Archive | August, 2012

Gamer Rage

31 Aug

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It’s been a really long time since I did the “gamer” thing.  Back in the days of the old arcade Street Fighter and Nintendo…I was a winner…but now with all the 360 degree viewpoint and movement ability…getting me just to stay upright and not walk into walls is damn near impossible.  I’ve been away too long.  My brain isn’t equipped for that level of “awesome.”

…The BFF’s Fella knows this, however, and decided to go searching for something I could relate to.  And he found it. 

Wednesday night, for like two hours as The BFF made a chocolate souffle, The Fella and I beat the living crap out of each other…before finally devising a tag-team scenario in order to kill all the main Bosses and win the game. 

The strategy went like this: PUSH THE FUCKING BUTTONS AS HARD AS YOU CAN WHILE SCREAMING OBSCENITIES AT THE SCREEN LIKE A TOURETTES VICTIM.  Then, after you die, pass it to the other guy who will do much the same.  Until you win.  The end.

…I admit, it wasn’t the most elegantly plotted out plan of attack but we did what we could. And I learned some stuff while I was at it.

1) I should never own a game consul. They are too much fun.

2) Threatening your opponent and flinging an escalation of insults at them in psychological warfare, does in fact pay off.

3) Souffles don’t like yelling.

4) It is possible to hate a programmed Avatar more than Satan, and feel it’s perfectly reasonable to do so.

5) No one has actually ever won all the Bosses before, they just tell you they do. It’s a totally impossible feat and everyone knows it. Until you manage it. Then it’s absolutely real.

…Ultimately, video games are like a slip-stream of “uh-oh” for any person who has ever had any “anger management issues.” The frustration levels can get totally off the charts. At almost any moment you can be seen screaming at the television, pitching controllers across the room, and insisting that, “this sunofabitch is goin’ down!” Sure, you can “try” to add a bit of Patton-like reasoning to the plan of attack at first. You can set a course, and learn all the combos and pre-plan the journey. But eventually that all falls away to reveal a ten year old kid, hopped up on adrenalin, whose recently learned how to string all the cuss words they know into one long sentence.

…Like when Ralphy finally flips his shit in “A Christmas Story.”

“Rassuh-fraggin-frasta-massuh-fragga!” The ten year old “you” will say. (Only, not the PG version.)

…The moments are terrifying with intensity, sweat starts pourin’…and you become a virtual machine of gamer rage. It totally consumes you in no time at all. But, if you are savvy enough to take side view of it all, (once the night has ended), the entire thing makes total complete sense.

Just take a second and think about your day, for instance.

…That jerk upstairs who flashes you every morning with cold water because of how they time their shower, right in the middle of yours. The one asshole customer that nothing could appease, the fact the office is out of coffee again, the container loads are late, you banged your funny bone and the traffic home was total crap. Think about that wad of bills you just lifted from the mailbox, and the fact that your trash can is full but you’ve just remembered you’re all outta bags. And maybe you’ve gained a pound or two on total accident. Let all that junk swim around you in a hazy kind of cloud, that you can’t fight no matter how much you try, because it has no corporal form.

…Now lets pretend the power is suddenly granted you to assign all that irritation and anger toward something else. Something whose entire existence is in order to allow you to reclaim even one piece of your dignity back again. Something that’ll satisfy that craving to, “make the bastards pay!”…but with significantly less jail time.

…Go ahead. Put a controller in your hand. Push that little switch. Go through the next fifteen minutes of annoying selection and customization programming (I miss the days of just “off” and “on.”) Then open a Coke, turn down the volume, and pop on a super mix of kick-your-ass power tunes instead. Like this. Then GO AT IT! I DEFY you not to glory in the world of paybacks with zero consequence! You have EARNED this today!

Show all those bastards who is BOSS!

…Kill everything! And send those Alien’s packin’!

You are a WINNER!

A WINNER, I tell you!

…NO ONE is gooder than you! You just proved it! To God and everyone!

And just like that, it’s a beautiful world again.

~D

Death Of Micros

30 Aug

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I put a mug of water in the microwave the other day, and when I pressed the “two,” it began to spark like the fourth if July and make my lights blink.

…So I stopped it.

…Then, because I’m a human, I tried it again.

It was a bad idea the first time, so the second really didn’t work out well either. There was smoke.  A small fire…whatever..I “lived.”  This is the same trial and error the Cavemen went through, (sorta), so…at least I’m keeping to tradition in our historic breed of stupidity.

…When I reported the episode on FB (as I do most of my major life travesties), my Uncle had the best conclusion: I have too much iron in my water, and the thing-a-ma-bobs that zap the do-hickeys knew it. The water broke it.  Works for me.  As long as I’m not to blame.

Actually, I’m pretty surprised it’s lasted this long, truth be told.  I’ve been through two T.V.’s., three DVD players, four coffee pots, two toasters, three apartments and eleven years with this one piece of kitchen equipment.  And I’ve used it at least three times a day, for all those years.  That really ads up.

…When we were doing that film shoot last month, the house we were staying at had no microwave at all, and it was a total baffelment to us. Over and over again. All weekend.

“But how do you defrost meat you forgot to take out of the freezer?”

“How do you make just one mug of tea?”

“…Or warm up the left-overs?”

…I’m told all this can be accomplished on a stove as well, but that is just nonsense.  Why worry a stove over twenty minutes, when you can fix any kitchen problem you have with a microwave in only a buck-thirty?  You need some melted butter?  It can do that! Warm the syrup? I’m on it!  Heat the beans? No problemo!  Steam the tortillas? Si! 

Maybe this is a huge part of why I’m not a Master Chef right now; but my microwave has been my key mode of eating-salvation since the day I first packed up my room and moved out on my own.  With theatre schedules and long rehearsals and double jobs and early mornings paired with late “nights” (actually ending at dawn)…it is the ONLY way I have managed to eat at home for most of my adult life, on the kind of manic schedules that I run on.  And I ain’t the only one!  I know this because of the instant empathetic panic of my friends upon viewing my FB post…which equalled four offers for a free replacement within — I am not kidding you — three minutes of posting.

Three. Minutes.

…People have incurable diseases, a bad kidney, need bone marrow and even just blood donations on a daily basis (we are told)…but when something really fucked up, (like a broken microwave) happens, by God…people will step up!!!

…Incidentally, I am not making fun of said people (who are lovely) or the above medical emergent needs.  I am only admitting to my own part of slightly exaggerating the woe undertaken by the “inconvenience”  of having  no microwave for twenty-four hours.  I mean…I managed to reheat those take-out, left-overs from the “M” wine-and-dine-night, just fine.  But it did take twenty whole minutes. And I kinda burnt some stuff on accident.

…Which never woulda happened with my “old friend.” 

Never. Woulda. Happened.

~D

P.S. A very special thanks to S.M. and J.M…for their much appreciated replacement donation. I owe you both some whiskey.

Adventures In Sleeping

29 Aug

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Woke up this morning with the fitted sheet all balled up in the bottom corner pocket, my pillow on the floor, and my mouth guard laying next to me.  I either had really amazing dream-sex or a fight with zombies. I’d like to hope not both, but you never know what may happen. Either way, I don’t remember any of it…which is always weird to me now.

…It didn’t used to be like that.

For a little over a decade I never remembered my dreams at all…cuz I was really traumatized with probably the most horrifying nightmare ever, after the death of a friend in 8th grade. So I did everything I consciously (and unconsciously) could, just to wipe ’em all away. The “good” with the “bad.” And outside of an occasional flicker, I never remembered them at all. Not the theme, not the starring players, not what went down…nothing. Just faded snapshots every now and then.

Turns out, that isn’t really the most healthy thing.

When I started therapy, my Shrink warned that sometimes it can bring on kinda crazy dreams, and I should “prepare myself.” To which I smirked that I had brain-parts of STEEL (obviously, otherwise why else would I be in therapy?), and such things just never really “affect” me.

…So you can imagine my surprise when within a week, floating heads of my dead Ancestors would hover next to me, in a world that looked roughly like something Picasso or Dali would have painted, and all my teeth kept falling out. Totally normal and not freaky at all for your first time dream-scaping since you were 13.

The more we dug and tore at all my problems, the stranger they became. Like constant little acid trips every time I drifted off…which, coincidentally, is the first time I ever developed insomnia. I became literally too terrified to close my eyes. Four, twelve, sixteen dreams would collide all at the same time, all with these intense emotions and circumstances that never made sense…and all with a constant underlying terror at the base of them, which could never be explained.

…Eventually, of course, I managed to work it all out, in the little sorting machine of “strange” up in m’head…and as I got “better,” my night adventures did too. In time I managed to sleep like a human again. Without screaming myself awake. Or finding finger nail digs in the palm of my hand every morning. In time I was flashing back to childhood memories that were the good kind, fantasizing new ice cream flavors, having dinner with my BFF Meryl Streep, winning the Pulitzer, and running for President.

…You know…normal stuff, like that.

Then it calmed down to a trickle…only once in a great while sticking with me beyond that first three minutes or so, after being ripped awake by the alarm clock.

I don’t remember my dreams much anymore at all, now. Only an exceptional few.

…Not because I block them…just because, well…because “I don’t,” I guess. Waking up this morning, and seeing the condition of my bed, just kinda got me thinking: how in the hell can anyone sleep through all that? Then I remembered, I used to do it all the time.

Even when I was “awake,” if you get my drift.

…It’s not that I want to necessarily experience absolutely every trip I go on, every night. My brain prob’ly protects me from any number of horror night-sweats on a regular basis…(induced no doubt from lack of chocolate.)

…But it also means I’m missing out on prime story-telling plot I could really be using right now. Free creative stuff that doesn’t count as “stealing” if the episode is super limited and only shown to the viewing audience in my head, that one time. I’m not saying that I’d want to experience nightmares like a Jack the Ripper attack, or those kind where you’re naked and confused in the produce aisle, looking for butter again. (Look, don’t judge me okay…I don’t make fun of your little “freaknesses.”)

…I’m saying: if it was all about me being a Super Spy, or goin’ at it on some grassy knoll with Colin Firth, and I find out about it? I’m gonna be pissed!

…That’s all.

~D

She’s Branding

28 Aug

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I feel like I just bought a cow and poked a searing hot branding iron at her ass.

She Writes A Little, now has it’s own dedicated Email and Facebook page with a line-up of materials coming your way should you choose to partake in them.  Mostly, I haven’t done this yet because I’ve been terrified since the last “outing,” that someone would sniff me out again.  But I think I’ve got the matter handled, secured and ready to launch out into the webosphere.

…The other “hold-back,” was what in the hell I’d do with a dedicated Email and FB page once I got them. 

This is the part where I drop heavy hints to people who might want to hire me to write things.  Don’t feel shy.  You should really give me a buzz and we can talk.  I can write serious, academic, literary, script and research article stuff too, you know.  I’d prove it by showing you my resume, but that would kinda blow my cover a little bit.  So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

…Meanwhile, as I anxiously await the many job opportunities blowing up my email inbox even now, I’d like to shift focus to the FB page a moment, if you will.

