Friday, November 22, 2013

Bragging Rights

The Dude and I have tickets to see the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special simulcast.

You can go ahead and be jealous now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Dude is a Thief and a Rapscallion

When we order Chinese, we order way too much Chinese.  Because that's what Americans do.  Plus, leftovers.

So when we prepare the next-day plates, it's a race to see who can fill their plate and get to the microwave first.  This time, I won by juking around the Dude and startling him into stillness.

A couple of minutes later, we realized I hadn't actually set the microwave to do anything other than sit there smugly with my plate of cold food.  The Dude reached it before me.  And took my plate out to reheat his.

On an entirely unrelated note:  this weekend I'm going to a prom-themed party.  Cute 60's style copper taffeta or terrible velvet long, puffy-sleeved bodice anchored by twelve layers of hot pink floral taffeta and the biggest rosette ever created?  Vote!

Friday, November 1, 2013

So Hey, I'm Doing This Thing...

No, I'm not asking for money or anything like that.

But I am participating in NaNoWriMo (as "Dana the Biped," of course), and I could really use some help keeping on track.

So if I'm not averaging about 1,667 words a day, kick my ass, okay?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Man of My Dreams

When I was very, very small, I had a dream.  In this dream, a bad man was executed.  First, his skin was peeled off.  Then, his muscles were boiled off.  His skeleton fell apart, and so he was nothing but veins and teeth and eyeballs.

He didn't die--in fact, he managed to escape into the woods.

I've always been prone to recurring dreams, and as I watched and rewatched the bad man's unsuccessful execution, he watched me.  In perfect dream-logic, I knew he was angry at me for witnessing his humiliation and escape.  And that when he got better, he would come for me.

He did.

It took a couple of years, but I dreamt of a house.  A giant, ancient, four-story house where the rooms were connected by balconies overlooking a central great room.  I was in my early teens at this point, and Antiques Roadshow was pretty much the greatest thing ever.  So while the adults argued over boring legal stuff, I went exploring in rooms untouched for years.

He was following me.

Not obviously, but lurking in shadows and flitting out of the furthest reaches of my field of vision as I turned my head.  He was keeping some distance, so I pretended I didn't see him.  I slowly began making my way back to the great room, where the adults still shouted.  I still stopped in several rooms--my curiosity was unabated, and I didn't want to blow my cover.  As I got closer to the stairs, I realized:  He knew I knew.  He was teasing me, luring me into a false sense of security. 

I abandoned a trunk of clothes and toys and hurried to the door, trying to look casual.  The staircase was a large stone spiral, and the sound of my footsteps was so much louder than I wished--not casual at all.  I abandoned that tack and ran.  The man--all in black, with a hoodie or jacket pulled up so I could never see his face--his footsteps echoed above me, gaining on me.

I missed the door to the first floor, which would have led me to the great room, to my family.  It was too far from the stairs to that huge room, and he was too close behind me.  I'd never make it.  I kept going down.

There were several basements, and all of them were twisty and confusing and damp and cold and dark.  It seemed I could keep going down those stairs forever.  But he was very close behind me now, just around the bend of the spiral.  Desperate, I ducked into a room and hid behind the open door.

There was immediate silence.  Had the man in black run past me?  Or was he standing on the other side of my door, relishing my fear while he waited for the perfect moment to grab me?

I wake up at this point. 

I've had this dream so often now that I know that house backwards and forwards.  I know all the basements now, and where the kitchen is (on the far side of the house on the first floor, with a large table for prepping), and what the exterior looks like (large tidy lawn, bushes below the first floor windows, six stairs leading to the heavy double front doors, columns holding the balcony above).

But the man in black isn't trapped in this house.  He lurks in dreams about my job, about grocery shopping, about cupcakes and any other crazy thing that swirls through my sleeping brain.  In these other dreams, he's at his scariest--he waits.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bro-Dude the Hulk is one cool bro-dude.

I went to Georgia for work Wednesday and Thursday.  On the flight back to Chicago, I got a window seat.  (Yay!)  In the seat next to me was a hugely burly bro-dude.  (Nooo!)

To give you an idea, he looked rather like the soap guys from Hyperbole and a Half.  Except in a hot pink polo and a "vintage" baseball hat.

His muscles kind of hulked into my personal space, so it was a pretty cozy flight.  He was also super-embarrassed about it and not unintelligent, so we were cool.  I decided if our knees were going to touch even when we were both trying hard to not let our knees touch, I may as well just relax. 

Travelling can make for strange knee-fellows.

All was well until the woman sitting behind me asked her seatmate the distance from the airport to the suburb where I live.  I turned, apologized for accidentally overhearing, and answered.  She looked at me like I was wearing a horse mask and had invited her into my rusty, windowless white van.

I lurched around and tried to fall out the bottom of the plane, but that doesn't even work in really terrible romance novels.

Bro-Dude the Hulk leaned over.

"If you hadn't answered her, I would have."

Muscle on, Bro-Dude, my friend.  Muscle on.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Giraffe Spit Smells Like Marigolds

Yesterday, my whole hand was in a giraffe's mouth.

This giraffe and I got up close and personal.  I know what it's spit smells like.

It was pretty much the best day of my life.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: It's a Journey, and This One's Wet

I know, I know.  No one is really interested in me, and you've only been checking here for the most important question:  What is Prada the Puff up to?

Well, we moved a few months back.  Now, rather than it just being us girls (Prada, Stink the Cat, and me), we've got boys to contend with (the Dude and his two dogs).  We're kind of like the Brady Bunch, only with pets and no maids.  It's awesome.

But Prada has had a hard time adjusting--she's been marking in two places in the house.  At first we thought the behavior would stop once she had a chance to get used to everything, but we're into month four, and the behavior continues.

Back to the drawing board.

I like research, so I've been doing some.  I haven't worked out yet whether her marking is stemming from dominance or anxiety--knowing her, it could be either or both.  A large part of the problem is that she ninja-pees:  leave the room for ten seconds, and when you return, you've got a mess to clean up.  So it's been very difficult to catch her in the act, when we could correct the behavior, or find any common behavior before she does it.  (Because it's by no means every time we leave the room, and it's frequently very shortly after she's been outside and gone potty appropriately.)

But there are options:

  • A shaker can (a soda can filled with pennies you can shake when you observe the behavior):  This probably won't work for us, because we don't generally catch her in the act, and even if we did, she's anxious enough that we don't want to scare her into peeing more, or have her associate those two places with a scary sound.
  • A thorough carpet cleaning:  We've done this once, but it's probably time again, despite spot cleanings.  Hopefully then any lingering smell won't entice her to repeat performances.
  • Keeping her on a leash:  As a temporary solution, it may help us keep an eye on her and prevent any bad behavior or at least let us catch her in the act.
  • More walks:  A tired dog is a well-behaved dog.
  • More bonding time:  If the cause of the behavior is anxiety at the move and the fact that there are more dogs to compete with, special Dana/Prada bonding time may help ease her nerves and prove to her she's still special.  Even if she is already spoiled rotten and gets lots of cuddle time every day.
  • Sprays/barriers to keep her from the problem areas:  Logistically, this won't work for us, as the problem areas aren't neatly contained or able to be cordoned off.
  • Positive reinforcement:  Continuing to praise/treat for appropriate expelling.
  • Doggie diapers:  it'll keep her from marking and will make her uncomfortably damp, so this may be an option until we can retrain her and break the bad habit.

So at this point, it's a matter of experimenting and figuring out what works for both her and us.

