Working For A Living
I know. I KNOW. I was supposed to be back forever ago, and I reconciled with the internet and we made out and everything was just all fucking peachy over there two weeks ago, but since then, I have had the entire world of law rear up and kick me in the ass, and the whole thing kept on getting worse and worse, until finally last night I finished everything I had to do, and drove myself home, at 5 in the morning. Seriously. Please imagine this, because I worked alone, at my desk, until 4:30 in the a.m., which is one of those "dark" times. And which is also just wrong, but additionally scary as all hell, and at one point, I even called security, because I became convinced that I was about to be murdered. Because I kept on hearing these huge banging noises, when I was supposed to be all alone in the building, and that's...not normal, really, but guess what. It was not a murderer! Instead, a crew was there, fixing the elevator, and through a miracle of physics and what-all, it was echoing in my office. It was all a load of fun and terror, and before I learned this helpful bit of information, it is possible that I armed myself with scissors and a stapler, and roamed the office all Mission-Impossible-ing around the corners, scared out of my fucking mind. And totally prepared to prod and collate someone to death. Because you NEVER KNOW. KILLERS FEAR STAPLERS. I believe.
AND. You would think that maybe then I would get to sleep late or something the next day, what with the working until dawn, which is kind of what I thought, anyway, except that would be wrong, because I had clients calling my cell -- not my office, mind you; they were calling my cell phone, which is supposed to be used only for drunk dialing and drug deals -- at seven this morning. SO NO I HAVEN'T SLEPT. For the THIRD DAY IN A ROW. And, seeing as I am catching a 7 a.m. flight to Denver tomorrow morning, which means I need to leave the house in...right, FIVE HOURS, and I am not yet packed, and have I mentioned that the high temperature in Denver this weekend is thirty-eight degrees, there is not a lot of sleeping in my future. Send coffee! And a sherpa! And...cookies! I would kind of like a cookie.
That is neither here nor there, but I'm just tossing it out into the universe. Cookies, you should come to me. And you should have a minimum of nuts. The end.
But, anyway. Breathe! Y'all, I don't even remember what sleep feels like. Probably better than I smell. Sometimes, I wish I'd decided to be something that is not a lawyer. Like a ballerina, or a crack whore. I bet the hours are better.
AND SO, because I can't just sit here and daydream about an alternate life in which I was never given a WESTLAW password, now I have to go pack. And, all this crap leads to a bullshit entry, yeah, but I don't want everyone thinking I ran off to the hills with, I don't know. Heath Ledger and a cream pie. Because if that were to happen, I'd at least post some pictures. For history and stuff. Believe me, if something good were to happen, YOU WOULD HEAR ABOUT IT. I don't even like complaining! I mean, yes, I know I am naturally gifted and all, but still. I would rather say a happy story, with cocktails. All this work makes me a dull, dull boy.
But, there is some kind of break ahead, maybe. I'm going to Denver, where Dukay and I will then drive to Vail for the most-difficult-to-attend wedding in recent memory. And also the coldest, and I spent this entire afternoon driving around a humid Atlanta in a tank top, trying to find somewhere that sells a fucking winter coat. Turns out that you can get a winter coat in two places: Saks, where it will cost you fifteen thousand dollars, plus you have to club a seal in the dressing room, or Burlington Coat Factory, which is one thousand miles away from my house, and which -- despite its claims of factory-ism -- possessed a grand total of ZERO coats in my size. That was fun ALSO.
Sigh. I found a coat, eventually, and so maybe I will not freeze slap to death, but we will see. I will try to take pictures of the carnage and goosebumps, and I'll be back next week with the conclusion of my CRAP spectacular. And maybe somewhere in there, I'll even take a nap. Because frankly, I think that might be better for everyone involved.
Shit, Fan, Hitting, SPLAT
Here is the short story, to explain where I am, and why I have not responded to emails or been anywhere in the vicinity of my usual life for the past however long:
Last week, my dad wasn't feeling well. He thought it was just a crappy bug, but my mom, who is (fortunately) always on the lookout for one of us contracting a fatal disease in the manner of Ebola or bird flu, insisted that he take his damn temperature already. When it turned out that his temperature was somewhere around "Lava Hot", she further insisted that he go to the doctor. Much complaining ensued.
By Monday, Dad was in the hospital, with what turned out to be a very dangerous staph infection of the blood. Over the next few days, my daddy was sicker than I have ever seen him. It was one of the scariest weeks of my life, and that's with us NOT knowing what was wrong with him; at the time, we figured it was an ugly infection, but nothing that could actually kill the guy. But then, his blood pressure started dropping. Dad had six different IV bags going into him at the same time. He couldn't eat or sit up or sleep. It was terrifying.
Luckily, by the time we found out that it was a staph infection, of the BLOOD, which is...you know, very bad, he was starting to improve. But it scared the everloving shit out of us, nevertheless.
Anyway, so Mom stayed with Dad in the hospital the ENTIRE TIME, never leaving the room for anything. I moved into my parents' house with the dogs so I could watch all of them in one place, and drove back and forth between home and the hospital to bring them food and clothes and incredibly trashy magazines, which possess a healing power all their own. I have not been in the office since Monday, and I have NO IDEA what kind of drama I am probably missing. It is likely of the "dramatic" variety, but we've all had our hands full here.
Now, it is currently Saturday, and we have Dad back at home, with one of those scary medicine-port things in him. My sister is flying into town tomorrow, to help us (1) stare at him suspiciously, while asking things like, "Do you feel die-ey? WELL NOT ON MY WATCH!" and (2) drink all of the wine in the state of Georgia. We needed assistance in those departments. Y'all are welcome to play at home.
And so, that's it. Now we wait to make sure Dad gets better, and now you know what's been going on over here; pretty much everything in my life has been shoved to the back burner, and I aplologize for all of this missing-ness and unresponsive-ness. I have a very, VERY long list of things that need to be done, starting with checking my email, fixing whatever the hell is wrong with the comments (AGAIN), which also involves finding a new hosting company (incidentally, if you have suggestions, please email me; I'll be able to read it sometime in August, probably); finding out what is wrong with the Shop Doxie email, which is screwy; actually sending the large stack of packages which got tossed unceremoniously onto the back seat of the car as soon as FAMILY EMERGENCY BEEP BEEP STAT 2007 got underway; and...you know. Law stuff. I may never sleep again! That is okay! Frankly, I am just really glad that I get to write this entry about how everything turned out okay, and not otherwise. We all know exactly how lucky we are.
And, one last thing - I have got to thank every person who has been so, so much help this week. Robyn came over every night, y'all, to sit with me. She even accompanied me, in the middle of the night, during a thunderstorm, to the hospital in order to deliver wee little contraband wine bottles to my mother, who had been sleeping on a hideously sticky chair for days, and KIND OF DESERVED SOME BOOZE. Seriously, Robyn rocks. I owe her big.
And, I also owe Dukay, and Cookie, and Dukay's family, and all the nice people at our lawfirm who called every day, and Boomer and Al and Hannah and all of my other friends, both here and online, who offered support and liquor and phone calls and liquor and snacks and liquor. This week has really emphasized the fact that we are surrounded by some of the rockingest people in the world. And again, how lucky we are.
So! That is it. It is not particularly funny, I know, but not much this week has been particularly funny. (Well, except for when I bought Mom a headlamp like a miner, so that she could read while Dad was sleeping? And the poor woman, who had not slept in GOD KNOWS how long, promptly informed the doctor that she was planning to steal his lab coat and start terrorizing the hospital patients, popping into rooms and announcing, "Hi! I'm your new gynecologist! Spread 'em!" Anyway, maybe you had to BE there [yes], but this continues to be funny to me).
Besides that, though, not much funny! I know. I'm still at my parents', where I will continue to try to help out, while also trying to get my shit together. Y'all feel free to email or whatnot, and I will slooooowly manage to get around to everything; comments, again, continue to be dead as a doornail. Naturally.
So! I will be back as soon as possible, with something funnier, and possibly involving Ziz, Ebola, and a miner's light. In the meantime, if y'all would think some good thoughts about my wonderful, wonderful Daddy, I sure would appreciate it.
Kisses to everyone, and you guys take care.
So, if you are in Atlanta. And are bored. And would like to drink and eat to your heart's content and listen to good music and have it all be for a good cause and I am getting KIND OF SICK of doing nothing but plugging shit over here, but I am on some Board of this charity thing and tonight is our party and you should come and hang out in the corner with me and smoke cigarettes and drink wine in a sneakified manner.
Learn more here! Cookie and I are both "hosts," and have spent our afternoon setting up. And now, we are sitting in my den, having a dinner of (a) potato chips, and (b) peanut butter filled pretzels, purchased gleefully at the CVS. We are not planning on showering! WE ARE SO PSYCHED.
Anyway, if you have twenty five bucks, and want to hang out with me and 300 of my nearest and dearest, come on down! I will even buy you a free beer.
And, P.S.: Cookie is going to murder me for not yet posting her story, so I am going to try to do that tomorrow. There were geese! Deadly ones! Seriously, it happens.
Anyway. Y'all please come visit me; I plan on being kind of endearingly tipsy. Not that there's any shock there, honestly.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! And Other Crap
Good...afternoon! I think it is afternoon. I am not wholly sure, but it is my belief that noon has already happened, even if I was not awake to see it. But, that is okay, because it is a holiday weekend! Also, the weekend during which one of my best friends from high school is getting married. That means we haven't had a hell of a lot of sleep. Cocktails, on the other hand, have been plentiful. And nothing stands in the way of my wine, baby.
I really don't have excessive amounts of things for this entry, because it's really more of a head's-up, hello, y'all look at this! kind of thing. Which is atrociously boring, isn't it? But, you know, if I think about it, I bet before I am finished writing all of these words down, something will remind me of something else, and then I will go off on a tangent and we will all be treated to a story about how I fell down/flashed someone/ate something peculiar. Because that is just how I roll. You maybe noticed.
Anyway! SO, here is the latest, in no particular order, and also I am hungry, but nobody can help me there, because the only thing in my refrigerator is mustard:
1. For a variety of issues, most of which stem from my inherent ineptitude and laziness (hi!), I'm extending the sale at my shop. And if I ever get around to it (see: ineptitude, laziness), I will add the new paintings that are sitting in a very colorful stack in the office. We'll see how THAT goes, but you know. When I said all that stuff about three days? Lying through my teeth, apparently. Come flog me!
1(a). I can't stop saying "flogging." Flogging! I have been threatening floggings, describing floggings, and loudly suggesting floggings for days now. How did that get stuck in my head, I wonder? I think maybe the history channel.
1(b). Which doesn't make much sense, actually, now that I think about it, because I haven't been watching the history channel very much lately. No. Instead -- and here we enter into a whole new world of pathetic, I warn you -- I have been staying up all night, or getting up very early, to deal with either (a) the law, or (b) the shop, or (c) any one of ten trillion other things I am trying to get accomplished. And this would suck, except that, every morning, starting at either 6 or 7 a.m. (I think it's 7, but I always forget), some Atlanta channel starts playing back to back episodes of Saved By The Bell. And I...can't help myself. I watch them all, all the way up until they end at 9 a.m. and stupid Dawson's Creek comes on, and that "I don't wanna wait!" starts playing and signifies the end of my television enjoyment, and kills a tiny bit of my soul. And this is just not right, but y'all, I could watch the "I'm so excited!" Jessie Spano caffeine pill meltdown all day long. Like, if it was just that episode over and over, I would be completely satisfied with my life, and would make a little cocoon on the sofa and live there, with the dogs and my personal enjoyment at watching the most unrealistic drug binge of all time. Jessie's so excited? Well, ME TOO. Woo!
2. Hey, should I just go back to bed? I should probably just go back to bed. And forget this entry ever existed. And yet, I forge on.
3. Anyway. Not that you will ever trust my opinion again now that I have told you about my SBTB obsession (did I just abbreviate that? Did), but I have to share something else now. So, pretty much my favorite singer/songwriter is Bill Mallonee, former lead singer of the Vigilantes of Love. And this man is just unreasonably talented, and his lyrics will fucking slay you, every time. If you've never heard of him, I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you check him out, especially if you like pretty music and incredible lyrics (seriously, he references Salome and Pavlov, in the same sentence. Who can do that, without the sentence being, "History contains people named Salome and Pavlov. Have a party!"?) . At any rate, this is his site, and at his mp3 store, you can listen to snippets and download mp3s; and right now, if you have both fingers and speakers, you should go listen to a little bit of Skin (scroll down to the sixth song, and click on the music-y icon). That is my favorite song of ever. It's about Vincent Van Gogh! Cutting off his ear! Ow! But, good!
ANYWAY. More importantly, even, is that Bill is playing a free show on Sunday at the Decatur Arts Festival, and Dukay and I are totally going, even though we are going to smell like liquor, and even though Dukay knows that the possibility exists that I will fall madly in love with this man and offer to have a bucketful of his children. WHATEVER, because that is a small price to pay for a free show, is our thinking. And also, I have always wanted to go to the Decatur Arts Festival. Doesn't it look cool? Si.
SO. If you're in town and not off gallivanting somewhere fun for Memorial Day, you should go! It's at 2 p.m. And you should bring me some wine, please. I will probably need it.
4. That's all I've got, except for one funny thing I just remembered as I was typing (did I say that would happen? Did!), and which occurred last weekend, and which I was reminded of thanks to the roughly ten thousand references to alcohol in this entry. See, we had to make this video. For work. For a sexual harassment training skit. And Cookie, who I used to love but now might have to flog (Floggings!), did all the casting for the script. And guess who she chose for the drunken office slut? Yeah.
