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.