Gads

Ninth grade. I was not popular. In fact, I was the opposite of popular. I was the butt of many school jokes. Popular kids plugged their noses when I walked by. They “sprayed” themselves with their finger if I accidentally touched them. I know I didn’t stink, but that didn’t matter. Mostly I walked through the halls of junior high invisibly, and I cultivated this. I went out of my way to avoid detection. I had enough of a temper that if pushed I would strike back, quick and mean, then retreat and hide. Mostly though, I just tried to avoid being noticed. I read books constantly, pretended I was riding my horse through the halls, and tried to operate under their radar. Sometimes though, I failed utterly and completely, in spite of my best efforts.

We all had to take Sex Ed in ninth grade. Good god, what the fuck were the administrators thinking? They so underestimate teenagers. I had a crush on Mike Darby. Mike was lanky and horse-faced, with tousley brown hair, but I thought he was adorable. Mike was popular. He was on the football team. Everyone knew who he was. He did not know who I was. I would fantasize that he would say hello to me. That was how silly and naive I was. I did not even consider hand-holding or kissing. At age thirteen, such conjectures were well without my realm of possibility. No. Saying hello was about as brave as I could get.

Because of my crush, I wrote “I like MD” on my palm. Why did I do that? Did some little part of me hope he would notice and fall instantly in love with me at the sight of his initials inscribed on my hand? Was I a fool? Come to think of it, I doubt I thought much of anything. I probably sat there in my teenage, hormone-addled state, reading something from the library. I read a lot in the library. In fact, I took pride in the fact that I had read every book in the junior high library by the end of eighth grade. I also won the library’s “Ghastly Riddle Contest” at Halloween. It was a sort of treasure hunt through haunted books whereby clues were given in the form of quotes. You went to the quote and it would lead you to another clue. It required some knowledge of the books involved to locate the original quotes. A weekly clue would be handed out to help you when you were stumped. I won a nice set of horse books, which I still have, actually. I think they knew that I would win since I spent every free moment in the library.

Anyway, I digress. Back to my lusting after Mike Darby by hoping he would say hello. I had taken the liberty of professing my love via ball point pen. I sat hiding in the far row of Sex Ed class. I do not recall the name of the teacher, but I remember what he looked like. He was one of the coaches. He was tall and stocky, with blonde hair shorn closely like in the military. Unlike some teachers, he was actually pretty kind to me. The head cheerleading coach acted like I was a virus she might catch if I asked her something about the pre-algebra that she taught. But Mr. Sex Ed was pleasant enough.

There I sat in Mr. Sex Ed’s class. It was a sunny afternoon and I remember sitting and staring lazily into the sunbeams. I had done the reading. Mr. Sex Ed was dozing up front. Most of the class was chatting and passing notes back and forth. Suddenly Kelly Dee, who sat behind me, leaned forward in her chair and peered over at me.

An aside about Kelly Dee. When my parents chose to move our family to “the country” because that is where I thought I wanted to live in order to have a horse, I was in the sixth grade. The little school in our town had one grade per class and each class had about twelve students. Kelly Dee was in my class. She immediately befriended me and nearly as immediately dumped me when she discovered that I did not smoke, drink, or swear, and that I rode horses and read books. She had perfectly feathered blonde hair. I did not have perfectly feathered blonde hair. Mine curled in all the wrong places and my mom cut it for me. How humiliating.

Kelly Dee wore San Franciscos and Sticky Fingers and had several colors of Nike swish shoes. I had one pair of Sticky Fingers, no San Franciscos, and no Nike swish shoes. I wore Keds and Keds were not popular. Kelly Dee knew that one was supposed to carry a large comb in one’s back pocket. Until meeting her, I was not privy to such inside information. Essentially, Kelly Dee had all the makings of a cool person while I had zero. By the end of ninth grade when this incident took place, we were in junior high and I did not exist. Kelly Dee was a cheerleader. She still had perfectly feathered hair. Mine still curled in the wrong places. I think I may have finally acquired a pair of Nike swish shoes and a comb, but they were clearly not noticed in the library where I spent all of my time.

I was not happy to have Kelly Dee peering over my shoulder. Kelly Dee did not involve herself with me except to make my life miserable. She had completely mastered the pretend to be friendly and suck me in while simultaneously concocting some nasty evil plot approach. She would say something that seemed kind. Weaving back and forth, back and forth, hypnotizing me, I would respond to the false kindness, believing for a moment that she might actually be friendly, whereupon she would suddenly expose her true nature, losing the lovely exterior, spitting in my eyes and becoming the cobra she truly was. Once she put gum in my hair without my notice. Usually she would say something really ugly and make her friends laugh. “Do you use butter grease to style your hair?” she would sneer. Her friends would erupt in laughter. Ha ha. Real funny. You’re so clever, why don’t you hit the comedy circuit?

Back in Sex Ed, she wanted to know, “Who is MD?” Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh. Fuck.

“Nobody you know.” My heart was pounding. Why couldn’t she just go away? Why did she have to torture me? Was I really such an obvious target? Apparently so because she did not go away. “So who is it?”

“No one you know. Someone from another school.” God, please don’t let her know. Mike Darby was in that class. If he found out. Oh crap.

“What’s his name? MD. MD. Is it Mike Darby?” What the….? How in the hell had she nailed that on the first try? Maybe she saw my hand and worked it out before saying anything.

“No. No, it’s not Mike Darby. It is not. No.” I stammered, obviously flustered. I must have seemed like a giant bullseye for her pointy cobra fangs.

“It’s Mike Darby isn’t it.” It wasn’t even a question. “You like Mike Darby. Wow.” She turned and told her friend, another Kelly who must not have been so evil because I do not remember her last name. “She likes Mike Darby. Can you believe it?” Kelly could not believe it. In fact, she was so shocked that she had to share it with the girl next to her.

Then Kelly Dee did the unthinkable. She called out to Mike Darby, “Hey Mike. Lara likes you.” Oh my dear God, please kill me now. I should be punished for having written those damn initials on my hand. Actually, I was being punished for having written those damn initials on my hand. Mike Darby turned and looked over in our direction. He may have been looking at me. I don’t know. I was staring at my desk and begging the gods to reach down and suck me from my chair. Anything, anything but this.

“Is this bad news true?” he asked. All the kids who had been paying attention laughed.

My pain was complete. Not only had I been fully humiliated by darling Kelly Dee, Mike Darby saw my liking him as bad news and he wasn’t afraid to say so. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I suffered through the remainder of the class, wishing I could disappear. Having ensured she had gotten a good and deep bite right into the side of my head, Kelly Dee was no longer interested in torturing me. She moved on to discussions of cheerleading routines and hairdos. My face burned and the room swam. I pretended to read my Sex Ed book. At least I could say the bad news was no longer true. I no longer liked Mike Darby and could not wait for class to end so I could go and wash my hand.

Once the bell rang, I shuffled through my belongings to take as long as possible to leave class and ensure I did not have to rise and move with the other students. After every one of them was gone I sat for a few more seconds. Alone in the room, I took a deep breath. It seemed like it had been long enough for the lot of them to clear out of the hallway.

I must have lacked some serious capacity to foretell possibilities because it had not been long enough for Mike Darby to clear out of the hallway. He was the only one left, digging through his locker that was just across the hall from the Sex Ed classroom. Mine was down past his, requiring that I pass him, completely humiliated. Thankfully, he did not look up as I shuffled quickly by. Perhaps part of his dismay at my liking him had been for show. Certainly his reaction had been. At least he left me alone. I went to my locker, deposited my books, and took the long way around to P.E. class because the direct route would have taken me past his locker again, and there was no way I was going there.

Junior high is certainly a breeding ground for mean people. Volumes have been written on the subject. Millions have been made in movies about the outcasts being tortured. Pleasure is taken in the geek who grows up and shows up to the high school reunion in a helicopter. I think we all assume that as adults this crap goes away. Unfortunately, that’s wishful thinking. Even if you grow into a swan and develop inner strength and confidence, there are those people who never move past being mean to you.

Lucky for me we moved away from that school after ninth grade, so Kelly and her friends were only able to harass me during those three years of junior high. I heard that she got pregnant her senior year in high school. A few years after graduation, I saw her at a discount store. She was extremely heavy and was dragging around four ruffian-looking children. A friend of mine who had finished school with her said they all had different fathers (not that this is a bad thing). I remembered her bragging in eighth grade about drinking and having sex. Maybe whatever made her so damn mean was also what made her gain a lot of weight and have lots of kids by the time she was 23. She’d clearly hit her prime in junior high. She was still mean though. At the store, she came up to me and sneered, “You think you’re really hot now, don’t you, Lara?”

I remember looking at her, not knowing who she was because she looked so wretched and different. When it was obvious I hadn’t a clue about her identity, she said, “I’m Kelly, Kelly Dee,” like I was retarded or something. Funny. I realize now what she said sounded like Forrest, Forrest Gump. I said hello and turned to continue walking with my mom.

This happened decades ago, but it still follows me around. There is a man I’m interested in. In a recent conversation, after he said something about himself that impressed me to no end, I let my interest be known (at least I think I did). I then began to babble. When I get nervous, I babble, and nothing makes me more nervous than liking someone and thinking I let him know. For hours after being around him, I felt horribly humiliated and embarrassed. What the hell was I thinking? Why did I say that? Why didn’t I just shut up!?!? I berated myself. Random pieces of the conversation kept coming back to me and I wanted to go hide under a rock. I still kinda do…

Today I told my best friend Debbie about this man I like, this conversation, what I said, and how I felt. I told her how utterly and completely stupid I feel every time I think about it, wishing and hoping I had just kept it all to myself, worrying about what he must think of me. She couldn’t believe this was my reaction. I always have this reaction when I am interested in someone and let them know, I told her. She couldn’t understand it. It led me back to remembering Mike Darby and Kelly Dee in Sex Ed class in ninth grade. Oh, the pure, devilish humiliation. It must be the origin stories for the feelings I have experienced for as long as I can remember when liking someone. I know there was a brief period during my sophomoric twenties when it wasn’t like this, but I’m pretty sure that in my twenties I was much cuter than I am now and boys were usually chasing me rather than the other way around. Since I have gotten older and less nubile, I don’t have hoards of men interested in me. Not just no hoards, I have none at all, so it’s usually me lusting in secret hoping to hell I don’t give myself away. I have no fear of public speaking. I can speak in front of crowds of people. Yet let me give it away to a man I might be interested and I’m 13 again, dying inside and praying he didn’t notice.

Gads.

I am Bonnie

A long time ago I used to work in the Forest Products office at Oregon State University. I worked with my best friend Debbie, a boss who was so stupid sometimes I wondered if it was possible for someone to be that dumb, and a sociopath named Bonnie. Bonnie was…I can’t even begin to describe her in a single word except to say she was a sociopath. She could and did make life hell for a lot of people. She was also very annoying. She was possibly the most negative person I have ever met. If it was sunny, she complained that it was too hot and should be rainy. If it was rainy, she complained it was raining. If we had work to do, she complained that she had work to do and that she was the only one who could possibly do it. If we didn’t have work to do, then she complained because she was bored. She didn’t like her chair. She would get another chair and wouldn’t like it and go back to the original and then complain about it. She had gossip to share on every single person who walked in our door and even those who didn’t. It was a guarantee that as soon as you left the room she was dishing something about you and turning anything you did into something to complain about and to use to make you look bad. The only consolation with her was that she was an equal-opportunity sociopath so if she didn’t have her sights set on you, she was going after someone else and there were a lot of other people for her to choose from.

Most of the time I worked with Bonnie was pure hell. Six months after I started working in the lab, I was wondering if I was crazy. Between the boss who couldn’t figure out how to explain the most basic assignments to this constantly complaining crazy woman who had something nasty to say about every human who walked into the office, I seriously thought I was losing my mind. Luckily, I made friends with Debbie and discovered that no, I wasn’t nuts, the office was. She helped me stick it out (until I got pregnant and realized I didn’t want the loony factory anywhere near my growing fetus, but that’s another story).

Sometimes working with Bonnie could be fun. It wasn’t fun because of anything Bonnie did to make it fun, but because Debbie and I could see what she was doing and it would make us roll our eyes and laugh silently from behind our hands on our lunch break. Bonnie fancied herself the sexiest woman in the office and made a great show of throwing herself at every male who walked through the door. This got to be quite amusing, especially when the male was a 20 something grad student from India or Pakistan who had no idea that what she was doing was supposed to turn him on. Many of the older, white, male professors got off on her attention, which could be kind of gross (especially the one who was married to a disabled wife with MS), but Debbie and I could still find things about this situation that made us laugh.

The lab would periodically hold grad thesis presentations whereby the student would make their presentation to faculty and other students, followed by a small reception with doughnuts and other refreshments. Prior to these events, an announcement was to be made by our office notifying everyone on our floor that the presentation and reception would be taking place. Bonnie LOVED doing this and would literally race to the microphone to make sure she got to be the one to make the announcement. She would snarl something or other to us about how “The goddamned printer isn’t working again! The piece of shit must be out of ink or something.” Then she would turn to the microphone, sexily flip her hair behind her shoulders, lean in and grasp the microphone and breathily intone, “At four o’clock this afternoon, which is in just fifteen minutes (breath, breath, breath), there will be a presentation by Rakesh Akbahr, on the role of stress-strain on the physical transformations that occur (breath) during the cure of thermosetting adhesive-to-wood bonds (breath, breath, breath). After that (breath) there will be a reception in the Buchanon room, where refreshments will be served.” She’d then flop back down in her rolling desk chair and screech at us again, “Goddamned rain. It was supposed to be sunny today.

Debbie and I could laugh and laugh at these displays (out of the office, of course).

Bonnie told us she was an expert on everything. She said she had a degree in forestry, as well as a degree in nursing, and in English, and several others I no longer remember. No matter what came up that required some knowledge by someone in the office, she was in competition to be the top person in that knowledge and she usually had a degree to go along with it. Debbie and I would wonder to ourselves why she wasn’t putting these degrees to good use somewhere considering how underappreciated and underpaid she was sharing an office with us. It is because of Bonnie’s expertise that I even bring her up in this post today. I earned a Juris Doctorate degree in 2003. Then last year, I completed a Master’s in Teaching so that I could transition out of being a lawyer and become a teacher instead.

Last week, I had a conversation with someone, the content of which really isn’t that important. In the course of the conversation, the person I was speaking to was telling me another person had complained about something and that they had to complain because they were a teacher and as a teacher, they were required to complain. This puzzled me because I knew that the thing about which this person was supposedly required to complain was not required of teachers, so I said to the person I was speaking to, “I am a teacher, and that is not actually true.” He looked at me rather consternatedly (now there’s a word) as if to say, “Huh? I thought you were a lawyer?” because in another conversation on another day, he had asked me what kind of work I did and at the time he asked, I told him I was a lawyer, so my saying that I was a teacher on this new occasion was probably a bit odd to him.

I was like Bonnie and her multitude of unrelated degrees. I don’t have a multitude of unrelated degrees, I only have a couple of them. There is my undergraduate degree in English, then there is the lawyer degree, then there is the teacher degree. So I have several degrees and they are mostly unrelated. This got me to thinking about Bonnie and my time in the Forest Products lab so many years ago — twenty years ago actually, is when I started. I’ve stayed friends with Debbie. She came to the birth of my baby and probably knows me better than any other friend.

A lot has happened since then. I wonder now, with my handful of unrelated degrees, if maybe Bonnie really did have a forestry degree and an English degree and a nursing degree, and maybe perhaps something happened that she didn’t need to work in those fields at all. I don’t know. I can’t remember her last name so I can’t look her up (even if I wanted to, which, true told, I really don’t).

If I did look her up, I would find her and tell her I’m sorry for doubting her many educational accomplishments and let her know that I too now have many educational accomplishments. We could get a coffee and reminisce and I could tell her how funny I thought it was when she made the sexy forest products announcements and she could tell me how much she hates the weather and the coffee in the coffee shop we meet in and the chairs in the coffee shop and make googly eyes at the male patrons and…

On second thought, maybe not.

Can Someone Please Help me with this Letter?

Dear Ms. Gardner,
We regret to inform you that, despite our previous assurances to the contrary, we will not be able to return your brain.  Unfortunately, your brain was part of a shipment of brains that was lost at sea over the Bermuda Triangle, a region of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels have disappeared in what are said to be circumstances that fall beyond the boundaries of human error or acts of nature.  As you may know, some of these disappearances have been attributed to the paranormal, a suspension of the laws of physics, or activity by extraterrestrial beings.  Although substantial documentation exists showing numerous incidents to have been inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, there is no doubt that many ships and airplanes have been lost in the area.

As is often the case in the place just described, the plane carrying your brain simply disappeared off any radar.  Despite extensive searches and radio calls, we have been unable to make contact with the aircraft, its crew, or the items on board.  In fact, one search plane was also lost in the process.

We sincerely apologize for this egregious error.  We realize now that in attempting to save time by crossing this area of the Atlantic Ocean in order to decrease costs and thereby increase profits, we have created a huge liability for ourselves.  Our only hope is that because it was your brain that was lost, you will now lack the intelligence to realize the error was ours (despite this letter) and do nothing against us in retaliation or to mitigate your loss.  We also offer our condolences; a deficit of this magnitude must be quite distressing.  We certainly understand how you must be feeling right now, even without your limbic system.  There must be some awareness on your part that something is, well, missing.

As evidence of our sincerest and deepest sympathy, we would like to offer you this $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  It is our hope that you will be able to locate a nice children’s book or some other fine gift befitting the current state of your intelligence.  Perhaps a book on the alphabet or counting will allow you to find work at a telephone control center or at customer service for a credit card company.  In fact, we would be willing to put you in touch with our affiliates in these areas should you require assistance in becoming gainfully employed.  Additionally, we would also like to provide you with this gift of a handsome wallet for your identification and in some cases, pizza.

Again, please accept our apologies.  And have a happy holiday.  Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

Brain Restoration Services, LLC

Dear Brain Restoration Services, LLC;
I so much appreciated your letter.  Your kindness in letting me know that my brain had been lost in the Bermuda Triangle, and then your further kindness in offering me the $10 gift certificate and possible assistance with employment were both truly above and beyond the call of duty.  I accept the Amazon certificate, by the way, and look forward to locating a book I can now read (as reading has become somewhat difficult in the weeks since losing my brain).  I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have been helping me in all areas, including reading, feeding, and wiping drool from my chin.  Without you I may actually have drowned.  Much gratitude also to my cousin for typing this letter on my behalf.

I would beg your further kindness, if at all possible.  Unfortunately, Amazon does not carry drool rags.  I searched their site high and low (again with the assistance of friends and family) and was unable to locate one in my price range.  I did locate a towel designed by a famous designer (his name escapes me at the moment–a not uncommon occurrence these days), only this towel was both quite large and quite expensive.  It was not really suitable for my needs.  I would prefer something absorbent that will withstand frequent washings.  Actually, two or three would be most suitable so I have something to use whilst my soiled rags are being laundered.

I also would like to inquire whether you are aware if others who lost their brains in this unfortunate incident might like to get together, not for a support group, but to play.  I think it would be quite enjoyable to build things with blocks or stack plastic rings with one another.  Our caretakers may even be able to trade ideas on dealing with the excess drool and, um, issues surrounding personal hygiene.  I have been made to understand that diaper changing on adults is rather difficult, as you may imagine.

Again, I so appreciate your thoughtfulness and hope this letter finds you well.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Lara Gardner

Toilet Needs a New Home

I posted this ad on Craigslist a few years ago. A friend of mine asked me to repost it on the blog, so here it is:

It is time that Toilet parted ways with our family. It has been in this house for longer than we’ve been here. When we arrived, the home inspector informed us that this toilet was “top of the line” in Europe and ordered by all the best home designers in the US. “Pozzi Gnorri,” he said. “Go look them up on the internet. They’re one of the best companies in the world for bathroom fixtures.” So I did and was duly impressed. However, I had to wonder what a toilet of this caliber was doing in my little bungalow in Portland. But hey, some of us get riches to rags instead of the other way around, so who was I to question things or to remind Toilet of its brilliant beginnings? I could make Toilet sad thinking that way.