For my part, I wore:
1. A very short lace dress I bought at Goodwill for $3 that morning;
2. A hairpiece;
3. Someone's grandma's fur coat (Dear PETA: NOT MINE! NOT MY FUR! DON'T PICKET!);
4. A tiara; and, during certain portions of the video,
5. A lampshade.
The character was really a stretch for me, obviously, as the images below -- which are stills taken directly from our TRAINING video, which will be shown to MANY PEOPLE -- amply demonstrate:
But solution good. HI WINE!
Yep. I'm 110% professional! And nothing stands in the way of my wine. Which is precisely how I started this entry. Hi!
So, that is it! Happy Memorial Day, and I hope to see some of y'all on Sunday!
With So Many Apologies To David Sedaris
I have been traveling for an extraordinarily long time, and in fact, I am still not home, and may never see my family again. I have no idea where I am; I have no recollection of how I got here. All I know is, I have had to get up at 4 a.m. every morning for many days now, and I am not sure I remember where my office is anymore. Which doesn't really explain what is about to follow, but you know. I just felt like bitching there for a second. (Someone! Come and find me and send me home! Thank you.)
Anyway, in the course of my many travels, I ended up in a car with Cookie and someone who spoke French. We began the conversation under the impression that all three people in the car spoke French, but about sixteen seconds in, it became abundantly apparent that: No. Only one person in that car spoke French, and that person was most definitely NOT Cookie or me, but was instead the highly-entertained third party, who was happy to translate our completely fucked-up conversation with unrestrained glee.
Of course, it was like our own little (far-less funny) Me Talk Pretty One Day-moment, and it had us all doubled over in our seats in laughter, which is probably why we ended up missing our exit and all and why we have to live along the side of the road in a BOX now, but THAT IS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, the point being that: I took notes. Because I do that. Because I'm a huge, enormous nerd.
So! Until I am back in civilization, which I sincerely, sincerely hope will happen tomorrow, here is the transcribed and translated conversation of Doxie and Cookie, two people who were, up to the moment the translation began, somewhat convinced that we were at least able to speak a FEW French phrases. At least the thing about the pen of our aunts. But...no.
So, anyway. Enjoy that we are dumb! Have fun! And then, COME FIND ME. I am in a box.
Person Who Can Speak French: (conversation conversation conversation) And, I can speak French.
Doxie: But yes? I are too speaking the Frenching for many seasons!
Cookie: I am also speaking of French for some eras. From when I danced in a ballerina.
Doxie: I was taking the lessons of France from a school when I was shorter.
Cookie: One time, we went to a France and eated the fishes.
Doxie: Oh! Of the fishes! The fishes were good for the eats?
Cookie: BUT NO. The fishes were not warm with the cooking for the eats. They were not the dead fishes.
Doxie: The fishes was swimming?!
Cookie: Yes, yes! The fishes was moving in a moving way.
Doxie: That is some shit on a plate on the table in front of me.
Cookie: It made the Spam ill to himself.
Doxie: I also would be ill to myself, if I too eated the fishes of movement.
Cookie: In a France, the platter of the seafood is not like one that is at the Lobster Red.
Doxie: Because the fishes be swimming more?
Cookie: Because there is not the frying for them.
Doxie: I am love the frying of the fishes and of the chickens. When I am of France, I am ordering of a sandwich.
Cookie: Sandwich is not move.
Doxie: Yes, is right. Sandwich dead.
Cookie: Very beautiful!
Doxie: It is of the critical to take the care when making an order of food in a France.
Cookie: This Spam has learned.
Doxie: Well, this my father was learned when he got himself a brain.
Cookie: Your father getted a brain? In the head?
Doxie: He getted a brain in the stomach! He thought of a brain to be chicken! But no.
Cookie: Oh, that is the BAD.
Doxie: It is the terrible! He was happy not.
Cookie: If they bringed me a brain and not one chicken, I would make the vomit on the table.
Doxie: I would also make the vomit on the table, on the plate of that shit.
Cookie: Beside the plate of the fish of movement, but next to the pen of my aunt.
Doxie: Why will the pen of my aunt be about the table? Where aunt is?
Cookie: Um. My aunt eated the dinner with you? I am only knowing the way that is to say, "the pen of my aunt is on the table."
Doxie: Okay, this is sense. I think of how us should go to a France together one time!
Cookie: And drinking all the wine?
Doxie: But yes! And drinking all the wine of the France!
Cookie: I will make all the talking!
Doxie: This idea, it is yes. But let us not take the aunt.
Y'all have a good day! I will be back as soon as I figure out where in ther HOLY FUCK I AM. And for everyone's sake, let's all pray the locals don't speak French.
Oh, P.S. and all: I forgot! I also went to another place, which was significantly nicer than my box on the side of the road -- Gee and Al got all married in South Carolina, and it was gorgeous. If you are vaguely masochistic, we took waaaaay too many pictures of the ensuing debauchery, all of which can be viewed in a sleep-deprived photoset here. (If you click on a picture in the set? The caption shows up! I learned this!) And you have my express permission to laugh at my hair.
While I Am At It, I Also Recommend The Chicken!
Around this time of year, I am always approached by people who want me to write letters of recommendation for them. Why anyone thinks that I am important enough to write a letter of recommendation sort of defies all understanding, but I am guessing that those unfortunate people who do approach me with this request are, at that point, desperate, and have whittled their requirements down accordingly. So, instead of, "I would like a letter of recommendation from a well-respected scholar or legal professional" (and I am not a member of that group), they have now settled on, "I will happily accept a letter of recommendation from anyone with a pulse, and who is not addicted to heroin, please God." Now, this second group -- Group Two -- this is the category I fall into. As do kangaroos, Bo, and probably most contestants on Deal or No Deal. This does not say very much for Group 2.
(Also, now that I think about it, maybe it is getting harder to find people who can write you letters of recommendation and do so in complete words and sentences, rather than filling the recommendation form with a dissertation composed in the perplexing language of myspace text-speak, i.e., "Jane v. smart & u shd let hr in yr skool 4 law." Although, now that I have actually typed that out and sort of half-assedly finished the thought, it occurs to me that, wouldn't that...kind of rock? Seriously, wouldn't it be kind of awesome to get a recommendation letter written in textspeak? If I were in charge of the world (see: evil master plan), I would admit the person as a matter of principle. But, I kind of imagine that this is not what the recommendees are hoping for, so I guess I am going to have to restrain myself. And it is hard. And I am, shockingly, totally off my original point, which I shall now attempt to remember.)
But, anyway. So, Spam, who is the man who is married to Cookie, and who is also the man who came up with the Viking Funeral idea, has decided to go to law school, where he will gleefully set his opposing counsel on fire and toss them in a cooler out on Lake Lanier. Because at least some of that sentence is true, he needs some letters of recommendation, and he asked me to write one. And that is no problem, because I like Spam, and Spam is smart, and it is not difficult to write a recommendation for people who (a) I actually know, (b) I actually like, and (c) are actually smart. Those recommendations are easy pants! On those recommendations, I can actually think of things to say other than "His tee-shirt collection is both extensive in number and unparalleled in variety," or "I am pleased to report that recently, this candidate has apparently been showering more frequently."
But, I got to thinking when I started writing Spam's letter, and I started to wonder how, exactly, one could compose a letter or recommendation that actually served to un-recommend someone, but which did so in a way that made it kind of hard to tell, on first glance, that the writer kind of thinks that the person is a twit. Anybody can write a letter that says, "DUDE, Bob SUCKS, his work SUCKS, he smells like a TIRE that has mated with a wet DOG, and he spreads a pestilence of evil wherever he GOES." It takes something more, I thought, to write one where the twit reader says, "Huh...okay, good, I guess!" but anyone with at least a mild IQ is laughing uncontrollably, and thinking, "Dude, that guy must be a total fucking asshole. I am going to burn his application as an offering to the gods."
Anyway, I was sort of inspired by this thought, but I was ten times more inspired by the thought that, hey! I spy an opportunity to fuck with my friend Spam! Because, seeing as he is not an idiot, he will read the letter and know it is not nice, but he will also wonder if I have actually sent it off and now he is stuck with a recommendation that makes people want to shower after reading it, and HA that is funny to me, particularly when it is really, really late at night. Which it was, when this idea was conceived. ( Which I know comes as a total shock to everyone, seeing as I have apparently given up sleep for the duration. Hi!)
So, as soon as the actual, glowing, compliment and accomplishment-filled letter was actually written and mailed, I sat myself down and wrote a second letter. And then I printed that letter on professional letterhead, made a copy of it for Spam, and sent it home with his wife, along with the message that I am always happy to help a friend in need, because I don't know if he knows this or not, but evidently, I am some kind of saint.
Now, I have to say -- I liked my fake recommendation letter. I liked it kind of a lot, and so I got to thinking (again, with the "got to thinking" crap! What is with me today? Either I'm stuck on writing in legal mode, or I'm talking like I don't wear me any shoes) that there were probably other people in this world who have faced the predicament of being the non-recommendy letter writer, and maybe they need my help, and hey, MAYBE that is the thing I was put on this earth to do, is help those people by giving them an example of a professional-sounding, but wholly meaningless, recommendation letter. And because I am not someone who likes to fuck with Life's True Purpose (although, did I ever tell y'all that one time I decided that my Life's True Purpose was to get a tattoo of Johnny Cash on my backside, only I would get the tattoo of a young Johnny Cash, and then as I wrinkled, he would wrinkle, and we would grow old together in harmony? For about sixteen minutes in 1999, this seemed like the best idea ever had by anyone at any time, even better than the wheel or Oreo cookies, and thus, I concluded it must be my Life's True Purpose, but then I called my dad to inform him of the path God and Johnny had chosen for me, only he threatened to have me written out of the will, so instead I went to law school, the end), I hereby share this letter with y'all, the people who join me, kangaroos, and Bo in the illustrious Group 2, and who just can't find a professional way to communicate the fact that the guy you're writing about has the IQ of a spatula. You are my people, and this is for you, so allow me to present:
MISS DOXIE'S HANDY NONSPECIFIC LETTER OF NONRECOMMENDATION
(Names changed to protect innocent people who set babies on fire for fun)
Members of Some Fancy Ass Committee
Code of Zip
RE: Letter of Recommendation for Spam Babyburner
To the Members of the Fancy Ass Committee:
I am writing this letter at the request of Spam Babyburner, who has applied for admission to your law school. I hope the following proves helpful as you undertake the difficult admissions process.
I have known Spam for some amount of time, and I can honestly state that, if you are looking for a student like Spam Babyburner to attend your school, then Spam Babyburner is your man. He will absolutely meet your expectations for someone with his qualifications. Furthermore, the abilities and skills he possess will satisfy any requirements you may have for those particular skills and abilities. In addition to everything else, Spam has both interests and hobbies, which he enjoys on some occasions. And, in some limited ways, those interests and hobbies could potentially help Spam to increase in both skill and ability, thereby enriching him as a person.
Spam has numerous accomplishments, including some attendance at both educational establishments and in the professional world. In both places, Spam was continually well known for his various attributes, and clearly met even the lowest expectations for success. I don't think anyone expected less of Spam!
To conclude, having known Spam for an amount of time, I can tell you that there are few people like Spam in this world. As such, Spam is a unique individual, and a far cry from other people who are not precisely the same. I am sure that his uniqueness will make quite a difference at your school.
For the above reasons, I again offer you this letter of recommendation, and I thank you for your time.
P.S.: Spam sets babies on fire.
(If you did not guess, the P.S. is both optional and awesome, and absolutely present on Spam's letter. Probably it will not be so applicable to the rest of y'all, unless there is something very, very bothersome that you have not been telling me.)
So, in sum: this may only be funny to me, but the next time someone asks you for a letter of recommendation? You just might thank me then. Or maybe, you will still not think this is funny, in which case, please blame it all on exhaustion and we will just forget that any of this ever happened.
Except, of course, for Spam, who is not likely to forget that he now owes me Reprisals. So, tune in soon, Tokyo, so we can all find out whether Spam set me on fire in a styrofoam cooler. And until then, everyone have a good day! GRP 2 4EVR!
You Can't Have It All, J.C. Wiatt! No One Can!
Everyone in my life, both people who know me and usually see me regularly, and those people who only know me through the computer, are under the impression that I have up and disappeared. I imagine that they think I have run off and joined either a coven or a convent (...could go either way), and that I have given up on the material world and am living on a tropical island wearing a loincloth knitted from the shredded remnants of legal briefs and motions, eating palm fronds and trying to make wine from coconut milk. Sadly, this is not the case.
INSTEAD, the case is that I have been so suddenly and painfully overwhelmed with legal work that I have completely lost contact with the world outside of my office, except I have had LOTS of contact with various clients and employees and workplaces that smell vaguely of vinegar and double entendres, and I have never wished more fervently that this thing we call "client confidentiality" did not exist, because if I could tell y'all what I am in the middle of right now, you would laugh until you died. And then you would buy me a box of wine, drill a hole in the top, and insert a straw, and this would be your thoughtful present to me. And I would not even complain if the wine was pink. THAT IS HOW FAR GONE I AM.
I have a few very close friends who all exchange emails on a daily basis, and even they haven't heard from me since, like, December. Except for every once in a while, when I pop in to utter some complete insanity along the lines of, "Hey, I'm not dead, y'all, and y'all need to come over because I bought a new slipcover for the sofa and it looks really good, and I think I'm going to have this guy arrested this afternoon and my secretary just brought me this really big box and I'm afraid it's got a human head in it so I've gotta go. Later!"