I’ve spent hours (2), tonight on my couch, deriving a cunning plan wherein scheduled materials will crop up on it, each and every day. Each day of the week will have a special post all it’s own, having nothing at all to do with the blog…(only sometimes)…and may or may not help me think of further writing ideas to expand upon, so as members you may or may not get a super special insider peek. It will be themed like this:

SWAL’s Facebook Datebook

Mon – Dames We Dig
(Dames we love and why. Inspiration in spades, these chicks got it to spare.)

Tues – Books To Read
(Book list favs from Hollywood, and bios and theatre and history. If I love it, you’ll love it…I mean, my God, we’re practically twins.)

Wed – Mmmmen We Love
(Famous fellas who get it done right, and why. With special emphasis on boys who have voices you could lick like a spoon. )

Thurs – Strange story of the day
(Weird but true news items or personal anecdotes in tiny blips. Like your own little Freak Show ticket, every week.)

Fri – Fetish Feast
(People, theatre, food, film, and lit within the fetish world. I am dedicated to searching it out…no matter what gross pop-ups thusly occur.)

Sat – Sins We Partake
(Bad-for-you or naughty favorite booze, places, delectable dishes, naughty reads, and “didja knows.”)

Sun – Saving Graces
(Quiet retreats, mental clean up, relaxing movies, books, happy place listings of “the greatest hits.”)

…At some point I’m prob’ly gonna need to come up with a better pen name, as well. Because “SWAL” prob’ly won’t sell a whole hell of a lotta books. It sorta sounds like the acronym to a disaster relief fund or hybrid disease or something. Maybe I’ll hold a contest to name me…like MGM did for Joan Crawford. And then I’ll thank the winner personally in my hypothetical book when it’s published. And maybe ship them some of this:
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…Because I’m a hell of a lot nicer than Joan Crawford ever was. All she ever gave out was sex and wire hanger welts.*

~D

* Note to self: Cross reference Crawford under Thursday through Saturday. And maybe Monday. I mean, lets be real.

Agatha Christie In Spandex

27 Aug

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You know how Weddings are always stress-balls of mishaps and near disasters, full of bossy in-laws and too many opinions being given without request, and sugar-high flower girls, and drunken Uncles hitting on the food servers, and Bridezillas weeping mascara down their faces?

…And you know how some people are smart and manage to avoid all that?  It just seems cruel to me that m’friend “M” actually made the smart choice decision to circumvent it, then ended up in the middle of it anyway, by being outvoted by The Moms’ feeling they got the shaft in orchestrating general Wedding splendiferousness.

For more of “M’s” story, read here…but for the rest of us, lets pick up where we left off: which is she and “K.L.” (the already hubby), enroute to a giant congregation of family, in-prep for this very fine occasion.  Which apparently had nothing at all to do with “M” or “K.L.”

“Can I help with the –”

“–No, it’s fine.”

“Should I pick out the –”

“We got you the sparkle ones.  You’ll love it.”

“I’d really like flowers that –”

“Honey, don’t worry about it.  I know a woman who knows a woman.”

“But what about –”

“Don’t worry.  It’s covered.”

…For an entire week that “M” had booked in order to put together the Wedding, she sat around doing nothing because no one would let her.  Not pick out the table cloths, or work on decorations…not select the food or taste cake samples.  She couldn’t drive and pick things up, run any errands, sort seating arrangements, talk about ceremony inclusions, or make any decisions in the least.  She was told over and over again that this was, “for her own sake.”  Because it was “very important that she not feel like a total stressed-out wreck.”  But because she had no decision-making power or weigh-in on presentation, taste or selection…by end of the week, she was turning into a total stressed-out wreck.  She did manage to rally though, once the day finally arrived, put her “game face” on, bit her lip, and give one of the best performances of her life.  And she’s a really good Actor…so this is really saying something.

…There were only two requests she had managed to get through to the “powers that be” in any of the decision-making that was had, leading up to the day.  One was that the family Fart Fairy would be invited as a special guest of honor, and the other was that the cake be Super Hero themed with toppers of a The Hulk and Miss Marvel.

To explain the above requires a step back into “M’s” childhood, and the understanding that they are giant comic book nerds…but even the former had to be explained to me when we met over take-out and wine to swap keys and catch up.

M: “…So at least the Fart Fairy was there. I woulda been pissed if she wasn’t. I wrote her a formal invitation and everything.”

Me: ” Wait, sorry, who?”

M: ” The Fart Fairy.*  I’ve told you about her…”

(I shake my head with eyes wide in wonder.)

M: “…Yeah, I mean she goes way back.  She’s even the topper to our Christmas tree every year, and when we go on trips and things, sometimes we take her with us and she’ll be in the pictures. You know, like — ‘The Fart Fairy goes camping.’ Or, “The Fart Fairy in Scotland.”

Me: “So…she’s like a doll then?”

M: “Yeah.  From when we were kids.”

Me: “So…you invented her.”

M: “No.  She’s a whole ‘thing.’ The first time I heard about her, we were all in the car on a road trip — Mom, Dad, my Brother, Sister and Me, and within this really short amount of time we had each just let one rip and the whole car was just full of farts, and someone said, ‘Wooo wee! That’s a lotta blessings from the Fart Fairy!”

Me: “…So every time you fart–”

M: “–She’s blessing you.  Yes.”

(“M” takes a giant bite of food and talks on.)

M: “…And then we started talking about her so much that I decided I’d make a doll, like in her honor? So I did.  In Girl Scouts.  You know, the one where you hafta make a doll for this patch?  They said it was ‘inappropriate.’ I still don’t know why.  But when I brought her home, everyone loved her.  Even though she was kinda jacked up with an arm like this and a shorter one here…and sorta lopsided.”

(I nod my head with eyes wide.)

M: “But for a long time, she was the only one we had.  Then I made a new one finally.  And she’s been everywhere.  Family vacations and road trips and all that.  So I was really mad when my Sister got married and I saw the guest list and I was all, “Wait!  Where’s the Fart Fairy?!” And she gave me this look and said, “Yeah, I’m not sending an invitation to a doll.”  And I said, “Why not?!” And she didn’t answer me.  Then my Brother did the same thing when he got married.  So I told “K.L.” that I refused to forsake her like everyone else, so I wrote out a formal invitation and everything.

Me:  “Did she come?”

(“M” smiles a grin so wide that some of the food falls out.)

M: “Even better.  Just before the ceremony, they made like a kidnap scenario, and my Niece and Nephew…dressed up like Miss Marvel and the Hulk…went off to rescue her.  And she was a guest of honor afterward and everything.”

Me: “Oh yeah?”

M: “…Which was almost the only thing that went ‘right’ the entire Wedding. Even the flowers were mostly plastic. $400.00 of MOSTLY plastic flowers.”

Me: “Wait.  But what about the cake?”

(“M” does a giant eye roll and takes another bite.)

M: “Just everybody was laughing about it.  And not in an awesome way.”

Me: “Why?”

M: (Giant sigh.) “Well…you know how The Hulk and Miss Marvel are our favorites.”

Me: “Yeah.”

M: “So, we asked that we have a double tiered square cake with one being purple, the other yellow and The Hulk and Miss Marvel for cake toppers.”

Me: “Ok. ”

(Long beat as she takes another bite.)

Me: “So, they made fun of it for that?”

M: “Um, no.  Because THAT would have been ‘awesome.’  They made fun of it, because what we got was a WHITE cake with these little YELLOW flowers plopped all over it, and the cake toppers were all screwed up cuz she heard us wrong when we ordered it.”

(I take a giant bite of food.)

Me: “So what did you get?”

M: (Huge sigh.) “You know Agatha Christie, right?  Like Miss Marple?”

(I stop chewing and freeze.)

Me: (With mouthful.) Miss Marple.

M: “Yeah.”

Me: “Sure.”

(“M” takes another huge bite, shrugs, and starts to chew in depressed silence.)

Me: “Wait. No. Wait. So you’re saying they thought you said, ‘Miss Marple?”

(“M” nods.)

Me: “…And no one called to ‘clarify?'”

(“M” shakes her head.)

Me: (In morbid fascination.) “So…just to get this strait…you had a Wedding cake with the toppers of –”

M: “–The Hulk and Miss Marple. Yes.”

(I start to choke on food in my mouth, try to contain myself long enough to get rid of it, and by the time I’m done, tears are streaming down my cheeks. “M” just eats on, depressed.)

Me: “What did you do?”

M: “Well, there was nothing TO ‘do.’ I mean, no one had seen it until the reception. And then it was just like this wave of hysterics. But only from my side of the family. Cuz no one from ‘K.L.’s’ knows who she is. First my Mom went up, and lost it…then she called my sister over…so they were just…you know…’crying’…then more people came by. And then ‘K.L’s’ family starting getting mad cuz they didn’t ‘get’ it, so I had to explain, ‘It’s like Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote, only English, okay?!”

(I cry on and am I’m laughing too hard at this point to form full sentences.)

Me: “Wait…so…how does…everyone…know…that’s who …it was? I mean…how…could you…possibly…recognize Miss…Marple…just on…sight…like that?”

M: “Oh. It was obvious.”

(I laugh harder and start to snort. I am not a snorter, so she has invented an entirely new form of comic appreciation than I have ever in my life had before.)

M: “Hold on..I have a picture…”

(“M” signs in on my computer and starts sorting through pics rapidly as I hyperventilate in the corner.)

M: (As she clicks past photos.) “…And you know the really messed up part?”

(I shake my head and cry on.)

M: “They even got her colors right. I said, ‘The Hulk in green and purple and Miss Marvel in yellow and black.’ Here it is.

(I start to howl, hiccup, snort and cry.)**

M: “Yeah. I mean how fucked up is that? Right? I mean after I was done being all pissed, I started laughing too…cuz, what are you gonna do? There it is, just sitting there. And then it got hot and her little black shoes started to bleed all over the WHITE FROSTING…just black ink everywhere. I dunno. I dunno if anyone even ate any of it. I stuck to the cupcakes.”

Me: (Between sobs.) That’s prob’ly best. It could have dyed your mouth black for all the pictures and stuff.”

M: “Oh, it didn’t matter by then. ‘K.L’s’ cousin had already spilled his wine all down the front of my dress by that point. I had already given up. But at least the Fart Fairy came.”

Me: “Yes.”

(It is quiet for a piece, as I am finally able to pull myself together and attack my face with kleenex.)

M: “This is totally going in your blog. Isn’t it.”

Me: “Uh huh.”

M: (Shrug.) “Well…at least we’ll be famous.”

~D

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* The Fart Fairy in various escapades of practicing good bathroom habits, and getting drunk on vodka

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** The Wedding cake

A Letter To Mrs. Johnson

26 Aug

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Mrs Johnson:

What kind of person says they’re gonna show up three days ago and then doesn’t until today, banging on the door at 5 A.M.?  I do have a “life” you know, and just hanging around for whenever is “convenient” for you isn’t in the job description that they handed me in that class they gave us in the fourth grade. You know, the one where all the boys went into Mr. T’s room and all the girls got sorted into Mrs. L’s?  Here is what they did tell us:

* She will come every month, 28 days from her last visit.
* She will be a messy, uncomfortable, opinionated and often grumpy house guest.
* At time she’ll be downright unreasonable and emotional.
* Here’s all the stuff you need to have around when she visits.

