Tuesday, December 1


** OK, if you are super-sensitive about Christmas, God or retail, please do us both a favor and skip this post.

Well, it’s Christmas again – that special time of year when Santa sells liquor and angels sing ‘half off everything in the store.’ I hate Christmas. I know, I know. I’m probably going to have my Christian card revoked for just verbalizing that, but I’m pretty sure that
I crossed that line
the day I compared Jesus to a zombie (except he didn’t eat people. Think about it). My only saving grace is that God might find that funny because he/she/general life force, has one dark, fucked up sense of humor. If you doubt it, just look around you. It’s called “life.”

Granted I am a cynical person, but I see Christmas as nothing more than a orgy of buying and receiving shit no one needs (except for this year, I’m getting tires for my car, which I really do need). Exhibit A - the insane commercials on your TV. Once, just once, I’d like to meet someone that got a fucking car for Christmas.

All the Christmas hubbub makes me think about Hanukkah, you know, that other holiday and how civilized and practical it seems compared to the carnival-like atmosphere of Christmas. Eight days, eight presents, light some candles and enjoy some dreidel spinning – done and done.

My husband likes to remind me that Christmas is really for kids and now that we have one I’d better buck up and change my attitude. He’s absolutely right, but it doesn’t mean that I have to go quietly into that goodnight. I’ve promised to hide my crankiness as long as he postpones the Christmas kickoff until after Thanksgiving. Novel idea, I know.

By now it’s a cliché to bitch and moan about the commercialism of Christmas. I think that people were probably complaining about it at the second Christmas. The three wise men were all, "you know, myrrh ain't cheap, and frankincense and is just so passe nowadays. Besides, I mean have you ever seen them use this stuff? 'Cause I sure haven't."

Besides, no one is going to ever give a better commentary than Dr. Seuss, so the rest of us should stop trying. However, I don’t even think that the Grinch could have foreseen the complete anarchy that is Black Friday. Five years ago, unless you worked in retail, you had no idea what Black Friday even was. Now, companies tout the day as if it were, well, Christmas. For Christssakes, this year Sears actually had a “Black Friday” sale. I find it highly ironic and hi-larious that we now kick off the celebration of our Lord, the baby Jesus, with something called Black Friday. And I thought comparing Jesus with a zombie was bad (except he didn’t eat people. Think about it).

Ever since I left the wonderful world of retail, I swore that it would be a cold day in hell before I participated in the Black Friday chaos. I absolutely refuse to throw bows to get a HDTV, or to punch some stranger in the throat for an awesome deal on a laptop. I know that I’m giving away my age here, but I remember all too well the insanity that occurred during the Cabbage Patch riots of ’83. By the time Daddy learned to walk again, little Xavier was all but forgotten about. Shame.

However this year, I did it. I laced up my ice skates and I ventured out onto the lake of eternal fire, or as I like to call it, Target. I wasn’t really taking it very seriously as we didn’t get there until 10 a.m. Door busters, we weren’t. Piper and I milled around for a bit and I found a couple of things, but I steered clear of the electronics section, since that’s where the highest concentration of crazy seems to be during the BF sales. Mostly people were civil, but there were a couple of instances of people cutting me off with their carts to get that last $4 copy of Nights in Rodanthe. Then there was the high-school couple that decided to make out in the kid’s movie section, block the isle and apparently the stares of everyone around them. Finally after a couple of minutes of soft-corn porn, I piped up, “really guys? You picked today?” Of course they shot me a dirty “old lady don’t understand our love” look, but they got out of my way.

I decided to take a moment of refuge in the shoe isle, quietly looking at slippers for Piper trying to figure out which one would fit her freakishly wide feet (sadly, I do not see cutesy, strappy sandals in her future). I had just put a fuzzy pink number back when I heard the voice of an angel in the next isle. OK, not really. It was just some crazy lady humming “Silent Night” with all her might. And for the first and probably only time this holiday season, I took pause and delighted in the moment. Because even though this woman had probably been at Old Navy since 3 a.m., she had the will to sing a Christmas carol while browsing shoe carnage on Black Friday. That my friends, is faith.

Her vocal stylings made me think about what carol I might sing in the shoe isle of Target? If I ever felt so inclined, I think that it might go, a little something, like this…

“Siiiiiiiiilent Niiiiight, Hooooooooooly Niiiiiight, round yon virgin, these shoes are too tiiiiiiiiiight. Hoooooooly infant, they are a good priiiiiiiice, maaaaaaybeeeeeeeee they’ll streeeeeetch, maaaaaaybeeeeeeeee they’ll streeeeeetch.

Thursday, November 19


Like most of my posts, this one has a back-story that will take a long time to explain. Also it is beginning to occur to me that, at least in my mind, my ordinary experiences are always linked to stupid pop culture references – and I have no control over it.

Waaay back in 1999 there was a God-awful made for television mini-series called “Storm of the Century.” It’s a Stephen King story, which is good. But it was written for TV by Stephen King, which is bad. I mean have you seen his “version” of The Shining with that dude from Wings? I rest my case. Basically, this has the other dude from Wings and is about a small town in (gasp) Maine that was having a huge storm and this stranger shows up and wants the folks in the town to give him a kid to be his heir and if they don’t comply, he’ll kill everyone. Of course, this is merely a condensed synopsis, but you get the gist.

After wasting three nights (or more, I blocked it out) of my life that I can’t get back, the only mildly entertaining thing that I got out of this piece of crap (which won an Emmy, BTW), was the line “give me what I want and I’ll go away,” which the villain kept saying over and over. Yeah, it was just as cheesy as it sounds. But, I found myself latching onto the bad guy’s catchphrase, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that in a way, it was already kinda my mantra. I’m not trying to sound like a spoiled brat, but sometimes I act like a spoiled brat. Being an only child does that to you sometimes, but hey, the perks are nice.

While I toss the phrase around at home, mainly in regards to whatever Mark is eating, I really try not to take on the attitude in public. However, there have been times that I’ve been pushed to the edge and I’ve used my mantra to, as my friend Amy says, “unleash the beast.” That’s we call it when I completely lose my shit on someone in public. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s an awesome spectacle, like an emotional meteor shower. Of course there is a story here involving a 4th of July trip to Hilton Head, the Redneck Games of ’04, fire ants and a born-again rental car employee named Billy. But I’ll save that one for a rainy day.

Occasionally, “give me what I want” can be extremely helpful when say, you’re having a Falling Down kind of day and all you want is some delicious ice cream and the counter jockeys keep screwing up your order.

I don’t know if you are aware, but pregnant women, we have these things called "cravings." Sometimes they aren’t a big deal and sometimes they are a matter of life-and-death. Seriously. That was the situation the other weekend around 4 in the afternoon. After a particularly frustrating day with my “spirited” two-year-old (that’s what her teacher told me to call her after I struggled with an alternative for “little turd”), I decided that the best way to salvage the remaining portion of the day was with some emotional eating. You know, a good slogan for all dessert and fast food restaurants would be “filling your emotional void for over 30 years.” Honesty in advertising goes a long way with me.

So, instead of throttling a toddler, I opted for ice cream. In particular a chocolate malt. I know what you’re thinking “hey chubbs, it’s not 1954,” but a well-made chocolate malt is thing of beauty. Besides, I wanted it. I know that doctors like to say that pregnancy cravings aren’t “real,” but I’d like to see them fight off the ice cream after they've thought about it for five hours.

We went to Sheridan's (normally, I don't call out places that piss me off, but since they saw no need to reply to my strongly-worded email, I see no need to protect their identity) and ordered at the drive-thru. We got a “huh?” in response. We ordered again. The girly with the headset repeated it back so fast we didn’t catch everything she said so Mark said “huh?” Through the speaker, I heard a sigh and an eye roll. Yes, I heard her eyes roll – it was that apparent. She begrudgingly rattled off our order in a tempo we could comprehend and we moved forward.

