For What It's Worth
This entry was originally posted on June 18, 2005. It's been six years.
About a month ago, our friends Noah and Ash came over for a small, intimate, us-only dinner party at my parents' house, because my parents were out of town, and why throw a perfectly good intimate dinner party at your own house, when your PARENTS' house is just, like, EMPTY AND ABANDONED because they are never in town, and also equipped with such wonders as (a) one swimming pool, and (b) one wine cellar? And you are equipped with (c) one key? WHY WOULD YOU NOT ENTERTAIN THERE EVERY DAY? So off we went.
At one point during the evening, the four of us were talking about Serious Things, when Noah all of a sudden turned very red and started stammering, and looked at Ash, and she was like, Dude, YOU deal with it. So he was the one who had to tell me that my boob had just FALLEN OUT of my otherwise cute sundress, and I had been sitting there discussing THE EUROPEAN UNION as my nipple, filled with childlike wonder, took in the various sights and sounds of my parents' backyard. Hello, world! FEEL THAT BREEZE?
But anyway. Despite my exposed nipplage, we had an awesome time, because it was fun to hang out with them. And we don't get to see them very much, because Noah has been in Iraq, and Ash has been busy setting up their new house. And so we had super big fun, even though Ash didn't much have a bathing suit, and the only store that was open was Target, and the only thing they had was Dregs of Bathing Suits, in various non-Ash sizes, and so she ended up buying one bottom and one top that did not match, NOR did they fit, and she looked kind of like an Olsen twin except with boobs. Finally she just gave the heck up and hopped into the pool wearing a dress, already.
And, I was like OH NO on the pool/water thing, because it is one in the morning and I am tired and a wuss, and ALSO, IT IS COLD, Y'ALL. I tentatively put my toe in the water, and made little shrieky sounds, and backed away. Until Noah saw me, and this strange, dangeorous light came into his eyes, and before I knew it, he had PICKED MY ASS UP and was holding me over the deep end of the pool in a terrible, suspense-filled drama the likes of which I WILL NOT EVEN GO INTO, but FEAR, TERROR filled my heart, and I started pleading like he was about to toss me into a pit of VIPERS, PEOPLE.
So I engaged in negotiation.
Self: Noah. I just fed you. Please do not throw me into the pool.
Noah: YOU ARE GOING IN.
Self: I will give you shiny things. I am sorry I tried to make you eat a crab cake. I now know how you feel about seafood and how you believe that crabs are like insects of the marine world. Please accept my deepest apologies and rememember that I also served you a steak. And also some lovely potatoes.
Noah: INTO. THE WATER.
Self: I will buy you cars and diamonds. Please do not make me wet in such a manner that I will have to go find a hairdryer before I can go to bed. You have short militaryish hair, and I have many long locks. They do not like the wet, Noah. They will turn on you.
Noah: I AM NOT SCARED OF YOUR HAIR.
Self: But, see, Dukay is scared of my hair, and is scared that if you anger the hair, the hair will attack him in his sleep, slowly wrapping around his throat and throttling all of the sweet breath from his body.
Noah: Wait, is this the best you can do? Aren't you a lawyer? You suck at arguing.
Self: Well. I am kind of freaking out right now.
Noah: And for good reason, because IN YOU GO.
And he threw my ass in. At which point, while underwater, I decided to put him in the HAUNTED GUEST BEDROOM, OH I WILL SHOW YOU, YOU THROWER-INNER.
And then I cacked evilly. Cackle.
After emerging, shivering and pathetic from the pool, I wrapped myself up in a very unattractive flannel robe and tried to comfort my hair before it went on an attack directed towards my dinner guests. And then we came inside and drank wine, and sat in the hot tub and made fun of the guys who were whining about how HOT it was, in the aptly named, you know, hot tub, and then we all fell asleep in various (HAUNTED!) rooms. And woke the next "morning," which is a term I use loosely because it was technically one of those "p.m." times, and then went to breakfast and ate barbecue sandwiches and eggs, because SOMETHING IS CLEARLY WRONG WITH US, but man, it was good.
And then we hugged Noah goodbye, because the next day, he was flying back to serve for eight more months.