We'll get there, and our carpet will be the happier for it.  So will Prada, for that matter.  And she's worth it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The "I don't want to DIE(t). So I'll just eat all these tasty things instead, okay?" Non-Diet for People Who Like Food and Don't Hate Themselves

The word is a loaded one, and it's a word I hate.  I've gone into some detail why I won't do it, but the short version is I like my body, I like food, and I'm not willing to deprive myself.

Which is different than not wanting to eat better.  George the asshole is triggered by food sometimes, and I've been cheating more than is good for me.  So it's back to the basics for me, and cutting out trigger foods:  anything processed, anything white, and beef.

Obviously, this excludes Mt. Dew.  I've tried cutting it out entirely before, and the withdrawal symptoms are pretty terrible.  I've tried switching to diet soda, but the artificial sweetener made me lose time and caused some fairly serious cognitive dysfunction.  Not fun.  But the next 12-pack I'll buy will be the one with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.  Because I'm not giving anything up.

And when I want tacos, I'll make it with my accidentally vegetarian recipe instead of ground beef and salty seasoning.  Because tacos are delicious, and I actually like my recipe better.

This weekend, I had a cheeseburger--it was made with ground pork, which the Dude didn't even realize until after he'd inhaled his.  So I'm going to do some recipe-searching and see if I can't find what seasoning was used to make it taste so frigging good.  Because I like cheeseburgers, okay?!

And when I want some ice cream, and nothing but ice cream will do, I will eat some goddamned ice cream.  I could have a bit of food that is terrible for me, or I could feel homicidal.  You tell me what decision is better for my health.

I call it "I don't want to DIE(t).  So I'll just eat all these tasty things instead, okay?" non-diet for people who like food and don't hate themselves.

(True:  I did diet once, with my GP and rheumatologist's approval.  I followed the Lupus Recovery Diet, it helped me figure out what did and didn't work for me, and I have continued tailoring what I eat since then according to what I learned.  It was fucking hard--like the hardest thing I've ever done.  Ever.  And I once carried an air conditioning unit up three flights of stairs without assistance in 100 degree heat.  So have a support group on hand, have your mom on speed dial, and talk to your doctor before trying it or any other "real" diet.)

Monday, October 14, 2013


These are the most common questions I receive.  Here are the anxiously-awaited answers. 

I'm sorry.

1)  Can you help me with my English homework?
Sure.  That money I spent on college ought to be put to some sort of use.

2)  What's with the possums?
I don't know.  It's the best kind of mystery.

3)  What should I read next?
A book.

4)  What are you wearing?
Long underwear in a dingy gray, two pairs of socks, old sweat pants, a hoody two sizes too big, and a parka.  Or if that floats your boat, whatever you think is gross.

5)  Are you a feminazi?
If a dude called out another dude for being a douche, does that make him a dudenazi?

6)  Why do so many crazy things happen to you?  Do you make them up?
Sadly, no.  It's serendipity.  And a lack of social and/or motor skills.

7)  Can I someday be as awesome as your dog?

8)  Nine, Ten, or Eleven?
Ten.  Obviously.  The hair.  And below that, the... sneakers.

9)  You say you are from Wisconsin.  Do you like cheese?
Only if it squeaks.

10)  Who is your hero?
My nana.  I once went to her in an existential crisis.  She took one look at me and said, "Suck it up.  You're a Whoozit*."
*Name changed to protect me from the marsupial-lovers.

11)  How do you get through each day?
On my monitor, I have a shrine to the Virgin Mary, Superman, and Britney Spears. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happily Ever After, Cat Edition!

When I got to work yesterday, everyone was in a buzz.  A kitten was in the engine block of a company truck, and no one could get it out.  Someone had even stolen some tuna out of the fridge as enticement, but no dice.  Eventually everyone wandered back inside to do some actual work.

Except me, because I'm a sucker, and the poor thing was crying.  And a coworker's husband, who's a softy for cats.  He'd recommended we try unclipping the underside of the dash cover, and I recommended putting the plate of tuna on the battery, where we'd maybe have a chance to grab it.  We did both--the tuna lured the kitten to a place where we could just grab it from inside the cab.

I took him inside, gave him a bit of a bath in the bathroom with dishsoap with a friend's help (not ideal, but he was covered in oil, and it's what we had), let him eat a bit of the tuna, and grabbed a blanket out of my car for him.

Long story short:  he checked out fine with the vet, and he went home with my friend.  Her kids are ecstatic, and the kitten (who has been named the Slovenian word for "cat," which I can't spell, but which sounds like "Muchki") has made himself right at home.

Yeah, he's adorable.

Monday, October 7, 2013

There are things you'd think I'd remember...

I've been told I can get a little feisty.  And I fight flat-out dirty.  I'm small and arthritic, so I've got to strike quickly and efficiently.

So I bite.

Not strangers or whatever, just friends and the Dude, whenever we get to wrestling.  (Actual wrestling--get your mind out of the gutter.)

The Dude commented on this penchant of mine last week.

"Yeah," I said, laughing.  "Remember that time I missed and accidentally bit your nipple?"

"Uh, that wasn't me..."

Whose nipple did I bite?!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ricky, you have some mansplainin' to do...

It was my senior year of college.  I had taken a fall down a flight of stairs, and had some pretty severe bruising on the inside of my left arm, and a ladder of less-severe bruises down my back.  Hurt like a mother, but nothing terribly serious.  However, within a few days I'd developed some hard lumps in the bruise on my arm--calcium deposits.

I took myself off to the campus health center, and the doctor happened to be in.  (He was usually available for a couple of hours, two or three days a week; the rest of the time the nurse was available.  And generally more helpful.)  I sat on the table, rolled up my sleeve, and explained that I was concerned by what I felt--

"Don't worry.  It's not cancer."

--which I was pretty certain was a series of marble-sized calcium deposits, and what was the best course of action to take to ensure I didn't pass them through my urethra.

"Oh.  Oh.  Well, warm, damp compresses should help with that."

Gee, thanks.  I'm so glad you were able to ease my fears about cancer of the bruise.  What color ribbons does that have again?  I'm sure I saw it on a rubber bracelet somewhere.

If you don't know what mansplaining is or aren't aware how commonplace it is for women to be on the receiving end of it (from whatever gender), I recommend checking out this link.

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Official. I am Too Old to Understand the Concept of "Cool."

Tomorrow is my birthday.  Happy birthday, me!

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
I look like a monkey
So I'm glad you can't see!

The Dude pointed out that the milk in the fridge expires tomorrow.  "Yeah," I said.  "Everything goes bad then."

I went to a concert this weekend at a college bar.  There was a group of guys flexing for photos, and I saw a woman who appeared to be wearing an unironic, metal-studded G-string on her head.

I am officially to old to go to concerts at college bars.

(True:  I learned this week what c-string is.  They look... uncomfortable.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Office Supplies. They Matter.

My office recently switched to a new toilet paper, and it's pretty innovative.  The manufacturer has, it seems, discovered a way to make toilet paper that is just one molecule thick. 

This really makes peeing a thought-provoking experience.  Your tentative, gentle grasp punches your fingers through the tissue, simultaneously make one feel like the Hulk with a china teacup and driving home the fragility of human life.

And then there's the adventure of it:

There's only half a roll left--will this be enough to cover my needs?

And coping with menstruation under these circumstances becomes fraught with all the anxiety of the apocalypse.

It does make for great calisthenics, though.  I stretch my arm all the way out, as far as I can without tipping over, and then foldfoldfoldfold (haha, fourfold) to achieve something akin to the bare (lol) minimum of adequacy.