Toilet was lovely; a deep, thoughtful blue, with a white lid. And the flusher was in its top! My 8 year old loved that. Look Mom, you pull this button on top rather than pushing down on a handle! Fancy!

To keep reading, click HERE

Cookie Monsters

CookiesI baked cookies for Christmas. Yummy, buttery, sugar filled, high fat content cookies. Basically they were mostly butter, sugar, and flour, and the frosting was straight up butter cream. Yum, yum, yum, but oh, so rich. I could only eat one at a time or I would feel sick.

I gave a bunch of these cookies as gifts to family and friends, but we still had a lot ourselves. I realized shortly after Christmas that I was going to have to give some more away; they were too rich for just me and Isabel to eat, and Milla was in Arizona for another five days. I decided I would take some to some friends at the coffee shop under my office. They were in the cupboard in a bag on top of our dinner plates. I thought of making the gift, but then forgot to take the bag to work with me.

A few days later I was at home putting away the Christmas tree and decorations and remembered the cookies. Ahh, what a perfect way to ring out the holiday season but with a buttery cookie and a cup of tea?

“Isabel?” I asked. “Would you like a Christmas cookie while we put away the decorations?” Isabel loved this idea. (And I should add that my daughter is the best person ever to remove ornaments with. She was extremely quick, careful, and thorough. I couldn’t have had an adult partner who did a better job than this five-year-old. She managed the bottom half of the tree while I did the top half.)

I put on the kettle to heat and opened the cupboard to get a cookie for Isabel and myself, and shock of shocks, the bag was gone! It wasn’t there! I peeked further into the cupboard to see if I was wrong. NO cookies. I looked in all the cupboards. I looked in the drawers. I looked in all of them again, and again. No cookies! I couldn’t figure it. What in the world had happened to them? I wracked my brains, trying to imagine if I had given them away and forgot about it. No. I did not. I could not fathom what in the world had happened to them. I asked Isabel. She was as baffled as I was and looked a little afraid I might not believe her. I gave her a hug and assured her that I knew she had not eaten that bag of cookies. There were a dozen and a half at least. It wouldn’t be possible for her to have, even if she could have gotten up in the cupboard and gotten them down. There weren’t any crumbs anywhere. Plus she’s not the sort to sneak cookies. If she wanted one, she would have asked first and then eaten it right in front of me.

I started to worry. Someone, somehow had come into our house and eaten our cookies. I started to wonder about anything else a thief would want. The bluetooth speaker was playing music in the living room so it wasn’t stolen and neither was the computer playing the music. My camera was in my room. We don’t own much else of value that is the sort of thing a robber would want to steal. I couldn’t imagine anyone would come into our house and steal a bag of cookies and just take that. I was completely baffled, and honestly a little afraid. What in the world had happened to those cookies?

Over the next several days I mulled this over and over. Isabel and I considered all the possibilities, but none were plausible. No one has a key to my house. I have a key hidden outside, and I moved it, just in case someone had found it and stolen the cookies, then returned the key to its hiding place just to trip me out. I don’t really have any trickster friends, but this was weird and I had to consider all options. I considered filing a police report, but just couldn’t bring myself to do so. It would seem much too ridiculous and I thought maybe they would wonder about my sanity.

On Saturday I went to visit my best friend Debbie in Corvallis and told her the story. She too was completely baffled and afraid for me. None of it made any sense. Somehow those cookies were gone and I could not explain their loss.

Today I cleaned house a bit. My dogs had chewed up a pinecone in my room and left little pieces lying everywhere. I dragged the vacuum from its place in the closet and plugged it in. I vacuumed through the main part of the house, the kitchen, the hallway, and my youngest daughter’s room (I don’t go into the teenager’s room–it’s scary in there). Then I headed into my room. Click, click, click, the vacuum sucked up pieces of pinecone. I began vacuuming under the bed. George, my Dachshund, loves dragging his forbidden quarry under the bed. He is constantly grabbing things that aren’t his and heading into his cave. It’s the perfect size for him.

My vacuum is a canister vac, the kind with a head that has it’s own engine apparatus. It almost vacuums itself. As I vacuumed under the bed, I heard a strange flapping sound as the vacuum sucked something funny. I turned off the vacuum and leaned over, peering under the bed. What was that weird thing off toward the wall? I sat up and grabbed my iPhone, scrolled to the flashlight app, and shined it into George’s lair. There, far under the bed, was what appeared to be the chewed remains of the cookie bag.

I called Isabel into the bedroom to have her crawl under the bed and grab the bag. She came immediately as she had been as curious as I in the disappearance of our sweets. I held the iPhone flashlight as she slithered under the bed with ease, retrieving the bag within seconds. It was obviously the cookie bag–there were bits of green frosting remains in the crevices. The mystery was solved.

I realized after this that in considering taking the cookies to my office, I must have removed them from the cupboard, set them on the counter, and then gotten distracted and left them there for the canine thief to steal. He’s done it before, jumped up and taken things off the counter. He might be short, but those squat legs of his are powerful and he can easily jump almost 4 feet in the air. All food goods must be pushed back from the counter’s edge if I’m not in the kitchen to supervise and intervene when George is around.

I am relieved. I’m glad to know that no one broke into my house and stole our cookies. It also explains the obnoxious gas both dogs suffered with for two days, naughty things. In the future I’ll be more mindful, and if and when there is a time in the future when any food goes missing, the obvious place I’ll check for evidence will be under my bed.

Life is Like That Sometimes

I often think of new little products, waiting patiently in their boxes to be used. They’re so new and orderly. Pick me! Their calmness and order seems to say as they lie there, waiting to be chosen. They have been waiting their entire lives for use, and here you are, choosing. Will it be me? Their orderliness seems to ask.

Sometimes when I open a box of something, like Q-tips, and one of them pops out, I wonder if the other Q-tips were being mean to it or something, and it just couldn’t wait to escape. I’ll pour some vitamins in my hand, and one leaps out onto the floor, away from the other vitamins. Or other times it’s the opposite. I try and try to get something out of the box and it won’t come out, like it’s hiding in there, as if it knows that this will be the end in some way.

I wonder whether a pantyliner or other hygiene product really wants to be used. They might think it’s what they want, getting out of that box or off that shelf. A new home! But then they come to realize that their use isn’t necessarily something desired. It results in the trash can or the sewer or the landfill.

I suppose a pantyliner or other hygiene product has no idea that being placed in someone’s crotch or in an armpit or between toes is a bad thing. They have no other existence to compare theirs to. Although the pantyliner might. It meets the underwear and thinks, Oh, a friend. A different sort of friend. Then the pantyliner gets covered in goo and is tossed in the trash, and the underwear gets to stay. It’s not fair on some level, but life is like that. You get to be a professor. She gets to be a mother. He gets to be an electrician. Someone is born and starves in Africa. Another is born and is obese in America. We are all on our different journeys. This really is simply how life is.

Business Plan

I’ve decided I’m going to start my own corporation to operate in competition with Monsanto. I’m going to hire a bunch of scientists and get them to patent dogs and cats. Then when people try to breed them, I’m going to sue their asses off. Of course this will be after I’ve harassed them and terrified them, taking photos of them out walking the puppies and cuddling the kittens. I’ll have a field day with those idiots who are stupid enough to post a video of themselves on YouTube. How dare these people interfere with my right to own life? I’ll also go after anyone who buys the puppies or kittens unaltered. If they think they are going to let those animals breed without my getting paid for it, they have another thing coming.

I’m Glad I’m not from a Crime Syndicate Family

I’m so glad I wasn’t born into a crime syndicate family.  I suppose had I been born into a crime syndicate family that perhaps I might not be aware how much the stress of the violence and constant disruption was harming me

I’m sitting here typing this and it sounds like a cat is growling outside my window.  However I got up (got cold) and went and stood out there, but couldn’t hear anything.  I leaned over to determine whether the moaning sounds might be some kind of deep whistle emanating from Isabel in her sleep, but it wasn’t.  No.  Definitely sounds like cat moan.  I have no idea what it could be that I can hear it in my house and not outside, which is where it would have to be.  I even checked upstairs and in the basement.  Silence.  Distraction.

My primary point isn’t the cat moan.  It is supposed to be my gratitude that I’m not from a crime syndicate family.  My family had enough problems without adding the stress of constant crime and murder and disappearing relatives and all that.  I’ve spent most of my adult life reconnecting the disconnected parts of myself, becoming whole, examining patterns from the past and working to change blind spot reactions and all that.  The result is that I’m beginning to see the splits all around me.  If I had been born into a crime syndicate family (I’m going to call it a CSF for short), I likely would not have these insights without having experienced some incredible trauma, and even then, it would have been really difficult.  In this regard, I’m so grateful to my family for only traumatizing me a little bit, in their own blind-spot way.

If I had been born into a CSF, I probably would have had to go live in Australia or some kind of witness protection program.  That would be rough in any circumstance, but imagine it from the perspective of a person who grew up in a CSF.  You have no normal moral compass.  You realize something is wrong, turn against the family, and have to be put into witness protection, whereby you are forced to live in some other place with strangers, etc., and act like a normal person, only you aren’t.  You’re used to seeing people handle problems with revenge and whatnot. Someone cuts in front of you in line at the grocery and you want to knock them in the head and throw them in the trunk, but you can’t, or you might get put in jail, whereupon the family would have you killed for turning snitch. Or the head hitting and trunking might end up on the news, at which point your protection isn’t so secret anymore.  Being in witness protection as one raised in a CSF is simply fraught with peril.  Perhaps there is some moral code if you grew up with the boss, and could see when the boss was lenient or whatever.  But what if you grew up in one of the lesser families, one where revenge and drug use were rampant.  Maybe because you were allowed to watch movies or something and you could see that others weren’t like your family.  Or maybe because a school teacher or counselor was kind to you, you figured out there was an alternative, but really you have no idea.  Or worse, you just turn against the family to save your own ass from jail.  Real issues there.  And then you get to go into witness protection.  That would be tough. It really isn’t something I would want in my life, that’s for sure.

I got this all typed up and then I was typing up the tags and picked “Crime syndicate family,” but I’ll bet I’m the only person with that tag on any posts.  That would be cool.  The only person in the whole wide world with CSF for a tag.  Awesome.

Good Adult Crush Ideas

I read an article that said adult crushes can be more difficult than adolescent crushes because you can’t give your best friend a note to hand to the guy in 4th period and my immediate thought was, “Why not?” Maybe you can’t do it in 4th period, but you could get your best friend to hand the guy a note somewhere else, like perhaps the water cooler at work if the guy you have a crush on is at work, or perhaps on the playground if the guy you have a crush on is another parent. Maybe you could pass a note via car windshield wipers. Just leave a note that says, I ❤ U. Maybe he’ll have a crush too and wonder if it was you that left it (or he could think he has a weird stalker, but just pretend that isn’t a possibility). You’ll just know it was him when you get the note back with a “2” written after the U. Plus there is no reason you couldn’t get your friend to leave the note. This might help prevent any stalker suspicion as well, especially if you have lots of good friends who could do this for you. And you could also do all those crush things you did as an adolescent like “accidentally” waiting for a drink at the water fountain. This works especially well at work with the water cooler. You just saunter over casually with your cup and get some water when he does. If he’s liking you and he’s sauntering over to the water cooler too, then you’ll both end up drinking a lot of water and this could result in a lot of bathroom trips at the same time and maybe, just maybe, you might bump each other on the way. Squeee!!! Isn’t the thought just too much?!?!?

This has real potential. I have to disagree with the author of that article. She didn’t have enough imagination about this. She probably doesn’t really have any crush as an adult. She’s probably married already and doesn’t need a crush. Her editor told her to write an article on adult crushes and she couldn’t think of anything to say except boring things like passing notes in 4th period. That editor should give me the assignment. I could come up with some really great adult crush ideas that aren’t difficult at all. I just know it.

The Bratty Puppy

Tonight my daughter, while studying for finals this week, was cuddling in her bed with George the puppy, work splayed out about her. George was under the covers sound asleep. Milla needed to go to the bathroom. She rose, set her papers aside, went upstairs and used the facilities, after which she returned to her room.

On the surface, it appeared nothing had changed. However, when she sat down, she could not locate her algebra study sheet anywhere. Finally, after searching futilely for several minutes, she discovered the sheet shredded under her bed cover, George snoozing soundly next to it.

For real. The dog ate her homework. I saw the shreds. He got up while she was gone for three minutes, shredded the damn thing, then curled up and went back to sleep.

Remarkable.

Dear New Seasons

Dear Mr. Deli Man at New Seasons:  I know it’s late and the time changed, so it feels later in your body than it really is, but could you please be a little more attentive and properly put the chicken in the plastic bag rather than getting only its hindquarters in, thereby leaving the remaining chicken in the paper bag that isn’t designed to hold a greasy glob of cooked meat? Thank you.

Dear New Seasons:  Thank you very much for installing toilet tissue holders that actually turn easily when one pulls tissue off them. I can’t tell you how much this thrills me. So many stores are stingy and obnoxious with their tissue. It’s a real drag to have to pull one square, have the roller catch so the square tears off, then the roller rolls backwards so that the edge that just tore is in the back, leaving you to then scratch and pull to get that edge to the front, only to repeat the process 10 times in order to get enough tissue to do your business. I don’t want to wipe with my fingertips; that’s nasty. New Seasons, your generous tissue holders make me grateful to you every time I’m forced to use them. Thank you.

Dear Carrot Buyer at New Seasons:  Are you a new employee? Are you a particularly gargantuan human? I have to ask because the carrots you’ve chosen this week are enormous! I could have used one for a bat. Maybe you aren’t actually large, but a sports fanatic, and you would just LOVE it if someone used one of your ginormous carrots and a potato to start an impromptu game of baseball right there in the produce section. I could see it! Thank you though. I only needed to buy two of the things to make my soup, which is easier to carry without a bag than more carrots would have been. I don’t like getting bags in the produce section. They’re plastic and not good for the environment or wild animals, so I definitely prefer skipping the bag. The giant carrots made this more possible.

Dear New Seasons Stuffed Animal Pricer:  I get it that stuffed animals at the grocery store are a pure profit item for you. Who buys stuffed animals at the grocery store anyway (people who forget to buy gifts for small children at a regular store and are up against a deadline possibly?). What I would like to know though, is why you have to charge so danged much for them. Maybe you know purchasers of stuffies at the grocery store are in a last minute kind of thing position, and you are therefore taking advantage of our having not planned better. I would like to suggest you don’t take advantage of us. We’re already feeling precarious, having waited until the last minute and all. Maybe you could lower the price just a teensy, weensy bit? Please? For me? Thank you.

Dear New Seasons:  I would like to suggest that if you run out of whole cooked chickens in your deli section that you allow those of us who wanted one to purchase a whole uncooked chicken for the same price. The reason I make this suggestion is that, surprisingly enough, chickens from New Seasons that are uncooked cost MORE than chickens that have been slow-roasted in that cool turning thingamajig that leaves the meat falling off the bone. The cooked ones are way easier for us buyers, which seems to me to make them a premium item. Raw chickens are way more work. Shouldn’t the higher premium chickens cost more? Or at least the same? But they don’t. And some of your delis are not hip to the cooked chicken demand. The location by my house is AWESOME. They rarely run out of cooked chickens. The one by my old house, not so awesome. They ran out all the time and never seemed stocked like the one by my house now. But either way, making the raw chickens the same price would be oh, so very helpful. Thank you.

Dear New Seasons:  I checked out the Green Zebra. It’s so dang small, you can’t pass another shopping cart when you’re pushing one. And pricey! I’ll keep going to you, so whew!, right?

Dear New Seasons:  I am a loyal customer. New Seasons is always my first choice for food from a grocery store. I have to confess though, that I’m going to be stepping out at another store in the future because they have local, organic fuji apples for half the price of yours. They also have organic, steel-cut oats for a dollar a pound less. On many items, you’re actually cheaper than a lot of the stores people think are cheaper, like Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer is a joke. So is Albertson’s, and Thriftway, and Safeway. I hate all these stores. They are over-priced and have way too much processed and non-organic crap. Plus, they’re REALLY expensive. Arborio Rice at these stores, same brand, same size, costs over $2.00 more a container than the same arborio rice at New Seasons. And they can’t even compare when it comes to produce and meat products. But New Seasons, Sheridan Fruit Company has you beat on a lot of things, and I’m just going to have to buy there more often. I’m sorry.

Dear New Seasons:  You sell Gin Gins, my all-time favorite treat, for $3.99 for 3 ounces. This works out to be $15.96 per pound. I was able to locate Gin Gins on the internet in bulk:  Eleven pounds for $62.00, and shipping is free! Don’t ask me why the sell lots of eleven pounds instead of some more round number like say, ten, but that’s how they sell them. That works out to be $5.64 per pound. Even when you had them on sale at 3 ounces for $2.50, they were still $10 per pound. The bulk price is better, so I bought eleven pounds of the things. I admit it. That bag should last a while. Sorry, New Seasons. stepping out on you for the Gin Gins too.

Dear New Seasons:  Final letter of the night, I promise. I just wanted to say that I love going to your store. Everyone is always nice, even when they’re putting the chicken halfway in the plastic bag. All the workers seem not to mind being at work. The customers even seem happy. You help the local food scene. You buy meats that came from humanely raised critters. You’re a bit overpriced on some things (like fuji apples), but I can deal with that. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, I’ll go to a New Seasons just to get a pick me up. I like you, just the way you are. Too bad you’re not a man because I’d date you in a minute.

Toilet Needs a New Home

I posted this ad on Craigslist a few years ago. A friend of mine asked me to repost it on the blog, so here it is:

It is time that Toilet parted ways with our family. It has been in this house for longer than we’ve been here. When we arrived, the home inspector informed us that this toilet was “top of the line” in Europe and ordered by all the best home designers in the US. “Pozzi Gnorri,” he said. “Go look them up on the internet. They’re one of the best companies in the world for bathroom fixtures.” So I did and was duly impressed. However, I had to wonder what a toilet of this caliber was doing in my little bungalow in Portland. But hey, some of us get riches to rags instead of the other way around, so who was I to question things or to remind Toilet of its brilliant beginnings? I could make Toilet sad thinking that way.

Toilet was lovely; a deep, thoughtful blue, with a white lid. And the flusher was in its top! My 8 year old loved that. Look Mom, you pull this button on top rather than pushing down on a handle! Fancy! Toilet matched the deep blue sink base.

To keep reading, click HERE.

My Crush on Oliver Burkeman

It’s sad but true. I have a crush on a celebrity. Well, not really a celebrity, but someone slightly famous. Well, maybe not famous. I don’t know what to call him. I would not have a crush on him or even know who he is if he had not published a book and I had not fallen in love with the book and then gone and read everything he ever wrote or watched all videos of him speaking about his book. So he is somewhat celebrated and somewhat famous, but not like a rock star or A-list actor or something. He’s an author and investigative journalist and he’s simply dreamy and his writing is the perfect balance of intelligence and wit. His name is Oliver Burkeman.

I met him once. He gave a reading at Powell’s. I had basically seen the entire thing due to my internet stalking of him, but I didn’t care. I got to see him up close and personal. He looked exactly like his photos and videos, handsome and balding. I don’t have a special bald fetish, I just think he’s too adorable for words. His ridiculously perfect sense of humor doesn’t hurt. (An example of this: in his book he discusses buying a giant pubic louse from a museum. He says, I guess now is as good as any time to bring up my pubic louse. I about died laughing.)

I also sent him an email. I have never, ever sent anyone like him any sort of fan mail before. He actually responded personally a day later. I still have it. I know. Sad, huh? Anyway, in my personal email he said to mention myself at the upcoming reading, so I did. He remembered, signed my book politely, and was done. I had waited to be last in line just in case he fell madly in love with me immediately upon sight and wanted to go on a date. Never mind that he has a girlfriend. I’m a lunatic. Or at least I have a lunatic imagination.