Early yesterday morning, Noah was killed in Iraq. I don't know any of the details yet. I only know that he is gone, and that Ash called both Dukay and me yesterday so that we would not have to learn about it on the news.
I am so sorry. I am so sorry for his family, and for Ash, and for all of their many friends, who knew him for years longer than I. I feel like this tragedy is not mine; it is theirs, but I am heartbroken for them. I am heartbroken for everyone.
There is a tremendous care package for Noah sitting in my dining room right now, waiting to be sent. It's just...sitting there. It all seems unreal. I don't even know what to do.
And, this is exactly the sort of thing I would not usually write about, because this website is supposed to be lighthearted and funny. But the thing is, all of my times with Noah were lighthearted and funny. Noah always made me laugh.
And it seemed, somehow, that maybe the best tribute I could pay would be to tell all of y'all about this funny, mischevious, giggling guy who threw me into a pool a few weeks ago, who hated seafood with a passion, and who loved his girlfriend with all of his heart. Who never got to be a husband, and who never got to be a daddy. Who never made it home.
He is gone, and he will be missed.
It's been six years; let's all remember Noah, y'all. His funeral was held the day he would have turned 24, and his dad led us all in singing him happy birthday. I remember them playing Taps, and I remember a soldier walking over to Ash -- Ash, who had kept herself together, all day -- and handing her a neatly folded flag. And she just fell. She dissolved. Six years later, and I can't even think about that day without bursting into tears.
Two weeks ago, he would have turned 30. He didn't get there. He was only 23 years old.
I'll say something funny soon; we're doing potato chip taste tests tomorrow, so I'm sure all hell will break loose directly. But in the meantime, it's been six years; let's please not forget. Please remember. For what it's worth.
I Find Your Lack Of Drawer Dividers Disturbing
So, as I have mentioned (or, probably it is better to say “bitched about unendingly”) over on the Facebook page, I recently had the overwhelmingly stupid idea to organize my craft room. It had been getting cluttered, and was becoming more of a dumping ground than anything else. Meanwhile, I’ve really been wanting to get back into being crafty again, but tracking down all of the necessary supplies was suddenly a pain in the ass, and everything was technically tidy, but it was also just all living sinfully together, in an orgy of unrelated items. Like, one adorable decorative box would contain fifty paint tubes (half dried up), a hammer, and a ball of twine. “Tossing random shit in a box” was not working as an Organizing Solution, so I figured it was time for a major overhaul, in which I would go through every drawer, box, and bag in the room, and get my act together. HA I AM FUNNY.
So, that was…what, three weeks ago? It was about three weeks ago when, armed with all KINDS of resolve, I got up on a Saturday morning and started slinging every. Single. Item out of the craft room, and into piles that spanned the entire top floor of our home. Brian, who was working the garage downstairs, would occasionally pop up to check on me, and I would always know when he’d cleared the landing when I heard him exclaim “HOLY CATS” (which, hilariously, is what Brian always says when his ass has been shocked right off his body. Usually that has to do with me suddenly having spontaneous “resolve”). But, anyway, holy cats was right, because in a very short number of hours, I had managed to remove about fifty trillion pounds of various crap and organize it into piles everywhere, absolutely everywhere, including on his side of the bed, all over HIS office, and even in the bathtub. Meanwhile, the cat was having an aneurism, but you know. Proud of self! AM MACHINE!
Until. The next morning, when I woke up, had coffee, and waited patiently for all of that big fancy “resolve’ to return. And, of course, it did not. And so I ended up sitting downstairs for the better part of the day, moaning at Brian about how LET’S JUST NOT TALK ABOUT THE TOP FLOOR ANYMORE, and trying to convince him that we lived in a ranch-style home. Upstairs seceded, baby! Good news, we get to sleep in the dining room! And I made these proclamations, and each was punctuated by the sound of the cat either (a) scattering yet another carefully-stacked pile all over the fucking floor, or (b) apparently fainting (*thunk*) from the horror of What I Had Done to her previously tidy kitteh apartment. “IGNORE THE CAT,” I would holler after Brian, as he ran up the stairs to give her smelling salts/remove her from the aforementioned twine/etc. “PRETEND WE DON’T HAVE A CAT ALSO,” I helpfully suggested. And then I drank more wine.
