Monday, October 31, 2011

Trust Issues

I've got 'em.  Case in point:  jumping off a telephone pole.  For some reason, I had to in high school.  I went to this hoity-toity private school, and every fall we kicked off the year with a "Leadership Weekend," where we were forced into uncomfortable situations in order to bond with our equally awkward, sweaty peers.  One year, we went to a ropes course, where we did trust activities like falling backward into the arms of our waiting classmates and other stupid things.

We started by linking arms into a big human knot and then untangling ourselves.  Like Twister, but with forty-eight other people instead of colorful dots.  No one should have to get that up close and personal with their peers, just sayin'.  Especially when those peers are teenagers who are awkward and smelly, and all you can think about is if the guy whose shoulder you are straddling thinks your butt looks cute in those jeans.

Not okay.

Then we did the falling backwards bit, and out of forty-eight classmates--well, we dropped a few.

So, I wasn't feeling terribly confident in my peers when the time came to don the climbing gear, haul ass up a forty-foot telephone pole (sorry, I should clarify:  a forty-foot tapered telephone pole that was waving noticeably in the wind), stand on the six-inch diameter top, turn around, and jump the hell off.  The goal of this was to ring a bell about six feet away from the jumping-off point.  And also not to die.

I missed the bell.  I also didn't give a crap.  My fellow classmates hauled the skinny little rope attached to my butt-harness tight after only an eternity of free fall, and for some reason held me aloft with my feet about five inches from the ground.  At that point, I really did not want to be in the harness of death, and promptly went about removing myself from it.  The "guide" was not happy that I didn't wait for him, especially since I was still sort of dangling there.  I was not happy I didn't take the opportunity to tell him to suck it.

Then I went down the zipline about twelve times, which was awesome.  No, there was no harness attaching me to anything.  Yes, it was fast.  I suppose I could have died just as easily on the zipline as on the telephone pole.  The difference, of course, is that on the zipline, it was my own hands gripping the handle, and not my own hands hoping they are not going to be dropped by people who needed calculators to add and also were more worried about whether the guy/girl hips were brushing theirs as they held the rope thought their butt looked cute in those jeans than preserving the life of a nerd.  I think you'll agree that is a crucial difference.

But in the end, I'm a survivor.  Which means I hardly cursed (aloud) at all, and went on to write about the experience on all of my college applications in some inspiring way which landed me some pretty sweet financial aid offers.

(True:  Hormone-driven, sweaty teenagers and abject terror mix potently.  Some get smellier.  Others get pregnant.  I got the former.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cake or Death? I Choose Option C, Shoes. Oh, and Death Too, I Guess.

Last night, I bought new shoes:  snakeskin and patent leather ballet flats.  At least two animals had to die in order for me to wear these shoes.  Oh, and they have metal trim, so add countless innocent bugs displaced by the mining, and possibly a dead bird or two.  (If they're old-school like that--Tweety, you go first and tell me if you die!)

It's okay, though, my PETA-friends.  I got them at a thrift store, so everything was murdered for someone else first.  I'm helping with sustainable shoe-harvesting!

(True:  I grew up in very rural Wisconsin, where my family raised rabbits to eat and pygmie goats to sell as indoor pets.  This seemed normal.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Last night, I went to a special screening of Grimm, a new show on NBC premiering this Friday.  Not because I'm particularly special, but because if it's free, I'll sign up to win.

With a friend as a plus one, I rode the train downtown and found my way to a very swank movie theatre (yeah, it was definitely the kind that would spell it that way) after almost ending up in Target instead.

Okay, maybe I am special.

Anyway, we collected our free tickets, overpaid for popcorn, and took our seats.  We did not win any t-shirts or DVDs, which was a bit of a bummer, but one of the people who did pumped her fist and cried, "Today, I feel like a winner," so I wasn't too put out.

Most of the people there were from the press.  I'm pretty sure they gave out a few tickets to us "commoners" so they could gauge our reaction to the show.

And here's what I thought of the show:

It has potential.  The main character, whose name I can't remember, is too pretty for my liking.  I'm sorry, but a cop just shouldn't look that... shiny.  And they definitely don't make enough money to buy jeans that fit like that.  (Not that I particularly minded that.)  Of course, it was a premiere episode, which I think often fall flat even for programs that turn out to be fantastic, just because they have to fit so much back story in there.

Grimm is by the same writers who did Buffy and Angel, which definitely intrigued me.  I love me some Joss, but it would be nice to see that kind of cleverness without knowing that the end is going to make me feel terrible every time I think about it for years to come.  And I could see the similarities between Grimm and those shows.  The dialogue is quick and quirky, and the humor is the tongue-in-cheek variety.  If you like puns, you'll like it.  If you don't like puns, what's wrong with you?

And the wolf man?  (Another character whose name has slipped me.)  He's fantastic.  It's worth watching just because of him.  The girlfriend is lackluster and forgettable.  In fact (SPOILER ALERT), I think the pretty boy cop might have dumped her at the end.  But maybe that was just wishful thinking.

In any case, I will definitely be catching the next episode.  The dialogue and main characters alone are worth it, but when you add the fun-poking, it seems like something that'll be awesome, if it hasn't quite reached that yet.

At worst, you'll have wasted an hour, and let's face it, you've wasted hours in way stupider ways.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Story Does Not Have a Happy Ending

Once, I got out of the shower just as The Squeeze's mom's Man-Friend-at-the-Time opened the bathroom door.  It was... bad.  That'll teach me not to lock the door.