Upon arrival at the window, she pretty much threw everything at us, mumbling “thank you.” She was especially irritated when I had the audacity to ask for a lid to Piper’s ice cream. I mean what kind of monster asks for a lid for a two-year-old? You give me a lid and the next thing you know I’ll be asking for napkins, too. Her facial expression added, “if this is the kind of cruel world God has created, I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.” We drove off with our desserts and precious lid, but as I took my first sip of malted I realized that sugar-tits had given me a plain, regular chocolate shake. That bitch.

Mark sighed deeply and asked if I wanted to take it back, to which I replied “no, no, no it’s fine.” Now, my husband is a smart man. He’s been around girls and girlfriends and me for a long time. Long enough to realize that the “no, I’m fine” response actually means, “you’d better fix this ASAP.” Although I’d entered my passive aggressive plea, he turned the car around and headed back.” As I just mentioned, this isn’t his first time at the rodeo, so to speak. I think that he very wisely weighed the option of fighting traffic to get back and exchange this drink or listening to me bitch about it for the rest of the day. Like I said, he can be smart sometimes.

In yet another move to prove that he’s schooled in the ways of Ashlee, Mark wouldn’t let me go to the window to exchange the drink. He made me sit in the car, where I sat helplessly by and watched him talk to the unenthusiastic employee behind the counter. The upside was that they have glass walls, so I could’ve seen had anything “extra” been added to my malt. When Mark brought it back to me I took a sip and damned if it didn’t taste the same. He looked tentatively at me and said “is it OK?” Well, I should have lied, but I didn’t. I did however ask him not to go back and have these brain trusts try a third time. I figured that I’d put everyone in the car through enough that day and I also realized that I haven’t even hit the really crazy part of this pregnancy, so I’d better save up some “rational bucks” to cash in later. Besides, all I really needed to do was add about a half a container of malt into it when we got home. Problem solved.

Make no mistake, had there not been any Markervention, I would have had no reservations about pulling out the "give me what I want and I'll go away," to the fuck-nuts behind a goddamn ice cream counter. Because I assure you, given my mindset they would have, or it would have been the Shitstorm of the Century.

The one funny thing to note regarding the Storm of the Century was that when it came out, I was working at a Borders in Atlanta. For some reason Stephen King was trying to pass off a bound copy of his shit screenplay as a new "book." Anyway, as a promotional item they gave away some gigantic umbrellas that had "Storm of the Century" printed on them. These were really class-A umbrellas. Not only were they HUGE, but they had a real classy wooden handle. After all was said and done, the movie sucked, but I loved my umbrella.

One rainy day, Mark had taken the SotC umbrella for his walk to the train station. On his way, the rain and wind picked up and snapped the umbrella handle in two, blowing the umbrella out of Mark's hands and into the street. The huge, blue canopy cartwheeling right into Midtown Atlanta traffic. The BMW's and Mercedes careened to avoid it, but alas it was too late. In the downpour, Mark could make out a fender-bender caused by my beloved umbrella. Drenched and afraid, he took cover in a nearby bookstore. It was the Outwright Book store. Did I mention this happened in Midtown? OK, because that means that it's the "gay" section of Atlanta, or should I say "gay-er" (not that there is anything wrong with that).

This actually worked to Mark's advantage, because while he waited for the rain to subside and the police to come, he was comforted by the patrons of the bookstore, who'd "seen the whole thing," and apparently really thought he was cute and also "family." It was almost as funny as the time he went into the pitch-black gay club by our old apartment to use the ATM (yeah, sure). He didn't realize that the club was really small, and had masked this fact with a back wall made entirely out of mirrors, that is until he ran into it.

Thursday, October 29


Caveat: This isn't about any of you.

When my husband first joined Facebook, I made fun of him. LOTS of fun. It was mostly because he was using it when it was still only for college students and he’d “borrowed” a friend’s email address so he could play Scrabble online. What a dork! Then, Facebook blew up into a phenomenon that now includes social networking for users like Proactive and my Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. It’s a good way to keep in touch with people and all that jazz, but my new favorite tool for Facebook is honing in on those “friends” of mine that have some serious problems and give the entire Facebook community a daily play-by-play. Now, I use the term "friends" loosely when talking about Facebook. Because let’s face it, some of these people aren’t really your friends, are they? Like my in-life friend Nicole says, “it’s not like you can call them in a jam.” Granted, there are some people on Facebook that I love reconnecting with, but most of them are located in exotic, faraway places, like North Carolina. So technically, I couldn’t call them in a jam. I mean, I could, but there probably wouldn’t be much they could do except keep me company on the phone while I waited for help to arrive. Like OnStar, but with embarrassing stories from my past. 

I find it very interesting how Facebook as created a completely new set of weird etiquette. Who among hasn’t accidentally offended someone, setting off a string of events that could have had catastrophic consequences? Oh… that was only me. Seriously, hasn’t everyone made fun of Kirk Cameron to the point that someone un-friended them? Again, only me I guess. What about the “friends” that you get fed up with and un-friend them, only for them to try and re-friend you? Awwwwkwwward!  

I had friended this dude from high school that had apparently turned into a crazed-right-wing-nut-job in the years since I’d last known him. And frankly, I got tired of reading posts like “HOPE THAT ALL YOU FUCKING DEMOCRATS ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR SOCIALISM. HEIL OBAMA!” Really? Like you’ve never looked at my profile? Like you couldn’t possibly understand why I might not want to read that shit every single day. If I want to be abused I’ll just watch Fox News, thank you. So I hid his feed, but that didn’t help when he’d post some asinine response to a mutual friend, or that I’d seen he’d join the Glen Beck fan club. It is here that I should also mention that this is the same guy who posted a photo of himself with his wang hanging out.

Hey man, I’m sure that I post things that people dislike, but not every single fucking day. No wonder those teabaggers are so angry. Teabagging is all they think about. That, and having some guy’s ball’s slapping them about the face (if that confused you, I implore you to Google teabagging. Then you will see why everyone thinks the name is so funny. Oh and be sure to turn your safe search off). After I un-friended him. He again tried to friend me. I felt guilty and accepted. Then, after about a month, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I un-friended him again. That lasted a few days until his friend request notice popped up. So this time after some inner dialogue about being rude, I decided that it would be best for everyone if we parted ways. 

In a rash of uncomfortable Facebook moments, the girl that un-friended me for my Kirk Cameron remarks decided to forgive me and request that we once again be faux Facebook friends. Unfortunately for her, I was having a “fuck you” kind of day, and she too was denied the love. I look at it like this: If you truly know me, then you know I will eventually say something to piss you off. All you have to do is tell me, and I will be more than happy to apologize, admit my mistake, and then mock you behind your back. See? Everybody’s happy. On the flip side, are the “friends” that are unintentionally hilarious. I currently have someone that is unaware how much they brighten my day with their vast array of inappropriate disclosures. This person’s life is truly like a soap opera. I’m not talking about As The World Turns, either. They’ve long veered into Passions territory with warlocks and men having babies and shit. Their life is so riddled with drama, that Paul who has reunited with Emily only to reconnect with his daughter that he didn’t remember from when he had amnesia, only to come out of just in time to witness the death of this father, James who is super evil and no one likes – has nothing on them.

These posts have it all: Violence! Sex! Depravity! Just name your poison. And even though I have ever so gently posted replies to these insane status updates, my hinting has fallen on deaf ears, or screens. By now, I figure that I've done all I can do, so it's time to sit back and watch the fun. I also keep up with the updates because I figure one day they might come in handy providing evidence in the event their author ever follows through with the threats to do bodily harm to others. Now, I’m no big city lawyer, but even I think that’s not the smartest idea.

While I try not to judge, I do. I usually justify it by stating beforehand "I don't want to judge, but here I go." So here I go. People, just because there is an empty space by your name, doesn't mean that you have to fill it with the minutiae of your fucked-up life. Jesus, just get a blog.

** So I guess that I wasn't nearly as generic as I needed to be because Crazy must have caught wind of this post and I got unfriended this past weekend. Man alive! Now what am I going to do with my day? By the way, if you want to know who it is, just ask me 'cause I got nothing to lose now.


Tuesday, September 29


** I really didn't plan to post two music related entries back to back. But hey, sometimes things happen.

I have very little patience with the public at large, and even less if it’s after 9 p.m.

