Postcards From the Edge
I AM A LITTLE FRAZZLED RIGHT NOW.
It is nothing major, it is just that I have had A LOT (A LOT) going on, and I am having trouble keeping up with everything, and so in an effort to kind of, you know, streamline things, I am just going to post a series of notes that I have been meaning to write to people/things/entities. Hope y’all don’t mind.
Dear People Who Have Won Paintings:
Did I say I would send them last week? HA HA! That is what I said, but what I meant was that I would send them this week, you know, the week that is this one, because I am kind of AN IDIOT and did not calculate the amount of work I would have the first week back after vacation.
Now that things have calmed down, however, I can finish y’all’s paintings, and they will be in the mail by the end of this week. Pinky swear! Or you can come and hit me with a stick, and I won’t even complain.
(As long as it is not a very big stick.)
And, for people who are interested in paintings on eBay: yes! We will do that, too, and donate the money to somewhere. But it will probably be next week (see: work, above). So just keep that in mind. Smoke on your pipe and put that in!
YOU GUYS, DID I MENTION THAT I AM A LITTLE FRAZZLED RIGHT NOW? If I was not frazzled, I would never use an expression like, “Smoke on your pipe and put that in.” What am I talking about, exactly? Did I just make a pop culture reference…from 1961? YES I DID.
Anyway. Kisses, and I will mail you your winnings ASAP.
Doxie Who Is A Bad Procrastinator, Don't Tell My Mom.
I am sorry I forgot to watch you. Did anyone wear anything good? Did anyone come dressed as a swan? Did anyone come dressed as a ballerina? Did anyone come dressed as a ballerina swan? I may never know, and that makes me…actually, I’m pretty neutral about it.
Catch you next year! Maybe!
Doxie Who Was Watching Alias On DVD, Because She Never Watched That Show Before And It Has Taken Over Dukay And Doxie’s Lives Entirely.
I HATE YOU. When our friend Tex convinced Dukay that we just had to see you, that we would start at Season 1 and work our way through your many episodes, we decided to comply, because there is no 24 right now, and that is pretty much a national tragedy. But KNOW WHAT? YOU MAKE NO SENSE, ALIAS.
Listen, what...what do you want to be? Do you want to be like 24? Or do you want to be like the X Files? Because WE CANNOT FIGURE YOU OUT, and one minute you are kind of making sense with the spy-talk, but then the next minute there is a Prophecy, and people who are 900 years old and not yet dead, and it is all JUST A LITTLE CONFUSING.
But nothing, NOTHING is as confusing as your staunch refusal to give Sidney A FUCKING GUN.
ALIAS. WHY DO YOU NOT GIVE SIDNEY A GUN. HOW COME DOES SHE ALWAYS HAVE TO KICK PEOPLE. WE WOULD ALL SAVE SO MUCH TIME IF SHE JUST SHOT THEM.
This is really making me mad, Alias. I am shouting at you, and I don’t want to shout. But I would really, really appreciate it if you made, I don’t know. SOME FUCKING SENSE.
Wait, it turns out I am not done: WHY DID THEY EVEN BOTHER TRAINING HER WITH A GUN? WE SEE THAT EVERY OPENING CREDITS BUT WHEN SHE IS ACTUALLY FACING BAD PEOPLE SHE NEVER HAS A GUN.
It is driving me up a wall.
Not that this will stop us from watching four episodes per night.
Doxie Who Is About Four Years Behind Everyone Else On Her Television Viewing, Do You Want To Make Something Of It?
Dear Security Lady Who Sits Downstairs In The Front Desk Thing:
This is...uh, this is kind of uncomfortable, so I’m just going to jump right in. I’m the girl who you think is a total idiot. Hello!
I want you to know that it is not entirely my fault. Yes, okay, it is mostly my fault, but not entirely, because see, this is...this is what happened.
I come in, every morning, and every morning, you say…something to me. I...I don’t know what you’re saying. I’m really sorry. You are kind of a mutterer, and that’s FINE, it’s TOTALLY OKAY, but please note that I am kind of deaf and I just have no earthly idea at what it is you are trying to convey.