…It took three years before you decided to show up at all.  Then one summer, right as I was changing into my swimming suit, BAM! there you were!  Instantly!  Like a very sick and twisted kind of Genie.

“What the eff?!” I thought.  “Oh God, I’m dieing!!!”

…This was only a momentary panic. A totally natural reaction for a hypercondriac who was also sure she had “caught” appendicitis from that one girl in school last year, might get accidental explosive bowel syndrome because people never wash their hands after pooping, choke to death at any moment while eating alone, or get gangrene from a paper cut.  I was so used to launching into immediate worst-case-scenario panic at moments like this, that I had (only for a second…or twelve) totally forgotten that little discussion from all those years ago. (Because dog and and kid years equal roughly the same until you turn 18… so that was like 21 years ago, in me-time.)

…But then I remembered.

…And I called my aunt in (at whose house I was, at the time.)  And was like, “Um. So.  Don’t tell anyone…but I’m either dieing of Cancer or I just started my period.” 

And she hugged me. 

For a second I kinda started to panic, like this was the beginning of “goodbye” or something…but then she gave me this odd smile-look when she was done, and started ruffling through the bathroom drawers to “hook me up” with some stuff…like my own personal period Pimp.

…What I didn’t know at the time was that the hug I thought was of pity at first, and then turned into some sorta mini-tribal moment of succession to womanhood…was actually just a hug of pity after all.  Cuz she knew what was ahead of me at the time, and I didn’t. 

It wasn’t so much the, “Oh!  You have achieved womanhood now, and your body has just this instant transitioned into a crazy self sustainable life force garden, where people can be made and grown and harvested, and the entire human race is now an intrinsic part of who you are and the magical capabilities you hold, with an awesome responsibility of our future, just south of your belly button.” 

…Later, I realized it was more like, “Oh, you poor little sunofabitch.  God I’m glad you at least made it to 13 before it happened to you.  With the women in your bloodline, this shit is just going to get unbearable…heaving up meals, rolled up in the fetal position for hours at a time, yelling at the burnt dinner, bursting into tears for no reason whatsoever.  And those’ll be the good months.  I better get you some drugs, pronto.”

She was at a vantage point, like a great Seer on a mountaintop, looking down at me in that little beginning valley being like, “Whelp.  Start trekin’ kid.  I wish I could tell you that once you climbed this hill you’d be done, but there’s like forty years more of ’em ahead.”

I am now on my nineteenth anniversary of that date, after climbing more fucking mountains than the Hobbits, each one a little more steeper than the last.  And I’m still less than halfway through.

…If only they put me in Mr. T’s room that one day, none of this shit wouldn’t have happened!  But it did

And I’m here now.

…So that is the little scenario story of “me,” Mrs. Johnson.  That is how I came into this gig…plopped into this valley with a tiny pack of supplies and told to “walk up.” Every month.  For maybe the rest of my life.  Because at the rate I’m going, surely I’ll bleed to death or my tubes will explode before I ever reach the end of this journey into Menopause.  Which I’m told is this whole hell of a lot of fun too, by the way.

…What I’m saying is: We came to an agreement nearly two decades ago, that like it or not, you will materialize like a fucked up kind of Mary Poppins just floating in on the wind every month.  I will put you up.  I will go along with all the daily demands and requirements that having you around insists upon (and they are never rad things like jumping into paintings or dancing on roof tops…more like puking into trash cans, drinking Pepto like a thing of orange juice, and popping more pills than an acid junky.) And at the end, you promise to eventually leave me the fuck alone, and go bother someone else.  What we DIDN’T agree on was you acting like some teenage floozy just popping up at random hours around dawn, three days late or more, greeting me with a solid punch to the ovaries when I open the door, and taking over my entire day when I had other things I had planned to do.

Mrs. Johnson: You are an asshole.  Just so we get that straight.

…And would it have killed you to stop somewhere and bring a thing of chocolate on the way?  I mean: really.

~D

The Episode The BFF Wrote

25 Aug

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The BFF decided to commandeer m’blog yesterday while visiting me at work. Because she brought me coffee, I let her. Then, because it sounded glamourous, I contracted her to be my Foreign Correspondent Guest Blogger when she to moves to L.A. next month. Because L.A. is foreign to everywhere that isn’t L.A. And because I can. Following is her first installment. I took the liberty of including Editor notes for her. She took the liberty of completely ignoring them. I claim Executive privileges by including them anyway:

Listen up bitches, It is I. The BFF, and I will be your author this morning for a very special installment of MY BFF’s* blog. (*Editor’s note: The double BFFing might get confusing. Maybe you should just call me The Diva. The BFF note: Maybe you should shut up and let me write this blog.)

We sit, bathed in dirty white fluorescent light.* (*Editor’s note: Nice detail. Very Noir. The BFF note: Yes. I know. That was the point.)

She, pouring over insanely large paychecks she will later be forced to hand over to assholes who will later return to complain that they were not quite insanely large enough. Or they will send their bitch wives to do it.* (*Editor’s note: I love you. The BFF: It’s mutual. Now stop interrupting me.)

Welcome to Friday morning! $17,557.00 today and counting.

I, having taken improper advantage of a car accident I was in yesterday to beg out of work today, sit across from her, hijacking her blog and making faces at her when she’s not looking.* (*Editor’s note: Bitch. The BFF note: I’m making another face at you right now. And a gesture to go with it. Guess which finger I’m using.)

Side note: The Diva’s* first urination of the day occurred at 11:01. (*Editor’s note: See, I told you it would work better. The BFF note: I will leave right now and take the coffee with me.) She has asked me to keep track of this. We have a special bond.

Also, she has asked that when I quote her directly, I do it so that she will seem about 20 pounds lighter and about 2 inches taller.* (*Editor’s note: Thank you. The BFF: Alright then.) Use your imaginations people.

To continue, It should be known that she and I know how to have fun.* (*Editor’s note: This is scientific fact. We did about forty studies to make sure. The BFF note: At least.) I mean, we do it right. Case in point-

She: “I’m gonna have one of those bread pizza things, and it’s gonna be awesome.”* (*Editor’s note: Most people won’t understand how this is relevant to the above statement about “having fun.” Explain in more detail maybe? The BFF note: If I have to explain how food is “awesome” to these people, they are reading the wrong fucking blog.)

We go on adventures, we play hooky, and we travel. We picnic, we movie watch, we antique.* (Editor’s note: Thank you. The BFF note: Yeah. Whatever.) We are young, and poor, and tied to jobs that require sitting at a desk all day, and we absolutely refuse to let any of those things get us down. Hence days like today. Should I be at work? Yes. Is lying wrong? Yes.

Me: (When reviewing my life choices) “I am a liar.”

She: “But only a little bit, and it’s not like you’re going all Bernie Maddoff.”

Me: “Yeah, but you can’t embezzle from a non-profit that helps the homeless…”

She: “Well you can….”

Us: “That’s the line!” –We say together in unison.* (*Editor’s note: It’s good to have one. The BFF: Yes. Editor’s note: Also, you really were in a car accident, and I’m not sure taking time off is the same as embezzling. The BFF: We’ll go with your logic. This time.)

She and I, we understand each other. I respect that all the bean cans in her cabinet must be organized with labels facing out,* (*Editor’s note: I appreciate that. The BFF: I’m here for you.) and she puts up with my loud voice, relentless quests for change, and incessant Louis Armstrong impressions.* (*Editor’s note: Do the Louis Armstrong turkey one! Do it! Do it! Ha! The BFF note: You’re welcome.) So it works.

“I’m gonna be super extravagant and go pee again,” she says. We live such privileged lives.* (* Editor’s note: Rock Stars only wish they were us right now. The BFF: Yep.)

And on a day like today, when work is too pointless,* (*Editor’s note: Right?! The BFF note: Pffftttt) and the sun is too bright and sunshiny,* (*Editor’s note: Still can’t find my fucking sunglasses. The BFF: I keep telling you – buy new ones!!) and the clock is ticking towards a time when the two of us will be much farther apart than a text message and a drunken stumble home, it is important to share meaningful friend time.* (*Editor’s note: I miss you already, like I would my big toe. The BFF: Thanks? Editor’s note: You know, like — not having you around throws me all outta balance and stuff. The BFF note: Oh. Can I maybe be a different anatomy piece? Cuz you hate your toes, and — Editor’s note: — It was a metaphor! The BFF note: Actually it was a “simile” but, anyway…)

“Don’t you wish your last name was Tamara Frisbee?” she says between sips of coffee.

“Yes, yes I do.” *

———————————–

(*Editor’s note: You forgot to note that this was the part where I was working on the Open Order report, calling out funny customer names. People are gonna read that and be all, “where the hell did that come from?” The BFF note: Really? Cuz that would be so different from all the rest of your blogs, how? Editor’s note: Wow. When are you moving again? Can I buy you a one way ticket “now,” or do we have to wait…? The BFF note: You’ll miss me when I’m not around to fight with anymore. Editor’s note: I know. So shut up about it.)

(* Editor’s note: Wait. Was that the end? The end of the whole blog? The BFF note: I like to leave things in suspense. So my answer to that would be —)

~D

Just Checking In

24 Aug

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I’m house sitting right now for one of my favorite people of all time. 

…We immediately clicked, and I think it’s cuz she reminds me of my family, in that she’s really loud, likes to carry conversations on into the bathroom with the door wide open while she pees rather than break her stride, laughs inappropriately  (in loudness and at specific times), is a giant art-nerd, swills booze like a sailor and views everything in the world from a slightly bent perspective of hilarious amazement. 

…God, I’m really homesick right now…

…Anyway…

…She lives in a tiny apartment with her Husband (K.L — Army-strong and kickass), Great-Dane-Greyhound-Mastive-mix dog (Bruce — A 150 lb substitute for the horse she never got as a kid) and Cat (Kaliopi — which I can’t spell, so just call “the cat.”)

They are away right now getting married. For the second time.  And they didn’t even have the decency to get divorced in between, like Elizabeth Taylor has taught us. 

…The first time was at a Justice of the Peace, which The Moms immediately vetoed as not being legal…on account there was no white dress involved.  Then “M” had to tell them that she had already lost her virginity that one time…several years ago…and not even to her husband…and everyone went all up in arms about it (cuz they’re from the midwest), and insisted that they fly their happy asses back home and have a “proper wedding” if only so “M” wouldn’t look like a giant whore to the in-laws.

…So they did.

Bruce was boarded away at some stable where they keep all the other local horses, and I was nominated to watch the plants, house and cat.  Occasionally I check in with “M” and “K.L”, just because I feel its the right thing to do.  Also, if I didn’t they might start to worry that I burnt the place down on accident or something.  But I don’t know why…since I almost never start accidental fires in other people’s houses.  I’m extra careful about that. Now.