These days I am left to swoon over his Guardian posts. (Did I mention he is a reporter for the Guardian?) I’ll have to wait until he writes another book to go to another reading to see him again. What a thing to look forward to.

Can Someone Please Help Me With This Letter?

Dear Ms. Gardner,
We regret to inform you that, despite our previous assurances to the contrary, we will not be able to return your brain.  Unfortunately, your brain was part of a shipment of brains that was lost at sea over the Bermuda Triangle, a region of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels have disappeared in what are said to be circumstances that fall beyond the boundaries of human error or acts of nature.  As you may know, some of these disappearances have been attributed to the paranormal, a suspension of the laws of physics, or activity by extraterrestrial beings.  Although substantial documentation exists showing numerous incidents to have been inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, there is no doubt that many ships and airplanes have been lost in the area.

As is often the case in the place just described, the plane carrying your brain simply disappeared off any radar.  Despite extensive searches and radio calls, we have been unable to make contact with the aircraft, its crew, or the items on board.  In fact, one search plane was also lost in the process.

We sincerely apologize for this egregious error.  We realize now that in attempting to save time by crossing this area of the Atlantic Ocean in order to decrease costs and thereby increase profits, we have created a huge liability for ourselves.  Our only hope is that because it was your brain that was lost, you will now lack the intelligence to realize the error was ours (despite this letter) and do nothing against us in retaliation or to mitigate your loss.  We also offer our condolences; a deficit of this magnitude must be quite distressing.  We certainly understand how you must be feeling right now, even without your limbic system.  There must be some awareness on your part that something is, well, missing.

As evidence of our sincerest and deepest sympathy, we would like to offer you this $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  It is our hope that you will be able to locate a nice children’s book or some other fine gift befitting the current state of your intelligence.  Perhaps a book on the alphabet or counting will allow you to find work at a telephone control center or at customer service for a credit card company.  In fact, we would be willing to put you in touch with our affiliates in these areas should you require assistance in becoming gainfully employed.  Additionally, we would also like to provide you with this gift of a handsome wallet for your identification and in some cases, pizza.

Again, please accept our apologies.  And have a happy holiday.  Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

Brain Restoration Services, LLC

Dear Brain Restoration Services, LLC;
I so much appreciated your letter.  Your kindness in letting me know that my brain had been lost in the Bermuda Triangle, and then your further kindness in offering me the $10 gift certificate and possible assistance with employment were both truly above and beyond the call of duty.  I accept the Amazon certificate, by the way, and look forward to locating a book I can now read (as reading has become somewhat difficult in the weeks since losing my brain).  I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have been helping me in all areas, including reading, feeding, and wiping drool from my chin.  Without you I may actually have drowned.  Much gratitude also to my cousin for typing this letter on my behalf.

I would beg your further kindness, if at all possible.  Unfortunately, Amazon does not carry drool rags.  I searched their site high and low (again with the assistance of friends and family) and was unable to locate one in my price range.  I did locate a towel designed by a famous designer (his name escapes me at the moment–a not uncommon occurrence these days), only this towel was both quite large and quite expensive.  It was not really suitable for my needs.  I would prefer something absorbent that will withstand frequent washings.  Actually, two or three would be most suitable so I have something to use whilst my soiled rags are being laundered.

I also would like to inquire whether you are aware if others who lost their brains in this unfortunate incident might like to get together, not for a support group, but to play.  I think it would be quite enjoyable to build things with blocks or stack plastic rings with one another.  Our caretakers may even be able to trade ideas on dealing with the excess drool and, um, issues surrounding personal hygiene.  I have been made to understand that diaper changing on adults is rather difficult, as you may imagine.

Again, I so appreciate your thoughtfulness and hope this letter finds you well.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Lara Gardner

Life is Like That

I often think of new little products, waiting patiently in their boxes to be used. They’re so new and orderly. Pick me! Their calmness and order seems to say as they lie there in their box, waiting to be chosen. They have been waiting their entire life for use, and here you are, choosing. Will it be me? Their orderliness seems to ask.

I wonder whether a pantyliner or other hygiene product really wants to be used. They might think it’s what they want, getting out of that box or off that shelf. A new home! But then they come to realize that their use isn’t necessarily something desired. It results in the trash can or the sewer or the landfill.

I suppose a pantyliner or other hygiene product has no idea that being placed in someone’s crotch or in an armpit or between toes is a bad thing. They have no other existence to compare theirs to. Although the pantyliner might. It meets the underwear and thinks, Oh, a friend. A different sort of friend. Then the pantyliner gets covered in goo and is tossed in the trash, and the underwear gets to stay. It’s not fair on some level, but life is like that. You get to be a professor. She gets to be a mother. He gets to be an electrician. Someone is born and starves in Africa. Another is born and is obese in America. We are all on our different journeys. This really is simply how life is.

The Land of the Frogs

Once upon a time there was a lovely maiden who lived….

I am not a maiden.

What?

I am not a maiden. A maiden is a virginal unmarried girl, and while I have no desire to share the more intimate features of my life with you, I can say without equivocation that although I am not married, I am most definitely not a maiden.

Oh. Okay. Well then, once upon a time, there was a lovely damsel who lived…

Again with the virgins! What is up with you? I’m not a damsel either. A damsel is the same thing as a maiden. For pity’s sake! Can’t you get it right? I’m not terribly unhappy that you are calling me lovely. That’s actually quite nice. But the maidens and the damsels and all that. It doesn’t really detract from the story to know I’ve been living my life and have met a few fellows on the way, now does it?

Oh I suppose not. May I continue with my story now?

Okay. Sure. Go ahead. Thanks.

Once upon a time, there was a lovely broad who lived…

What?!?!?!? Broad? Are you joking?

Yes, actually I am. I just wanted to see if you were listening.

I am listening! Do you think I would have stopped you twice already if I was not paying attention? What would give you such an idea? Sheesh!

I don’t know. I’ll continue. Once upon a time there was a lovely lady who lived in a land where the males were frogs. These frogs weren’t the sort you could kiss and they would turn into princes either, they were actual frogs.

Okay. You have to be kidding. Why would I want to live with a bunch of frogs if none of them could turn into princes? What is that all about? I mean, a girl has some taste, you know.

Well the moral was going to be about falling in love for all the right reasons, like integrity, honesty, personality, etcetera, regardless of what the fellow looked like.

That’s all fine and good, but what is supposed to get me in the door? If the guy is froggy, how am I supposed to be attracted to him to discover all these magnificent inner qualities? What about biology? There has to be some reason we developed beauty to ensure the procreation of the species.

This may be true. However, could you allow that if all the men looked like frogs than that is what the women would know and they would find certain of the frogs attractive?

Hmmm. That’s an interesting proposition. Why don’t you continue with your story and I’ll think on it a bit.

That would be good, thanks. Most kind of you. I would like to get past the second or third line, if that is possible.

Sarcastic?

A bit. I continue. So the lady lived in a land where the men appeared as frogs. She had met a few of them and had relationships. But none of the relationships ever seemed to work out. As a younger woman, the most common reason for the failure of her relationships was that the frogs were mostly interested in jumping in the sack. I’m not talking about sex here, but an actual game where the frogs jumped around in sacks.

Okay. That’s dumb.

You’re interrupting.

But it’s stupid. The frogs wanted to jump in the sack and this was an actual game the frogs played? Come on! At least make the thing somewhat plausible. You’ve already got all these guys looking like frogs, which requires we suspend some belief as it is. Now you want us to buy into your pathetic attempt at a pun?

Fine. So the real reason most of her relatonships failed was the frogs wanted to have sex with her because she was gorgeous. There. Does that make you feel better?

Well at least it is more realistic, at least the part about the frogs wanting to have sex.

Is it, now? At least it shows you were right about the whole maiden/damsel thing.

Of course I was. Wait. Are you making me sound like some kind of sex maniac or something because I had sex with frogs who didn’t want anything more than a piece of ass?

That wasn’t my intention.

Well it came off that way.

May I continue?

Yes, certainly.

So as I said, by NO FAULT of the lady, most of the wretched frogs she met in her twenties were only after a roll in the hay and were not interested in a serious relationship based on honesty and communication.

There’s another reason I couldn’t have been a maiden/damsel.

You’re interrupting again. But what are you talking about?

You implied in that last bit that I’m no longer in my twenties. This would mean I’m in my thirties, or yikes! even my forties, God forbid. I would not think a maiden/damsel would be in her thirties or forties.

You’re probably right. The maiden/damsel would be sixteen. There. Are you happy now? Can we please continue? Okay, good. By the time our heroine had passed her twenties, she had been in a few longer-term relationships, but as was previously implied, the frogs involved were not particularly interested in much more than getting laid and watching sports on television. Oh, she’d gone out with a frog in a band and he didn’t watch much television between their acts of wanton lust, but instead spent his time playing gigs with the band and fending off groupies.

You know about him? Yeah, he was hot. Frogs in bands are trouble, let me just tell you that. Okay. Stop rolling your eyes. Go on.

Time rolled on and as she entered her thirties, the relationship failure rate seemed to increase, but for different reasons. The frogs she was meeting had figured out that ladies wanted frogs who were interested in more than sex, so they had learned to play the game of the interested pursuer. They could have long conversations. They could discuss politics and rhetoric, and were quite able to expound on the necessities and drawbacks of the women’s movement. They knew how to give excellent massages, and were quite adept at assuring women that they were interested in something far more meaningful than simple sex could ever provide.

Man, isn’t that the truth.

Come again?

That’s the truth. I’m telling you, I run through the list of guys I’ve been with in the last few years and all of them are fairly remarkable when it comes to talking the talk. They rope you in, slowly and carefully. It’s like they can wait for the big payoff. They don’t jump in, slam, bam, thank you ma’am. They build to a crescendo, that crescendo being them getting laid if they can pull it off.

I know it’s the truth. I’m telling the story, remember?

Oh right. Sorry again.

Thank you. As I was saying, our heroine kept meeting frogs who seemed to be interested in a real relationship based on mutual trust, communication, and all that. Unfortunately, each time things became serious, the frogs would hop off into the ponds and hide under their lily pads, never to be heard from again. This always caught the lady by surprise. One day the frog would be discussing a shared future of dreams and aspirations, the next day he would be gone.

The first few times this happened, the lady was extremely distressed. What in the world is going on here? Where did he go? What happened? She would discuss the disappearances ad nausem with her friends. None of them could figure it out. It just seemed to make no sense. Why would the frogs act like they wanted a long-term relationship then disappear as soon as it seemed likely? Over time, the lady came to expect the disappearances. She was slower to show interest, waiting to see if the frog would hop away at the first sign of real intimacy. She stopped having sex with the frogs unless sex was all she wanted. She…

Oh good. I didn’t want it to sound like I was always so serious. Okay, okay! Put down your eyebrows. I’m listening.

Right. Carrying on then. Our heroine began paying attention and recognized the signs sooner. The runaway frogs were consistent in their reasons for relationships failing. Most of them were unwilling to acknowledge their own shortcomings, but could gloss this over in such a way that at first it appeared they were quite introspective and self-deprecating. They could discuss in great depth their concerns for a previous lover’s issues concerning self-esteem or family dysfunction. They were able to articulate in some detail the meaning behind an ex-girlfriend’s struggles with her weight or body image.

Unfortunately, when the same magnifying glass was turned towards them, the frogs were unable or unwilling to see or discuss their own need for growth. If our heroine observed that perhaps they might deflect any questions on their own development with humor or pointed out during a disagreement that the frog had an amazing ability to find fault with others without acknowledging any responsibility of his own, the frog ran off and jumped in a pond without so much as a backward glance.

She began to realize that the frogs also had a way of projecting their own fears onto her. If they were terrified of expressing anger, for instance, they would claim she was too angry as they peeked out from beneath their lily pads. “Why did you cuss at that driver? How dare you glare at the rude clerk? What is the matter with you, lady? You must have an anger problem!” If they were terrified of expressing affection, they would claim she was too willing to affect in public. “Why would you kiss me here?” the frog would ask. “Are you trying to make people think you want me to be a prince?” Such statements dumbfounded the lady. What in the world were these frogs thinking?

My, that is distressing.

What is distressing?

These frogs you are talking about. They are all so, I don’t know, pitiful somehow. And you haven’t mentioned all the work I’ve done on myself to become a better and stronger person. Don’t you think our readers would like to hear about that?

I’m sure they would, but I thought such things were implicit. Would it make you happier if I mentioned that after each failed attempt you would do a self-analysis to figure out what you learned and how to do things differently next time?

Yes, that would be good. And mention I spent some time with a therapist. Let them know I’m not trying to make this all the frogs’ fault. That would not be the honest thing to do.

Okay. Our heroine went to a therapist and ascertained she was not suffering from any major mental illness. There. Does that make you feel better?

Not exactly, but go on. I want to hear what happens.

Finally, after one particularly heart-wrenching breakup, our heroine decided that it was perhaps best to swear off frogs for a while. Maybe I could take up dressmaking, she thought. Or drums. That’s it. I’ll take up drums. She began banging on the drums at all hours of the day and night. This did not please her neighbors, so she took up rock collecting and underwater floral arranging instead. These were peaceful activities and kept her mind somewhat occupied. However, with time, our heroine grew increasingly bored. Her extra room was filled with rocks of all sorts and her fingers had become rather wrinkly from all the underwater floral arranging she had done.

Excuse me.

Now what? I was on a roll.

Can I ask you something? How come you keep calling me “our heroine.” How come you don’t give me a name?

Because I was trying to keep everyone from developing a preconceived notion of who you are.

I’m me. Why would anyone preconceive about that?

Well the readers don’t know you yet. To them you are just our heroine. Give them a name and they will associate you with every Cinderella or Jennifer they know.

I just thought I should have a name, that’s all.

Being nominally anonymous allows the readers to apply your lessons to all women. Wouldn’t you like that? Plus heroines have a particular aura to them, wouldn’t you agree? There is an implicit beauty in their being a heroine.

That’s a nice thought. I wouldn’t mind being beautiful.

You are beautiful dear, on the inside and the out.

You are so kind.

Thank you. May I continue?

Please do.

One night the lady and a friend went out to view art. They found a place where painters and sculpters and various artists of all sorts had gathered together and were displaying various pieces of their work. As she meandered from one piece of art to another, she noticed a particularly hunky frog following her. She pointed him out to her friend. Do you see him? she asked? Doesn’t it look like he’s following me? Her friend allowed that it did indeed appear as if he were following her. To test her hypothesis, our heroine veered off to view a particularly large, phallic sculpture. She stared at it with consternation. What in the world, she wondered, would inspire someone to carve a giant penis? Wishful thinking?

“It’s hopeful, isn’t it?” a voice next to her asked. She glanced over and noticed the hunky following frog. He had marvelous, bulgy blue eyes and hair that begged for fingers to comb through its soft tendrils. She was amazed a frog could have such fantastic hair. He also had several very attractive red spots on his shoulders.

Yes, she answered, I suppose it has a bit of hope about it. Real dreaming. Sometimes you have to wonder. She noticed that his hands were large, his fingernails trimmed and clean, his skin a warm green.

“Hopeful and silly. I wonder why this kind of thing is still given credence, like it has something unique to say. Like we haven’t all seen such ambitious desperate attempts in the past, even at some high school art show. If I make a sculpture of a giant penis, I will be daring.” He looked directly at her as he spoke, his attention completely engaged. It was hypnotizing.

Yes, pushing the boundaries.

“Unique like everyone else making giant penises.”

Exactly.

Their banter went on for some time. Our heroine discovered that her friend had met an acquaintance and the two were chatting amiably. Following frog continued to follow her, all the while making witty observations about different pieces of art. He took…

So what, is this where she meets someone and falls in love? Because it looks like that is where your heading, and since I’m not in love and haven’t fallen in love, I’m kind of confused. I mean, I know who you are talking about, but it didn’t go anywhere you know.

Are you planning to allow me to finish the story? I know what happens. You know what happens. But no one else does.

Okay, fine. If you want to go through the whole thing, go ahead. Tell them how he came over to my house. Tell them how we had a grand time goofing off but did nothing more than kiss for a while. Then tell them how he didn’t call for several days and didn’t pursue me any further. Then perhaps you can explain why he is any different than any of the others and why we should be spending this much time on him.

Well he was different from the others. When you decided to let him know you were genuinely interested, he responded, didn’t he? And when you finally starting hanging out, the two of you didn’t have any long drawn out conversations about your relationship. You didn’t discuss your future with him. You also had sex with him pretty quickly. And that sex, oooh boy! Twice, sometimes three times a day. It was truly remarkable, his capacity and stamina. Do you forget that you had some difficulty walking normally on certain occasions?

Oh, I know. I remember. Yes, that part was different. But the end result wasn’t. He didn’t fall madly in love with me. I probably could have fallen in love with him, but he wouldn’t have given me a chance to do that. He wanted to have fun. He wanted to have sex. I knew this going in. To expect any more or want any more would have been foolish. And there were his problems with self confidence, and his periodic silent treatments. I guess I just don’t understand why he’s getting more detail than the others.

Because, dear, he is interesting. He is quite funny and absolutely brilliant.

Well, artists often are. And he’s definitely an artist. He’s actually making a living at it, and you can’t say that of many artists.

And he didn’t run and hide under his lily pad. He was fun. I just thought perhaps people would like to hear about your watching movies together, laughing like fiends, going on bizarre roadtrips, and boinking like rabbits. All the other frogs were so, I don’t know, serious. They were much too boring.

I know, I know. Unfortunately, I’m still too cynical about the whole thing. He still opted to go his own way and leave me to mine. And although we didn’t have the little “talk,” I know he was terrified to death of our relationship turning into anything more serious. If you want to know the truth, frankly I’m sick of frogs.

Yes, I know. Perhaps it would be better to tell a different story, the one where you travel the world and have many adventures.

I would like that.

Okay, that is what we’ll do. For now, we’ll leave off frogs. I can see your point. They are a bit pathetic, aren’t they? We’ll focus on your traveling adventures. Maybe you can meet some other species besides frogs, some species that might actually turn into a prince.

I won’t hold my breath.

Me either.

So our heroine traveled the world and met many fascinating people and adventures and lived happily ever after. The End.

That was great.

You liked it?

I did. Thanks a bunch. You painted me in a positive light, I think.

I hope so. I aim to please. Good luck to you.

Thanks, you too.

(This is a piece of fiction.  Any resemblance to any human or frog, living or not, is perhaps likely considering the author’s brain is composed of actual experiences.  However, this is a completely fictional story.  This story is not intended to be seen as a replica of the author’s life.)

Lapsing

Lapsed. I’m lapsing. I’ve lapsed. From nearly everything.

Lapsed seamstress. Lapsed writer. Lapsed knitter. Lapsed runner. Lapsed cello practicer. Lapsed student. Lapsed lover. Lapsed homemaker. Lapsed housecleaner (Actually, this one gets many lapses in one: Lapsed duster, lapsed bathroom scrubber, lapsed dishwasher, lapsed vacuumer, lapsed mopper, lapsed ironer). Lapsed makeup wearer. Lapsed friend caller. Lapsed snappy dresser. Lapsed reader. Lapsed photographer. Lapsed French and Spanish student. Lapsed cook. Lapsed popcorn-maker. Lapsed wit (I’d like to think I’m a lapsed half-wit because that would imply I was getting smarter). Lapsed activist. Lapsed memory. Lapsed. Simply lapsed.

I can’t really call myself a lapsed sleeper because I’ve been insomniac for two decades now, so it’s a permanent condition. I could only say I’m a lapsed insomniac if I were to start sleeping regularly. I also can’t call myself a lapsed laundry folder because I’ve always been abysmal at that too.

Thankfully, I have not lapsed in tooth care, keeping my body clean, or playing with my children or dog, although sometimes I wish I could lapse on these things too. I skipped a shower yesterday, and could barely contain my desire to jump in the shower this morning. An itchy scalp makes me bananas. I hope I’m never a prisoner of war or part of some other catastrophe that keeps me from being able to wash.

