Last night I felt like shit, like I’d been dragging through the day carrying my brain under my arm, spilling crap all over it. Like I’d been driving a truck for ten days straight with no sleep, like I’d been actually wrapped around the wheels of the truck. I felt like I’d worked for days and days digging a foundation for a children’s hospital with a garden spade. I felt like I’d been swung by my ankles and beaten against a wall until I went limp and all my bones were broken. I was really fucking tired. All I wanted was a glass of wine and a scalding hot soak in the tub and maybe some cartoons, then I wanted to pass out and wake up 14 hours later. I feel like that sounds like something a fancy bitch would do but really I just like how wine dulls the light in my brain and makes me feel like I can sleep. It’s like it cuts the power to the television up there in my head that someone’s always watching, keeping me awake. It’s like being slowly submerged, which is even better when you’re actually submerged.
We had no wine except this awful $5 handle of shitty white that God knows who brought to a party once. I sat there staring at it, contemplating whether the shattering headache the next day would be worth not having to leave the house again. Fuck, if I ever find out who brought that shit to my house and left it like a turd in the middle of a buffet, I’ll kill them. I swear to God.
I contemplated gin and tonic or vodka or any of the other myriad liquors on the shelf but decided that really, it had to be red. Also it probably means you’re not a drunk when you won’t drink just anything, right? Probably. So even though it was dark and cold and I just wanted to be done with the world for the day, out I went again. All the way there I was thinking about how this is possibly the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. At the Mexican grocery store, I bought the best bottle of $8 red wine I could see. I really mean “see” because my vision was starting to fuzz out. Admittedly it was because I was taking really long blinks, and sometimes just standing there with my eyes shut, but still.
I’m always nervous at registers of any kind because I know how shitty it is to be a cashier, and even though I totally get why they’re in a nastyass mood all the time, it still doesn’t make me want to deal with it. This particular cashier’s mouth was twisted into a snarl and outlined with a thick smear of brown eyeliner, so that it looked like a particularly unhappy butthole. I was so tired. Fuck, why did the lights in there have to be so bright? They were practically melting my brain. I could feel the tiny strings connecting my eyeballs to my brain fizzing out, like the filament in a light bulb that’s just about to go. When it was my turn, I politely stepped up to the card reader, ready in position. I said hi to the girl. OK, doing well so far, I thought to myself. Let’s see if we can make it through this human interaction without lying down on the floor for no reason or barfing all over the plastic bags, ok?
That’s when it happened: She said something else that I could not make out. It sounded more like the sound a machine makes when a belt or chain or whatever makes something move slips off and goes flying across the universe. It sounded like SCREEEEEEEEEAHAHAHHAHALALBBOBLLAOALDO??? It sounded like my worst fucking nightmare! If I’d heard that sound in the dark, I’d have shit myself, no problem. What in the actual hell had she just said? Was it even words? Also, was it meant for me? She was doing what angry cashier girls do, which is make as little eye contact as possible. Though eye contact is a cornerstone of KNOWING THAT SOMEONE IS SPEAKING TO YOU, she had decided that looking into the face of this sleepy fuck in front of her was above her pay grade. So what did I do? Probably the most awkward thing that anyone could do in this situation. I just fucking stood there and stared at her like a retarded basset hound. Here’s what my brain had to say about this:
SAY WORDS SAY WORDS WOOOOORDS SAY SOME WORDS YOU KNOW WORDS SO SAY THEM WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WE ARE GOING OVER THE FUCKING CLIFF HERE SAY SOME WOOOOOOOORDS
WORDS WORDS WORDS?
No words were said. I literally could not think of one word, outside of the word “word”, which I at least had the wherewithal to realize was a terrible word to say on its own, especially if you have no idea what someone has just said to you. Example:
Person: My grandma died.
Person: Are you having a stroke?
Person: Paper or plastic?
See? “Word” is only an appropriate response about 4% of the time, and even then it’s still questionable. So I said nothing. That is what happened. One minute someone was talking to me, the next minute I was staring at them, and the next I was walking out of the store with a bottle of wine in my shopping bag.
I was a real dick to myself all the way home. Why hadn’t I said anything? Also, what the fuck had this woman said to me? What actual question could she have possible had for me that sounded like SKEEEEEEELLLLLUUUUURRRRBALBLADO?? Maybe she was talking to someone else? Maybe she had switched to Loud Spanish for some unfathomable reason? I tried to tell myself that it didn’t matter, I was just tired, that’s why the whole thing had turned into a clusterfuck.
Back in the house, The Pants asked how the store had gone. He asked because he knows that anytime there is potential for Me to meet Other People, there’s potential for a complete breakdown, and he usually wants to know all about it. “Uh, it went, not good” I said. I told him the whole crazy story about the weird possible question/possible random sound, and my response. As I did this, I pulled the wine out of the bag. “I mean, I just can’t figure out what the hell she could have said” I said, shaking my head. The bag felt…weird. It was still kind of heavy. Well, what is it, asshole? I thought. Look in the bag. I froze. There it was, rolling around in the bottom of the bag.
“Is this your avocado?” had been the question.
“No” had been the answer.
It’s that simple. Now I have one very unhealthy, dented, brown little avocado in the kitchen, reminding me this morning that I didn’t know words yesterday.
big ol’ legs
There’s a little thing at the bottom of the screen in WordPress now that tells you how many words you’ve written. A while ago, for about three hours, it said “0 WORDS.” All right, I fucking get it. You don’t kick someone when they’re down. You don’t have to be such a colossal dick about it.
There’s another screen that shows you your sad little Blog Stats. One of them smugly points out that the last time you wrote something was over a year ago. Yeah? When’s the last time YOU wrote something? Kindly print it out single-sided and crumple it up and shove it up your ass. I hope it gets stuck on a nail up there and never comes out and you can never poop again and you turn into that lady I heard about once who started puking up her own poop. How about that?
Anyfuckingway, here I am. I’m writing something. I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing something. The art they’re featuring this month is portraits of cartoon heroes in full glitter. So I’m staring at a sparkly Batman. I’m mad because I wanted to sit in the window but someone’s shit was all over the only empty window table, and that someone was nowhere to be found. So I sat near the window. After about 45 minutes, a girl came up to me and started talking, and this I only figured out after realizing that someone had been standing in front of me for an awkwardly long amount of time, so I looked up and took out my headphones when I realized their mouth was moving.
Her: Can you watch my stuff while I go to the bathroom?
Me: Uh, sure. But I mean, it’s been there for an hour?
Her: I KNOW that! That’s because I was standing over there watching it!!! Can you just watch it for me please???
Me: Uh. Yeah I mean…yeah.
Her: THANK YOU (leaves in huff).
^^^This is why I don’t leave the house much. Because of this kind of person, and because of myself, and because all of the sparkly Batmans on all of the walls of the world.
But why don’t I write anymore?
Really, I’ve been concerned for a long time that I have nothing to say. That’s why I started reviewing books and movies on here, then just movies. Because I sit in front of the television for about 60% of my life just watching whatever garbage is there for me to eat with my brain. Then I feel really tired, like I put in a long day at the office and I need a break. I am pretty sure that’s not healthy. I mean, I know it’s not, people tell me that all the time! But I bet they do things that aren’t healthy, too! I don’t come into their house and tell them not to put a fork in the toaster! I probably should. But I don’t. Who’s to say what will actually happen? I’m not God.
I had a dream last night that this yoga instructor came up to me and said “Oh my God, aren’t you so happy you’ve got big legs?”
Me: Excuse me?
Yoga Instructor: Big legs. Like big ol’ fat round legs. Aren’t you glad you have big strong wide legs?
Me: Why are you saying this?
Yoga Instructor: Because you’ve got big ol’ legs.
Me: Oh. (Starts crying.)
“I am so glad we’ve got these big ol’ legs.”
I had a dream the other night:
The Pants and I were in a new city, looking for a place to live. We wanted to buy a house and a realtor was taking us on a walking tour of a dark street. The houses were smooshed together, cramped into very little space, and sickly trees behind fences broke up the sidewalk around us. Every house had some kind of damage, either the whole structure had been destroyed or smashed, the top floor deposited where the lower floors had been, or huge cracks stretched from the foundation to the roof.
Inside the houses, lights were on. Glasses of water sat on shelves and tables, half-eaten meals on plates in the kitchen. We stepped over chasms splitting the rooms. We sat in chairs that were still warm with the heat of whomever had lived there so recently. It was like everyone had been there moments ago, then disappeared suddenly, and now we were here. I opened a glass bookcase and pulled out a book I wanted to read. “Go ahead, take it” the realtor said, his face suddenly gone, a black swirl. “Take whatever you want. Here’s a bag for you to carry it.” He handed me a black bag. The Pants inspected a chair in the corner. “We can take that, too, if you want it.”
I couldn’t believe that anyone would leave these homes, these things. Some of the rooms were perfectly intact, but just as abandoned. “Can we live here?” I asked the realtor. He turned to look at me and it was like his dark face turned out all of the lights in the room.
“No,” he said. “You can’t live in these houses. We have to leave. Now.”
We ran, falling down the front steps of the torn house we’d been inside. I threw the bag full of books on the ground as we went. Behind us, the realtor said run run run! and as we ran, a terrible noise like the earth ripping apart filled our ears, a sound like a black hood covering your head, something that no amount of running in any direction would stop.
There’s a barbecue restaurant around the corner from work. They push all this “WOOD FIRED OVEN” and “SMOKED PULLED PORK” stuff, but really when you go in there it’s like a Sbarro: everything is sitting in a little chute under heat lamps, and there’s a giant microwave in the back. But it’s also like Chipotle in that they slide you past the chute, grabbing handfuls of things from metal containers, and slap everything into a styrofoam clamshell,. No matter what you order as far as meat, sides, or drink, every worker in the assembly line says the same thing: “Great choice!” They smack their lips and slap a little cup of greasy, crusty mac and cheese onto your styrofoam platter. “Great choice!”
I get that this is positive reinforcement, it’s meant to signify that even these workers, these people who WORK here, are totally down with the food. They eat it all the time! And they LOVE it. It’s the same as when you work in a clothing store and you’re expected to wear the clothes they’re selling. I know what it is. But I can’t help but think that proclaiming something a “Great choice!” means that somewhere out there, there is some configuration of the food that is not the great choice: there’s some combination of something you could order there that they’d just look at with dead eyes and then say “$7.59, please.”
Also, you don’t know me. I might have some kind of mac and cheese disease or pork intolerance and this food will straight up kill me. Maybe I’m here for a piece of brisket to eat on the toilet so I can just keel over onto the tarp I’ve spread out on the bathroom floor. The point is, you don’t KNOW. You could be sending me to my suicide with a big old pat on the back. GREAT CHOICE!
GREAT JOB ON THAT ORDER, CHAMP!
It’s like at DSW when you stand in line at the register, the person says “Next shoe lover, please!” when it’s your turn. Then when you walk up there they go “HELLO SHOE LOVER!”
Anyway. The other day I went to the new Chipotle-style pizza place next to the Chipotle-style barbecue place across from the Chipotle. I’m in this place in my life where pizza sounds like a good option for every single meal. Also I’ve got a lot of anxiety right now. So I was nervous as fuck to go to this pizza place because I knew they were going to try and make the experience like AN EXPERIENCE and over complicate things and ask me all kinds of pizza questions. I mean, I didn’t want to build my own. I wanted something directly off the menu. My hands were sweating. I just wanted to get out of there (with a pizza). So the lady at the beginning of the Pizza Maker line asks the guy half a foot in front of me “Have you been here before?!” and he says no so she launches into this high-speed overview of how to select fucking ingredients off a list that you would like them to put on a circle of dough for you. Her lips were moving so fast I thought I was going to pass out, she was like the Micro Machines man of pizza mechanics.