Following is the last note I sent them, yesterday afternoon:

“Dear The Mr. & Mrs.,

Just writing to assure that the place you live is still there, and your cat too. Incidentally, she asked me to relay you a quick message…hold on, I wrote it on a piece of paper here so I’d get it just right. Here it is.

Quote: “Whatthefuckyouguys?!?!”

…She also wanted to know when you might be coming home, so I told her. She suggested maybe you forget to pick up Bruce altogether and it’d go back to being the “good ol’ days again.” I told her this was highly unlikely…but then we discussed the new house and all, and she wondered if it had really high counters and good window perches. I told her I hadn’t seen it yet, so she’d have to wait until you all got back to find out. And then she gave me this look like, “Holy shit, you really are just totally useless aren’t you?” I felt really bad about that, so opened the big can of wet food and hoped she wouldn’t gorge too much and puke on the carpet.

…Also I cleaned out her poop. And she watched me to make sure I did it right. Like The Queen of Egypt breaking in a new unic. It is so much work being her, you guys…you just don’t know.

In other news: this last heat wave was exceedingly abusive to the flower-plants. I boozed ’em up real good every other day…but then I skipped one in the middle, so it was three days this one time, and when I got there they were all hanging from the baskets like melting death. So I panicked and came back-to-back days once, just to watch them. In Hospital-talk, they are now out of ICU, but are still being kept for observation.

Also, I think a bunch of people are trying to bribe you.

…Or maybe you have a Sugar Daddy who occasionally mails you gifts? Or maybe he’s “K.L’s” Sugar Daddy…I’m not judging you or anything, alternative lifestyles are awesome and everyone should have them.

Anyway…package notices keep popping up. Like 50 of them. I kept writing on the stickers to forward them to the office, and today out of curiosity, decided it was prob’ly time to go check and see if that was actually happening. But did you know, I’m not “you?” Apparently that is the only person aloud to ask about packages.

…I said I didn’t need to “see” them, just assure that they in fact “existed.” They said if you drew up papers at a local Law firm, put me in your wills, selected me as legal guardian of your unborn children in case of your untimely demise…and I got my immunization shots done…they’d tell me. But not until then. So, sorry. I guess you’re on your own. I tried. Except for the immunization part. I don’t do needles.

Signed,

Your Official House Sitter and Cat Unic.”

~D

The Thousand-Mile Stare

23 Aug

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The day after school let out, workers started ripping up the road I take to work, just beside the High School.  A little over a month later, the entire block section was hazarded off with more cones than a gnome convention, and looked roughly like ten or twelve meteors crash landed there, laying waste to the entire area.

…I heard its cuz the ground is falling.

…An unusual circumstance, wherein a population living on the side of a hill begins to slowly slide into the ocean down below it.  I dunno how ripping up a street can possibly fix this problem, but apparently it can, or at least we’re all gonna agree that it will

…Anyway….

…It’s ongoing, and besides being an extra time suck on the commute because of the natural detour route, we are also blessed with occasional one-way street closures at random with no heads-up, as you cook in the car. A dump truck going approximately negative three miles an hour, lollips its way along the full length of the street, gets lined up by the road workers, dumps its entire payload, and travels back to the highway ramp again, before they let anyone move.

This has happened to me FIVE TIMES.  So I’m kinda expert at it now.

…It’s because of this that I have learned the joy of multitasking while in my car.  In these circumstances one is given plenty of time to eat a meal, reapply makeup, sing the “Bohemian Rhapsody,” update every social network you partake in, ten times…and at last: study the animal that is “The Sign Flagger.”

“The Sign Flagger.”

A State Worker to the extreme, in that they (at least our brand), do very little signing or flagging or working, but get paid twice what I do, to stand around wearing bright florescent bibs and hard hats all day long.

I could do that.

…But it appears that you have to be willing to die a little bit on the inside to achieve this position.  This is what I gather by their constant faces of morbid boredom that would give a Funeral Director a run for their money. And that thousand-mile stare at the great “nothing” in the distance which seems to always be absorbing their full attention. This “thing” is like a sailor’s siren, brainwashing them into believing that they are in fact frequenting an entirely different universe from everyone else…and no one can see them picking their wedgies (or noses) though we are all in a forced line-up, directly facing them doing so.

…Or maybe they just don’t care that we can.  I dunno.

All I DO know is that after over a month of travelling that scene, I have yet to see even one of them move from their apparent specifically directed spots, say anything at all to anyone, or make eye contact.  It’s like peopling the entire roadway with outfielders in a Little League team who are more interested in picking flowers and watching the bugs fly around, than participating in the event that they were actually signed up for.

…This afternoon’ s shift included a particularly sad individual looking off into oblivion, talking to himself.  ‘least I assume it was to himself. Maybe he had an invisible friend hanging out with him. And maybe that friend’s name was Bob. Again, I dunno.

…All I kept thinking as I watched the apparent one-sided conversation, was that it seemed a pretty fluid topic, only no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a grasp on what it might have been about.

See the thing was, there was zero change in his expression during the entirety of said conversation.

…And maybe cuz I’m an Actor (or even just a “human”) I kept trying to catch some kind of clue as to his thought process via the normal cues a human would give in these circumstances.  Like facial expressions.  Or posture changes.  Or hand movements.  But nothing.  As far as I could tell, the guy must have been reciting the phone book from memory, as an exercise to keep himself from going insane by standing there with no human contact while doing absolutely nothing, day-after-day-after-day.

…And so naturally I started to then think about my job, and the things that I do in order to “cope” and keep my sanity in tact…which might appear to the outsider as “frankly too late,” like our friend the Flagger here.

Because I’m “me,” I even made a list. It’s really short:

* I post signs. Everywhere.
(On the cork board, on the doors, on the Warehouse, the computers, the windows, the file cabinets…the Bosses desk, chair and monitor….the bathroom walls. I do this in hopes it will mean I have to repeat myself less often to the people who already know all the rules, which they continually break, directly-after claiming, “Well, I didn’t know…no one ever told me!” As if one needs to be told not to leave feces floating in the toilet, to close the door when you walk in or out of it, actually show up and do the job you were scheduled for, not fling cigarette butts into the half filled paint cans by the door, or ram the forklift forks literally through the walls.)

* I password protect and code everything.
(Because my office and the Boss’ are unlocked, people have access to anything at any time. Aside from the CLEARLY POSTED signs instructing no one, at any point to “touch” my shit, it is manhandled continually. They think they can get away with it, but because I’m OCD, I know the instant that any slight of change has taken place. So then I yell at them. But what I can’t just “yell away” are things like 5,000 pounds of missing product, horse-porn, emails to myself from myself, suggesting how I can give me a good time…the entire booking schedule and every shop tool going MIA, or the loss of the spare-spare keys for when Boss locks himself out again. Which it why password protection and coding is everywhere. The computers. The gates. The accessories room. The voicemail on the phone. If I could do it to my toilet even, believe me…I would.)

* I’m just plain mean.
(In my day-to-day life, I can certainly be a Diva at times, but at work, I’m often just plain mean. Its a necessary conditioning I’ve undergone. There is just too much shit to do in a day. If you aren’t to the point, then the Boss and gigolos think you’re “friends.” If you’re “friends” they want you to make “exceptions” for them. If you make “exceptions” for them, you turn into a “babysitter.” If you’re not their “babysitter,” you become their “mother.” If you become their “mother,” they want you to bend over backwards for them and do these “little extra things.” If you do these “little extra things” for ONE, you have to do them for ALL. And if you are doing hundreds of tiny exceptions…on top of the other five workloads you have to do in a day…they will never get their work done. And neither will you. Then, because you’re “friends” now, they just assume that means you’ll cover for them when Corporate calls, bitching about how shit is never getting done. So I avoid this ALL, by being mean and/or to-the-point, most of the time. They want as little as possible to do with me, they follow the rules that I tell them, and get an ear full when they don’t. Period.)

…These things may not seem like much, as necessary coping mechanisms, but they are. If I’m not sign and code obsessive, or if I ever pretended to be “one of the boys,” there would just be no repairing the damage that would accrue. I HAVE to do these things. Every day. Have to stick to them. Have to make it through with my head down and eyes focused with piercing gaze on the prize that is: “End Of The Day.” And then I take all the accumulated crap that has taken place, shuffle it around a bit and try to reclassify at least part , so I can laugh at it…reclaiming the power to shake it off, set the alarm clock, and attack it all over again tomorrow.

This is the true truth of it. Not the funny stuff you read in print.

…What I’m saying is: I totally understand that Flagger a hell of a lot more than I thought I did.

…Which is something to think about.

~D

How To Get Book-Famous

22 Aug

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I’m reading this book right now. 

…Because she got famous doing what I wanna do, which is essentially to turn this whole blog thing into my main income.  Or at least a decent supplemental one. 

It’s first week out, the book was on the NY Times Bestseller List…which I think we can all agree is amazing…and she now travels the country on her publisher’s dime, to sit at tables and sign her name inside book covers, while reaping real-world scenario materials for her next Top Seller.

I could handle this kind of life, if it accidentally on purpose happened to me, is what I’m saying.

…Of course, it never would happen.

…Because what I have discovered while reading her words out loud, (in-between the times I can’t, because I’m crying too hard in hysteria and peeing my pants a little), is that ultimately, I just did not have a fucked-up enough childhood to qualify the kind of success she so rightly deserves.

My Dad never ONCE stuck his finger up the butt of a dead rat, thus transforming it into a very disturbing puppet.

I may NOT have had a lot of money growing up, but Mom never rubberbanded bread sacks to my feet in lieu of snow boots and sent me off to school that way.

…I never lived in an asbestos lean-to, connected to my Father’s taxidermy shop…found dead carcases with their entrails taking up the whole bathtub, or helped run a transient hotel for orphaned and wounded wild animals that at any second could turn and rip my face off.  Just “because.”

…People like David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and this chick, are almost guaranteed book sellers, on account of their totally unbelievable upbringing and various proceeding mental breakdowns and coping mechanisms.  They are like the Royalty of making the best out of really screwed up and scarring childhood situations.  In this kingdom, I’m but a mere Pageboy or Scullery Maid in comparison.

Not that “competing” against these people, is the goal…but there is definitely a “niche-following” involved in Memoir Essaying and I think I lack the total package deal to fit in properly.  I can certainly go off on sick and dark circumstances, while generously peppering my personal philosophies on the proper shelving of movie collections, and organizing of junk drawers…but I don’t think that’s quite enough meat in the stew of requirement.  The best ammo I have to use in this case, involves The Brothel here…and unless I want to get my ass sued off (which is no small feat with the podonkodonk that I’m sportin’) …it’s pretty much off the board when I go public with who I really am.

…Which is too bad, really.

