Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lady Goes To Cambridge - Cast of Characters

We are going out of town again this weekend. This time headed for Boston. Well, Cambridge really to celebrate MDH's grandmother's 100th birthday. It will be the first time I have ever seen MDH and all of his brothers together in one room.

MDH is the youngest of 5 boys raised by a single mother. You could play that song "One of these things is not like the others" to pick MDH out of a line-up with his family. They all have, in varying degrees of intensity, an element of thuggishness and one of them is an outright thug. MDH is the least thuggish.

MDH is actually the most (only) clean cut in the bunch. He's also the only one to graduate from college, the only one with no children, the only one to stay married longer than 5 years, the only one to have lost his Boston accent, and he is taller than the rest by about 5 inches.

Miami, in his late 50's, is the oldest of the brothers. He's a construction foreman who has never married but has grown children from unplanned pregnancies in his youth coming out of the woodwork. Miami is very family oriented and feels bad that he wasn't there when these kids were growing up so includes them in every event. He calls everyone in the family like clockwork every Sunday.

He is big into sports betting and drinks a lot. He likes to show off and show people a good time but is very demanding to waitstaff in restaurants which makes it difficult to look forward to dining out with him. He gets belligerent if the restaurant doesn't serve Sambuca with a coffee bean in it. He's a bachelor, a traditionalist and a loud boozy blowhard, but his heart is always in the right place. He violated his probation to come to our wedding.

Las Vegas is the postal worker brother we visited recently. He has 3 boys still living in Massachusetts with their mother. Before he moved to Las Vegas he was the primary looker-after-er of Nanny, stopping in at least once a week and doing all of her shopping for her. He may be my favorite of MDH's brothers. He's chivalrous, kind, sentimental and takes great joy in life's simple pleasures like laying around the pool at Caesar's Palace, red wine and thick steaks. He's laid back and a lot of fun to be around. He's also big into sports betting. He brought a date to our wedding.

Syracuse is the brother we have spent the most time with. He came to our house for Thanksgiving last year. He's kind of a geek and into computers so he and I have that in common, but that's where it ends. He is a huge Star Trek fan. He also talks about inappropriate things, like how hot Asian women are or what a bitch his ex-wife is, in front of me and his 16 year old daughter. He's one of those guys that says everything at the top of his lungs so that everyone can hear how clever he thinks he is. I will never think a story about how he cussed out a telemarketer is funny. Whatever it is you are discussing he is convinced he knows more about it than you do. Even having said all that, I don't dislike him. Not in the least. He's kinda funny and a terrific father. I adore his daughter. They drove to our wedding all the way from Syracuse.

Knucklehead is 3 years older than MDH and his polar opposite. He's missing teeth, brain cells, moral fiber, and money for bail. He is completely charm-free. He scares the shit out of me and I have asked MDH to never leave me alone with him. Ever. He was not only not offended by this but agreed that it was good and sound judgement. He has been especially destructive to MDH's mother who calls everyone crying and asking for bail or money to pay Knucklehead's attorney. He is 46 years old and lives with their mother in Cambridge in her tiny retirement community efficiency apartment. He's not supposed to be there and could cause her to get kicked out. In fact everyone is waiting for it to happen. He was invited but chose not to attend our wedding because no one would pay his way. He did not RSVP.

The whole situation and thinking about all of them together makes my brain hurt.
The last time all 5 brothers were together Miami and Knucklehead got into a big fight and Knucklehead came after Miami with a knife and threatened to kill them all in their sleep.

Oh the drama.

Miami is the one that has organized Nanny's party. He's an over the top grand gesture kind of guy so MDH has had to remind him several times that it's a party for a 100 year old woman and should really be kept low-key. Especially because Nanny herself has declared that she "hates a fuss", meaning loud music, noisy children and too much commotion. Miami has been calling us at all hours with suggestions for the party and to make incoherent demands. He's invited Ted Kennedy apparently. No one has any idea why.

There is a possibility that Knucklehead won't show up and in these situations that means Ma won't show up either in protest of the terrible way her other sons treat him.

I know this about Miami: he is one of those guys that always has a hidden agenda. You could be giving him a ride to a party and he'll ask you to stop at the bank on the way, and then he'll remember that he's left his bank book at his friend Mikey the Cat's house and would you mind waiting outside in the car while he runs in real quick to get it. Thirty minutes later you'll knock on Mikey The Cat's door only to discover from Mikey's mom that Miami and Mikey have left for the Tavern through the back door. Three hours later Miami shows up at the party pissed drunk and pissed off with you for leaving without him.

Or, on the other hand, Miami is likely to rent a Corvette or some other show-off impractical type of vehicle and then expect us to cart around everyone in his entourage since there's no room in his car.

Miami once invited MDH to the Sugar Bowl or something in New Orleans. He flew down there only to find out minutes before the game that Miami didn't really have tickets. So we're not even 100% certain a hall has been rented, etc. There may not even be a party.

Between Miami and Knucklehead you don't know what can happen, but it's guaranteed to be either annoying or life threatening.

I'm telling you all of these things in preparation for the post I am anticipating writing when I get back. I can't wait to see how it all shakes out.

UPDATE: 11-01-07 5:16am (Couldn't sleep anymore.) Syracuse called last night. Seems Miami is planning a big night out with the boys (his brothers, sons and hometown pals) on Saturday after the birthday party and thinks that I'm going to babysit all of the children. He just assumes I will do this? He has never been more wrong.

That's not why I couldn't sleep. I mean it's irritating and rude, but not worth losing sleep over. I just couldn't remember whether or not I paid my student loan payment this month. I did. Of course I did.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #9

Wacky Elaborate Facial Hair
I realize that this man has worked very hard growing and maintaining his fantastical, over the top, beardy creation. But why? It looks like spider webs, molded into the shape of one big giant spider, are attacking his face.

I'm not a huge fan of beards anyway because to me it's just one more thing for food to get caught in. Sometimes I get a little skeeved out if I happen to see a man eating who just has regular non-giant-spidery kind of beard.*

When I look at the photo at the top I don't so much admire the artistry of the man's award winning facial coif, but think to myself, "Gross. That must smell terrible and how on earth would you eat an ice cream cone?"

Speaking of gross...

Fart! The Game
My friends and I usually play Taboo or Cranium when we get together for games. Playing cards is not outside the realm of possibilities either, I mean I'm from Ohio where nearly everyone plays Euchre. This farting game however, is indeed outside of the realm of possibilities at any party given or attended by me. I'm pretty sure there's a reason why we limit our entertainment choices in this way. When your host pulls this game out of the hall closet it's time to grab your Tupperware and say your good-byes. You don't have to go home but you can't stay there.

If any of you reading this are clicking off of my blog to Google this product with the intention of buying it, we can still be friends, but please take me off of your Christmas gift list immediately. Have you people learned nothing from the title of this weekly post?

And since things have regressed to this level...

The Butt Bank
As if it isn't offensive enough already - it makes noises too. Loud and gross noises evidently.

I do not recommend Googling "Butt Bank".

*I'm not saying I hate all beards (or the men too lazy to shave them). But I do intensely dislike sloppy beards where the moustache hairs hang down over or too close to the mouth, especially when food is being shoveled into said mouth and gravy/grease/ice cream/pudding/whatever is getting sucked up into or floating of the surface of the sloppy beard. Then the dude licks it. Aw it's just terrible.

It always seems to be that one red-faced old drunk guy too with the sad tiny gray pony tail, the sunburned freckled pate, and the t-shirt that says "Free Moustache Rides". Dude, who are you kidding? Go sober up and shampoo your face.

Blog Fodder or Lack Thereof

I've run out of blog fodder today. So instead of not posting anything (probably the smarter option) I have prepared in advance this garbage post consisting of one of those annoying 20 questions type of things. I've a feeling it sucks and is a royal cop out.

Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?
Why the fuck would I do that? Does it work?