I used to go out a lot. I mean, like a lot a lot. At the time, it was fun - although I haven’t always been the most tolerant person when out and about. I don’t take too kindly to rude people cutting in line, pushing, shoving, spilling, etc… You name it, it irks me. My attitude also gets exponentially worse if the excursion in question is a concert of some sort. I swear to God, if your drunk ass steps on me or dances into me I will slap you in the back of the head. I’ve done it before and I have witnesses.

While I freely admit that I am cranky, I’m not as bad as the old dude I once sat in front of at a Sting concert who told me and my friend to sit down because he “couldn’t see the musician.”

As you can imagine, it takes something very special, plus a stick of dynamite, to get me out of the house and into a club. I can honestly think of about five bands that would have me excited about going out. Then the unthinkable happened: my favorite band was playing in Kansas City. At nine o'clock. At night. On a Thursday. Now, I know what you are thinking. No way! Not nine o’clock on a school night, a good 45 minutes away from home! But, I was willing to stretch out of my comfort zone (not to be confused with its cousin, the Danger Zone) to see The Dandy Warhols. I could go on and on as to why my love for them is so great, but I won’t. Let’s just say that I haven’t had a proper favorite band since Duran Duran in junior high, so when I fell under their spell in 2000, I was due.

With dreams of Dandy’s dancing in my head and dinner plans with friends, we made the trip into KC. Actually everything, amazingly, went according to plan and we had a lovely dinner right next to the venue and strolled over just to catch the last couple of songs of the opening band (which let’s face it, is the best way to watch an opening band). I even saw Zia McCabe in the crowd before the show and watched as some other nutty fan tackled her for a picture.

She was gracious to the crazy-lady and I shot Mark a nasty look because he’d talked me out of bringing my camera. “I could have been crazy, too,” I wailed.The club wasn’t packed, so we picked out a nice, neutral spot toward the back. I thought, “this is the smallest crowd that I’ve ever seen them in, it’s going to be awesome.” The sentence still hung over my head, like in one of those cartoon thought bubbles, when I saw Mark make a horrible face. It like he was trying to laugh and go to sleep while not breathing all at once. I asked what his damage was, to which his only reply was to cough and point to the guys in front of us. I still didn’t understand and my newly-purchased ear plugs weren’t helping our communication at all. Mark leaned over to me and yelled “you can’t smell that?” Right as I heard the word “that” I smelled it. My first reaction was to ask, “who ate a 7-Eleven microwavable burrito before the show?”

Naturally, the two dudes standing directly in front of us took the blame. When it happened again a few minutes later, Mark and I decided to escape by checking out the merch table. Finally, the Dandy’s came onstage, and we cautiously ventured back to our spots, this time upwind from the suspects. Two songs later, we were still getting pummeled by burrito farts, but I noticed that the two guys we’d pinned the crime on were gone. In the empty space where they’d been standing was a lone curly headed mop-top swaying back and forth. He looked like a short version of Shaggy in cargo shorts and Birkenstocks.

My first thought was, “wow, what’s he doing here?” I mean, I don’t really associate hippies with the Dandy’s, because if I did I wouldn’t be a fan. Also, this particular show had the highest concentration of people in glasses that I’d ever seen anywhere. Except for maybe the optometrist, but even then you’ve got a couple of people wearing contacts. It was like a hipster-Poindexter convention, so you can see why Scooby-Doo might have seemed a little out of place.

Right about then I noticed the girl next to me, oddly enough not wearing glasses. She was squealing and literally, jumping with joy. She kept flinging her hands out toward the stage, then grabbing her hair and saying, “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.” I thought to myself, “girly calm down, it ain’t the Beatles.” But that was just the beginning. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed someone trying to have sex with another person from 40 feet away, but thanks to this girl, now I have. She gyrated, blew kisses, dry humped the air, flung her hair around like it was a Poison video and kept reaching out toward the stage. Maybe it’s me, but if you are clearly with your boyfriend I think that it might be a little inappropriate to try and distance-fuck the singer of a band.

As entertaining she was, I found myself paying more attention to her than the band, so I decided to move. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this put me in direct firing line of burrito boy. I seriously don’t know what he ate, but I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and suggest that he see a doctor. Eventually, Mark and I moved a good distance from Shaggy, but not before we noticed that he’d successfully crop dusted the entire area around him. No one was even standing remotely close to him, and just about everyone was in hysterics. I mean, at a certain point, it has to become funny, right?

Just as we’d let down our olfactory guard, the band started playing my favorite song. I guess Shaggy had quietly moved closer to us, because just as I got excited and began to sing along, I stopped dead in my tracks. I’d waited two hours and spent $20 to have this douche fart on my beloved song. I was super-pissed, but laughing anyway, when I thought about the wise words of an old friend, “don’t smile, or it will get on your teeth,” and I covered my mouth.

Tuesday, September 15


It’s a well known fact that I hate hippies. I hate their clothes (seriously I don’t want to see your side boob) and their smells (this includes the BO, Nag Champa and that stinkweed, Patchouli). But most of all, I hate their music. I would rather have pins in my eyes than listen to the Grateful Dead or Widespread or The String Cheese Incident or any other jam bands. However, the worst offender I can think of is Phish. I really, really hate that fucking band. And no, I’m not passing judgment based on their fan base, although I could, ‘cause it’s easy.

Thanks to an ex-boyfriend of mine, I’ve put in my time with Phish. I even went to a show – and blacked out. I will admit, not my finest moment.

Now, some might argue that despite my feelings, they are a good band. Oh, I don’t disagree that the members of the band are good musicians. They seem to be perfectly capable of handling instruments in a professional way. It’s just that I don’t like the sound they make when they play together. A friend of mine once summed up jam bands by saying that whenever a song hits the 2:50 mark, he starts thinking to himself “let’s bring this on home fellas."

Maybe it’s the ADD, but after awhile “the jam” starts to wear on my nerves, even if it’s my favorite band. Recently when I saw The Dandy Warhols, they started some trippy jam and I turned to my husband and said, “This needs to end soon, or I’m going to the bathroom or something until their done.” I don’t care how much you like to play the bongos, do that shit on your own time.

But sometimes, due to circumstances beyond my control, I get trapped into listening to filthy hippie music. This was the case the other night when we ventured into my favorite pizza place. Everything started out normal enough. I ordered more pizza than I could eat and somehow Piper wound up with ice cream. When we first walked in, we were lulled into a false sense of security by the CD player that was set on shuffle. It just as we sat down to eat when it happened. The Phish kicked in.

At first, it was funny. Mark sat there with a tortured look on his face and Piper started to dance. I confess, I encouraged Piper thinking it was one of the most amusing things I’d seen in awhile. I mean a two-year old doing a shimmy to Chalk Dust Torture is pretty freaking funny, right? Mark looked at me and said, “don’t encourage her,” and then leaned over to Piper and told her “this is the worst kind of music in the whole world.” At that moment, I got a glimpse 11 years into the future when she ignored him and just kept dancing.

But the funny didn’t last. No sooner did that song end, when another Phish song started up. I looked over at Mark and said “another one?” He glared back at me and through gritted teeth informed me “it’s an entire CD.” Oh God, we’d just started to eat. The Phish CD had just started to play. That meant we were going to have to listen to this crap throughout dinner. It finally got to the point where every new song that started sent me into fits of laughter. However, I guess since they were the ones that put the CD on, the staff didn’t find it at all humorous and kept shooting us the stink-eye.

Unbeknownst to me it was about to get worse, or better depending on how you look at it. A dread-locked guy strolled in from the back door and spent about 10 minutes bullshitting with one of the cooks. While talking he decided to freestyle to the Phish with the patented doggie paddle dance. Then defying all logic, he added a Michael Jackson spin. It was awesome, but it did nothing for my case of the giggles. After the private dancer dude received his free bread sticks, he moved his picnic to the front counter to hit on the cashier and block the path of customers to the soda machine. Fear not, for while his amour took orders, he continued his doggie-paddled-spin while eating a smoking hot bread stick. Now that’s what I call multi-talented.
At the same time, there was a guy who looked like one of those sketches of the Zodiac killer waiting in line with his Mom. Buzzed hair, glasses with thick black frames and womanly hips that spilled out of his Dockers. As if the situation wasn’t weird already, I saw him adjust his junk (holding onto it just a little too long) and lightly squat down over and over.

