating in some kind of weird male bonding moment. I didn’t know three year olds could have such man moments.
I texted his mom for backup. She suggested an uplifting lesson on what the word “embarrassed,” means. That sounded promising, he likes to learn new words. Like “evolution.” But embarrassed is not a fun word to learn when you are.
He would seem better for a while then get sad again. That happens to me too, but I get to drink. And if he was twelve I would have offered him one.  
It turned out that his arm is sprained. When I found that out, I had a guilt headache for two days. But I’m better now, and more importantly, so is he. Feel free to call me with babysitting requests.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Delusions of Me

(Excuse the drawings. I'm trying something. My sister dared me. The drinking makes it seem like a good idea. I did all these with only two pens.) 


I often think about getting mugged. Usually, when I’m walking to my car at night. I’m not worried about it. I’m anticipating it. Because I’m ready. I’ve been ready since I took that self defense course in college. I am so prepared to stab a mugger in the eye with my car key. People who have keyless entry, I don’t know what you’re going to use to stab your mugger in the eye. You should give that some thought.


         


I’m sure if it actually happened it would be kind of a bummer, scary and all that, not to mention all the blood and eye goo on my keys, but I’m such a badass as this plays out in my mind that I can’t resist. I wonder if this posting will entice a mugger out of the darkness to accost me, after all, he could actually use the “she was asking for it,” defense, if muggers read, but I don’t believe they do.  And if they do, they’d probably choose someone who’s not prepared to stab them in the eye.
Although, I recently read that the key thing actually a bad idea because you have to let the mugger get close to you in order to reach their eyes. You’re supposed to hit your mugger with something bigger, like an umbrella. But I live in the desert, so 355 days of the year an umbrella is just a pain in the ass. Besides, once you get your heart set on stabbing an assailant in the eye with your keys it’s hard to let that go.




On an even more morbid note, I want to find a dead body. Not that I want anybody to be dead, but since sometimes people have to be dead anyway, why can’t I find one of them? Because according to a lot of my reading, finding a dead body leads to hijinks and adventure. Obviously, I’m assuming murder. Yes, I’d be opening myself up to suspect status, but obviously I would suss out the real killer and all would be well. Unless there were maggots. I guess I only want to find the fresh bodies.
And why does no one have a heart attack when I’m around? I know CPR. I could be all decisive and heroic, and the victim would regain consciousness and thank me and the onlookers would applaud and later I would be adorably modest on the evening news. But I’m going to need the victim to be hygienic and have recently brushed and flossed because these days, I’m not comfortable putting my mouth just anywhere. Although I suppose I would have the option of only doing the chest compressions. But that doesn’t match the visual in my head, which would be disappointing.




I imagine what I would do if there was a fire, which is kind of weird because this is one of my biggest fears, and also, I feel the worst about this one, because my pets would be traumatized. (So no cartoon on this one because that would make it worse.) I’m sure that to most of you it seems worse that I’ve let people be mentally murdered, suffer imaginary heart attacks, and get stabbed in the eye with my keys but I don’t know them, and anyway they brought those things on themselves with their lives of crime and unhealthy eating habits. With the possible exception of the guy who got murdered. I’m not sure what happened with him. Yet.
Anyway, in the fire I heroically round up and whisk to safety my five pets three of whom are dogs and two of whom are cats, unless you’re my apartment manager in which case two of them are fish. In my imaginings four of the rescues go pretty easily but then I have to go back for Agatha whom I couldn’t get on the first trip because she was hiding under the bed. However at the last possible moment I snatch her from the flames and we live happily ever after. Of course, now we have no stuff, but I know someone who had a fire, no pets, only children, and they’re fine, don’t worry. My point is, that if you get on the news because all your shit burned up, everyone sends you free shit. The people I know got so much free shit that they had to give a bunch of it to charity. And they didn’t even have heroic pet rescues to modestly recount during their exclusive interviews. So I could be a hero and give to charity too which is good for everybody.
            This all probably means that there is something deeply wrong with me, but I hope, in the nicest possible way, that there are others out there with the same horrible self-aggrandizing affliction. Because I’d like to think that these tendencies to play out mental disasters are part of some simple human longing rather than a psychotic indicator. I mean really, who doesn’t long for the occasional parade in their honor? 



Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Inner Child is an Idiot

Recently, there was a big hullabaloo that mostly existed in my head. No, that’s not true. It started in my head, but then it took over my entire day. It started with a text from someone named Jenny.





My first thought was, hmmm, I don’t know a Jenny. And that was that. If only that had remained that. A few hours later, while I was reading comments on another blog, a blog I much admire, it hit me. It had to be her. I had received an invitation from an amazing writer to meet on Skype to talk a bit. Perhaps the missing apostrophe should have been a clue, but when you go from dismissal to euphoria in .3 seconds you tend to overlook the details.
I’ve recently started blogging myself, and I’ve been following her, because I have a lot to learn, also she’s funny, socially conscious, and other good crap. I’ve been reading her posts religiously and I’ve left some comments that may or may not have been witty, and in that instant, it became clear that she was so overcome by my budding efforts that she couldn’t waste a moment in reaching out to me, to discuss my soon to skyrocket writing career. Of course a second later I was equally convinced that this was ridiculous, it was all in my head and it couldn’t possibly be her. That’s the feeling I should have gone with.
But no, I thought. She liked some comment I made. Or else she wants to berate me for writing mean things about my cat. I know she likes cats because she writes about hers sometimes. Only she writes nice things about hers, because apparently they never pee on her stuff; or on her person. So I’ll have to make her understand that although I say mean things about my cat, I never do mean things to my cat, even though she has peed on my head while I slept. Twice. Two times. Yep. And still I feed her. Because I’m stupid.
So, I’m shaking, and I’m running around, and I get my sister on the phone because I just cannot do anything, I can’t even Skype because I don’t have Skype, so there’s the whole business of downloading that to deal with (which was really an effort, and in the process I allowed the download of like twenty random programs or whatever they’re called) so I had to have help. In defense of my stability, the first thing I said to my sister was, “I’m probably imagining this. It couldn’t be real.” But I didn’t feel like I was imagining it. I felt pee-my-pants-happy. Which I did not actually do. So maybe technically I wasn’t. Can you be pee-your-pants-happy if you don’t pee your pants? Yes. If you don’t have to pee.
While I was failing miserably to download Skype, I reverse 411’d the number the text came from, and it was indeed a Texas number which was evidence. The text was sent by Jenny from Texas. There can’t be more than one. I’m not a crazy person at all.
So finally Skype is working. I’ve created a profile, entered Jenny’s contact info, and fumbled with the keyboard until finally, the person who has asked so kindly to speak with me is revealed. But it’s not her. So now I’m crushed and bursting with humiliation, because I’ve dragged my sister into this which makes her a witness. But wait! Maybe the picture was taken when she was a teenager, or on Halloween, or on a day when she just really wanted to show off her boobs. But no. Still not her.
My poor sister is still on the phone, and I imagine her writhing with empathetic embarrassment, because really, how much of a fucking moron can a person be? I’m instantly and severely depressed. I manage to get off the phone so I can cry, and have some xanax and a beer, because somehow I’m out of liquor. It’s a bad day to be out of liquor, but my shame won’t allow me to venture out to the store where I sense the whole world is waiting to mock me for my hope and stupidity. Clearly, I should go to bed before I do anything else humiliating and anyway, it’s almost 3:30 in the afternoon and I can’t take anymore.
I realize that the whole thing is ludicrous. I will never be a writer. No one whose work I admire is ever going to admire mine back. Everyone who has ever complimented my writing either lacks taste or lies, either out of pity or pathology. I will never accomplish anything that I want to accomplish. And all I’m really doing by blogging is rendering myself unemployable.
I finish my beer, the one I cracked open while I was frantically trying to install Skype. I start uninstalling all the useless programs that I had inadvertently piggyback downloaded in my earlier fucking flurry of emotion. I was feeling good about figuring out how to uninstall all this crap by myself, because technology is evil, but that day it was my bitch. Until I accidentally uninstalled something I needed. Now everything on my screen is too big and the stuff on the edges isn’t there; it looks like it would if you pressed your nose directly against a book and tried to read it. FYI, you need your graphics drive.
Of course, I had another beer. I kept going back and forth between wanting to sink forever into misery and feeling a little ok, maybe even slightly amused. My sister posted a cute thing on Facebook about how 90% of kids get all their awesomeness from their aunt. That’s me. And my friend texted to make plans for us to spend the next leap year at Disneyworld. So my day clawed its way a little further out of the toilet.
So much so that I was able to consider the idea that it wasn’t so stupid. I mean, it was really stupid, incredibly stupid, almost brilliantly stupid, but maybe that’s good. Because maybe, even though it didn’t work out this time, it will eventually. Even though it isn’t true right this second, now I know that I believe it could be true someday, even someday soon. And that’s heartening, because as much as I hear that one must believe great things are possible, I am not naturally an optimist. And as stupid as it was, I believed.
And believing? Being that idiotically hopeful? That’s kid shit. It’s awesome. Like when you were little and you just knew you were going to grow up to be an astronaut/rock star/firefighter/veterinarian, before you got to the point where you started ruling things out. Can’t be an astronaut if you get sick on the teacups at Disneyland. Can’t be a vet if the sight of an animal bleeding makes you want to cry. Can’t be a rockstar if you’re tone deaf. Yeah, there’s some wiggle room there. And I could still be a firefighter. As far as I know.
But for those twenty minutes, I was not ruling anything out. In spite of the lingering embarrassment, it was a really good twenty minutes. So good for me. Kind of. In an unfulfilled, humiliating way.
P.S. To Jenny who sends enticing Skype related texts with no regard for the consequences: I’m not that happy with you. Lose my number. 
P.P.S. To Jenny the hilarious and socially conscious Bloggess: I’m not dangerous. I just get excited sometimes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Are You There Siri? It's Me, Anne.