And the first couple of times, you would say, “Mrffffurmmff” and I would say, “I’m sorry?” and you would say, “Mrffffurrrmuff” and I would say, “Come again?” and you would say, “MRFFFFURMMMF” and I would smile widely and say, “GOOD MORNING!”
And then I would run to the elevator, thereby avoiding any follow-up discussion. Because I have no idea what you are saying to me.
And, it would seem like you are wishing me a good morning, but you say pretty much the same thing when I come in after lunch. “Mrfffummf,” you will say. Only sometimes you say it like a question, and then I hear only, ““Mrfffummf?” and then you look at me expectantly.
In the beginning, I answered “yes” or “no”. But I could tell that sometimes, I was getting the answer wrong. Sometimes I would say no, with conviction, and you would look at me like I had lost my mind.
So I switched to yes. This produced similar results. Now I just grunt at you. I GRUNT AT YOU. I AM SO SORRY.
The thing is, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Security Lady Who Sits Downstairs In The Front Desk Thing! Everyone else can understand you. I see you engaging in long conversations with other people. What is really amazing, is that I can understand what you are saying when you talk to them. Sometimes I feel like butting into your conversations and announcing, “ME TOO” or anything, ANYthing that will let you know that I am not being purposefully idiotic.
Listen, I am sorry that I make noncommittal noises when you see me. Sometimes when our eyes meet, I look heavenward and make an exhausted sound, and then you laugh. And I want to take your hands in mine, and we can marvel together that we live in a world where we need no words, where my general sentiment of “Whew, it’s hot/cold/wet/dry out there, and boy do I not want to go back to work” can be conveyed with facial expression and shrugging alone. A world where you will not dissolve into laughter as soon as the elevator doors close behind me. Which I am QUITE SURE THAT YOU DO, because…what the hell? WHY CAN’T I UNDERSTAND YOU?
Anyway. See you soon. I’ll be the one grunting.
Doxie Who Pretty Much Thinks That This Covers Everybody At The Moment. But Who Is Probably Wrong.
Oh, and P.S. To My Comments Counter Thing:
What the hell is the matter with you? Why do you say "zero" when I can very clearly see that there are comments on the last entry?
Wait, actually, it's ALL the entires. You are saying that there are no comments on ANY entries. That is odd.
Are you...flirting with me?
Doxie, Who Is Pretty Sure That She's Done Now.
ALIAS, GIVE SIDNEY A FUCKING GUN.
Kythryne, Your Secret Pal Says Hi
...not that the above has anything to do with this entry. But she does, and she asked me to give you a shout out. And I am in a compliant kind of mood.
Yesterday was our last day at the beach and we are going home this afternoon. I am trying not to think about it, because: beach is good! Home is bad. Home involves bills and a leaky faucet that I haven't fixed yet and there's that toilet that's been running, and on top of everything else, YOU GUYS, I have done NOTHING but eat and drink for DAYS, and now I have to go back to work, and my jeans no longer fit my body.
What the hell? SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE.
We've had such a good time, though, and I am excited about seeing the dogs. The dogs are...well, I am betting that they are really, really, seriously pissed at me right now. I left them at the vet/kennel place for almost two weeks. That is like four years in dogs time. And Bo is not forgiving.
The last time I left Bo at the vet, it was only for a morning, and he was having his teeth cleaned. And when I went to pick him up, he was LIVID, SO FURIOUS, and he gave me what-for and how-dare-I all the way home. He sat in the passenger seat next to me, GLARING at me, and just...growltalked. He growltalked all the way home, which is something Bo does, and it involves him growling and talking (obviously) at the same time, wherein he moves his little Bo lips and tries to make little words to demonstrate his EXTREME displeasure. Because he lacks some important word-making abilities, however (and I am not EVEN getting into the science of that right now), all of his words sound like this:
So, the entire ride home, and I mean the entire ride home, Bo glared at me with white hot hatred, and talked. "RrrrOOOOwwwOOOlllOOOr," he told me angrily. "Rrrroooggggllloooowwww. GRRRROOOOLLLOOOOWWWOOOORRRR."