Maybe it’s my hair that has me so stuck, so unalive, so lapsed. I heard someone say in a movie that you should not keep the same hairstyle for decades, but I have not followed this rule. I’ve made forays into other hair places, but I always veer back because the texture of my hair is so inflexible when it comes to hairstyle variety, at least if I want to look moderately presentable, that I end up drifting back into blow-dried straight, shoulder-length hair. It doesn’t do well with layers, mainly because it’s really actually curly and layers turn me into a square head, which is so unattractive. Bangs. Those stick out straight in front and I look like I’m giving trailer girls circa 1985 a run for their hairstyle money. Again, it’s because I’m mostly curly. That’s the other thing. I’ve tried Gresham…er…curly, but I think because I blowdry straight every other day, some of the strands have become straight, so I end up with some parts curly, some parts bent funny, and the rest frizzy. Ugly. Ugh. Hence, no hair style change. Most days, it’s in a ponytail. I look the same all the time and this is boring. Just like me.

Tag: Motivation, lack thereof. There isn’t one of those, but perhaps there ought to be.

Growing Up Strange

Perhaps part of why I have not become a pillar of the intellectual community, aside from the fact I’m not thick enough to serve as a pillar, is that while growing up, I did devour books, but I was mostly interested in stories, particularly stories about horses or animals.  As a teenager, I expanded my interest to include books where girls chased boys, but not much really.  I was only interested in those if there was something especially intriguing about the girl–like if she had a horse.

I especially loved horse/girl books where the girl was the underdog who wanted a horse and succeeded through grit and determination in getting one.  I wanted to be like those girls, and I was to the extent I succeeded in getting a 35 dollar Shetland pony.

Once I acquired the pony, I had big dreams for us.  We would win competitions and show everyone it did not matter if my steed was forty inches tall.  I imagined interviews with sportscasters.  I would ask questions then answer breathlessly, as if interrupted in an effort.

Actually, interviews of this sort also extended to my gymnastic prowess.  It mattered not that by twelve, I was nearly five foot eight.  In my mind I had achieved gold in gymnastic floor exercises. I would breathlessly answer these sportscasters as well.

So while I indeed spent my childhood buried in books, I can say without equivocation it was only towards the effort of avoiding other children and immersing myself in worlds far more desirable than my own.  If I happened across a great piece of literature, it was always the result of happenstance.  I had no illusions about reading my way to fame and fortune.

Ironically, if I think of it now as I seek to live so much in the moment, I absolutely did so as a child.  My parents’ chief concerns seemed to be to first ensure we did all of our chores, second that we did not bother them with sibling arguments, and finally that we entertained ourselves so they did not have to.  I was very good at the latter.

I did the chores grudgingly.  We were promised allowances that never materialized and performed jobs I still consider beyond the necessary scope for children.  The chores usually resulted in fights with my sister.  We argued prodigiously over whose turn it was to do what, then raced to be the first one done, if only to prove our superiority over one another.  The race to finish jobs served my primary purpose, which was to either read a book or ride my horse, and preferably both.  Melanie wanted to play with her friends.  I didn’t really have a lot of friends beyond the horses in my imagination, so rushing off to live in my head was my priority.

Before I got a horse I would pretend I had one.  i once cleared my closet, opened one side, and strung a rope across the opening to keep in my stick horse.  I shredded paper for her bedding.

She was lovely.  Her stick was yellow, her fur head white.  She had large, brown  button eyes with long, plastic lashes.  I called her Snowflake.

I spent the time creating this stable, enjoying every minute I did so, imagining the conversations I would have with my trainer over her care.  Again, I played both parts.  As myself, I explained very carefully what would be the best plan for my horse’s future.  My trainer would nod and take notes, her head cocked to one side as she leaned in the stable doorway, loose breeches puffed around her hips, a cap pulled low over her brow, alá Mickey Rooney.

Snowflake stayed in my closet for months.  I was attentive for about two days, feeding and brushing.  Over time I needed my room for other things and the stick horse was relegated to the corner again, her home prior to the stable.

Finally, when I was twelve, I acquired a real horse. Of course, this horse was only 40 inches tall and therefore a pony, but I did not care. She was mine and I loved her.  Her name was Rosie.  She was a bright, red chestnut with a thick, flaxen mane and tail.  But she was tiny.  I rode her anyway.  My best friend Jodi and I both rode ponies.  We made plans together to start our own pony farm as adults, no horses allowed.

Poop Breath Monster

Gads, I love my puppy.  I know this is a silly thing to write about, but she is just such a dear, sweet, delightful little dog, and I adore her so much that I had to say so.  She is so cute.  She is small and white, with a happy grin. Her little butt looks like a sheep butt.  Her ears go up or down.  When she wakes in the morning, she actually has bed head.  She is a good dog.  The best.  The kind of dog people dream about.  She’s no Marley.  She only chews the toys that are hers.  She sits and stays and behaves well.  She doesn’t like to be told no, so when she does something requiring a no, she looks so sad, then doesn’t do it again.4-13-09d

Except for one thing.

She eats poop. Yes, she does.  Not on a regular basis, but when it happens, it’s horrible.  She’s a snuggly creature.  If I’m lying on the bed, she’ll jump up and come over and lie across my neck (she is quite small, only 8 pounds).  This is wonderful, except when she turns her head and I get a whiff of poop breath.  Then the gag reflex kicks in and it’s chaos getting her off me and trying not to vomit.  I happen to be 8 months pregnant.  Smells are stronger for a pregnant woman.  Having the smell of shit right under my nose is like taking a dose of ipecac and receiving the expected and immediate response.  Having the smell of shit on my puppy honey’s face is worse than the simple smell of shit. There is the thought of her eating the poop that adds to the gag reflex.  I have to spend the next several minutes rubbing my lavender pillow all over my face and thinking about flowers and clouds and pretty things, anything to get the idea of my puppy eating shit out of my head.  Not fun.  No, not at all.

I bought some pills to give her to help her stop the coprophagia, but ever since I bought them about a month ago, she hasn’t been doing it so the pills have languished on the shelf.  In fact, I’m not even sure exactly where I put them.  Maybe by her dog food? Maybe in the bathroom?  Maybe in the linen closet?  I don’t know.  Somewhere around here.  Before I bought them, she ate her poop about once every week.  Then I bought the pills, did not give them to her, and she stopped.  I almost forgot about them.  Then last night I was all snuggled in my bed and puppy came in for some loving–the little, poop-breath monster.  I gagged and screeched, Dan and Milla came running (they had been watching a movie together and my yelps interrupted them), and semi-chaos ensued as the puppy was rounded up, the lavender pillow tossed in my face, and efforts were made to locate the offending turds, if any remained.  Puppy’s face had to be washed and I spent 15 minutes thinking those pretty, non-poop thoughts.  Good times.

Like I said, I love my puppy.  If I can get her to stop eating poop, she’ll be perfect.

Stylin

I realize on some level how silly this is, but I love the way I feel after having some beauty ritual performed, be it hair dressing or nail smoothing or whatever.  Yesterday I had my hairs arranged and cut and made to look beautiful.  Leaving the salon I could feel it silky and swinging on my neck.  Odd how simply having my hairs arranged can provide a pick me up.

I think I have mentioned before that I am not naturally the sort of woman who easily maintains makeup and hair styling and whatnot.  I am simply not one of those women who look perfectly made up at all times.  I cannot keep my sausagey fingers from looking unkempt.  I manage to keep pedicures looking somewhat okay, but I think mostly it is an illusion fostered by toes existing over five-and-half-feet from my eyes.  If I get closer, I often notice there are little bumps in the polish or nicks on the edges of my nails.

I am perpetually battling dry feet skin, never able to achieve the milky white perfection seen on Photoshopped advertisements.  I could probably make a mint if I figured out how to accomplish that little trick.  I will stay on top of the eyebrows for several days in a row, then realize one morning that Hey, I haven’t looked at them in a while.  It is with some foreboding I look into the mirror because I have had genuine fears of having my head turn into one giant hair pile, Cousin Itt come to life.  Yikes!  Except for lipstick (my take to an island mainstay), I have never been the sort to wear makeup for any length of time.  I invariably forget and rub my eyes, or smear the stuff on my lids, or do something else equally unattractive.

I try to maintain a well put together outfit.  I actually choose and wear quite pretty clothes.  The problem is when nylons start creeping down so the crotch ends up between my thighs, or waistbands creep into uncomfortable creases, or I dribble something on my chest.  You get the picture.  And after a while, in spite of my greatest efforts, my hairs just start to fly about.  I think it has something to do with the fact that my hairs would be curly left to their own devices.  I use a brush and hairdryer to make it straight.  It waits and then when I’m out in public some of the hairs stage a mutiny, reverting back to their curly ways.

While I was in the salon I read a little article about which beauty regimens women are giving up in times of financial difficulty, and those they simply cannot live without.  I chuckled to myself at the irony of my sitting in that chair having my hairs arranged as my bank account is gradually depleted to nearly nothing while taking a break from job hunting.  Attempting some semblance of beauty through hair dressing is most certainly the beauty regimen I will not give up.  My answer to that question is easy.  No matter what, I always manage to get my hairs arranged.

Hair is a funny thing.  I tend to be the sort who, either through thin finances or thin time and sometimes both, leaves my hair arranging for 8 to 10 weeks rather than the recommended 6 to 8.  The result is that I usually arrive at the salon looking like a scruffy puppy.  While it is not much fun to go through life looking and feeling scruffy, it is marvelous to come out of the hair salon feeling like I got a shiny new coat of wax or something.  The feeling lasts for a couple of weeks after the arranging.  Then it fades into the background until the scruffiness reminds me that I really ought to do something and stop scaring people with the way I look.

I Have Been Sick

I have not been writing.  I have not been reading.  I have not been doing much of anything except lying in bed like a lump wishing I would feel better.  I try to do things.  I get up and go about for a bit, then I’m so sorry because of the overwhelming fatigue, nausea, and coughing.  It’s a travesty. I even got a fever, and that is extremely rare for me.  The last time I had a fever was fifteen years ago, and it put me in the hospital.  This time I just laid there like a dry stick, sucking on lozenges, popping Tylenol, dextromethorphan, and antihistamines, completely catatonic.  Yuck.

I’ve gotten some ideas.  Really, I have.  It’s possible to come up with some pretty interesting things to write about when one wakes up from coughing after the drugs have worn off at 3 in the morning.  But the thought of being upright to actually type some of these clever things into the computer is seriously more than I can manage.  I have to get up frequently to go to the bathroom because I’m trying to drown this thing (it’s not working).  Going to the bathroom is the extent of my energetic abilities.  It’s getting old, I can assure you.

I told Boyfriend today that I want him to buy some oranges because I’m going to try and kill it with vitamin C.  And some grapefruit.  Maybe if I eat a bunch of them every day I’ll kill the bad little viruses.  Plus I’ll eliminate any possibility of scurvy, and help keep the orange growers in business.  And grapefruit growers.  I’ll be doing my part.

I think it is evident from this post what my mind is capable of.  Today I took a couple dozen quizzes on facebook.  That also gives some indication of my potential mental capacity.  It’s like I’ve been working hard all week and my brain is fried.  I get the fried part, but it has not been because I have been working.  I did do some fun activities because Milla is home this week.  I went to the zoo, then came home and collapsed for 3 hours.  I went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then came home and collapsed for 4 hours.  I went to the Union Square Farmer’s Market and almost threw up right there in front of all of the farmers.  Not fun.  Maybe all that running around is kind of like hard work and that is why I feel like I’ve been busting my ass all week.  I don’t know.  In any case, I hope I get over this soon.  I am sick of being sick.

My Ideas for Presidents’ Day Celebrations

I saw this funny blog headline.  It said, How to observe Presidents’ Day.  Don’t work.  Other than that, I don’t know.  That is hilarious.  But I know one way.  Dress up like your favorite president!  If you have one of those jobs where they didn’t give you the day off, like so many, you’ll really impress them with your verve and spirit!

Last night I went to listen to music at this place and I swear, a man channeling John Wilkes Booth was there!  He looked EXACTLY like him!  He even had a similar haircut.  My girlfriend pointed out that he also slightly resembled Sean Penn and you know what?  He did!  So I went out on the web and googled images of John Wilkes Booth and Sean Penn to compare.  Man, I wish I was blog literate enough to post the photos here because they have to be related.  They look exactly alike!  At least they have very similar long pointy noses.  I think actually that JWB was more handsome than Sean Penn is.  Just a bit.  Except for the fact JWB murdered a president, they also have in common that they are both actors.  Perhaps they are related.  Wouldn’t that be weird?

Another way to celebrate Presidents’ Day would be to memorize famous presidential speeches.  Then if someone says something to you, answer with the speech.  That could be cool.  If everyone went around one day spouting presidential speeches, perhaps we would all learn to be a bit more oratory.  We could also renact days off from the times of Washington and Lincoln whereby everyone goes on picnics and races in potato sack races or pie bake offs.  Could be fun!  Another possibility is to celebrate the byproducts of the Presidents’ Day holiday.  For instance, we could celebrate not having to check the mail or go to the bank.

Since stores have already appropriated every major holiday for mass consumerism and commercial gain, and since Presidents’ Day primarily serves as an excuse for stores to claim a sale and some jobs to give folks the day off, I propose the stores get more into the act and start selling outfits and decorations for Presidents’ Day. We could all go buy lights shaped like Lincoln standing tall, his hand on his lapel, his top hat high on his head.  Or little Washingtons holding cherry tree axes (truth of the fable be damned).  They could sell Washington and horse figurines to pretend to cross the Potomac.  They could make giant blow up dolls for the front yard wearing festive red, white, and blue clothing.  It could take American yard decor to a new level of tackiness.

I have a friend who is a buyer of holiday goods for a major store in the area.  I ought to talk to her about getting her store in on the act.  This could be the next big holiday thing, with decor coming out at the same time as Valentine’s goods, a week and a half before Christmas.  Could be fun!  Or the lucky few could just keep getting the day off.

What I am Thankful For

Because I am a sap and it is traditional to do so, I have decided to make a non-inclusive list of things I am thankful for (in no particular order).

Milla
Boyfriend
Animals
Mom
Dad
Sister
Brother
Other relatives (I guess the previous could have been gathered in the catchall family.)
My nice housemate and her animals
Friends
My hairdresser
Sleep
Love
Warmth
Bunnies
Snuggling
Humor
Music
Down comforters and pillows
That Obama is going to be president
That Palin is not going to be vice-president
My computer
Proper use of grammar
Proper spelling
Milla’s inability to spell
Mobile phones
Flushing toilets
Running water
Bathtubs and baths
Peace
Earth
Oceans
Plant life
Horses
Tea
Food
Sugar
My brain
My health
My body
Wordperfect
The internets
Articulation
Having a place to live
Language
Beauty
When Milla listens to me
When my boyfriend listens to me
Being listened to
Acupuncture
Massage
OSOM
Shoes
Nice clothes
Holding a Boston Terrier puppy
Books
That I can read
Earplugs
Frosting
Pumpkin Pie

I am also very thankful that my life is comfortable, that I have enough to eat, a warm place to sleep, and that in comparison to a lot of the world, my worries are trivial.

Possessive S’s

Improper use of the apostrophe for plurals bugs the hell out of me.  Except in narrow circumstances, one places an apostrophe before an s to denote possession.  If one is discussing more than one of something, the apostrophe goes after the s.  One does not place an apostrophe before the s to simply denote plurals.

No apostrophe is used in the following possessive pronouns and adjectives: yours, his, hers, ours, its, theirs, and whose. (Many people wrongly use it’s for the possessive of it, but authorities are unanimous that it’s can only be a contraction of it is or it has.)  Except for one’s, no possessive determiner has an apostrophe.  A number of them, like its, are homophonous with pronoun-auxiliary contractions.  As was previously noted, the pronoun its is very commonly misspelled; not only is there the homophone it’s (it is or it has), but ‘s is a genitive clitic.

For cryin’ out loud people, get it right.

Welcome Back, Dear

My mac died on Sunday.  It turns out the hard drive was bad.  The funny thing is, I was so pleased with mac over windows I did not realize some niggling things were the result of a bad hard drive.  Now I have a new hard drive and the niggles have gone away.  Mac is even better.

While I realize it isn’t great my hard drive went caput after five months, I am very happy that I have a mac and could simply walk into a mac store and they would fix it.  No sitting on hold for 8 years with some techie somewhere to prove what I already know.  No waiting to ship it off, then shipping it off, then waiting for its return.  My mac was back to me this morning.

Another lucky thing for me was that the mac people were able to recover just about all the things that had not been backed up.  I literally had my external hard drive sitting here on the desk next to me ready to hook up and back up the day my drive finally quit on me.  I was on the phone with a friend trying to send her an email and it just stopped.  I couldn’t shut down properly and had to turn it off with the button.  It never recovered.  It went to a blue screen with a little flickering question mark.  Awww…..

My kind housemate allowed me to use her old windows computer while I waited for mine to return.  This was good for someone so tethered to the internet and the need to dump useless thoughts (like these).  I am quite thankful to her for allowing me to use it to check my email and to post on my blog.  However, while using this computer I was reminded of all the reasons I left windows in the first place. I do not miss the constant and ubiquitous popup messages giving me some piece of information I either already know or do not care to know. I hate those little messages.  I do not miss the constant and ubiquitous updates that are always on the ready to install, freezing things up, making the machine click and clatter and rattle.  I hate those updates.  I do not miss the random desire of pc’s to freeze for no apparent reason as they click and clatter and rattle.  Perhaps they are thinking up new little messages for me.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am SO glad to have my mac again.  I wrote my boyfriend a text message when I got my baby back.  It said I have three major loves in my life:  one is in school, one is asleep in Oregon, and the third is sitting here next to me in the car. Yes, I’m silly enough to count my mac as one of my major loves.  Welcome back, dear.  I missed you.

You Winner Lottery National!!

You winner in lottery national!

Ooooh!  Excitement!  I received an email today that said just these words.  Can you believe it?  Yeah, me neither.  Somehow I think if I won the lottery, several things would be different.  First of all, I would have had to have actually played the lottery, which I don’t, so it would be difficult to win.  Second, wouldn’t you think they would notify me in some other manner than email?  And finally, would the email really say, You winner in lottery national? Call me a fool, but I would think it would at least say You are a winner, not just You winner.

I hope I haven’t lost out by deeming this message junk and deleting it.  I really hope I have not done some serious damage or something.  Geez.  Oh well.  I have to hope I’ve done the right thing.

Tonight my computer acted like it had Windows installed.  Eeewwwww yuck!  Damn thing.  It kept freezing when I tried to do a find on Firefox.  I had to do forced shutdowns twice and had to just use the button to turn the entire computer off twice.  It was all very annoying and Windows deja vueyish.  I was finally able to restart properly and things appear to be on track, but that Windows behavior, it gets me all sketchy.

You be Sorry You Mess with Me Pure Med Spa!

See my post on the Pure Med Spa bankruptcy here.

I am writing an article on Pure Med Spa.  For info, please click here.

Because I have received so many messages in response to this and my other Pure Med Spa post, and since it seems not many of these commentators have read my later piece on the Pure Med Spa bankruptcy filing, I have included this paragraph to inform any readers of that filing.  Effectively, if you received your treatment or they took your money BEFORE they filed for bankruptcy in 2009, this means you may NOT file a lawsuit against Pure Med Spa, except through the bankruptcy court, and there only for certain causes of action (which include fraud).  You may NOT contact the company in any way about the money they owe you.  You may NOT call the CEO and harass him.  In short, you may not do anything to them.  That is the point of the bankruptcy stay, to protect the company from creditors, and I absolutely support this, even when the filer is as abominable as Pure Med Spa.  The same laws that protect Pure Med Spa protect you if you ever had to file, and speaking from experience as a bankruptcy attorney, that relief means a lot to people who are being harassed night and day by creditors.  Don’t think this means you don’t have options, just follow the rules to ensure you don’t violate federal law.

Original Post You be Sorry You Mess with Me Pure Med Spa:

I kick your ass little med spa stupid place.