(True:  Port-a-Potties are gross.  That's a given, but also their "locks" are broken half the time, and you have no way of knowing.  Have a friend guard the door if you don't want a stanger to see your business.  Or better yet, hold it for actual plumbing.

Tangent:  Who the hell thinks that a sheet of metal is an acceptable substitute for a mirror in an oversized diaper pail with no light?  Honestly!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Three Legs, Third Wheel

I think my dog might have multiple personality disorder.  No, really.  Let me show you.

With me, Prada gets excited, spins, hops along for a while, then cuddles up to me and goes to sleep.  We watch Dr. Who or nap or read for hours like that.  Or we go for a well-mannered walk.

That's my girl.  Also, my Supergirl t-shirt.

With The Squeeze, Prada gets excited, spins, hops along for a while, charges onto the couch, pounces on The Squeeze's stomach, tries to lick his face, spins around, maybe falls over, wags her tail in his face, and then repeats eight or forty times.

My dog is the same size as The Squeeze's shoe.
 See the mania?  Crazy-eyed, tongue-flapping bonkerosity. 

Now, Prada is about two and a half years old--a teenager, you might say.  Writing for teenaged girls as I do, I have learned some things about them.  Which means that there is another possibility besides her being mentally unbalanced.

I think that maybe, just maybe, my dog is in love with my boyfriend.

(True:  sometimes turtles fall in love with shoes, or beetles fall in love with beer bottles.  Which just goes to show that turtles and beetles just know what makes life good.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Five Legs are Enough

Let me tell you what happens when you bring home a three-legged dog:  People think you're friggin' crazy.  Or maybe Mother Theresa, reincarnated.  (Sorry, God, that was probably, well, not blasphemous, but hopefully not hell-worthy, since I'm not Catholic, and I'm almost certain Catholics don't reincarnate.  If they did, it probably wouldn't be into a Presbyterian.  Yeah, tangent.)

Anyway, I've spent the last seven months trying to convince My Sister the Lawyer that someday, if I adopt children, chances are good they won't have three legs.

Can you just imagine trying to find jeans for that kid? 

(True:  It is okay to put your dog on a leash.  For some reason, it's also more or less socially acceptable to leash your children.  It's less acceptable to leash friends and lovers--keep that behind closed doors, please.  Leashing a subordinate at work will probably get you fired and/or sued.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Fall and Rise of the Nachos of Doom! (Or, Well, Disappointment, Really)

There's this bar The Squeeze and I like to go to with really good food.  And I like to order the nachos.  Yes, as a meal.  Don't judge me. 

When you order nachos (real, restuarant ones on a plate with more than a blob of sorta cheesy looking stuff like at the movies), have you ever noticed that most of your nachos have absolutely nothing on them?  Your plate arrives, piled high with steaming, greasy chips, and a big scoop of sour cream on the side, and... that's it? 

Weren't these supposed to have, oh, I don't know.  Salsa?  Chicken?  Beans?  Anything but chips?

At this point, The Squeeze must resign himself to putting up with me bitching about the fact that my nachos should win the Most Disappointing Nachos of the Year award.  I'm a slow eater, so this lasts a while.  Like, an hour.  I sigh, and eat a chip, and sigh, and drink some beer, pick off a jalapeno (why is it the only thing on my nachos are the one thing I never remember to tell them not to put on?), and then I might bitch some more.

And then--ah, and then.  I get to those last three chips.  Somehow, hidden under those last three, now-soggy chips, are everything that were supposed to be on the chips.  And those last three nachos are a glorious, glorious thing.

(True:  October 21 is the International Day of the Nacho--now get your own!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Defensive Karaoke, Part One

One night a week, I stop being a paper-pushing bore and become . . . a karaoke jockey.

The bar I work at is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, with wood paneling and dogs.  Don't order the wine.  No, really.  And while the bartender can build you a decent pint of Guiness, most patrons drink beer imported all the way from Milwaukee.

KJing (yes, that is what it's called) requires a defensive plan.  People come up to me to put in their songs, and it's my job to encourage that.  Unfortunately, that also makes me approachable.

The Women:

My station is set up near the ladies room--they have to walk behind me to get there.  Sometimes, if the one-seater is occupied, they choose to wait in my personal space.  One regular likes to lean her head on my shoulder.  Occasionally, she drools.  Another regular thinks it's hilarious to rest her boobs on my arm.  On one memorable occasion, a woman who was a total stranger simultaneously humped my leg and sneezed on me.

(True:  The parts of your brain that are stimulated by a sneeze are the same parts of your brain that fire during an orgasm.  The only part of your brain that is stimulated by a humpsneeze is the "Ohmygodmakeitstopickickick" part.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prada, the Three-Legged Wonder Puff

Several months ago, I adopted a pomeranian-chihauhau mix (as best as anyone can tell).  She was about two years old (as far as we could figure).  And she has three legs.  (That we could say for sure.)  There's quite a tragic and angry-making story behind that, but that's a story for another day.

Needless to say, owning a three-legged puffball leads to some absurdities.

1.  Prada gets tired after walking about a mile.  I don't.  This has led to the procurement of a bellybag.  Prada looks adorable.  I look like a maniac with a waddle.  Yes, I do see you pointing at the crazy lady.

2.  When Prada gets excited (translate:  all the time), she spins.  But only in one direction.

3.  She is so small, she once fell between the couch cushions.  Okay, that doesn't have anything to do with the tripod situation, but come on.

I could list more--a lot more--but that list seems numerically appropriate.

And no, the shelter wouldn't give me 25% off.

I asked.

(True:  Prada can go up stairs, but not down.  Good thing she's only seven pounds, since I'm hauling her patootie everywhere.)