What's the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?
Once I dated someone six years younger than me for way longer than necessary. I thought he was just inexperienced and naive but it turns out he was dumber than a hay rake.

Ever been in a car wreck?
Several, but only one was my fault.

Were you popular in high school?
I was practically invisible and that was all right by me.

Have you ever been on a blind date?
Several, but only one was my fault.
Actually I met MDH on - we could be one of those barfy couples in their commericials.

Are looks important?
In the arena of love looks are not as important as shared values and pheromones. In the arena of life in general I think it's important to look and smell as if you care at least a little bit about your personal grooming.

Do you have any friends that you've known for 10 years or more?
My friend Bob who I met when I was a sophomore in high school. We're not that close anymore, but we are still good friends and keep in contact.

By what age would you like to be married?
Most of my life I would have said never, but I finally tied the knot at age 35.

Does the number of people a person's slept with affect your view of them?
After negative test results for AIDS only if it's in my face and drunk dialing my house on a regular basis and calling me a whore. Otherwise the sleep number is not a factor.

Are you a good tipper?
I am an excellent tipper and woe unto those who dine with me and deny altogether or tip a paltry 15% when fine service has been provided.

What's the most you have spent for a haircut?
$100 American dollars plus 20% tip.

Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?
Not as a student, but later as an adult.

Have you ever peed in public?
Not on purpose. I'm not sure it's physically possible for me to do such things. I tend to freeze up if the gaps on the doors of public bathroom stalls are too wide.

What song do you want played at your funeral?
Lick It Up. Just kidding probably something equally inappropriate though.

What would your last meal be before getting executed?
Only if I get to cook it myself. I would make chicken fried steak (the secret is to use a lean pork chop that you have pounded the crap out of until it is flat as a pancake), mashed potatoes (I leave the skins on) with lots of real butter, corn on the cob with lime juice, salt and lots of real butter, and of course this meal has to have biscuits with flour gravy. I love this meal, but never make it because it could kill me. If I'm going to be executed anyway I'll probably have second helpings.

Beatles or Stones?
Why do I have to choose? See? This is why I'm agnostic.

If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who would it be?
Someone who is terminally ill and in pain and wants to die anyway.

Beer, wine or hard liquor?
Yes please. If you make me choose I choose red wine.

Do you have any phobias?
I'm agoraphobic and frightened of large open spaces. Being in too small of a boat on the ocean gives me a panic attack. Also can't snorkel or swim if I can't see the bottom. I'm also claustrophobic but not panic inducing, more aggressively irritated in large crowds of jostling people. Riding a crowded subway is infuriating to me. People behave like such animals and I need to maintain a rather large perimeter of personal space. I used to also be afraid of the bathtub in our old house. It was one of those giant jetted tubs and the house was really old and I was afraid that if I filled the tub with water and got into it the weight would make it crash thru the kitchen ceiling.

Jesus, I'm a mess.

What are your plans for the future?
I'm really more of a live in the moment kind of gal. But we are always planning some kind of travel so will probably be heading off to Europe again soon. I'm trying to convince MDH that Venice is fantastic in the winter after New Year's but before Carnivale. We'll see. I guess I should get a job too.

Do you walk around the house naked?
No. Because of my fucked up ankle it's really uncomfortable for me to be barefoot. I've always got on shoes. Also I have huge out of control boobs so I'm usually wearing a sports bra when I'm comfy at home. When I got out in public I always wear an underwire. So there's a vision, a middled aged women wearing nothing but sneakers and a sports bra. Well, I always wear a watch too.

If you were an animal what would you be?
A big braying ass.

What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?
Hang up my keys on the knobby thing behind the back door and ask the cat in the most sickening baby talk imaginable if he missed his mommy. It's disgusting and yet I continue to do it.

Do you like horror or comedy?
Comedy. Violence really upsets me.

Are you missing anyone?
All my Columbus friends.

Where do you want to live when you are old?
Paris, France is our current top contender for dream retirement locales. France has terrific healthcare and the best food in the entire world.

Who is the person you can count on the most?
It's a tie between my husband and my best friend. That sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer just waiting to happen.

If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be?
Joe Strummer

What did you dream last night?
Remodeling a basement into a bedroom. Really. I have no idea why but I dream of remodeling projects quite frequently.

What is your favorite sport to watch?
A tie between soccer and curling. Soccer because the rules are easy to understand and MDH and I used to have season tickets to the Columbus Crew MLS soccer team. Curling because it's just weird and I love the looks of intense concentration as people push a bowling ball across ice with a broom.

Are you named after anyone?

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
Red wine or sometimes I enjoy a nice mojito, but it's hard to find a good one.

Non alcoholic drink?
Water or iced tea.

Have you ever been in love?
Lots of times.

Do you sing in the shower?
I sing everywhere.

Have you ever been arrested?

What is your favorite Holiday?
July 4th

Would you ever get plastic surgery?
Maybe. In fact I probably should.

Have you ever caught a fish?
Yes. When I was 10 I went fishing with my uncle Al and kept catching the same stupid bluegill over and over again. The poor things head and mouth were all torn up from my clumsy hands ripping out the hook so many times. It was repulsive and I've only fished one other time after that when I bought fly fishing lessons for MDH and I fished for about 5 minutes. I had a minor freak out when a fish nibbled on my lure and I stopped immediately.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hurray! I'm For The Other Team

Last night MDH called me into the den to watch a very amusing highlight of the Patriots game against the Washington Redskins. He was all worked up because it seems the Redskins were stupidly foiled by Mike Vrabel. I learned that Mr. Vrabel is not often brought in to participate in the games except for a certain play and that the Redskins were too stupid to recognize that historically without exception, whenever Mr. Vrabel is brought in for that particular play a touchdown is scored by the Patriots. This is exactly what occurred in the highlight that MDH played for me.

He had to explain all these things to me before I was able to comprehend. He added enthusiastically, "It's the equivalent of giving the ball to the Fridge on the one yard line!! You have to know exactly what is going to happen!", chuckling and shaking his head with bemused disbelief. He may as well said, "It's like putting the soup on your head with a ball point!!."

Sports talk means nothing to me.

I think he needs more man friends.

The poor man has had a sports boner all week because the Red Sox are in the World Series and it was super chubby yesterday because not only did we have the World Series going on but also a Patriots football game. We drove like speed was going out of style to get back to Michigan in order to be home in time to start recording sports.

My poor darling is stuck with me as his sidekick and I have never given two shits about sports of any kind. The fact that he hunted me down to have me share in the excitement of a football situation has me slightly worried that I may have led him on Saturday night when I watched the baseball game with him at Amy and Ted's house.

Maybe he was enjoying the game too much to notice that most of my comments were in the neighborhood of about how ugly the Rockies uniforms are (seriously they look like barbershop smocks) and how the one batter guy has a moustache that looks like a 1970's porn star bush. The main thing I came away with from watching the game was fabric marks carved into my face from the sofa cushion and a case of the giggles from the name Coco Crisp.

Here are some other observations:
  • Manny Ramiriez seems quite full of himself. He performed some kind of grandstanding slide into home plate and then declared himself safe. I'm pretty sure that's not his job. He also has some kind of whacked out do rag that I swear to god I could smell from here.

  • Until a few minutes ago I thought his name was Manny Rodriguez.

  • The Rockies uniforms are bad as I have mentioned, and when Ted explained to me that their team colors were purplish blue and black, my response was, "You mean like a bruise?"

  • The Rockies have no brown fans. Where are the brown people in Colorado? I know they have some but they didn't seem to be at the baseball game Saturday night. It was a sea of pasty white faces in that stadium, except for the one weirdo who was clearly confused and went to the WORLD SERIES WEARING A HALLOWEEN COSTUME. Did you see him? That guy dressed as the Green Giant? What a tool.

  • The Red Sox fans always look either bored or angry. I know that they have been through a tough time for the past hundred years or whatever, but let's try to lighten up a bit. MDH is guilty of this too. Sometimes he won't even watch the games for fear his enthusiasm will jinx the team.