It all comes down to the fact that I was horribly abused, neglected, warped, and fucked with by the wrong people.  If it was my PARENTS, I could write it all out and make a mint, (with the understanding that at least part of the sales of said book would go toward keeping them in a manner to which they would become “accustomed.”)  But it wasn’t. It was my JOB that did it.

…There is no dotted line of permission, or amount of pay-out, that will allow me to pass onto the next round of using what I have been forced into while working here.  Unless said book is a total unqualified success equal to Jenny Lawson’s Freshman work…I will be immediately fired and totally unemployable for the rest of my life…due to the fact that (apparently), I spend all my down time dissing my place of business surreptitiously with wild abandon.  Even if it’s true.

…I mean, I’d get fired even if the book was a giant success, true…but I would care a lot less in that instance.  Until the legal paperwork would start flying in, and I’d find myself being sued for roughly the exact amount of money which the book would have accrued, thus leaving me pretty much where I’m sitting right now, only not literally, and maybe a little more famous for it.

…Like Donald Trump every time he goes bankrupt again.

I don’t think I could handle that level of almostness in making something of myself, then lose it all.

…But then, if it spiralled me into some great, mistrustful, fist-shaking-at-fate rebellion over the whole ordeal…I could write a Memoir about that.

…Maybe I should look into it.

~D

Senior Envy

22 Aug

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Sometimes I feel jealous of Senior Citizens.  I tell myself that someday I’ll reach those special years of amazement as well…but then I’ll think of the powers they yield and start to get impatient.

I’m jealous how they can wear pajamas to the grocery store, and not even think twice about it. 

…My Gram used to do it all the time.  There was this tiny market down town?  It smelled of raw beef and cardboard boxes, and when you went inside you’d know every person in every aisle, cuz everyone was a regular.  And for some reason, Gram (who was usually spiffed out in fully coordinated blouse and slack outfits), could walk through that store on a Tuesday morning, wearing a mumu in her house slippers with a scarf around her head, not bothered in the least by it.  These are the same people, mind you, whom she would fret about seeing a spill-stain on her new jacket on Friday, because the coffee cup had a leak.  The rationalization totally escapes me.  But I still wanna be able to do it.

I’m jealous how they can fall asleep anywhere, at any time.

…It takes me forever to fall asleep.  I can lay there for hours with my head just ticking away…thoughts, thoughts, thoughts…on a nonstop repeat.  Generally I only get about five hours in a night…sometimes six. But Seniors can fall asleep within fifteen seconds, whether they’re in a doctor’s office, the DMV, a football stadium, or even standing in line waiting for check-out. ( I’ve seen it.) Such power, and talent. I wanna be able to do that.

I’m jealous how nothing in life embarrasses them.

They can just fart in public.  Just fart.  Just like that.  What the hell do they care what you think about it?  Also they spend whole lunches together talking about things like their personal diseases and anatomy parts that don’t work…raising the stakes on one another like they’re betting their incapacities, medical procedures and ills, in a game of poker. “I SEE your psoriasis, and raise you an enema!” Or they’ll glory in how good their bowel movements are…grading them on a scale of awesomeness against seventy years.  “This one time, in ’47, I had just the greatest BM ever!” ” I had one in ’63 that completely changed my whole life, practically…!”

I’m jealous of their temper tantrums.

…Like small children, they seem to get a special “pass” for this.  Crotchety old men are like an American institution.  And everyone who has ever worked in any service industry, has been railed at at least once, by a sixty-five pound, blue-haired, ninety-year-old woman with a smokers rasp.  They are totally allowed to be giant dicks to anyone at any time, and we just sorta go along with it.  Why?  Because.  It’s in the constitution or something.

I’m jealous of their money management strategies.

People think Seniors aren’t up with the times, don’t understand the concepts of things like “inflation” and “alternate percentages.”  Please.  These people have lived through five wars, four economic depressions, countless droughts, fires, Tsunamis, hurricanes, Medicare, and the end of the world at least ten times.  They know what’s going on.  And they know how to make every fucking buck they’ve got, count. Can you blame them?! They are in a position of knowing from experience that it’s only a matter of time before shit hits the fan again.  So while we dance around with grins slobbered on our faces, buying rounds for everyone and using dollar bills for toilet paper in the high-times, they’re counting out fifty-cent tips for the asshole who forgot to refill their coffee cup at Dennys. Why? They understand the economy better than you think.  They’ve had to reinvent it the the last sixty times.

I’m jealous of their knowledge.

…These people know everything about everything. They’re better than the internet.  Go ahead. Test them:
 
Question: “Who was that one person in that movie, with whatserface, with all that rain?”

Answer: “Gene Kelly.”

Question: “How many terms was FDR in office?”

Answer: “Elected four times, died in last term, April 12,1945.  Was sixty-three.  Just a damn kid.”

Question: “How do you get out stains?”

Answer: “Dish detergent for oil, club soda for red wine, white vinegar for tomato-bases, add some salt for perspiration. Ink stain: with rubbing alcohol, isopropyl for grass and paint.”

Question: “What’s the difference between a B17 Bomber and a B29?”

Answer: “About twelve tons in payload, 70 MPH, 25 feet in length, and 1,250 miles in range. I know cuz I flew both of ’em.”

Question: “Why Velveeta cheese and SPAM?”

Answer: “No expiration date. Ever.  I think I still have some cans from 1956 if you wanna snack?”

Question: “Greatest invention of all time?”

Answer: “Sex.”

…And I am jealous how they can sit and appreciate things.

Old men will forever populate benches facing out into oceans of abyss. Little old ladies will never cease congregating in tea socials to gossip and munch in good company, like a park full of pigeons.  Grandparents will eat their grandbabies with their eyes and see the resemblance of every ancestor you have ever had in them.

…A spot of wine with a view.

…A summer sunset…

…Perching on a porch swing, just watching the people passing by. 

Taking a Sunday drive at leisure as the commuters honk and ride their bumpers the whole time. 

…They’ve perfected establishing a single snapshot of a moment…like they’re filling the rest of their photo albums up to take with them to whatever comes after all of this “living on earth” stuff.

I think we forget to do that. 

…I think it’d be good to learn it earlier in life.

I think someday I’ll get there.

…And I’ll watch the world just passing by and think:

“Sometimes I’m jealous of young people…”

…Which is about when, one of ’em will do something really stupid

And I’ll shake my head and smile to myself.

“Scratch that.”

~D

Didja Know?

21 Aug

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Here’s a game, like when we were kids: I tell you ten things you don’t know about me, and you tell me ten things I don’t know about you.  Explanations are optional.

Ready?

Go!

1) I went like fifteen years without eating a PB&J. 
(It’s because I ate them every day for five solid years, cuz it was a thing I decided would be a good idea.  And then it wasn’t anymore.)

2) The longest relationship I ever had with the opposite sex was in middle-school.
(It was over the course of a year.  We broke up and got back together, once.  Then I dated someone else in seventh grade.  When that ended, it took me eighteen years before I got around to dating again.  For “real.” I’m not very good at it.  Obviously.)

3) One of my all-time heart’s-desires is to be able to burp on command.
(I have this friend who can belch the whole alphabet in one long, loud roar.  He tries to teach me how to do it, but I’m just lousy with burp-action.  I refuse to accept this, however, and continue to work at it.)

4) I feel bad about my feet.
(Feet are just generally not the greatest looking.  I mean, they serve a major function, so I guess they shouldn’t have to be all beautiful and things.  But mine are one of the funkier looking ones.  I have this little “hitch” thing in the big toe? And they’re really wide. Also, the middle toe is longer than all the rest. It’s just wrong. And I wish it wasn’t.)

5) I can’t take naps. 
(It just doesn’t happen.  Unless I’m totally and completely exhausted.  But then I’ll wake up in the worst mood of all time.  Everything will make me angry and irritated without any provocation whatsoever. “You want the blue one?! I want the blue one!” “I hate commercials! Change it back! I was watching that!”  “Star Trek is stupid! So lets fight about it!”)

6) I can’t pronounce the words “wolf,” “ostensibly” or “Wednesday” correctly.
(Wolf = woof…like a dog.  Deal with it. I had to.  OBstensibly gets an added “b”  – I don’t know why – but it just does. Every time.  And I am convinced that Emma Thompson is the only person in the world who can fit the “d” into Wednesday and make it all sound like it’s supposed to. Watch “Stranger than Fiction.”  She does it like eleven times in a row.  It’s mind-blowing.)

7) I hate sneezing.
(There are few things I actually hate more.  Cancer is one of them.  And germs in general.  But sneezing actually pisses me off irrationally.  To the courtesy “Bless you,” I nine times out of ten will reply with a resounding “Fuck!”  This is not meant to counteract the blessing by any means. I will take any that I can get.  I just hate the act of sneezing is all.  So there’s that.)

8) My job at the Brothel is not nearly as amusing as it’s made out to be.
(If you are confused by this, it is my fault.  And I’m sorry.  When actually in the moments of pure and utter mind-numbing frustration and rage that I am often forced into, the last thing I wanna do is make light of the matter and laugh at it.  Which is why I  have to figure out a way to make light of the matter and laugh at it.  If I didn’t?  I’d prob’ly be in jail on charges of manslaughter by now.)

9) I am afraid of sunflowers.
(Actually “afraid,” of them. Yes.  They are this wrong kind of Jurassic monster flower that looks down on you like a tree.  I don’t like it.  It makes me feel the world proportional gauge thing is all outta wack. I mean, what next? Teradactyl sized horseflies and dog-hamsters?!)

10) I have to make my bed every morning.
(Even if I’m running super late.  Even if I’m puking-sick.  Even if I’ve been up for 53 hours straight.  Or the building was on fire.  If I don’t make my bed, I wouldn’t feel right for the rest of the whole day. And then when I went to bed  that night, it’d be all mayhem blanket clumping and sheets all over the place.  Not acceptable, you guys.)

…Now its your turn.

~D

Ah, Wilderness!

20 Aug

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I grew up around a lot of nature.  And not a whole hell of a lot “else.”

When people ask me about where I came from, I reference them to Yosemite.  Its a National park, people have actually heard of it, and know it resides in California…”somewhere in the middle.”

…I grew up in an armpit town, slightly west of there. 

The county itself looks pretty much the same in topography, and is chiefly populated by Miners, Mill Workers and Armed Guards.  It is “Goldrush territory,” and they’re still extricating the stuff like a shiny food crop, have an exorbitant amount of excess in trees (apparently), and is conveniently in the middle of bum-fuck-Egypt…so they decided that planting a third-security prison there, would be a good idea.

…I used to think it was the most unbearably boring town in all of God’s creation. And it might still be. I dunno.  I try my best to go back there as little as humanly possible, so haven’t much to go off of on that point. But in hindsight, I have to toss it up a few marks of “chutzpah.” This is due solely to the laundry list of semi terrifying circumstances surrounding it, that I always just thought of as totally normal…until talking to other people about their childhoods.