So, in short: I am a little overwhelmed right now. And being overwhelmed makes me talk in a mysterious manner. And then I am like an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, soaked in an acid trip, and then played out on reality television. In short, my life rules. But my emails rule more.
So, because I still haven't managed to write that entry about New Years and the fire and the screaming (although, I have made the video, but it's a windows media file thing; does that mean y'all Mac types can't see it? Because wouldn't THAT be a tragedy), I am going to share the following with you. These are pretty much all of the actual emails I have had the time to write recently. In trying to recreate where the fuck I have been for the last month, this is what I have found. This is also all of the evidence my friends and family and co-workers have to determine what, precisely, has happened to me. I am sure they are planning an intervention. Do people bring wine to interventions? Maybe we can do that tomorrow!
Anyway. E-mails! And I assure you, as much as these fail to make any sense whatsoever to you, they make even LESS sense to the people who actually received them. I am sorry, people whom I love.
THIS IS WHAT THIS MONTH WAS LIKE.
I am not paying any attention to what I am typing because I can't stop watching Baby Boom. I think I just saw an extra wearing Units. And I thought to myself, what a wonderful world.
Holy crap, thank you for bringing me food. I was about to starve, and I went up there, and made it as far as the conference room door when I just happened to glance down and catch sight of the fact that I have apparently made a very poor series of bra/shirt fabric weight choices today, and also it is cold, and the resulting nipplage sent me running down the stairs in horror, only the stairs contained [partner], who spoke to me for several minutes while I attempted to look casual with my arms crossed over my chest like a mummy. I have not left my office since. But thanks to you, I am not hungry! Just slutty.
Hey, good looking! I am writing to ask what you have got cooking.
ONE. Cut a hole in a box!
My hair is seceding from the union. I need a cocktail and a caddle prod.
I bought Dukay one of those toilet paper holders that plays your iPod. It's basically everything he stands for as a person.
I drew you a beautiful picture out of art and unicorns and opposing counsel.
He asked me about that code section, too, and I said that nobody knows, as it is a mystery like Stonehenge and the pyramids.
am engage din a battle to the death with th new compuuuuter systm, which has crashed my computer four tomes this moring and now will only type 1 letter every 6 mmmmmmmmmmminutrs JESUSSS CHRIST.
But I've always wanted to blow up Paducah!
I'm doing awesome. Except for the blinding rage I feel towards Lynn Johnson [writer and illustrator of For Better or For Worse.] LYNN, YOU ARE ON THE LIST.
Seriously, I am going to start keeping mace in my desk. Mace, and wine.
Ooo, and roofies.
Do you think my dad will laugh if I send him a text message that says, "HI MOTHERFUCKER!"?
FEATS OF STRENGTH! FEATS OF STRENGTH!
If I ever have to write a song about a fish, I'm going to call it "Like a Sturgeon." You can't stop me. Nobody can.
Hey, is a "sturgeon" a fish?
I will beat him for you.
I'm taking a five minute break! Bring me an eyebrow pencil and some Sun Chips!
There are all these billboards all over Atlanta saying I can pay money to "SEE DONALD TRUMP LIVE", but I just want to know how much it would cost to see him the opposite.
My brain just popped.
I have decided that people don't exist unless they are standing in my office. So that means you are a figment of my imagination, and I do not have the time to talk to myself right now.
I am in the market for some tender hugs.
I made a full-grown man cry yesterday. He deserved it.
(And finally, even though I never do that whole IM thing because I find it all perplexing, I do want to share this bit of conversation I had with Dukay the other day):
Dukay: i just ate some british rugged mature cheese on butterfly butter crackers
Doxie: That sure is fancy.
Dukay: it was that or velveeta
Doxie: I'm trashy and would have gone for spreadability.
Dukay: and orange
Doxie: Know how people use whipped cream during sex?
Dukay: messy people
Doxie: Do you think Britney Spears uses EZ-CHEEZ?
Dukay: that is really disgusting.
Doxie: I know. I'm sorry.
Dukay: can we do that soon?
Doxie: I have put it on my calendar for Friday night.
Doxie: Seriously, I think there is something wrong with me that I just started wondering about Britney Spears and EZ CHEEZ.
Dukay: ok, so we arent going to do that?
Y'all have a good week; I'm going to go have some cheese. And maybe watch Baby Boom again.
And, P.S.: I just got around to reading the comments on the last entry, and, heeeeeee! Y'all are so funny. Please go ahead and send that search party. The first one. With the wine. And Jack Bauer. But not Jack's ooky wax hand, for: ew.
I know, I know! It is blank, and I am awful, and I haven't even told y'all about Christmas, or New Year's, or whether Bo got his virgins (no) or anything else in the world that is important, but I've been out of town for forEVER doing an investigation. And I'm about to head out again, but this time it is only for a day, so we are glad.
I've been working on an entry about all the festivities, and I will have it up just as soon as I can, but I didn't want y'all to think I'd up and died or something. And then I had this really strange dream last night where my whole website caught some crazy artificial-life internet virus and took on a personality all its own, and entries started showing up that I hadn't even written, and in those entries I was portrayed as sort of a mix of Joan Collins and Che Guevara (i.e., a revolutionary bitch). And it was very perplexing to me. As it would have been to anyone, really.
In addition to the investigation, I have also been trying really hard to figure out how to edit a video from our New Year's Eve party. This video is hugely entertaining to me, but I think it is maybe a little bit hard to hear, so I thought, "Well, I will just add captions to this video, which will not be hard, and then I will post it on my site and it will continue to be hugely entertaining to me, while only vaguely entertaining to others, but, hey." Only, that sentence there is evidently the height of folly, because "adding captions to mpg" has turned out to be the most complicated endeavor ever attempted by modern man, on par with air traffic control and dismantling a nuclear warhead. So, one of these days maybe I will figure it out and then we can all witness the climax of our New Year's Eve festivities, which involved (1) fire (2) the breaking of several laws, ordinances and moral codes, including the golden rule of "give a hoot, don't pollute" (but, we only sort of accidentally polluted! Don't tell...Smoky the Bear? I forget which animal enforces that particular rule. Is it an owl? Is it the same owl from the Tootsie Roll commercial? You know, the owl with the mortar board and...glasses, I think? Is that the polluting owl? If it isn't, do you think they are related? Do you think I should move on and not think so much about cartoon owls?) and (3) the Ride of the Valkyries, on a boom box, God help us all.
So, that is that, and now I am off for extended investigation fun. Y'all have a good afternoon, and if Che Guevara, Joan Collins, or a woodland creature wearing a park ranger's hat comes looking for me, please tell them I moved to Finland. To ride with those Valkyries.
Lord, it has been...what? Two weeks? Three weeks? Something like that? It has definitely been something like that, and y'all, I wish I had spectacular trips and adventures to tell you about, and that on spectacular trips and adventures was where I've been all this time, but all I can say is, hi. Work is awesome! How are you?
So, I’m kind of far behind in my laundry. I am also kind of far behind in “calling people back,” “reading or responding to emails,” and “bringing the mail from the mailbox to the house.” It has been that kind of busy.
And, right slap dab in the middle of that kind of busy, the Gods of We Hate This House decided to strike again, and I have officially entered that point in Poltergeist where the little girl gets all sucked into the TV (only to be spit out 20 years later as the Ring girl? Hello, new theory!), because clearly, this house is not clean. It is not at rest. The house is haunted by the dead love of Shelley Long and Tom Hanks in the Money Pit, and I am kind of to the point of recognizing that, if it happened in that movie, we can be relatively certain it’s going to happen at my own address. The ghosts have been watching late nights on TBS, and they have been taking notes.
Who are these angry spirits who taunt me? Previous owners? Probably not, seeing as they are not dead, and now live in Birmingham.
Civil War spirits, which are supposed to be kicking it, dead-style, all over the ATL? Again, not likely, because the whole area was just farm land back then, and did not exactly see much action. (Mostly it saw cows.)
Which leads me to the conclusion that this has to be some kind of crazy Poltergeist thing, and I am actually buried on top of ten zillion bodies and Craig T. Nelson is grabbing my collar and screaming they only moved the headstones! They moved the headstones, but they left the bodies! WHY? WHYYYYY?
And maybe Craig T. Nelson is right. Because, please. How else do you explain the fact that now, in addition to doors falling off of their hinges, cabinets falling off of the walls, appliances catching rabies and going on minor killing sprees, AND a big fucking hole in the front yard, I now have, in the backyard:
(1) a mud pit, and
(2) no fence?
How do you explain that? Without resorting to poltergeists, I mean? Because I can’t do it. Sorry. There is otherworldly crap at hand. Please bring me Dr. Peter Venkman.
Here is short story. Short story is, know how I have been really busy lately? I have, and the busy-ness was not really assisted by the fact that my parents have also been out of town for the last two weeks, off visiting Ziz, and so I have also had eight dogs staying at my house. Stupidly, the dogs were allowed to bring their bladders along.
So, I got home one night and opened the back door to let the dogs out in the backyard, so that those bladders could be relieved. And it was dark outside, but still. When I had left that morning, I had been in the possession of a back yard, and a complete and total fence. I felt pretty confident in my belief that those things would still be there now, but as we all know, I am a fucking moron, because guess what I heard.
I heard: BARKBARKBARK, as all eight dogs apparently discovered something of which I was not aware.
And then I heard barkbarkbark as the sounds of eight dogs barking suddenly started to get…farther away. Hmm. Mysterious.
And then I heard: Bark? Which is the sound of Gimmme, all alone in the yard, wondering WHERE EVERYBODY GO?
Curious, I walked outside, and this is where I discovered that there was, in the middle of the backyard, an enormous green earth-moving machine. And I discovered also that the machine had been living up to its name, baby, because all of the earth in my backyard, which had previously contained things like flowers and grass, was fucking gone, replaced entirely by mud, leaves, and tire tracks, and that apparently, the earth mover got a liiiiiiiittle bit carried away, because guess what was also moved? The fence. The fucking fence. A good five feet of it was completely and totally gone.
So, this means seven (Gimmme ran in exactly the opposite direction, and missed his chance for freedom) dachshunds were now embarking on their own tiny, angry prison break up through the neighbors’ yard, exodus-ing all over the neighbor’s rhododendron, and having a very big time. I screamed bloody hell murder that DOGS FREE, and Dukay and I sprang into action by tearing through the mud, up the hill, and basically grabbing anything short, brown, and wiggly, by any short wiggly part we could get a hold of. Ultimately, we managed to gather all seven, while Gimmme continued to wander happily through the destruction of my back yard, all, “Ground is sticky today!” and utterly clueless about the entire rest of the world.
Upon tossing the seven dogs back into the kitchen, I again went outside in my (now-ruined) shoes in order to have a better look at the damage. I tried taking a picture, wondering if this was the sort of thing where I would have to file an insurance claim, and whether that claim would say, “Attack by rogue earth-moving equipment; casualties: yard/fence/sanity,” or whether I should just be honest and tell them that, “Hoodoo of house spreading and infecting nearby construction equipment; exorcism requested.”
Of course, because it was night, most of these pictures did not so much come out. But, I did get one, which sadly does not show the missing fence (it was off to the side), but I still think it is important for Science that I share this with you:
Photographic Proof of Hoodoo Afoot
Let us take this to close-up:
Gimmme also afoot, in mud. Gimmme is what we usually consider "not a flight risk," except then I end up booking it naked down the street, so maybe I am being a little cocky this picture-taking.
Okay, see that? That brown expanse right there? Used to be grass. Which Dukay had actually just mowed two days before, and so it was actually nice, well-trimmed grass. Oh, those were the good old days.
But, also, know what else you see? (Besides….Gimmme?) Ghost. You can see the shimmering spectre of some angry little spirit, taunting me evilly with the loss of my yard/fence/etc. I mean, it’s either a spectre or the neighbor’s light, but I know which side my money’s on, I will tell you THAT.
So, of course, there turns out to be a sort-of acceptable explanation for all this insanity, that being that the water pipe that allegedly busted in the front yard was just the beginning of the water problems plaguing the city at the moment, and it is therefore now necessary for them to dig up my backyard, as well, because there's probably a bust back there, too. Some Scooby-like sleuthing turned up a business card stuck on the front door (which we missed, because we did not come in the front door that evening) announcing that, "Fence will be back tomorrow." Like it just stepped out for a minute. Sick day for fence!
Shockingly, the fence did come back the next day, and the dogs were thrilled to be able to go outside again, and roll orgasmically in the mud that used to be my grass. Notice, however, that the note did not tell me when the grass will be back. It looks like the grass is taking extended personal leave. (Problems at home!) So, I guess things have sort of improved, if a yard full of mud can, in any way, be viewed as an improvement.
But, still, I know better. Because the next time we get rain, I know damn well those coffins are going to start popping up out of the ground all willy-nilly, and Bo is going to be sucked into the television set where he will bark towards the light, and heirlooms are going to start falling out of the ceiling, and Dukay is going to have to throw me into a closet with a dog leash tied around my waist and I am going to have to scream, "RUN FROM THE LIGHT, BO! STOP WHERE YOU ARE! DON'T EVEN LOOK AT IT!" and then I'll pop out of the fireplace cradling the dog, and we will be all covered in strawberry jam and looking ethereal, and also, dead.
So, obviously, we have a lot to look forward to over here! I'm psyched. And if shit doesn't stop happening to and around this damn house, then I'm moving into a Howard Johnson with Craig T. Nelson, where we will be safe and happy, and where the hoodoo will never hurt us, ever again.
At least, not until it's time for a sequel.
Y'all have a good week, and I'll be back later this week with the Gift Guide, and to tell y'all all my little, geeky news. So, stick around, and please don't go into the light.