Soon it will be time for my phone upgrade, and I am struggling, debating, trying to decide (if you’d like some synonyms) whether I should get Siri. When I first got the iphone 4, which is what I currently have, I didn’t get Siri because I was broke. And that’s not completely untrue now, but I find myself thinking of her with hope and anticipation, except when I’m thinking of her with reluctance and dread.
The problem is, I’m not good with technology and I’m worried she’ll ruin everything. Right now, I love my phone which is a first, because phones count as technology which is ever evil, and goes out of its way to thwart me. I’ve always had a phone; you have to have a phone. (I know. Not literally. But come on.) But, I’ve never actively enjoyed using a phone before, and I love the iphone, it’s fucking awesome. So I’m very excited to get a new phone, one that has more upgrades, and is fancier, with cooler stuff. And I kind of want Siri because she’s fancy and cool and I like the idea of being able to talk to my phone. Technically, I like the idea of my phone being able to talk back; the first part already happens.
Plus if the phone talks back, everything should be even easier, which is part of why Siri is so appealing. But if Siri is a bitch and won’t help me, then I’ll get frustrated and fight with my phone, and  I don’t want to fight with my phone, because I will probably lose and end up crying in the corner. Things have been so good with my old phone and I’m afraid I’ll ruin it all by wanting too much. I don’t want to get greedy. I don’t know what to do. I tried my sister’s Siri and she wasn’t entirely cooperative. So I’m worried.
But on the other hand, what if she’s awesome? What if she’s so helpful, and intuitive, and smart that I start to get worried that she’s kind of alive in there? And I’ll feel like I need to set her free, but I won’t know how. How does one set a Siri free? Leave her on a bus stop bench with her fare tucked in her protective Kevlar shell? I guess she’s a computer, or in a computer, so maybe if I hooked her up to a network or something she’d be able to travel, see the sights, take in a show. Maybe if she couldn’t get away permanently, she could have a play-date with the other Siris. Now I’m back to not understanding technology. So she’ll be stuck in my phone forever. Which is cool (except for the part where she’s my unwilling minion) but only if we’re getting along.
I’m hoping she would be able to help me with storage. This particular technology has been kinder than most, but the one issue I do have is that the phone keeps bitching about not enough storage and sometimes it refuses to record a video or take a memo. And of course, the second my rebelling phone tells me it won’t record, my mind is flooded with genius thoughts and clever turns of phrase. And how am I supposed to hold onto those without a reliable recording device? Huh?
                I imagine myself saying, “Siri, I need more storage,” and she would magically make it so. My current Siri-less iphone always suggests the cloud. About which I am dubious. The cloud. Seriously, I wish I had thought of the fucking cloud. “You’re stuff will be stored in…uh…a cloud! No wait…not just a cloud…The Cloud! (For a mere twenty to one hundred dollars a year, depending on your needs.) I feel like I’m buying a bridge, possibly to nowhere. For fuck’s sake.
I like technology sometimes, on the rare occasions when it decides to do what I’m hoping, but never really expecting, it will do. I enjoy that I can, in theory, check in for my flight from home. I don’t enjoy that I can’t actually check in because my printer is out of ink, and I don’t know why it just can’t run from the power of the fucking cloud. But apparently it can’t.
Or beam. Why can’t the ink beam to my printer? I’ve been ready for beaming technology since I was five. Because then I wouldn’t need a boarding pass. I could beam. And I wouldn’t have to walk to the cupboard because the cookies could beam to me. And then the fat could beam away from my ass. I could sit on the couch forever, and what’s so wrong with that? Come on scientists, let’s go. I pay you to be less lazy, so that I can be more lazy.
It would probably be best if Siri was programmed with the ability to beam stuff for me. Then I could say, “Siri, cookies,” and they would appear in my hand. I would deal with getting them to my mouth all on my own. And I would remember to say, “please,” because you shouldn’t take your Siri for granted. Partly because not taking Siri for granted is just the right thing, but partly because if you did take her for granted, she could really ruin your day. She could beam you into the cornfield like Billy Mumy in The Twilight Zone.
Maybe I shouldn’t get Siri. If we were ever at odds it would end badly for me. She’s better with computers, possibly smarter, and has powers that I can’t begin to understand. But then again, maybe sometimes you have to make a leap of faith and trust that your phone won’t beam you into the cornfield.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In Case of Possession, Do Not Break Glass