  • Whoever is in charge of these events should probably have auditioned the musical acts who sing the national anthem. At least get these poor tone deaf yokels some kind of hearing device so that they can be sort of on key.

  • Until about 3 weeks ago I thought the Colorado Rockies were just mountains.

  • There is something about the nature of grand slams, touch down passes, corner kicks or otherwise amazing sports history making events that makes me urgently have to pee, get a drink or otherwise walk in front of the TV. I can't seem to stop myself and may change my name to Hey Lady Down Front.

  • Joe Paterno should put a comb in his back pocket and run it through his hair sometimes. I realize that he is a football coach and this post has primarily been about baseball. I'm not quite that stupid. It's just that the boys were also watching the OSU/ Penn State game earlier in the evening and Mr. Paternos hair looked a fright. I figured I'd mention it while I was at it.

  • Oh god the spitting. The spitting. If you are in the habit of spitting that frequently do you sometimes forget yourself and spit indoors too? I have never seen a female athlete spit so I'm not entirely sure it's necessary.

PS - here is the update on the job sitch - NA DA. MDH's interview in Cincinnati went well and he looked like a million bucks, but he was convinced he is too fat to work for this company and joked that the rejection letter probably beat us home yesterday. I am very gullable and believed him.

I've been out of town all weekend and am hoping to hear something today or tomorrow about my own career development. I'll keep you posted.

PPS - In your face Rockies.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'd Like To Thank My Parents For Making Me Possible

I don't take compliments very well and never have.

Enormous thanks and air kisses are going out to Miss Family Adventure of The Viking Conquest for giving me the Blog Friend Forever award:

"presented to awesome blog owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their blog posts are interesting and worth reading and keep their readers looking forward to each and every post."

I'm embarassed ashamed that I haven't yet acknowledged another award given to me earlier this month by the Guv'ner on her Psychotic Secretary blog. I have bad manners, but I'll plead the difficulty taking a compliment excuse here. The fabulous Psychotic Secretary bestowed me with the "I'm Fabulous" award.

Writing as a means of expression is extremely new to me so I'm flattered more than I can say. I haven't written anything other than some technical manuals and text for power point presentations since I wrote captions and shit for my high school year book back in 1985.

In light of all the recent flattery I may soon have to break down and admit that I totally rock, but until then I'll just say what any lady worth her pearls would say when given a sincere compliment:

Oh, this old thing? I got it on sale.

Seriously guys, thanks a lot.

In turn I'm going to reciprocate and give both of these awards to Churlita of Churlish Figure fame. I look forward to reading her blog every day AND she is one fabulous lady who knows how to enjoy a cocktail.

Ass Fatties

I'm always trying to expand my horizons and learn new things. You may know this about me already. And what is the point of knowledge or wisdom if it is not shared? So in the spirit of enlightenment I give you the new vocabulary word I learned this weekend from my poor dear old best friend Amy. I'm pretty sure she made it up, but I'm hoping that it will catch on.

Typical of me it is not what you may think it is and comes with a long-winded back story. Skip to the end if you can't commit. I have highlighted the good part in red for the skippers among you. And by the way - it's totally disgusting and you may be better off not knowing.

Amy has recently remarried happily to a lovely man who adores her completely and of whom MDH and I wholly approve. We'll call him Ted. Prior to this marriage, Amy and her young daughter, who we'll call Little Baby Lion (LBL for short), have lived for the last 2 years alone in girlish bliss. Toilet seats permanently in the down position and tidy, tidy, tidy.

Prior to that they lived with her now ex-husband Assface, who was an anal retentive, overly tidy and organized son of a cunt. The toilet seats were permanently down and all about the house tidy, tidy, tidy. In fact their home was never tidied to Assface's full satisfaction so when she had had all of the bullshit and anal retentiveness she could take, Amy and young LBL moved out.

I don't mean to trivialize her divorce. There were a hundred more reasons for the split besides his aggressive disapproval of her cleaning style. We don't need to get into them here. At least not today. I'm being kind by describing Assface as a son of a cunt.

When Amy married Ted this past June she and young LBL moved into his house with his 2 teenage boys, M is 13 and K is 15. The three males had been living alone together without female supervision for a very long time. The way that men who were raised by women who wait on them hand and foot and their subsequent progeny is very different from the way that my dear Amy (and me too by the way) had been living for her entire life. The boys lived like little piggies and Amy has had to swoop in and the muck the stalls out, so to speak before it was fit for her and LBL to live in.

I walked into the newly blended family's home for the first time on Saturday night ready for anything after the nightmare stories she had been telling me since moving there in June. A pantry full of books and papers and several years worth of greasy stalactites growing from the roof of the microwave, just to name a few. To my surprise I found the house looking and smelling totally fresh and fine. In fact her stylish furniture and decor makes the place look great.

She said now that the house is clean and organized she's working on new behaviors for all the boys, Ted included. She described it as living with 3 people who don't have any fingers or fine motor skills. Paws for hands, if you will. Objects are dropped, thrown and left to rot. Coats are tossed on top of other coats hanging neatly in closets, or thrown onto the closet floor. Wet, sweaty clothes removed and left mouldering on the carpet or sofa. Wet washcloths wadded into moldy balls. The list of disgusting boy habits goes on and on.

As she was describing her new lifestyle as wife and stepmother she suddenly blurted out, "and don't get me started on the ass fatties", and then she answered her chiming cell phone, leaving me in suspense for about 6 minutes while she chatted.

When she got off the phone I was nearly bursting into flames. What the fuck is an "ass fattie"? Don't leave me hanging like this please, please, please.

An "ass fattie" is the nickname that Amy has given to the errant pieces of toilet paper that get rolled into marijuana-cigarette shaped tubes from aggressive paw like ass wiping. Certain brands of toilet paper, such as Charmin or White Cloud, increase the likelihood of the occurrence of ass fatties.

I should qualify here that she has no issues with the ass fatties as such, and in fact acknowledges having experienced them on occasion herself. (I have no comment and wish to plead the 5th.) She does however take great offense to having to pick other peoples ass fatties up off of the bathroom floor.

Her argument is persuasive and I too now believe that one should be aware of the existence of one's own ass fatties and dispose of them properly before they are seen by your stepmother.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chutes and Ladders

Soon I may have to change the wording on my banner from "Shrill Reports From A Michigan Housewife" to "Shrill Reports From A Gainfully Employed Lady With A Housekeeper" or maybe just "Shrill Reports" because I really do feel like screaming.

The recruiter called me yesterday and wanted to know what in the world I had done in my interview Monday afternoon. Apparently I knocked their socks off and they want to hire me right away. There is some weirdness to iron out such as the fact that the project I interviewed for has been cancelled. I kind of had a feeling that something was up because the interview was less than 30 minutes and the woman who interviewed me suggested that I look for other jobs in the company.

I asked her point blank if she meant that I wasn't suitable for the job. I had to ask. I mean I was sitting 3 feet away from her and had poured myself into a pair of Spanx (the ones that go all the way up to your boobs - sooo attractive), worn a suit and full makeup so don't bloody tell me I tarted myself all up for nothing. She got all weird and like, "NO!, No no. Not at all I think you are amazing and your skills are perfect." So I'm guessing she knew then that the project was cancelled and decided to interview me anyway.

The recruiter said that they want me but are trying to decide on exactly the right position/project team to put me into.

In the time allotted I did a lot of sock knocking. I was impeccably dressed, my resume was perfect, my manners were perfect. My breath smelled like rainbows and my palms were completely dry. I gave her the spiel I'd practiced about how much I love working with data and being able to transform the data and make it tell a story. I may have lead her to believe that I confuse pivot tables with porn. She was impressed. She was bowled over when I talked about If/Then statements and my love affair with project development.

My recruiter said I'd written the best post interview thank you letter she had ever read and asked me if she can borrow the format for future reference.