And now Updated
...because holy shit, I can't believe I forgot to show you the Scariest Picture of All Halloween. Taken in my own house! Because we all know how I get around Halloween time. ("Crazy", is the answer I am going for here. I get "crazy," with the decorating and the festivity and the celebration of death and decay, which....hey there, healthy!)
So, I have Scary Pictures. But, see, we are having a disagreement about the scariest picture. We are a house divided. There are two choices, and y'all, what do you think? Is this the scariest picture of all Halloween, as it is a scary skeleton lit up by a strobe light in an upstairs window, and captured on film at exactly the right second by someone I seriously doubt was myself? I mean, eeeee, right?
Scary Picture Number One
OR, is THIS the scariest picture you've ever seen, captured definitely by me, at the end of a series of decisions to dress Bo in a sweater, no, in a fleece jacket, and then let's put a pumpkin hat on his head, no, that's just not right, no, DUDE, we HAVE to do it, and that is what led to this, o calm before the storm of teeth:
Scary Picture Number AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
And here we are, smack in our dilemma. Which is scarier to you? Looking at the skeleton, are you only vaguely scared, like you watched something on the Disney channel? But then, you looked at the Bo picture and became very scared, right, like, where you have-to-get-up-and-point-at-the-television-and-holler-at-people-scared, because I may have mentioned this before, but sometimes the GIRL comes OUT of the TV?
Now, is that how you felt? Because I am sure there is no middle ground here. Whatsoever.
(Incidentally, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I am one to talk, because, new thing I just realized the other night: no matter how old I get, and no matter how many times I see it, the movie scene which scares me above all others -- and I have seen a lot of fucking scary movies, people, with blood and gore and beheadings and etc. -- the scariest scene of all time to me is still that scene from the fucking GOONIES, where Chunk goes into the freezer, and there's the dead body all leaning in the corner in the garbage bag, and everyone is just staring at it silently, and...HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. Honestly, it came on the other night, and I couldn't even watch it. I had to look away and squeal, because SCARY BODY IS ABOUT TO FALL ON CHUNK. Maybe someone tossed a glad-wrapped corpse on me when I was a kid, I don't fucking know, but, dude. That scene scares the everloving SHIT out of me, and I have no idea why. HELP ME WITH THIS.)
But, uh. Anyway. Guess that's...it. I just wanted y'all to see those pictures. And tell you about my Goonies problem. And, with all of that out of the way, I'll head on back to the Howard Johnson, because I bet Craig T. Nelson is missing the heck out of me by now. Talk to y'all soon!
Quality Is Overrated
Hi there! Hope you are not looking for something good! Because, I have been a little busy. And apparently, as demonstrated below, I do not have the time for complete sentences. Aren't you psyched?
So basically, here is the short version. And by short version, I mean "now I will go over, in minute detail, the trivial annoyances that have kept me from writing stuff."
It also means, "By the way, I seem to have written this whole thing in the present tense. Seriously, please go read the newspaper. Or a flyer. Or an instruction manual, for God's sake, because this is all I've got and I actually need to get back to work even though it is 11 p.m."
But anyway. Shortish version:
Last week, I go to work, like the little adult I pretend to be. While there, I am informed that I am leaving for Dallas the following day. Dandy.
I catch a 7 a.m. flight to Dallas the next morning. I get to Dallas and I deal with a Crisis, which turns out to be so delightfully crisis-y and compounded that I never actually see my hotel room in Dallas, which allegedly contained (1) a bed, and (2) a shower. Instead, I spend the entire night working in a bitty little office that is quite literally, according to the properties of gravity and physics, too small to contain me, my laptop, and my Delta-approved carry-on bag all at the same time. We take shifts.
It is about sixteen hundred degrees in this office. I am informed that the heat is stuck on high, but that someone is coming to fix it the next day. This does not help me very much.
Also, there is no food. I start chewing on pencils and checking the corners for discarded, hair-covered mints. I am unsuccessful.
The next morning, I arrive at the airport at 5:30 in preparation for my 7 a.m. flight, wearing the same suit that I flew to Dallas in the day before. Only now it is sweatier. In the past 24 hours, I have eaten a total of three peanuts and one half of a slimy, brownish banana that someone located in a breakroom. Everything is closed, and so I prepare to scavenge for unaccompanied children, who I will cook over a spit in a darkened sundries store.
I go through security. I am repeatedly informed, by officious little plastic signs, that I am not allowed to make jokes about bombs. Immediately, all I can think of are a lot of jokes about bombs. There are not very many good jokes about bombs.
I bypass the line of people who are waiting to have their liquids inspected. I feel vaguely superior for having packed no liquids.
Possibly I am a little too cocky about my understanding of the regulations regarding liquids on carry-ons.
Following the x-ray of my bag, I am pulled out of the line, without shoes, and informed that there is a Problem. A very nice man directs me to the holding area for alarming airplane flyers. I have been wearing the same suit for over 30 hours. I smell worse than anybody else, and I am oddly satisfied by that. I plan on using this fact in my defense, as it means that I have obviously not packed any liquid, such as, for example, perfume.
(Or soap, actually. I also have no soap.)
The nice man shakes his head at me. I am informed that I have committed the cardinal offense of bringing lip gloss onto the airplane. Time for beatings.
I am also informed that lip gloss is a regulated item, and is listed on the same page as nunchakus. meat cleavers, and sabers. Also prohibited on this list: cattle prods, throwing stars, and dynamite. I am heartened by the fact that I am reasonably sure that I left my cattle prod at home, but...I mean, you never know! What if I packed it by accident?
Also, in reviewing the list kindly provided by the nice man, all I can think is that this...well, I mean, it's sort of an alarming tableau of kinky. The only way these elements may again be reunited is if they remake Blue Velvet. I think I am funny.
Simultaneously, I think immediately of about fifteen jokes involving lip gloss and bombs. With great effort, I supress.
The nice man starts to go through my bag. I tell him timidly -- as one does when she has no shoes on and her jacket is over there somewhere and so she is in this little camisole shirt thing and she is cold and also possibly a felon -- that I do not wear lip gloss. I am unaware of a lip gloss situation. I am not perpetuating the lip gloss machine! Plus, I do not even own any throwing stars. Basically, what I am saying is, YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG GIRL.
The nice man proceeds to empty the contents of my carry-on. This enables me to see the clean underwear I am not wearing. I sigh.
Nice man sifts through the clothes, and finds my little toiletries bag. He very carefully lifts the bag, as though my lip gloss may detonate at any minute ("Easy, breezy, beautiful, BOOM!"), and sloooooowly unzips the top.
(I am actually all fascinated now, because did someone actually plant lip gloss on my person? That would be...I don't even know. Kind of awesome.)
(I begin imagining a Maybelline Mafia, led by Christy Turlington. They are all armed with eyelash curlers and those white pencils I have no idea what one is supposed to do with. This is sort of pleasing again, and I forget about the underwear problem.)
But I am right smack dab in the middle of the lip gloss problem still, and this is when nice man lets out a little gasp of FOUND IT, and promptly pulls out...a tube of lipstick.
"Lip gloss," he whispers.
"Lipstick," I say. "Which is hard. You know."
He stares, perplexed, at the little tube. And then he opens it, and rolls it on out, and sighs.
"Lipstick!" I say triumphantly, at 6 a.m. and wearing the same suit I have worn for thirty hours. I feel vindicated. I am taking what I can get at this point, and see, I am not a crook, mister nice guy in the vest! I told you I didn't wear lip gloss, you big old non-believer looking out for my well-being!
He continues to stare at the tube. Then he suddenly leans in to me.
"How am I supposed to tell?" he asks in a desperate whisper. "It all looks the same. I've been screening for ten years, but what do I know about makeup? I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MAKEUP."
"Well, lip gloss is...wetter," I begin, trying to be helpful. But he has other fish to fry.
"And do you know what they have now?" he continues, about two centimeters away from my face. "They have LIQUID EYELINER. PLEASE TELL ME WHY WOMEN NEED LIQUID EYELINER."
"I don't...hi!" I say. "Hi! Actually, can I have my shoes?"
He is not much listening to me.
"Are Prescriptives prescribed?" he demands. "Is that medicine? Because a lady last week told me that Prescriptives makeup was medicine."
I end up spending a good ten minutes with the nice guy in the vest. He has sort of a working knowledge of makeup brands now. I may have made a joke about Wet 'N Wild being an explosive device that magically transported all wearers back to 1985, but fortunately, he overlooked that. Small plastic signs everywhere quivered in horror. And I am officially the lamest little rebel in all of Texas.
Incidentally, I manage to remember that everything is bigger in Texas.
Simultaneously, I opt not to mess with the state.
Probably for these reasons, I am permitted to board the plane. I am sitting in the middle seat of the second-to-last row.
Next to a baby. And I like babies. But this one is mad.
Although I am bone tired, and still have seven zillion more things to do, and have been detained for transporting dangerous cosmetics, I still recognize the fact that I have officially begun living a cliche. I start looking for white people dancing badly/women shopping/men refusing to ask for directions.
The flight attendant, who recognizes me from the previous day, and apparently recognizes the suit -- or smells the desperation coming off of me in waves (smells like feet!) -- offers me a little bottle of vodka from her pocket. It is 7:16 a.m.
The in-flight movie thingy is about Jennifer Anniston's status as a style icon. It involves a lot of pictures of her breasts, plus startling statements about her personal style, such as the time she wore a red dress. "RED HOT!" hollers the little box on the screen. Two minutes later, she is "THE LADY IN RED!" This makes the baby scream. I understand the baby.
I doze off, only to be immediately shaken awake by nice flight attendant with the vodka, who informs me that I am drooling onto the bosoms of the passenger in seat 48F. I am only mildly horrified by this. Passenger in seat 48F, who had explained to me upon take-off that she was "drugged to the gills" and would sleep through the flight, is entirely unconscious, and has not noticed.
I spend a solid ten minutes debating whether it is proper to clean my own drool off of passenger in 48F. I ask myself repeatedly, "What would Jackie O. do?" I finally realize that Jackie O. would not be caught dead in seat 48E.
Watch more of Jennifer Anniston's boobs. A red dress again? What vision!
The baby has a cold. The baby is travelling with his dad. His dad is sleeping. The baby starts sneezing on me. Copiously.
The flight attendant brings me a washcloth, as the entire left side of my body is covered in snot. She wakes the baby's dad and informs him that baby just sneezed up a gallon of sludge. He tells her to mind her own business.
She offers me the vodka again.
I arrive in Atlanta. I pay one hundred million dollars to retrieve my car. I return to the office, smelling like a jock strap and covered in infant snot. I inform my co-workers that I am sexy. They gag reflexively.
I start working, and quickly realize that I cannot find the paperwork I am supposed to have.
I turn my carry-on bag inside out, before realizing that paperwork in question is probably still on the inspection table in the dangerous-flyers section of DFW airport. With a nice guy in a vest.
I see something small and shiny in the bottom of the bag, way over in the corner, half concealed by the stitching. I reach down, wiggle it out, and hold it up in the light.
It is a tube of lip gloss. And it is made by Wet 'N Wild.
Seriously. Where it came from, I do not know. But this is when I decided to go home.
So, now you know where I've been! And clearly, I've been all busy, being a hardcore lip gloss smuggler. They'll never catch me! I'm Wet! 'N I am Wild! I am too wild to spell out the entirety of the word "and." That is pretty damn wild.
I have, actually, done other things as well, including a trip to the mountains with our bestest friends Spam and Cookie (listen, do not blame me for these nicknames, as they were Spam's own creation, and that is only after he was convinced not to refer to his wife as "Turkey," as was apparently the original plan). And we took pictures of leaves there. And we drank some things, and I was sorry I had not collected all those nice little vodka bottles for later.
But unfortunately, I can't go into much detail about all that awesomeness, as I have to do more work now, because I am still busy as all hell. But here are several things I should type before I go back to typing words like "aforementioned" and "heretofore," which are, at this point, dangerously close to becoming part of my regular vocabulary:
1. I have 1,310 emails. I have read about six of them. I swear I will get to it. If it is some sort of email emergency, please just...I don't know. Alert me somehow! Try faxing!
2. Y'all go here and check out the lovely things these talented people are selling for breast cancer awareness month. Each of them is donating some percentage of their sales to breast cancer related charities, and this is obviously very cool. So shop, but feel totally good about it, and everyone wins! Including boobs!
3. I don't actually have a third thing.
Y'all have a good week, and I will try to stop working for a minute and be back with some actual stories about something or other. Until then, nobody mix lip gloss and a cattle prod. Because that sounds a little too wet 'n wild, even for me.
The Grind Sucks
Well, vacation is officially over, and I am officially home, having officially driven infinity miles in a car with El Dukay. Having just driven infinity miles in the car with Dukay, maybe I could take this opportunity to remind everyone that Dukay and I have a fundamental difference of opinion when it comes to Music, What Constitutes, as opposed to Horrible Nonsensical Sound, Definition Of. I could do this now. I could remind you of that fact. I could also remind you that spoons are sometimes involved in Dukay's version.
But, no. No! I won't stoop to such...lows. Or something. Mainly, because I complained about that already last year, and I should probably try to be at least remotely creative. As such, maybe it would be a good time to tell you about my vacation, if you are interested in that sort of thing (i.e., "Me me me me me!"), but I really, I don't have much to report on that front. The beach was awesome, and this was pretty much what I looked at every single day for the past two weeks:
Leigh's Knees. It's rhyme-y!