But don't blow your nose in it.  If there are no Kleenex to be had, I'd recommend using sandpaper before our new toilet paper.  It's softer, and you're infinitely less likely to shoot your snot right through it and onto your hands, desk, and any passers-by.

A sneeze would be catastrophic.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Take That, Pinterest! I Am, Too, Capable of Feeding Myself!

If you've ever been on Pinterest--or even Facebook--you know that some people can like, do stuff around the house.  Like cooking, or decorating.  And the photographs these people take make their homes look like magazine shoots.

And here I am, all, "Look!  I made mac and cheese from a box and finally washed two weeks' worth of dirty dishes!"

Unless people are coming over, in which case I clean like a mad person to convince them I'm not the derelict slob I really am.

But this week, I totally could have photographed the dinner that I made.  From real ingredients!  Except that instead of photographing it, I ate it.  Because that's how I usually treat my dinner.

I made Cornish pasties.  And it was super easy.  And not what I'd call a real recipe, since I didn't really follow a recipe.  Here's how I did it:

I called the Dude on my way home from work, and made him take 2 chicken breasts out of the freezer to thaw.

I stopped at the store at bought two refrigerated pie crusts, a bag of mixed frozen veggies, and a can of condensed cream of potato soup.

Upon getting home, I cut the chicken into smallish pieces.  (This is the hard part.)

Then I dumped the chicken and the veggies and some chicken bouillon and whatever other seasoning I felt like and a couple handfuls of frozen diced onion in a pot of water.  And I boiled it.

I unrolled the pie crusts and cut each in half.  (This made eight pasties.) 

And once the stuff was done boiling (I stopped just before the chicken was fully cooked), I strained it, dumped in the can of soup and a bit of the water I'd reserved, mixed that shit together, added some more seasoning, and scooped a little onto each piece of dough.  Folded the dough over, pinched the edges, and baked at 425 for half an hour.

Then I watched some TV.

Ten minutes in, I ran back to the oven and poked a hole in each so as to avoid a pasty-splosion.

And then I finished my show, and then I stuffed my face and burned my tongue.

It was fucking awesome.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kids These Days

I really hate the phrase "kids these days."  Whether it's referring to millennials or minors, it's a phrase that always precedes condescension, disgust, or harsh judgment.

My response is always the same:

Who raised these kids?

Generally, the person committing a "kids these days" is a member of the generation who raised them, or of an age to be "these kids" grandparents.

I.e., they're the people who've raised "these kids", or the people who raised the kids that raised "these kids."

If you have Internet access (and I'm guessing you do if you're here...), you've probably seen this condescending Huffington Post garbage about why my generation is unhappy--basically, because we're whiny and delusional.  Which manages to completely ignore the fact that we can't get decent jobs that will sustain both us and--god forbid--any family we're fiscally irresponsible enough to start.

In case those kids-these-days-ers forgot, my generation didn't cause the economic crisis we all find ourselves in today.  No, that was the work of those powerhouses on Wall Street and in Washington who were, well, old enough to say "kids these days."

Do millennials really not work hard?  In an era when job hunting can be in itself a full-time endeavor, where productivity is up and benefits and compensation are down...  In an era when most "entry level" positions require several years of experience and the only way to gain experience is to work for free...

Are we really lazy?  Or is that dim hope?

Are we delusional, with expectations too high?  Is the problem really that we all think we're just so gosh-darn special?

Or are we just angry that while we're performing our drudgery in a sluggish economy, with lower starting wages it'll take us decades to overcome, with debt we were promised would be a good investment but instead is often crippling, and with take-home pay that--if we're lucky--lets us put a little away for an even rainier day, we keep hearing condemnation:  kids these days.

Adam Weinstein says it much better.

Look, it's not my intention to pin the troubles of one generation on any other age group.  Rather, I just want to emphasize that here is a generation that, whatever situation it finds itself in, is trying to do its best with what is available.  Just like the generation before us, and the generation before them, and generations to come. 

And despite the urge to compartmentalize society into generations, we are--like it or not--in this together.  Flinging insults at each other doesn't seem to be accomplishing much.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I... I Don't Even Know What This Is. But It Scares Me.

I went to a charity event this weekend.

At this charity event, there was a raffle.

I bought a raffle ticket.

I won a prize.

It was a stuffed animal.

Sort of.

Except it was more like an alien, not an animal.

And it has testicles on its head.

Yep.  They really are connected by a long shaft.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oh Yeah, I Know How To Party

Last night I had a beer with the Kirby salesmen who were trying to sell the Dude a vacuum.  I have the suspicion that an evening spent hearing a sales pitch isn't supposed to be entertaining, but it totally was.  Mostly because the Dude and I can have fun doing anything.

  • Grocery shopping?  A grand hunting/gathering adventure.
  • Long car ride?  Hours and hours and hours of pure conversational brilliance.
  • Washing dishes?  Still not completely terrible.

Then again, it might have been the fact that it was other people cleaning the house that made last night so darn awesome.

And that we had beer.  That always helps.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Highlights of a Weekend Survived

A quick recap:

  • Two weddings
  • Two funerals
  • One weekend

The Dude described me to a friend as "born and pasteurized in Wisconsin."

Bringing back-up ballet flats for after everyone has had a few drinks and no one cares anymore has saved my feet.

It was still too many hours in heels.

The hotel suite we shared with some friends had a fireplace.  It was a glass fireplace.  Through which you could see one bed from the other.

It's possible for a drinking straw to taste terrible.

Some guy asked a friend from South Africa if she spoke "that clicky language."  (Because, you know, she came from that general continent area.)  I feel this was more than enough grounds to punch him in the teeth.

My friend from South Africa is a much nicer person than I am.

She can also wear high heels for like seven consecutive hours without showing any visible signs of wanting to kill herself.

I have now been introduced to everyone the Dude has met.  Ever.

Of course, I'll still need to be re-introduced next time, because I can hardly remember a name when I meet people one at a time, much less by the dozen.

Having heard more stories from the Dude's family about what he was like as a child, I now understand why some species eat their young.  (Though I guess he turned out mostly okay in the end...)

I managed to get through three sit-down meals in nice clothing without spilling anything or dribbling food down my chin.

I'm counting this one a success.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'll Be Playing Vince Vaughn

I've got two weddings and two funerals this weekend, which is the perfect set-up for a movie starring Vince Vaughn and a cardboard cut-out of Reece Witherspoon.  (Not that I have anything against Reece.  But her hair is way better than mine.)

This is a terrible time to be unable to think of any icebreaking jokes that don't reference Weekend at Bernie's.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Yeah, I Say "OreGON." And I Sort of Hate Myself For It.

(Content note:  The experience described below is a lot more universal than you're going to want to admit.)

When I was in grade school, the best days in computer class were when we were allowed to play Oregon Trail.  This was back in the day when a computer was still called a MacIntosh, and the green oxen pulled a green Conastoga wagon across a black screen.

Obviously, when naming the members of my party, I borrowed exclusively from my friends and, more importantly (sorry, friends), always included the name of my latest crush.

Because that's the height of romance in fourth grade.

Invariably, my crush would drown during an attempted river-fording (I knew I should have paid the Indians to guide me across!) or succumb to dysentery.  There were other diseases in the game as I recall, but dysentery seemed to be the only one that could actually be fatal.  That and ford-crossing.

Because I was a particularly twisted child, these deaths were always very amusing to me.

A few days ago, the Dude sent me a photo--he'd set me up as a test patient of the hospital that for some reason employs him.  The first thing that popped into my head?