Speaking of references - also impeccable - thanks guys!

Things are looking up for me and I expect to be hired by the end of the month.

Funnily enough, I'm writing this post from MDH's laptop in a hotel room in Columbus. Well, that's not funny, but the fact that he has an interview tomorrow morning for an amazing, very well paying dream-type job in Ohio the week I knock an employers socks off is. Well, that's not really funny either. I may find out in the same week that I'm finally employed in Michigan and that my husband is taking a job in Ohio and we are moving again. I think the word I'm looking for here is tragic.





Thursday, October 25, 2007

An Urgent Letter To My Viewing Public

Dear People Who See Me,

After much consideration I have decided that it is in the best interest for myself and for you, those who must look at me when I'm in the grocery store or pumping gas (as these are really the only times that I leave the house and actually get out of the car) if I break down and buy bigger pants. I've been hovering in that range between sizes where the smaller size that I normally wear is now too tight and we are all at risk of a possible muffin-top sighting.

Don't panic.

Remain calm.

New pants will be purchased as soon as possible and in the meantime I can assure you that I am doing everything I can to keep us all safe.

I must also issue this warning. I am still not so fat as to perfectly fit into the next larger size - so a belt will be worn at all times. As you may or may not be aware I find wearing belts to be very uncomfortable and you will witness much fidgeting and prodding going on in my waist area. If there is occasion where the thought of wearing a belt and fidgeting and prodding myself all day is unbearable I will leave the house sans belt. In which case you shall be witness to continual annoying pant-pulling-up motions.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, but again I assure you I'm doing everything I can to remedy the situation, but there is only so much spinach salad and brown rice a lady can take in a week.

Also please rest assured that no matter how fat my fat ass becomes I will never force you to have to gaze upon it covered in stretchy pants. I save that pleasure for my husband when we are safely away from your gaze alone in our home.

Kindest Regards & Best Wishes
The Lady

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm Scintilla Goddammit!

The last time I dressed up for Halloween was 1999 - and here is a picture I found today. I had been dating MDH for about 3 weeks and being seriously smitten with him was more open-minded about doing things I don't normally do, like attend sporting events and wear costumes in public.

MDH dressed as "The Munchies" by making a poncho out of a red and white checked table cloth and gluing snack food to himself, and I, having drawn my typical costume blank, am supposed to be "Eurotrash". I was cute indeed, but what a stupid fuckin' costume. By the end of the evening MDH was picked clean of his snacks and ended up being the most popular guy at the party. I, on the other hand, became belligerent to anyone who looked even remotely like they were going to ask me what I was supposed to be. I eventually just started making shit up or naming characters from Fellini films.

Why have I drawn on his face (so artfully) using Paint? He has asked me not to put up pictures of him showing his full face. Besides I'm still a little miffed about how he hogged the office this week.

I'll be out for awhile as we are leaving tomorrow for the thriving metropolis known as Columbus, Ohio to visit some friends and take care of some business. Tomorrow night MDH and I are having dinner with our favorite couple-friends Dan & Steph. Then Friday night Amy, Becky and I are recreating Girl's Night, without the smokes. I'm beside myself with glee!

Becky, if you are reading this Dan will be attending Girl's Night and you can yell at me about it later. Just like old times.

UPDATE 10-24-07 2:04 PM: I'm having second thoughts about defacing my husbands photograph and am now torn about whether or not it is more disrespectful to deface his picture or to put his un-marred picture up after he asked me not to. At this point though, when I look at the defaced picture up top it is making me laugh so I think I'll leave it up.

UPDATE 10-24-07 2:15 PM: I suddenly remembered that this picture was already on the internet somewhere else - therefore all bets are off with the face. So here is the real picture and I'll leave the defaced picture up because it's still making me laugh. I win all the way round!

UPDATE 10-24-07 2:53 PM: I've danced the hokey-pokey with this post and put it up and taken it down over and over again. This is it - I'm putting it back up, leaving MDH's face drawn upon and taking his word for it when he said he'd never read my blog anyway. You'll just have to take my word for it that he looked really cute that night.

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #8

Since my darling has been working from home a lot this week and thereby hogging our home office and denying me the non-stop, all ages, open bar, all hours access to my computer that I normally enjoy, I have decided to post my Wednesday feature a little early. Otherwise I may not have a chance to post it at all. As he is currently wearing the pants and paying all the bills, I have to get in here while I can.

Now, onward with gross, out of control consumerism:

Protective Bug Top & Pants
Where the fuck do you live? And what are you doing outside if you think you need this outfit? Obviously the world has come to it's end and the mosquitoes have finally taken over because of all the standing water in your damn dirty birdbath and your neighbor who never emptied the baby pool all summer. You should really just stay inside.

Flowbee Haircutting System

I already have a "system" for cutting my hair and it's called:

"Make An Appointment At the Salon & Have A Professional Do It Because I Give A Shit About How I Look"

I was surprised to see this product is still in existence because it can only mean that people are still buying it. The photograph and model are really doing nothing to make the Flowbee more appealing to anyone. She looks as if it's taking every ounce of energy she has left in her body to grimace. It's a similar expression to the one I have made when I accidentally rolled my hair up in the car window.

BTW: The settings on the Flowbee apparently include Short, Medium, & Krusty the Clown.

Military Car Floor Mats
I don't like to get into politics, but in light of all the rah-rah support the troops hootenanny going on for the last several years and the war in Iraq I find this item infuriating.
Yes. By all means wipe your muddy, sludgy feet on a symbol of our brave men and women risking their lives for "freedom" overseas. Fuck it. I'm going out right this second and burning a flag.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dodging A Bullet

I posted the other day about how I don't like to answer the phone. Well I'm sure it's no stretch for you to imagine that I don't like to answer the door either. In fact I dodged a huge bullet yesterday by following my standard format of never answering the door. It was 9:30am. I had just woken up. I was wearing only 3 small items of clothing; a very small t-shirt, very large underpants and a wristwatch. My hair was a scary fright wig and I had the previous day's mascara smudged around my eyes. (My husband is a lucky devil to be sure.)

I hadn't yet had my tea.

They knocked which MDH always says is a clear sign that it is someone of experience who is up to no good because that is what they teach you to do when you are learning the art of the door to door pitch. Don't ring the bell. Knock. MDH, a lifelong sales and marketing man, refers to this principle as Cold Calling 101.

I knew they could hear me ferreting about and then suddenly stop in my tracks the second I heard the knock because when I think that I am alone I pound around the house with all the delicacy of a water buffalo. I also happened to be very near the front door when they knocked. It was a close call because we have a stained glass front door and I was standing almost directly in front of it where I could have easily been seen.

It was a showdown.

I knew that they knew that I was home.

They knocked again and I stayed put. Frozen in mid step until I looked up at my ratty haired half naked reflection in the mirror over the sideboard and realized I was being a chump.

This is my house and I will sport about in it wearing whatever I please and y'all can stand out there until the rapture comes. I'm not answering the door.

They knocked a third time. What great balls you have, whoever you are! It was at this point that I became seriously indignant and decided to just continue doing what I was doing pre-knock and stomped past the front door to the bathroom where I had originally been headed.

I steeled myself knowing that there was now the possibility that they had seen me or at the very least heard or seen my movement in front of the door. I decided that if they had big enough balls to knock a fourth time I would give them exactly what they deserved. I mentally prepared to open the door in my underpants and start telling them all about atheism and godlessness and how rewarding it can be to have an open mind and think or say whatever I damn well please with no fear of repercussions from an angry blasphemed god, à la the video I had seen on Some Guy's blog (in a post called Devangelism from Sept. 2007).

In my crazy head I was really getting into it. I started to adjust my clothes so that my shirt got shorter, my undies got larger and my boobs were even more out of control, so I'd look even crazier than I knew I already did.

There was no fourth knock, but thankfully I came to my senses before it came down to that anyway.