Constant mining detonation-cued earthquakes, would erupt at all hours in all seasons…without even a second thought that the San Andreas fault line was under our fucking feet.  Sticky-tack was totally the way to go when displaying any breakables…duck and cover drills were announced over PA systems at schools and work, and everyone was taught how to switch out a blown fuse and light an oil lamp from birth. It wasn’t until I moved to Washington State and lived through a “barely tremble” (which even DJs on the radios were getting into apoplexies about), that I realized the gross amounts of inherent military-like conditioning I’d undergone in childhood…calmly walking to a doorway mid-house tremble, while continuing to count to 100. Because I was “it,” and everyone else was hiding, (prob’ly under tables and behind couches, come to think of it…)

Also, the hot, rotting, urine-like smell of the Millworks, never seemed to quite keep up with the rampant forest fires in general tree devastation, there.  This would bring on the volunteer firefighting squads mostly populated by local prisoners, who were actually being TRAINED in it as a “skilled profession,” with the help of our Parent’s tax dollars.  Intermingled with the civilian population at large with only a uniform to tell them apart, I dunno if the powers that be took into consideration that within an hour under these conditions, everything and everyone is covered in head-to-tow black soot; Including the jumpers with “Prisoner” stenciled on them.

…You would hope, the people in charge would have at least weeded out the pyromaniacs among this crowd…but this would be asking a lot…given that these were the same authorities who thought it a great idea to ship out jam-packed marked minivans (driven by armed guards)  to our local Grammar School, as part of the cheap labor initiative used in building our new quad.

The fact that at any moment, the enticement may be too much to bear, and at least one of said prisoners would take it on the lamb, was almost a given.  And they did from time to time.  And there would be lock-downs.  And people would go looking for them.  But luckily for us, we must have been mailed out the stupider kind.  Because instead murdering people, molesting children, or hitting up a convenience store, taking a hostage, and beating it out of town…they’d always take the road least expected. 

…Like the guy who stole the prison van, and left it parked outside his grandmother’s house…found, hours later, sitting at the table eating milk and cookies.

…Or the one who walked off, mid-a fire, escaping out into the wilderness, turning himself in two days later — a hobbled, broken, bleeding, hysterical mess — on account he was apparently from a city, and had never been in “nature” before.  (It was also rumored he’d been sodomized by a wild animal at some point. I dunno if that part was true or not, but he certainly looked like it.)

I happen to know these stories, (btw) because my Mother worked at said prison at the time, and would bring them home, as reported and laughed over while eating their lunches, served them from hair-netted convicts who liked to point out that the macaroni salad was especially good today cuz they’d used a “special ingredient,” but wouldn’t tell anyone what it was.

…This all adds up to some seriously questionable circumstances when you think about it…but because it was my kiddome (and it was all I knew)…it never really occurred to me at the time.

At the TIME, the most sick and twisted part of my existence, was the fact that despite my pleadings, and melodramatic claims of child abuse…I was constantly being forced against my will into the great outdoors. Because my mother was a camping sadist from hell, who’d inherited the gene directly from her father.

Nature.

Fuck.

…With all that dirt, and weeds and grass.  With all that sky and sun…and so much air you could practically drown in it.  The bugs lived out there! And like little Kamikaze assholes, always dive-bombed their way into your cup of juice and bit you in places you could never reach to scratch.

As if day trips weren’t bad enough…Mom’s favorite summer past-time torture, was to drive out into the wilderness every fucking weekend, point at the rock and pine-needle strewn land, and claim “this spot” as our new horn of plenty. She’d spike a pole in the ground, throw a blanket over it and begin walking around in big strides, getting drunk on air, and proselytizing about how, “This was the life,” and “people in cities just don’t know the real deal” and “aren’t we lucky to live here?”

…My answer to this was always the same.  I’d take up my 1500 page tomb of Russian Literature, or History on the Holocaust,  and retreat into the back-most section of the tent in abject silence.  I found out early that pleading the fifth was smartest in these circumstances, because if I complained about it even a little bit, she’d force me on a trail hike or some alternate form of holy terror.

After an agonizing sequence of checking and double checking the contents of my sleeping bag, (assuring it was free of snakes, bugs and vermin), I would properly preserve myself with an invisible shield of bug spray covering every square inch of my body (even eyelids), and commence with my reading. And I would not stop again or move from my position, except in cases of eating and peeing, until it was time to go home.

Dear Lord, how I hated those weekends.  More than seafood.  More than peas.  More than homework, even! But because I wasn’t 18 yet, I hadn’t “the vote.”  With no legal protections whatsoever, I was forced into it .  So I went.  And I read.  And tried my best to ignore it.

***Flash forward***

I now live in the Pacific Northwest.

…Of my own free will.

It is occupied mostly by software brainiacs, coffee drinkers, State workers and nature-freaks. 

Most of our land is made up of State parks, wetlands, swamps, rain forests and trails linking them via network spider-webbings and landmarks.  The population is so obsessed with partaking of its infinite varieties, that they will kit themselves out in an REI wet-dream of fleece jackets, cargo shorts, socks pulled up to their kneecaps and rock-climbing sandals…to go hiking through it, in the middle of pissing-down rain, grinning like idiots…under the mass delusion that they are “having a good time.” 

It’s become such a part of the culture here, that no one even thinks twice about it.

…And maybe, because I’ve lived here for twelve years now…maybe because I’m susceptible to any and all random and strange diseases and epidemics that happen to pass by…(like that one involving spider bites, or rashes, or every cold that makes its way through the masses.) Maybe that is why I find myself suddenly (over the long and painful evolution crossing the past twenty years), not “minding” the out-of-door experience as much as I once did. 

I’m not completely cured of it, mind you…just less “allergic.” 

Truth be told: we’ve got some cool stuff here.  It’s green, most if it. And kinda smells good. As long as a bar of soap and hot water face me at the end of the trail…I really kinda like it even.

…But don’t tell Ma that. 

…Even one whiff, and she’ll kidnap me with the Subaru, drive out to some god-forsaken mountain top, and force me to go all “Lewis and Clark” on that shit.

My childhood was scaring enough, thanks.

~D

The Hating Of Politics

19 Aug

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Listen, it’s election time again.  And I hate it. 

…I hate the pander, I hate the smacks, the “he said, she said,” the always negative bent.

It really bums me the hell out to see this Country relegated to a half-assed season of “Survivor,” every time an office opens up; To be forced to watch the High School ridiculousness of lying, cheating, reputation-killing antics from our collective nominees. It’s a kind of frustration requiring far better political writing technique than I have at my immediate disposal.  So, “It sucks a lot,” is just gonna have to do it for you.

…Ads are everywhere. We’re absolutely flooded with them from cell phones, internet, radio, TV, mailings and people with clipboards outside of every major shopping center.  And they’re never positive ones about changing the world for the better, preserving rights, fixing the economy, boosting education, or solving world hunger. Why not?!  Politics in this country has turned into some freak-show Darwinian shit-sling-a-thon, where the candidate who throws the most wads of feces and gets them to stick, wins. (Thus rendering all others virtually extinct.)

Its like: survival of the shittiest.

…You know what I wish?

I wish politics could be like an Aaron Sorkin show. 

I would TOTALLY get behind that. 

Smart.  Educational. Forward-thinking, with the best of intent. And willing to admit the occasional fuck up.

…It isn’t about “talking points,” weaving eternal riddles, and participating in endless debates.

…It’s not about “waiting for the right moment” to break down prejudices and fight for equal rights.

…It’s not just a bunch of burocrats stirring up shit, and standing around yelling things. 

Nobody just stood still in, “The West Wing!” 

Not ever!

…Those people couldn’t even eat a sandwich or drink a cup of coffee at their desk in good conscience! There was this whole thing invented about it, even, called “the walk and talk.”  They’d start in the Roosevelt room, bypass the cubical farms, turn left at the second hallway, cross the foyer and BAM! be in the press room within fifty seconds; (and would have prevented three wars and eradicated two epidemics while they did it.)

…Maybe Tommy Shlamme and Sorkin could go to DC and give lectures on how to do that.

…Maybe they could get everyone to stop wasting our time and just ACCOMPLISH something.  It’s why we put them there.  How can they not get that?!

The power is present.  They’re kitted out with more resources than a Boy Scout troop on a camping trip. That’s the frustrating part.  Those people we have elected could actually do a “solid” in repairing things, right now, and prevent more evils from turning up in their place.  They can do more to heal the world before lunch each day, than any other collection of people on the entire face of the planet.

Think about that. 

It could happen. 

It COULD happen.

…But it almost never does.

There IS no President Bartlet, you guys.  And we just have to live with that. Leo won’t be in the sit-room to help strategize or calm down political fevers…nobody is as cutely arrogant with the smarts and political savy of Josh,  or stone-sober tough love of Toby…and inspirational speeches to the masses with soaring symphonies played underneath them, are a thing of the past.

…There are no witty and smart Republicans that pop up from time to time with valid points and sensible solutions, anymore. Democrats will always be wishy-washy, too worried about pissing someone off with their actual principles. And the two major political parties are NEVER gonna agree on ANYTHING. At all. Ever.

It sucks, but it’s the truth.

So deal with that. 

Then go line up at the polls.

…Sorta anti-climatic, ain’t it?

Really wish there was a way to fix that.

~D

What’s The Poop?

18 Aug

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If I was ever going to write a book, it wouldn’t be a literary epic.

Obviously.

…I’ve tried ten or eleven times to do one, and I always get lost in the middle. 

If I wrote a book, it would have to look almost exactly like this blog; same kind of content, same format…only minus the kinds of things that could get me sued for “defamation of character” once people figured out who I was, and the place I work at.

I would sell something like fifteen copies total (ten of which would be purchased by my mother. ) All the critics would hate it,  due to its total lack of resounding theme or tone or purpose. And I would call it something really random.  Like, “Not Another Bathroom Book.” 

The first entry would go something like this:

As my title informs you, this is not just another bathroom book.  I mean sure, you can carry it with you to the john for an epic camp-out if you want.  I won’t judge you.  And I won’t take it personally either.  What I mean by it is: this book is not a short read of interesting stats and averages about curious creatures and mind-bending “didja knows?” I have no anecdotes to share with you. I don’t know what the fattest man in the world weighs in at, the annual rainfall of Idaho, or anything about the small tribes of peoples who occupy the Congo.

I can almost guarantee you won’t ever win a game to Trivial Pursuit just by reading this.

…What I hope you do do (heh…I said “do do”), is allow it to divorce yourself from your day-to-day “haftas” and “s’posed  tos” for a little bit of R&R time.  And maybe give you a laugh.  Because you deserve it.  And you deserve to sit in a proper chair not made of porcelain with a poop-hole cut out of it, while this takes place.

Before we begin, a heads up to the ground rules:  If you are adverse to occasional curses, swears and oaths as practiced by the saltiest of sailors, just put the book down now.  I don’t wanna piss you off with my linguistic acrobatics…it’s just the way I talk.  I was once advised that filtering it out would bring more readers and a higher class of critical acclaim. To which I said, “Balls to that! If I can’t be ‘me’ then what the hell is the point?” And I’ll stand by that statement til my dieing day. 