And I tried apologizing, but he was Not Having It, so then I just started laughing, which only made him angrier ("Rrrowwwoolooggg? RRROWWWOOLOOGGG!"), and I had to get my cell phone and that is when I called all kinds of people and left them voicemails of Bo growling at them. I did not give any explanation. As soon as I heard the beep, I just held the phone up to his lips as they trembled with fury, and let the hatred be broadcast to the voicemail of people throughout this great country.
About an hour later, I got a message from Ziz, that just said, "What in the HELL did you do to Bo? Are you skinning him alive?"
Aaaaaaaanyway. So I am excited about seeing the dogs, but I am not so excited about the verbal lashing that I am sure to receive. And, I am not excited about the drive home. Sigh.
Today, Dukay and I will spend approximately seventy hours in the car together. We may murder one another; you just never know. It is a small car. And we have to go a long way.
And Dukay is going to want to listen to his music, and his music is awful, IT IS SO BAD, and he just loves anything that is spacey and jam-bandish, and I JUST DON'T HAVE THE PATIENCE, PEOPLE, to wait around for musicians to decide what they're going to play. And I DO NOT HAVE THE PATIENCE for songs that last nineteen minutes, plus a seven minute drum solo, and nobody EVER sings, they just PLAY shit, and SOMETIMES they are not even playing instruments, and once Ziz and Dukay went to a concert together to hear one of his bands, and Ziz got home and looked at me and said, "Dear Lord, at one point, the man played a shoe, and THAT IS NOT MUSIC, that is screwing around with footwear."
SO. You can see that maybe I am not so excited about spending the next eight hours in the car with someone who wants to listen to shoes and spoons and the sounds of washing machines dying and hair catching fire, or whatever the hell. I just want to listen to books on tape (as I do), but Dukay lacks the attention span for any such endeavor. Dukay lacks the attention span of a gnat, but that is another issue altogether. (Sometimes Dukay will abandon a subject that we are discussing, but then pick it up again several hours later, without warning. Like, one morning, we will be talking about that song Old MacDonald's Farm and how it is kind of weird, and then we will stop talking about it -- we will do something else for the rest of the day, something that does not involve farm animals at all, and then around 11 at night, we will be sitting on the couch with friends, and he will turn and look at me, and with NO WARNING WHATSOEVER, announce, "Of course, sheep don't bark," and then he will turn around and that will be the end of the conversation. And everyone will stare at us, trying to figure out if we are speaking in code, or whether they missed that all-important conversational shift that made it somehow appropriate for Dukay to announce, with CONVICTION, that sheep do not, indeed, bark.)
(And then I have to explain it, because Dukay is already absorbed in something else. And then I look like an idiot. This is called a Dukay Dive Bomb. The Dukay Dive Bomb is a part of my daily reality.)
ANYWAY. So, that is what I will be dealing with for the rest of the day. And I'm bummed, y'all, because this means I will have to say goodbye to my sister, and to her boyfriend devin, who I really like even though he insists that I spell his name without the use of capital letters (we won't try to understand that). He is very funny. He and Ziz together equal hours of entertainment, especially because they hardly ever get to see each other. She lives in L.A. now, and he is still in Boston, and one day we will kidnap them both and force them to just live in my house, already, and we will all eat Flav-O-Ice and not eat the green ones and tell jokes and drink things with umbrellas all day long.
But for now, the vacation is over, and I am sad. Tomorrow I have to go back to work, and pick up the dogs, and pay the bills, and slop the hogs, and whetever the hell else has to be done. But I can promise you one thing: whatever I do, Bo will have something to say about it. And that something is not going to be good.
When I Said "Monday Night", What I Meant Was "Tuesday Night, Really Really Really Late"
...because: uh. I kind of suck.