I have lots of lawyer girlfriends.  Because I am a lawyer, of course I have lots of lawyer friends.  It goes with the territory, you know?  What I find amusing is how often my lawyer girlfriends have to pull out the lawyer card as part of their ass-kicking when some stupid company fucks them over.  My lawyer boyfriends do not seem to have this problem, and I mean friends who are boys, not actual boyfriends.  I only have one boyfriend and he is not a lawyer, thank GOD…anyway, I digress.  I think sometimes us girls get hassled by companies who would not hassle boys just because they think us girls are pushovers.  Small problem.  We are not all pushovers, especially lawyer girls.  Lawyer girls in my experience have a little extra something that likes to kick asses, if you know what I mean.  Something of that ass-kicking mentality pushes us to do things like go to law school and become lawyers.  I am sure there are other professions like this as well, but as a group, my lawyer girlfriends are ass kickers.

ANYWAY.  So my friend Kathleen has had many instances where she has had to kick company ass.  It’s fun to listen to her because you can tell by her story that she is always right and the company is always wrong and I am not being facetious here, she really is.  Like the time the bank told her she could have her deposit in 7 business days so she deposited a rather large sum based on that assertion, then the receipt the bank gave her after the deposit said she could not have that money for like two or three weeks or something.  Um.  NO.   Bank wrong.  Kathleen kick ass.  Or another time, I don’t remember the details, but she was bidding at a furniture auction and bid on a piece of furniture and the auction people gave the furniture to someone else who bid earlier.  Kathleen kick ass again.  I think she lost on that one but the company was sorry they had crossed her and her husband looked sheepish.  The company was wrong, no doubt in my mind. Fuckers.  I would have kicked ass too.  Kind of like when the bank in Hawaii thought I was a terrorist and would not give me an account even with a very large sum of money, a valid driver’s license, a social security card, and a passport.  Very large ass kicking there. I ended up at another bank.  Upset Lara.  Oh, and then there was the time the air filter company tried to mess with my lawyer friend Sara.  Their ad said Free In Home Estimates.  So they came and did their estimate and it was too high so of course Sara used another company.  Then they tried to charge Sara.  Um.  No.  Sara pointed out the various laws their attempts to collect violated.  Needless to say, they didn’t get the money they did not deserve.  Jerks.

ANYWAY.  So the point of this rambling diatribe is that I gave this med spa fifty bucks to hold my appointment back in July.  They said We need a fifty dollar deposit to hold your appointment.  If you don’t show or cancel within 24 hours of the appointment, we keep the fifty bucks. Okay.  I can deal with that.  Well, I called to cancel the same day I made the appointment.

Oh, we don’t do refunds.  This isn’t a refund.  I didn’t get anything.  It is outside the 24 hour period, I want my money.  Well we won’t give it to you.  Okay then.  Have you heard of the Oregon Health Spa Act, ORS 646A.030?  It allows the right of rescission of any spa service within 72 hours of requesting or paying for service.  Um, let me get my manager. Yeah, you do that.  So the next several conversations were not pleasant.  I described all the things I would do to them, including writing about their spa on my blog (doing that now), calling the Oregon Attorney General’s office, and telling Clackamas Town Center, the mall where they are located.  During all this, I also promptly sent off the written notice requesting the rescission, as required by statute.  Finally the manager spoke to someone who would allow a refund.  She told me the money would be in my account by the end of the day.  Nope, not there.  I called again.  Within three days.  Nope, not there.  It is now three and a half months later and still, no refund.

So I’m going postal on their asses.  I filed my complaint with the Oregon AG.  I am going to call the mall where they are located.  And I’m writing about them here.  I did some research and discovered MANY forums lamenting the many problems with Pure Med Spa.  They are a terrible company.  They have huge problems giving refunds or returning deposits.  They also use technicians who are not properly licensed and forget to follow health regulations when performing spa services (this information comes from the forums, not my personal experience).  Too bad I did not know this when I walked by them in the mall.  They are counting on people not knowing this when they walk by in the mall.  This is part of why I’m going to tell the mall.  I don’t know if the mall will care, but there should be some public service message to let patrons know the company they might deal with is a giant crook who will steal their money and could possibly perform some atrocious health violation on them or something.

The problem with stupid companies assuming customers are stupid is that their assumptions are often WRONG.  Guess what? I know where to look for the statutes about stupid asses like you.  I am happy to let others know there are statutes out there to protect consumers from shitty companies.  Oregon and many other states have rights of rescission statutes in many areas (though not in car sales, as is often believed).  Anyway, in Oregon anyway, there are statutes to allow you to change your mind about gym contracts, time share contracts, things sold door to door, certain home sale contracts, and other consumer contracts.  Usually you just have to send them a letter.  It’s not difficult, people just don’t know this is their right.  It would be better if the statutes required these jackasses to post something prominently stating as much, but for now, at least the laws are there so if some crappy company like Pure Med Spa tries to rip you off, you can fight them if necessary.  Fees to sue them and damages for causing you the trouble are often included in the remedies, so all you are out is your time.  The next time a company gives you trouble, go look through your state’s consumer statutes, you might find you have certain rights.  It is so empowering when some ginormous company who couldn’t give a shit about you tries to steal from you and you kick them in the ass.

Cute Fuzzy Thing

I signed up to elect Michael Palin for President.  You can do it too.  Simply click here to show your support.  Anyway, as part of my support, I got a free cute fuzzy thing!  It is so adorable.  I love it.  After I got the cute fuzzy thing, I received a thank you message from the campaign with instructions on how to proceed to ensure Mr. Palin is elected president.  Part of my duties as a supporter include rubbing my cute fuzzy thing all over republicans and doing silly walks in government buildings.  I’m going to get right on that.

You too should work to elect Michael Palin as president.  As his website attests, he knows all about government processes.  He even has proof.  I would contend his foreign policy experience is far superior to Sarah Palin’s (no relation).  She just lives near Russia.  Michael Palin has actually lived IN a foreign country!  This is obvious evidence of his foreign policy prowess.  Sarah Palin is a hockey mom.  Well, Michael Palin has actually worn ice skates!  Further evidence again of his superiority as a presidential candidate.

America is truly beautiful my friends. It is a place of opportunity where anyone can attain the highest office in the land.  Show your support for this dutiful and officious servant: MICHAEL PALIN FOR PRESIDENT!! (And don’t forget to pick up your free fuzzy thing.)

I urge you voters.  Vote Michael Palin for president.

Spinning Time

My blog has turned into two things.  One is me going on and on about how pathetic I am.  The other is my ranting about the godforsaken political situation in this country.  It’s as if my sense of humor has taken a monster shit and been flushed down the loo.  It does not exist anymore, at least in writing.  I am not sure though that I ever had it.  I just had these magical moments where things came to me and I wrote them down, but they are gone now.  Or maybe it was just that I was not living in mental chaos all the time.  Lately I feel as if I live in mental chaos, in this box where I just want to know what the fuck it is that I want out of life and I go for it.  But the times I’ve known what I want and gone for it have been monumental failures, so I have really almost given up trying.  Well, I don’t know about that, but I’ve not known exactly what I want for ages, and that has been a big part of the problem.  Recently, I have figured out exactly what it is that I want, but it is one of those things that requires others on board and I have not exactly figured out how to present these desires to the other parties involved.  The result is that I mope about wanting these things, wondering if they are the right things to want, waffling whether I actually do want them, then wondering again if I do in fact want them how to present these things to other involved parties.  It’s a conundrum, I can assure you.

As it is I just spin time, organizing my room, thinking about things I want to write, sitting at the computer and staring, trying to remember what it was I sat down for, then getting up and wandering over to my bed to stare at the wall, continuing in my humorless vein.  It’s a good time.  It’s such a good time I am going to do it again right now because I am tired.  Good night.

Her Hair was Attractively Styled

I am not one of those women who is able to maintain a perfect beauty regimen. In fact, I’m pretty pathetic. I sit here typing at the computer and one of my nails is splitting. I am nearly pathologically unable to quit playing with it until I find a nail file. The urge to pick and chew at the piece that is sticking out near the split is overwhelming. I finally give up and bite the damn thing off, making the nail ragged and ugly. The fact the nail split in the first place is part of the evidence against my ability to maintain western trappings of femininity. Don’t get me wrong, I do not go out of my way to eschew such contrivances. I don’t purposely dress in sacks or not shave my pits or grow a mustache or not wear deodorant or any of it. In fact, such things would bother me immensely. I actually LIKE certain aspects of western trappings of femininity, I’m just not very good at them. And so I exist in my little, pitiful, half-baked attempts.

I have a wonderful hairdresser. She does such a lovely job putting in highlights and cutting my hair. My hair is naturally curly and I straighten it. My hairdresser knows this and cuts it accordingly. She straightens it for me beautifully. Even I am capable of straightening it fairly well, and during the time after it is straightened and before I go to bed or get it wet, it looks moderately attractive. Yet I’ve developed a habit of staying up too late with the male person in my life, so when I have to get up and go to work, I do not want to spend the extra 45 minutes showering, straightening, and coiffing. I would rather sleep. The result is that my hair has odd bumps in it in places where it has been slept on, the places that tried to return to their natural state of curliness, but did not quite make it. Most mornings I throw it into a ponytail, make a feeble attempt at presenting my bangs in a semblance of order, and head out the door.

Oh, and the bangs. Do you know why I have bangs? I have not had bangs in over a decade. I’m not partial to them. Last summer, my hairdresser noticed my hair had thinned significantly. She deduced this was the result of radiation treatments the winter before. Small problem…radiation does not cause hair loss unless the radiation is on the hair. Mine was not. We decided stress was the culprit then. In spite of my attempts to stave off the loss, the hair continued to break and thin. One morning while straightening my hair, a large chunk of hair fell right into my hands. Its ends were burned brittle, sizzling and smelling as I held them. WTF?!?!? It turns out my blowdryer had been sucking hair into its coils and burning it off my head. Hence, the hair loss. I went into hairdresser and described what had been happening. As she laughed in horror, she attempted to repair my mangled head. The result was bangs. I was forced into bangs and layers to deal with the trauma. Yikes. The hair is growing back now. It is healthy and it is thickening. I have pretty thick hair so it’s noticeable when it thins. Since having this happen, I am grateful for my thick hair. I like the way it hangs when it’s thick. It’s pitiful when it’s thin.

The other beauty area in which I am woefully lacking is makeup. I can’t wear it. When I do, I forget, rub my eyes or cheek, and smear it across my face. Lovely! I wear lipstick. I’m actually kind of abulic about wearing lipstick.  The lipstick takes over and informs me that it will be worn, whether I like it or not.  Have you ever seen a baby mouse or rat?  They are so cute when they are really little, just after they get their fur.  What is really cute is how they try to wash themselves before they are physically able to do so.  It is apparent that they are driven by forces outside themselves to clean themselves like they do.  It’s the same way with me and lipstick.  I’m driven by a force outside myself to wear it.  Often when it’s on it’s way to my lips I realize I’ve unthinkingly reached into my purse and removed the stick to put it on.  It’s rote.  I do not like the feel of my lips without lipstick; they are too dry. I also do not like the look of my lips when they match my skin. I like them to look reddish, like lips. I like them to show. Women’s magazines often ask some movie star what one makeup item she would take to a desert island (in order to attract the palm trees or crabs, I suppose). My one desert island item would be lipstick. It’s true. I admit it. Please do not think less of me for this. Give me points for admitting it.

My worst beauty area by far is my fingernails. I cannot keep them manicured properly. I try, oh yes, I do. I file them. I keep them even. I attempt to force back the mountains of cuticle. I let them grow so they look sort of long. I just can’t keep them looking pretty. I have paid for professional manicures before. They look ragged and sad within hours. It’s simply not worth the money. I’ve also found that nails that are too long get in the way of doing the things I like to do. When I do such things with long nails, the long nails break. This is not attractive. I do pay for pedicures. I like having my feet pampered and since my toes are further away from people’s lines of sight, they don’t notice the dings as much as the ones on my fingernails. Part of the problem is that my fingernails are ridiculously thick. Where many of my friends complain of thin and brittle nails, I have the opposite problem. One split goes deep and filing it away does nothing. I have to cut the whole thing off, behind the origin of the split, or it just keeps going. Not good. I’ve had some nasty splits that went into my nail bed because of this. They hurt. I am also constitutionally unable to keep polish looking nice. For one thing, my nails are short and fat things. They match my short and squat fingers. For someone who is rather tall and very thin, I certainly have the fingers and fingernails of a troll. They are like mini sausages. I do not have willowy fingers or hands. My hands look like they could pick up a hammer and start banging something with precision. They’re workers’ hands. And they’re ugly. The nails match. Good times.

I am also woefully lacking in the ability to dress femininely. I always miss, usually on accessories. I see girls who are all put together. Their hairs are tamed, their nails are polished and manicured, their makeup is flawless, and their clothes are pert. Not me. My hairs are wily, my nails are squat and splitty, my makeup is lipstick and sometimes some dark circle coverup, and my clothes seem thrown on at the last minute, even when I’ve attempted to look put together. I just can’t quite manage it. Maybe if I had a personal assistant and makeup artist I could do it. I suspect, however, that I would give such a person fits.  She would follow me around rolling her eyes, doing her best to remake what I had undone.  Such an assistant would need to be the sort who likes to watch her work destroyed and making attempts at rebuilding.  I would be a good project for someone like that.  If I were famous, People Magazine would have a field day with me. I’d be the constant go to girl for hideous shots of stars looking pitiful. Even better, they could use me in the See, they’re just like US! section of Us Magazine.  She gets toilet tissue stuck to her shoe!  She spills gravy on the front of her blouse!  She forgot to zip up her fly!  She drops her groceries, keys, and purse then flails mightily to recover them! They’d love me. They would never run out of fodder.

Since typing this, I’ve managed to worry down the nail split somewhat. It’s raggedy and needs a file, but it’s better than it was when I began. It’s hopeless–I’ll never be a model of western femininity. I couldn’t do it if I tried.

I is Pore an Dum

Hi, I is Lara. I is kina dum. Why? I is pore. If you is pore, you is dum. I went to the docter today. That there docter gamme sum paper for them pills people. Them pills people woonent gimme them pills cuz I is on that Oregun Helth Plan. Itsa plan for people tah pay fer them pills and stuff. So I went to the pills place and gavem my paper frum the docter tellin me I cud get sum pills. So they sed no. They sed my paper can get changed, and cuz I is pore, I’m gonna messen with the paper so theys gonna ax the docter if I rally gotta have pills cuz they thank I made up the pills paper. Kin you balave that? So they woonent gimme any pills for my bladder. Dang me. An the Oregun Helth Plan also wants to no why tis I want eleven dollar pills. They gotta call the docter and ax why I gotta get antibodies. Why I take antibodies? Cuz, I is pore and I muss be a druggie who makes up the pill paper. Itsa shame fer me cuz the docter was close up wen the pills people callem up.  Them pills people coonent ax the docter if I made up the paper and coonent ax the docter if I is a druggie tryin tah get sum antibodies.  Sheesh.

I’m Here, Aren’t I?

Showing up. Showing up. Showing up. As a writer, it is necessary for me to show up. I don’t have any desire whatsoever to work on the important things tonight. I have no desire whatsoever to work on unimportant things tonight. I have nothing spectacular or funny to say. I am boring. I recognize this. I also know why. I have not slept well recently. Over time, the lack of sleep draining causes sustained retardation in my brain. About the only thing I am capable of doing well (and well is the key word here) is watching South Park videos. Small problem. South Park Zone won’t let me watch South Park videos. I tried reading a book. I realized I had read a page with zero comprehension of the words in front of me. This means I have reached a state of brainlessness rarely achieved, even for me.

So here I sit, starting paragraphs with the word so. This is not a good thing. Oh, guess what I saw today? The back of a street sign had a foot tall green penis and balls drawn on it. There were little squirties coming out the top. Isn’t that original? I thought it was. Particularly the choice of green as a color for the penis. Perhaps that helped to make the penis stand out.

One of my bank accounts is a big, old mess. I have this account I use for Milla’s money. Well, I thought there was a deposit made that wasn’t, so a bunch of crap went overdraft. Here’s the thing, the crap that went overdraft was from point of sale purchases. What does this mean? It means that I used a debit card. I asked the bank to explain to me why they would approve the point of sale charge if there was no money in the account. Why not simply say no, this card is useless? Well, they could not answer this. Instead, they charged me $25 for the first two $7.75 purchases, then $28 for additional purchases, one for about $37, another for about $60, and a third for $20. There were a couple of others. Here’s the other thing. I had one big charge for $200, this was the one that caused the problem. It put the account overdrawn, then all these piddly ones came after. So I said to the bank, if that hadn’t gone through, none of the other stuff would have gone overdrawn. The bank person told me they put through the big charges first. At this point I noticed that indeed, the charges began with the largest and proceeded down in denominations. What does this mean? It means a big purchase makes you overdraw, then all the little nickel and dimey crap comes through and runs up BIG money for the bank. Isn’t that a great money-making scheme? The guy on the phone said it was because big purchases were more important. Oh really, you think so? I think it’s a scheme for your bank to make more money. Add to that the fact you allowed point of sale purchases to go through when there was no money in the account. He said my pointing that out was being abusive. Since I was speaking in a calm, normally volumed, well modulated tone of voice, I found this confusing. Abusive? I asked. How in the world is my pointing out that your bank is ripping me off abusive? I would say that your bank is abusive. He then asked if there was anything further he could do for me. I told him he could go and take a hike. Yes, perhaps that last line was abusive. I’m a bad person. I admit it. I guess paying $156 in fees for purchases totaling less than that makes me this way. Yes, I know there are those out there who would get all judgmental on my ass for not knowing about the deposit in the first place, but there are extenuating circumstances. Another person puts money in that account and I thought he did it. The judgmental people can now be original and say see what you get for doing your own thinking? Yes, I do. I get abusive, that’s what I get.

Well imagine that. I managed to eke out more than one paragraph. Wonders never cease. I didn’t even think while I did it. I suppose it is not necessary for me to point that out, my not thinking. It’s probably quite evident from what I’ve written. I know this. In my altered, brain dead state, I am able to fathom that my writing is pitiful. But I’m showing up, that’s what I’m doing. I’m having impure thoughts too. Isn’t that nice to know? You don’t know what they are. I could be thinking about sewage in the Willamette River. That would be an impure thought. You probably thought I meant sex, especially since I mentioned seeing the giant green penis drawing. But there are other things out there I could be thinking about that are impure. I’ll never tell.

Top 7 Wonders of America

In honor of America naming its top 7 wonders, I have decided to offer a top 7 wonders list of my own. These are things so quintisentially American, it would be shameful not to offer them their own place in infamy. Drum roll please…

Walmart: A wonder in sheer, unabashed corporate greed.

George Bush: It’s a wonder that someone this complicatedly messed up is the president of the US.

Strip Malls: A wonder at the absolute lack of any sense of aestheticism.

Sound bites: A wonder that it is possible to boil any complicated issue down to a few seconds and make it appear black and white.

Mcmansions: A wonder of greed, lack of necessity, and waste.

Fast food: A wonder for its ability to combine obesity, magnificent deterioration of health, and sheer ugliness, all under one roof.

Insurance: A wonder because it manages to convince people it is protecting them while simultaneously ripping them off.

So there you go, my top 7 wonders of America. Ain’t it grand?

Getting a Great Summer Body

So Yahoo says I can get a summer body in 4 weeks. Wow! A summer body. Just what I always wanted! I’m going to have to get me one of those. I’m not sure if I have to order it from Yahoo or if I can search around for a better deal on the internet. I’m hoping if I shop around, it won’t be terribly expensive, especially with gas prices what they are.  I’m hoping the summer body I find is tall. I like tall bodies. And not terribly muscular, but toned. Yes, toned would be good. Of course, that would mean the body would probably have to be somewhat young so the muscles haven’t atrophied or anything. I don’t particularly care what color skin it has, as long as it’s not scraping off or something like that. I really would like my summer body to actually have skin.  And tan would be good, but not fake orange tan, real tan, if it’s still fresh and not peeling.  I would prefer my summer body has not been mutilated or otherwise defaced. Bodies like that are probably cheaper, but yuck, you know? I wonder what they do to the bodies to keep them from smelling bad. Summer deodorant? And I’ve heard finger and toenails keep growing. I wouldn’t want my summer body to have icky nails. It might be kind of cool if my summer body has hair that has grown longer. I could braid it or maybe even turn it into dreads.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about getting a new summer body. The winter/spring one is starting to decompose and I was considering moving it into the compost pile. This will be a great way to start the season!