I’ve been contemplating an episode of Lost Girl because it’s just that kind of show. If you are not aware of it, what you need to know is that there is a succubus and crime fighting. Obviously, there is a lot to think about here, but what I was specifically mulling is a recent episode (SA!) where somebody had something evil invade their body and promptly asked to be killed, so that the evil would die with them. If it seems like I’m making fun, I’m not. It’s awesome.
However it did raise the question, why do people always ask their friends to kill them just because they’re a teensy bit possessed? When I hear anything along the lines of, “You’re going to have to kill me, it’s the only way,” I think, Really? Is it the only way? Was I not paying attention to the part where every other possibility was exhausted? Yeah, it may be sensible as a last resort, but there’s no reason for, “Oh shit. I just realized there’s evil inside me! Somebody kill me now.” Once in a while I’d like to see something along the lines of, “Oh shit. There’s evil inside me. Get it the fuck out!” Or perhaps, “Please restrain me temporarily while we consider our options.
I guess if you put some deep thought into it, you could come up with a metaphor for the evil in humanity, or in the world, and how there has to be self sacrifice in order to finally rid ourselves of said evil, and ok, that wasn’t that deep, but it is a metaphor. But screw metaphors, because I really just want to think about this on a knee-jerk, surface, kind of level. And on that level, it’s ridiculous. Because what if the evil is something with which our hero (or throwaway character) could coexist? Because some bad shit is really bad, but some bad shit you can kind of live with. And I think that needs to be discussed before anyone jumps to please kill me.
If it was me with the evil inside, I’d certainly take a moment to think it through. I’d want to know, is the evil really awful or is it just mildly annoying? Is it the kind of evil that does things like put the juice carton back in the fridge with one sip left, a sip it purposely didn’t drink so the carton would technically not be empty because the trash is full and the evil didn’t want to start a horrible chain reaction that would lead to the evil having to take the trash out right now? In that case, I’d have to sympathize with the evil because I do that anyway. I’d have to say to the world, “Sorry, live with it. I have many other fine qualities in spite of being currently full of evil.”
                And on a more practical note, if the thing inside me was so evil and so strong that the best option was asking a friend to skewer, behead, or shoot me in order to get rid of it, then wouldn’t it be able to overpower and prevent me from raising the alarm in the first place?  And if I did get the initial warning out because I managed to catch it by surprise as it was settling in, wouldn’t it simply counter with a casual, “You know what? I’m fine. False alarm. The evil is totally under control. In fact, I think the evil actually left. Anybody want to grab some breakfast? I think I saw some tasty orphans running around outside.”
However, if the evil was so easy to override that I could speak up to request a preventative killing in spite of the fact that the evil has gone to a lot of trouble to take me over by climbing either down my throat or up my whatever, then I could probably keep it in check until someone could work out a less drastic cure. And I would definitely want the chance. To keep it in check, that is. Because having a friend kill you is pretty final. And hard on the friend. One would assume. Of course, in a world with succubi, werewolves, and possessing fae, it is possible that death wouldn’t be completely final. But it might be. Especially for the mortal.
Of course, if I’m ever possessed by Cathrynn Brown I’ll have to reconsider.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