So she explains the intricacies of a Basic Restaurant Menu With Under 20 Items On It and ol’ boy moves on. She then turns to me and offers me the exact same motormouth “Hihowareyouhaveyoubeenherebefore” to which I say, “Uhhhh YES” hoping she will just leave me alone, also because I was less than a foot away while she explained the whole damn thing to the other guy, so I felt like maybe I should get a pass. So she says “YAY WELCOME BACK” with this genuine smile on her face like I’m her best friend but I left town for a couple of months and she super totes missed me. Well, she missed me so much she decides explain the entire goddamn premise of the restaurant to me anyway! “Oh, so you already know that–” and then there it is again, the Guide to Getting Pizza Here. In my opinion, it should not be any more difficult than this:
1. I say the words meaning the kind of pizza I want,
2. You go get that pizza or tell someone who can get that pizza,
3. You take my money, then
4. I leave with pizza.
But no. They just had to dook it up unnecessarily. So after she’s done acknowledging what I already know and then repeating it to me, she allows me to order just a basic old no-frills pizza straight off the menu, and I move on down the line. The thing is? I’m cursed when it comes to ordering things. No matter what it is, if it’s something I really want, they will either be out of it or just screw up my order so that what I want isn’t what I want anymore. It’s a CURSE. It happens to me ALL the TIME. Ask anyone. So I’m standing there trying not to be excited about the ricotta cheese that, according to the menu, they’re going to add to my pizza. I’m shaking in my DSW boots because I can’t help myself! I’m repeating don’t think about the ricotta, don’t think about the ricotta over and over in my head, but all I can see flashing behind my eyes are giant dollops of ricotta sizzling and bubbling on my pizza’s crust. Oh, heaven! What joy! RICOTTA! So, of course, my pizza slides right past the cheese station with nothing but mozzarella on it. I follow it down the line and realize that at the part where the salt and pepper are offered as toppings for your toppings is the END. No ricotta for you, fucko. So I verrry delicately say, “Uhhm. Is…is that supposed to have…ricotta cheese?” The lady who was juuust about to toss my pizza in the Ready to Bake queue looks down at my nekkid pizza and says, “Oh, yeah, I guess it is.” So they add the ricotta. PHEW. This ricotta disaster has been averted, until next time.
So they pop my pizza into the flame den at the back and ring me up, and tell me to stand over to the side until my name is called. I stand in this huge crowd of people, some of whom have been standing there since I showed up at the end of the ordering line. I quickly realized why: cooked, boxed pizzas were piling up on the counter, unclaimed and cooling rapidly. Two guys were running the pick-up station: one of them arranging the hot pizzas on the little papers with people’s names and orders on them, then sliding them down to the guy who either boxes them or puts them on a tray, then hollers out the name on the order. However, the latter was a deaf guy. So not only was the attempt to pronounce a lot of different Sharpie-scribbled names very loud and in a fast-paced environment already awkward and difficult, he also could not hear what he was saying. Which maybe, MAYBE, pizza place? Mayyyybe that’s not the best job for this guy? Because it went like this:
Pizza Line: Everyone stares at each other, waiting for someone to make a move. “Did he say–I mean…I can’t…”
Pizza Caller: “JUHBOHHWEEE?”
And on and on.
So all of the customers stand there in this crowd of awkward turmoil, and people just start grabbing random pizzas, reading names on boxes, swapping between each other, and getting the fuck out of there because nobody wants to point out that because of his disability the guy can’t be understood in such a loud and frantic environment. I mean, I can see how someone would read this like OHMAGAH, HOW CAN YOU HATE ON THIS GUY FOR BEING DEAF but that’s really not what it is, pally. They had at least fifteen employees behind that register making pizza crust, refilling ingredients, putting pizzas in ovens, and even the guy right next to the deaf guy who was just organizing orders for him. From what I could tell, none of these jobs involved needing to speak clearly or hear anything anyone asked you from across the counter. It was just such a weird choice to put him in that position. I was frozen because I didn’t know which pizza was mine and I was scared to make it more awkward for him by asking him which was mine and possibly still not understanding. So I just sorted through all of the boxes and looked for my name and hightailed it out.
Limp Dick Pizza is a real disorder.
The pizza comes out fast at that joint because they have this whole “Fast fired! Cooked in 180 minutes!” thing they’re always on about, it’s on every sign and menu and they even tell you that at the beginning of the line, whether you want them to or not. So when I lifted a slice out of the box by the end crust and tried to take a bite, it did what things do when you hurry and just went straight limp dick, sagging down onto my wrist, its toppings flopping out onto the bottom of the box. All of my beautiful ricotta just splattered all over the place. Ricotta disaster accepted.
Panic at the Crisco
Some days, especially these gray, cold, drizzly days of early fall and in this, the latest and deepest wave of clinical depression, the choice is clear:
A. Google ex-boyfriends, or
B. Watch ISIS beheading videos.
Since I’m still too scared and horrified to do B (thankfully), I just look up ex-boyfriends to be on the safe side. And OHMYGOD is that ever a bad idea! One is just as bad an idea as the other. They make you feel the same, anyway. It’s all tragedy porn in the end.
We had a dinner party on Saturday for four friends to christen our new dining room table, which we bought because we’re grown ups and we’re engaged and we thought that maybe we should stop eating every meal on the couch in front of The Daily Show. (The great thing about the TV though is that it’s a grown up TV which turns on an axis so we can still watch The Daily Show from our grown up dining room table so yeahhhh!) In an attempt to fuck-start my brain, I planned an elaborate menu including lots of difficult things I’d never made before that seemed a bit tricky. I timed everything with detailed reminders on my phone. I was going to be that person who can chat with guests while ensuring that her parmesan-thyme popovers rise perfectly and don’t burn and are also not eggy in the middle which is apparently a thing that can happen. And for the most part, I WAS that person, up until The Pants had the audacity to sit in the wrong seat as everyone came to the table.
NO. I DON’T MIND. I REEEEALLY DON’T.
“YOU HAVE TO SIT ACROSS FROM ME AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!” I barked, somewhat louder and more shrill than I’d meant to, but in a way that was definitely indicative of what was going on in my head. My next thought was OH GOD WHAT IF THE POLENTA GETS COLD? Dinner was kind of tense because not only had I just yelped all crazy-eyed at my boyfriend like Carolyn Burnham, but there was a baby guest doing baby things (like crying and needing to be fed and stuff) and something about it freaked me the fuck out. It was so SMALL and BREAKABLE and NEEDED THINGS for which all adult conversation had to cease in order to appropriately deliver. It was a sort of culture shock, I guess. We’ve talked about babies, and the very real idea of having some of them, but when there’s one at your table and you’re freaking out about the texture/temperature of the polenta and the height of the popovers and the doneness of the fish and why can’t he just fucking sit where I envisioned him sitting?!, the whole idea of babies as an IDEA kind of goes out the window. Yikes, there’s an actual baby here! What do we do with it??? Don’t put it down, what if it gets mad?!
The thing about having babies around is that you have to be a chill person. They can smell fear, like hyenas or your mom, or mom hyenas. They know you’re anxious and worried about the polenta and they react by shitting their pants and crying, because what else can they do? I really don’t know how my friends do it. Babies seem really great and cute and snuggly until they start to cry and barf everywhere, then they’re just upsetting. What about me? Who’s going to stop me from crying?? It doesn’t matter anymore!
eggghhhhhh. This is all far too heavy for a Tuesday morning.
If you have some kind of vitamin deficiency, your thumbnail will grow a little bump. That bump will annoy you to death because you’ll constantly be rubbing your index fingernail up and down it. So you’ll Google to find out why you have a bumpy nail and what you’re supposed to do about it. “Oh!” Google says, “Just file it down!” Google, you are fucking full of good ass ideas.
So you file your nail bump down, and about five minutes into the filing operation, you think “This is making my thumb kinda sore.” You look down, wipe away the nail file powder, and to your horror, REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE FUCKING FILED A HOLE THROUGH YOUR NAIL AND EXPOSED YOUR NAIL BED. Fucking shit. Then you realize that you’re me and you’re amazingly bad at doing your nails and fixing your hair and accessorizing and wearing the right shoes with the right belts because you’re just really bad at all the stuff girls know how to do when they’re born. (But I’ve seen Bourne Ultimatum about five thousand times so I’m fairly certain I could kill a guy with a book, a towel, and a candlestick if I had to.)
Yeah. So. The nail with the hole in it FUCKING FELL OFF and now I have a tiny sliver of half-nail at the bottom of my thumb and exposed nail bed all across the top. It hurts like hell and it’s ugly and it eeks everyone out, you probably skipped over most of the story up there ^^ or maybe winced to yourself and started rubbing your thumbnail. I bet you did. The Pants calls it “the troll nail” and can’t stand to hold that hand right now and looks away while I try to cover it with one of those horrible Sally Hansen stick-on nails, which is an adventure in fake ladyness in itself.
Lord almighty. I am ready to just have my arms cut off and replaced with robot arms now.
Check out this motherfucker of all ATMs.
Wanna see this sombitch in action? There’s a fucking VIDEO in which some Beverly Hills assholes talk about why–or something that…you know what? Sorry. I am just getting used to living in a world where cupcakes come out of a machine if the cupcake store is not open and you forgot to buy confectioner’s sugar for frosting. I couldn’t actually pay attention to the words being said in the video.
Holy big bad diabetes! We’re all gonna die and it’s gonna taste unreal.
Now eat your potatoes.
Therapy is weird. It’s just WEIRD. To quote Stephanie, “It’s such a weird thing to confess all these things to a stranger and cry in front of them and then there’s a cash transaction!” And really, there’s no other way to put it. We sat down and made all these agreements about money and health insurance and missed appointment charges and overhead, and then I had to sign a thing saying I understood that if she thought I was going to kill someone she had the right to tell the cops or whatever, and then I had to agree that I’d pay her and shit. Then we got down to biznass. Then time was up, and it was like, Well, bye. No hug or anything!
Yesterday was my second visit to Our Lady of Psychotherapy’s tiny alcove office, and during this visit she pretty much only wanted to know about my relationship with The Pants. She wants to establish my current environment and what’s working/not working, but I sat there thinking I hope she knows I’ve got a whoooole bag of shit with her name on it rolling around in here. Anyway. She wanted to talk about all of our relationship problems that have ever possibly existed, and it was hard for me not to start cracking up and tell her about the fact that things are just DIFFERENT once you’ve both just started blasting each other with farts. Different good, but also different like something’s gone missing after you’ve marinated your boyfriend in your gas. I find myself sometimes nostalgic about the days when we would pretend we never farted. But there is also something really comforting about it. Aaaaand there’s also something really disgusting about it. Like the other night when I farted at the dinner table. I couldn’t believe I had let myself go that far. I’m sitting there eating potatoes and I lean over and just rip a loud one. And the response was kind of like, Wow, that was really horrifyingly disgusting. Now eat your potatoes.
Anyway. I did NOT talk to my therapist about farting.