I assumed that he was mentally challenged until I realized that he was trying to dance. This went on for a couple of minutes: adjust, squat, adjust, squat. It was about this time that the dread locked bread stick eater started up his routine again, except he’d added some gun slinging finger pointing in there. Doggie paddle, adjust, spin, squat, gun fingers - It was like the most surreal ballet ever with the dancers keeping in perfect time.

We decided that between the twirling and crotch grabbing, it was time to make our break for it and leave. Although we were glad to finally get away from the music, I have to say that I think that it’s the first time in my life that I really appreciated Phish.

** Last week Mark and I went to lunch (not at above pizza place), and as we were getting our drinks, he stopped cold and looked at me and said "oh no, not again." I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me until he snapped "LISTEN!" And damned if it wasn't Phish. Again, throughout the entire lunch, Phish. Phuck.

Friday, September 11


I just wanted to take a minute and say sorry to the five of you that read this. It's been way too long since my last post, but things got crazy. My kid had the chicken pox and I just got over a five day bout of the flu (as it turns out since I never went into "respiratory distress" it was not the swine flu. Although I was a little disappointed because I really like saying "you swine!" in my Inspector Clouseau voice).

Also, let's not forget that I am lazy at times, but I've mentioned that so you shouldn't be all that surprised. Anyway, I have a new post and a couple of more on the way. One is about farting, so you should be looking forward to it.


Everyone knows by now that I am not a fan of the place people call “outside.” It’s too big, and there aren’t enough walls. Truth be told my very favorite thing to do is waste a perfectly good day sitting on the couch watching Lifetime,Television for Women. Before you judge, I challenge you to watch the entire Betty Broderick saga (A Woman Scorned and Betty Broderick: Her Final Fury), and then tell me if it wasn’t the most entertaining four hours of your life. However, since Piper came into my life, she’s really cut into my couch/Lifetime time.

Piper loves to take walks. Piper likes to climb stuff and pick up icky things. She likes to chase bugs and jump in puddles - the kinds of things that I really, really hate. But, I figure that escorting her into the yard occasionally is much more cost effective than say, all of the therapy she will need later in life because Mom wouldn’t let her out of the house or physical ailments due to Vitamin D deficiency.

So, when a beautiful sunny Saturday dawns, I usually curse a little and then force my dead ass up and out of the house. Between the slowness with which I move in the hot sun, my huge sunglasses and my coffee cup, I am pretty sure that our neighbors think that either a) I have a drinking problem, or b) I am part Nosferatu. 

As usual, I digress. Normally on these nice days when Piper wants to escape the confines of the house, we go and visit the horses next door. It’s a pretty safe bet that she’ll want to go and I don’t have to walk far, so everyone’s happy. Our neighbors that own the horses are super sweet people who have a ton of grand kids and apparently don’t mind when we come barging into their barn, which is a huge plus. Actually, Piper usually enters the barn first followed by me yelling “Piper don’t go in there!” You know once, in desperation, I had her hearing checked and unfortunately, everything is OK. It seems that the kid takes after her Great-grandmother Margaret and has what I like to call “selective hearing.” Piper can’t hear things like “don’t run in the house,” but she’ll stop dead in her tracks for “would you like a cookie?”

So while Piper demonstrated her stubbornness, I dodged the horse poo and barn swallows that inhabit the place. The weird thing is, once in the barn she ignores the horses and heads straight for the cats. I have to admit, they're cute and much nicer than the fat, lazy a-hole cat that actually lives with us. Plus, I have to give those cats credit, they don’t claw her eyes out while she’s “petting” them. If there is one thing that I’ve tried to instill in my child it’s this: claws beat skin every time.

The last Saturday that we visited the barn, I spent the usual 10 minutes chasing after Piper and saving her life from gigantic animals that are about 200 times her size. I mean, horses don’t really take kindly to loud noises, like screams of “mommy horse!” from a little girl. As I got wrapped up in conversation with our neighbor, who was busy trying to pawn all of her tomatoes off on me (who can eat that many tomatoes – really?), I caught a flash of Piper heading around a corner. Soon she was out of eyesight. Now, I leave her to her own devices in the house a lot, but in no way am I comfortable doing so in a strange place inhabited by strange animals of all shapes and sizes (in addition to the horses and cats, they have a goat and an awesome farm dog name Charlie. I love that dog, and no, it’s not just because when I see him I get to say “good morning, Charlie.” OK maybe just a little). I tried to excuse myself from the conversation, but like many senior citizens, she didn’t really take the hint and kept talking. Finally I just said “I need to go and find my kid.”

I was too late.

Apparently the kitty she was petting tried to escape the love and headed into the pasture. Piper decided to follow by crawling under the gate. Technically, it was big enough for her to fit under, but in her lack of experience, she made a huge mistake. Instead of pulling herself through the gate head first, she’d decided to go at it feet first on her belly, pushing herself. Well that might have been OK, but for some unknown reason the child had her mouth open when she did this. I got to her just in time to see her standing there with a mouth full of dirt. I mean, it was a huge clump in her mouth and all over her teeth. Then the thought dawned on me. This is a barn. There are horses. That’s not just diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttttt!

I couldn’t get to her fast enough. I couldn’t use my shirt to wipe her mouth out fast enough. She kept saying “icky, icky,” and all I could think was “no, it’s shitty, shitty.” I finally cleaned her up well enough to leave and by that time she was more than ready to go home and wash her mouth out. Then, as we said goodbye and made our way out of the barn, a bird shit on my head. I’m never leaving the house again.

In the days following this post the following has happened: I killed three funky centipede-type bugs in the house. I knocked down the largest spider web that I've ever seen because Piper ventured into the yard only to come back screaming, "the spider is coming, the spider is coming," yeah he was THAT big. Oh, and then there was the garden snake in my mud room. For real.

Monday, August 10


Since we decided to move to the middle of nowhere, we’ve met with a few challenges. Runaway dogs, ticks, getting the shake down over trash cans, but nothing really compares to the whole satellite thing. Since we live miles from the DSL community, although feet away from I70, we can’t get cable. Which was OK with me to a point. I kind of looked forward to moving away from the monopoly of the family-owned cable provided in town that was about as fee-oriented as my waste management friends. I mean, they forced everyone to make the digital switch about six months before it was mandatory. Oh, and they raised our rates because “everything’s digital now!” According to their commercials, they were doing it for us, to prevent a cluster fuck at the actual digital switchover deadline. According to me, it was just another way to F us in the A.

When we moved, we were resigned to the fact that we’d have to get satellite TV. We said goodbye to the Tivo and hello to satellite DVR. At first, it was rough because I missed the bubble sound that Tivo made. When I asked the installation man about the sound, he suggested that I just say “boop-boop” out loud whenever I changed channels. Instead, I have learned to accept the sad low-rent version of my beloved “boop-boop,” which is actually a soft "thunk." Although we’ve grown to appreciate our satellite TV for what it is, we do realize that our inability to access the closest news station will prevent us from knowing a deadly storm is headed our way. But hey, what are the odds of that happening in Kansas?

We found out that we couldn’t get the internets through the television company, but there were a couple of other companies that offered satellite internet services. After looking online, I thought that it seemed a little pricey, but I figured they had us by the short hairs. When I called I got a real eye-opening experience. I’m pretty sure that the people that run the satellite internet company also have a stake in the rural trash removal industry. The guy that “helped” me on the phone was the worst used car salesman-type that I have ever spoken to. I mean, he was worse than an actual used car salesman. I swear that I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear the phrase “what do I have to do to get you in this internet today?” fall from his lips. He first explained to me that with internet satellite service space was limited. The service could only hold so many customers at once, so if I didn’t get a spot on the information super highway, I was SOL and would have to wait until there was a space open. Then, to make matters worse, he re-explained it. “See, it’s like a plane. There are only so many seats and if you don’t get on the plane you might not get a seat, see?” When I said, “yes, I understand,” he actually began to re-re-explain it, at which time I stopped him, because I really did understand, and frankly I couldn’t bear to hear him explain it again. Especially since I’m not stupid, and contrary to that crazy person from Alaska (no, the other one) the internet is not a system of tubes that get clogged and prevent my emails from getting through.