When it became abundantly clear that the craft room was not going to reorganize itself (…worth a shot), I realized I needed an actual plan of attack. I needed to figure out where all of this shit was going, and then I needed to…you know, put it there. This is sort of the basic principle behind cleaning, turns out. But in trying to reconcile “crap” with “places where crap shall now live,” I soon discovered that I didn’t have nearly enough places to put all of these little piles. And that was a happy, HAPPY realization, because that meant I got to go shopping for Storage Solutions! Shopping has to take place outside of the house! Yay, avoidance powers activate!
And this is why, in the last two weeks, I have made two (2) separate trips to Ikea, including one trip that involved a receipt with a COMMA IN IT (in my defense, I also had to buy a new slipcover for our enormous corner sofa; I opted for dry-clean only, because I am a fucking idiot), another trip to a home goods place, and a final trip to Target. By the end of this adventure in spending everything, I had all of the Organizing Solutions available to any human in the state of Georgia, plus now I also had Swedish-sounding organizing furniture in which to place my solutions, and even DRAWER DIVIDERS to go within said furniture (and you know you heave reached the end of this particular avoidance tactic when you throw your hands in the air and declare that “NOTHING CAN BE MOVED UNTIL I HAVE DRAWER DIVIDERS.” Hello, rock bottom). And so, at last in possession of all of these things, finally, last night, I crankily acknowledged – while splayed out in my pajamas, watching Hoarders (uh huh) – that it was time to get my ass upstairs to fucking finish the craft room. Sigh.
Which, y’all! I did! I put things in their Solutions! I put those solutions into Solution furniture, and now, I actually have a pretty kick-ass craft room. I (AWESOMELY) still have to scrounge around our dry-clean only sofa cushions and find enough spare change to get a bulletin board of some kind, as the only ones they had at Target were uuuuugly. Plus, I still need to figure out how to make the bookshelves prettier (y’all, what do you do with ugly books? Why does everyone else have pretty books except for me?), but never mind: at least everything has a home now. Of course, at this point, I am completely over the idea of doing any crafting whatsoever, and am actually thinking that this story will end somewhere along the lines of “And she never entered the craft room again,” and possibly it will all become very Ms. Havisham, and I will just vaguely wander through there in my wedding dress sometimes. This, too, could happen.
But…okay, I started with a point. And, point being, once I finally got down to the nitty gritty of going through every bag, box, and drawer, I found LOTS of things. Lots and LOTS of things. Some of these things were frightening (LIKE I FOUND A ROACH)(IT HAD EXPIRED), lots of them were just junk; a few of them, however, were awesome. And the most awesome find of all was my handwritten notes from our firm's annual Dragon Con Observational Party, 2008.
Now, let me explain: while I have never been to Dragon Con, I do know that it is an annual event that takes place in Atlanta, in which people from all over the world come into town and get dressed up in insanely awesome costumes. There’s no real…theme, sort of, because some of it is science fiction, and some is comic-book stuff, and some is Harry Potter, and some has nothing to do with anything and may just be an excuse for grown women to dress in fishnets and a pith helmet, but all of this takes place right in front of our office. And there is nothing quite so disconcerting (by which I mean FABULOUS) as running out the door to hit the food court, only to find yourself in the Chik-Fil-A line behind seven storm troopers, Dumbledore, and an unidentifiable character in a loin cloth. They are all getting nuggets. Dragon-Con IS AMAZING.
And so, at the same time every year, all of this leather-clad, sometimes sparkly awesomeness descends upon our city. And therefore, at the same time every year, our little crew of law firm miscreants commandeers a table on the Durango's patio, orders cocktails, and whips out the camera. And, because I am the biggest nerd of them all, I also bring a legal pad. And I take notes. For posterity. Like this:
What did you just say about OCD? Hold on, I'll write it down.
Now, I have no idea why I take notes. As soon as I finish, I promptly lose them. But it turns out: in 2008? I apparently brought them home. And I apparently folded them up, and placed them in the craft room (IN A DIVIDER-LESS DRAWER). Last night, I found the many worn pages, and I was filled with an immeasurable joy as I relived that glorious evening, and that is what I am actually HERE TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY, and oh my God, how did it just take me fifty years to get to this point? It did. In addition to craft supplies and ridiculous notes, I hoard words. I have hoarded ALL of the words. Y’all can’t even have any, unless you make up new ones, like Brian. ANYWAY.