She asked me why I don’t write anymore and I didn’t know what to say, but really it comes down to this: If I write something, and it sucks, I might die. Really! I might! Because I would never be happy living a life without writing, without writing that was good and made some kind of a difference, no matter how small, in a single solitary person. But there is a very large chance that I could write something and it could just suck balls all the way to the sewers in the racist part of Hell and back, suck worse than anything I’ve ever read that sucks, and that realization would probably kill me. Because:
No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
–Rainer Maria Rilke, 17 February 1903
I would have to die if I were forbidden to write, and the forbidder would be myself, so bad work would be, for me, suicide.
The other possibility would be that I wrote some kind of really horrible popcorn drivel, and a whole lot of stupid people loved it. Then I’d be in the same boat on a river of poop because I hate stupid people and I know popcorn drivel when I see it and I’d really rather not add any to the canon. Everybody would be like “oohhhhh it’s goooood…” but they’d look off to the left when they said it and wouldn’t make eye contact and MTV Books would print copies of it that came with a CD soundtrack taped in the back and the characters would just be Polaroid representations of random people I’ve seen on the street, the main character would be a spiced up representation of myself, including addictions to all the drugs I’m too scared to take and a better set of tits and nicer teeth. God, that would be awful. I’d be invited to writing studios to give people my insights on writing and characters and place and mood, I’d be invited to bookstores to read sections of my book to a small gathering of family and friends and whatever other weirdos read about it in the local paper and thought it might be a good way for a random weirdo to spend an evening in the middle of January. Photos of the event would make it look like there were a lot more people there than there actually were. Dipshits on Amazon who can barely be bothered to spell their own name or their state correctly will rave about how it’s the best book they’ve ever bought on clearance at an Urban Outfitters before.
Then there’s this: what if the answer is No, you would not die if you were forbidden to write. Well, then I’d just want to die out of sheer boredom with myself. There’s got to be more to my existence than this.
The fears about my capacity to produce a horrible novel are completely valid and feasible and so are my fears about what would happen with that horrible novel. Know how I know? Well, I’ll tell you.
There’s this person, who went to my undergrad and wrote two completely popcorny and Polaroidy novels, and has ever since been lauded as a literary success in certain circles (ahem, Amazon, ahem, undergrad university fiction department) because she’s been, to a degree, a financial success due to her literary efforts. Now she spends her days blogging about writing and about how haaard it is and about how people just love her ideas and her agent is all about publishing more…and bunches of tips on “how to be a writer” that they used to stuff our heads with in undergrad and at that horrible writing studio where I worked, how to stay focused! Software for staying organized! Drink coffee! Fun writing exercises and prompts! WRITER STEREOTYPES! Hahah you know how us writers love our coffee and Tazo teas and chocolate and wine! Oh I just never could have written this shitty book I’ve worked on for a million years without my Godiva samplers? Amirite, other writers?!?!
#2 on the list of things that bug the hell out of me has got to be writers talking about writing. SHUDDER. Nothing else makes me want to beat my head against the desk as much as this does. And that’s exactly what I did after I went home the night I had to make a name card to put on a table where this particular writer would sit the next morning in the middle of the studio where I worked to talk to other writers about writing. I banged my head against the table until I felt better.
On this blog, we’ve got that self-designated musical-definition label thing I HATE, “I’m a punk rock girl from the Midwest.” So, check. Who the fuck told you you were “punk rock”? Who told you that you were “indie rock”? Who goes around saying these kinds of things? Or did you just decide for yourself that, based on your hair color and style of dress, you’re This Type of Person? Sweet Jesus, on the list of things that bug the hell out of me, this has got to be #4 or 5.
Here’s what the Amazon crowd has to say:
This was one cool book. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is probably on of the most down-to-earth books I have ever read. It isn’t full of fairytales and other. Stephanie did a great job of making the book very realistic. The plot was also great, sometimes something would happen that I never suspected but then there were times when something would happen that I knew was going to happen. Which in some books I don’t’ like figuring out what is going to happen but I didn’t mind it at all in this book. The characters in this book were stupendous; they all had their flaws, which is great because in life everyone has flaws. I also enjoyed how big of a part music plays in the story. Which is probably because I am a big fan of rock but I think every one who reads this book will be able to envision Emily rocking out on the stage, like I did. I also introduced to some great rock bands while reading the wonderful story. I recommend this book to every teen out there, especially if you like listening to rock bands. Also some adults might enjoy the story too.
I don’t even know where to begin. Nothing I could say would do this book justice. It’s one of the most raw, heartbreaking, and touching novels I’ve read. Ever. Yikes. The thing I admire the most is that I think the author really wrote from her heart. You can tell just by the way the story is told that she cared deeply about what she was writing about which is the key to any good book; an author who is connected to her story. What’s amazing is that this is Stephanie Kuehnert’s first novel. How someone can write something this fantastic on her first attempt in the published world is…can I use the word amazing again? The characters are deep, detailed, and flawed.
For Emily Black, music is everything. It’s what made her parents fall in love way back when. It’s what her mother Louisa was following when she left baby Emily. It’s what Emily has to stay in control of her life. Music draws her from her dreary life in Carlisle, Wisconsin to River’s Edge, an abandoned warehouse where rock bands play. River’s Edge is where Emily got her fill of sex, drinking, and rock `n’ roll, and where her dreams of being a punk rock goddess began. So she and her best friend Regan form a punk band named She Laughs, and Emily can’t help but hope that by playing music, she’ll bring her mother home.
Soon, her band is swept up in the dangerous world of rock music. Her band has a lot of talent, but so many ups and downs in Emily’s life lead her away from the music. There are the bad boyfriends, the death of her grandparents, the involvement with drugs and self-medication, and a year wasted searching for her mother. But eventually Emily finds her way back on track, and her friends are still waiting for her to come back and pick up her guitar. And so she does, because music is all she has.
And just to cleanse your palate and offer some perspective, here’s what the Goodreads crowd has on their minds:
“Not since high school dating have I felt so tricked and empty. The main character combines the collective whining powers of Twilight’s Bella and My So-Called Life’s Angela…..and then proceeds to try and trick the reader into believing it’s “punk”, when really, it’s a V.C. Andrews novel minus the incest (and the plot suffers because of that glaring omission, by the way.) I was suckered in by the Joey Ramone name drop, the Sleater-Kinney lyrical reference, the Doc Martens on the book cover. I admit it. I chose the glittery vampire, and I’m ashamed of it. Since I couldn’t find a hair shirt and kneeling on lentils is just a waste of good legumes, I read it all the way to the end, periodically stopping to shove a spork into my ear in hopes of creating the brain damage necessary to enjoy the “plot twists” and reminding myself to never ever stop submitting my own writing because, hey, if she can get a book deal, anyone can. So in that sense, it did serve a purpose, as motivation, but it also was penitential, because I was, in fact, paying for the sin of choosing the book based on its alleged “hipness” (which, like long haired boys in high school…….I never learned my lesson from.)
Oh plot, you ask? Only that a girl who’s been abandoned by her mom in the middle of bumfuck, Midwest becomes the biggest punk band since Nirvana, gets on the cover of Rolling Stone, survives domestic abuse and drug addiction, discovers a ZOMG FUCKING DARK RAPE SECRET that means her mom didn’t abandon her, she left to protect her! ……a cross-country motel search ensues. Oh, and she reunites with the long-lost mom who’s been gone her whole life in the middle of Penn Station. Of course she does. Did I mention her “punk band” is called “She Laughs”? Oh. Yeah. There was probably a reason I forgot to mention that.
“Favorite” bit of dialogue: (I would like to remind you that the author would like us to believe this is a street punk talking, by the way)
“His brilliant aquamarine mohawk….” I will spare you the rest. Anyone who has ever in their life met a punk knows that those words can’t, don’t and shouldn’t ever happen together.
I actually relate to Joey Ramone more after reading this book… he suffered through cancer, I suffered through this book.
So. So bad. Like, I want to burn it in trashcan bad.
terrible. rang completely untrue and cliche. i wanted to like it – i grew up in a shitty little wisconsin town close to the illinois border and went to punk shows in rural vfw halls and crap run-down buildings, just like the main character, but i really didn’t see anything authentic, realistic or even very likable about this book. really bad writing. so thinly-veiled (i love the diatribe about why the main character is living in the burbs, all defensive and “but the train is so close!” – and then you read in the author’s extensive bio that she lives in the chicago suburbs, too! you don’t say). the thank-you chapter is so barfily self-congratulatory. makes me angry that i didn’t go get an MFA, because apparently you can get published through connections alone.
OK. Props for use of the not-word “barfily.” Why does it make me feel so much better to read these negative reviews? Well, partially because they’re so well written and witty when compared to positive reviews. Though it’s not hard to outdo a review that’s more like a quick recap of all of the events and then a statement about how it “totally resonates with me!” because I totally went to high school and shit.
I guess it makes me feel better because I know there will always be people there who aren’t afraid to call me on my shit. I can see how someone who attended the same fiction writing program I did would have a hard time believing any negative reviews. The way it worked there was you basically pay them money and they fill your butthole with smoke and encourage you do to your MFA there so they can have more money and fill your butthole with more smoke. Then you write some smoked-out manuscript and they have the writer-in-residence (ahem, Irvine Welsh, who also lent his brief blurb to this stunning piece of steaming turd written by the son of the professor emerita of the program) and it gets picked up by MTV Books and people tell you it’s crap and you’re like–wait, I think you’re mistaken. Everyone else likes it.
I won’t do that. I find it extremely easy to believe every negative thing people say about me and let it stop me from doing things. Ha!
Oh, anyway. I fear sometimes when I write a sentence that I’ll end up like the above described wang princess: lost in shit and in love with myself, thanking every writer who ever visited my school as a personal savior in my acknowledgements, and basically being the figurehead of a pile of crap that I will represent for the rest of my life. And then I stop writing.
If you want to get down to it, there’s also this character, who, if you’ll remember, I got into a discussion withattempted to get into a discussion with on a blog post she wrote. You probably remember the idiotic shit that ensued to cover up the fact that her “writing” is really just verbal diarrhea meant to make her look like a Certain Type of Chick and entertain that part of one’s brain that responds well to stereotypes (if you don’t remember, it’s here and here). This person came back into my attention today when she was suggested as a friend I might want to get to know on Facebook, because of our mutual friendships. I clicked on her page and lo and behold, it appears that my criticism was one of the most important events in her entire life. She’s referred to it on her Timeline!!! Behold:
I write profanity laced articles about funny things. Once, this resulted in someone writing a number of “hate blogs” about me.
I wrote “a number” (two, if you’re counting, now 3?) of blogs discussing the poor quality of writing that hides behind a stereotype and reports the attitudes and opinions that the stereotype is supposed to represent. I wrote about how it’s a fucking sham, and part of what bothers me about it is that there are people who toooooootally buy into that sham, and just eat that bullshit up. There are people out there who think this self-obsessed dummy is a good writer. Because all she does is sit there and type cutesy bullshit all day about indie rock and current events and thinks it’s edgy for a girl to cuss (hence her specifically calling your attention to the “profanity laced” side of her writing repertoire). And in the end, she’s a total fucking pussy when it comes to having a conversation about her work, or standing up for what she writes, and can only engage in a dialogue if she’s represented as the victim (as evidenced by the above Life Event, and her frantic Twitter feed on the day of my comments, the fact that my comments are worthy enough to define her experience in this particular blogging job speaks volumes to me). “Hate blogs.” Honey, you ain’t nothin til you’re hate blogged. And I’m afraid what you got was just the tip of an Annoyed Blog. (Yeah, just the tip.) Wait a tick….all of this kind of begs the question: are my words really that powerful?