And Not Just For the Porn


Last week, I fell in love with the internet. It was a long time coming, I know, and that may have something to do with the fact that I’m technologically challenged, and have until recently only used the internet to shop and email. Now, I know this is all stuff everyone else thought about like ten years ago, or whenever the internet, you know, started, but for me these thoughts are shiny and new. Come aboard.
I never really thought about the internet before I started the blog. Well, before I started looking at the stats, really. It was just there, magically bringing me Amazon and pictures of puppies that aren’t mine. I’m horrible at making significant connections with humans on a day to day basis, I feel forever awkward and disconnected, and I have, let’s call them reservations, about saying what I really think in front of anyone whom I haven’t known for at least twenty-five years. (Except for when I’m drunk, because alcohol is as magical as the internet but in a very different way.) That’s why I think it’s amazing that when I write something here, there are people in Poland who will read it. And who sometimes say something back. And since it’s a blog, my blog, about what’s in my head (hence the clever title) it’s something very specific but yet not so specific that no one else gets it.
I know there are people who can’t walk in to a room without making a friend; I am not one of those people. And I don’t know for sure that I have nothing in common with the people I meet in the flesh, but it’s so exhausting trying to figure that out. Not to mention the stress that’s followed by the drinking, and then I’m comfortable, but the results are not necessarily positive. This is better. This is something not based on proximity or a blood relationship. And this is not about not liking my family, I like most of them. But I also don’t have much in common with most of them.
So that’s what it is, this magic of the internet. I look at my stats and see that people have read my blog in Canada, France, Sweden, South Korea, Italy, and Germany, and more. Hi, Denmark. I’ve never been to any of these places, but somewhere out there are people who understand why it’s incredibly fucked up to stand too close to strangers, and who might get excited (in a good way) by a SWAT team outside their door. It’s fucking amazing. To me. Excuse me while I catch up with the world.
That’s why I’m in love with the internet. Not really because of what I’m putting out, although I find it’s easier to say stuff when you don’t know who you’re saying it to, but because of what I’m getting back. I almost didn’t post In Defense of My Mess, because I was pretty sure I would be judged, and harshly. But it turns out lots of other people are messy too, which is awesome; as are they. Which is why, I’m kind of in love with them too and maybe with you as well, out there reading. Or maybe I’m just in love with the idea of us. And yeah, some of these commonalities don’t matter much, but they matter more than proximity.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