Dragon-Con, 2008: Close Encounters With The Nerd Kind: Observations From Us, In Increasingly Tipsy Form.
(Thank God I also kept accurate accounts of the time. Otherwise this wouldn’t be legally admissible in court! I am seriously the biggest nerd of them all.)
3:36 p.m. CREW GATHERED! First sighting: Renaissance lady with fairy godmother tendencies. Point unclear.
3:43 p.m. Pirate [leering]
3:48 p.m. Something in unreasonable boots
3:51 p.m. Saucy wench
3:53 p.m. Dragon Mouseketeer from Hell
3:53 p.m. Anime (?) woman in nightgown; we are scared shitless
3:56 p.m. Attendees at Satan’s prom
4:00 p.m. Miscellaneous silky person
4:00 p.m. Cat girl is not trying very hard. We disapprove.
4:03 p.m. IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO WEAR A DANZIG SHIRT. GOD.
4:07 p.m. Full-on Joker! IT IS ABOUT TIME SOMEONE MADE SOME EFFORT. Also, the harlequin looking character from Batman. Equally full-on. But shorter.
4:07:30 p.m. I.T. Guys say that harlequin guy is Riddler. I.T. Guys think they are sooooo smart.
4:08 p.m. OMG BOBA FETT! This is what we are TALKING ABOUT.
4:17 p.m. Pfft. Woman with pink ribbon in hair. Sad attempt.
4:19 p.m. Fluffy chaps. So confused.
4:20 p.m. Extremely white guys in plaid shorts. Might just be golfers. Do look sort of terrified.
4:29 p.m. HULK! Full-on greeness! Waved at us! WE LOVE YOU HULK
FRIENDLY HULK! HULK HAVE A BEER.
4:31 p.m. Lots of crushed velvet.
4:35 p.m. Dungeon mistress from the future; confusing
4:39 p.m. Guy who is:
(b) On something
(c) Not scared
(d) No seriously
(e) HE IS REALLY NOT SCARED
(f) BUT WE ARE
4:40 p.m. Hi, building security! LOVE YOOOOU
4:41 p.m. Marvin the Martian re-envisioned as an Amazon woman in copper.
4:42 p.m. Saucy wench, redux
4:43 p.m. Possible carjacking; no one else seems concerned. Ignoring!
4:53 p.m. East German Men’s Olympic Team (assorted sports); many skirts.
4:45 p.m. Pirate carrying yoga mat
5:00 p.m. Slutty Mad Hatter. Girl, put your pants on.
5:11 p.m. Sacagawea from the future? WTF
5:12 p.m. Gay Boba Fett! Well PLAYED!
5:13 p.m. Assorted elves/hobbits. YAWN.
5:15 p.m. Same old slutty pirate costume. SEEN IT.
5:16 p.m. …Soccer zombie? Huh.
5:19 p.m. HA, Scotswoman in mini-kilt hitting on member of our party; girlfriend DEEPLY UNAMUSED
5:28 p.m. We seriously need another round of drinks over here.
5:30 p.m. OH MY GOD THIS PERSON MURDERED COOKIE MONSTER. IS UNREPENTANT.
5:32 p.m. Dumbledore; in street clothes.
5:36 p.m. George Lucas in his underwear
5:39 p.m. Aw, man; it’s that fucking crazy barefoot prostitute who hates me. Hiding now.
5:40 p.m. SHIT I’ve been spotted.
5:41 p.m. (Ooo, a green lady! We should introduce her to Hulk, and they can have green bab)
5:41 p.m. OMG CRAZY PROSTITUTE BARKING AT ME
5:41:30 p.m. Hi again, building security!
But then. At the end of that page, and as a new page began (and building security shooed away the crazy barefoot barking prostitute), things CHANGED. And I think it’s best to just show you the image of the final page, so you can see the moment at which our observational team STRUCK GOLD.