Only now, that is all over, and my view will be significantly different when I get to work tomorrow and behold the massive pile of undone things sitting on my desk, vying desperately for attention against the persistent, blinking light of the voicemail inbox, which is all, "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey? Hey? Hey! Hey!" until you finally listen to the damn messages, and I am just totally not excited about any of it. Boo, work. Yay, knees on a beach.
The vacation was awesome, though, and obviously, I am very glad to have been able to take the time off, and I am very glad that I got to hang out with my family, and that I got to vacate with El Dukay, who managed to show up even though he kind of missed the highway the first time and practically ended up in a whole nother state by the time he was tracked down, but I am not supposed to mention that here, because the whole experience left him a little bit testy, people. So testy, in fact, that it was necessary to employ super-intensive calming-down measures, which meant that my mother and I had to visit not one, but two different liquor stores, to procure all of the ingredients necessary for super-intensive calming. Fortunately, we were successful, because my mother and I can sniff out liquor from a mile away, which makes us remarkably useful in very, very limited situations. Here, however, our skills were in full effect, and I am sure you were all proud.
I am sure you will also be proud to learn that, you guys, I am actually...slightly tan! Not really tan, and I am certainly not approaching the Orange Fanta wonder that is the jet-setting Hollywood crowd, but at least I no longer look like I've been chained to Bob Cratchit's basement desk for sixteen years. I am just not a very tanny person. My skin kind of stays the same general color, no matter what you do to it, so I am relatively pleased to be able to look at my legs and not see a pair of white tights, circa 198-"I-was-six" glowing back up at me. Now I have kind of graduated to "off-white." Or, "ivory tights that need washing." I am considering my vaguely dirty skin color to be a definite improvement.
But, here is another thing, as long as I have completely stepped outside of any semblance of "order:" As much as it sucks to come back and have to go back to work like a productive taxpaying voting adult, I am also very excited about seeing the many dogs, who we will pick up tomorrow. They have been staying at the vet boarding place for two weeks, which means that they (and here I mean "Bo") will be furious with us, and that I will soon be cleaning stealthily-laid poop off of everything I hold dear (and here again, I am referring to Bo) and that won't be very fun, and this reminds me to go buy some Lysol, actually, but we've really missed them. And, consequently, we, as a family, had ourselves a Summit on the State of Vacation during this trip, and have decided that from now on, we're only going places where dogs are actually allowed, because leaving them behind really blows. Not only in the sense that we miss them, which we do; nobody ELSE on this vacation has gleefully secreted himself away with my handbag, only to be discovered twenty minutes later, amid the ripped paper wrappers from the ten thousand tampons now littered crazily about the room, rolling on his back over his small white kill in unparalleled, cotton-induced ecstacy (see: Bo, two weeks ago). No! Not just because we miss those extra trips to the 24-hour CVS, but also because, know what? According to actual math, done on paper with the aid of the calculator function on my cell phone, it has actually cost more to lodge the DOGS for two weeks than it cost us to rent a whole entire condo for the same amount of time. The dog's room and board cost more than our own.
Is that...I mean, y'all, that's insane, right? Our condo had indoor plumbing and a microwave oven! I am relatively sure that the dogs, at the boarders, have enjoyed neither of these luxuries. I am equally sure that they would not really benefit from indoor plumbing, except to the extent that sometimes when it is raining Bo will sneak off to a bathroom and pee on the side of the toilet, because he is a crazy, ridiculous animal. And I will also add that this is something which I have only recently discovered, and which made me feel much, much better about life in general, because up to that point, I'd been convinced that there was a serious problem with Dukay, and I had been secretly entertaining some probing questions about his psychology/anatomy/aim. So, in that one, limited instance, the indoor peeing was actually quite a delightful discovery.
Not that this...has anything to do with my vacation. Nobody peed on the side of the toilet during the vacation. And that was...sad, I guess, and that is why we should bring the dogs next time! See there? It all comes together. The end!
So, if you could not tell from the above paragraphs, I am tired, and it is 12 a.m., and I have definitely spent too much time in the car today, so I will do us all a favor and wrap this up with the three best things about the vacation (aside from the eating and the drinking and the hanging with loved ones and lounging and the beach and the general sense of not-going-to-work that abounded during that time. Besides those things.) Those three things are:
1. Voicemail message from my sister's boss, received as she got off of her flight to the beach; contents of such were, "Hey, Ziz...um, bad news. See, we, uh...we just got some reports that there are snakes? On your plane. So, you know, that...sucks, but have a totally good vacation, though."
I will be leaving this message for all people in the future. Even people I do not know.
2. License plate, depicting fisherman in the morning mist (please take a moment now to imagine the beauty), secretly purchased by Dukay, my mother, and myself, and then custom airbrushed with the name "HOSS", which was then quietly affixed to the front of my father's new car, and which he failed to notice for QUITE SOME TIME until we were all just crushed under the weight of our own collective brilliance and could not stop giggling about the plate of great embarassment we had saddled upon him, and so we began engaging in all of these ridiculous antics in an attempt to direct his attention to the front of the car ("Dad! DAD! Is that an ant, or is that lint? Will you check?") so he'd finally see it already, only that didn't work. So ultimately, Mom hopped up on the damn hood, only Dad was all, "AHHH NEW CAR PAINT WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE SERIOUSLY WITH YOUR ANTS AND LINT AND HOPPING?", and so Dukay and I had to physically jump on the poor man, pin him to the ground, and say, "LOOK! YOUR CAR SAYS HOSS IN AIRBRUSH!" and he totally does not get it at all, but the rest of us think we are some kind of comic geniuses.
Hee. Listen, I will continue to find this funny until I die. Hoss!
3. The fact that I did NOT see any sharks whatsoever, but this is tempered by the fact that I did torture myself by watching Jaws on television, which always leads me to believe that there are Jaws sharks everywhere in the water, including in the swimming pool and in particularly deep showers, and I cannot be dissuaded from this belief. Everyone else thinks I am crazypants, but as proof of my complete, undeniable right-ness, I will leave you with this totally unmanipulated picture, shot of me and Ziz, some time last week.
See? Jaws sharks! Everywhere! Danger! Watch out for puddles.
So! In conclusion: I am back, and I will hopefully be slightly more coherent in the coming days. Which would be nice, because otherwise, the stacks of work, the blinking voicemails, and the stealth-pooping dogs (Bo) are going to drive me right back to crazy. And I'll probably be listening to spoons all the way.
Talk To Your Doctor Today!
Internet, we need to have a little talk about your health. Please ask yourself: are you sleeping too much? Have you consumed nothing but deep fried foods and wine for the past three days? Are you kind of dumber right now than you were last week? To that end, do you know way, way too much about Nicole Richie's collarbone and Kate Hudson's marriage?
If you have answered "yes" to any of the above-questions, then Internet, you may have Vacation With Doxie's Family. Vacation With Doxie's Family can happen to anyone, and it can strike at any time. And just because you think you live a clean lifestyle with no sex, drugs, or rock 'n roll, does not mean that you cannot catch this condition, which results in weight gain, drunkenness, a marked increase in profanity, and the tendency to form actual opinions about things like Nicole Richie's collarbone and Kate Hudson's marriage.
If you think you may have caught Vacation With Doxie's Family, early detection is critical. You should be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
Grocery lists that contain only three items, only one of which is unrelated to drinking. Implication here being that (1) food is completely secondary at this point in our lives, and (2) shopper is somehow not bright enough to remember "ice, chicken, vodka" if left to shopper's own devices, and therefore, these items must be listed on a piece of paper, in pen, in order to ensure that follow-up grocery store trips are not necessary.
(Note: Despite the existence of said note, indeed, follow-up trips were necessary, because Dad bought the wrong kind of vodka, which led my mother to threaten divorce, and led my dad right back out to the liquor store again, because...Citron? Doesn't he even know the woman he's been married to for 35 years?)
Existence of strange, button-type object below window. I am not very sure about this one; it seems to be some sort of fountain. I am personally enjoying the beach chairs arranged around it, as if people have been sitting and staring at the thing for hours, waiting for it to start making some kind of sense. It is like our own plastic Alabama Stonehenge! Created in the night, by very tan druids.
Contents of freezer, which include alcohol, more alcohol, Fla-Vor-Ice (now extra fruity, I am told), and frozen corn dogs, for all our extra protein and assorted carbohydrate needs. Please also note the wrongly-purchased Citron that has been shoved to the back, where it sits, squat and short and mad, like a little Napoleon all exiled to Elba.
Refrigerator drawer filled with pretty fruit, but key fact here is that pretty fruit is now tainted and horribly ruined by the fact that KNOW WHAT IS IN THAT BAG? BAIT. Dad's fucking BAIT. And, I am sorry, but I just do not think that wrapping FUCKING BAIT in a non-hermetically sealed grocery bag is sufficient to prevent slithery bait germs from crawling all over my peaches. So now, peaches are destroyed, and must be fed to passing sea gulls and bitsy little sand crabs.
Horrifying shifts in reading material.
Internet! If you recognize any of these symptoms within your own living space, and if you have suddenly developed an intense, burning need to announce our collective responsibility, as a human people, to FEED NICOLE RICHIE, OH MY GOD, SHE IS WASTING AWAY BEFORE OUR EYES AND THIS IS EVERYBODY'S PROBLEM, then you should check with your doctor to see if Xanax, Penicillin, AfterSun, or a flat-out lobotomy are the right choice for you.
Vacation with Doxie's Family: It affects all of us. And you could totally be next.
(P.S.: Incidentally, if you could not tell from the above, I will go ahead and reveal that obviously, I am having a really, really good time. Y'all come on over! You can have the Citron!)
And Then Kubla Khan Said We Should All Just Look At A Puppy
If you have to work for a very long time, and then you finish everything and realize that, oh: now I kind of have nothing to do for a few days, then maybe you will do something productive with your random abundance of time. Maybe you will volunteer for the Peace Corps, or learn how to cook, or commune with nature in an outdoor fashion. Maybe you will take that opportunity to catch up on your pathetic emailing, because every time you even look at your inbox, the weight of the unanswered and unread mail makes your brain go hazy with terror. Or, hello, maybe you will just do some fucking laundry already, as you have pretty much reached the point where you are clothed only in a loincloth and hair, because nothing is clean, exactly NOTHING, and you are seriously considering just BUYING some socks and underwear instead of actually washing those which you already own, because that is the kind of laundry-backlog we are discussing. Maybe that is what you will do with your unexpected downtime.
Or. On the other hand, you could just sit on your ass and stare vacantly at the television set. You could cover yourself in a blanket of weiner dogs and eat Ben and Jerry's "Pistachio Pistachio" ice cream while watching the abomination that is the personage of Tori Spelling trying, in vain, to get her dumb self killed in the cinematic masterpiece that is Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? And, being that you know a thing or two about the Spelling family's recent drama (thanks, Us Weekly!), you kind of imagine that Candy Spelling would be all, "What, Tori? May you sleep with danger? Absolutely. Have a party. Sleep with a lot of danger, O Child Who Has Brought Shame Upon This Household, And I Am Not Just Talking About That Time You Played Screech's Girlfriend On Saved By The Bell." And that kind of makes you giggle, while you readjust your loincloth and weave pistachio shells into your unkempt hair. Maybe THAT is what you will do. Y'all just go and guess which one I chose.
Anyway, so sitting on my ass has been pretty uneventful, and so I don't really have much to share, but I am trying to resolve not to have any more Blank. It's like a New Year's resolution, even though it is currently July. Whatever. I am turning over a new leaf! Even if I have to write about Tori Damn Spelling, I'm posting something. I am sure everyone is breathless with glee over this prospect, because yes, that is what we have all desired: to see what random shit is lurking in my brain. Superb! Sounds like a fantastic plan! Off we go!
And actually, on that entirely self-absorbed note, have y'all ever just...gotten a phrase stuck in your head? Like, it is not really a phrase that makes sense at all, but just, like -- I don't know, some words? And you keep thinking them, and they keep popping into your head for no discernable reason, and you really, really wish that you had some excuse to say whatever it is out loud, because it just seems like that would be really, really satisfying?
Okay, so maybe this has not happened to you, but it's been happening to me quite a bit lately. A few weeks ago, I couldn't stop quoting Samuel Taylor Coleridge, of all fucking people, and spent waaaaaay too many hours silently reciting "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/ A stately pleasure-dome decree," which is actually a pretty good rhythm for Crazy, particularly if you kind of rock your body in sync to the words. While twitching. And when someone says, "Did you just say something under your breath?" you get to say, "Uh, I said 'In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A Stately Pleasure Dome Decree', and then I kind of...you know, rocked," and maybe you will end up with medication. Score!
So, that was before. Now, the new phrase, which is far less literary, but equally pernicious, is: Participating Eyebrow. These are the words I cannot get out of my head. Participating eyebrow.
This phrase does not make any sense whatsoever, and I would venture to guess that nobody in the history of the world has placed these two words next to each other in such a fashion as to describe an eyebrow as "participating" (in what? Bocce?), but I am blazing new trails here. I have also decided that the phrase needs a definition, so I determined that when someone can raise an eyebrow in surprise, or in performing an impersonation of one-half of Jack Nicholson, the "Participating Eyebrow" is the brow that takes part in the action. It's the raising brow. It is the participating eyebrow.
Sadly, I have not had the opportunity to use the phrase, and it's annoying me. I think it would be peculiar to just walk up to someone on the street and say "Participating eyebrow!" but oddly, that is exactly what I feel like doing. I will probably get arrested.
I was trying to explain this phenomenon to our best friends, when one of them said that he'd had a similar phrase stuck in his head. After a trip to Whole Foods, he had found himself unable to stop thinking the words "throbbing purple eggplant." To which I said: Ew. And also: Excuse me while I share your dirty brain with the internet.