…Or at least til I’m granted my first audience with the Queen of England.

Next: If you are the type or grammarian-Nazi that my Editor is, this book may not be for you, either. Just because I converted them to the dark side, doesn’t necessarily mean I can achieve this on everyone.  I frequently make up words, disregard all rules and regulations to format and sentence structure, my run-ons can get more epic than the entirety of “Beowulf”…and I really like ellipse.

…Like, a lot.

If, by chance, you can suffer these criteria… I am told by the dozens and dozens of  three people who have been screaming at me to write a freakin’ book, that you’re prob’ly gonna have a pretty good time swimming through these words.

If not: I’m sorry. 

But only a little bit.

…Because frankly, you already bought the book, the buck-fifty is mine now, and you can use it as extra toilet paper when you run out, for all I care.*

(* I lied just now.  But at least I did it with conviction.)

So, without further ado: I give you a collection of informal essays and quips guaranteed to make you feel better about the life you lead. 

“At least I’m not like that poor bastard,” you will say any number of times throughout.

To which I reply: “You’re welcome.”

~D

This One Time?

17 Aug

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When I was a kid I had this friend? Every time she talked? Even in a declarative sentence? She sounded like she was always asking a question?

…It was a really unique quirk that I didn’t fully grasp at the time? I mean, I knew there was something strange about her vocal pattern? Only I didn’t know what the hell a vocal pattern was? So couldn’t directly put my finger on it?

All I knew was: I always felt that she was really really interested in anything and everything I ever said? It was like my personal opinion on any subject was just the gold standard of fact? But then sometimes? It got a little confusing too? On account of she never seemed to be quite solid on what her own preferences and ideas were?

…For example?

(While building a Kool-Aid stand.)

Me: “This’ll be great! We’ll be gillionairs prob’ly, by tomorrow! How much should we charge per-the-glass?”

She: “Maybe we could charge fifty cents? Or maybe not? Maybe three for a dollar?”

Me: “Like an ‘on sale’ kinda deal?”

She: “Yeah? Or maybe different sizes?”

Me: “Wait, different sizes for a dollar or different sizes on sale?”

She: “Yeah? Or maybe, like, a special? For repeat customers? Or lemonade too so we have two kinds of flavors?”

Me: “Well, which one of those-all do you wanna do?”

She: “I dunno? Cuz sometimes one sounds good? And then the other? But then some people don’t like lemons that much? So maybe we should just stick to Kool-Aid? But then we can do the different sizes still? Or maybe not?”

Me: “So…which one do you vote for, then?”

She: “…And then the cups too? They cost money? So maybe we should put that in the price with it all? I dunno? That’s what I think?”

…It could sometimes be confusing?

She wasn’t, in the end, a “long-term” buddy? In fact I only remember her really from that one summer? But she did make a lasting impression on me, with a kind of constant invitation to offer my opinion freely? About everything? Whether it had anything to do with me or not? And sometimes? I catch myself falling into this same trap? The kind where I think I hear a person asking my opinion? In this open-ended kind of way? Only turns out, they’re not? It has nothing to do with me? And I am just being a gigantic self-opinionated asshole by insinuating that it does? And my only defense really is that…

…This one time?

…I knew a girl once, who always sounded really interested in what I thought about things? Her voice always went up in the end like a question? Even when she was making a declarative sentence? And I think I caught a strange disease from her? Called self-inserted-opinion-justification-in-order-to-clarify-where-you-don’t-even-fucking-belong-itus? I actually know a lot of people who have it?

…That girl? She must have really got around and stuff?

I mean, obviously?

…Cuz you knew her too, right…?

~D

Threats & Other Side Effects

16 Aug

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I dunno what it is about our particular business at the Brothel…but working here is the first time I have been faced with consumer fury when things go awry, equal to the kind of emotions that begin World Wars.

…A 90-something year old man went all “Gran Torino” on our Whs Pimp once, threatening to “shoot him in the head,” just because a part was missing from their delivery.

…A Wife (in prep for her Husband’s birthday) warned us ahead of time that if we screwed this up, we’d have political ramification for it.  Cuz he was “such-in-such, under la-de-dah, with the department of whats-it-called.”

…This one time? Boss was damned to hell so viciously, he put it on speaker phone, muted. We laughed our asses off as it continued to grow in tirade across the better part of five minutes. Which is a long-ass time, when it’s one run-on sentence without stopping for air.

We are not “new” to the game of totally ridiculous over-reactions, here. Just part of the job.  I dunno “why.”

…In keeping with this, I’ve been dealing for two days with this Customer who (if he had his way), would have Boss and me fired, skinned, cooked on a spit, our children kidnapped, our pets murdered, houses ransacked, and the towns we live in pillaged.

…I know this because across the span of these past 48 hours, he has told me so.

Because Boss is on vacation at some beach house with zero cell signal, it has fallen solely on me to deal with this enticing character. 

…Besides being thoroughly pissed to have to deal with someone who isn’t a man, said Customer is also further enraged that there is such a person above me, whom he cannot speak with, under any circumstance.  “Cannot” isn’t in his vocabulary.  Most especially as he owns us (don’t you know.)  WE work for HIM, Boss is HIS hired servant, I am less than a concubine, and Customer DEMANDS we understand this.

…He’s also gone on a political bent about “burocracy,”  compared us to both Hitler AND Stalin, called me a “capitalist pig,” (though I very obviously make less money than he does), and made it perfectly clear that if he does not get his way, the President will be hearing about it.  Not of our “company,” mind you.  Of the United States.

Now, English doesn’t happen to be his first language, and he clearly has some unresolved issues with regards to the workings of his previous country of origin.  Also, clearly, some unresolved issues on how we do things over here.  I am not entirely sure how we can possibly be Capitalistic-Social-Communists who are trying to “rape” him with regards to our goods and services.  I assume both frustration and a major language barrier are a greater part of these threats than not.  But what I do know is that by day two, I was a HELL of a lot less “gracious” about it, when he called for the 11th time to awkwardly attempt a verbal ripping of a new asshole.

By 9:30 today, I was just done.

DONE, with listening to him barrage me with hypothetical pictorals of my imminent demise. DONE trying to corral and calm him down. DONE with the five follow-up calls directly after speaking with him from every source our company owns which ever has touched his order in the annals of history. 

…I was DONE trying to explain process and procedures, while he refused me a word in edgewise.  DONE with his brayings about “honor” and “entitlement”…and DONE being called “you girl,” on a consistant basis, with the kind of spit-grimace in his voice indicating I registered somewhere between “horse shit” and “amoebas” in the classification of worldwide existence.

I HAVE A NAME!  I HAVE A POSITION!  I HAVE A COUNTRY WHO REFUSES TO KILL ME FOR NOT HAVING PRODUCT IN STOCK!  I AM A WOMAN, GODDAMN IT, NOT JUST “SOME GIRL!”  AND I AM SO FUCKING DONE WITH YOU NOW!

…Needless to say, our last conversation didn’t go as he planned.

In fact, it was rather a curious turn of events.

…Apparently I am the very first being from the population of all womanity to take him on, head-to-head.  I must have been.  Because his shocked silence to my final stipulation, was a 180 degree turn from his previous stance.

“Enough!  This stops now.  You WILL NOT speak to me like this anymore.  I am the manager of this office.  If you are unhappy, I will delete your order, return your money, and instruct Corporate to refuse any further services.  That is my final offer.”

…”Refuse?”  But how can this be??  He owns us!  By rights of all consumerism.  It says so in the rule books and stuff!

Refuse,” says I.

…To which a silence followed.  It was full.  He, using all the space inside of it to troubleshoot this new dilemma.

Me: “Do you want to keep your appointment tomorrow, or would you like me to cancel your order.”

He: “Please.  Yes.  Yes…please for to, please…keep appointment.  Tomorrow.  Yes.  Fine. Please.”

Me: “Alright then.  You’ll be receiving a call tomorrow morning with estimated time of arrival.”

He: “Please, yes.”

Me: “Thank you.”

He:  “Yes.  Please.  Thank you.”

The end.

Why the change?

How do you just stop an ongoing assault, lasting for two days, on a dime like that and completely turn a corner into a totally different scenario? 

I have no idea.  But I do remember this one thing m’shrink said once…when I was knee-deep in frustrations and all-consuming  irrational faux-responsibilites. 

…I tend to take the world onto my shoulders because, goddamn it, I can manage and hold the weight!  Until I can’t anymore, that is.  The whole idea is NOT to get to that point. 

People need boundaries. 

We need to set them for ourselves as well as for “others.” We need to declare them. We need to enforce them.  If for no other reason: at the very least, our own sanity. 

…People encroach like children…pressing buttons and limits just because they can…because they want to know where the final line rides.  Where is your tipping point?  And a lot of time…more often than you would think…saying, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” doesn’t sully your reputation.  Instead, you very often will GAIN something. Certainly, “dignity.”  “Honor.” “Peace.”

…And sometimes…even from the most filthy hatred-spewing assholes…a kind of “respect.”

Battle won.

…Now for the rest of m’day…

Next?

~D

Happy Birthday, Julia

15 Aug

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Bon Appetite!

Today is Julia Child’s 100th Birthday.

After a long day of dealing with the public at large (and the problems they invent purely to torture us), The BFF and I decided a virtual get-away was required. 

…So we took up the copy of, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” her Mother had gifted her one Christmas, and started peeling back the pages to build a “servantless cook” three-course meal…on the kinda budget that two dames, two days before payday, can manage.

Taking a cue from le filme, “Julie and Julia,” (which we will be viewing while consuming said culinary arts), we decided to cook and document in tandem.  Since I’m primarily only good for Sous Chefing, I’ve been nominated head of this department.

…So, with French music cued up…and speaking in psudo-French-Julia Child accents…we begin.

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The evening’s menu includes:

Artichauts Braises a la Provence
(Steamed artichokes braised with wine, garlic and herbs)

Gratin de Pommes de Terre Provencal
(Scalloped potatoes with onions, tomatoes, anchovies, herbs and garlic)

Bifteck Saute Bercy
(Pan-broiled steak, with shallots and white wine sauce)

Crepes Fine Sucrees
(Light batter crepe Suzette)

We toast a glass to Julia. And let the games begin!

7:00 – We return from the produce-rich love of our life: Tacoma Boys.  Fruit and veg harvested yesterday, is all we will allow to touch Julia’s recipes.

7:15 – I make a quick run to the market.  We missed the milk.  Balls.

7:30 – The raw onions are making me cry, and I’ve already washed every dish and pan I’ve ever owned in order to use them all over again.

7:44 – The Chambord-spiked crepe batter is now commencing it’s two hour rest and chill in the fridge.  The Artichokes, are over flame with white wine and generous amounts of garlic. We are half way through the first bottle of red drinking wine, and the onions and garlic are in their bath of olive oil in prep for the potatoes.

7:51 – The BFF begins work on the steak, spewing French words at random and dancing to the “Girl from Impanema.”

8:00 – I am charged with the very important task of cheese grating.