Anyway! What I did, was I wrote all of y'all's names down on little slips of paper (and we are talking, like, 200 little slips of paper, and now your names are everywhere all over the kitchen), and then I put them all in Devin's hat, and then I drew one, and Ziz drew one, and Devin drew one. (These are what we call Laboratory Conditions). And Dukay would have drawn one, but he doesn't get here until tomorrow. So too bad for Dukay, not getting to be a part of DoxieRaffle: 2005. It was very exciting, and I think maybe even Ziz and Devin took their eyes off of the television screen for about half a second, even.
Whatever. I thought it was awesome. Until I spilled the hat (that is why your names are all over the kitchen now).
200 little slips of paper is a lot of little slips of paper. It is like a ticker-tape parade in here.
ANYWAY. Thanks to everyone for donating, and for leaving comments and sending emails. You have all done a wonderful thing, and kisses to each and every one of you. It is nice to know that even when everything seems bleak, there are so many kind people out there, desperate to make a difference. All of your stories about kids donating their savings, or setting up lemonade stands, or y'all holding garage sales -- it really does make me feel better about our whole entire species. You are good people.
And so, without further ado, the winners of the donation raffle thingy are (drumroll!):
1st place, receiving a biggish type painting: eiffel87 (renee)!
2nd place, receiving a smaller type painting: rvaurio (rebecca)!
3rd place, receiving also a smaller type painting: messymama1 (lisa)!
And there you have it. Congratulations to the lovely winners! You are all girls (I think)! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Winners, please be so kind to send me your addresses (I will not show up on your doorsteps. Pinky swear! I won't!), and I will mail your paintings to you next week, when I get back into Atlanta.
Now. If you are sad that you did not win, and you would still like to own a painting while also Making A Difference, after-school-special-style (and...no, that makes no sense. I can't help it. I have been talking about after-school-specials all day (especially that one where Calista Flockhart is bulimic and throws up in tupperware? remember that one?) and...no, I don't know why. Let's just go with it), then let me know. If y'all want to, I can put a few pieces up on eBay, and we can auction those off. If there's any interest, I'll cover the fees and the shipping and supplies and whatnot, and then everything can go to Katrina charities; y'all just tell me.
And...uh, that's that. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone for their donations.
I will be back tomorrow, probably, to tell you the story about How I Went To Pick Up Dukay At The Airport, And Something God Awful Happened, Either That He Missed His Flight Or I Got Really Really Lost And Then I Somehow Wrecked The Car.
Bear in mind that none of these things has yet occurred. But honestly...would any of that surprise you? No. None of that would surprise you at all.
But for now, I am just going to pour myself a glass of wine. And try to ignore all the little pieces of paper all over the kitchen.
First off, let me say how AWESOME all of y'all are, with the donations to the Red Cross and the Humane Society and Noah's Hope and everywhere else. You are all wonderful, and that is no lie.
Keep on commenting or emailing when you donate (I'll close things on Monday evening), and you can comment here or in the last entry (I will keep track, because I'm clever like that). And read through the comments if you need any additional donating ideas; there are a lot of good ones in there, from a lot of good people.
I am now adding multiple prizes, because LORD KNOWS that if anyone wants a painting of mine, well. Uh...I kind of like to give them away, to prevent Painting Overload in my own home. Seriously, ask Al or AB or Sarah B. They all have paintings that I have given them, all, "HAVE SOME ART! NO SERIOUSLY TAKE THIS ART" because that is just what I do.
So now, there will be a first prize of one biggish painting, and then a second and third of smallerish paintings. Yes! Because what the fuck else am I going to do for the next week and a half, before I go back to work? I do not do "sitting still" very well. I kind of always have to be a little busy with the hands. Or I will fidget.
Fidget, fidget. (As an aside, y'all, I love that word. If I ever get another dog, I will name him Fidget. It makes no sense, but then, does "Pugsley" make any sense? No. Not really.)