It’s people like Suburban Punk Queen and Indienet Pussy Blogger that make me just never want to pick up a pen or type anything ever again. Someone asked me why the worst writers are always the most prolific, and I said it’s because they have no idea of the darkness of self-doubt, they’re too stupid to imagine that what they’ve produced is the worst thing anyone could imagine, is actually detrimental to the craft, to the reader, to the world at large. They think themselves a great contribution to the planet, instead of what they really are: white noise in stereo reverberating off the metal walls of the fucking flaming trashcan. What more people need is mental illness, crippling self-doubt, a tsunami of fear each time they even think about expressing any stupid little thought that farts through their brain. That would do it.
And what I need is way more bravery, way less worry about being as completely ass crappy as my contemporaries. So does that come in a pill or what?
Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about some different kinds of shit, shall we?
The women who use this bathroom are terrible.
I should know, because I’m forced to use it after they leave. Based on the aftermath I have seen in the bathroom on this floor, the following is what women are doing in there:
1. Removing tampons and swinging them around by the string, splattering threads of menstrual mucus all over the walls of the stalls.
3. Using the toilet, flushing, then turning around and shaking their heads vigorously over the toilet seat, covering it with long, loose hairs.
4. Squatting to piss and practicing hula hooping techniques in the process.
5. Inserting tampon, dropping wrapper and applicator on the floor, walking away.
6. Removing completely soiled and soaked pad and leaving it on the top of the toilet paper dispenser, at exact nose-level with the next unfortunate person to use that toilet (That next unfortunate person happened to be me.).
7. Removing sandals and washing each foot, one at a time, in the sink (Witnessed this.).
8. Leaning over the sink to hoark a giant wad of phlegm, walking away without so much as an attempt to rinse it away (Witnessed this, too.).
9. Playing mischievous cat games with the toilet paper, i.e., unrolling stacks of it onto the floor and leaving it there.
10. Sleeping. We got an email the other day that there would be regular hourly “bathroom checks” on this floor because it’s become socially acceptable between these twats to go into the stall, lock the door, sit on the toilet without dropping pants and SLEEPING.
11. The kicker: somehow they are sharting all over the wall. Sharting. All over. The. Wall.
How do they do it? I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW. But I have some photographic evidence for you. BEHOLD:
Really brings new meaning to the word "overflow," huh?
This monstrosity of menstruation occurred within a few hours. Only a few hours–I KNOW! It seems impossible that a few women could bleed that much! I guess you could attribute part of it to the fact that there seems to be a “favorite stall” in the bathroom, the first one on the far right. I don’t know why it’s a favorite stall, but in an otherwise empty bathroom, it’s the only one that’s always occupied. So this is where all the period garbage ends up. This is where it overflows in a matter of hours. (Someone should really do some kind of scientific study on why everyone wants to bleed in that particular stall. Someone who is not me.)
Sure, just wipe your hands there. No one will ever know.
Aaaaand here we have an example of period blood smear that’s been on the lower wall of the first stall on the right for about as long as I can remember. I bet that dirty bitch goes back in there from time to time to visit with it. Maybe it tells fortunes? Maybe it’s just fucking gross. Probably it’s just fucking gross.
Well, here’s an example of a wall shart:
This is to the right of the toilet. How did it get there?!?!
And THIS is the horror that awaited me as I was writing this very post and attaching these very pictures, when I had to stop for a moment and go pee. THIS is what was staring back at me when I went into the stalls of which I write:
Hon, you missed.
So uhh, this is what I do when I get bored at work. I become a bathroom ethnographer. And I have concluded in this field report that WOMEN ARE FUCKING FILTHY.
I was going to talk about a chocolaty caramel-y cupcake I made last weekend, but upon further consideration, I think I’ll find another time to post pictures of that.
So the Indie Interweb is shrouded in thrift store finds and plodding down to the indie graveyard in their limited edition Toms cordones and Anthropologie dresses to begin their mourning period. Because Zooey Deschanel, America’s sugar tit, is getting a deevorce! And people who refuse to identify themselves as “indie” or “hipster” are trying to distance themselves from it, like “I don’t really care because I don’t really like her singing? I haven’t really listened to the last Death Cab albummmm? Also I don’t wear black shoes with black tights? But like what does this say about the future of marriage?! That is something I totally care about because I watch TV so I know for a fact that divorce sucks and is horrifying and life-changing and also bad for America.”
I broke down this morning and got all philosophical on some indie chick’s ass and commented on this. I realize it’s totally futile to even bother talking to anyone who thinks their feelings on celebrity marriage and divorce are actually feelings about The Future Of Marriage and not really a reflection of their fears about their own life/relationship direction. I know that. But since I started reading and commenting on Stephanie’s blog and Facebook, I’ve become less of a drive-by “Fuck you, you dumb bitch!” commenter and more of a thoughtful “I respect your opinion, and here’s what I think, you dumb bitch” commenter. That is, I think, a bit of an improvement. Here’s what I said:
I read something once about how it’s a tactic of Scientology to recruit as many famous people as possible because, as a culture, we are so focused on them that our brains immediately make the connection that if SO MANY famous people are scientologists, then, naturally, SO MANY normal people must be, too, since famous people only make up a tiny bit of the population. Right? RIGHT? I think the same line of thinking may be employed here with the “…everyone gets divorced. Especially famous people!” line.
It’s been suggested that loving, tender feelings between partners tend to go downhill after about 4-6 years. Incidentally, that happens to be about the amount of time it takes to raise a child to the point of being able to fend for itself. I found that really interesting in consideration of all of the short relationships and marriages I’ve heard about. It may just be our human nature that causes our feelings to change the way they do. We’re just big mammals, after all. And I’m sure it’s the more human side of our human nature that keeps us trying to find ways to compromise and stay together with our mate if that is what we want.
But why does it have to be sad if that’s not what we want? What makes you sad about Zooey and Ben? Why does the time a couple has spent together have to be considered a failure if they divorce amicably? Assuming that they didn’t take the Kardashian route and set up an elaborate scheme to boost their publicity, which I do not think they did, what I see are two people who probably loved each other very much, then decided that they didn’t want to be bound together for the rest of their lives. I don’t see that as a failure at all. I think it would have been a failure if they gritted their teeth, stayed together though neither wanted to, grew to resent one another, and brought up a couple of celebrity kids in that tense atmosphere. A relationship that doesn’t work out isn’t a failure: if you learned something about yourself and about the other person, and both parties can walk away changed for the better and happy about who they are, I’d say that’s a success.
We tend to project ourselves, our own fears about our own lives, onto celebrities, and the characters they portray. My friend told me about seeing the first Sex and the City movie and hearing a girl say, near the end, “Oh no! It can’t be over, I don’t want Carrie to be ALONE!” There was real fear in her voice. Because, for her, that meant something very real and very scary about the future: “If someone as great as Carrie can’t get a man…”
So we need to stop glamorizing celebrity relationships, especially those that are marketed to us as cute and innocent, like Zooey and Ben’s. We need to look at why we really feel what we do about news like this: what does it mean for us?
But overall I think Zooey Deschanel can suck it.
It took me an hour to make this. Not one lesson!
Speaking of drive-by comments, my blog has been getting over 200 hits per day because of this post. Within this post, I discuss the weirdness of a certain popular set of dolls that are made up to look like, uhh, something that rhymes with “blonsters” and go to a school that is the opposite of low…the one you go to after middle school…I’m trying really hard not to mention it again because apparently droves of tweens Google the name every single day and land on my blog. I don’t want to be held responsible for their disappointment. Oh, hell, I guess I could say it like Snoop Dogg: Mizz-onster Hizz-igh. Yeah. They’re creepy. Anyways, go away, Tweens! Go read these.
And let me be clear: the misdirected tween hits are the ONLY misdirected hits I want to cut down on. Perverts with racing heartbeats who Google something obscene and land here, only to find nothing but WORDS! DAMMIT!, who then leave me another “you must be fat/ugly” comment, typing with one hand because their sweaty dick’s in the other, well, I want you guys to stay. Keep it coming. HEY-OHHHH!!!
Yesterday on the train, I spotted a couple of major thirtysomething nerds. Like dorky in the way that it was beyond dorky, the dorks who don’t even know how majorly dorky they are, they think everything is fine and they don’t try at all to be anything but what they are. The Superdork of dorkdom. They were standing, facing one another, in the little vestibule just inside the train doors. I only noticed them when I got up and walked to the vestibule because my stop was next. And I’m sorry that I had to get off the train so soon, because their conversation was SO AWESOME.
One dork was wearing a sweatshirt with a wolf on it. A WOLF. AND NOT IN AN IRONIC WAY. Also, it was a sweatshirt. As in, not a hoodie. No zipper. Just a good old-fashioned Hanes pullover sweatshirt that had been washed so many times, the majestic wolf and the pale moon behind him were flaking away. The dork’s stonewashed, off-brand jeans bagged around his waist and might as well have been tucked into his white hi-tops. The other dork, also wearing stonewashed jeans, was covered up top in a fully buttoned green army jacket. Both dorks carried sensible, cheap backpacks, the RIGHT way (a strap over each shoulder, none of this cavalier, tossed-over-one-shoulder-Andrew-McCarthy-in-Pretty-In-Pink crap), with brand names like “Rock Tarp” and “Downs Sport.” Dork #2 had cut himself right above his upper lip somehow, and was sporting a thin flesh-colored Band-Aid there, so close to his lip it looked like a part of his actual lip. The blood from the cut had seeped through the gauze part of the Band-Aid and looked like a giant scab in the middle of it. The Wolf Dork had a skinny black mustache tracing his upper lip, patchy, scraggly hair that seemed to have forgotten to grow in a couple of places.
And here is what was said:
Wolf Dork: “I believe in you.”
Band-Aid Dork: “…” Looks at floor.
Wolf Dork: “I just don’t think that you believe in you. You have to believe in yourself.”
Band-Aid Dork: “…” Scratches at edge of lip Band-Aid.
Wolf Dork: Reaches out and awkwardly pats Band-Aid Dork’s shoulder with his fingertips.
It was pretty much the most awesome thing I saw all day. I couldn’t even bring myself to laugh at them, they were so heartfelt in their dorkery. I will forever wonder what challenge was facing Band-Aid Dork for which he needed a pep talk from Wolf Dork. Perhaps he was going to give shaving another try? Oh, that was mean. But seriously, I wonder.
The Pants and myself are moving in together in May. Which is cool because he’s a good boy and he gives me a boner and doesn’t kick too much in his sleep. Also our relationship is of the age where we’ve each pretty much acknowledged that we both poop and we share the coffee-making duties and we don’t bug each other too much. So it’s all romantic and shit. Also we’re both pretty into puppies and the idea of raising one together, like as a puppy team, and if that doesn’t make you want to vomit everywhere and then eat it, I don’t know what will.
Part of me isn’t scared because hey, I’m on drugs! And it makes me not scared of anything! I ride my bike real fast without a helmet on! I spend too much money on leggings! I’ve been driving a CAR, regardless of all of the horrifying car accident scenes that flash through my mind when I do it! WHO CARES. But, of course, part of me (Nasty Self) thinks I should be scared, so maybe I’ll sit down and devote 20 minutes to every day to be scared about moving in together. That part of me goes “Ohhhh remember LAST TIME you did this? And it didn’t work out? And he brought home a 12-pack of Bud Light every night and turned his cap around backwards and drank it all on the couch then drunk-emailed all the girls he thought were hot then barfed for an hour then fell asleep on the bathroom floor?? Remember that?! Remember how you couldn’t EVER get your hairbrush out of the bottom drawer in the morning because his head was always in the way!?!?” Well. Yes, Nasty Self, I remember that, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen this time. The Pants is a social drinker and doesn’t wear caps and sleeps in a bed.