YES. What is particularly awesome about this is that, apparently after seeing Darth Vader on the other side of Peachtree, I shot up from the table, jumped the fence, and bolted across four lanes of fast-moving traffic with the singular thought being to GET VADER AND BRING HIM BACK. It is almost like I did this with pen still in hand, as you can see from the tell-tale swooping as I put this non-plan into violent and immediate motion. And then someone else had to take over scribe duties as I convinced this poor Dark Sith and his insanely fabulous gay assistant (“Girl, OF COURSE Vader had a gay assistant. You can’t see shit out of that mask,” he explained) to (a) cross the street with me, and (b) meet a group of strangers who are now (c) drunk, and (d) waving hysterically from the bar patio like a bunch of fucking crazy people.
I did it for ALL OF YOU
So...not a well-thought out plan, exactly. BUT GUESS WHAT.
Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerous ways, Lord Vader. We all know you're drinking cranberry juice.
LOOK WHO BROUGHT HOME THE VADER. This girl did! The force, it is strong with me.
Meanwhile, as I bonded with the Lord and his gay assistant, faithful replacement scribe continued to document the incredible events occurring all around us:
Oh, I did not either stroke his light saber. But Dark Siths love cranberry and vodka! Who knew? Maybe they get urinary tract infections. Way to keep up that good bacteria, Sith!
Anyway. Clearly, Dragon Con is so awesome. And of course, we did it the next year, too, and I made a slideshow of that here; however, I have no idea where the notes are. Possibly in the attic. Or the trunk of my car. Or the freezer; do not care, my happy ass isn’t organizing ANYTHING any time soon. And furthermore, if I'm in town to see it this year, I'm not taking notes; I'm tweeting our observations, like a good nerd should. And then my drawer dividers will remain mercifully uncluttered, and we can all live happily ever after, a long time ago, in a galaxy far away. As long as they have vodka and cranberry juice.
Y’all have a lovely weekend, and I’ll see you soon!
Fine. He did have a big light saber.
Shit My Friends Said
And also me. But we will get to that. Woo, journaling!
So, know what is the funniest part of that last entry? The fact that uniquity is actually a word. Not according to spellcheck, but spellcheck also doesn’t think that “spellcheck” is a word. It’s like some twisted self-denial. Anyway, THANKS A LOT, smart people in the comments. Brian read those, I will have you know. And now I have a smug husband. He’s supposed to be in charge of the math and heavy lifting! I'm supposed to be the talky one! Now it is ANARCHY, and I don't even know my place in life anymore. As heavy lifting is out, possibly I TOO will start making up words. If I did, then I would describe the ensuing marital teasing as being very floffic. It’s fucking floffic ALL OVER THE PLACE, and you know, I am still not sold on the legitimacy of uniquity. Uniquity is floffic, also.
Incidentally, after all of your fried pickle comments, guess what I did. Bikini time is when, now?
Meanwhile, guess what I thought would also be cloop, other than fried pickles? To go through my emails and texts, and find the most random-yet-hilarious snippets, take them completely out of context, and post them. Some I sent; some I received. But all are sort of fucking spectacular, and...you know. Heeeee. To me, anyway. AS USUAL.
Thank God For Technology Which Allowed The Following To Be Shared
-- Last week, I had a dream that Brian and I were being chased by zombie dinosaurs. And then last night, I dreamed that Brian and I were stuck in the security line at Hartsfield, when I suddenly realized that we were directly behind Darth Vader, which made me be all, "Maaan, this is going to take FOREVER."
-- If I punched my boss in his left nut, recorded it, and put it on youtube, do you think Tosh.O would air it?
-- A REAL bag of water?!? HONEY! GET THE KIDS!
-- and that is when I picked up my letter opener and calmly stabbed her in the eye
-- That woman is pointlessness wrapped in a kitty cat sweater.
-- I do not think people should EVER wear cut-off sweatpant shorts. Isn't that illegal somewhere? Can’t we all agree on this?
-- I have returned to the magical isthmus, where upon arrival I was met by a contingent of gnomes and animated baby deer. They all say hi to Sef. He is very popular amongst fictional creatures.
-- Fuck off! These are MY pants! I BLAME EVERYONE!
-- The kids wanted to go ice skating this weekend, and all I could think about was my insurance copayment. We went bowling instead.