I somehow realized in the haze of my un-caffeinated state that I didn't know who the fuck was out there. It could be my sweet neighbor, Patty with a flat tire or her even sweeter teen-age daughter locked out of the house or something. It could be the gas meter reader dude whom I've been avoiding all summer. It could be well, anyone.

I put on a bra and some jeans, swiped a cotton ball doused with make-up remover under my eyes and reluctantly, sheepishly opened the door.

There was nobody there, but this little booklet was rolled up in the screen door handle:

Monday, October 22, 2007

iPod Strikes Again

Interviews make me nervous. I'm pretty sure that it is normal and correct that they should. My 3pm interview gave me the opportunitiy to be nervous about it all damn day. My husband calling me all damn day asking me questions about my preparedness and quizzing me makes me want to stick a fork in his eye. I also think this is a normal and correct response to being hounded like a naughty 5th grader. My poor darling, he can't help himself. He's the dramatic one in the family. I'm the stoic one.

If you were to see me, like him you'd think I didn't really care. I'm pretty composed and self contained most of the time. I'm like that when I'm drunk too. You probably wouldn't guess that I was hammered. But trust me, just because I'm not pacing the floors doesn't mean I'm not nervous. In here, in my blathering head there is non stop chattering between my ears. I'm nervous.

Wouldn't you know it that my iPod once again read my mind and knew exactly the song I needed to hear while I was driving to my interview?

Zoloft, by Ween

Here is a video of it so that you too may enjoy the tranquility and peace of mind only a song about drugs can give you.

Deep Thoughts

Today's post requires you to know 4 very personal facts about me.

1. I am adopted. My mother, who I bitch about in many posts, although I love her awful, is not my biological mother. My father is my biological father, but the woman I refer to as my mom legally adopted me when she married my father. Dad and I were a package deal. I was 2 when they married and went on their honeymoon with them. That previous sentence is not a fact you need to know for this story, it's merely a cute tidbit of Lady trivia...

2. My sister, the daughter my father and adopted mother had together when I was 3, was born with Down's Syndrome. She lived to the age of 15 (due to the many heart problems that can be part of the "syndrome") but until her death remained intellectually somewhere between 3 and 4. My parents had genetic testing done after she was born and were told that they would never have a "normal" child together. So my sister and me were it for them, kid-wise.

3. Today it's nearly unheard of, but in the 70's it was not uncommon for children with "defects" such as Down's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or Autism to be institutionalized. There was much turmoil among our extended family because my parents chose to keep their child at home and raise her themselves with as much outside help as was available at the time. My sister was never hidden away or a source of shame as some in our family believed she should be.

4. My sister was the joy of all of our lives and made every day worthwhile. Eventually even the malcontents in the family were won over by her brand of crazy loving charms and all of people who had argued for her to be sent away ended up apologizing to my parents sooner or later.

And now on to our story...

My parents had only slightly different expectations for each of us. I was expected to be smart, pretty, and nice, in exactly that order. My sister was expected to be able to memorize her phone number and address, and be pretty and nice. My mother's biggest fear for my sister was that her public behaviour would be ugly and nobody would want to be around her or us as a family. As a result, my sister had impeccable table manners. (I on the other hand was constantly falling short of expectations and was once banned from the dinner table for burping "Please pass the salt, daddy.")

My mother's expectations for my sister drastically changed the day she found out about a man named Leslie Lemke. Leslie Lemke had autism and CP, was blind and brain damaged, but was discovered one night by his adoptive mother playing Tchaikovsky's Concerto no. 1 on the piano after having heard it on TV earlier that day. Turns out the kid was a savant and had been harboring secret talents all those years. He had perfect pitch and could play any song after hearing it once. Cloris Leachman played his mom in the movie of the week.

Secretly my mother started to look for signs of the savant in my sister. She never said a word about it to anyone else. She told me years later that at the time she would have these vivid dreams in which my sister would talk to her in full sentences and they would have long beautiful conversations. She dreamed my sister could read music, play the guitar and sing. In each of these dreams my mother was able to pull some magic trigger or lift a curtain to reveal these hidden talents and release my sister to the world. She could never remember when she woke up what it was that she had done to free my sister.

These dreams must have been very frustrating for my mom. She was fiercely proud of my sister and would not allow other people to feel sorry for her or help her with tasks in which she appeared to be struggling like zipping up her jacket or tying her shoes. "Don't help her, she's knows how to do this", she would say. We would stand and wait as long as it took for my sister to accomplish these things on her own. She didn't want the help anyway, she'd say "I not a baby. I do it."

One summer evening my family was all together on our back patio while my dad was grilling dinner. My mom and my sister were sitting together on one of those cheap fold-up chaise lounges. Mom was laying down and my sister was leaning against her with her head resting on mom's chest. I was about 13 and my sister was about 10. Mom and I were talking, I don't remember what about when my sister piped in (I think she was feeling left out) and said, clear as a bell;

"Mommy I think in my head."

My dad turned around from his grilling and we all stared at her.

My mom took a long time to answer and finally said, "Well, what do you think about my love?"

Regardless of expectations I think we had all at some point wondered what she thought about and I for one, could hardly wait for the answer.

To my delight and my mothers disappointment she matter of factly said;

"Monkeys and birds."

At the time I thought this was a fantastic answer but had no idea that my mother seriously believed this was the moment when my sister's genius was sure to reveal itself. In my mind that was genius and it still is. Today my mom sees this incident in a more positive light. At the time she was very upset as she realized that my sister didn't possess any savant-ness.

Now in our family we refer to day dreaming or general mental drifting, affectionately as Monkeys and Birds.

Up top is a picture of my sister and me wearing matching double pony tails and outfits, hand sewn by our mother. We both have crooked bangs. I'm wearing my Clint Eastwood squint as per usual. If I could I would go back in time and explain to this child why she must demand sunglasses and maybe even show her a picture of her 40 year old self getting botox.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Creamed Corn + Pie = Love

I mentioned in an earlier post that I screen all calls from my mom. Well, that was only partially true. I screen all calls - period. MDH is much friendlier and nicer than me and eagerly makes every effort to pick up on the first ring without ever looking at the caller id. I don't know how he can do that. I haven't got the strength.

As much as I enjoy caller id I certainly don't need it. Before there was caller id I had just an answering machine and I let the machine pick up every call. Before I had an answering machine I would simply let the phone ring and ring and ring because frankly I didn't give a shit who was calling. Back in the day, when I had room mates my bad attitude about answering the phone caused quite a lot of ugly rows as I'm sure you can imagine.

When I lived alone I often kept the phone unplugged for glorious days at a stretch. Now that I am married compromises must be made so if MDH wants the phone answered he must answer it. If MDH answers the phone and it is for me and don't feel like talking to that person then he must tolerate a seething, tight-lipped glare from me as I take the unwanted call. Compromise.

The truth is, even if I like you, with very few exceptions I probably don't want to talk to you on the phone. My close friends know this about me and don't seem offended, but that's probably because they are the few people that I actually ever want to talk to. They know who they are. (As if that's hard to figure out. If you call me and I answer the phone you're in.)

If I am related to you then I don't want to talk to you on the phone ever for any reason. This is especially true if I am related to you and you are over the age of 70. It's not because I don't love you. I love you guys, I really do, but I can't talk to you on the phone because you are all hard of hearing and bugass crazy.

One morning last week when the phone rang to my surprise I saw my Uncle Dan's name on the caller id with a Michigan area code. He is my dads brother and in his early 80's. His call was surprising for two reasons. #1 Because the last I'd heard he'd been living in Pompano Beach, wedged between my crazy aunts in a Villages wannabe condo complex. (My 2 crazy aunts live one house away from each other and Dan was silly enough to buy the house in between them) And #2 because not only had I not seen my Uncle Dan and his wife Aunt P for a couple of years but he had never once in my entire life called me. It was just plain weird so I let the machine pick up for fear that someone had died.