At Least They Didn't Stone Me


           That was a spoiler, I know, but I needed a little reassurance. Today I finally, after a month, got up the nerve to go down to this local bookstore to see if they want to carry my book, because it’s a book and they’re a bookstore and it all seems very fitting. And ok it wasn’t a month, it was months, many of them, because it takes a while to work up the nerve to go someplace where they’re going to laugh at you and throw rocks. Yeah I know that’s an unlikely scenario, but it’s not an impossible one.
           But I’ve been putting this off and off, and I have decided today is the day. I take a shower and I put on the new perfume I got for Christmas. I’m wearing my best bra and my lucky, Hello my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die, tee shirt so now I smell good, look adorable, and feel only mildly nauseous. I manage to get myself down there with my promo postcards, and a copy of my book for their consideration. I end up parking right in front of the store, which is not ideal because someone might see that my car really needs a wash, and decide they don’t want to carry my book based on my automotive sloth, but there’s no place else because it’s busy downtown. And of course, I park poorly because I’m nervous.
           No one throws rocks at me. No one laughs. They are closed for inventory. For four days. Maybe it’s a sign. A sign that everything is topsy turvey and vice versa. That my lucky, Hello my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die, shirt is not lucky at all. It may even be unlucky. I wish I had a better idea about the shirt, but it’s new and it hasn’t done anything really spectacular for me yet. I can say I've never been exsanguinated while wearing it, but that’s true of all my shirts.
           It’s hard to tell if this is a sign, or if it’s just something that happened. It’s probably just something that happened, because I usually don’t believe in signs. But there are times when I want to, times when it seems so obvious and reasonable that when a door that should have been open is not, it’s because that door is not meant to be gone through; ever. I resist, because I know if I start officially believing in signs I’ll be three steps away from becoming young William Shatner stuck in a diner with narration by Rod Serling.
           The problem is this seems a little bit like a sign. Plus there was an actual sign. On the door. Which seems like a sign that this is a sign. Although the sign (on the door) did say when they would be open again, so maybe that’s the real sign. That I should go back. The metaphysical sign, not the paper sign, which it indisputably is. If you don’t think this paragraph makes sense, just skip it.
           If it is a sign it seems like a bad one, but I can’t know for sure. Maybe if the store had been open a conniving employee would have thrown rocks at me, taken my book while I was crying, and kept it for his own nefarious purposes, never passing it along to the owner. So maybe it was an amazing cosmic intervention, saving me from the mean employee so that my delicate spirit remains unbroken, that I may someday venture out once again to the bookstore. But it’s hard to say. I do think that if the universe is going to go to that much trouble on behalf of my delicate spirit, it might find it easier to just have the mean bookstore guy step in front of a bus. Or see the error of his ways. (Now that I’ve written that I can see it's probably easier for the universe to have me drive to the bookstore an extra time than to completely transform or kill an imaginary someone.)
I don’t mean to be ungrateful. I’m referring to the lack of stoning. But by now, I was supposed to know how it turned out. I was really hoping to secure a, “Yes, please!” or a “Fuck you. Bitch.” (I don’t know why imaginary mean guy had to call me a bitch, I was already leaving.) But no. Inventory is my undoing. Curse you thieves! And people who can’t subtract! (I believe those are the two main causes of taking inventory.)
           In a few months, I’m going to have to do it all over again. Unless I take this as a sign. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grab-Ass With the Homies or How Mom-Speak Ruins Everything

    Sometimes (read usually) when we are hanging out and there is alcohol involved (read usually) my sister and I regress to the age of seven. We stick our tongues out at each other, throw food, and run around like maniacs smacking each other on the ass. There are also tickle fights and sometimes wet willies.
                My nephew is our minion. Each of us tempts him to harass the other. Of course since he’s three he’s always more on his mother’s side, but just you wait Henry Higgins until he turns into a teenager. You’ll be sorry. Of course by then I’m sure he’d rather be flayed than tickle his mother, but whatever.
                Our mother, when she’s there, is usually the odd one out, not because we purposely exclude her, but because she doesn’t know how to play. Also, the grown up is strong in that one, so she’s always somewhat appalled by the antics which is not the way to be. And she’s sober, which is really not the way to be. But mostly it’s because she doesn’t know how to play.
                At our second Christmas this year (because not everybody we love can be in the same house at the same time because that would be Against Christmas) my sister and I were drinking and smacking asses and having as jolly a time as you can have smacking asses outside of a locker room without it being weird, when our mother said, “You never let me play with your bottoms. I want to play with your bottoms.”
                Awkwardness immediately ensued, and of course we stopped because it was ruined.
                Words matter. They can hurt. And more importantly they can cause uncomfortable mental images of your mother playing with your bottom. Which I guess is its own special kind of hurt. For the proverbial record, I know she didn’t mean it in the horrifying-bad-touch-creepy way it came out. She just wanted to join in the madcap moment. But it’s like a guy who you wanted to kiss you asking if he can. It kind of destroys the moment. Even if he doesn’t actually say he wants to play with your bottom. Although of course he does.
                The moral of the story (as if you needed one) is if you see an ass that needs smacking just do it. No discussion needed. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In Defense of My Mess