Me and my salesman friend went through all the regular stuff and he even congratulated me when we discovered that service was available in my area. Yea! I’m a winner! Of course, not long after my congratulations, all the money talk started. Unbelievably they wanted $200 up front just to come and say hello, OK and to hook it up. But after $98 in fees (man, rural companies sure do love their fees), $25 to have the damned thing shipped to us, because apparently the hook up guys can’t deal with dragging a dish out to the middle of nowhere, and then $80 to hook it up, I was a little shell-shocked. I told Herb Tarleck that I would call back because I wasn’t prepared to hand over $100 right then. Herb smelled blood and went in for the kill “well, I’d hate to see you lose your space. I mean I had a gentleman the other day that waited and when he called back there wasn’t any space left for him…you know, it’s like seats on a plane…” I finally snapped back that I totally understood about the plane thing, but that I didn’t want to give him $100 at that very moment. I decided to spare him my sob story about a diabetic dog, need for new tires and my huge chiropractic bill, all of which take precedence over my ability to access Facebook at home.

After I hung up I was pretty irritated and decided to try and find another company. But it seems as if they are smarter than me. Because every single satellite internet provider is the same fucking company, even though they have different names. So you can imagine my glee when I saw orange AT&T cable flags all over my road. Finally! A reasonable company (you know it’s bad when I consider AT&T a reasonable company). I was excited to call them to inquire about the cable. Did it mean that the Yahoo’s and Google’s were coming to my area? I got online at work (it was lunch. OK it wasn’t), and looked up availability. No congratulations were in order. Still, when a chat window popped up, I decided to take advantage and ask if the telltale orange flags meant that I could tell the satellite people to go fuck themselves. Instead of trying to explain the insanity of my two chats with AT&T, I am just going to let you read them for yourself.

These are real.

Welcome to AT&T. My name is Lewis. How may I help you today?

Lewis: I will be happy to answer your questions regarding AT&T services. I specialize in setting up new phone accounts and High Speed Internet service. To start, could you please tell me what city and state you are located in?
you: , KS

Lewis: Hello! How may I assist you with your online order?
you: You guys do't offer DSL where I live. I believe currently you offer satelitte service through xxxx xxxx, but I've looked it and don't want to deal with them. Anyway, I noticed that all along my road there are orange AT&T buried cable markers and was wondering if perhaps something was coming my way soon?
Lewis: I will be glad to help you with that.
Lewis: First, let me thank you for considering AT&T online today.you: super.
Lewis: Do you currently have active home phone service with AT&T?
you: nope, but if it would help me get the internet, i'd get it
Lewis: Just to confirm, that do you want to go with AT&T DSL internet services only?
you: well, if it's available, yes.
Lewis: Let me send you a link to check the availability.
you: i already did that... it said that it's not available. I don't know if having a home phone would change that.
Lewis: Let me send you a fresh link to check the availability.
you: ookayyyyyyy, but as i mentioned, i've already done this.
Lewis: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
Lewis: Click here to check the availability of AT&T DSL services.
you: Our system indicates that our DSL service, AT&T High Speed Internet, is not available at your location. that's why i was inquiring about the cables...b/c if there is a chance to get it later i will wait rather than going with xxxx xxxx, which is priced quite high.
Lewis: In that regard I would recommend you to place an order for a basic phone line to get the internet services.
you: Oooooo... will it be dial up?
Lewis: The basic phone line will be from AT&T services.
you: but if i get the phone service would i only be able to have dial up internet?
Lewis: If you have the phone line from AT&T, you will be able to get the Internet services also from AT&T.
you:ok, i get that, but is it dial up!? :)
Lewis: It is from AT&T. Dial up is a different company.
you: OK I don't want to be dense, but would the internet service be fast or slow?
Lewis: The AT&T DSL internet service would be 100 times faster than dial up.
you: OK it's DSL. Super! That sounds like a plan...
Lewis: Please hold one moment.
you: hold the phone. ha ha
Lewis: Yes, its DSL super.
you: are you being a smart ass?
Lewis: Let me send you a link to check all the things.
you: um, ok. what are "all of the things?"
Lewis: Are you able to proceed with the oreder?
you: i think so
Lewis: If you have any concerns, please let me know, I am here to assist you.
you: you are just going to ignore the smart ass comment aren't you?
Lewis: I will be right with you.
Lewis: How is the order process going for you so far?
you: they're telling me that internet isn't available even with phone servcie
Lewis: Please allow me to send you the link to check the availability.
you: We've already done this. Ok I think that I need to go before my head explodes.

At one point toward the end of the above chat, I was having this chat at the same time while trying to place my phone/internet order.

Samantha: Hello! How may I assist you with your online order?
You: Well, I've been chatting with another representative in regards to internet. We determined that since DSL isn't available at my address that i could get phone service and then internet...does this sound right?
Samantha: Thank you very much for considering AT&T as your service provider.
Samantha: Yes, you can place the order for AT&T Home phone services online today.
You: But I want internet and phone. I thought I had to get the phone to get the internet
Samantha: Whenever the internet is available to you, you can come back online to place your order for AT&T DSL services.
Samantha: How is the order process going for you so far?
You: Ohhh so the internet's not available now.That's not what some agent named Lewis said. I'm so confused
Samantha: Please provide me with your complete address, along with zip code, to check the availability for AT&T High Speed Internet services at your location.
You: it's not. but here you go:
Samantha: Thank you for the information. Please hold for a moment while I check your address.
Samantha: Thank you for the information. Please hold for a moment while I check your address.
Samantha: Thank you for being on hold. Your time and patience is appreciated.
Samantha: At this time AT&T High Speed Internet is not available at your location. AT&T High Speed Internet is constantly expanding its service area, and will notify you when it becomes available.
Samantha: However, you can proceed with your online order for AT&T home phone services today.
Samantha: I can leave my chat window open while you place your order so that if you have any questions I can
assist you.

You: That's OK I was just going to get the phone service b/c Lewis told me that if I got the phone service I could get internet. He was also kind of a smart ass.
Samantha: Please proceed with your online order today. I am right here to assist you in completing your order.
You: Wow, you guys totally don't read these do you? That explains why Lewis never got back to me on my smart ass comment. This has been helpful and incredibly entertaining.

Update: So this a.m. the AT&T workers were out and I asked them about service. I finally got an answer from the Foreman. Although they are laying cable, it's for the next town over. I'm not really sure why they can't break off to the right and give me some juice, but it's not the case. So alas, it looks as if I am doomed, at least for the time being. I wonder if AT&T offers service in my area?

Update II: Man, why didn't anyone suggest wireless to me? After all this struggle all it took was a trip to the Verizon store. Now we have the Yahoo's juice at the house.


Wednesday, July 29


Generally speaking, I hold a great disdain for the general public. This is due largely to the fact that most people are stupid. It’s true and you know it. However, since having a child and thereby unleashing the fury of a two ½ year old on an unsuspecting community, I have tried to be a little more patient. Mainly because I am now one of those horrid people that you hate with the screaming kid in the next aisle. But when I walk into a Starbucks sans ADD-riddled child, just trying to get an iced coffee, a plain iced coffee (no frou-frou vanilla half-caf/half decaf chai latte, no whip and light foam), and it takes me over 15 minutes, well then I turn into my version of the Hulk. It’s the same, except without the green and I curse much, much more than Lou Ferrigno ever did.

One morning while running an errand (OK I was at work), I thought that I’d multitask and pop (OK sneak) into Starbucks. The one close to my office has the employees that are nice and super fast. I mean, like, one minute you’re standing there and the next you have your non-fat vanilla latte in one hand and your smoking debit card in another. Plus, if you are any kind of regular, they remember your name. Yeah, they’re good. But as soon as I walked in the door, I knew that this was not a super fast kind of day, with the line stretching all the way back to BFE (OK, like five people back).