(True:  I just went to the bathroom and discovered there was toothpaste on my ear.  What?!  How!?)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Series of Unfortunate Eve--Wait. That title's already taken.

I went camping with the Dude, the dogs, and my folks.  This is not the unfortunate part.

Dad set the Dude on fire.  (But only a little bit.)  (Edit:  I've been told by a not-unbiased party that this should actually read:  Hero Dad saved the Dude's life moments before total combustion.)

Blink, the blind and deaf dog--It's awesome.  He grins and waves his head like Ray Charles, only without the piano.--almost, while on a walk with Dad and the Dude, floated away down the river.  Whoops!

The moral of the story is:  I'm never leaving the Dude alone with the Dad again.  They're trouble.

Also fun:  I forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair this morning.  You know that scene in There's Something About Mary?


Yeah.  It wasn't anything like that, actually.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: Good Dog Round-Up

Just in case you'd forgotten how awesome dogs are, I present to you....

Psycho, the 10-pound chihuahua/poodle mix that saved his owner's granddaughter from a poisonous snake.


So, looking at the comments, it's pretty clear most people have decided this is the worst thing ever, and this woman is a Terrible Human Being.

I look at this photo and see a great way for disabled pets to avoid being left at home.

Then again, maybe I'm a Terrible Human Being as well.

Evan the rescue is getting a new leg!  Hooray!

Service dogs in Scotland are being trained to assist people with dementia.  This is pretty much the coolest thing ever.

And last but certainly not least, read here about how shelters are reducing overall euthenasia

My take-away from these links are that people don't always suck, but dogs just keep on rockin' on.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Well, I Guess They've Got to Shop Somewhere.

So, my dad sometimes reads this blog.  Hi Dad!  The work you did on your yard this weekend looks great!  Please stop reading this post now, 'kay?

I was just at Marshalls, shopping for underpants.  Like you do.  And maybe I was looking at the not not-sexy underpants, if you get my drift.  Because I'm an adult (sort of) and I shouldn't have to feel embarrassed about that.

Something on the other side of the rack caused me to look up.  I'd like to think it was devine intervention, but judging by what happened next, probably not.

With my hands full of skimpy underwear, I locked eyes across the rack with a nun.

Good Lord.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Life As I Know It Is Over, and It's About To Be Your Fault

I have discovered Reddit, and it is good. There goes any chance of productivity in the evenings after work or on the weekends.

Oh let's face it, I never get anything done then, anyway. Except sometimes for dishes. And occasionally laundry. And once in a while I make a sad attempt to not kill flowers in the yard.

But mostly I just watch Doctor Who. Or this:

In actually important news, if you live in the Madison, Wisconsin area, the Dane County Humane Society is having a "Thank Goodness It's $5 Feline Friday" event.  Adult cats' adoption fees are reduced to just five bucks, and kittens' to $20 for today--you've still got some time today to save a life!

And then you can take a photo of your new friend, post it on Reddit, and become complicit in my sloth.  (The sin, not the animal.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: The Dogs Around Me

Having a dog is awesome.  No, really.  Even after moving, when Prada is settling in by marking the living room floor (thanks for that, by the way) and establishing a new routine for herself (by waking me up half an hour before my alarm goes off with a request to be let outside), having a dog is fantastic.  Something about coming home after a long workday to a a fluffbomb of excitement is so validating.  And sure, it's twenty to six in the morning, but when I carry her outside to go potty and she nestles her head under my chin sleepily, it's hard to mind too much.

My dog makes me feel like a superstar every damn day.

Now I live in a household with, altogether, a Dude, three dogs, and Stink the much-maligned cat.  So let me introduce you to the new dogs around me.

Benny and Blink are brothers of about seven years of age.  They're mixed breeds--definitely some Australian Shepherd in there.  Both are handsome merles:  Benny is mostly black with a bit of grey, and Blink is mostly white with a few small, black spots.  Blink is also blind and deaf--but don't let that fool you.  He is a smart, well-adjusted dog who loves running around the yard and exploring parts of the house he's really not supposed to be in.

When you open the door to let the dogs into the backyard, he feels the change in air movement or temperature and knows.  He knows when you open the closet door that houses the dog food, too.  He has the layout of the house memorized, so as long as you don't move furniture, he gets around just fine, using the top of his head as a bumper on the walls and furniture as guidance.  His favorite game to play seems to be "I'm not supposed to go over there and I know it because you're blocking my progess.  So I'll sneak to the left or the right and you'll never know because I can't see you, so you definitely can't see me either."  He's a riot.

Benny is just as much a character.  All he wants out of life is to be loved on and simultaneously not seen.  So if I'm on the floor playing with Prada, he'll sneak up behind me and try to join the game in a casual, "you'll never notice" way.  One time, flopped down on the couch, I stretched my arms back and over the arm of the couch, palms down.  Suddenly, there was a dog head in my hands.  But when I sat up to see, Benny had already retreated around the corner.  It was like a sneak attack of affection.  If Prada makes me feel like a superstar, Benny acts like the paparrazi.

Benny:  "Oh, do you see me sitting here?  Oh geez.  That's awkward."

Having a dog is awesome.  Being surrounded by them makes me very, very happy.

(True:  You can learn more about merle Aussies and the sight and hearing defects that can occur here.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Life Lessons

Yesterday I learned:

  • To never wear sandals in a dog-friendly park.
  • That dating a nurse is totally helpful in determining whether or not you need stitches.
  • And that it's generally considered inappropriate to make Weekend at Bernie's jokes at a funeral.

These three lessons are fortunately not related.

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Spirit Animal Is A Marsupial, But It Doesn't Matter Because I'm Dying.

I'm sick.  Not with the plague, as I was surprised to learn.  It's one of those unnotable, unspecial summer head colds that just make you want to die.  Someone asked me yesterday how I was feeling.

I answered promptly and with confidence:  "My head is wallaby."

Like this.

Suffice it to say I had a fever, as this word choice made perfect sense in that moment.  "Wallaby" sounds like it should be an adjective, and they live in Australia.  So, you know, they're upside down.  Which pretty accurately describes how my head felt yesterday--not right and generally askew.

(First it was the possums...  Now my blog collection of marsupials is growing.  Be afraid--very afraid.)

On a side note, I'd like to make it known that I do not have pink eye.  I scratched my cornea last weekend doing yard work.  My eye and my head are two completely separate things.

Oh, you know what I mean.  Don't judge me!

Also I'm never doing yard work again.

(True:  The Dude is also sick.  We spent last night feeling very, very sorry for ourselves and each other, and watching Doctor Who.  Which I think makes a pretty legit pity party.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



See that picture?  That's what life has been this week.  And I'm not the creepily gleeful children in this metaphor.  Or the stick.

So I'm just going to take a break for a while, until life is over the sugar high it's gotten from beating the shit out of me.  Hopefully life poops its candy colors somewhere else.  But it'll probably be on me, because--just look at those grins.  At least I moved before all this.

This will be a temporary hiatus.  But possibly temporary in a "we'll just make you new business cards; they come in boxes of 1000" kind of way.

Sometimes, life gives you lemons.  Life really needs some lemon juice in the eye.

Biped out.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Priorities, People

You know who I admire?  The Duchess of Cambridge.  I think she's elegant and poised, and she sort of reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. 

You know what's exciting?  That she and Prince William are having a baby.

You know what's breaking news?  That one of the East Cleveland murder victims has been identified.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kicking ass. (Where I'm neither the kicker nor the kicked.)