Now, that is just...disturbing. I mean, I might rock in rhythm to my mantra of eighteenth century poetry, but at least I am not some kind of vegetable pervert. I've got some standards, people! I mean, obviously I do. Lots of standards. Indeed, let's see what happens when I spill the contents of my brain on y'all poor unsuspecting people. In the prior paragraphs, I have discussed:
Throbbing purple eggplants
Yes. That is some deep shit, right there. Welcome to my brain: Less Bell Jar, and more Melting Pot.
So anyway, because this has been fucking fascinating, I am sure, I will leave you with this last bit of delightfulness, and maybe that will prevent angry people from sticking my head on a stake or something. Because, I have pictures to show you! They are not drawrings, but photographs (remember those? Photo entry!) and, frankly, y'all are maybe not ready for all this adorableness that is about to be all up on your computer screen. I mean, people -- are you ready for the snoogly? Because, I have brought you some snoogly.
But, first: minor backstory. I have to tell you about Darlene. Darlene is a charter member of the 24 Viewing Crew. As such, she comes to my house every Monday, drinks along at all the necessary words, laughs with the rest of us troublemakers until a very late and irresponsible hour, and sometimes has to sleep in a guest room. That is a pretty standard Monday for the 24 crew.
Now that 24 is over, though, we have all started watching Lost. None of us had seen it before, so I picked up Season 1, and we began at the beginning, as one does. That way, we can continue to hang out on Mondays, because really, the company is more important than the show.
(And oh, ew. Isn't that just such a mushy and saccharine little thing for me to say, here on this Tuesday morning? It totally is. 'The company is more important than the show!' Ugh. Listen, what I meant was, "the company is more important than the show, because Bo and I are working on a plan to skin them all and bake them into an enormous pot pie. Personally, I’m on this 'Ed Gein-meets-Martha Stewart' kick, and want to use their skulls as soup bowls (which I will then stencil!), but Bo thinks that we should make them into some lovely ceremonial hats. Anyway, will eat all the guests soon.")
(Or, possibly that is taking things too far in the other direction. Maybe threatening to eat your guests and make their skulls into soup bowls is really not nice. But maybe I am just not a very nice person. Tori Spelling, for example, probably thinks I am an enormous bitch.)
(Actually, now that I think about it, maybe none of this backstory was necessary. Hmm.)
So, we love Darlene, and Darlene loves us, and Darlene loves dogs, and Darlene’s awesome dachshund Benson died in May and it was horrible and bad, but then she had herself a birthday, and so…meet Jackson. And he is named for Jack Bauer, as it should be.
Hello. My hobbies include being squooshy, taking naps, and world domination.
Hello, human mother. I now own you, and you shall be a pawn in my master plan.
AHHH! WAIT. Put me down immediately! I have a master plan for world domination! I am not for cuddling!
Free at last, to roam the den like my wild dachshund ancestors! No cage can hold me!
ROAM ROAM ROAM.
ROAM ROA-well, helloooo, interesting greenish person.
Dammit! Captured! Stop picking me up, people! You are interfering with the master plan!
Although...perhaps a small snuggly.
But, no! I will not give in! Instead, I shall use violence to escape!
HA HA HA! FREE AGAIN!
...and, snatched again. But NOT FOR LONG, SIR.
You shall now be distracted by my tiny adorable kisses!
HA HA MAN CAPTOR! You too have been fooled by my trickery! AGAIN I ROAM FREELY.
World domination, here I come! Jackson OUT.
(Five minutes later)
Or, I could just sleep on these boobs here. Whichever. Master planzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
And thus ends the smooshy, the Xanadu, and the Tori Spelling. Let's hope those elements never again combine.
Y'all have a good week!
It's Alive! ALIIIIIIIIVE!
Hey there, internet! How you doing? I am doing great. Previously, I was not doing so great! Now, however, I am totally awesome, and let me tell you why. See below.
Here is the short version. ("Short" being relative in my world, but you know.) See, the "short" version is that a few weeks ago, I went to my doctor. The doctor referred me to a specialist, who then found An Issue, as specialists are wont to do. The Issue, naturally, required biopsies and Atrocious Medical Procedures. Said biopsies and Procedures occurred today, and I have been preparing for them for a while, and preparing to miss work for a while (because I've had to take off most of this week), and therefore, no posting. I am sorry! But it was all very scary and wrong, and I just did not really want to talk about it. Except, you know. To all the people I know in real life, who had to deal with me saying things like "Golf ball sized tumor?!?! YOU GUYS I HAVE A GOLF BALL IN ME AHHHHH" for a very painful and prolonged period of time. To those fortunate individuals, I said these things a lot. Kind of...constantly, actually. I am sure they are all ready to beat me to death with a nine iron.
Now, the happy bit is that the Tumor turned out not to be an evil tumor, as previously diagnosed, and instead, just angry bits of skin that have decided to congregate on my insides and be pissed with the world. They will ultimately have to be removed with terrifying surgery, but for now, I can be relieved and happy and not worried about a whole revolutionary situation brewing in my internal business. So, yay! Yay to all of that!
Of course, reaching this point has been a whole Exercise in Unfun, culminating today with much sadness and I have to mention that YOU GUYS THEY PUT AN IV IN ME. To the surprise of exactly nobody, it turns out I suck at having an IV in me. I have...kind of a thing with needles. As with most people, I hate needles. But we reach new levels of pathological phobia when it comes to needles in my arm. This whole escapade has involved a lot of blood being taken, and every time someone removes more of my blood, I am immediately transformed into the worst patient ever. I have a very fight-or-flight response to needles in the arm, and as soon as someone comes in with that sharps container, I start looking for the nearest exit. I am getting ready to run. I will bite, if necessary. I am scared slap to death.
So, even though I have dealt with far greater pain and discomfort recently, the IV situation today was pretty much more than my small, cowardly brain could handle. Fortunately, I had been told that the IV would go in, but that I would be knocked out in 30 seconds, so I wouldn't even really notice. And so I had thought it would not be so bad. Turns out: No.
Instead, they put the IV in. And three minutes later, as I was buttcrawling all over the bed in horror, all AHHH GET IT OUT GET IT OUT THERE IS A NEEDLE IN MY ARM OH MY GOD, WHY AM I STILL AWAKE? the nurse announced that, oh. That is just a saline solution. We don't give you any anesthetic until the doctor gets here. And, she's running about a half-hour late. So, sit tight! And don't move much, because in case you forgot, there is a needle stuck in your arm, and you don't want it to break off inside of you.
This is what she said. This is also when my brain exploded.
Now, y'all. Yes. Yes! I am the biggest wimp of all time, but this completely fucked with me. For an hour, a solid fucking hour, I lay by myself, needle in my FUCKING ARM, in a cold room, with only a little hospital nightie on. I spent that entire time listening to a beeping heart monitor which reminded me that indeed, I AM freaking out, because it was going BEEPBEEPBEEPBIPPITYBEEP very fast and I have a golf ball sized tumor and a damned NEEDLE in my ARM, and in sum, I was not a happy camper.
When the doctor finally arrived, she was all business. She walked in, looked at me, motioned to the nurse, and into the IV went the sleepy stuff. The last thing I remember was the nurse telling me that according to protocol, blah blah blah, and I actually raised my good arm, hollered "PROTOCOL, DRINK!" and then, everything went black. I am sure they think I am deeply troubled.
I woke up later, with both of my parents standing next to me. They said things, which I do not remember. I do vaguely remember being wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair. I also vaguely remember telling the nurse who wheeled me out that I loved her as a person. I also vaguely remember eating two sandwiches and most of a bag of potato chips in the car on the way home, because I had been without food for 40 hours, and was about to die of starvation.
What happened next, however, has been reconstructed, CSI forensic-style, from physical and documentary evidence. Apparently, I got home. Apparently, I sent some emails, including some to my boss. Apparently, I took a nap upstairs in my shoes, bra, and jeans, and apparently, I also ANSWERED THE FRONT DOOR LIKE THAT when a poor, unsuspecting florist came and delivered flowers. I have no recollection of any of these events. And yet, that is probably for the best.
When I finally woke up and stopped being fascinated by things like my own hands (bendy!), I had a string of people calling and visiting, and bringing wonderful get-well gifts, such as Girl Scout cookies and wine. Robyn brought me a whole bag of delightfulness, including magazines and books, and really, my friends and family are all so awesome.
So, now you know! That is where I've been. And now I am back, and free of those pesky golf ball-sized tumors and needles in the arm, and that is good enough for me. Sadly, however, it is probably not good enough for the florist. I owe that florist a drink. And possibly some Girl Scout cookies.
P.S.: For those of you wondering, I know I got tagged for a meme thing by Holly, and I will get to it when the world is less moving.
P.P.S.: Also, I only now realized that I just watched an entire episode of Lost. On mute. Without noticing. This did not detract from my enjoyment, and to that I say yay, pharmaceuticals! Seriously, life is very entertaining to me right now. Do you guys have any glow sticks?
Seriously, You Guys, It Wasn't My Skull
Okay, y'all. So I got home Monday evening, and the pallets? GONE. They were GONE. I almost cried. We had such big plans.
They left as mysteriously as they came. No note. Not even a post-it. They violated my pinestraw and left no token of affection. No memorabilia of love; no recollection of adoration! The pallets just used my yard. The pallets were bastard pallets.
However, I am not at all sorry for that imposition, because I must say that the comments section of the last entry was the funniest damn thing I have ever read. I was laughing out loud, reading them to Dukay, tears running down my face, while he looked at me, all, "You should be heavily medicated." Whatever. Y'all are funny.
And, hello! So, here is the news I have today, and that is YOU GUYS. My SISTER'S NAME was on television last night. We are ever so excited.
She worked on that show Teachers, and was mentioned in the credits. And her name was not on the screen for long, but it was there, and it was quicklikethis but still, her whole name! And we all screamed and jumped around yelling I SAW IT I SAW IT DID YOU SEE IT I SAW IT and I immediately called my mother who answered and she was screaming I SAW IT I SAW IT and the phone was ringing off the hook and everyone in Atlanta was apparently jumping up and down because my sister is almost famous now.
(If you would like to support my family members and also maybe see realquicklikethis my sister's name, y'all watch Teachers next week. Especially if you, I don't know. Have a Nielson box in your home. Then please watch Teachers constantly, because they need this show to be picked up, and then my sister will be almost famous-er, and maybe she will buy me an island. Any path gets me closer to owning an island is a path I will choose to take. You cannot argue with my logic here.)
So, naturally, upon seeing Ziz's name, it was immediately necessary to call her and squeal some more. This is how the squealing went:
Self: ZIZ! Your NAME was on the TELEVISION! Are you so excited?
Ziz: I actually missed it, because I was working, but, yes! For a fraction of a second, I ruled.
Self: You DO rule! Go, you. Hanging with all the famous people…
Ziz: I know!
Self: …kissing all the famous peo—
Ziz: WHOA THERE. HALT. NO. You may NOT write about my love life on your website.
Self: Who said write? I would never –
Ziz: I hear you typing, liar.
Self: Okay, yes, dammit, but there you are all big in L.A., and you call and tell me these incredible stories, and I have to just sit on all this good gossip.
Ziz: Yeah, I cry for you.
Self: SIGH. You are really testing my loyalties here, little lady.
Ziz: See, and I can do that, because I was vaguely famous for a fraction of a second.
Self: Yeah. But, dude, can’t you give me something to write about? A snippet? I just need a snippet!
Ziz: What, about a famous person?
Self: Yeah! Anything. Even just a sighting or something. I can still make nineteen paragraphs out of it, for I am wordy.
Ziz: Yeah, so I noticed. Okay, let me think. Hmm. There's...Oh!
Ziz: Okay: So, today, Mel Brooks asked to hold my hair.
Ziz: He’s really nice.
Self: How do you…what?
Ziz: What, what?
Self: “Hold your hair”?
Ziz: Yeah, it was raining.
Self: And…okay, I fail to see how that particular fact is relevant, but I mean, are we talking about the hair that is attached to your head, currently? Or do you have some alternate hair? Hair that is independent from your scalp?
Ziz: No, my hair. Attached-to-my-scalp hair.
Ziz: See, it was raining, and my hair was all frizzy when I went into the studio, and Mel Brooks walked up to me and handed me an umbrella and said, “Do you know what this is?”
Self: Aw! Mel Brooks made a funny at you!
Ziz: I know! He is adorable. And I laughed and said, yeah, I understand the concept, but I am only a lowly production assistant and they do not let me work with the big equipment yet. And then he asked to hold my hair.
Self: See, and this is where you are losing me again. “Hold your hair.”
Ziz: Like, touch it or whatever.
Ziz: Because it was all frizzy and crazy from the rain. Everyone always wants to touch my hair.
Self: And…did you let him?
Ziz: Shit, yeah! It’s Mel Brooks!
Self: Yeah, I totally would have let him touch my hair, too.
Self: Well, you let him hold your hair. Not everyone gets such special treatment.
Ziz: Very true. Like, if Tom Cruise wanted to hold my hair, I would have him arrested.
Self: So, one time Gerald McRaney held my skull.
Ziz: OH, HERE WE GO.
Ziz: Do you ever not have a story? Seriously. I can go all day telling people that Mel Brooks held my hair and everyone will just look at me, all stunned, because how do you compete with that? You can’t. Until I tell you, and OF FUCKING COURSE you’re all, well, Gerald McSomeone held my skull.
Self: McRaney! He was Major Dad!