Now, I know that I am not alone when it comes to having a frustrating experience in the outside world, where one must interact with others during the exchange of goods and services. I mean, we all know that customer service is dead, which is apparent by the employees who clearly don’t give a shit. Actually, I kind of understand, because I have been a retail jockey and I clearly didn't give a shit.

But, I've spent enough time behind a counter to have seen the worst in people. I don’t have the energy to tell you all the names that I’ve been called or all the horrific behavior that I have seen. I think I can sum it up best by saying that I once had a customer tell me that I “was what was wrong with this country,” when I gave him back to much change. So, sorry about that everyone, I guess I screwed it all up.

But on this particular day, it wasn’t the employees that were wreaking havoc on my Starbucks experience. It was my fellow customers, guests, visitors or whatever the hell you want to call us. The people standing in line with the money. I stretched my neck and got a glimpse of the problem at the head of the line. By the pile of crap she had on the counter, I could tell this transaction was going to be a doosy. Turns out, she wasn’t even getting a drink, she was just buy stuff. And by the way she was doing it, you’d have thought that we were in Florida at a sea-side souvenir shop. But instead of a dehydrated starfish it was ground coffee. She had mugs, coffee beans, CD’s and other unbelievable shit. Just shit. Shit you and I would look at, but never ever buy, because it's shit.

Literally, this woman would pick up one thing, look over at another thing and say “Oooo, what’s that?” The girl behind the counter rolled her eyes ever so slightly and said, “it’s a french press.” In my head, I thought, “oh this is just great! If she doesn’t even know what coffee is we are going to be here forever while someone explains the likes of a french press to her.” And we were. Finally, when the counter had no more space, and no more knacks could be knicked, she and her daughter decided "what the hell? Let’s try some of this so-called coffee." That’s when they decided to decide what they wanted to order. I shit you not.

The Mom looked at the menu and then had to have a primer in Starbucks-ology, and no, her reaction wasn’t nearly as funny as Paul Rudd’s. The whole transaction just went on and on with eventually both women choosing a frothy vanilla shake-looking totally non-coffee type jobby with lots of whipped cream (which on a bitchy note, they both could have done without).

At this point, I was actually not doing any deep sighing or eye rolling, but that was all about to change. I knew it was headed down hill when it was time to pay and I heard the sentence start out with “OK…” An “OK” followed by a trail off usually means that something complex and frustrating is coming. The souvenir woman started grouping everything into little piles, saying, “I need to pay for these separately.” I finally had had enough. My eyes rolled, I sighed - loudly, my arms crossed, my weight shifted from one leg to the other. “Are you kidding me?” I thought. The line was dangerously close to the door when this woman finally got all her coffee memorabilia paid for and waddled her fat ass down the counter to wait for her vanilla shakes.

I calmed down quickly as I realized that I was three people away from getting my very simple, yet very important iced coffee. I truly believed that the most difficult part of my journey was over. That’s about the time one of the girls in front of me busted out a list. “Yeah, I have some orders here that I need to pay for separately.” I had been trying really hard not to be impatient. Trying. But I’m just not a patient person. I am, however the kind of person that stands in front of the microwave and yells “hurry!” And even at my advanced age, I still do the little kid agitated arm-flailing dance when things aren’t happening fast enough for me, usually moaning “huuuuurrrrryyyyyyyyeeeeeeee.” But since I was in public, instead of doing any actually arm flailing, I just thought it. In hindsight, it reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is stuck on the subway and she screams “move!” in her head over and over.

While I was meditating on how miserable I was, I failed to notice a new development. The lady in front of me with a huge basket purse and frizzy hair had begun to talk to the guy behind me, who looked like Bill Cosby in the 80s (awesome geometric sweater included). It became very clear that they were friends, and it also became clear that they were going to forge ahead with their exchange despite the fact that I stood in their way like a natural barrier. Because of my prime location, I was forced to listen to their inane conversation. At first, I ignored it, but when someone is talking a foot away from your face, you kinda get involved.

Apparently, Basket Lady had been house hunting, but hadn’t been able to find anything. I mean anything. “You know, because you have to go outside of town. Forget about the schools. I mean, you can’t find a good one here.” Now this is where I chime in that where we live is a pretty nice little town. I get so frustrated when I hear spoiled hippies bitch about “crime,” “traffic,” or “schools” here. I’ll admit, I haven’t exactly lived in Cabrini-Green, but I did spend the better part of a decade inside a major metropolitan city. You want to see a bad school? I’ll show you one. It was right near my old apartment, and I was afraid to walk past it because the students scared the shit out of me. So spare me your tales of woe because you can’t find a school for little Cheyenne that implements the “talking stick” as a proper tool of communication.

Back to the Basket Lady. She lamented on about not being able to find a house that suited her needs. Oh, wait, I mean a house that suited her Feng Shui needs. “Because I need to wake up to the sun, ya know?” She said as she spread her hands out in a jazz like fashion as if to illustrate the sun. “When I get up I need to be energized and have my coffee and really wake up!” Wow, I thought. I can’t believe that you are having trouble finding a house, not in town, but not too far out, that has good schools and has been properly feng shuied. I mean, there must be, what like, none of those in Kansas. Believe it or not, I opted not to reach out and slap the bejesus out of her, even though she seemed like she could really use it.

Thankfully though, the Basket Lady and Bill Cosby dropped the topic of house hunting and their conversation moved forward, unlike the line. The two girls that were ordering drinks for everyone they’d ever met were still trying to get it together, which made me wonder where they worked, because I didn’t think that there was a business that big around here, but that just shows what I know.

After a time, the two gophers looked as if they were close to wrapping it up and the Basket Lady took the opportunity to rummage through her crazy basket purse and find her gift card. What do you know! It was the same gift card that Bill Cosby had given her. OhMiGod what are the odds of THAT! So she decides to ask Bill Cosby she could buy him some coffee. He says “oh no, I couldn’t let you buy me coffee on the gift card that I bought you. I bought that for you, not for you to buy coffee for me.” Basket Lady looked at him all coy-like and said “But you were so generous, please let me buy you a coffee.”

Thankfully, Bill Cosby relented and said “OK” so I wouldn’t have to watch her flirt anymore. But instead of doing the polite thing and stepping into line with him to buy coffee on the gift card that he bought her, he cut in front of me and the two of them continued their conversation without missing a beat. Now, I would have been OK with the line jumping had he just asked, but Bill Cosby just cut in line, without so much as a glance in my direction. Not even an embarrassed “sorry-she’s-making-me-do-this-and-I-know-it’s-rude-thanks-for-not-making-a-deal-out-of-it.” It was like I didn’t even exist. Jello pudding eating mother-fucker.

He then proceeded to pull out his credit card because “I just couldn’t let you pay for this.” Finally, they were ready to order, thus putting an end to the dispute over who was going to pay for coffee. I swear had their “argument” continued any longer, I was ready to interrupt them and offer to pay for BOTH coffees if it would shut them the fuck up. Of course neither one of them knew what they wanted. I think by now I was putting my head in my hands and the baristas looked like they wanted to maim a bitch.

At long last, it was my turn. I could hardly believe it. But you know what? I was ready. I knew what I wanted and I ordered my iced coffee with skim milk, had my debit card ready, and was done in 2 minutes flat. I was happy, the barista was happy, the people in line behind me were more than happy. That, my friends is how you order coffee.

Thursday, July 16


So for the three of you out there that have read the previous posts about my house from hell, you will know that I’ve had a lot on my plate with this place. It’s like if Rosemary’s Baby was a house and I adopted it. And no doubt, you know my feelings toward its former tenant, whom I lovingly refer to as Michael Keaton, a nod to the role he played in the barely-watchable motion picture Pacific Heights.

It’s funny though. When that movie came out, I worked in a movie theater and most everyone that came to see it called it Specific Heights, but that’s a different story altogether. Basically, Pacific Heights is about this guy that moves in to a San Francisco townhouse and wants it, so he destroys the place from the inside out along with the marriage of Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine. However, my Michael Keaton didn’t have that much ambition. He was just a nasty slob who destroyed the house, but totally not on purpose – because that would have taken energy. Anyway, when we cleaned up the shit hole he left behind, there was stuff everywhere. Like personal stuff, and I’m not just talking about the teeth.