When I finally listened to the message it was sweet and lovely, albeit slightly tedious and certainly making me feel all guilty for not picking up the phone. Damn you sweet old people. His message said that he and Aunt P had moved back to Michigan last spring but he didn't call until now because he had fallen down the basement steps of their new condo and broken a couple of ribs and hurt his knee, then he developed pneumonia (from the broken rib) and had his pancreas removed (yeah, more spooky, I found this out after I wrote a post called Potato Chip Pancreas, I'm haunted that way) and was calling me now because he is finally feeling better and wanted to say hello and see when we can come visit them.

I called him back right away and MDH and I made plans to visit them today. And so we did. We got up at 7:30 on a Saturday morning and drove 2 hours to Southern Michigan on a gorgeous fall day.

I had forgotten how good it can feel to be fussed over. My own parents don't really make a fuss over me. Even when I haven't seen them for over a year my mom is still very likely to point to the fridge and tell me to make myself a sandwich when I get hungry. This is probably why I don't particularly like being fussed over. I'm just not used to it and it makes me feel weird.

Aunt P fixed a huge supper for us. We ate at 3:30pm because she and Uncle Dan go to bed at like 5.

Aunt P made under-seasoned salisbury steak with runny brown gravy from a little paper packet, instant mashed potatoes the consistency of kindergarten paste and canned creamed corn.

I have not eaten these things since I was in elementary school and was given 50 cents each day to dine in the school cafeteria. These things tasted terrible but at the same time it was all so marvelous and I felt so loved. She made peanut butter pie from a box mix for dessert. I cried a little on the drive home. I was overwhelmed.

Are they bugass crazy? Yes. Aunt P spent the entire day looking for a pink, flip-flop shaped flyswatter that was never more than 2 feet from her hand. She would swat and kill yellow jackets that kept getting into the house every time she opened the back door to flip a dead yellow jacket out the door on the tip of her flyswatter. I happened to notice this pattern and when I brought to their attention the giant yellow jacket nest next to the screen door my Uncle Dan hauled out a container of poison the size of an RV and proceeded to engulf the entire tri-state area with plumes of Raid.

Are they hard of hearing? Yes. My throat is sore from our visit today. It could also be from inhaling poison, but they do have really bad hearing.

However, I'm not going to let the machine pick up for Uncle Dan & Aunt P anymore. They called me to visit and made me pie. They're in.

At the top of the page is a picture of Uncle Dan, one of the crazy aunts, me and my parents looking all glamorous on the sofa behind us. I think everyone is hammered except for me and Uncle Dan.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Skills To Pay The Bills

You know, by the Beastie Boys? That's the song that came onto my iPod when I turned into the parking lot where I had my job interview today. It was so perfect and exactly what I needed to hear. How does my iPod do that? It's like a shiny rectangular mind reader.

Well, sometimes.

The interview went really great and I've already got another set up for Monday, so I felt better than I have in months, but as I was leaving my iPod played On Your Own by Blur, and I don't know how the hell to interpret that. Maybe I should be nicer to my husband.

PS - I'm so nutty I selected the wrong photo to upload, but it's kinda cool so I'm leaving it there.

I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love

With a wonderful boy... I keep having to remind myself of this today as yet again he has decided to work from home on a day that an employer has decided to call me. So I have had to wing it and be witty in an impromptu phone interview - away from the computer and fumble around like .... well I don't know what, but I hate being denied use of the computer on that day that I actually need it. Where were these people for the last two days while he was in Chicago? That's it. That's the right tack. I'll turn it around and blame my mood on the people who may possibly hire me.

No. That won't work. They have asked me to come in for an interview in about 2 and a half hours. I'm ready. I'm professional. I'm Johnny(ette) on flippin' the spot. Come in today? Sure! What time? That's no problem at all. But my darling has already asked me why I'm not getting in the shower this very minute and what I am going to wear. Don't let the end of this day find me finally, gainfully employed and yet widowed. I'd like remain happily married and also gainfully employed. Please?

He's wonderful, he cares about me, he smells nice, he thinks my butt is cute - that's me trying to pick a new mantra to help me get through this day.

Today I'm not even going to make his lunch. That'll teach him.

UPDATE 12:43PM - I've had a brilliant thought. Since he has been working from home on the only 2 days an employer has called me in 5 months (yeh, 5 months.) he should work from home EVERY DAY. My rate of return on resumes sent may drastically improve.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Accidents Will Happen But Only Hit & Run

Chulita, one of my very favorite bloggers has asked me to post about an accident I mentioned in a comment I made on her post about an accident she was in many years ago with her baby daughter. As I was mulling it over I realized that the context of my accident mentioned in the comment, life changing as it was, may have been mistaken as something more recognizably devastating like a car accident.

The thing that struck me most about her post was the way she described that terrifying slow motion, you know you're in trouble, holy shit fuck, please Baby Jesus don't let me die, moments. The ones you have right after the realization that a possibly fatal and certainly bodily injuring mistake has been made, and right before the impact.

The big life changing accident that I had, had none of that. One moment I was standing and the next moment I was face planted in gravel watching tiny red spiders crawling around on my index finger. I began to stand up and dust myself off, but stopped short when I looked over at my friends, who were gaping at me in horror.

When I had this accident I was 19. I remember all of the events of the day very clearly as it began as one of the best days of my young adult life. I was on my first kind-of date with a boy I found intensely fascinating. He was in a band, he wrote short stories, and he wore a leather jacket and a Skinny Puppy t-shirt in exactly the correct way that any private school educated punk boy would in 1987. The first night that I met him, without ever speaking to me he whisper-sang a song in my ear and gave me his phone number. I think I'm still blushing from it. I had never been the object of such forwardness and overt flirtation before and the song was I've Got A Crush On You (Sweetie Pie). I'm a huge Gershwin fan from way back.

I sang back to him "I like a Gershwin tune, how about you?" And so it went. I took his picture that night and I still have it in an old shoebox, along with the mix tape he made for me. I'm fairly certain it was June 19th.

I called him the next day, a Sunday and the first time I had ever called a boy (I was a very shy and a late bloomer), and we made plans to "hang out" that night with a couple of our other friends as young people are often prone to do. I think a real date involving meeting of parents and picking up at the front door would have given me apoplexy (besides, he didn't have a car). My friend Dan J looked upon this as a golden opportunity to "hang out" with his latest crush girl (we'll call her CG), and so me, Dan J, CG, CG's brother, and the Fascinating Boy all went out carousing in downtown Columbus.

Downtown Columbus on any given Sunday in 1987 was a vast teenage wasteland. There was nothing to do because it was, if I remember correctly, the one night of the week that Crazy Mama's was closed (if you lived in Columbus in the 80's, were young and remotely happening you've heard of it). But for that very reason it was a great place to hang out because there was no one there. No grown-ups or cops. We would hang out at what is now called Battelle Riverfront Park where there were paddle boat docks and a long expanse of crumbling concrete river bank to frolic upon and make teen-age merry in our small city goth-punk way. The paddle boats are long gone and have been replaced with a replica of Christopher Columbus's Santa Maria.

The crumbling concrete riverbank has been fenced off and is now planted with with many trees and shrubs. Probably because of me. At the time, because of the accessibility and the way the concrete was laid out like a welcome mat, you could very easily climb the rusty ironwork (a ladder really) to the railroad bridge that spans the Olentangy river. It was almost like the city invited you to climb it. So that is exactly what we did, although (oddly enough) we had plans later to go to the Drexel and see The River's Edge.

You may be thinking at this point that the young 19 year old lady was hit by a train. Alas, no. Nothing so exciting as that. The boys, except for the Fascinating Boy (he had common sense too), really did most of the climbing and swinging from the tracks like monkey bars over the water. My accident occurred as we were leaving.