“WELL. WELL. What about…okay, what about other stuff you failed at, you failing failure!? Know how you don’t write anything anymore? WHAT ABOUT THAT YOU PIECE OF SHIT??”
You can't hide.
You can't run.
Sometimes Nasty Self is just a tailgating cocksucker.
But. The Pants would like to live with me, me and Nasty Self both! Score! And I would like to live with him but no so much with Nasty Self. But what are you gonna do? I mean, the prescription interference makes Nasty Self shut up and cool the fuck out at least enough to let me stop crying all the time and asking “Why don’t you hug me while I’m sleeping?! You don’t love meeeeeeeeee!” Also it’s kind of nice not to have to budget an hour of my time each day to lie on the bottom of the shower sobbing about nothing and using up all the hot water.
I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna keep buying vintage Pyrex from Etsy like it’s going out of–well, like it went out of style in the 70s.
Because that shit is the best when it comes to pie crusts and cupcake batters, both of which I come up with like every single day because I’m actually kind of domestic. I’m going to make an honest effort to come up with names for our puppy-child that aren’t appliances (“Microwave”), foods (“Cheddar”), or just weird made-up hybrids that you’d forget how to say before you had a chance to teach the dog to respond to it (“Snofflebugs McGilliwubbles”).
“Yeah, well you’re going to FAIL. I mean, how can you even expect to be able to have a SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP when Zooey Deschanel is getting divorced?! ANSWER ME THAT, KNOWITALL.”
I just got to work and the dickholiest of dickholes is sitting here, waiting for me. He looks at me, then down at his watch as if to say, “You’re an entire minute late and don’t think I didn’t notice because I did, and I’m very important, which you would know if you noticed that I am wearing not one, but two Bluetooth earpieces, but you probably didn’t notice because they are imported from Japan and are therefore very small and efficient, which you would know if you could afford small electronics. So let’s get going because I have a lot of Very Important Research to do.”
Part of his strategy is that he regularly emails everyone he comes into contact with who he thinks might be good for networking. He sends these weird mass emails, these “life updates,” which are just like “Hi, just checking in. Took my son fishing off the coast of Malta last week. It was really wonderful to get to spend time with him as he is quickly becoming a man.” Fucking prick. They’re like Christmas letters from the really rich extended family that you don’t really like. Only they’re once a month.
Just to keep in contact.
I took a Tylenol PM last night for a splitting storm headache, which I only get when the weather is hot and then suddenly cooler and rainy and dark. It feels like a little ball above my right ear grows spiky tentacles, which snake out to wrap around the back of my brain and over the top, as well as under my right eye, where they anchor and suddenly retract. My right eye feels like it will pop out and the entire right side of my head stings, even my hair hurts. Then lightning flashes and the headache ball tightens its tentacles and the pain shoots through my teeth for about as long as the light is in the sky.
This sounds weird but I’ve decided that it’s all due to electrical energy. My mom suffered from epilepsy as a teenager, which simply faded away as she grew up, but she still gets headaches on her right side when the weather changes. She said that before a seizure, she would see swirling white balls of light through the peripheral vision on the right, light that would get bigger and rounder and she’d be looking for its source and then she’d wake up on the floor, tired and achey. All of the brain is connected by electrical impulses and magnetic fields and shit, right? The brain and the spine. So I see no reason why nearby surges of electricity shouldn’t affect me in a totally fucked up, painful, hereditary way. It’s kind of cool.
Two related/un-related things about this:
1. Joan of Arc is suspected to have had some type of aural epilepsy. This condition can produce, pre-seizure, a feeling of calmness and well-being, sense of a presence, bright light, and disembodied voices. She described having all of these symptoms when put on trial for heresy. As sad as that is, how fucking cool is that?
2. When I was a kid, this little old lady lived in a house up the street. She wore thin cotton flowered housedresses and aprons every day. There was a trunk in her basement where she kept an old pair of galoshes from the 30s, charred down both sides and melted to shit. They were the shoes her sister was wearing when lightning struck and killed her. I used to think of her asking to keep the shoes, putting them in that trunk, moving that trunk around with her everywhere she went. I want to be her when I get old, except with my magical electrical brain-ache. When I feel it, I’ll tell all the children to run on home ‘lest they get struck by lightning.
I don’t think that any amount of medication in the world could save me from being horrified by the monster that is Junk Butt. I always knew she was fucking terrible in that way that the worst dark-hearted people have no idea that they’re sociopaths, because they don’t know what a sociopath IS so it means nothing to them, like everything else. Things that have always annoyed me about her are as follows, in case you haven’t been paying attention:
1. Tells you you’re pretty then tells someone else you’re ugly.
2. Believes it’s her duty to stop and chat with everyone in the office at least once a day, so she can tell them that they’re pretty and tell the next person that they’re ugly, actually.
3. Has acknowledged her shittiness and fakery as a well-calculated and carefully produced front, an acceptable front for the rest of the meaningless world to have to deal with.
4. Has a big junk butt and talks about going to the gym all. the. time., but must be lifting weights with her junk butt because you could set your drink on that thing if you needed to tie your shoe.
5. Is just very basically a horrible, nasty person, and is pleased with her own horrible nastiness.
One time Junk Butt sat down in front of my desk and burst into tears. She cried and cried, her face twisting into this strawberry-streaked cream cheese mess, her wet lips smacking and sticking together like slices of raw fish guts. I sat there staring in shaky awe, somehow I knew that she wasn’t crying because her cat died or she stubbed her toe, she was about to confess something to me, and I heard part of my brain telling me to RUN AWAY, but then she made her confession. The night before, the concierge, a sweet old woman from the U.K., had asked if she could have one of the countless pieces of cake set out on a fancy table for some event Junk Butt had coordinated. “Noooo,” Junk Butt had said, probably in that sickening coo she uses on people she deems ultimately unworthy of the use of her Adult Voice (so….everybody), “That cake is only for guests. Sor-ry!” The concierge said she understood, grabbed her umbrella, walked out the door, and into the street where she was hit by a car and killed.
“If only I had given her that caaaake,” Junk Butt wailed. “If only I had given her that cake and chatted with her for just FIVE MORE SECONDS,” she wheezed. I attempted to console her, but she refused to be consoled, kept insisting that it was her fault. As the days passed, of course the accident was The Thing to Talk About among everyone, and eventually, everyone had been visited by a sobbing Junk Butt who just felt “totally responsible” for the death, and before you know it, people are stopping by to hug her and reassure her and stopping her in the hall to tell her what a great person she is and she should never ever feel bad about anything she can’t control and God and the Bible and strength and peace and basically you are a good person and what were we talking about? Oh yes, the dead woman. And you, dear, of course, you poor thing. You’ve been through so much.
I think she picked up on the fact that I wasn’t buying her shit. Maybe that’s because I would walk away abruptly every time she came to my desk and started to sniffle. And she definitely picked up on it when I said “You need to go somewhere else. I can’ t deal with this.” That next week she made a crack about how I can’t handle emotions, “They make her uncomfortable at work!” I wanted to jump on her like a wildcat and tear open her ribcage, eat her ashen heart while she watched, but I just smiled.
That was well over a year ago. On Day 34 of my Medicated Life, I left work early to visit my friend in the hospital. We’d all gotten an email weeks before that he’d fallen and bruised himself, and wouldn’t be at work for a few days. I missed him those few days, thinking he would be back in front of my desk for our daily chat later that week, not knowing he was actually in the ICU with severe cranial contusions. Finally we all got an email stating that he was stable, and that we would be encouraged to visit him so that his brain would be challenged to remember us. He wasn’t sure what year he was in, who people were, what had happened, where he had come from and where he was going. Apparently, you can expect this to happen to you if your brain suddenly and forcefully hits the front of your skull, then the back, then the front again. When people enter your room in the Rehabilitation Ward, you’ll look at them like a deer in the headlights because it’s scary to not remember them, then you’ll decide you don’t care and go back to watching The Simpsons, which you never liked before. The world outside is a total mystery, and the food inside is bad.
So on Day 34, I felt sufficiently able to handle this, and planned to leave work for a visit. Two other people decided to come, and wouldn’t you know, one of them was Junk Butt.
People always talk about the antiseptic smell of hospitals, but I really hate how they always have some kind of really loud ventilation system, like five jet engines attached to the top of the building, howling all day and night. The hallways are throaty and raw, everything is impersonal. My friend’s ward has a library with a piano and several mismatched chairs and loveseats passed down from refurbished offices, a wide window looking down on a patch of the city that seems to be in perpetual tarp-blanketed construction, and a book on the shelf that says, in bold yellow letters, EVERYBODY DIES. I walked by and saw this message, which was supposed to be comforting, but felt a bit like a command. And of course I thought that this was funny because all of my emotions have been packed away neatly in a fire-proof box with sharp corners that pokes me somewhere around my liver.
Junk Butt goes in nervous, talking about how she’s nervous, letting us know that she’ll just not be able to handle it if it’s worst case scenario stuff, like what if his face is still bruised and what if he doesn’t remember me and ohmygoddddd I’m so nervous if I start crying just clear me a path to the door so I can just go be emotional by myself, NO, don’t follow me out, just let me cry somewhere off by myself in a romantically lonely corner of the yawning white hospital. Really, I’ll be okay, because I’m a strong woman.
In reality, when she’s faced with the blankness, the disinterest in interaction, the half-closed eye of an individual submerged in the ocean of competing thoughts and bewildered by the shimmer of memories like bottle rockets, she is thrown so off-guard she’s unable to muster the strength to perform. All she can do is talk about how nice the room is, in her most phony, high-pitched voice. She glances at the stack of magazines on the bedside table and tells someone who is re-learning how to read how super awesome it is to have plenty of stuff to read. She tells him he’s so lucky to be in a place that has such totally super great food, gesturing at the half-eaten cardboard pizza on his tray, which brings to mind that stuff they gave you in grade school with glorified ketchup for sauce. “They’re takin’ good care of ya!” she chirps. He stares back at her and barely nods.
This is when I realize that Junk Butt is only so awful because she’s bricked up behind this wall of fake asscrappery, so high and well-constructed that there’s never going to be a way out. She might as well be dead in there because I think she’s at the point where she’s so scared of the world that she’s done for. The more excited she appears to be about life, the more she’s actually screaming at you that life terrifies her. I felt really bad for her in that moment, but I remembered that this wasn’t her hospital room. I didn’t much care for her starting to do that puppet show she does where she sticks her own hand up her asshole and makes herself look stoic and unafraid and positive, so I moved in and sat down next to him, close to him, which was scary but which I needed to do. It was scary because he had on sweats and these sad hospital-issued socks, scary because a woman at the table in the community area outside his door was bleating for someone to please come open her milk, scary because he looked lonely and locked inside himself. I thought of Bauby’s therapist and my mother helping an old lady with her groceries once when I was seven and how nothing bad is going to happen to you for doing something loving for someone, even when you’re afraid.
“So,” I said. “Did you hear that Pippa Middleton didn’t win that Best Butt award?”
“No,” he said.