There were boxes and boxes of his family’s effects. In particular, photos. These pictures went back a loooooong time and Mark felt really bad about throwing them out. I however, did not. After having to clean the toilets of Specific Heights, I would have thrown out his mother’s wedding dress given the opportunity. I took the attitude of, “open a window and throw this shit out so we don’t have to carry it down the stairs.” Mark ignored me and decided to go through the pictures anyway, because according to him, he "might find something interesting." But personally, I think that it's because he’s becoming a hoarder in his old age.

Braving the wasp-ridden loft (that's another story for another post), armed with only a can of insect killer, he sifted through boxes and boxes of framed family photos. Usually the type of thing that people don’t leave behind when they move, unless you are a asshole junky. But then I guess when the majority of your time is spent getting high, keeping precious family memories intact isn’t exactly at the top of your to-do list. When Mark finally emerged from upstairs, remarkably un-stung, he carried one lone picture in his hand. He said that there really wasn’t anything thing up there worth keeping, unless we wanted a life-sized poster of the former tenant during his glory days of high school baseball to throw darts at, which I declined.

I pointed to the picture in his hand and said “what’s that?” Mark gave me a sarcastic smile and said “oh I found something. And we’re keeping it.” I just assumed that it was something completely stupid like a funny baby picture or the family sporting white people Afros during the 70s or something. But I was wrong. Dead wrong. Like, recently dead wrong. When he showed the picture to me it elicited the same emotion that everything else in this house has. The first stage was confusion followed by anger. I was like, "how did he get his picture, because I'm pretty sure he's never ventured out of this town! How'd it get here? What is with this guy, he's not even in the picture? What the fuck!?

Mark left the picture sitting on some shelves until about two weeks ago, when I came home and it had been moved to a spot front and center on the dining room table. When I saw it staring back at me, I thought, "here it is, the Universe is laughing at me." How else can one explain a picture of Michael Jackson, with a group of unknown people, left in my house by some junky that's not even in the damn picture, who now is probably going to come back for the one thing that we kept out of all his possessions, because he probably thinks it may be worth something?

So now, not only am I stuck with Michael forever on my television, he is firmly planted in my life. Mark will never let him go, and more than likely he's going to be a permanent fixture. He and his team of random unknowns, like ghosts, will forever haunt us. And when people ask us "who are they?" we will have to answer "I don't know," and look like the idiots we are.

Well played Michael, well played. Chamon indeed.


Tuesday, July 7


After visiting this site, my husband, Mark, decided to give me his opinion of the blog design. Now keep in mind, I’m not a DeVry graduate, so I think that under the circumstances, I do alright. It seems that the particular shade of pink that I chose for the word “amen” bugs his delicate designing sensibilities. See, according to Mark, “it should really commit to either being red or pink…I don’t know. I just hate that color. It’s so indecisive.” Now there is an obvious joke sitting right here about men and commitment, but since it’s not 1978, and probably would reflect more on me than Mark anyway, I’m going to leave it alone.

I will say this: ladies, be careful about letting your man go to art school for four semesters, because you’ll pay for it for the rest of your life. And no, I'm not just talking about the crushing student loans. Not only can expect the joy of him butting into the shade of pink you choose for your little blog, but the green for the kitchen and whatever color you like for the couch. You’ll have to hear obnoxious phrases like “that green really has too much yellow in it for me,” or "I'm not wild about that blue. It's too gray."

But there will be some variation of those comments every time you try to do anything involving color. Oh and don’t you dare get mad, because then it just turns into how he and his knowledge of color and Bigfoot and are just misunderstood. Is it his fault if the beige paint on the wall has a slight red undertone to it? And if we don’t prime it, like, six times, it’s going to bleed through? And we’re going to see it every day and it’s just going to bug us the entire time we live here? Is it?

Who puts that much thought into blue? It's fucking BLUE!

It’s kind of like who would have thought that being married to a pastry chef would suck the fun out of eating dessert? I used to enjoy baking, now I get critiqued. I've learned not to ask "how is it?" although I will admit that following directions aren't exactly my forte. I can't help it. It's a long-standing family tradition and it drives Mark up the wall.

In my family, we only resort to something as asinine as "directions" after we have failed, thrown a temper tantrum and usually damaged the item in some way. Then and only then will we read directions. But when it concerns food, basically you just skim the recipe, wave it off saying "yeah, yeah," and when it doesn't work, you curse (a lot) and then dump the ruined food in the garbage. If you have enough ingredients left, you can try again using the directions, but only if you can see them through the blinding rage. So maybe that's why the only thing that I'm allowed to do in the kitchen these days is order pizza, which is kinda OK with me.

But truth be told, baking has become enjoyable on a completely new, psychological level. Lately, I have been going to the store and getting those microwave brownie things (Mark refuses to buy them). And as the pre-made, store bought goodness "cooks" in his kitchen, I begin to talk about how much I love the pink “amen” on this blog. You know, baking is fun.

Monday, July 6


You guys are never going to believe what I just heard. Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died! Yes, way! Apparently, it happened about 11 news cycles ago and man alive are Matt Lauer & Larry King covering the shit out of it. So well in fact, I don’t care anymore. OK, to be honest, I didn’t care too much when it happened. Oh, I can already hear the chorus of “that’s mean!” through the internet tubes of my yahoos and googles. But frankly, not to bite anyone’s stilo, I thought he died back in 1989.

I find it hard to celebrate the life and times of Chester the Molester. Even if he didn’t do it, he's at the very least guilty of being criminally stupid and way too fucking creepy. I mean, who has a life-sized painting of himself as Peter Pan surrounded by cherub-like little boys?

Most of all, Jackson was an idiot for letting all of ‘that’ eclipse what he contributed musically. And that’s the point- it did and it has. I don’t care how good Off The Wall and Thriller were, or how bad Bad was, what everyone is going to remember is that he bleached himself the color of a fish’s underbelly, his nose was falling off and he dangled a baby off a balcony.

This story even has the news channels reporting TMZ style. Granted, I pretty much gave up on them when they lost their collective minds over Anna Nicole Smith (yeah, I didn't get it either). But even my beloved Keith Olberman? Imagine my shock when I woke up this morning and the Today show didn’t lead in with a Michael Jackson story. Now how am I supposed to figure out that his kids are white? With my eyes?

Everyone tries to pretend that it’s all about his music, but it’s not. You can’t address the music and the talent without addressing his fucked-up-ed-ness. I happen to think that he made good music up until he started to really screw around with his face, and that one definitely had something to do with the other. Not because he so obviously hated himself, on the contrary. Everyone knows self-loathing makes the very finest in music. Just ask Kurt Cobain. Self-loathing is to music, what Napa Valley is to wine. Fertile ground.

Eventually, his career declined because nothing could get through the narcissism, bloated ego and psychological problems that literally manifested themselves before our eyes. The only thing separating this from an Elvis scenario is a toilet. OK and the whole marrying Lisa Marie thing, because that’s incest and it’s not that kind of blog you sicko.

So, seriously can we just bury this guy in his oxygen chamber with the Elephant Man and Elizabeth Taylor already? This way, Joe Jackson can crawl back under his rock, Jermaine can spend some time contemplating what went wrong with his hair and why he shouldn’t pop his collar anymore (side note: his kid has my favorite awesome name of ALL TIME - Jermajesty) and maybe CNN can get back to, oh I don’t know, reporting news. I hear that Sarah Palin resigned. That should warrant some sort of coverage, as long as she doesn’t mind being interviewed close to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, June 24


My intentions were to write about the progress on the new house as it happened. I thought that it could be like your real-time window into the soul sucking process that it was and continues to be. However, because it was such an unforeseen pit of despair for my spirit and my wallet, it’s taking me longer than I expected to get the second and third parts of “Home Crap Home” up on the bloggedy-blog.

I’m not even going to mention the hoops that we’re going to have to jump through to get the internet out at this house. All I am going to say is that it’s going to have to be of the satellite variety and cost about five bagillion dollars a month. Every time I turn around, there is someone shaking me down for trash removal, propane or an internet connection and frankly, I'm about thiiiiiiis close to having a major fucking breakdown.