-- Do I want to have a drinking lunch? I don’t know. I guess “yes,” if you want MY DREAMS TO COME TRUE.
-- We borrowed your new Benz for a road trip; figured you wouldn't mind. Will call when we get to Mexico. BRB.
-- If an "estate" consists of 5 goofy dogs, a four wheeler, and a hideous oil portrait of your father in law, I guess we've made it!
-- BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU AND YOUR FACE.
-- I just realized that this dress shows WAY more cleavage than I'd intended. Happy Friday, mens!
-- I am in a hate spiral of cranky! Doesn't it sound tempting to spend time with me? I know!
-- I think this email chain just gave me an aneurism.
-- In Soviet Russia, law practices YOU.
-- For my 30th birthday, someone signed me up for the AARP. Now, my membership gets me on the list for the most ludicrous magazines ever. So, Brian comes in with the mail, all, "Ooo, Easy Spirit has a new collection!"
-- You’re going to make me get rid of my “Empress Of All Things, And The Boss Of You" signature line, aren't you.
-- Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet? Are you here yet?
-- And now I keep being all, "Baby! You'd never kill my family in front of me, right, sweetheart?" and he is all, "OH MY GOD, OF COURSE NOT, WHERE IN THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM?" and then I am like, "I loooooove you," and he thinks I am insane. Fortunately, it is part of my charm.
-- Because I have my own peculiar thought processes, I actually went from mulling Canadian coin price charts to wondering “What is Charo up to these days?” in a matter of seconds.
-- So, I looked up “confinement” in the thesaurus, and the synonyms include “hapteric,” “hidebound,” and “in lob's pound.” The thesaurus people are screwing with us, right?
-- If you don't come over and watch Amanda Bynes movies with me, I will literally kidnap you. Nobody will win.
-- Babies and fireworks! Babies and fireworks!
B: Can u pick up some vagisil?
L: What? Vag hurting?
L: Try a heating pad. Not what I meant when I asked if you needed anything @ grocery store.
B: Need a cracken, plz.
L: COMMUNICATE IN FOOD
-- I just told Cookie to eat her checkers, and she answered, “I am a short, fat, slut.” This is the most amazing conversation ever.
Z: Sorry, pocket dial
L: WELL I LOVE YOU TOO, YOU FILTHY WHORE
Z: Say hi to mom
-- Brian just asked what I was doing and I said “I’m texting Maggie back,” and he said, “You’re texting Megadeth?” Yes, honey. I’m texting Megadeth. I had very important thoughts to share w/them
-- Do you think Honey Badger gives a shit? From now on, whenever anyone talks shit about me, just think of me as Honey Badger.
L: Tried to say that you are my sweet honey bee; got spell checked to “horny bee.”
-- Uh, sorry about the increasingly drunk text messages. This is a hangover text message. The text message of regret and headache. I don’t really know how to play Stairway to Heaven. I lied about that.
-- Just watched Black Swan. What could go wrong? Girl movie about dancing but then AHHHH! Now watching Girls Just Want To Have Fun as antidote because we are tense and scared of dancing. Wish u were here
-- Mad Dog 2020 does not express my sophistication strongly enough
-- so, we were talking about vagina nazis and your name came up
Update! Update which I couldn't NOT share:
Honey Badger is the Chuck Norris of the animal kingdom. I do not want to say who will win in a Chuck Norris vs. Honey Badger fight, because I know if I guess wrong, the winner will either roundhouse kick my ass or share my carcass with a jackal.
Heeee. I'm sorry, these are just gems. So cloop. I love them all. My friends are hilarious.
You guys have a happy 4th, and feel free to leave your own out-of-context texts/emails in the comments (and kindly ignore it if you're moderated; that's not me. I have no fucking idea why that is happening; I set it up for automatic approval, and now my website has decided that I'm spam. So, obviously, things are just working SWIMMINGLY over here). But, point being, these will just not stop being hilarious to me. I want more! I demand more! Even if someone DOES think I'm a vagina nazi! I AM SURE THAT MADE SENSE ONCE. I also think it's best if we don't think about it too hard. We wouldn't want things to get all floffic.
Kisses, and happy holiday, y'all!