“Yeah. It was some other woman. Some other woman named Carol. You wouldn’t think a Carol could have a hot ass, would you?” He agreed that Carol is not a hot-ass-havin’ name. But I showed him some proof.
His therapist came in and asked him if he knew my name. First, he called me Fag Hag, which I thought was hilarious, and so did he. Then, finally, he said my name, my full name, and smiled at me like he was really just faking a head injury, like a sneaky kid. Of course, when asked Junk Butt’s name, he said it was Esther Williams.
(Of course, Junk Butt took this as a compliment and thought it to mean that she was skinny, but I think it’s because she’s very…theatrical.)
Toward the end of our visit, Junk Butt struck up her happy chord again, tweeting about how great it must be to just get to lie in bed all day and not go to work.
As soon as she shut the fuck up, I said “This sucks.” He nodded. “I would be bored here, too. It’s OK to be depressed here.”
“I am depressed,” he said finally. “I just feel sad and they keep wanting me to do these stupid exercises.”
“But you got this awesome window to look out of!!!” Junk Butt chimed in.
“Do you like the pizza?” I asked, gesturing at the wafer of half eaten crap on his plate. His therapist had told us that he kept asking for pizza.
“No, it’s awful!” he replied. “And the cake is bad, too.”
“You ate it all!!!” Junk Butt squeaked like a Disney animated squirrel. He stared at her. I bet he was thinking, My God, when did Esther Williams put on all this weight and stop making any damn sense?
“Well,” I said. “It will be good to get home. You can order an edible pizza and I’ll make you some cupcakes. I promise it will be less depressing, it will get a lot better than this. Just focus on the day you’re going to get to leave here. You ARE going to get to leave here, I swear.”
“I don’t know!” Junk Butt junk-butted in. “I think it’s awesome here…like a hotel! I love hotels!” Apparently she didn’t realize that in hotels there’s not a package of adult diapers on top of your particle-board bureau for all to see, there’s not a cacophony of beeping and loud nurse voices and people moaning for their meds outside your open door at all hours of the day and night.
He looked back at the TV and said, “Amy Winehouse is on.” Amy stumbled around on stage, hollered “Hello Athens!” to the crowd in Belgrade, and we got our things together and left.
Through the mouth-breathing halls, Junk Butt couldn’t stop talking about how sad everything was, how she was just going to have to take a long, long time to get over this. How he would “never be the SAME” and how everything was just awful awful awful. I just kept thinking how it was kind of nice to not feel like that anymore, to have my feelings chemically enclosed in this place that isn’t exactly unreachable, but is definitely not the first place to look for substantial feelings. I was thinking how much better I felt and how able to spread emotions out and look at all of them, turn them over and think about their edges instead of just running to the bathroom to sit in the bottom of the shower and cry about everything. I wonder how much easier it would be to be around Junk Butt if she found some magic pill that allowed her to process her fears instead of turning them into a billboard, or a crown of thorns for herself, with a bunch of pink sparklers attached at the top.
There was a dog tied up to a bike rack outside of the hospital. It looked bored and hot, and I pointed at it. I asked Junk Butt, “What do you think that dog’s thinking?” She blinked at me, like she couldn’t believe I was talking about a stupid dog at this horrible and terribly sad moment in her existence. “I bet he’s thinking something like,” and here I said in my best old Western movie sheriff voice, “Ah sure wish ah had me a taco right ’bout now.” I’m pretty sure Junk Butt was horrified.
Welcome to Whore Island
The Pants got this weird deal through AT&T which allows us to watch Season 5 of Dexter on Showtime On Demand. That’s good enough for me. But, amazingly enough, the deal also includes access to Showtime After Dark On Demand. This is the channel that they put all the sexy silicone soft core shows on. The first of these which I watched was The Devil Wears Nada. It has taught me a lot about women and life and sex that I didn’t already know, but am glad that I know now so that I may protect myself. Now I will share it with you!
So Candy Cane is this young sexy part-Asian girl (all the sexy parts are Asian, at least) who is looking for her big break into the television industry. In the meantime, she’s kept herself busy designing sexy underwear. She hopes to work her way up from the title of lowly assistant to a powerful and bitchy titty magazine publisher, I forget her name, so we’ll call her Bitchy McTitties. Bitchy McTitties is really hard-core and apparently gets pissed off a lot at her current assistant for having lesbian fuckfests with all of the bikini models out by the pool all the time, and getting pussy juice all over her company-issued Blackberry as a result, or something. So the company’s brand is pretty basically falling apart and Bitchy McTitties wants to be sure that Ms. Cane can turn shit around without expecting to get paid very much. It turns out that McTitties hires Candy Cane on the spot because not only does she wear a leather bustier to the interview, she also is totally cool with letting McTitties mash her tits around to make sure she’s assistant material.
Here's Candy, modeling her new creation! Later she has to wear it to work because that's all that's clean.
(I bet you didn’t know this, but the way lesbians have sex is that they roll around and grab each other’s boobs and play with each other’s hair, then one bends the other one over and humps her doggystyle and they both fucking love it. Just don’t think about the mechanics of it, okay? You’ll ruin it.)
So eventually Candy Cane is running crazy trying to keep up with all of her work and only has time to have booby-bouncing softcore sex with her boyfriend like 4 times in a 30 minute span. Also she’s having to keep a lot of things from her boyfriend, like the fact that when McTitties pages her, it’s usually because she needs her to have sex with some hunk that just showed up and won’t fix the pool skimmer until he’s been paid in poon. And sometimes McTitties herself needs a good pubic-bone-to-butthole banging before she can get inspired to tell people what to do. God, the things an assistant has to do! It takes her forever to put on real clothes, so in order to get out the door and into her Lamborghini really fast, Candy has to wear stuff she puts together in the dark, made of motorcycle parts and the straps from a million complicated bras. She runs into the mansion where Twatty Magazine has its offices and photoshoots, like a sexy little deer on 6 inch platform heels, and wouldn’t ya know it: someone is always waiting right there to grab her by both boobs and swing her around and bang her.
(I bet you also didn’t know this, but if someone grabs a girl’s tits, her clothes fall to the floor and her eyes roll back in her head and she has no choice but to let them bone her. This is what I’m saying: walk around with your arms across your chest unless you want to be totally helpless, y’all. And don’t take a job working under [or on top of] McTitties.)
Candy’s life is falling apart. All day and all night spent getting raw-dogged by random people, virtually no time to see her oily boyfriend or have her period. She keeps re-scheduling for both, but McTitties always calls at the last minute and needs her to bring her vagina over real quick because the bikini models have refused to take their bikini tops off for the midnight pool shoot until someone settles the dispute over which one is the best lay by fucking each one of them and then judging them on their performance. Candy! What are you gonna do, girl? You can’t go on like this!
Thankfully, Candy gets a new job, or something. I don’t know for sure because I had to go pee and I didn’t bother pausing the movie. One of the random dudes who banged her at one point apparently figured she had a lot of talent and made her a success, because later he wears a suit and bosses her around for like four minutes. But she stresses that while she totally hated the grueling schedule of working at Twatty, the constant fucking on camera was a total plus and something she was not averted to doing in her new job as a network executive and part-time underwear designer. So they have a sexy board room encounter with the girl who brings them some coffee and all is right with the world. Actually, that might not be how it ends but that’s when I decided to turn it off.
The photographer for Twatty Magazine deserves a shout-out in this synopsis, and I can’t find a single mention of him in the many recaps for this movie that exist online, except for one, written by Showtime, which describes him as “the comic relief.” See, things get really intense a lot of times in movies. (If it was just 100% dying of heart disease in Beaches, nobody would watch it. Instead it’s like 47% dying of heart disease, 26% heartbreaking love triangle, 10% cheating husband, 10% leaving husband, and 7% of big old goofballin’ Bette Midler. Case in point!) If you were just expected to sit there and jerk off for 77 minutes, The Devil Wears Nada wouldn’t become a family favorite because nobody likes to sit around with sore genitals. So you need to jerk off, laugh, jerk off, laugh, repeat. This film artfully handles this necessity via the character of the nameless flamer who does a variety of weird things for God knows what reasons. For instance, he wears the same outfit every day: a purple beret, a long white flowy shirt, sparkly Hammer pants, a blue jacket he borrowed from his friend in the circus, with long glittery tails, and a gigantic floppy red bow tie from the joke shop. He’s a big man, and he flitters about the mansion with both pinkies in the air because, you know, how else would you know he’s gay?
(You can’t be funny in a lesbian butt-humping movie unless you’re gay. And don’t even try to point out that the lesbians are gay–they’re not. They’re working.)
This photographer doesn’t take pictures of anything, he has a hunky assistant who holds the camera and shoots when he says to shoot. He also has this weird stick with a feathery bird stuck to the end of it. He uses this to wave at the bikini models so they know where to look. He also does this thing he learned about on Leno where you ask people really random easy questions about American history and stuff and decide that they’re stupid when they don’t know the answer. Seriously: if you like quiz shows, you will love this movie. He stops photo shoots like ten times to swing his bird stick around and ask one of the girls, “What’s the capital of the United States of America?” Destini or Sugar or Kitty then bites her lower lip, tilts her head, and says “Ummm like, California?” Homogay cracks up and looks directly into the camera, breaking the fourth wall as if to say, “See? They’re just big stupid titty sticks!!! And I’m just a big old funny fag! HAHAHA! Now for some more sex.”
Two in the mornin’ and the party’s still jumpin’ cause my mama ain’t home
I just found out you can text the police in my city. If you see a crime happening, you whip out your SmartPhone and take a picture or a video and text it to this special cop number. Then the cops show up and bust it up and everything is OK again. I thought about doing it the other night at 2 in the morning when the neighbor teenagers were having a Scream Meeting out on the front stoop of their building, beneath the open windows of everyone on the entire street. SO I TOLD THAT BITCH, I SAID, BITCH, YOU AIN’T SHIT. You know, hardass stuff like that. Instead of each of them smoking their own cigarette, they kept lighting single cigarettes and passing them around, like a joint. I think it was just for how cool the passing action looked, and how often they got to use lighters. Anyway, for a second, I got all these really inappropriate thoughts, which I’m going to be honest about, even though they made me feel like an asshole and a Republican and a racist and stuff. I thought, “I wish they’d shut up so I could get some sleep so I can get up and go to work and pay for their Section 8 apartment with my tax money.” OH MY GOD. THAT’S TERRIBLE ISN’T IT??? But that’s what I thought.
And I didn’t tattle on them with a cop text. I just turned on the air conditioner until it drowned them out. Mostly out of guilt and the fear that when I’m old I’ll be an asshole, like for real and not just for fake.
Last night I left my filing cabinet key stuck into the lock on the filing cabinet in my office. The filing cabinet key unfortunately shares a ring with my apartment keys. So imagine my distress when, after my hour and ten minute commute home, I realized that I couldn’t get in.
So The Pants came to get me, like good Pants do, me and my bag of frozen stir-fry shrimp. I collapsed into a little heap in his car and started crying like a big twat because it’s the worst when my brain, which I’ve considered to be a pretty good one before, doesn’t work the way it should. It’s a wonder that I remember to put on shoes in the morning. I once had a series of Post-Its on the back of my apartment door telling me exactly what to do that day. And not just like “don’t forget your lunch,” but more like “write a list of things to do.”