8:07 – We open another bottle of wine. (It’s an Argentinian Malbec…but I don’t think Julia would mind.)  And the potatoes go into the oven.

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8:15 – We sit and make fun of our wine.  The BFF demands we include its liner notes, which are the following: “Baguala.  Wine made in the  Calchaquies (spoken phonetically by the BFF incorrectly as “CHAK-WE-LAZ!”) valley, a place where the stars contemplate the world from above.  A place so high, you can see through the paths of memories and tradition.  A place where the mountains as tall as giants paint the colors of the sun…a place of history, beauty and heritage…This is Baguala.” It cost five dollars.  Not bad.

8:20 – We check on artichokes and have a dance party in the kitchen (away from the stove.)

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8:25 – The BFF calls her Mom in Alabama to toss up a “Thanks” for our evening’s inspired delights, while we wait for things to simmer.

8:36 – Let the meat pan-searing begin!  Soooo much butter.  We love you Julia.  We love you like our favorite lip gloss and Christmas morning.

8:42 – A debate about what Chambord is: raspberry or blueberry, commences.  We ask BFF Mom and she says “Raspberry.”  Insist on a taste-test.  We do a shooter.  It reminds me of pancake syrup, but I don’t know which kind.  “It tastes like cough syrup.  But in a good way!” The BFF says. (Incidentally, The BFF Mom says try sinking Chambord in Mimosas.  Apparently, it’s awesome.)

8:48 – The steak is set to rest as more butter and shallots, make out in over flame.  Meanwhile the dinger goes off, and potatoes come out of the oven, as The BFF de-glazes the pan. Whatever the hell that means.

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8:54 – Shallot, wine, butter and herb steak sauce commences.  The BFF is with wild abandon throwing in more herbs as she sees fit.  I say thee, ye!

8:55 – The BFF: “I think I burned my face on the steak.  But it’s okay, cuz it was just a little point on it.  Right here.”
             Me: “Was it on the steak or the sauce?”
             The BFF: “The steak.  But it’s not that bad.”
              Me: “Well, we suffer for our art.”

8:57 – Lemon butter for artichokes commences.  At last count we are at two sticks of butter in total. 

8:59 – I am head of plating.  It’s my favorite thing of all time.  All we anal-retentive people love it.  Ask around.

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9:06 – We eat!  Main course of yum plus a movie date 🙂

9:51 – With faces of delight (from both film and food) we head back to the kitchen.  Me for KP, and The BFF for the crepe finale!

9:59 – The BFF: “I fucked the fucking crepe.”  (Translation:  “Oops. Practice round.”)

10:05 – Me: “I need some water, maybe.”

10:06 – I drink some.

10:11- I unwisely flirt with this one dude via text, while waiting for dessert.  Autocorrect makes my drunken postings even worse than normal.  He’s a good guy, understands the work at hand, and is awesome about it.  Also, he might be a few gone as well.  I think it’s all very charming. This will change tomorrow when I read it here in print, sober.

10:15 – Me: “I’m a total lush.”
               The BFF: “I just heard this thing about some people with 15 tigers in Chehalis, and they were drug addicts.  So people are fucked up.”
                …I don’t exactly know how to take this.  I think she’s drunk too.

10:23 – The BFF describes the fine art of making “CREPES DU SOL!” (Crepes of the sun), in step-by-step detail.  I pretend to listen.

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10:28 – Crepes are done.  And now we drizzle with goodness and eat.

10: 40 – The final fork full. Death by crepeing.

…And now, we have completed our pledge, are kinda snockered, and have a kitchen to clean.  But with our last conscious thought we would like to toss a final toast of petite Chambord to le Julia:

Happy Birthday, and long may she live in our food-gluttoned hearts!

***

The BFF and I would further like to thank this evening’s sponsors:

Land O’ Lakes butter
Chambord Liqueur
Tacoma Boys Produce and Meats
Baguala 2008 Malbec & Chalk Hill 2007 Chardonnay
My Kitchen

…Let the food coma commence.

‘Night all.

~D

The End Of An Era

15 Aug

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“Mawwage.  Mawwage is bwings us together, today…”

…Or rather, actually, it is what separates us…spikes lawyer fees, divides up all your friends and worldly possessions, pushes you through custody battles, and has you living on a couch in the garage or someone else’s basement.

Everyone I know is getting divorced. 

…That is a gross overstatement, but it feels like the truth, and is really bumming me out. 

I am of the age where we are demographically told this is all perfectly normal. “Depressing as fuck,” but “normal.” According to what everyone is “supposed to do:” Young twenties is for marrying, mid-to-late is for the baby-making, and once you cross the threshold of your thirties, you suddenly want to repeal all your past decisions…like a Politician…and start looking for exit strategies. 

I get it. 

Marriage is hard. 

I certainly couldn’t do it, and would never be dumb enough to try.

…But a lot of the yous are fairly good at it, seems like. It “wears” well on you…like a tailored suit.  All your little foibles and personal idiosyncrasies, (that might seem totally nut-balls to someone else), are accepted equipment to this person you’ve shared your life and bed with.  They’ve seen you at your pukiest.  They’ve seen you at your sexiest. They’ve been there for births and deaths, know all your secrets, and fears and pains.  The fact you survive this for any extended amount of time, and still come to the conclusion that “alone” is better?…That’s grim.

When I hear, “it just isn’t working out,” with regards to people I care about, it kinda stabs me in my closet romantical parts. I am too ashamed to yell “ouch” about it, cuz then you’d all find me out and stuff.  Instead, I’m sitting here with a current count of five knife wounds, seeping heart-ink.   Because I like you and your families and kids and crazy parent stuffs.  I admire your courage.  I think you’re all totally insane as well, yes, but someone needs to keep “society” moving forward, and better you than me.

…Also, I miss weddings.

I miss the “idea” of weddings.

…I miss the party that comes afterward; the many toastings of free alcohol, the vintage music, bad dancing, and inevitable squabble between new in-laws.  I miss flirting over the food tables, staunchly refusing to join the gladiator fight over the bouquet, downing more glasses of champagne than I intended to, and freely partaking of bad-choice decisions in make-out partners.  (Because everyone looks good in a tux…even your goober brother.)

In my head, it all plays like that movie: “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” Minus Andie MacDowell. (Therefore, only the good parts.)

…So now, not only am I losing my perfectly good matchmakers, crutch-couples, and default Holiday-families…I’m also not being given compensation prizes in the form of “replacement” weddings…which kills the best chance I have to acquire a decent date (and some side-action), for God knows how long.

It’s only fair substitution, really.  If you take one out, the universe should be prepared and obligated to replace it.  Otherwise, who’s going to take pity on all of the forever single friends? 

Who will have us as awkward “thirds” at parties, and introduce us to hot in-law cousins? Who will have tiny people to call us “Aunty,” which we are freely encouraged to hold and snuggle and corrupt, then hand back at day’s end?  Who will invite us for giant home-cooked meals in which it is completely understood we are only responsible to bring a bottle of wine? Or to house sit, and have the kind of two-person income that can afford all the good movie channels, (and maybe a hot tub?)

…Now they’re all gonna be back out here! In the cold, empty world! With me! How is that gonna help?!

…They know more things! They’re more adaptable! And intuitive!  They’re more reasonable people, with deep senses of responsibility and the fierce need to protect their young and rebuild a safe environment for them to grow in.  Now they are “friends” turned vicious Mama and Papa bear on the world…so it’s nothing “personal” or anything, but if there is any “good” to be had or any “decency”…at allwhatsoever…they’re gonna pounce on that shit!  And they will go all Lady-prison-B-movie, ape-shit, in order to achieve it.

…Which leaves me where, exactly?

Now I have no Holidays, no parties, no set-ups, no weddings…and now, even the “free potentials” walking around are gonna be sucked up by “professional” relationship-makers.

I am just screwed.

…And prob’ly never again, in the good way.

Thanks a LOT, inevitable early-thirties and your wishy-washy political exit schemes!

Thanks a lot.

~D

Awards & Benefice

14 Aug

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I’ve been trying to beef up m’readership the past couple of days, and have run into about 5000 ways the internet suggests that you do this.  Mostly it involves registering for a ton of search engines who are willing to throw your blog out there…which as far as I can tell, no one actually frequents, other than to register their blog so that it’ll be thrown out there.

…Also there’s a lot of linking involved.

Everything needs its homesource coding and widgets. Everything comes with addendum requirements and their own strange passwords. Everything wants you to babysit them, get involved in their worlds through a myriad of activities, and  thus gain a reputation, friends and critics.

I have problems just keeping up with Facebook. And still don’t have a Twitter account. 

I fear I am doomed.

Unless I am willing to kill my anonymity (not gonna happen), and make another full time job out of marketing this thing, there is just no way I’m gonna reap the kind of readership I lust after.  Really, it’s just a “number”…more readers don’t necessarily mean any more enjoyment or eye rolling will come from the words I slap up here.  It’s only in my little hypothetical world of pajama-awesome, wherein I can somehow snark my way into making this my actual job, so I can quit the desk one and throw away my alarm clock. 

This just doesn’t happen in real life. 

I know it. 

…I know it’s a Lotto-abnormality of famed-existence. Still, I wanted to at least try.

So there was that.

…In the midst of all this research-and-postings nonsense, I also stumbled on a large number of how-to’s regarding the giving and receiving of Blog Awards.  Apparently, anyone can make one for any reason at any time.  I could (right now) take a picture of a cat coughing up a fur ball, slap a font on it, and BLAMMO! A blogger award is born.  By the truckload, they abound and except for very special circumstances, they are backed by no one, mean nothing, and will get you nowhere further in this life.  But that is not their goal. 

It took me a while to figure it out. 

…Blog Awards are just another fantastical way to market things.  Their acceptance requirements ARE their entire function.  Upon receipt of  one, you are to link to the nominator, link to ten others in a virtual shout-out of delight, and post the widget picture…which links to nothing at all ever…because it isn’t a real thing with a home and purpose at all. 

Blog Awards are the digital version of one gigantic chain letter.  Which is a brilliant way to network, and I have decided I need to win like 50 of them.  Right now. Because THIS kind of marketing actually works.  Know how I know? I’ve been following them all week, have found a whole slew of writers I’m enjoying the hell out of, and would have never found, had I not trusted the fact that “this one guy” (who is hilarious), thinks “this one chick” is too

Good enough for me. 

…I’ll drop by for a visit and read around for a while.  And behold!  Suddenly I find another person who infects me with their dry, and dark good-thinky-humor.  Sold!  Next?

…Well lookit that! She’s “won” an Award too!  Wonder who she likes to read…?

And so on.

…So this is my new goal.  I must needs campaign somehow to achieve a dozen meaningless awards, in hopes that one day…one day not so far from now…I shall be sipping coffee in my underwear on the couch…writing these little epistles for some three million readers, whose mere viewings somehow made me able to quit this job.

I dunno how that works out…eyeballs equalling buckage and all that…but believe me when I tell you, I am totally willing to get to the the bottom of it and find out.

~D

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