I started to slide on the concrete crumble and I must've braced myself pretty hard because I couldn't imagine falling and making a fool of myself in front of the Fascinating Boy. I braced myself too hard because (here it comes) my leg snapped. It snapped in such a way that the bone was sticking out. A compound fracture. I don't remember the actual fall.
I remember the loud echoing crack. I remember coming to and that my face and hands hurt. I remember my face was bleeding and had gravel stuck in my cheek and that little tiny red spiders living in the gravel started to crawl on my hand. I remember the looks on the faces of my friends and the moment that CG started to scream. I remember laughing and trying to get up and looking down and seeing that the ankle of my jeans looked funny. I remember saying to my friends, "Did you fuckin' hear that? Did you hear me break my leg? I think my leg is broken." I remember the stupid red spiders. I didn't cry.

Fascinating Boy and Dan J ran to the downtown police headquarters, about half a block away from the stupidness that had just occurred on the train bridge and the SWAT team, being the only rescue source currently available came to dig me out of the gravel and take me to the hospital. They put me in one of those basket things on ropes. I remember that young master Fascinating Boy, like a total gentleman, held my hand the entire time.

I had to drop out of college (summer classes had just started) and spent the rest of my summer confined in my parents home (it was my home too, although I never felt like it), in my bed and on crutches. This was also the summer I started chain smoking. I would crutch to the pantry and steal my mothers cigarettes when she was at work and spend my afternoons smoking and reading library books.

I spent the rest of my life, until a few years ago, in pain. When I dropped out of school I also got dropped from my parents insurance and any sad job I had after that wouldn't insure me. Pre-existing condition. So the 7 pins and plate implanted in my leg that were supposed to be removed the next year, never were. They remained semi-visible under my skin holding my leg together until about 1997 when I finally was insured properly and could afford to get treatment for the arthritis that had set in and eventually wore away every stitch of cartilage left in that stupid joint.

The ankle has since been fused and I am relatively pain free. It's a fucking blessing beyond description to be able to walk across a room. I could make a joke here about my vanity (I'm overloaded with it) and how tragic it is to never be able to wear gorgeous high heels. But somehow, it just ain't funny.

What about the Boy? What about him indeed. We remained friends but whatever spark occurred that night by the paddle boats probably fizzled out the minute he met my scary over protective dad at the ER. We lost touch but I would hear about him thru the Crazy Mama's grapevine. He remained talented, amazing and fascinating, moved to Minneapolis where he was in a band of some renowned (ethereal, synthesizer stuff), and got married.

Sadly and eerily about a year or so ago I stumbled across
this review of his bands last release, dated October 18th 2004 that said that he had died of brain cancer earlier that year.

The accidental reading of the review and the coincidence of my being asked to write this post on Oct. 18th is just plain spooky.

At the top the page is the only picture I could find with Google Images of the park and bridge, with a circle around the spot where the incident occurred. It looks so different now.

I have titled this post with a song lyric just like Churlita always does so appropriately.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Be Kind To Your Well Traveled Friend

It was only a matter of time before I posted about airline travel. The following is a longwinded nastygram fueled by 4+ years of life on the road, but ultimately I'm here to help and you are welcome.

As the holiday traveling season approaches I can’t help but reflect upon my former career and how much I despised the holiday traveling season. Soon we’ll start seeing video on the news of crowded airports crawling with angry, exhausted travelers standing in lines or stretched out on filthy airport floors using carry on bags and purses as pillows.

Fifty percent (and sometimes more) of my work required me to traipse about the United States and Canada on airplanes during all seasons. You get used to it and begin to recognize the same poor souls every week. Eventually you get to know the valet ("Where to this week, Mrs. Lady?") and airline employees on a first name basis, especially if you live in a small city like I do. To those of you who travel more frequently than that for longer than 4 years - if you do this and are somehow able to maintain your sanity, let alone personal relationships with real people, you're a flippin' superhero.

My work typically had me flying out on a Monday and returning on Friday, but occasionally I would have to fly on a Saturday or Sunday which required me to intermingle with the families and visiting vacationers, otherwise known as annoying people who don’t know jack about air travel. During the holiday season you will run into these folks on any given day, not just weekends.

Now that I am no longer traveling and am not nearly as irritable as I used to be (it's true your stock in Tylenol has gone down) I have come to realize that it's not their fault they don't know jack about airline travel. So, in the spirit of the upcoming season (hey it is too upcoming, I saw Christmas ornaments on display at Macy's weeks ago) and hope that we all will get to our destinations more swiftly (and with fewer dirty looks) I offer these tips for safe holiday airline travel, and also not getting clobbered senseless with a briefcase by haggard, work weary corporate traveling types:

1. DO please (for the sweet love of BABY JESUS) when it is your turn - step up to the next available computerized check-in machine (uh, the thing that looks like an ATM). Don't stand there at the head of the line like a jackass waiting for one of the uniformed human beings behind the counter to help you. They are busy putting stickers on luggage and checking ID's of the people who went before you who you surely observed during your 30 minute wait, using the computerized check-in machine. You must help yourself. It is your turn. The time is now. Go to the available machine. Go to it. Go to it now. Yes, you. It's your turn. Right now. Go.

2. Stay the hell out of the way of people carrying laptops who already have their jackets and shoes off in the line for the TSA. These people (formerly me) obviously have done this a time or two before and don’t want to stamp around, impatiently behind you while you fuck about and take 10 minutes to get your shit together. Fucking about defined as behaving in a way thay may cause safety hazard, delay or mess including but not limited to:

- Waiting until you are at the roller belt and bins area to take off your complicated boots or stilettos lacing up the calf, that means you, glamorous woman wearing gobs of make-up. Gentlemen, please remove your belts and move along.

- Crying or fussing when the mean old TSA tosses your 4oz. mister of Fantasy by Brittany Spears into the garbage because it was not properly stored in a plastic ziplock sandwich bag. It's your own fault for not being prepared, shut your yap and move it along. Please refer to #3 below for further instruction. BTW Please note: If you are wearing an overpowering fragrance everyone already hates you and are hoping to hell they will not be seated anywhere near you.

- Hurriedly jamming your Big Mac and fries into your greasy cake hole, leaving a trail of sesame seeds and special sauce all over the floor while others behind you, in bare or stockinged feet, are forced to dance around in your crumbs. This applies to any other food source purchased in an ignorant rush outside of security, including but not limited to:

- Nasty weird “breakfast sandwich”
- Nasty weird “breakfast burrito” although less messy.
- Styrofoam bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats - yes, I once stepped in milk.
- Cinna-bon, although they do smell delicious, please refer to #7 below.
- Healthier items brought from home such as bananas, apples, carrot sticks. Are you seriously going run that banana peel thru the x-ray? Yes. I guess you are.

3. Do not argue with, sass or otherwise engage in conversation with the TSA except to say please and/or thank you, have a nice day, etc..

4. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself in the terminal with sobbing, tearful goodbyes. Do you think the rest of us aren’t leaving loved ones behind? Hold it together or hug and cry it out at home. (People in military uniform and their loved ones are exempt from this guideline - as I'm likely to grab on and cry with you, and if I do it that makes it ok.)

5. If you are seated next to a person donning sunglasses (especially at night) and headphones with her head leaning against the window who appears to be sleeping – Do NOT poke her in the arm and try to engage her in a conversation. (Yes, this happened to me, not once but twice. Once to ask me where I was going – ah, the same place as you dumbass, and once by a totally different dumbass on another flight to ask if I would switch seats – ah, no dumbass, I’m sleeping and I specifically booked a window seat and boarded the plane early in order to more easily do so. Night, night.)

6. Make every effort possible to stay in your seat and if you absolutely must get up – DO NOT grasp the seat rest in front of you for leverage as there is a sleeping lady in it (me) being catapulted forward and startled awake each time you do.

7. Once more on the subject of food and fragrances. If you are bringing your own meal onto the flight, be aware that whatever it is probably stinks to high heaven and doubly so in such a small, cramped space. In particular (stinkwise) and apparently wildly popular in flight snacks, including but not limited to:

- Beef jerky (or for that matter, jerky of any kind)
- Tunafish sandwiches
- Sausage pizza
- Garlic chicken stir fry
- Anything with onions or garlic
- Cinna-bon - although not because it stinks, it actually smells quite tasty and is making the sleepy lady even hungrier than she already was.