Hello?  Internet?  Did you miss me?

I now live somewhere new!  And it's not a cardboard box!  Isn't that exciting? 

Just kidding, moving is never exciting.  Unless you're moving because you won the lottery and are moving into a house with a pool.  For your puffins.  That'd be sweet.

But there are more dogs here, and that's pretty all right, too.  Oh, and some dude lives here, I guess.

Well, I could fill you in on what's been happening in my life lately, but it'd strain your suspension of disbelief, so just imagine that I've spent the last two weeks fighting crime with my trusty gorilla sidekick.

Good lord.  I've just become WordGirl.

Look, here's a .gif gift!


This woman kicks some serious, literal ass.  I want to be her.

So, since I really have nothing to share but word vomit, here are some gems from the Internet:

This guy "Changes the Creepy Guy Narrative." 

Rape Culture 101  This is a fantastic piece.  The following is a quote that really struck home for me, since I do follow these "rules."  All of them.  And some more, like what CTA train cars to ride in after dark, and when to go to my storage unit, when to call someone to "walk" me home.

Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about what you wear, how you wear it, how you carry yourself, where you walk, when you walk there, with whom you walk, whom you trust, what you do, where you do it, with whom you do it, what you drink, how much you drink, whether you make eye contact, if you're alone, if you're with a stranger, if you're in a group, if you're in a group of strangers, if it's dark, if the area is unfamiliar, if you're carrying something, how you carry it, what kind of shoes you're wearing in case you have to run, what kind of purse you carry, what jewelry you wear, what time it is, what street it is, what environment it is, how many people you sleep with, what kind of people you sleep with, who your friends are, to whom you give your number, who's around when the delivery guy comes, to get an apartment where you can see who's at the door before they can see you, to check before you open the door to the delivery guy, to own a dog or a dog-sound-making machine, to get a roommate, to take self-defense, to always be alert always pay attention always watch your back always be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn't follow all the rules it's your fault.

Here's another great post by the same blogger called, "On Sitting With Fear."  Actually, just go ahead and read everything in that blog's archives, okay?

This guy's name is Kim. He didn't get any interviews until he added a "Mr." before his name on his resume.  Are you shocked?

Millenials are ruining the world. Just like every generation before us.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Virgin Mary Still Likes Me Even If I'm Not Catholic, Right?

This is my desk.  Say hello, desk.

I've got the Virgin Mary and Superman watching over me.  Things are looking up!  (Or Superman is, anyway...)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'm Still Not Dead

But I am moving.  Real posts to follow once the dust has settled.

Here's some stuff to tide you over....  (Pardon the lack of hyperlinks.  I'm in a hurry.)

(Wherein breeds from now are compared to the same breeds from 100 years ago.  Interesting read, and a bit worrisome.)

(This article should be required reading for every single person upon reaching puberty.)

(Realtors who will help you find pet-friendly housing.  Yay!)

(This chick kicks ass.  I think I love her.) 

(True:  Moving sucks.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Almost Got Peed On By a Lesbian and Other Coincidences

Hello, dear reader!  I know you have missed me terribly since I last posted--almost a whole week!  I'm so ashamed!  But fear not, for I have been on the lookout for crazy, and the crazy has been plentiful.

First, I should tell you that I'm looking for investors for my new business.  I'm going to install a soda fountain in the trunk of my car and drive around looking for uncaffeinated people.  The way I see it, I should be able to get a government subsidy for this, since it is obviously a much-needed public service.  Uncaffeinated people are tired people.  Tired people are cranky people.  Cranky people don't buy stupid shit at the spur of the moment.  My plan with quite literally stimulate the economy.

I expect the money to come rolling in any moment now.

Second, you look like you need a pun.  Here you go:

Never tell a pun to a kleptomaniac.  He'll take it literally.

(This is not an original joke.  The Internet came up with it.  Or something.)

Third, I almost got peed on by a lesbian.  I went to the Pride Parade here in Chicago on Sunday, and it was awesome.  It was like a regular parade, but with more glitter and naked buttcheeks.  The crowd was very festive and friendly, but there are jerks everywhere, and one woman--who had as much personal space as a crowd that size allowed--threatened to pee on me.  I'm not quite certain why.  But she certainly thrust her butt into me in a bid for more space often enough, and every time I worried she was going to follow through with her threat.  She bragged loudly to her friends that she was assertive.  I think she added too many syllables to that word.

Fourth, I just got a call from a customer.

Customer:  Do you have any xxxxxx in stock?

Me:  Let me check....  No, we don't.

Customer:  Of course you do.

Me:  ...........

(True:  I've been informed I wear my crazy on my sleeve.  I figure this is healthier than hiding it, right?  Right???)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bugs and Bubbles

That sounds like the title to a childrens "edutainment" program, doesn't it?

It's not.  It's my workplace.  Though it is pretty juvenile.

Yesterday, because our office is oh-so-pretty and pristine, a dead bug flew out of the air vent and onto my head.  Laughter ensued--but not mine.

Today we're popping bubble wrap.  Not just any bubble wrap, though, the big, industrial-sized-bubbles bubble wrap.  Our boss said we have to.

I'm not sure whether we just crack up easily, or if we're just cracked.

(True:  I never cared for that magazing, but Spy vs. Spy was pretty awesome...)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Watch This! Much Ado About Nothing

Remember when I told you how excited I was for Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing?

Well, last night I saw it.  And it was awesome.  And you need to see it too.  Four hundred year old spoilers ahead...

Okay, I'm going to get the "cons" of the film out of the way so I can hurry on to the good stuff, 'kay?

Marry, as much as I adore Alexis Denisof, his performance in the first bit of the movie is a little wooden.  For the first couple scenes, I was quite aware that he was acting.  But he really hit his stride in the scene where Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio are setting him up to fall in love.  That bit of physical comedy seemed to jump start him, and from there on, all was well, and ended well, too.

Sixth and lastly, though I didn't see it, the Dude said the actress playing Conrade kept looking at the camera in the scene where Claudio and Don Pedro learn they have been duped into accusing Hero.  The Dude found it distracting, and it would serve to sort of break the fourth wall.

Thirdly, the film is not being shown in most theaters near me, which is the greatest downside of the film, and to conclude, you need to see it anyway.

Got it?  Okay, moving on.

I'm having a difficult time figuring out where to begin with the things I liked about the film--there were a lot.

Going into the movie, I was curious to see how the casting would play out (see what I did there?).  Beatrice is usually cast and acted as a brash character who can hardly wait to get her next dig in. Amy Acker plays the part differently.  If you've seen her as Fred in Angel or the doctor in Dollhouse, you'll know she excels at bringing a delicacy to boldness.  What I mean is this:  where one might expect a character to puff out her chest and have a "bring it on, dude" attitude, Amy Acker manages to show an underlying vulnerability which makes that kind of brashness more sympathetic.  Her Beatrice is deeply sympathetic--haven't we all trash-talked an ex at one point or another?

DON PEDRO:  Come, lady, you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.

BEATRICE:  Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile, and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one.  marry, once before he won it of me with false dice.  Therefore your Grace may well say I have lost it.

(Act 2, scene 1)

And Clark Gregg as Leonato was simply incredible.  Much Ado is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and I've seen multiple versions of it, filmed and live.  Gregg's performance was without a doubt the best I've seen.  His anger, betrayal, and violence-tinged grief when Hero is accused marked the first time the scene almost had me in tears, and definitely the first time my sole consuming thought wasn't You should be on her side, dummy.  Gregg played the part with such aplomb that for the first time, I felt sympathy for Leonato and Hero both.