Ziz: And he…oh yeah, I remember him. So, fine, go on and tell me, I know you're just dying to get this out. He held your skull.
Self: Yeah. Well, not mine personally, but a skull I had with me at the time.
Ziz: Wait, what the hell are you talking about? You were carrying a spare skull? Are you studying forensics on the side?
Self: No, it was—
Ziz: I’m sorry, is this phone call interrupting your important archeological dig?
Self: NO, I –
Ziz: Be honest. There’s a femur in your handbag right now. Isn’t there.
Self: SHUT UP. It was not a person skull it was a cow skull thing.
Ziz: Yeah, that’s waaaaaay more normal.
Self: No, it was like a tourist souvenir from New Mexico or whatever, and…
Ziz: Listen, you can justify this all you want, but you might as well not bother. This phone call is definitely being tapped by this point. You just went up on about seven watch lists, Miss Travels With Skull.
Self: On a plane!
Ziz: You took a skull on a plane? HEY FBI! DID YOU GET THAT? MY SISTER TOOK A SKULL ON A PLANE. ALSO I THINK SHE HATES FREEDOM.
Self: Listen, it is a long story, and it was not mine, but I did find myself in the position of flying back from New Mexico with a big old cow skull, or bull skull, or some damn thing, in a canvas sack.
Ziz: Sure thing, Georgia O’Keefe.
Self: And it was all delicate and breaky, and so I carried it with me on the plane, and put it in the overhead compartment…
Ziz: You put a fucking head in the overhead compartment? Of an airplane?
Self: Um. Yes.
Ziz: Wait, this is truly beginning to disturb me. How the fuck did you get through security with a fucking HEAD?
Self: I guess they see them a lot. It’s a big tourist item, they didn’t even look twice at my traveling head.
Ziz: This may be the most alarming thing I’ve ever heard, and yet I must hear more. Go on. So you are traveling with a skull in the overhead compartment –
Self: Yeah, only it shifted around up there during the flight, and so when I tried to get it out when we landed, I couldn’t reach it.
Ziz: Uh huh.
Self: So I’m hopping up and down and trying to get my arms back there when the man in the seat behind me goes, “Allow me,” and reaches in there and grabs the sack, and pulls it out.
Ziz: Uh huh.
Self: And it was Major Dad! And I was about to thank him when he glanced inside the sack, and did a double take, and looked at me, and then looked at the bag, and then opened the bag, and then looked at me, and I was like, “…”, and he was like, ‘Here’s your…head,” and I said, “Thank you Major Dad,” and then he got off the plane very fast.
Ziz: And went immediately to the nearest police station.
Self: Most likely. I was traveling with head.
Ziz: Huh. I really – yeah, I don’t have any response except “huh.”
Self: It’s weird, though, isn’t it? Mel Brooks held your hair. Gerald McRaney held my skull.
Ziz: Yes. What an unusual “coincidence.”
Self: We are destined to have body parts held by famous people!
Ziz: It’s like a super power we can’t control! If only we could choose the part. And the person.
Self: Yeah, I’d take “boobs” and “George Clooney.”
Ziz: “Butt” and “Kiefer Sutherland.”
Self: Sigh. Those are way better than “left ear” and “Tony Danza.”
Ziz: “Little toe” and “Steven Segal.”
Self: Oh, ew. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do I want these people to hold my parts.
Ziz: Well, stay out of L.A., then. I don’t think I can protect you. It is your destiny.
Self: Some help you are. Here I am, thinking you’re all important after your name was on the television for a fraction of a second.
Ziz: Shut up. I am totally famous now.
Self: Yeah, you – hey! You are!
Ziz: Damn skippy.
Ziz: Wha-- oh. NO.
Self: Will you…hold my spleen? It’s just so heavy, and –
Self: – warm, and…hello?
Ziz: (dial tone)
Self: …hee. Funny to me, though.
So, there you go. Famous people hold our stuff. It is not something we can control; it is a force of nature too strong to be reckoned with. I am hoping this ultimately leads to groping with Jude Law, but I think we all know that will never happen. No. That is not how my life works. Instead, the next time I wear a bathing suit, I'll run into a handsy Gary Busey, and will be forced to hide behind some nearby pallets until the nightmare finally -- and mercifully -- ends.
The Correct Answer To This Question Is Oh My God, Stop Thinking About This Right Now, You Crazy Woman.
Hi, people! Welcome to Monday. I have issues.
Actually, what I have is an unusual problem. It is a problem of so much unusualness that I am going to ask you all to tell me what, precisely, you would do if faced with this problem. Now, I warn you. Just because this problem is unusual does not mean that it is not stupid. It is. This problem is completely lame.
The lameness, however, makes me no less flummoxed. WWJD? Or, as Dukay says, What Would Jack Bauer Do? (In other situations, answers to this question have included, "Jack Bauer would tie Bo to the radiator until he talks!" and "Jack Bauer would eat the shit out of some barbecue!" We ask that question kind of a lot in my house.)
So, here is situation. I woke up this morning at 6 to an ungodly amount of noise, coming from both inside and outside of my home. The outside noise, I soon discovered, was the result of an enormous truck in the middle of my street, backing up to the neighbor's house, all BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEP. The inside noise was the dogs responding hysterically (AHHHH) to the beeping. I ultimately calmed them down and went back to bed, and had pretty much forgotten about the whole event by the time I (eventually) got up.
So, I got up and dressed and showered (not in that order, actually) and walked outside in the rain, and that is where I was surprised to find several pallets of materials sitting on my yard.
Hmm, said I.
These pallets are not mine, I said.
The pallets glared at me, mysteriously. They, however, said nothing.
It was really pouring, so I ran over to them, pulling my coat over my head, and tried to figure out what they could be. They looked like landscaping materials, but I couldn't figure out what they contained, because they'd been shrink wrapped. Whatever it was, was lumpy. And it was a lot of something lumpy. I looked for a packing slip or some delivery information: no. I looked for a company name on the pallets: no. I looked for ANYthing that might explain from whence these mystery pallets originated, or where they were actually supposed to go: no.
I thought maybe there would be a delivery slip in my mailbox or on the front door. No. I thought maybe there would be a phone number or packing slip under the shrink wrap, so I poked around. No. There is absolutely no clue as to their origin. It is like they were dropped out of the damned sky. Except for that they were actually dropped from a damned truck, which clearly was in the wrong place. I saw a number written on the side of one pallet in Sharpie; it could be an address, but it's not mine. And it's not a number that corresponds with any house on my street, or the cross street.
Now...y'all. I have to say, I just have no idea what I should do. I have pallets. ("Pallets" almost sounds like a disease, like rickets. I have pallets! I have to have penicillin!) They're not mine. They clearly contain a lot of something (lumpy) that someone needs, and which they paid good money for. This may also be a time-sensitive thing for all I know, and there are people waiting for these pallets before they can start working today, only I have the wayward pallets, and Lord only knows. But I don't know who, or what, or where, or why, or any of those other key questions. I also don't know who one calls regarding delivery of unauthorized pallets by a very noisy truck at 6 a.m. There is no protocol here.
Applying the What Would Jack Bauer Do analysis to the facts at hand, I think my options are as follows:
Option 1: Blow up pallets, in case they contain deadly Syntox gas which will soon be released into air systems all over my neighborhood, and then dive dramatically out of the way at the last possible second, riding the wave of the explosion (in my business suit) and clutching approximately four dogs as flames and bits of something (lumpy) rain about us; somersault to safety, hair slightly disshevelled, small black smudge under left eye.
Option 2: Interrogate pallets, using syringe and handgun; use psychological attacks. Attempt to turn pallets against each other ("That's not what the OTHER pallet said!").
Option 3: Drill air holes in pallets, in case pallets contain key CTU staff trapped by evil terrorists; perform complicated laboratory tests using satellites and protocols to determine heat ratio of pallets; free trapped CTU staff, unless trapped character is Kim Bauer, in which case, see Option 1.
Those are the Jack Bauer answers. If we went another way and applied the standard What Would Jesus Do analysis to the facts at hand, the answer would probably be:
Option 1: Not sell pallets on eBay as "Mystery Boxes of Fun, may contain Hoffa!";
Option 2: Put up flyer announcing to neighborhood at large: "FOUND PALLETS. Earthly reward not necessary -- awaiting me in Heaven."
Option 3: Not do anything that Jack Bauer would do, ever.
But why stop there? We need more perspective.
What Would Bo Do?
Option 1: Bark at.
Option 2: Pee on.
Option 3: HATE.
Last night was Sunday, and it's not TV, it's HBO, and considering that, What Would Bill Paxton From Big Love Do?
Option 1: Marry pallets.
Option 2: Expose naked behind to pallets; hope for best.
Option 3: Give pallets to Margene with accompanying discussion about being the steward of material goods, like, Bill? Wrong wife, dude. This is a conversation you need to be having with the blonde one. Right now. Hop to.
Similarly, What Would Tony Soprano Do?
Option 1: Smoke cigar with pallets; feel pallets out. Do pallets have loyalties to Johnny Sack? FUCKING PALLETS!
Option 2: Intimidate pallets.
Option 3: Pallets sleep with the fishes.
So…that is kind of where I am right now. I have pallets. That is beginning to sound funny to me. It is possible to think too much about pallets.
Pallets of DOOOOOOM!
Um. Okay. In all seriousness, if the things are still there when I get home (and I just talked to my neighbor, who confirmed that they're still there now, just...hanging out in the yard), I probably will have to put up a sign. Really, this is the flat out stupidest problem I've had so far this year. It's not a crisis or some huge inconvenience or anything (although, I am really not sure what I am supposed to do with all these pallets of whatever if I can't find the owners, but being that the pallets have been there for all of six hours at this point, I should probably jump off that particular bridge when I get to it), but, it's clearly going to be a problem for somebody. I mean, usually, when a package gets delivered to you by mistake, you can call UPS! You can call the post office! FedEx! Someone! But the phone book contains no listing for "big loud truck at 6 a.m.". I mean, I didn't check, but I feel safe assuming as such.
So, Internet! WWYD? Would you blow them up? Submerge them in the neighbor's pool and see if they can swim? Paint them green and pretend they are large square bushes?
What Would Martha Stewart Do? Stencil them? Coat them in glitter? What Would Dick Cheney Do? Donald Trump? The lead singer from Twisted Sister? There are so many possibilities!
Creativity is encouraged. It's Monday; what else are you going to do? Y'all go fuck with some pallets and get back to me.
Jack! Necklace! Elvis! Bail!
Or, in other words: Entry With No Theme, Kind Of. Have fun!
Ways I Have Celebrated My Birthday So Far:
1. Two episodes of 24, featuring the 24 Drinking Game, in which you are required to drink whenever the words "profile", "protocol", or "satellite" are uttered. We have drinking games for most shows that we watch, but the 24 drinking game is somehow the most satisfying. This week we got a double hit when someone asked about "satellite protocols," and the entire room shuddered in collective happiness.
Other good 24 drinking words include "perimeter", "hostile", and "tactical." Or, if you would like to die of alcohol poisoning, you can just go with "Jack." Your liver may never forgive you.
2. Enjoyed (by "enjoyed" I mean "personally ate most of") two cakes, including one that is from Baskin Robbins, and is therefore made of ice cream, which is just like having cake made of rainbows and unicorns, because honestly. Is there anything better than ice cream cake? Nope.
3. Received some really truly lovely gifts, including a gorgeous silk and pearl necklace from Dukay, who picked it out all by himself and it just makes me want to snuggle up to him and kiss him all about the head and shoulders because, aww!
Sadly, this is the best picture I have of it. Sadly, in this picture, I look kind of...uh, high. I'm not. I might be drunk, though. It was my birthday party! It was required.
Aw, Funyuns, man. That's what I want for my birthday. Some Funyuns.
See how pretty that necklace is? It's all deconstructed and modern. I like things that are deconstructed and modern. (My fondness for things deconstructed and modern once led me to wear a skirt inside out for approximately four hours before realizing that: oh. Skirt's inside out. But during those four hours, I got about a million compliments on the skirt, and nobody even noticed, because that is just how much I tend to like things that are deconstructed and modern. Lesson being: apparently, my usual wardrobe is so peculiar that people fail to notice when I do things like wearing inside-out skirts.) So, uh, anyway, that was...neither here nor there. What I am getting to, people, is that he did good. Also, he's cute. Also, retelling that skirt story made me start to worry that maybe I dress like a homeless person. Or an Olsen Twin. Either way, I should probably examine that, don't you think? And maybe --- oh.
5. Drank pretty much all of the wine contained in the city of Atlanta (see above picture). Was hugged on by many adorable friends and family, and generally, have felt very loved and special for days.
So, it has all been fun. So far, it has been fun. That may change this evening, however, because this evening, I am going to a bachelor party. People, let me be straight with you: that makes me scared. I have never been to a bachelor party, but possibly some of y'all remember my birthday-at-a-stripclub experience from several years ago? If you recall (and I do)(vividly), I somehow became separated from my shirt and that was...bad, and then said shirt was thrown into the crowd, and that was the moment in which I remembered, with vivid terror, that I had not actually worn a bra that night, and pretty much every man I knew was sitting in the audience, jaws hanging open, and eyes big as dinner plates.
So, bearing this history in mind, when plans were being made for this particular bachelor party, Dukay had some suggestions.
"Wear a bra," said Dukay.
"I will be wearing FIVE bras," I informed him. "And three pairs of pants. And galoshes. And rubber gloves. And a trench coat. And a chastity belt. And a muumuu. And a ski mask."