Please Advise this Would-Be Diplomat

So I think maybe I get why Congress can’t pull its head out of its ass about the Iraq war and do something different that moves us towards stabilization in the region and ultimately allows our soldiers to come home. The reason I’m able to understand this is that I’m kind of like Congress right now in this war between my chihuahua and the man I’ve been dating.  Destabilization between my chihuahua and the man has increased rapidly since our three hour car trip on Sunday when the man kept bugging the chihuahua and finally the chihuahua bit him on the thumb. He has been telling anyone who will listen about the bite, pointing out the scab that has formed, and I’m sure making it sound like it was a completely unwarranted attack on the part of the chihuahua, but it wasn’t and he knows it. In the meantime the chihuahua has become an even worse parasite on his mama, following me into the bathroom and wherever I go just in case there might be a man lurking somewhere around a corner.

Things have devolved now to the point where if the man looks at my dog, my dog makes a very angry alligator face and growls at him, then hides under the bed, then the man attempts to chase the dog out from under the bed to get him to make the face, the face is made, and it all continues. It is very bad. I am occasionally able to step in and separate them, and in that regard I’m more effective than Congress, but I am only one person you know, so it is easier for me to step between a rather large hunky man and a tiny chihuahua, but I’m not sure how to broker peace in the region. I’m really not. I work the diplomatic angle with ITMHMBBINS. Hey, can you please chill on the chihuahua? Then the man gives me the innocent face, I didn’t do anything. He’s just growling at me. Then he makes a face at the chihuahua, the chihuahua growls and makes his own face, and we’re back in battle.

I’m really at a loss. I’m fully cognizant of the fact that this situation has occurred because the man thinks it is fun to do things to the chihuahua like spin him around on slippery floors and slide him down slides. I get that. It can be kind of fun. But I know when to stop because chihuahua has had enough and the man has no clue when enough is enough and pushes chihuahua to the breaking point.

Did I mention this is not his first bite? As far as war wounds go, you wouldn’t think it, but the score now is chihuahua three, the man zero. The man was bitten on the nose one night after a particularly long and bloodless fight. Shots were fired on both sides. Both had retreated. It was dark. We were all battening down the hatches for a good night’s sleep when the man went in for one last growly face at the chihuahua. The chihuahua bit him on the nose. No blood was drawn, but in one swift nip, war was declared. Not many days later, chihuahua bit the man for real, on the hand this time. Acting first as intermediary and secondly as infirmary, I bandaged the man’s hand with a bucking horse bandaid and admonished him to leave the chihuahua alone.

He did not heed my advice. The war has escalated. The two are able to function only with me between them. Sometimes if it is dark, the chihuahua will curl next to the man, blissfully unaware he is sleeping near the enemy. The man allows this knowing it is likely I will bonk him on the head if he interferes with the chihuahua during sleep. It’s just not soldierly honorable, you know? But I’m at the end of my diplomatic abilities. I simply do not know what to do. I know there are those who would tell me to tell the man to take a hike for torturing my chihuahua. I know there are others who would tell me to put chihuahua in the basement when the man is around. But the first group does not realize how amazing the man is with other animals and the second group does not realize that separating the chihuahua from my body amounts to a surgical procedure and to lock him up when I am home would honestly amount to canine murder because he would have a stroke. So I’m really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. If anyone has any ideas how to broker peace in the region, even some contributions for a treaty or something, I’d be really thankful. Such offerings would be most welcome. Then maybe if I’m successful I can hand off the plans to Congress to work on the Iraq war.

Land of the Stupid People

I am the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People! I love being a QUEEN! It is so much fun. Do you want to know why I am the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People? Because I am, that’s why. Because I have had trouble after trouble after trouble after trouble with my cussword computer and my internet connection. I finally ascertained that it is something to do with my wireless so I went on down to the handy dandy computer store and purchased myself fifty feet of ethernet cable with which to connect via wire. I plugged it all in and viola, it still didn’t work that great. It did at first, but then it went back to the same old crap. I troubleshooted. I rebooted. I thissed. I thatted. I still had problems.

So tonight I was sitting here trying to do God knows what on the internet and my computer kept up it’s usual blather, quitting, running slow, running quickly for a minute to get me all excited, then slowing to a crawl or stopping altogether and on and on. I decided since it is near eleven, I would call Qwest yet again. There wouldn’t be a wait at eleven at night. I know this. I know the timing for getting a human rather quickly because I am an experienced Qwest technical support caller. I have called them MANY times. I know their number by heart. I know the words to say to the automated system in order to get to a person in the fastest possible manner. Something to note, saying Fuck You to the computer automated voice makes the voice say, I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. It’s funny. Something else to note. Qwest hates me. I have called them and gone through every troubleshoot possible. I’ve had the wire replaced to my house since the wire came from 1945. I had the wire in front of my house replaced since it was frazzled and needed replacing. I have been through four modems and three computers. Over the last several years, I’ve had many technicians in my home. Sometimes they fix things, sometimes they don’t. It’s hit or miss. I have not called them in some time since I decided that the latest issues are my computer’s and related to this wireless issue.

Anyway, I called the little techie tonight. I went through the rigmarole of proving I’m me, verifying my address, verifying my phone number, giving my permission to access my account, all of this even though I am the one who called in and asked for help. Tell me, why would I call in and ask for help then tell them No, You don’t have permission to access my account? Who would do that? Actually, I might call in and try it just for the hell of it. Give some techie some fun. Just wondered what you would do if I said no.

The techie had me check some things. Actually, I was already where he wanted to send me. I went to the network connections place and saw that I was connected by wireless and not by wire. This even though the wire is strung across the middle of my house. The techie had me troubleshoot several things. No matter. The light for ethernet cable would not light up on the modem. Then he suggested I reverse the wire. This means taking the end from the computer and plugging it into the modem and the end from the modem and plugging it into the computer. Okay, sure. If you really want me to crawl under the desk and behind the computer and do this, hell, I’m willing to try it. I even keep a flashlight under there for rooting around in the back of my computer.

Guess what I discovered upon my visit to the back of my computer? Guess? You know. The ethernet cable was NOT plugged into the back of the computer. How long it has been this way, I could not tell you. How it became unplugged, I could not tell you. I plugged it in and waited a few more minutes to pretend to the tech that I was indeed switching the ends. Then I got on the line and said, It worked! What a miracle! Imagine that, switching the ends made the internet work.

For Christ’s sake, sometimes I have to wonder about myself. How many nights have I cursed this thing since getting that damn ethernet line and it’s all been because I’m the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People? Amazing. It is amazing I graduated law school and passed the bar. It is amazing I got an undergraduate degree with honors. Hell, it’s amazing I was able to complete KINDERGARTEN because a FIVE YEAR OLD could figure out that if you don’t plug in the cable, the line isn’t going to work. It’s as simple as that.

I’m going to go make a crown now and wear it with pride. That’s about all I can do.

Physical Therapy

The Elbow, Lying on the Couch: When I was young, I fell and was broken. It was a hard fall. Out of a tree. The ligaments surrounding my cartilage were torn. I hurt for months. I was swollen. I couldn’t breathe properly.

Physical Therapist: How do you feel about that?

Elbow: It hurts, you know? I mean, I still feel the ache of that painful day.

Physical Therapist: What do you think you can do to move past this? What is done is done.

Elbow: I just don’t know. Maybe I’m going to have to work on moving past that time, stretch a little.

Physical Therapist: I can prescribe something if you like.

Elbow: I’d like to try and work through this without medication, but if the pain becomes too intense, I may have to take you up on that offer.

Physical Therapist: I’m always here.

Elbow: I know. These sessions help me to maintain my sanity.

American Idol had some kids talking about the statistics on poverty. The thing is, they’re preaching to the choir. Those of us watching this can’t do anything global about the problem and those who can aren’t going to watch this and do anything about it.

On another note, I’ve decided I’m going to start my own corporation to operate in competition with Monsanto. I’m going to hire a bunch of scientists and get them to patent dogs and cats. Then when people try to breed them, I’m going to sue their asses off. Of course this will be after I’ve harassed them and terrified them, taking photos of them out walking the puppies and cuddling the kittens. How dare these people interfere with my right to own life? I’ll also go after anyone who buys the puppies or kittens unaltered. If they think they are going to let those animals breed without my getting paid for it, they have another thing coming.

I don’t think I know how to be loved, at least in the sense of a significant other relationship kind of love. I have gone through every relationship I’ve had as an adult and concluded that the only man who ever truly loved me was my husband, and it was if that relationship was doomed before it began, at least from the point where we got married. The poor man was completely emasculated by his mother, and the day we moved into his parents’ house was the day we kissed that relationship goodbye, even though it limped on for another four years.

Anyway, I thought about this and I have no idea what it feels like. I only know what not being loved feels like. I know what my partner loving someone else feels like. I know what my partner having no clue about love for anyone feels like. But I can barely remember what it feels like for someone to love me. I wonder if a person reaches a point where she wouldn’t recognize it if it fell in her lap. I am so used to unrequited love. I am so used to beginnings that never go anywhere. I have zero clue how to go beyond that.

How do you learn if you never get the opportunity to try?  How do you keep believing you are lovable if no one ever loves you?  The last time it happened for me was fourteen years ago.  That is such a long time.  Actually sitting here and contemplating this I just can’t believe the length of it.  That is a significant chunk of time.  God, all this advice.  Don’t base your happiness on a man.  Live your own life.  Build yourself.  It’s great to do that, but how do you learn the lessons a deep relationship teaches if you never get into that place where someone else really loves you?

I wonder if most people are truly unloved.  I know there are a lot of people married out there, or in long term relationships.  Does that mean they have been loved or are loved?  How is it they get there?  I’m absolutely, utterly and completely baffled by this.

It is a quarter to midnight.  I started to go to sleep but woke up.  That is the worst time to wake up, when you’re still in the beginning stages of sleep.  I find it nearly impossible to go back to sleep in any reasonable fashion if I’m awakened within the early stages of sleep.  I’m tired, but can’t sleep.  I’m too tired really to read.  There is nothing I want to watch on television.  I hate television really.  Maybe I’ll find some Youtube or something to watch.  This sucks.  I have to get up early too.  Ah well.  I’m used to insomnia, just not at the beginning of the night.  I hope this means when I do finally fall asleep that I won’t wake up at 3, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

More Mindless Rambling

Wow.  So I check out of reality for a few days and when I check back in the hottest story out there is a transgendered man having a baby and Obama’s bowling ability.  I think maybe it’s time to check back out again.  I normally avoid the news but there are some headlines that are unavoidable.  Plus I listen to NPR and get bits and pieces there, although I extended my news fast to All Things Considered several years ago and have not felt the worse for wear as a result.  Gotta protect that old sanity, ya know?

So I pulled into WordPress this morning to discover many changes. I’m sure there are lots of us out here commenting on it, what we like, what we don’t.  I think once I get used to it, I will like it.  I’m already liking the place to type better than previously.  And I’ve noticed that there is a spell-checker.  Yes, I think I’m going to like it.  I’m not so keen yet on the dashboard, but I think with time and familiarity, it will all be good.

Okay, so right now Piper is spinning around and having a coniption fit because I’m typing and not paying one hundred percent attention to him, and Molly is standing over him, hovering like a bee over a flower.  I’m not sure of the influence she is attempting to exert, but Piper is oblivious.  Oh, and now she just got a good sniff of his butt.  Yum.  How was that for you, Molly?  Dogs.  They are unabashedly willing to partake of their senses, even if it involves a good solid butt sniffing.

I realized today that I am in some regards paralyzed by the sheer number of things I need to do.  Many of them are small things.  I just need to chip away at those things.  Others are huge, like packing, for instance.  I just need to dive in and begin.  It’s funny, just last week I was discussing hoarding with my counselor.  You know, why people hoard, how it gets started, all that.  I know a few hoarders and their lives are completely stuck.  One of the reasons we discussed is how something happens and the person lets things go, then things get out of hand, then they are paralyzed by the mess and magnitude.  Then I discovered this morning that my paralysis is similar; I have not been doing anything because there is so much to do.

Earlier this week, I had dinner at the new house of some very good friends.  They were lamenting all the work they need to do to make the house a home.  I advised them to take it one space at a time.  Break it down into smaller pieces.  I’m taking my own advice.  I’m going to make a list, then I’m going to sort the list into manageable pieces, then attack each piece.  Some of the stuff I need to do could all be done in one day if I just did it.  Like filing a tax extension.  The taxes are done, I just don’t have the money to pay them yet.  So I’m going to file this extension.  I doubt it will take long, but I haven’t done it.  And this CLE reporting thing lawyers have to do.  It’s a pain.  I started it, then stopped for some reason (probably to go do something really important like bang drums or play the bass) and never picked it up again.  Now it’s sitting here on my desk.  Both these things, tax extensions and CLE reports, have a deadline.  It’s a good thing or I could see them sitting there even longer.

What is this, this procrastination?  I’ve not been much of a procastinator before.  Yet here I am.  And this week when Milla has been gone, it has been oh so easy to play.  South Park video?  Much more appealing than tax extensions.  I have a friend who texts me, Want to go watch a late movie? Yes.  Not Uh sure, or okay, but YES.  Emphatically, yes.  Oh, and go here and watch this video.  It’s called Mathmaticious and parodies Fergilicious.  It’s better than Fergie’s.  More entertaining.  His sexy dancing in front of the window kills me.  Very clever.  Pretty soon he’ll be passed all around and end up in a South Park episode getting killed by Chocolate Rain guy.  Good times.

See what I mean?  It’s so easy.  Just start typing your blog or doing something else.  After a bit, feel like a break.  Casually open a new tab.  Type in YouTube.  Then surf a little.  Find something that looks interesting, like Mathmaticious.  Watch it.  Laugh.  Then watch what it’s parodying, or click on something else on the side where all the videos are in a row.  Discover a lot of time has passed.  Shake your head in dismay at your ability to waste a lot of time.  There is facility in time-wasting like no other, especially when computers are involved.  Millions of others conspire to help you.  Yikes.

I have wasted enough time this morning, er, afternoon.  I must do something productive, if only for a moment.  So I’m going to get up and go brush my teeth.  That’s a step in the right direction.  My drum store neighbor is bringing over the drum set this afternoon.  I’m thrilled.  I CANNOT wait.  I keep looking out the window, waiting for him to pull up.  Come on little drummies, come into my house.  I want you.  Banging drums has to be better than watching YouTube, right?  I’m having one of those moments I’ve written about before where I can’t come up with a coherent ending to my post, so it continues to ramble on and on about nothing at all.  Come here little drummies?  Seriously?  Did I say that?  Okay, I’m really going now.  I have to go to the bathroom.  Oh there’s a story there that I can’t tell on the internet, but it’s so awful and funny, maybe I’ll put it on my secret blog, my anonymous blog.  It needs to be written about because it’s that hilarious.

I’ve decided since typing this that I REALLY like the new WordPress. It’s much more user friendly.  It saves my posts for me, eliminating the likelihood of blog loss because of my fucked up computer.  It’s great.  I love it.  I’m going to have to figure out tags and all that, but it will all be good.  I’ll get it done.

More Love Guru Love Letters

Here are some more letters to help ladies find their way to true love. Based on the sheer number of letters I’ve received, I am absolutely certain that many of you have similar questions and will find comfort in these answers I have provided.

Dear Love Guru,
My boyfriend says he doesn’t like the music I chose for him. He says I have zero taste and wouldn’t know a good song if it hit me in the head. I told him this hurts my feelings. He said so what? What should I do? Sincerely, Sally

Dear Sally,
I hate to tell you, darling, but your man is a mean clod and deserves to be put out on his head. Telling you that you have zero taste in music is not only not true, it’s just plain cruel. What does he know, anyway? He’s a man. Except in rare instances, men wouldn’t know musical taste if landed in their lap. Personally, I would take him out to the suburbs or the country and leave him there to figure his own way back to town, but if you love him like it seems you do, you are just going to have to change him. How? Well that’s simple. He’s going to have to spend some serious time in private quarters, the music is going to have to go a bit louder, the perfume is going to have to be sprayed a bit longer, and I hate to say this, but I think it is time to withhold some meals from this man. He really needs to learn that your love is what his life is all about and if he’s going to be critical of your choice in music, he should be thankful for every other wonderful aspect of your beautiful character. I would suggest starting out by feeding him only once a day in the late afternoon. He’ll be so grateful for the food, he won’t even notice the music. While he’s eating, turn the song up just a hair, while he’s still in the throes of tummy ecstacy. After about a week, go ahead and add another snack in the morning and when you do, bring the volume up on the music again right after he is through eating. Over the next several weeks, you can add in more meals, and also increase the size of the meals. Each time you do this, turn the musical volume up just a piece. He will begin to associate food with the song choice you made. If at any time he has something critical to say to you about your song choice, reduce the amount of food he receives for the next few days but do not lower the volume on your song. He’ll figure it out and you’ll be on your way to true love’s bliss in no time at all.

Dear Love Guru,
I hate to ask you this because you were probably intentional in leaving it out of your instructions, but what am I supposed to do with my fingernails? I have the hardest time keeping them tidy and I’m just afraid they detract from my entire sexy look. Do you have any advice? Thank you in advance, Nel
ly

Oh Nelly, Nelly,
What a fantastic question and you are so right that I should have addressed this earlier! What was I thinking? I just wasn’t, that’s all there is to it. I’m so sorry for leaving you out in the cold like this. Here’s the thing, dear. You are going to have to start using falsies. Men love a woman with long nails. They just do. Short nails remind them of their own unkempt manly hands and you know what happens when a man sees something that reminds him of himself…he begins to see you as a man. And we wouldn’t want that, now would we? So find a nice nail salon and have them apply the tips for you. If you can’t afford a salon, go ahead and apply them yourself, but be sure you use a strong adhesive so they don’t fall off. I wouldn’t use the stuff that comes with the nail kit, but go buy some serious glue from the hardware store. You can simply use a bit of sandpaper on them to even out the lumps the glue leaves. After you apply your nail tips, be sure to paint them fire engine red. Fire engine red fires up a man’s imagination like nothing else. He’ll be so hot after seeing those nails, you might not even need his private quarters for a week! Toenails actually need attention too, but they do not need to be very long. Just be sure to have them cleaned up with a lovely pedicure. Be sure to get rid of any unsightly skin or fungus. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: SOS pads. SOS pads are amazing for scrubbing nastiness off your toes and heels. If you get a little burned, put on some lotion. Your feet will be utterly amazing. Throw on some high heeled sandals and he’ll be so gaga for your gorgeous feet, he won’t be able to sleep with loving you.

Dear Love Guru,
My mother, church, God, and the Bible taught me that sex outside of marriage is a sin. Shame on you for advocating sinful bedding like this! Shame on you also for telling women to show skin! Don’t you know that God wants our bodies covered? He does not like us to show others our private parts! Even in the sanctity of the marriage bed, he would be shocked if I allowed my Husband to see my breasts during relations. Shame, shame, shame! I may be coming up on 48 years old, but God will find me a Husband when he sees fit, on His own time. And if I never find a Husband, the Lord Jesus will be happy to comply. Signed, Ruth

Dear Ruth,
I do not know how in the world you came to the conclusion that God would not want you to use your body for sex since He gave you a hoo hoo and breasts, and I’ll bet your lovely form is way sexier than even you can imagine. Plus, there is no reason you can’t follow my other advice for getting love, even without having sex early and often, you just need to modify things a little. I think maybe Jesus is a bit busy healing babies and going to church and all that to be working on being your husband, so it would be best if you found yourself a nice human man to love. It may take a bit more time for you than it will for the average girl, but you’ve got spunk and I know you’ll find true love with a man in no time just like Jesus intended.