As a whole, I love the way the cast worked as a unit.  In this production, it didn't seem to be a play about Benedick and Beatrice, with some other characters giving them things to do--it was truly an ensemble cast.  Some people may consider the fact that those two weren't always front and center a downside, but it really let the rest of the cast--parts that are often just fodder for Benedick and Beatrice's antics--to shine believably.

And that's another thing.  This play has lots of slapstick, "big" comedy in it, between Benedick/Beatrice listening in where they shouldn't be and of course Dogberry and the other men of the night watch (Nathan Fillion was fantastic as expected, btvw.  Though Tom Lenk as Verges might have just managed to upstage him.  His fumbling sunglass-whipping--a la CSI Miami--had me in stitches.  And the two other watchmen perfectly nailed the "my boss is an idiot" thing.).  Most productions I've seen have turned up the physical comedy to 11.

This production, however, was treated above all with subtlety, enhanced by fact it was filmed in black and white.  From this, Hero gained a strength of character (not just an obedient foil to Beatrice, with just about as much depth) usually not seen.  Leonato, as I mentioned before, was finally a sympathetic character.  Conrade didn't melt into the background--that other bad one, you know.  Sean Maher as Don John wasn't a mustachio-twisting cardboard villain.  And the humor, then, was likewise more subtle--and no less laughter-inducing for it.

I also really liked the fact that it was set in the present day.  If you're familiar with Whedon's body of work at all, you know he likes his women strong, and he's very aware of the issues women face.  By setting this work today, lines such as, "Oh, that I were a man" take on a significance not usually present.  Yes, yes, but it's not like that now, the audience can think.  Not so in this production, where these lines highlight the extent to which things are still like that.

Look, here's the thing:

If you like Joss Whedon, you should see this film.
If you like Shakespeare, you should see this film.
If you like strong female characters, you should see this film.
If you like a great cast, you should see this film.
If you like to fangirl out over Nathan Fillion and/or Agent Phil Coulson, you should see this film.
If you like good movies, you should see this film.

Actually, I'd argue that if you breathe, you should see it.  Yeah, it's that good.  Hopefully, it's in a theater near you.  Otherwise, aren't you due for a road trip?

(True:  Interesting further reading on the "pre-history" of Beatrice and Benedick can be found here.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Culture Shock

I spent several months in London while I was in college.  I was well-aware that some things would be different than I was used to, and they were.  Same goes for my shorter visits to other countries.

Chicago is four hours from my hometown.  Other than big-city-versus-tiny-town stuff, I figured most things would be the same. 

Chicago is four hours from my hometown.  It's the only place where I've experienced culture shock.

Like "gym shoes."  Did you know Chicagoans call tennis shoes "gym shoes?"  Clearly this is wrong.  No one else does this, Chicago.

Can you even see the tiny green dot that is Chicago?

And they don't call it a "bubbler."  Dude, it bubbles.  It makes bubbling sounds.  It's clearly a bubbler.

See?  One of those tiny states out east agrees with us, and that makes it totally legit.  Also, my European geography is better than my American geography.  At least I can tell the difference between Latvia and Lithuania, right?  That's what's really important here.  And also bubblers.
(Both these maps, and twenty others equally as entertaining, can be found here.  If you language is interesting and people are weird, it's right up your alley.)

Also, would you believe that I had cannoli chips for breakfast?  I didn't even really know what cannoli was before I moved here, and now I find out it's available in delicious chip/dip form?  Dude, it's worth moving here just for that.

On a less appetizing note, "Sally" is used as an insult here.  As in, "You're afraid of spiders?  You're such a Sally."  Because no Sally ever would smoosh a spider without cringing and squealing and probably crying of course.  Get it?  It's because she's a girl.

(True:  This photographer in Texas took photos of her daughter that make me feel better.)

(Also true:  Spellcheck thinks "bubbler" isn't a word.  But it thinks the same thing about cannoli.  So there.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I am very sorry to announce I will no longer be accepting comments from anonymous posters.  I love comments immensely, but I will not tolerate creepy anonymous comments of the variety I have been receiving of late. Go look for porn or join a website dedicated to creeps.  You're no longer welcome here.

If you're an anonymous commenter of the uncreepy variety, I'm so sorry for the inconvenience.  I hope you'll still read and maybe build a profile so you can continue your much-appreciated commenting.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Oh For Pete's Sake

You know that song "High School Never Ends"?  Yeah, it's terrible.

It's also a lie.  I honestly believe that once we reach fifth grade, we just stop maturing.  Sure, there's some boob-growing and lexicon-building after that, but nothing fundamentally changes.

Several grown-ass men in my office are daring each other to eat a beetle found on someone's desk.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: Sometimes, You Gotta Play Mama Bear

I've gotten a few snide comments about my dog.  Usually it happens when I'm on a long walk or am out for the day with Prada, and I've got her in the belly bag.  Because you know, purse-dog stereotypes blah blah blah.  I've snarked back a time or two--in my polite way, of course.  It's amazing how far a, "yeah, it's great that there are more options for handicapped dogs these days, isn't it?" will go.  (Cue the stuttering and agreeing.  Because while plenty of people are willing to make fun of purse-dogs, not too many are willing to be an asshole about handicapped ones.  Kind of like people who are really nice--except to waiters.)  More often, I just grin at them to let them know I've heard and move on.

I don't think I should tell someone anything about their dog that I wouldn't say about their child.  Or, more universally, if you don't want to feel like an asshole, don't be an asshole.  Asshole.

Because sometimes, you've just got to play mama bear.

Naturally, assholes aren't limited to snarking on dogs with altered mobility.  Purse dogs, small dogs, dogs they've decided are a mean breed or just ugly, whatever.

Which leads me to an incident my dad described to me.  My folks were recently at a national invitational for rally obedience.  (Yeah, they got invited to nationals their first year doing it.  Dad and Linka took 3rd place in Rally 2, and tied for 6th in Rally 3, the hardest level.  Against the best dogs in the country.  Not too shabby, right?)  At the same event was a conformation show--the standard kind you see on Thanksgiving, for pure-breds only. 

Now, Linka is a pure-bred miniature schnauzer, but she has a small white line on her chest that disqualifies her from participating in conformation.  So Dad has no real reason to groom her within the parameters of conformation--Linka's got a cut on a variation of the standard, which is more suited to her active lifestyle/running around in the woods all the time.  Okay, okay, I'm done with the exposition.  Here's the actual story:

My mom was holding Linka during a break between rallies.  She wandered over to the conformation show to admire the dogs.  A woman with another schnauzer came up to my mom and asked, "What are you doing here?  You're obviously not here for conformation."

"No," Mama Bear said.  "We're not here for the frou-frou dog show--we're in the competition for smart dogs."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why I'm Too Grateful to My Body to Diet

I always knew my body was a capable one. 

I remember being small, and deciding that my family was waiting too long to put up our Christmas tree.  So I dragged the box--probably bigger than me at that point--carefully downstairs, negotiating several tight corners and a narrow, steep staircase--downstairs and set the thing up myself.  It became a tradition for me to do it, and early enough on that I don't remember how our family did the tree thing prior to that.

I remember how easily I'd get bored of my bedroom, frequently rearranging furniture for a change.  I almost wrote "quick change," but it wasn't a quick process at all.  I could only push or pull one end of my dresser a few inches at a time, walking it forward, and then moving my bed in the same manner.