Is there a way to rinse your brain off? Because sometimes I’d sort of like to take off the top of my head and clean all of the barnacles out of my brain matter. So I could remember my keys and get into my apartment after a long day of work and shit. That would be so refreshing. Maybe the canoe trip next month will be like a brain cleanse? I hope so. Because eventually there is so much shit going on in my head, and no discernible way to organize it, that I start to forget things, then I start to think that Bad Things Are Going to Happen pretty much all the time, then I just go to sleep and don’t wake up for a few days.
To: Target Stores
Attn: Customer Complaints
I just thought I should let someone know that I don’t appreciate the way your check-out girl looked at me last night. I was purchasing a fresh set of clothes, underwear, some makeup essentials, a toothbrush, and a six pack of beer. Now I don’t know what kind of nastiness this young lady had in mind, but I was just trying to make it through my evening. I don’t need to be judged by chirpy, red-shirted cashier girls who seem to have nothing to think about other than the possibility that complete strangers may be preparing for a pre-walk of shame. How dare she?
I locked myself out, you bitch!
C. Cake Jones
500 Ways to Suck
Everybody went to see that movie 500 Days of Summer last summer. I went to see it and some of it was good but most of it was bad. Anyway, everyone’s favorite dream girl was in it, and she was costumed in such a way that swept the young female nation, and made every girl want to be her, and every boy want to fuck her while she thought about maybe breaking up with him.
I ain’t gonna lie, I thought she was cute, too. Her little outfits were pretty fucking adorable. It was inspiring to think that maybe it’s that easy to just walk into a thrift store and find assloads of cheap clothes that are your size and your budget and look super cute and effortless with all of the other thrift store finds you have going for you and they don’t smell at all like thrift store, ever. Sure, it gave me the whole “fashion is easy and will make you feel better” vibe for about two days until I realized that I just can’t seem to motivate myself to put out even the tiniest bit of effort to Be Cuter. Sure, if someone wanted to come along and dress me, I’d wear something besides my Harry Potter t-shirt and ripped jeans from last year’s Gap sale. If I felt like getting up earlier or staying up later to steam my Peter Pan collared shirt and find the brooch I want for my vest and make sure my patterned tights were clean and laid out, I’d do it. Instead I say hell with it and wear the pants I wore on Monday and some flip flops.
So I was talking about this phenomenon with someone, saying that I don’t know how some girls do it, how they ended up always knowing what goes together, how they have A Style, one which makes other people say “that’s her Style”. Maybe there’s some kind of guide they follow? Maybe someone sat around and wrote up a guide for a wiki and maybe it includes a mention of a book you should “try to read” because it’s the book Favorite Dream Girl was reading when she met her husband. Maybe that makes me puke a little and maybe the person who sent this how-to list to me, with whom I was dumb enough to have a conversation about a Zooey Deschanel dreamy dream girl character, should be killed and eaten by rapists.
And maybe I should have worn different shoes with this outfit because I have this sinking feeling that my life will never be like a hit summer indie rock movie and I think with different shoes I could ignore that feeling.
My Little Crazy
When I was eight I asked my mom if I could have a horse, with the promise that I would clean out a space in the basement for it. I swore that I would go and find hay for it and build a pen for it in the corner by the water heater. It made perfect sense to me. I even had a horse picked out, an aging ex-race horse featured in the Pets section of the Dollar & Sense that had been turned out to pasture and was only $600 to the right owner. “This horse would love our basement,” I told her when I showed her the grainy photo. “It’s not too tall.” My mother, of course, said no to the whole horse idea, but only because, she said, “race horses are too high-strung.”
I didn’t know what that meant at the time but I thought it had something to do with their legs, like maybe their legs were too long to fit in our basement. But now that I am an adult, and have been referred to as “high strung” by pretty much everyone who has known me in a personal capacity, I know that it means “bat shit crazy” and also “easily pissed off by everything.”
I have been pretty high strung lately.
Drunk dude walking two filthy little floor mop dogs down the street the other night, allowed both unleashed dogs to approach me and the people I was with. Both dogs, of course, proceeded to do that weird dog sneeze thing where they splatter you with their spit, through their nose, over and over again. Both dogs made runs for my bare feet and ankles, which, for some reason, dogs love to lick…and one of the only things that grosses me out is for dogs to lick at my toes, feet, and ankles. I mean really grosses me out. Like makes me want to peel off my skin and have it bleached while I beat myself in the head with a hammer to drive out the memory of cold dog tongue on my skin. I’ve got that pre-puke lump in my throat right now just writing about it. Both dogs crowded around my legs, scraping at my tights, trying to get me to pet them. I backed away. Repeatedly. Waved my hands at them. “Go on, no…go on now…don’t…no…”
So the drunk dude finally started talking to his dogs, who, I am sure, understand English perfectly well, especially slurred Tequila-stink English. “Come on, she’s scared of you…come on now, she’s scaaaared.” And, wouldn’t you know it, for some reason the dogs had lost their translation skills at the moment, and paid absolutely no heed to his half-assed commands. He finally grabbed both of them by their slimy little collars and pulled them away.
“They should be on leashes,” I said.
“Oh well thanks for letting me know,” he said.
“Well,” I retorted, “it is the law?”
“Then CALL the POLICE ON ME.”
“Just put the dogs on leashes, and I won’t have to.”
And that’s when I basically got told to shut the fuck up by a member of my party. The rest of the group I was with had been, for some reason completely lost on me, enjoying the presence of the animals. Then I went and ruined it with my Strong Opinions About Strange Dogs. And my Confrontational Methods of Communication With Strangers With Strange Dogs. Then everyone was pretty much weirded out and pissed at me for being such a senior citizen about it.
I do not hate the dogs. I hate the owners who fail to put them on leashes because they assume that everyone will love them. They prefer not to see their pets as possible risks to other people (allergies, bites, holes snagged in tights, basic fucking preference to not touch weird animals), and will quickly ascend to a level of unholy anger if you even dare to suggest that you don’t necessarily want their dog’s company as much as they do. Dogs are cool, but people fucking suck. And when they have dogs and don’t train them, it’s annoying as fuck. Like when you’re dating someone who’s mom has a bunch of little anklebiter Scottie dogs, who she allows to put their paws in your lap and reach up and lick the food on your plate when you come over for dinner. Then you’re expected to still want to eat the fucking food that the dog managed to lick. Or when you sit in a chair at her house and are politely told that the reason the fattest of the Scotties has sat on you and scrubbed dried dog shit from its exposed asshole all over your white skirt is because “That’s Smoopy’s chair, he likes to sit there, hee hee hee!”
Well guess what? SMOOPY’S A FUCKING DOG AND THE FLOOR IS WHERE DOGS SIT. PEOPLE SIT ON CHAIRS.
I’m not a total asshole about dogs. I love them. They are good animals. When I was a kid, my dog was my best friend and I cried for months after she died. (Then my sister drew a chalk outline of the dog on our front porch and I cried for a few more months.) But my dog always knew it was a dog. It didn’t crowd people who came in the front door, jump on the couch and sit on their laps, put its paws on their clothes, lick at their feet. It didn’t sit by the dinner table slurping at the edges of plates. I walked it on a leash and even off a leash it didn’t run up to people like a retard. What it did do was let out a low growl when strangers approached, until it was told everything was OK. It ate food out of its own bowl and ran to get my mom if any of the kids fell and hurt themselves. My dog was like a big, loving Lassie.
Dogs are like kids, in a sense. I don’t see why people hate on me for not liking obnoxious animals (i.e., obnoxious owners) but will roll their eyes and express distaste with obnoxious kids (i.e., obnoxious parents) in Target on a Saturday. Nobody says “Awww, c’mere!” and gives big hugs to sticky, messy little shoeless children when they run into you and knock a bunch of shit out of your hands. They look at the parents like “Can’t you handle your fucking kids?” So why am I a jerk because I won’t allow someone to let their pets claw at me and climb on me or even fucking approach me? You wouldn’t be happy if a pantsless three-year-old climbed up onto your lap and wiped its ass on you. So why is it okay if a fluffy little dog does it? “Well doggies don’t know any better!” you could say. Maybe not. But neither do three-year-olds. Kids and dogs don’t know shit until you teach them. And if your drunk ass is too lazy to teach them, that’s what leashes are for, pendejo.
However, I probably could have politely asked Drunk Man to get his dogs. I do have the capability to be polite, you know.
I was crossing the street on my way to work yesterday, and a man in a van was, of course, edging out over the crosswalk, looking the opposite direction from where I was crossing on MY LIGHT, trying to pull out in between bursts of traffic and run a red light. I looked up just in time to realize that he wasn’t looking in my direction, and didn’t see me, and that’s why there was a large green van creeping up in front of me, barring my way across the street. I stopped with my toes about an inch from the guy’s front fender, and when the shock wore off, my toes were about an inch from his front right tire. So I said “HEY!”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, sorry about that!” he claimed as I crossed the street. I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic, but I crossed the fucking street as fast as I could just to get away from him.
I don’t know about other humanoids, but almost being hit by a car really revs up my adrenaline and makes me a bit nervy. And it happens from time to time because people are too stupid to walk in straight lines, let alone drive cars properly, and I have to cross streets often because I walk and jog everywhere. And I know there’s a lot to think about when you’re driving, but holy fuck, there’s a lot MORE to think about when you’re driving and trying to do something illegal just to save yourself some time, isn’t there?
So anyway. The dude was apologizing and I was walking away and THE SECOND I made it across the street around the front of his vehicle and my back was to him, he ceased his apologies and said “Now wipe that fucking look off your face.”
I guess the “fucking look” he was referring to is the look of someone who’s almost been hit by a van, and is understandably a little jangled. I guess I was supposed to giggle and smile and say “Oh, no problem!” and skip along my merry way. I guess I was supposed to be pleased that I wasn’t dead and just wink and smile like someone without a thought in their head.
So I turned around and yelled “LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU DRIVE ACROSS THE FUCKING STREET.”
Because I don’t think that’s too much to ask. He looked a little surprised. I can’t figure out if I would be happier person if I just smiled at stupid people and pretended that my guts weren’t boiling. I mean, normal people deal with this shit by being like “Ohhh it’s cool, thaaaanks” to the offending driver, then mutter “Wow, that guy was a douchebag” under their breath.
Normal people wouldn’t stand on a corner and yell back at him. Okay, okay, I get it.
A certain Starbucks on a certain corner in a certain neighborhood of this city is the most depressing place on the planet. That’s because I was in there this morning, and this loud woman in expensive jogging/yoga fusionwear was hollering her 4 espresso orders over my head from where she stood behind me in line. I had to say “What?” twice to understand what the guy at the register was saying to me, because this bitch was obviously on crack, and was going on and on about “the great synergy you guys have going on behind that counter! Look at that! Look how he takes my order and he makes it and he rings it up! What great synergy! Don’t you agreeeeeeeee about the synergyyyyyyy!?”
I mean, what the fuck.
But I guess that the real mistake is going into a Starbucks in that particular affluent neighborhood and expecting something other than a bunch of totally bored, pilled-out, rich-piece-of-shit gaywad housewives in workout wear jostling for the position of Most Memorable Visitor of the Day. Again, my fault.
*End of the Exhibition*
So there are three examples of my crotchety nature, which have all occurred in the span of the last three days. Here are three examples of why I will end up alone, living on a hilltop behind the motel, pulling the curtains tighter every day and filling the downstairs bathroom with used adult diapers until the floor rots out. It’s because nastiness and confrontation and sheer annoyance with the constant yap of other human beings in my path don’t make for cute anymore. Maybe it’s one thing to read about it, maybe people think it’s funny when I write a Facebook status update about how I yelled at my neighbor for borrowing my mixer and failing to wipe off the red food coloring before returning it 2 months later. But I think that’s where it ends, and lately I feel like people are sick of it. Or they’re just really polite, positive, happy people, who don’t necessarily want to be around someone who’s always like “I don’t like the way you order your coffee, WANNA FIGHT?!”