Well how do I do that, Love Guru? I can just hear you asking me that right now, so I’m going to tell you. First of all, nothing says that a good Christian lady can’t have her hair attractively styled. In fact I have seen more Christian ladies with the hair style I advocate than I see at the mall. And having a built in support system could be quite useful for you all. You could get together and color one another’s hair! It could be so fun. After Church you could have pie and do hair. God also doesn’t mind if you wear makeup. He made men so that they aren’t bright enough to know you are a girl without makeup, so He must have intended you to use some. Makeup parties can be fun too, kind of like those candle party things you Christian girls go to, only putting makeup on instead of lighting up a bunch of wax. And if you’re feeling especially creative, you could combine one of your candle parties with a makeup and hair removal party, and use the candle wax on your bikini line, armpits, and legs. It could be so much fun! Sitting here I’m thinking perhaps I should go into the Christian lady party planning business. I think I would be good at it.

You also mentioned some concern at having to show your skin. Again, I have to wonder why the good Lord would make skin if He meant for us to cover it all the time, but I also recognize that He did give us the ability to create some fantastic clothing choices, so I suppose He intended us to be creative in this department. It is too bad that he didn’t make men with a bit more imagination so us girls wouldn’t have to make things like nipples and labia so obvious, but it is what it is. I am here to tell you that you can still follow my steps while allowing for a man’s inability to figure out a breast is a breast and not just a lump. Basically you just have to go with ill-fitting clothing all over your whole body. Wear a very tight blouse. It can have a high neck and long sleeves. Just make sure that the silhouette of your breasts is clearly visible. Since your man will not be able to see your areola, you will need to wear your shirts tight enough he can see the shape of them through the shirt. Since it sounds like short skirts would offend your religious sensibilities, simply wear your pants tight enough to see your labia. Dressing to find a man without showing skin really is not as difficult as it seems, now is it?

As you can see, there are many of my steps to love that you can follow even if you are unwilling to have sex early and often. And don’t underestimate private quarters to assist you in developing a good Christian relationship. Suppose you meet a man you really like, but he doesn’t share your devotion? You can use your private quarters to help him along. This is especially effective if you have a very cold basement or root cellar for your man’s private quarters space. Basically, make sure your man’s private quarters are good and cold. Put him in there and leave him for several days. Every few days sit with him and read to him from your Bible. After reading to him about the comfort of the Lord, give him a little something to help him warm up just a bit. Over time, he will begin to associate the comfort of the Lord with the warmth you have provided. You also have the added bonus of his associating this comfort with your love. In no time at all, he’ll love you and the Lord more than anything in the world. Religious hymns can also make an effective musical choice in a case like yours. He’ll associate the lovely hymn with his love for the both of you. What could be better than that?

Dear Love Guru,
I bought some sexy clothes like you suggested. What should I do with my old ones? I really don’t think it would be right to donate them since another woman might end up buying them and keep herself from finding love. I simply could not live with myself knowing I contributed to another woman’s unhappiness. Thanks, Dotty

Dearest Dotty,
You are truly a generous spirit and your kindness will be rewarded with true love. What to do with those clothes? That’s easy, use them to fill in the cracks of your man’s private quarters so he stays warm. There’s nothing like the softness of a nice cotton polo shirt to snuggle up against. And if he’s being naughty, you can use them to poke in his mouth until he’s quiet. Alternatively, you can give them to my previous letter writer or any other Christian ladies who need to encourage their men to be a bit more devotional.

For the original Love Guru post, go here.  For the first batch of Love Guru Love Letters, go here.

Love Guru Love Letters

I received many questions after posting my recipe for love. Clearly finding love can be a touchy problem, and one about which many would like to find some answers. I regret that because of the incredible number of inquiries I received, I simply cannot answer most of them personally. However I have compiled some of the more common issues here, and will post more tomorrow. Hopefully these will help those who have not quite yet navigated love’s rough waters.

Dear Love Guru,
I read your instructions on how to get a man and I’m thinking it’s gonna work. However I am confused about one thing and that’s hair. I have a perm. I have been trying to grow it out so the ends are kinda curly and the middle is straight. Do you think I should just cut it all off and start short? Thanks, Candy.

Dear Candy,
Great question. Let me just get straight to it. If No and Hell No went for a boat ride and No fell out, who would be left? Hell No. I cannot stress enough the importance of hair length when it comes to men. They simply do not understand short hair on a woman, that’s all there is to it. I’m sorry men can be so obtuse, but that’s just how it is. If a man sees you with short hair, he’s going to think you are another man, and we don’t want that, now do we? Yours is a simple solution and it’s called straightening. Go to the salon and have your hair straightened. Better yet, go to the store and buy your own kit and do it yourself. If you are a black lady, simply follow the instructions on the kit. If you are a white lady, go for a few minutes less, that way your hair won’t fall out. You’ll be on your way to love in no time! Fabulous name, by the way. With a name like Candy, you’ll have men wanting to eat right out of your hand!

Dear Love Guru,
I have a question that’s of a rather personal nature. Actually, it has to do with pubic hair. You did not mention pubic hair in your instructions, and I’m quite curious whether or not it should be trimmed. Some of my girlfriends say it should be shaved all the way off. Others say it should be left au naturel. Personally, I prefer a simple trim. What’s a girl to do? Sincerely, Harley

Dear Harley,
Another simply magnificent question! The answer to that question is easy, and you’re going to like it because you’re already there, Hon. Trim it. I know there are some men who like things completely naked down there, but there is just something wrong with that. Think about it. Little girls have no hair down there. Shaving all the hair off makes your privates look like those of a little girl. Do you really think it is a good idea for your man to be thinking of some little girl when he’s with you? I don’t think so! Not only that, unless you plan to get waxed (oh my God, ouch!), then you’re going to have to keep up working on getting that hair gone all the time. If you miss a day, can you imagine the itchiness? The thought brings tears to my eyes. And if you cut yourself…I just won’t even go there. So shave your bikini line and trim the rest. As for going au naturel, I do realize there are those hirsute ladies who are into that and we all hope they can find a man who is as well, but I say good luck, Sister. It just is not going to happen. Remember how I told you that men are not very bright when it comes to the ladies? Do you honestly think he’s going to know what is under all that hair if you leave it on there? Hair is meant to be long on the head and that is it. Go for the nice trim. And don’t forget to shave your armpits as well. You’ll be glad you did.

Dear Love Guru,
I have a real problem. I took your advice and found the man I thought was of my dreams. I wore the clothes you suggested, attractively styled my hair, wore perfect makeup, and let my panties hang out. It worked! I snagged my highschool sweetheart, John Fangboner, in just under a month. I was able to create a great private quarters for him in my basement. I built it all by myself and play Michael McDonald for him 24 hours a day. He’s there now in fact. Only here’s my problem. While I was at my job as a toenail fungus specialist at Lulu’s Nails in Brooklyn, I met the most wonderful man! He’s come in several times for Lulu’s special fungus treatment and I’m pretty sure he likes me. I mean, he does wear a wedding band, but I think it’s so women don’t hit on him all the time because he is really handsome. And his fungus isn’t that bad. I’m wondering how I should handle this situation considering John is in my basement as I write this! Please help. Confused in Love, Mary Lou Pantzaroff

My Dearest Confused,
Get up this second, go down to Walgreen’s, buy yourself some reading glasses, and put them on right now! You will be seeing clearly in about three minutes, my dear. This is quite a common problem, I’m afraid. You would not believe the sheer volume of letters I’ve gotten on just this issue. I particularly chose yours because it includes a second, more subtle issue I would also like to address. First of all, girls simply change their minds. That is all there is to it. It happens. In the same way that men are known to run around, bang things, and throw balls, us girls are known for being fickle creatures. Don’t sweat it. Here’s what you need to do. Take Johnny out for a drive and leave him on a country road. Don’t go too far from town. If you live in the city, and it sounds like you do, the suburbs will work just as well. Kiss him on his cheek, give him enough money for bus fare home, and leave. Why? Because the walk and ride back to his place will clear his head. He will be slightly confused after the warmth of his private quarters, the loving music, and your sexual prowess. Walking will remind him of sports and beer. He’ll start to focus on those things and head back to his place. By the time he arrives, he will have forgotten all about you. Normally this would be catastrophic, which is why we keep our men in their private quarters, but since you want out, this is the perfect solution.

Now you mentioned another issue I would also like to discuss, and that is the new man you are interested in. Can I just say now, Congratulations! Sounds to me like he’s as interested in you as you are in him. That ring? That’s his way of practicing his marriage to you! He’s getting ready and he does not want other girls to think he’s available. So go for it! You’ve already nabbed one man, you are obviously quite successful in the man-nabbing department. This one should not be terribly difficult to snag as well, especially since it seems he’s already interested. He wouldn’t be coming into your salon all the time if he wasn’t. And just think, he’s sharing an intimate bodily problem he’s dealing with, so he already trusts you. Girlfriend, you are so on your way to love, I’m getting all shivery and excited just thinking about it. Good luck and let me know how the wedding goes!

Everyone, this girl’s predicament is a common one. They see a man wearing a wedding band and think he’s taken. Remember that little phrase that says assuming makes an ass out of you and me? Well assuming a man is married simply because he’s wearing a wedding band is a load of horse pucky and definitely gets a lot of donkeys wandering around. Men know wedding bands keep women away, so when they decide you are the girl for them, they might just start wearing one so they can be sure to snag you! Unless your guy shows you his wedding certificate and the wife, he is likely fair game. Just be sure to wear your hair attractively styled, beautiful makeup, and ill-fitting clothes with a nice peek of your panties. He’ll be yours in no time. And don’t forget those private quarters! They are a key ingredient in the recipe of love.

For the original Love Guru post, go here.  For more Love Guru Love Letters, go here.

Love Guru

There are clear steps to getting the man of your dreams. I am here today to provide you some insight into those steps. Finding true love is not difficult. With a little perseverance, you too can achieve true love and happiness. To get started, I suggest pulling together some supplies. These supplies include a computer with internet access, duct tape, a cage, a hammer, some music and candles, clothing, makeup, scissors, and shoes. If you have a basement, this can be helpful too. It works best if the basement is in your own house, but your neighbor’s basement works well too if they are amenable.

First things first, men like women who look good and sexy. This means if you are normally the type to wear something dowdy like waist high jeans and a polo shirt tucked in, along with some sports socks and sneakers, you are going to seriously have to rethink your wardrobe choices. Unfortunately, men are not able to see past clothes that look like another guy is wearing them, so unless you would like to catch a gay man, I suggest taking this strong piece of advice: tight and ill-fitting.

What does this mean exactly? It means that you want to go with clothes a size, or perhaps two, too small. I know, I know, I’ve read those articles in womens’ mags claiming we should wear clothes that fit and if we are plus-sized girls, it’s even more important. Whatever. I’m here to tell you from a man’s perspective, that is gobbledy-gook. The thing you have to remember is that boys are not very imaginative creatures. They can’t imagine what they can’t see. Why is it, do you think, that they need a nudey magazine to do business with themselves? Huh? It’s because they cannot for the life of them figure out that a breast under a shirt is a breast. They just think it’s a lump. So you have to provide them with a reminder. It’s pretty simple really. Wear shirts that are a bit too tight, preferably low cut if you have the chest to accommodate, making certain if there are buttons that they don’t quite line up to close. This way men can see through to your bra if you have one and to your skin if you don’t.

A side note on undergarments here. If you can go without, do. Especially bras. Men like nipples, and like I said before, men can’t imagine what they can’t see. A little areola goes a long way to tittilating a man’s heart. Same goes for underwear. The best look if you must indulge in panties is to wear the thong style with the back showing out the top of your pants or skirt. Now, if you do as I say and choose pants or a skirt a size or so too small, it will be easy for the panties to show out the top.

Back to clothes. Since we just mentioned pants, let me just say that the tighter, the better. You may have heard the term camel toe. This is when pants are tight enough to show the outline of your labia. You may have heard that camel toe is unattractive. Pshaw! I’m here again to tell you that is simply not true. Men want to be able to see what is underneath! Since our puritanical laws and bad weather do not allow us to go naked all the time, it is necessary to wear pants sometimes. Help those unimaginitive men along and wear your pants tight enough that the man can see both your underwear and the outlines of your labia. You will be the better for it, I assure you.

A better bet, if you can get away with it, is a short skirt. I’m sure you have all heard that after a certain age or weight, women shouldn’t wear short skirts, but things have changed. Men have changed. Ever hear that older women are more experienced or bbw? These terms imply that no matter what your age or size, you can and should flaunt your stuff. Skirts small enough to provide the view of a bit of hiney are all that. Wear them short, show off your panties, and you’ll be on your way to love in no time, honey.

Let’s recap. Tight and ill-fitting clothes are best. No undergarments if possible, but if you must, be sure they show. Now, on to hair.

You may not know this, but men do like hair that is attractively styled. To them, hair that is natural and hanging is just, well, hair. They want a cut and they want to be able to notice a cut. At the same time, they want length. How to achieve these seemingly disparate goals? It’s simple, really. Cut your hair on top to a shorter length. Blow it dry using lots of styling aids so that it fluffs up around your face, framing the lovely you. Leave the sides and back longer. This way, men can see the length of your hair, and can also see that you took the time to style it as well. The color you choose doesn’t matter, so if there is a color other than the one you were born with that appeals to you, go for it. Color can also be a way to get a man excited. Men know that women who show their hair has been colored because of a bit of root growth are the best in bed. It’s just obvious that being adventurous with hair color is akin to being adventurous in bed. Hair stylists will try and convince you to come in and get those roots done sooner rather than later. Again, pshaw! That’s just them trying to make some money. Better yet, save money on the stylist and do your own coloring at home. You can save money further by letting those roots grow just a wee bit longer to show your man your adventurous side. Saving money and getting some lovin’, what could be better than that?

Makeup. Men like makeup. They like lots of it. Of course, it must be expertly applied, but it should be evident. Why? Kind of like wearing clothes men wear, a naked face to a man is just like, well, another man. Like I said before, if you don’t want a gay man, wear a lot of makeup to accentuate your features. Begin with a flat pallette. This means a solid foundation to cover up any, ahem, imperfections so to speak. Take the foundation and apply it all over your face, behind your ears, and down your neck. Blend it into the skin of your chest. Powder all. Then take a colored eye shadow and apply it from your eyelashes to your eyebrow. Men need to be able to SEE your eyes; colored eye shadow is the way to help them. Avoid neutrals. Men will just think you have dark circles around your eyes. Apply a thick coat of mascara. Once it dries, apply again. Oh, and don’t forget the eyeliner. Ever see Amy Winehouse’s eyes? She goes for a dramatic look and see what she has acheived! Amy is an example for us all. After making your eyes stand out, apply blusher to your cheeks. You want to look fresh and excited, kind of like you just had sex, so make those cheeks rosy. Same with the lips. Apply lipliner first, around the edges of your lips to make them appear larger, then fill in. It works best if the lipstick shade is different from the liner shade. This way men can see where your lips begin. Now your makeup pallette is complete! Squirt a bit of perfume behind your ears, on your neck, on your arms, in your armpits, on your tummy and down there, preferably a strong rose scent. Men like a woman who smells fresh and perfume shows you took the time to care.

You are now dressed for love success! Men will come crawling to your feet, begging you to take them home if you dress right, wear enough makeup, and style your hair. It’s easy, really. Men simply cannot resist a woman who takes care of herself. Choosing clothes that show your body, styling your hair so it is long and shows you styled it, wearing makeup to accentuate your features, all these things go a long way to achieving true love’s bliss.

Well, you say, after I’ve gone to these lengths, how do I keep a man once he’s interested? That one’s easy and I think you know the answer: sex. Men love sex. If you want to keep that special guy, have sex with him. The sooner the better. Seriously. It is not true that men are not interested in women who put out early. Men want to know you care about their needs too and the way to do that is to get busy between the sheets.

There are those who will tell you that it really doesn’t matter whether you have sex at your place or his, or even in the car. However, having sex at your house provides a distinct advantage to sex at his place or elsewhere. First of all, you can control the lighting concept, the music, and generally direct the entire mood. Secondly, after your man has sex he is likely to fall asleep. It is best if he falls asleep at your place so he can get used to being with you, sharing your rhythms and sleep patterns. Finally, should your man prove to be one of the more, how shall we say it, difficult types, having him at your house can make it easier to move him into his own private quarters in the basement of your house or the neighbor’s until he is more sure of your love.

A little sidenote tip here. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, some men need a bit more coaxing than others. They have fears of commitment or are afraid of the depth of emotion they feel for you. It is your job to show them that you understand and to help them come to terms with their inner selves. This can be done in a variety of ways, including drugs, alcohol, food, and television. But the best method I’ve encountered is what I call the “private quarters” method. The private quarters method basically creates a space for your man to be alone when he is not with you. It is best to place these quarters in a basement, simply because your man likes to return to his caveman roots, and the dark and depth of a basement reminds him of his basest instincts and his ancestry in caves. Worry not if you don’t have a basement. I know there are many girls who like trailers, flats, and ranch homes where a basement can be nearly impossible to come by. Sometimes girls with trailers have a root cellar. If this is the case, by all means employ it. However an extra room with the windows covered will suffice. This is one place where duct tape can come in quite handy. Simply cover the entire window surface with duct tape to keep out all light. Make sure the door locks in case the special place you make for your man’s private quarters isn’t sufficient to provide him enough privacy. Girl neighbors can share basements, but it is important not to keep two or more men together at once because this can confuse them. They may not know which of you they belong to if a bunch of girls are coming down all the time, and you don’t want your man to fall for someone else. Only use the basement of a neighbor you trust implicitly not to steal your man’s heart from you. This can be quite distressing.

It is very important to create private quarters for your man. If you aren’t the handy type, I suggest doing some web searches on using simple tools because good solid private quarters is one of the best methods to keep a man. Simply put, this is just a small place for you to put your man and lock him in for a bit. Now, now, don’t get all excited. This is not a bad thing. In fact your man will thank you for it after he’s spent some time with himself. Some need to stay longer than others, but all of them will be your slave for life if you keep them in private quarters for any length of time. It is best if you know how to weld and can build your man’s private quarters out of metal, but welding really is messy business so good solid two by fours work as well. Be sure to use enough nails and screws so the private quarters don’t fall apart. It helps if you can bolt the private quarters to the floor using a chain or some other bolting method. Make sure the space is not large enough for your man to stand because standing makes him restless. Give him just enough room to sit with his legs comfortably bent in front of him and enough room above his head so he doesn’t bonk himself while sitting there. Men can be quite clumsy so if the top of the space isn’t high enough, he will hurt his head, and this is not good. Good private quarters are an invaluable tool in the dating woman’s toolkit. Use private quarters wisely and you cannot go wrong. Later, once you are safely ensconsed in your man’s heart, you may only need to handcuff him in one place occasionally to remind him of his private quarters. But many men see their private quarters as a safe haven away from the pressures of everyday living and quite enjoy taking time there at the end of a stressful day.

The final piece to the puzzle in keeping a man is music. Wise music choices are invaluable in ensuring your man doesn’t stray. I’m here to tell you a secret method I’ve developed for keeping a man using private quarters and music. First of all, make the right decision when it comes to which song to play. None of that hard rock music stuff that gets men all flustery and thinking they need to run around and throw balls or something. Bad idea if you’re aiming for a romantic tone. Better to go for the soft rock favorites like Michael McDonald’s Yah Mo Be There. This song is just about as perfect as you can get for the secret method I’m about to show you. Another fantastic choice is When I Fall in Love by Celine Dion and Clive Davis. You will be playing one song only, so a good music choice is essential. After making your song selection, you either need to get a player that will allow the song to play on repeat indefinitely, or you need to use your computer. Since the song will be playing in the basement, root cellar, or room where your man’s private quarters are located, the computer may prove to be impractical unless you can run speakers or use a laptop. The sound has to be quite loud, so do not use the laptop itself as a sound system, but attach speakers to it. Basically, the secret method is to play the song in your man’s private quarters over and over and over as loudly as possible without disturbing the neighbors. He will then come to associate the sound with his love for you. Later, when you wish to put him in a loving mood, turn on that song, and Presto! He’ll be so hot for you, you won’t believe it. The reason this works so well is that the song operates almost like hypnotism. Your man enters such a blissful state under the power of the music, it is almost as if he’s under a love spell. It helps if you can burn some scented candles in his private space as well, lavender or rose scents work best; men simply cannot resist either of these. Again, when your man comes up for some lovin’ you can burn a candle using your special smell while playing your special song, creating a mood that simply cannot be beat. Music and candles go a long way to making your man a happy, loving creature.