In high school, in the season I didn't play a sport, I lifted weights for fun.  In field hockey season, we'd run miles during practice, much of it in a semi-squat.  (Yes, it's a bit of a different sort of sport.)  My idea of fun as a child was riding my bike up and down our dead-end road or horseback riding.  I never worried about whether my body was capable of accomplishing a task or participate in an activity.

I got sick my junior year.  It took a while to diagnose (an undifferentiated autoimmune disorder, which is what they diagnose you with when they know the problem is with your immune system but not what the actual cause is), and the first few months were frightening.  I became so accustomed to hearing the latest worst possible prognosis that I forgot that there was any other option.  This viewpoint was helped along by the chronic fatigue and pain I was dealing with at the time, and exacerbated by the fact that I was unwilling to give up a single activity, pushing my now-limited endurance far beyond what was reasonable.

Suddenly, playing field hockey was not just physically challenging, it was incredibly painful and exhausting.  There were days I was too sore or too tired to manage a flight of stairs.  I refused to give any extracurriculars up, so it was the norm for me to go from class to field hockey or softball practice to play practice to prefect duty and then home at 10:30 to start four hours of homework.  It kind of sucked there for a while.

I got my health under control my freshman year of college.  I was angry for a long time that I'd ever had to go through all that, but now, almost decade later, I see the experience differently.  My body made it through that mess as best as it could, even while I was ignoring what it needed to get healthy.  My body works hard for me, and I've gotten better at treating it right.  I eat better, sleep more, and call it quits when I'm running out of steam.  I try to be active, though I hate working out.  Since getting my health under control, I've climbed all the stairs of Notre Dame and tackled the Eifel Tower and huge national parks.  I live in a third-floor walk-up without a problem.  I got an air-conditioning unit up those three flights of stairs alone.  My body works.

So I'm not going to hate it just because my thighs touch or because my belly has a bit of squish.  It's been too good to me to turn on it for such a petty reason.  It's a (mostly) healthy body in a normal body fat range.  If that changes, I'll need to renew my dedication to treat my body well.  That doesn't seem to be what dieting is about.  The focus of dieting has always seemed to me to be deprivation--punishing yourself.  I owe my body better.  I used to worry about my weight all the time, constantly striving to keep it in check.  But I've come to realize:  this body of mine?

It's good.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Getting a Fashion Update. Or Downdate. Or Something.

It wasn't a fanny pack (bum bag for you British folks, and please pardon my language).  I swear to god it wasn't a fanny pack.

But it was a belt with a pocket in it that had just enough room for your ID and maybe one key.  And it was flat!  Flat does not equal fanny pack, okay???  I just didn't want to deal with a purse at a theme park, and the belt was totally hidden beneath my t-shirt.  So just stop maligning my dignity right there.  I am unquestionably dignified at all times.

Needless to say, I took a lot of flak for it.  But then I discovered these:

It's a chatelaine, and women in the 18th century hung them from their belts to carry their necessities.  Pretty, right?  So I took everthing out of my purse, and I'm going to make one for my necessities.

Classy, right?

(True:  Last weekend I saw a dude unashamedly rocking a fanny pack.  But he also was wearing short shorts and work boots with the shoelaces artistically untied, so I don't know if that's a sign the fanny pack is making a comeback or if he was just a hipster prepared for the zombie apocalypse.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

If This Doesn't End Up On At Least One Refrigerator, I'll Be Very Disappointed In Humanity.

I heard a joke I really liked, so I illustrated it.  It goes like this:

A giraffe walks into a bar and says,

This is original artwork.  I know you're very tempted to steal it and try to sell this fine-quality piece of artworkit on Ebay for gobs of money, but do try to restrain yourself. 
 Get it???

Okay, on second look, I think maybe this illustration needs a bit of explanation.  The orange stuff is liquor.  The things in the bartender's hand is glassware.  The giraffe has hooves or toes or something, not high heels.  The giraffe is the spotted thing.  That's not a tumor on it's face, that's its lower jaw.  Because, you know, the giraffe is talking.  So his mouth is open. 

You're welcome.  I'm here all week.

(True:  This is probably the best thing I've ever drawn.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I used to weep drunkenly into my keyboard, obviously.

In the mirror, no one stares back.
Eyes and lips are drawn, lids and cheeks colored.
And so a face appears from nothing.
The mannequin, costumed, proceeds to the door
And out into a world, peopled.
Chatter can be heard--syllables crash and twinge and jab.
The sounds wash over each other and away
With the smog of the evening commute,
Leaving only traces of grime on unoccupied bus stop benches.
In the night-place, there are box-sounds and can-laughter,
And dinner, which is the same.
Finally, the face and day are scrubbed away--
Only naked honesty remains.
In the mirror, no one stares back.

Don't be alarmed.  I am perfectly (I almost wrote "pervertly," and that's pretty accurate, too) fine.  I just sort of stumbled upon/remembered a bunch of things I wrote in/immediately after college.*  Some of it isn't half-bad.  Some of it is pretty awful.  Some is super-dee-duper angsty.  And most of it was written mid-drunk.

Dear readers, let me introduce you to me, five years ago...

A Downer Commons Lamentation

"Why ever did I think
It'd be a good idea to sink
My teeth into that fried
Wildebeastie?" I cried.
Now my belly's a-churning
And my mouth is a-burning.
I think I'll just lay down and croak.
Do you have Sprite?  No, not Coke.
Alkaseltzer or Tums?
When I'm gone, tell my chums
That I'll miss them.

Ode to Vicks

You smell real nice,
And make me tingle.
My sticky chest
Keeps me single.
But it's hard to mind
When you're around, dear,
Since you've the talent to
Make my nasal passages clear.
Some people don't like you,
But I really don't get it:
There's nothing better
When I'm feeling like shit.

To sum up, quickly:
When you're looking sickly
There're no excuses
Not to use this.
Rather than toaster and tub
Try Vicks Vapo-Rub!

*Some of this may or may not be posted online in an abandoned blog.  No, I'm not linking to it.  By "some of it is pretty awful" I mean, good lord, almost all of it.

(True:  It is probably terrible that now-me finds past-me pretty freaking funny.  If, you know, hungover.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Three Things I Need Before I Can Achieve Self-Actualization

A K-9 poodle skirt.

I need more time to
Write really awful haikus
To inflict on you.

To be Batman more often.

Villains, beware.

(True:  This is my face.  Hi, Internet!  Please don't do anything weird with my face.)

Friday, June 7, 2013

I was going to post, but then I nerded out instead.

But you know, it's Much Ado about Nothing.  By Joss.  And with everyone I love.  And Shakespeare.  And it comes out in two weeks, and I can honestly say I've never been so excited for a movie in my life. 


So, yeah, I may have just gorged on everything about the film I could find instead of putting together a proper post.  Or eating lunch.  Because, you know, priorities.

(True:  I have more filmed versions of Shakespeare than I can shake a spear at. Ba dum chick.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Dream. Not a Fucking Mess, You Asshole.

I live on the top floor of my building.  Heat rises.  So in the summer, my apartment gets really hot--generally, whatever the temperature is outside, it's ten to fifteen degrees warmer in my home.  (Thank god for my window AC--that keeps it about the same temp as outside.)  And in the winter, all the massive amounts of heat pumped out by our cast-iron registers--which is either on or off for the entire building--creeps up to my apartment.

I sleep with the windows open.

But something that happened last week is making me rethink the wisdom of that.  Because apparently, even on the third floor, weird shit can get in your windows.

Like sand.  I woke up one morning last week with a significant amount (maybe a cup or a cup and a half) of motherfucking sand all over the windowsills and nearby floor. 