Aaaaaanyway. Let us now change subjects dramatically and talk about My Day With The Animals! Because today was just chock fucking FULL of creatures, and my dogs are not even HERE, and people, WHAT THE HOLY FUCK, because these creatures? Not cuddly. HA HA! NO. It was all very Wild Kingdom.
Anyway, it started with me getting up this morning, and going down to the beach to check out the clean-up efforts. I went up to the guys from the Department of Parks and Beaches or whatever, and we started talking, and I asked if I could do anything to help. And they gave me some basic instructions, and I helped for a little while, and they gave me my own gloves and I was feeling very big as I picked things up, and they were just really entertained that this girl in a bikini was wandering among them, all "Oooh! Look, for I have found a tin can." And entertainment ensued.
ANYWAY. Like I was saying, entertainment ensued, until I went a little farther down the beach, and there I saw two little boys, like ten or eleven years old, standing in the debris. And I wouldn't have paid them much attention, except one of them was throwing stones at something in the rubble. And when I got a little closer, I saw that what he was throwing the stones at, was a bird.
A big fucking bird. Who was lying in the rubble, his head swiveling, terrified. But he couldn't move.
Now, I am not...um, awesome with dealing with children, as I don't really have a lot of experience with them, and at that moment I am embarassed to admit that I forgot that we do not cuss at children, because when I saw that little SATAN SPAWN throwing ROCKS at this clearly injured bird that had collapsed into the debris, all I could do was SCREAM, BANSHEE-LIKE, at them, and that is when I believe I said something like, "WHAT IN THE [CUSS WORD] DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING I AM COMING OVER AND I AM GOING TO [CUSS WORD] EAT YOU RIGHT NOW." And that is when they ran.
At this point, my good friends from the DPB came to "get my back," as the kids like to say, and they sneered at the rapidly disappearing backs of the little boys, who were totally scarred by my profanity and who will have to turn to the priesthood or monkhood immediately, because their lives are now forever tainted by My Crazy. And then I looked at the DPB guys and was like, "Uh, now y'all have to help me with this...bird thing."
And the guys from DPB were like, "...bird thing?"
And I explained that the bird was obviously injured, and we had to, you know, DO something, because it couldn't just sit stuck in the rubble for the remainder of eternity. And it especially couldn't sit there until the tide came in.
And they just looked at me, puzzled.
"Huh," said one of the guys.
"Go get him!" I urged, pointing at the bird.
"But...do you see his beak? That's a sharp beak. He will stab the bejeezus out of me with that beak."
"Stop being such a baby," I said, inching away, and hiding behind one of the other DPB guys. One of the bigger guys. "He's just a litle birdie. Go get him, I am SO SURE he will not stab you."
Then I had to hide my eyes, because it occurred to me that that bird WAS ABSOLUTELY going to stab the DPB guy, and I would have been responsible for sending him to a bloody death.
In the end, it took thirteen (THIRTEEN) DPB guys, plus me in a bikini, shouting instructions but otherwise being NOT AT ALL HELPFUL, to wrassle the poor bird into a bucket, with the bird squawking and hollering and snapping and poking the whole time, and yes, there was bloodshed, but it was not the bird's.
Once the bird was safely in his bucket, and he was looking out at us from a little hole in the top, FURIOUS, ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS, he was taken to a vet who specializes in birds, and who would not take any money to treat him, because the Bird was a Feathery Hurricane Victim, and the vet was just a very nice man.
Anyway, so the bird is fine. The DPB guys, however, hate me. They hate me so much. I am not allowed to play with them now, because they are afraid I will find another sad and bedraggled creature, and then they will all get stabbed some more.
Nobody likes to get stabbed, one of the guys told me. And he is absolutely right.
So, AFTER spending the morning with the poor DPB guys, I decided it was time for a cocktail, and I had one, and I went to offer some to the DPB guys, but they were all still gone to the vet with the birdie thing (we are saying it was a pelican, although it clearly is not a pelican. Readers! What the fuck was that bird? Its characteristics include blue eyes and a tendency to STAB PEOPLE with its sharp and pointy knife beak.)