“I don’t like your dog, WANNA FIGHT?”
“You almost ran over me, WANNA FIGHT?”
So this counts of Day 1 of my new experiment, wherein I force myself to be goddamn fucking positive about every annoying thing that happens to me until I don’t notice annoying things anymore. At least, that is the outcome I hope for. I will try not to be so affected by society. I am going to relax and smile like a jackass when people almost run over me. I am going to stand there and coo while strange animals lick at my feet. I am going to block out the annoying sounds of other people in chain coffee shops. I will not let hipster cunts at house parties get under my skin. I am not even going to write about the hipster cunt at the house party over the weekend who got under my skin!!! See? I am already making progress!
The Pants and I were tired and crankety after work the other night. I wanted a veggie burger like nobody’s business, so we went to the place where they make ’em so fresh you get sunflower seeds in your teeth, but still cover them with grease and cheddar cheese so they might as well be a real hamburger. We also ordered these ridonkulous cheese fries that were smothered with bacon, green onions, bleu cheese, and alfredo sauce. Fucking alfredo sauce. Was on them. On the fries. We agreed it was the type of dish one eats in the dark, by oneself, crying.
So as we unloaded the giant grocery-sized restaurant bag full of food from the back seat, The Pants asked if we were that couple who bought lots of food and ate it and went to sleep. I said we probably were, and then we shared a moment of silence.
I hate it when people (including myself) start dating and suddenly their clothes don’t fit. But what’s crappy about that is that I only ever see The Pants when it’s nearing dinner time and we like to make cheesy things and eat them together. Is that so wrong? Also, is it so wrong that I got Cool Whip on my exercise pants and the Cool Whip stain was my reason for not actually going to the gym? What would the gym people think?! They wash their sweaty hair in the drinking fountains, I can’t walk up in there with Cool Whip on my pants!
Anyway. I kind of like how The Pants is always watching where we’re walking in our relationship, pointing out the dog turds along the way.
Watch this, I said it’s fun.
This was my faaaaavorite Merrie Melodies cartoon growing up, and if it wasn’t yours, too, well I’m here to tell you that you don’t know nothin.
Likes: Jesus, Sarah Palin, the death penalty, and being a Mommy!
With some help from my sister, I found this blog, and it’s been like crack, I can’t seem to stop reading about this woman who adopts these special-needs kids and writes about Jesus and just basically wants everyone in her family to be happy all the time, no matter what. I submit her un-prompted explanation of herself as evidence:
I am a pro-nursing, home birthing, alternatives to medicine believing, public school by choice promoting, non-circumcising, pro-life rejoicing, homeless people feeding, adoptive parent advocating, awesome cookie making, special needs loving, anti-child harnessing, 15-passenger van driving, Laura Ingalls-Wilder reading, death penalty supporting, light shining, family adoring, sex outside of marriage disapproving, Grey’s Anatomy watching, beach enjoying, Cinnamon Popcorn munching, Sarah Palin supporting, nose rubbing, Euthanasia discouraging, chit-chatting, fast driving, blog writing, dog loving, aluminum can collecting, size 10 wearing, non-hair coloring, respite providing, cuticle picking, black coffee drinking, hug giving, anti-homosexuality in school teaching, tree planting, picture taking, household bill paying, mega grocery shopping, frugal spending, child advocating, disciplining, husband loving, put God first believing woman of God.
(Her italics, btw.)
I hate these little comma-heavy lists people write about themselves. Now that I’ve discovered this bottomless basement of daily-updated Blog Mommy web rants, this never ending network of bored, religious housewife banter, I’ve found that this “who I am” list is a key theme. Then they’re all “This is who I am, okay? Okay? So if you don’t like anything in this list I’ll tell you respectfully where to stick your hat!” But the deal is that in REAL LIFE, which is what we do outside of being Blog Mommies, nobody stands around in bookstores and at the movies giving each other three-minute orations on the foods they eat, books they read, politicians they support, shows they watch, blah blah blah. And do you know why? Because nobody gives a shit.
Blog Mommies don’t think so, oh no! They sit around reading each other’s masturbatory comments about themselves and just LOL all the live long day. But I ain’t hatin. If my clitoris was mummified and I lived in the burbs and drove a minivan all over the place, I’d probably want to forge lots of cheap online relationships, too. I’d want all kinds of people who don’t really know me telling me how much they love me.
What’s interesting about this woman, if you care to click that link I debated on adding, is that she seems wholeheartedly defiant of the fact that special needs children, or children in general, may have special emotional needs. She writes sarcastically about how her most troubling child, the one she hems and haws (PUBLICLY. ONLINE.) over having adopted in the first place, may have behavioral trouble as a result of being adopted. Haha, just kidding! I don’t really believe that! That’s silly! She just needs to shape up and accept that this is her life and BE HAPPY and LOVE MOMMY.
Oh, Christ. Really.
Well. She gets lots of praise from the other BMs (Blog Mommies) for following her heart and coming up with new and exciting punishments to show them the waaaalk of Jeeeesus. Her most controversial punishment, in my (and her) opinion, is a very short haircut. She seems to think that this is revolutionary in some way, and both the New York Times in 1912 and the Nazis will tell ya otherwise, Mama BM.
It’s funny, or maybe not as funny as it is sad, but as a child, the people in my family who caused me the most emotional suffering, who lied and cheated and manipulated, were those who considered themselves to be hand in hand with old J.C. himself, walkin’ along whatever foggy beach he happened to be vacationing on that Sunday. That’s why I read this woman’s vapid, idiotic thoughts and think how she’d better hope I’m not ever in the same room with her. My sister said she should be “in a cage, with her hair cut off,” and I can’t help but wish that I could put her there.
I guess, on the other hand, you could argue that Hell really does exist for people like this, that they build it around themselves and live in it every day, I just wish they didn’t have the right to adopt innocent children and throw them into the flames, as well. Christian Family kids really creep my shit out, yo. They’re always nervous about harmless shit like TV shows and certain words and sexuality and music a whole list of who knows what else. They get so hammered down into the round hole of their parents’ faith that they don’t know what to do when it comes to real life situations. They’re told to “aaaaaaaaaask Jesus!” like it’s a goddamn game show, and anyways if you’ve invited him to live in your heart then you should be able to hear him loud and clear! But when your bat-shit crazy parents tell you what’s wrong and what’s right, and you’re a KID who’s supposed to be listening to a ghost in your chest, let me just guess what you’re going to decide is wrong and right.
And God forbid you’re a fag. My Christian-school cousins weren’t allowed to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when we were kids, or wear Halloween costumes, or even say “dang it.” Now one of them carries a gun and blows his anti-homosexual, Evangelical right-leaning load all over anyone on the Internet who will fellate him for being “brave enough!” to do it, and the other is so obviously and painfully gay and lonely, yet still struggling to tough it out and walk with the Lord so that his obese mother and hate-mongering father will still let him live under their roof.
If anything could MAKE you straight, wouldn't it start with Donatello?
Poor thing. I bet he’s got a secret pair of low-rise True Religion jeans in the bottom of his hamper. The ones with the glitter on the butt pockets. I bet his little fairy hands shake when he thinks about them, sitting down there under all those conservatively-striped Old Navy boxer shorts.
One ring to rule them all.
Monday was my first day back to work with my new haircut. I walked into a LOST meeting (yeah, they sit around and “discuss” once a week, with notes) and all the ladies oohed and aahed over it. So Junk Butt thought it might be a good time to whip out the engagement ring her man gave her on Valentine’s Day. Then it was like, Haircut Over. Somebody’s getting MARRIED!!!
Of course, the crazy-ass elderly receptionist from across the hall wasted no time going around telling everyone that I got my hair cut just like hers, inspired by her hair. Which is funny because, her hair is A FUCKING WIG. The sleek, shiny type that black women staple or glue onto their heads in the morning after they’ve flattened their real hair down as far as it will go. She’s never done a very good job of the flattening, though, because it always looks like her head is sprouting gray and black pubes around her hairline, then there’s this waterfall of synthetic black oil pouring down, which she pulls and twists and sometimes, I think, puts on backwards. She puts her wig on backwards and still refers to it as her natural hair. But anyway.
Successfully trumped, I went to my desk, but overheard Junk Butt’s story of walking down to the pier, surrounded by chunks of “beautiful, crystal clear ice that looked like diiiiiamonds!” And this is where her man got on one knee and whipped out The Most Beautiful Ring Ever and proposed. Junk Butt brought her junk butt, and the ring, to my desk, where she asked me where my pointy elf ears were. “You know, the ones that go with your SUPER CUTE PIXIE HAIRCUT HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAA!” Then she showed me her ring, which looks to me like a, well, you know, a sparkly ring. I asked her if she’d been surprised (since she always referred to her live-in boyfriend as “my intended”), and she said oh yes, definitely. “I mean, there had been some ring shopping and stuff, but yes, totally a surprise!”
“You mean you picked that out? You went shopping for that ring?”
“Oh, of course, are you kidding? Boys don’t know about rings! HAhahahhahaha!”
“But…you were surprised? When he gave you the ring you picked out for him to give you?”
“Yeah oh my god it was so romantic! Then I started crying and I was just like oh my god…”
I don’t know what else she said because I can’t get around how stupid and maybe brain damaged she is. And I’ve mentioned before that I just don’t think I understand marriage in general. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it, really. Do people do it for fun? Or as a decision to have children? Or for the free waffle iron? I’d like to think that I deserve some kitchen accoutrements for NOT marrying my high school boyfriend. Shit, I deserve a car for that. Where’s my presents which I brazenly picked out at Target with a scanner and then emailed to you??
Anyway. My pregnant Polish co-worker doesn’t seem to have enough to do between eating whole cans of Hormel chili off paper plates at her desk and making Powerpoint presentations in broken English that only serve to further confuse international students. Because lately the bulk of her activity has been standing by my desk and commenting on me, my clothes, the things at/on my desk, and any fucking thing else she can think of. After The Hair Cut, she told me to dye my hair. “Lieeke a blahhck-red, dark, you know?” I said I didn’t think so. And whooo showed up today with a terrible Walgreens bottle dye job? You guessed it! Our favorite little preggers Polish sausage! She frankly and honestly pointed out that she had Midnight Rose’d herself “for the one-upping” since I had received attention for my hair. Then she sat down and asked me if I knew how old her husband was, told me that he’s 63, and then leaned in and confided that he had paid her a significant sum of money to come “from the Internet” to America and be his wife, and bear his “cheeldren.” She quit her job writing for the Polish-version of Tiger Beat to come to America and this is the only “stupiding” job she could find. She wanted to tell me this because, could we be friends? And also because she is required to use the large sum of money he gave her to pay him back for half of their mortgage and half of the bills every month, and she is not allowed to have a credit card, and she’s noticed that I have bought some things online with a credit card, so would I please buy her some things with my credit card? She would be happy to give me cash.
I responded that I had an appointment and really I just went across the hall and hid in the supply closet until I thought it was safe to come out. She’s already sent me an email of the things she wants from J-Crew for when she loses all the baby weight.
Should I just give her fifteen bucks and a bus ticket to Detroit?