How does that even happen?!

(True:  I just referenced The Chordettes in this post title.  I am officially old.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: Summer Camp

When I was a kid, I went to summer camp.  For three weeks every year, I spent my days swimming, sailing, horseback riding, and making really terrible crafts.  Every moment, I was with at least eight other girls my age--a summer experience unheard of on a farm.

I had a lot of fun.  I made a lot of memories.  I did a lot of lip-synching to "Barbie Girl."*


I'm picking Prada and Stink up from my folks' house this weekend.  What with Kentucky and Mexico trips in two consecutive weeks, it seemed wisest to have my parents petsit rather than kennel Prada, who finds kennels stressful instead of fun. 

My parents have a large yard ringed by woods and two dogs of their own.  Prada's been able to play offleash outside everyday for weeks.  With other dogs who know her, and have learned to play a bit more gently with her (so as not to knock her over/piss her off).  Her days end in happy exhaustion. 


I wonder if my parents felt guilty about dropping me off and leaving me for several weeks, or if they worried that I was having more fun and learning more than I could hope to the rest of the summer at home.  If they did, I could assure them that as fun as camp was, it was great to come home to my family and relax.

And that's why I refuse to feel guilty about leaving Prada and bringing her back home.  I'm just going to assume that she has a great time while she's there and still misses me, even though I do live in a hot, cramped apartment with no yard and no other dogs for her to play with.  In the end, I just hope that it matters most that I've missed her too.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm Alive! And Tan(nish)! And Clothed!

I know, I know.  I'm shocked, too.

As far as warm-locale vacations go, I'd say this one was a huge success:  this was the first one during which I did not get physically ill from a sunburn (My Sister the Lawyer's wedding--I almost missed my speech for the puking.*) or a permanent line from a blister-level sunburn (reaching all the way to my armpits--just a little uncomfortable, that**).  Three cheers for me!

And, it was relatively disaster-free.  Sure, my tank top strap broke, but it happened in the hotel room, so no biggie.  And there may have been a Marilyn Monroe moment, but no one was really looking.  And the clasp of my swimsuit top may have snapped, but the tankini portion held everything mostly decently in place, and the bit of plastic clasp that winged five feet away didn't take out a single bystander's eye.

So this was definitely my most low-key vacation.

*You know it's a good wedding when you puke through most of the reception dinner and still manage to have a great time.  Also, don't judge me.  I fell asleep on the beach and forgot to reapply my sunscreen.  It could happen to anybody.

**Yeah, okay, I forgot to put sunscreen on my neck and chest.  And then I fell asleep on the beach.  And while it could happen to anybody, it mostly just seems to happen to me.  You should probably feel sorry for me.  And send pity cookies.

(True:  I saw grown men play what was essentially floor hockey.  In the dark.  With bare feet.  With a ball that was on fire.  Did I mention the bare feet?)

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Don't Know What You're Talking About--I Am Awesome Company

Obviously, since the Dude never felt obligated to actually push me out of the moving vehicle--even after six hours trapped in it with me.  (I believe this took Herculean effort.)

YOU GUYS.  In the course of an entire weekend, I wasn't pushed out the car, or into a sinkhole, river, or off a ridge.  Nor was I made to sleep outside in the rain, in the car, or at the end of the tent with the puddle.  I got to eat on a fairly regular basis.  I wasn't even abandoned in any part of 400 miles of cave system--not even once.  Not even for a minute.

You know, for the first vacation (of two--I am a lucky bitch, aren't I?) in ten days, I feel like I'm really on a roll. 

(True:  If you're one to take advantage of the national park system or like history, geology, spooky places, or just cool stuff, I highly recommend Mammoth Cave.  It's absolutely incredible.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Another Not-Real Post You'll Still Really Want To Read

Look, I know, I know.  I'm the worst blogger ever to not-really-blog.  But I'm working through my lunch (except for these few minutes, obviously, but I can totally type this up faster than I could pee.  Which actually, I just realized I need to do, too.) so you'll just have to deal with it.

Anyhoo...  here's some content from other, better internet places.

Click here to embiggen.
I'm that horrible, unforgiveable person who doesn't RSVP.  Ever.  I mean, I've never RSVPed to anything.  But this one...  No, I wouldn't RSVP to this one, either.  But I would put it on my refrigerator.  As a side note, "please RSVP" is redundant.  The VSP bit means si vous plait, which means please.  Your asking your guests to "please respond please."  And if they're anything like me, they still won't.  Because they're assholes.  Or just forgetful.  (Those two aren't mutually exclusive.)

While this post is quite aleatory, and I feel a measure of huzun, it's not because I'm a noceur.  Though you could accurately describe me as frowzy, wifty, aspectabund, and in a near-constant state of fernweh.  If you too, "suffer" from logolepsy and desire a verbal smultronstalle, you'll love Otherwordly.

You know what's cool?  When little girls dress like superheroes.  You know what's even cooler?

When an artist takes these heroes seriously, and makes them come alive in awesome 2D.

(True:  I really need to know what awesome Internet thing have you stumbled across recently.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

You Didn't Find What You Were Looking For. Thank God.

I don't know about you, dear reader.  I worry about you.

Almost every day, I check what search terms bring traffic to this blog.  Frequently it's something like "sad dog" or "possum face" or "bees knees" or "hunger games nazi germany."

Okay.  I see where those are coming from.  I even see what posts those search terms would bring you to.

But every once in a while I get an outlier.

To the person who looked for "hairy ferrets":  Are there hairless ferrets?  Or are you trying to shave your ferret?  That sounds worrisome.  And wiggly.

To the person who came here looking for "hot chick with her mouth open":  What you're looking for is called porn.  This place called the internet is the land of plenty when it comes to porn, so I'm not really certain why you would choose to come to my small, self-depricating blog.  Unless you're talking about me in the summer, when my apartment is 110 degrees and I'm panting in an effort not to expire and sweating like a sweaty thing.  In which case you should know I don't post photos of myself.  And you're still a perv.

To the person who searched for "dear jesus loves everybody's":  Please finish that sentence.  Really.  Come back and let me know in the comments.  I'd really like to know.  You put in the apostrophe, so it can't be a typo.  Dear Jesus loves everybody's what?

(True:  I really hope some of these folks stick around and interesting content, even if it's not what they're looking for.  I try to be open-minded like that.  And to all you weird seach term-ers:  I wish you well and hope you find what you're looking for.  Just not here.  Because that shit's just bizarre.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Little Early for Mother's Day, But...

To my mom, who had to co-raise my snarky ass:

Remember when you got me a psych evaluation because I had an imaginary friend?  And the doctor told you that you had you play along, even when I said my sister had locked her in the house and we had to turn the car around and get her?

Sorry about that.

Remember that time I knocked all my teeth out and my sister told you Dad had taken me into town to get dentures?

Sorry about that.

Remember how there were never bandaids, paper towels, or scotch tape in the house?

Sorry about that.

Remember how I spilled a whole bottle of glue on the floor just a few weeks after you'd installed new carpet in my bedroom, and it never came out?

Yeah...  sorry about that too.

Remember that time I asked if people made babies the same way rabbits made babies (you know, the boy rabbit screamed and fell off), and you still didn't laugh?

I'd say sorry, but that was pretty freaking funny, now that I think about it.

Thanks for being the mom who played along.  Who didn't panic.  Who didn't ask.  Who understood it was an accident.  Who always answered my incessant and sometimes embarrassing questions seriously, so as not to embarrass me.  Because good lord, I was an obnoxious kid.

You rock.