So I wandered into the ocean to cool off, and I had not been in there for more than two minutes when I saw something swimming towards me. And that something was a shark.
Now, it was not a big shark. But IT WAS A FUCKING SHARK. I would like to say that he was ninety feet long and had seventeen inch teeth and that he was trailing body parts from his recent victims, but that would be A Lie, and lying is Wrong, so instead I will say The Truth, which is that he was probably four feet long, and he was probably a nurse shark, and nurse sharks do not like to eat you and will usually leave you alone. BUT IT SCARED THE EVERLOVING SHIT OUT OF ME.
And it scared the everloving shit out of the shark, too, who was zipping over towards me, just swimming along, la la la, until he got about five feet away and saw my body standing there, motionless. And if it was possible for a shark to shriek and run off, that is what this shark did. EEE! He said, in sharktalk. EEE, and then ZOOM.
Only, so now I am fascinated. I LOVED sharks when I was growing up, and I still remember a lot of their Latin names, even, and I know (I mean, logically I know) that they are more scared of me than I am of them, and so on. And so I was like, "COME BACK SHARKY!" and I started walking back and forth along in the surf (at this point, I had possibly wisely decided to go IN a little, meaning that now I was only in water up to my shins). And sure enough, the shark came back, and the two of us walked/swam together for about twenty minutes. During which time he did not decide to eat me, and for this I am eternally glad.
Also during this time, I decided that I would call my sister. Of course. This was the conversation we had:
Self: HEY WHAT'S UP I'M IN THE OCEAN.
Ziz: Awesome. I'll be there Satur--
Self: GUESS WHAT IS WITH ME.
Self: NO DUKAY GETS HERE NEXT WEEK GUESS AGAIN IT HAS TEETH.
Ziz: Um. Tom Cruise? Ann Coulter? A comb?
Self: NO A SHARK.
Ziz: THEN GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WATER OH MY HOLY GOD.
Self: No, he's kind of far away. Like ten feet away.
Ziz: WHAT IN THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WATER.
Self: No, hush. He's friendly! Like the sharks in Finding Nemo!
Ziz: OH MY GOD.
Self: I thought I would call and share this experiencAAAAAAHHHHH
Ziz: AHHHHHHHH DID YOU JUST GET EATEN?
Self: No, but he came over to me some. Oooookay, I'm just going to move back a liiiiittle biiiiiittt.....
Ziz: Move back onto the BEACH, you IDIOT.
Self: At this point, I am in water up to my ankles. I kind of doubt that he is going to manage to come after me here, unless he has little legs I am not seeing.
Ziz: You are...I mean, you are just unspeakably dumb.
Self: Ooh! Here comes Dad. Dad will come in here and look at the shark with me.
Ziz: Don't you DARE show that shark to our father, or he will go into the water WITH YOU, and he is a SENIOR CITIZEN, and you are both IDIOTS.
Self: Oh, pshaw.
Ziz: "Pshaw"? What is that, Yiddish? Get your ass out of the water.
Self: Dad! Dad! Come here and look at the shark!
Dad: WHAT? WHERE?
Self: Right there, see?
Ziz: DO NOT LET OUR FATHER INTO THAT WATER.
Self: Hush, you. Don't go telling mom.
Ziz: I am TOTALLY TELLING MOM.
Dad: I'm going in!
Ziz: AHHHHHH WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE.
Self: You're just jealous. The shark is awesome. He isn't going to AHHHHHHH
Ziz: Man, at this point, I HOPE that thing bit the living shit out of you.
Self: No, he just kind of...came towards us again.
Ziz: Oh. My. God.
Self: Aw, he's swimming away. Bye, Mister Shark!
Dad: Bye, Sharky!
Ziz: Hate you. Hate you so much.
So! That was my day. Between stabby birds and biting sharks, attempts to put wild animals in buckets and drinking by 2 p.m., I'd have to say that this vacation is shaping up nicely.