I don’t clean. Not literally, but certainly in spirit. And I probably come as close as one can to literally not cleaning while still avoiding the evil eye of the health department.  
On the table beside me are roughly twenty books stacked four or five high. Some of the stacks are askew and everything else is piled on the books or clinging to the edge of the table. Everything else includes but is not limited to, the ear buds for my phone, my election booklet (still trying to figure out if I did the right thing, but only through osmosis), three remote controls, some pens, a chip clip, a folder of cd’s which I still use because I am technologically challenged, a folder of papers, a composition book, the price tag from the last bra I bought, a pet dental pamphlet partially chewed by a wayward pet who was either trying to destroy the pamphlet so I couldn’t make the appointment, or trying to prove that his teeth are healthy and capable so I wouldn't make the appointment.
It’s not that I hate cleanliness. That would be weird. It’s just that I have better things to do than waste a day (or more) cleaning. Because I have trouble just giving a quick tidy to the kitchen sink. It starts with wiping down the kitchen sink and then twelve hours later I’m on my hands and knees, wedged between the toilet and the tub trying to scrub the grout with a sponge that is falling to bits because it’s also having a really bad day. (Yes the sponge. In theory I have more, but in practice I fall short. Don’t worry, it always starts on the dishes and ends with the toilet.) The whole time I’m desperately trying to talk myself into stopping. Phrases like, You’ve done enough, Who cares? This is stupid, and The cleaning chemicals are eating your hand skin, inundate my thoughts. But the rebuttals are just as prevalent. Stop crying. You don’t clean enough. Other people clean practically every month. You’re almost done. All you have left to do is polish all the power cords and dust the books. And maybe scrape all the melted wax off the candle holders; that seems pretty necessary. I said, STOP CRYING.
When I finally finish I get to shower, and it has to be a long shower because I’m so grimy, but that's ok because it feels great. Until I get out of the shower and find that there’s something I missed or something I forgot. I’m clean now, I just got out of the damn shower and I don’t want to touch more grime, but almost everything is spotless, and I'm so close to perfection that I can’t leave one random dirty thing, which means I do have to touch more grime and my shower is ruined and now everything is horrible again. Also, once everything is clean, I don’t really enjoy the cleanliness. The first five minutes are nice, but then I get caught up in the torment of not wanting to touch anything or use anything because it was such a nightmare to get it this way. When I’m in this state I totally understand why they used to put plastic on the furniture and leave the pets outside. Sorry pets, and don't worry, I'll never be that person, I just understand.
The last time I cleaned everything it took me an entire week. I mean, I pried myself away to go to work, but every day before and after I cleaned, and I still had to spend my whole day off finishing. I did this because I was expecting company. Who was here for fifteen minutes tops. It would have been worth it, it was for my first interview ever about the book, and I didn’t want the reporter to be so appalled by the mess that she decided the real story was, “Crazy Woman Lives in Pigsty, Claims to be Author.” I don’t know why I was so convinced she was going to want to Woodward and Bernstein me, but I was. And if she wasn't trying to expose me for something dire surely she'd want to do a ten page spread of my entire apartment. Of course, it was option none of the above. She never saw anything but the living room, and I cleaned everything else for no good reason.
It’s not as bad as it sounds. I do dishes all the time. I don’t keep food that’s growing new parts, and if I do, it’s quarantined in the back of the fridge until I have time to walk it out to the dumpster. I clean the toilet regularly. True, I have to set myself up by flinging comet all over it so that the next time I’m there I have to clean it in order to pee, but so what. Not wanting harsh chemicals on my ass is valid motivation. But I try not to bother with the non-essentials. I haven’t made a bed since the last time my mother made me, and I was caught in an avalanche of books just this morning. And now I’m kind of hoping that someday, that’s how I’ll die.