In all seriousness, when I called about setting up trash service, in the first twenty seconds of the conversation I heard the term “waste management” and I knew I was in trouble. I could just picture Adriana from The Sopranos sitting at her desk with her phone nestled under her chin filing her nails as she explained "the fees." See, there is the one time $35 account set up fee, then the charge for the actual can and pick up fee is $25 a month and it’s charged quarterly. Then there is the $3 invoice fee to print the invoice – quarterly. Then, there is the $12 environmental fee – quarterly. After that, I quit listening because in my head I was already making up other stuff like: “Then, there is the paying fee. This is the fee that you pay if you pay by check, cash or credit.” Now keep in mind, this is all in the most horribly offensive, mobbed up Italian accent humanly possible. “Then we have the waste fee, the management fee and the fee to manage the waste fee.” At this point, there would be a sniff. “Also please do not forget that we charge a service fee for our service and if you choose not to use our service we also charge a fee for that.”

So, in addition to the $40 a month to have garbage service, we now have to open a vein to get the Internet. And, there are a shit ton of wasps out there for no apparent reason and they all want to live as close to us as possible. That being said, until I can get the next installment up about the house oddessy, here is a picture of the P, who decided to get sick during the move, by the way. At least she’s still keepin’ it real by rockin' the Snow White shades, which, just as a p.s. I DID NOT buy for her as you all know my policy on Disney.

Tuesday, June 16


I got culture. On occasion, I have even been known to read things other than Star Weekly and Us Magazine. However, I do love anything that I can read cover-to-cover in 30 minutes flat. Plus, it makes me feel really smart, if not really fat and smart. Yet, I always find my way back to books. Most of mine are worn, torn and barely in one piece, but that's how you can tell that they are loved - like my cat. My Mom use to have this boyfriend that could never understand why anyone would read a book or watch a movie a second time. Besides being a huge douchebag, he didn’t have one book in his house. And frankly, I don’t trust people that don’t keep books around. Every time I move, I swear that I am going to purge my collection (really? I’m still hanging on to Blubber, really?). But somehow everyone always seems to make the cut.

Which brings me to one of my favorite books, Valley of the Dolls, just kidding. OK, not really. I love Dolls, but I am lucid enough to know the difference between Pop Culture and actual literary achievement. Lyon Burke aside, for some inexplicable reason I love the book The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I take that back, I know exactly why I love it; it’s like reading an Us Magazine from the 1870s. But for some reason, everyone considers it a classic and not the juicy, gossipy, cotton candy it is. Also, if you want to start a fistfight with me, let’s discuss the casting of Winona Ryder in the role of May Welland in the Scorsese film. Man alive, that girl couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag, but I digress. I enjoyed The Age of Innocence so much that I decided to check another Edith Wharton book, The House of Mirth. I kinda knew the synopsis, but I love Wharton’s dissection of societal expectations and its realities, so I thought that I’d give The House a shot.

Wow. I tried, I really did, but not only was it boring, it was sooooo depressing and bleak. I mean, frankly if I wanted to be that bummed out, I'd just balance my checkbook. But this chick in the book could not catch a break and after about 70 pages I gave up. So that was that, and it just sat there on my bookshelf mocking me.

They made a movie out of it with Scully from The X-Files, and it was one of those that perpetually floated at the bottom of my Netflix queue. Then one rainy afternoon I saw that it was going to be on We or Oxygen or one of the estrogen channels. Right as I settled in to fold some laundry enjoy the Mirthiness, a little person that lives in my house decided that it was time to stop playing with her dollhouse and come fuck around in the laundry basket. Well, naturally it ended in tears, and as Mark came in with the “Boo Boo Bear,” another stupid thing that I wish I’d invented, I noticed that he too was being drawn into the shit storm that was Lily Bart’s crappy life.

Unfortunately, for our TV viewing pleasure, Piper recovered pretty fast from her injury and started to un-do all the folding that I’d done. We tried to tag team it, with one-person paying attention to the movie and another watching the kid. The problem was Piper was being super loud and unless we wanted to create mass chaos in the house by raising the volume level of the TV to match hers, there was really no point in turning it up. As we tried to deal with the mess that our two-year-old had created, Gillian Anderson droned on next to a fire about hers. Also working against us was the death of our Tivo, so we had no pause or rewind to save us. At this point I decided to try and lip read, but that wasn’t going so well. “Did she just say something about an oral germ whore?”

Mark had been forced into dollhouse duty and he was making the daddy doll say things like “What just happened?” and “Why is she going in there?” All the while, I was trying to be nonchalant about watching the television. I’ve discovered that if Piper thinks you don’t care about something, you’re chances of actually getting to do it/see it/hear it improve dramatically.

When Piper's attention had shifted to terrorizing the cat, Mark escaped to join me on the couch. Expecting an update, I looked at him and said, “are you nuts? I can’t hear a thing. I think that she’s asking this lady for money but I’m not sure and she may be trying to marry this other guy, but it’s anybody’s guess.” The next thing I know, she's makin' hats and credits are rolling.

We tried to formulate plot points and figure out who characters were, but it was too late. Then, it was decided that to the casual observer, The House of Mirth looked like a historical drama, but it was actually a mystery movie. “It’s like Agatha Christie’s House of Mirth,” Mark said. I mean, I had an idea what the thing was about between the book and what little of the mystery movie I saw, but I my curiosity had been piqued. Did the movie version add robots? What about a car chase? Product placement? The mind reeled. I know what you're thinking, "just go read the book and all questions will be revealed." Yeah, you try reading that thing, I'll even exercise your arms and legs while you're in the coma.

Just about that time, I heard Mark yell from the other room, “I moved House of Mirth up on the Netflix list. I gotta find out what happened.” Now we just need to find a babysitter.


Friday, June 12

OH FOR F@$K'S SAKE! 6.12.09

I am going to keep this um, as anonymous as humanly possibly. There is a guy, let's call him Ted, who's "helping" us fix some issues with the drug den that we are semi-renovating (not on purpose, I assure you). We still need to install a smoke detector, because the dumbass renters that were in there ripped the old one out of the wall. I can only assume that this was because the battery was low and it began to beep. And beep, and beep. Most normal humans would have just gone and gotten a fucking battery, but remember that while cleaning this house, we've found teeth, so we aren't exactly dealing with Rhodes Scholars. They went to more trouble to get a chair and spend however many minutes prying this thing off the wall than to buy a square battery.

My only consolation is that it was probably like that Friends episode when Phoebe or whoever has the smoke detector that she can't get to stop beeping. Because you know that when they got the thing off the wall, it kept beeping for a while until Oooga Booga caveman figured out that he'd have to take out the battery and remove half of the wall.

So I mentioned to "Ted" that he needed to go and get a replacement for the smoke detector. Of course when I was talking to him, he was on his cell phone, in his car with the window rolled down, you know, whatever makes it harder. Here is how the conversation went:

"You still need to get the smoke detector," I said.
"Don't forget to go and get a new smoke detector," I said, louder.
"Wait, I can't here a thing. Let me roll my window up," Ted said. "Now what do I need to buy?"
I tried to steady my voice and suppress the rage. "A new smoke detector.Go buy."
"Oh, I'm seeing my guy on Friday."
I was confused. "What? Can't you just go to Home Depot?"
"No, I can get that for you on Friday, that's when I'm seeing my guy," Ted said.
That's when it dawned on me. Ted thought that I was talking in code. Ted thought that I wanted to buy weed. I scrambled. I wanted to clear this up as fast as possible, not only was I on my cell phone, but I was at work.
"No, no! I mean I really need a smoke detector! You know, fire, beep, beep!" I said.
Ted finally seemed to grasp what I was saying and told me to "just keep reminding him to get it." I could hear that Ted had rolled his car window back down, but before I got off the phone I decided to take a chance and mention that there was still a load of junk that needed to go to the dump.
I told Ted, "Hey do you think that you could take that stuff to the dump today?"
He said "I told you, I'm seeing my guy on Friday!"
This house is never going to be ready.