Let’s have a final recap here. Ill-fitting clothes are best. Wearing none is preferable, but if you must wear undergarments, make sure they show. Wear hair that is obviously styled, yet still long, by cutting the top shorter and leaving the sides and backs long. Use hair color to spark a man’s adventurous spirit. Wear enough makeup men can see your lovely features. Have sex early and often. Create a private quarters space to keep your man until he is yours forever. Finally, use a good solid love song played loudly and constantly. Music, as well as scented candles, imprint you on your man’s brain. Mark my words, girls. True love can be yours. Toss out those thick books on relationships and save your money for clothes, makeup, and private quarters supplies. Follow these simple rules for love, and you will be on your way to bliss until death do you part.

For Love Guru Love Letters, go here.  For more Love Guru Love Letters, go here.

Toilet Needs a New Home

I posted this ad on Craigslist last fall. A friend of mine asked me to repost it here, so here it is:
It is time that Toilet parted ways with our family. It has been in this house for longer than we’ve been here. When we arrived, the home inspector informed us that this toilet was “top of the line” in Europe and ordered by all the best home designers in the US. “Pozzi Gnorri,” he said. “Go look them up on the internet. They’re one of the best companies in the world for bathroom fixtures.” So I did and was duly impressed. However, I had to wonder what a toilet of this caliber was doing in my little 1920 bungalow in Milwaukie. But hey, some of us get riches to rags instead of the other way around, so who was I to question things or to remind Toilet of its brilliant beginnings?
To keep reading, click HERE.

Development of the Opossum Approach

Caveat:  I originally posted this with the actual names intact.  Turns out enough people find these posts that a person who knew one of the players contacted me, so I have changed the names to make them anonymous.  All other facets of the story are my memories and true to the best of my recollection.

I have been thinking a lot today about mean people and the opossum approach and all that and I have concluded that a large bit of preparation for being mean is cultivated during junior high. I certainly got a great deal of practice being victimized by mean people in junior high. I was a target ripe for the pickings. And I most definitely mastered the opossum approach. I could walk through the halls invisibly and when necessary, play dead. I’m not here. Do not notice me. Avoid paying any attention at all costs. Sometimes though, I failed utterly and completely at avoiding notice, in spite of my best efforts.

I remember an incident that took place on one particularly memorable afternoon. It occurred in Sex Ed class, which on some level makes the whole thing much more vivid. I had a crush on Mike Jones. Mike was lanky and horse-faced, with tousley brown hair, but I thought he was adorable. Mike was popular. He was on the football team. Everyone knew who he was. He did not know who I was. I would fantasize that he would say hello to me. That was how silly and naive I was. I did not even consider hand-holding or kissing. At age twelve, such conjectures were well without my realm of possibility. No. Saying hello was about as brave as I could get. Because of my crush, I wrote “I like MJ” on my palm. Why did I do that? Did some little part of me hope he would notice and fall instantly in love with me at the sight of his initials inscribed on my hand? Was I a fool? Come to think of it, I doubt I thought much of anything. I probably sat there in my preteen, hormone-addled state, reading something in the library. I read a lot in the library. In fact, I took pride in the fact that I had read every book in the junior high library by the end of eighth grade. I also won the library’s “Ghastly Riddle Contest” at Halloween. It was a sort of treasure hunt through haunted books whereby clues were given in the form of quotes. You went to the quote and it would lead you to another clue. It required some knowledge of the books involved to locate the original quotes. A weekly clue would be handed out to help you when you were stumped. I won a nice set of horse books. I think they knew that I would win since I doubt anyone else tried.  Few people would have been geeky enough to play at a contest like that and I was too clueless to know it was geeky.

Anyway, I digress. Back to my lusting after Mike Jones by hoping he would say hello. I had taken the liberty of professing my love via ball point pen. I sat, hiding, in the far row of Sex Ed class. I do not recall the name of the teacher, but I remember what he looked like. He was one of the coaches. He was tall and stocky, with blonde hair cut in a bowl style. Unlike some teachers, he was actually pretty kind to me. The head cheerleading coach, for instance, acted like I was a virus she might catch if I asked her something about the pre-algebra that she taught. But Mr. Sex Ed was pleasant enough.

There I sat in Mr. Sex Ed’s class. It was a sunny afternoon and I remember sitting and staring lazily into the sunbeams. I had done the reading. Mr. Sex Ed was dozing up front. Most of the class was chatting and passing notes back and forth. Suddenly, Kelly Smith, who sat behind me, leaned forward in her chair and asked me a question.

An aside about Kelly Smith. When my parents chose to move our family to “the country” because that is where I thought I wanted to live in order to have a horse, I was in the sixth grade. The little school in our town had one grade per class and each class had about twelve students. Kelly Smith was in my class. She immediately befriended me and nearly as immediately dumped me when she discovered that I did not smoke, drink, or swear, and that I rode horses and read books. She had perfectly feathered blonde hair. I did not have perfectly feathered blonde hair. Mine curled in all the wrong places and my mom cut it for me. How humiliating. Kelly Smith wore San Franciscos and Sticky Fingers and had several colors of Nike swish shoes. I had one pair of Sticky Fingers, no San Franciscos, and no Nike swish shoes. I wore Keds and Keds were not popular. Kelly Smith knew that one was supposed to carry a large comb in one’s back pocket. Until meeting her, I was not privy to such inside information. In short, Kelly Smith had all the makings of a cool person while I had zero. By the end of seventh grade, when this incident took place, we were in junior high and I was a persona non grata. Kelly Smith was a cheerleader. She still had perfectly feathered hair. Mine still curled in the wrong places. I think I may have finally acquired a pair of Nike swish shoes and a comb, but they were clearly out of place in the library.

I was not happy to have Kelly Smith peering over my shoulder. Kelly Smith did not involve herself with me except to make my life miserable. She had completely mastered the pretend to be friendly and suck me in while simultaneously concocting some nasty evil plot approach. She would say something that seemed kind. Weaving back and forth, back and forth, hypnotizing me, I would respond to the false kindness, believing for a moment that she might actually be friendly, whereupon she would suddenly expose her true nature, losing the lovely exterior, spitting in my eyes and becoming the cobra she truly was. Once she put gum in my hair without my notice. Usually she would say something really ugly and make her friends laugh. “Do you use butter grease to style your hair?” she would sneer. Her friends would erupt in laughter. Ha ha. Real funny. You’re so clever, why don’t you hit the comedy circuit?

Back in Sex Ed, she wanted to know, “Who is MJ?” Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh. Fuck.

“Nobody you know.” My heart was pounding. Why couldn’t she just go away? Why did she have to torture me? Was I really such an obvious target? Apparently so because she did not go away. “So who is it?”

“No one you know. Someone from another school.” God, please don’t let her know. Mike Jones was in that class. If he found out. Oh crap.

“What’s his name? Is it Mike Jones?” What the….? How in the hell had she nailed that on the first try? Maybe she saw my hand and worked it out before saying anything.

“No. No, it’s not Mike Jones. It is not. No.” I stammered, obviously flustered. I must have seemed like a giant bullseye for her pointy cobra fangs.

“It’s Mike Jones, isn’t it.” It wasn’t even a question. “You like Mike Jones. Wow.” She turned and told her friend, another Kelly who must not have been so evil because I do not remember her last name. “She likes Mike Jones. Can you believe it?” Kelly could not believe it. In fact, she was so shocked that she had to share it with the girl next to her.

Then Kelly Smith did the unthinkable. She called out to Mike Jones, “Hey Mike. Lara likes you.” Oh dear God. Please kill me now. I should be punished for having written those damn initials on my hand. Actually, I was being punished for having written them on my hand. Mike turned and looked over in our direction. He may have been looking at me. I don’t know. I was staring at my desk and begging the gods to reach down and suck me from my chair. Anything, anything but this.

“Is this bad news true?” he asked. All the kids who had been paying attention laughed.

My pain was complete. Not only had I been fully humiliated by darling Kelly Smith, Mike Jones saw my liking him as bad news and he wasn’t afraid to say so. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I suffered through the remainder of the class, wishing I could disappear. Having ensured she had gotten a good and deep bite right into the side of my head, Kelly Smith was no longer interested in torturing me. She moved on to discussions of cheerleading routines and hairdos. My face burned and the room swam. I pretended to read my Sex Ed book. At least I could say the bad news was no longer true. I no longer liked Mike Jones and could not wait for class to end so I could go and wash my hand.

Once the bell rang, I shuffled through my belongings to take as long as possible to leave class and ensure I did not have to rise and move with the other students. After every one was gone I sat for a few more seconds. Alone in the room, I took a deep breath. It seemed like it had been long enough for the lot of them to clear out of the hallway.

You know, I must have lacked some serious capacity to foretell possibilities because it had not been long enough for Mike Jones to clear out of the hallway. He was the only one left, digging through his locker that was nearly across the hall from the Sex Ed classroom. Mine was down past his, requiring that I pass him, completely humiliated. Thankfully, he did not look up as I shuffled quickly by. Perhaps part of his dismay at my liking him had been for show. Certainly his reaction had been. At least he left me alone. I went to my locker, deposited my books, and took the long way around to P.E. class because the direct route would have taken me past his locker again, and there was no way I was going there.

Yes, junior high is definitely a breeding ground for mean people. Volumes have been written on the subject. Millions have been made in movies about the outcasts being tortured. Pleasure is taken in the geek who grows up and shows up to the high school reunion in a heliocopter. I think we all assume that as adults this crap goes away. Unfortunately, that’s wishful thinking. Even when you grow into a swan and develop inner strength and confidence, there are those people who never move past being mean to you.

Luckily for me, we had moved away from that school after ninth grade, so Kelly and her friends were only able to harass me for three years. I heard that she got pregnant her senior year in high school. A few years after graduation, I saw her at a discount store. She was extremely heavy and was dragging around four ruffian-looking children. A friend of mine who had finished school with her said they all had different fathers. I remembered her bragging in eighth grade about drinking and having sex. Maybe whatever made her so damn mean was also what made her gain weight and have lots of kids by different dads by the time she was 25. She’d clearly hit her prime in junior high. She was still mean though. At the store, she came up to me and sneered, “You think you’re really hot now, don’t you, Lara?”

I remember looking at her, not knowing who she was because she looked so wretched and different. When it was obvious I hadn’t a clue about her identity, she said, “I’m Kelly, Kelly Smith,” like I was retarded or something. Funny. I realize now she sounded something like Forrest, Forrest Gump. I said hello and turned to continue walking with my mom. Thankfully, when it came to girls from junior high, I didn’t have to pretend I was dead any more.

All the Wittle Animals and Adam

My friend wrote this.  I thought it was such a funny story, I had to post it.

Once upon a time, God got an itch to create himself some little planet.  Yeah.  And on the planet he put all the wittle animals, some shrubbery, and Adam.  Oh, and then he turned on the light.  And then he rested.  Yeah.  And Adam was lonely so he ripped out a rib and created a woman.  Yeah.  And then God made sure that Adam and Eve were stupid and wouldn’t question anything.  Yeah.  So then, there was a snake, a talking snake, that persuaded Eve to eat an apple.  Yeah.  And then, well, then everything went to hell (woman’s fault, you know).  And then, God wrote the bible and told everyone that this was the Bible and that it was the word of God and that you had to obey it all.  Yeah, even the parts where you stone your own children to death if they profess non belief.  — CW, 2008

My choosing to publish this story represents a perfect microcosm of a little problem I have been dealing with lately.  As cliche’ as it sounds, on some level my blog is my own personal therapy session.  I come here and spout and think and muse and make shit up no one cares about.  Part of the deal for me is that I have to be brutally honest.  But also, no censoring.  And lately, I have wanted to censor.  I have been worrying way too much about who might read this and their reaction.  As a result, I have not been the happiest little camper lately.  Part of it, I’m sure, is that I’ve not been sleeping well.  Not sleeping makes me turn into a rather cranky little monster, if you know what I mean.  Lack of sleep will do that to a person.

But another part of my angst has been wanting to write stuff and then not doing it because of my perceived expectation of a reaction or concern over what others will think of me.  I even went so far as to delete the post I wrote on toxic work places because I was worried someone at the old workplace would read it.  I also worried about what I wrote yesterday about wanting a boyfriend, all concerned the man I’m going on a date with might read it, realize I’m bananas, and run screaming for the hills.  I worried a parent in Milla’s class might discover what a foul-mouthed hooligan I can be.  Then there were a few days where all I wanted to write was a bunch of negativity because I was mired in a sleep-deprived, hormonally-induced, mini depressional psychosis and I didn’t want people to think I’m that much of a mental health disaster.  For over a week now I have not written much at all because of concern over someone reading what I had to say.

Then last night I was reading and taking a nice bath to relax before bed in the hope I would fall asleep when I realized what I have been doing.  I realized I was censoring myself and I had to ask, what in the world is going on here?  I am not writing for the audience, I am writing for me, regardless how stupid, opinionated, depressed, or ridiculous I may be.  I want to have an audience, that’s why I put it out there.  But I can’t write with the audience in mind.  So I had this little epiphany and resolved to go back to being my usual blabber-mouthed, opinionated, cussing sometimes self, regardless if I was having a good day and regardless what anyone else might think or say.

Then this morning I received the story my friend wrote and wanted to post it because I think it is hilarious.  I cut and pasted it and put it into my wordpress window, then when it came time to tag it and categorize it, I started to worry about offending someone or the neo-nazi religious types that might read it and send me hate mail and I got a little flutter and almost didn’t put anything in the tags and only a couple of categories to ensure no one would read it.  Then the lightbulb went on and I realized I was doing it again, censoring, worrying about the reaction, and I knew then that I had to post it and add all the tags and categories I would have if I knew no one was reading it.  I had to put it out there, regardless of the reaction.  Because ironically enough, I honestly don’t care whether someone likes it or not.   I’m just too tired right now to deal with the possible reaction.  And that is the crux of it, I suppose.  I have been feeling so lousy from lack of sleep that I do not have my usual strength and resolve to put up with someone else not liking what I have to say.  I’ve regressed back to the person in my teens and early twenties who had zero confidence in her writing or her self.  I suppose it is normal to make these regressions when I’m overly tired, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay there.

So I’ve put on the story and I put back the toxic workplace post and I’m leaving the relationship post and if there is anyone reading it who doesn’t like it, well, I guess that’s too bad.  Go read something else.  I’m not trying to change your mind.  I’m not trying to make other people hate my ex boss.  I’m not trying to troll the blogs hoping some Prince Charming will read my relationship posts and come sweep me off my feet.  I’m writing because I have to and it keeps me sane.  It is part of my spirituality.  I know that’s a useless psychobabble reason, but it’s true, and that’s all there is to it.

Death and Loving

Ah, Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day.  This is the first year I can ever remember when I haven’t either wanted a romantic Valentine’s Day or the not wanting it isn’t sour grapes.  There have been a few of those years, ones where I pretended to myself that I didn’t care but deep down it hurt that there wasn’t someone special to remember the day for me or I had someone who was careless about such things.  Right now, I am honestly happy just being who I am and love having my little girl as my Valentine.  As a result, this is a really nice Valentine’s Day, at least thus far.

Milla is so sweet.  Last night the two of us took heart cookie cutters and cut beeswax hearts for her classmates.  We then wrapped them in tissue paper and tied them off with yarn. As is often the case in these sorts of projects, I had the assembly line going.  There have been moments in the past where I go off half-cocked trying to be Martha Stewart mom and decided to make 28 Valentines from scratch.  16 Valentines in and 4 hours later I’m ready to slice my wrists with the scissors and poke the glue sticks in my eyes.  One year we hand-cut hearts from construction painting paper, then watercolored hearts on each one, then I helped Milla sign her name to each one.  It was fun for the first 8 or so, then Milla was getting mad because she was sick of signing her name and I was getting mad because there was paint on the ceiling and walls and we were both ready to kill each other so I’ve learned my lesson.  I’m not the Martha Stewart of mothers.  Now I know when it comes to large crafty projects making multiples of anything, go for the assembly line approach.  These kids won’t know the difference and ninety-percent of them will likely end up in the trash anyway.

So last night Milla and I lined up the wax and started cutting the hearts.  Then we piled them up in twos.  Then we cut the yarn for the tissue paper.  Then we cut the tissue paper into squares.  Then we wrapped them and she tied.  At one point she tried tying bows but that deteriorated after about 3 sets because it was a huge pain in the ass.  The yarn kept getting caught on her fingernails and she’d pull the whole lump out of my hand and we both got irritated so we quit that.  We managed to complete the entire project in under an hour, so that was all good.  Of course, we got to school this morning and it turns out her teacher doesn’t do a Valentine’s Day exchange, but with my luck if we’d skipped it there would have been an exchange and I would again look like the mother that couldn’t.  I’m good at that.

Valentine’s Day is kind of a weird holiday.  In some regards it seems almost like Mother’s Day; designed entirely by the greeting card industry to make people spend money.  But it has a really cool history and dark side that appeals to me.  There are all these legends about who St. Valentine may have been, but in all of them, he’s rescuing someone and doing all these good deeds and as a result, he gets killed off.  I suppose that’s the nature of Sainthood, but I find it somewhat ironic that his life is held up as the namesake for a holiday about romantic love.  Isn’t the murder of St. Valentine for all his good and loving deeds kind of a perfect analogy on some level for the way we lose ourselves in romantic love?  It’s all good if both sides are party to the celebration, but more often than not I think it all ends in despair.  And even when both sides are happy about things and ultimately stay together, the romantic part inevitably ends.  And most sane people I know are glad that it does.  It’s almost like death in some ways to be in that place where you’re so in love you can’t eat or sleep or think or do a damn thing and you might as well be dead.  It’s a good thing that part ends or we’d never get anywhere.

Another interesting consideration in the history of St. Valentine is when it’s celebrated.  Some say the mid-February date is to commemorate St. Valentine’s death.  However others argue it was an active choice on the part of the Christian church to obliterate a pagan festival called Lupercalia.  It was one of those native festivals where people prepared their homes for spring and celebrated fertility through a festival to the Roman God of Agriculture.  Well, we certainly couldn’t have people worshipping any Agriculture gods, now could we?  That would be idolatry.  So the Christians murdered off the local religion with a nice little holiday of their own.  How special!  I do find it quite fascinating that in all the history surrounding Valentine’s Day there is quite a lot of death.  And loneliness too.  As I understand it, St. Valentine spent his last days in prison before being put to death.  There he was trapped in his lonely heart and then he was killed.  Wow.

On that special note, I think I’ll sign off.  Someone I know told me he likes my blogs because I just go on my rant without making a point.  Yep.  That’s me.  Pointless.  Ha!  Well, I have a point today, and that’s to enjoy the beautiful girl I made while in the throes of romantic love that ended with a sputter.  Her father and I may have our differences, but if I could go back and choose whether or not to toss that condom across the room (Yes, mom.  That’s what happened.  It didn’t break like I told you.), I would do it again in a heartbeat because the love I have for her is better than any romantic love I’ve ever experienced.  I suppose that’s the point, though, isn’t it?  To fall in romantic love so you breed, have children, and ensure the continuation of the species.  Who cares if the species grows up, falls in love, and ends up killed over it.  As long as the breeding took place and the children were born first, it’s all good, right?  Kind of senseless and weird, but it must work or we wouldn’t have a population explosion.