8. Unless you are under the age of 5 and traveling to Hong Kong, do not wear pajama pants and bring your bed pillow as carry on. While it poses no safety risk or irritating delay, it does make you look like a rube who has never traveled farther than the peapatch except to go to the feed store. My otherwise beautiful and perfect nieces do this and it drives me mad. I guess this guideline only applies if you are traveling with me. If you're not traveling with me I don't give a shit what you wear, unless of course it's sleeveless and you keep bumping your bare skin into to me.

9. And finally - Do not make snide comments when boarding as you plod past the sad corporate slugs in first class. Some of us are indeed assholes but hear me out.

- When I hear this, “It must be nice to be rich!” I am thinking this: It is a domestic flight and only marginally nice and I am not rich. Being seated in first class most likely means that we have spent countless, weeks, days and possibly months away from our homes and the people we love, thereby earning us the much deserved points required for a "free" (there is a steep personal price, my friend) upgrade.

All that time I spent rolling my eyes and giving withering looks to strangers in airports I was dreaming of the day when I could have a normal job and come home every night after a short 9 hour day to a husband who will hold me tight and where my pajama pants are only a few feet away. I was also longing for the day that I could be one of them, the dreaded traveling family and visiting vacationer, annoying the crap out of the homesick corporate assholes. At long last, now I'm one of those lucky bastards.
UPDATE 10/18/07 10:15 am
As is the nature of my passive aggression I now feel the need to add in a few disclaimers to this post. Upon reflection and reading it over and over I have decided it's mucho on the mean side and most of these numbered steps highlight only one side of the story. The side of me that has spoken in this post is the side coming home after 5 or more 12 to 16 hour workdays where I have been in some strange place among strange people, the center of attention talk, talk, talking my head off the entire time. It's the side of me that is exausted, lonely for my own bed and sick of the sound of my own voice.

The other side of me in the airport at the beginning of the work week is a kinder, gentler me, more prone to actually help people use the check-in kiosk, stay awake (not wearing sunglasses and headphones), and probably even smiling at and speaking to my fellow travelers. I hope you run into her sometime, she's really nice. Although, the angry side is the one with the better sense of humor.
10:38 - One more thing - because the airlines haved jammed the seats together so close, it's nearly impossible NOT to grab the seat rest in front of you, especially when it's "reclining" (a whole inch! I'm really relaxed now!) so I just wanted to say I'm guilty of it too, and am less inclined to be upset when other people do it to me if they acknowledge the catapulting and say "excuse me" or "so sorry".

10:14 AM Jogger Revisited

Dammit!! I just saw that same damn jogger lady gallivanting through my back yard again. What the hell? As soon as you let your guard down.

Maybe we should get a dog.

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #7 Special Vanity Edition

7 & 1/4 Inch Acrylic Stilettos
By Easy Spirit (not really). I forgot to jot down the price of these, but I think it's obviously nothing compared to the emergency room bill from when you get your broken ankle set and wrapped in a cast. I should also mention the permanent limp.

Yes. Crutches are sexy (not really).

Walking in these shoes on gravel would be interesting to watch though, like a hyper-female episode of Jackass.

Bling H2O Bottled Water
If you can unglue your eyes from the perfect airbrushed ass for a moment I'll tell you that this bullshit beverage is bottled in Tennessee and costs $40 a bottle. I've already become convinced that our country's obsession with bottled water is total bullshit anyway, but $40?? If someone handed me a free bottle I would walk past them, get down on my hands and knees and drink from the lawn sprinkler. Well, maybe not if my hair looked really good and the ground was muddy. Damn, my hair always looks good and the ground probably would be muddy if the sprinkler is running - let's just pretend I would do all that sanctimonious high minded stuff.

$40 bottled water no matter how nice the ass it's resting upon is craziness.
Extra Long Acrylic Nails With Wacky Designs
I have often seen these kinds of nails tick tick ticking on cash register keys all over the US (and yet never in France). I've also seen them featured at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and once on a female cop directing traffic. I used to work with a woman who would pay exorbitant amounts of money for this service and then ask to borrow bus fare. Some folks see it as body art. I see it as an impending staph infection. When I see nails like this I can't stop thinking about the amount of scrunge that gets under my own short, clean, tidy boyish nails on a daily basis and wonder what germy hellfuck is lurking under the nails of Fu Man Chu here. You know very good and well that you could not wipe your ass properly with talons like these.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some Good Can Come Of Being Unemployed

For instance having the time to read and write blog posts. Today, to my delight, Some Guy tagged me. I visit his blog often because he too lives in Michigan, he posts a lot and I like to catch up on the comments, and I think he's funny. I'm quite flattered, as any lady should be, to be noticed by someone I admire.

TO DO: List 5 things you do, did or like that some may consider “totally lame,” but that you are totally proud of. Tag 5 others:

1. This one is easy and so totally lame - I play the Sims 2 and own 10 expansion packs. One of the highlights of my summer was the release of Bon Voyage, so that my Sims could go on vacation. There I've said it. I'm a 40 year old grown up woman who plays with virtual dolls. I have made Sim characters of all my friends and try desperately to keep them alive. Last year my Dan Sim was killed by a meteorite and I had to bring him back to life as a Sim Zombie. It was devastating. Also my Dan Sim's wife Stephanie Sim accidentally fell in love with my Brian Sim (it can happen if you don't pay attention) and now she rings her hands with guilt every 15 minutes or so.

2. I've had the same hairstyle for about 20 years. A short, tidy, blond highlighted bob. Through the years I've mixed it up a bit, the length goes up and down, the highlights may be more brown or red, but it's all just a variation of the blond bob theme.

3. I have an unconscious and magical knack for walking or standing in front of the television at exactly the moment that an amazing sports play is being made. I could be gone all day from the room, but somehow as the amazing pass is being made, or the winning corner kick or slide into the home plate is happening that is when I tend to show up to ask MDH if he wants marinara or clam sauce on his pasta, or complain that he didn't notice my new earrings. The year that the Red Sox ended up winning the World Series I was forbidden to enter or leave the den from the living room entrance. I had to walk to the back of the room and enter and exit from the kitchen on the other side of the room from the TV. It's not so tragic now that we have Tivo.

3. I have a subscription to New York magazine. In fact I heart New York magazine. That's probably not so lame until you know this: I have never been to New York and haven't any plans to visit in the near or distant future. I have been to New York once, but it doesn't really count because I was 16 and riding a bus from Newark Airport to JFK. Regardless, I enjoy knowing about all the hot new restaurants where I will most likely never eat and the price of condos in Chelsea. Each week when the magazine arrives I immediately flip towards the back to check out the Approval Matrix and then do the crossword in the back with a pen (and finish it).

4. I have a teapot collection. Very few know about it because #1, it's lame, and #2, I don't want the people I love to give me unattractive teapots as gifts. I'll keep them, of course, but they will go directly into storage in the basement. The collection is very specific, only usable pots with no decoration or cheap slogans on them. My mother has been the most guilty of buying these for me so I lied several years ago and told her that I don't collect them anymore. I'm not only lame, but a lying ingrate.

5. I am an excellent public speaker and have spent the last five years in a career that requires me to lasso large crowds of people and be the center of their attention for days at a time. Being good at this came as a huge surprise to me as I spent my high school years as a shy, chubby Daria-like girl who barely spoke to anyone. Back then a good day for me was when nobody noticed me.

The 5 people I will tag:
Playtah, Rachel, The Guv'ner, Dmarks, & Laaw-yuhr

I'm not sure if all of these folks are regular enough readers of mine to know they are tagged, so we'll see what happens. It's not like a chain letter is it? I wouldn't want to wish bad luck on them for not responding.