And, this is not all. In addition to Bachelor Party, I have this weekend to look forward to. This weekend, a bunch of us are going up to the lakehouse to once again celebrate my birthday, this time by going to an Elvis impersonator. Yes. I kind of don't think I will need to wear five bras for that, but I might keep the muumuu, because everything that can be eaten at the Elvis Impersonator's restaurant is deep fried. Like, twice. It's refried deep fried. The entire restaurant is bathed in a crunchy golden glow, and arteries as far away as Atlanta get cloggy when they think upon the Lantern Inn. Naturally, however, this is the sort of food that I love, so I fail to see the problem. I don't need arteries! I just need to eat some more popcorn shrimp and not be encumbered by things like "waistbands."
So, this is all the excitement, currently. I will report back shortly and tell all y'all about what kind of trouble we stir up. In the meantime, though, here's a really cute picture of Mister Dukay and my pretty necklace:
Who, us? We've been helping old ladies cross the street all day. Next, we're going to watch Touched By An Angel!
Don't we look wholesome? Don't we look well-behaved? Please remember how angelic we look right now. Because tomorrow, we may be calling you. And we might need borrow some bail money.
Everything Falls Apart
...provided that it is anywhere close to me. I don't know what my problem was this weekend, but apparently, I have caught some brand of funk that causes all things within my vicinity to disintegrate before my very eyes. Everything is breaking. House! Appliances! Dogs! Self! Every damn thing.
As for the house, the most interesting (well, relatively speaking) item to go was the pantry door. Now, that door is old, and it's been creaky for a while, but I really had not anticipated the spectacular door explosion that was in store for me. I thought it might just...I don't know. Sag gently to the ground one day, crumpling under the weight of its years in a sort of quiet, dignified submission. Kind of like the leaf book. It would go gently into that good night, and then we would bury it in the garden with the 1/3 of a bird I one time found in the bushes. (You do not want to know which 1/3.)
Anyway, So, that is what I thought. That was wrong, though.
In the end, the door decided to forego Freddie's example and instead opted to rage, rage against the dying of the light, because one second I was walking across the kitchen, having just put away some cans; the next second, I was jumping through the fucking CEILING as an enormous CRASH CLATTER BAM pierced the silence, frightening the dogs into a howling hysteria, and sending the contents of the pantry flying around the room with a Poltergeist-like enthusiasm. Turns out: doors do not crumple. They do not float gently to the floor. NO. They fall off their hinges and leap across the room in an attempt to flatten your ass. And they do this dramatically. And loudly.
Actually, now that I think about it, it was kind of like being fly-swatted. I have a feeling the door was aiming for somewhere between one and four dogs, who have spent countless hours scratching at its base, whimpering forlornly and chanting, "That is where the food lives! That is where the food lives!"
Yes, one to four dogs were probably the intended target. Missed, though.
Unsurprisingly, I have been whining about the door at length, to pretty much everyone, because it's going to be a massive pain in the ass to fix the thing. The holes are stripped, and so we're going to have to drill new holes for new screws and get a new plate-attaching thing, too, and yes, that is not THAT complicated, but in my world, anything involving an electric drill qualifies as an actual Project. And in my world, a Project cannot be performed without a minimum of seventy-four people. Most of whom are only there for the free Project Beer. One of whom actually knows what to do. And that one person is never, ever me.
So, while waiting for the team to assemble and drill new holes and whatnot, the door is now propped inside the doorway, with a handwritten sign warning everyone "NOT TOUCH DOOR FALLS BAM" because I couldn't find a pen and had to write it in the nub of a crayon. And that was all I could manage before the Burnt Sienna ran out. But I think it's descriptive. And onomatopoeic!
So, door. That was one thing. But the door's death leap was not half as exciting as when I myself fell apart before everyone's very eyes, because y'all, remember my fucking toe?
Well, it healed, and it doesn't hurt anymore or anything, but apparently...well. Apparently, it was not quite finished healing, I guess. Apparently, when I smooshed it in the door, the toenail got broken way down at the base. This I did not know. And this Dukay did not know. This was a little secret that my toe was keeping from everyone.
So, I've been tooling around with (what I thought to be) a complete toe, la de da, whatever. Until the other night, I was sitting in front of the fire, and I took off my boots and my socks, and I was rubbing some lotion onto my legs, when all of a sudden: my toenail fell off. The whole thing. Pop!
Dukay just happened to be watching me at the time.
"Ew," I said.
"AHHHHHHHHHHH," he shrieked, running hysterically from the room, arms flailing in the air.
He fell into a fetal position in the hallway, shuddering, and covered his eyes with his hands.
"BABY." he hollered . "YOUR TOENAIL JUST FELL OFF."
"Yeah," I said. "I guess it was, like, broken down there. That's gross, though, huh? Doesn't hurt."
"BABY." he continued. "THAT CANNOT BE HEALTHY WHEN PARTS OF YOU JUST FUCKING FALL OFF."
"Well, it's the toe I smooshed that time," I explained. "I think it's oka--"
"I THINK WE NEED TO GET YOU SOME VITAMINS."
"It's not vitamins, it's smoo..."
Eventually, I was able to convince poor Dukay that toenails don't typically fall off as a result of not getting enough calcium (although, hell. Maybe they do. If so: Shh!), and calmed him down to the degree that he was willing to join me again in the den. For the rest of the evening, though, he continued to send sidelong, shuddering glances at my foot.
"It's a naked toe," he whispered, scandalized. "I mean, it's...bald. That is the most disturbing thing I have ever seen."
"It is not that disturbing," I told him. "Come on. You've seen worse things! It's just a little t--"
"I cannot look away," he whispered. "O, the horror. The horror."
If you want to send Dukay into a full-body shudder, complete with screwed-up terror face, touch him with your little bald toe. Watch him squirm. Enjoy! I do!
Anyway. So those are two of the things that have fallen apart. Also acting suspiciously: the dishwasher, Gimmme's right foot, and the rear left window of my car. I suspect plotting. I suspect complicated planning sessions, including spreadsheets and synchronized watches, that take place while I am at work. And I am pretty sure that the door is masterminding it all.
Hope y'all are doing better that this, and that you don't lose any appendages as a result of reading. I am a dangerous woman! I cannot insure your safety! I can only promise not to touch you with my creepy, bald toe. And if I do, you have my permission to rage, rage against the side of my head.
Have a good week, everyone!
Speaking of toes (you know. Sure), our friend Mir has committed to walking for three days on her own [toes], in the Boston Breast Cancer 3-Day. It's a great cause, and if you can, I hope y'all will support her. I suspect it will result in good karma, and I have it on good authority that sponsors are generally not flattened to death by their own pantry doors.
P.P.S. Again: Also, for those of y'all who have emailed asking whether I've eaten the dogs or something, because how come do I not have any pictures up this week, huh? what, do you not love them anymore?, etc.: indeed, they have not been eaten (yet), and I have posted some new pictures (including some older pictures I came across; say hi to the Chaos!) on flickr; I'll be posting even more tonight or...you know. At some point. And then you can get your fill of doggie goodness, and the world will be a slightly better place.
Placeholders are boring
And this one is no exception. Sorry!
See, we were back to the blank screen. And we can't have that. So here I am, all up to remedy that shit and everything, but...uh. I am absolutely exhausted. I'm not thinking straight, and I am totally incapable of entertaining anyone at the moment.
I've been working long hours lately (I know!), doing law things and writing important papers and making angry legal arguments and sometimes attending meetings that are south of the airport at 7 in the morning, which is very early, and the airport is very far away, and just...I mean, life's been pretty damn boring, y'all. I have some stories to tell y'all (because, of course I do) but I just can't seem to write them out in any type of coherent manner right now. I have written and deleted this entry about six times. (This boggles the mind, because the end product doesn't not suck, if you get my double negative meaning). But if things aren't making any sense to me, I promise, they would read like Swahili to y'all (this assumes you don't speak Swahili. Maybe you do! I do not). The last deleted attempt actually included the word "honestlyness."
Y'all, "honestlyness" is not a word. It does not even resemble a word. It is not even a word in Swahili.
In a positive (shut up! It is positive to ME) note, I have taken many fascinating pictures of the dogs, particularly Bo with his mouth open (why? WHY? Why does the dog talk all the time?), like, for example, this one:
(hee!), but I know. That really isn't cutting it. I know! And also, I really have no intention of turning this into a blog that contains nothing but pictures of Bo's molars, so I had probably best stop this behavior directly and place a moratorium on dog photos for at least, oh, twenty minutes.
So, please bear in mind that I am currently operating on about seven hours of sleep over the past three-day period. And sadly, things are not likely to improve, because I'm working on a Big Thing at the office, plus I have about ninety things going on outside the office, and the end result is that I am sleepy and confused. My brain has crawled somewhere deep into the recesses of my skull, and this means that my body is operating only on stray cells and air. Nobody is driving this bus, is what I am saying.
But this makes me slaphappy. At this point, all manner of things are funny to me. "Honestlyness" is funny to me. The word "boob" is funny to me. "Everybody Loves Raymond" is funny to me. I really kind of need to go to bed.
However. Because everything is funny to me right now (honestlyness!), I will share with you what has happened during the last two nights. Because at the moment, it is funny to me. When everything clears here and I actually do some sleeping for more than a two hour stretch and then wake up and reread all of this, I am sure it will seem stupid and I will be ashamed. But, still. It is better than blank. That is what I am telling myself.
But, anyway. See, I talk in my sleep. I do it all the time (not as frequently as Dukay, who recently woke me up at 4 to ask me a question about Cuba, but we are not talking about Dukay right now), but I still do it, on occasion, just the same.
Only, when I talk in my sleep, Dukay doesn't wake up; I do. I wake my own self up. I wake up, hear myself saying something, and then I have to sit there and ponder just exactly what the fuck I am talking about: "Why am I so concerned about the VCR?" "Since when am I in love with Adrian Brody?" "But I don't even know any hobbits!" This is what I think about in the dark.
So, it should have come as no real surprise when I awoke two nights ago to find myself sitting up at bed, pointing angrily at a sleepy and disgusted Bo.
"That fucking dictionary," I hollered. "It just thinks it's SO SMART."
Apparently, I'm mad. At the dictionary. I think I must be jealous of its knowledge. Webster, you SUCK!
(Which reminds me: know who I saw downtown a few weeks ago? Webster! The actual guy who played Webster, the precocious eight-or-whatever year old that was actually, like, forty-three. I have since been told that everyone in Atlanta sees him all the time, but for a very little (hee!) while, I felt special. He is actually bigger than he looks on television, which is supposedly the exact opposite of every other personality on the planet, but there you go. My very small brush with fame. Which is kind of related to the dictionary, see?)
Uh. Anyway. But, so that was two nights ago, right? And, at the time, I thought that was probably the strangest thing I'd ever said in my sleep. Until, last night, when I woke up to find myself happily proclaiming to all that Eureka!: "I am the inventor of the portable iron lung!"
I was kind of proud of myself, too. A portable iron lung! So much more convenient than those old iron ones. They were heavy and restrictive. But now, your iron lung is a lung on the go! You can take it anywhere, and I envision an ad campaign that is much like those we see for tampons or false hair ("Wait, I can still play tennis? No kidding? WHAT? I can go swimming? Seriously? God! I just feel so free!").
A portable iron lung, y'all. It is a happy day for science.
But, unfortunately, not for the dictionary. The dictionary is a cocky son of a bitch. And I mean that in all honestlyness.
Hope y'all are doing well! I'll be back soon, and I swear to Christ that it will be [somewhat] more entertaining.
Haaaaaaaappy New Year!
First of all, to all of y'all who possibly thought that Bo was acutally yawning in that last picture, as opposed to singing, as I so specifically informed you, I present Exhibit B:
Bo and Dig wonder: Is this burning? An eternal flame?
Or should I just call a doctor?
Anyway. I hope all of your holidays were happy, and that everyone had a good New Year's Eve and all. Our holidays were all awesome. For Christmas, Dukay got me a new guitar. And, that was...well, it was funny, actually, because I have never actually played a guitar. Not one chord (I recently learned that they were called chords)! But Dukay can play pretty much anything, and I have always, always wanted to learn how. And I was jealous. So he got me a gorgeous, shiny, inlaid gee-tar of my very own, and he's going to give me lessons!
People! Isn't that an awesome gift? Isn't it ever so thoughtful? Yes, it is.
And, from the Parents of Doxie, was received the brand new shiny high-powered camera of power. And, um, we all know what that means.
Yeah. Photo entries. Coming your way! Sorry!
But, silver lining, because! Now, you get to see the only existing photograph of Bo: Man Of Action!
Bo ears busy!
See? That made it all worthwhile.
I can't really show you any pictures of the New Year's Eve festivities, but you can take my word for it that things were off the hook, as the kids like to say. When you have a party that involves one guest uttering the phrase, "Reindeer are the dolphins of the land," and who also puts on his wife's dress before jumping dramatically into the lake at precisely 1:11 a.m. (he was going to do it at 12:21 in homage to the Mayan calendar, but then he remembered that 1:11 means something, too, so 1:11 works), and where said houseguest also stays up until 7 a.m. cleaning the kitchen, going so far as to fashion a trap for any vermin, a fact which he then must share with his wife, waking her at 7 to whisper, "I cleaned up everything, and I even left a trap for vermin," prompting her to inform the others upon waking, and whereupon a search was performed, and lo:
Trap For Vermin
..and also in attendance are dogs butts and embroidered pants:
Butts and pants, butts and pants!
...and also you have procured fireworks with names like, "THE PATRIOT ACT!!!" or "SHOWERS OF LIBERTY!!!", which contain, we have been led to understand, "THE MAXIMUM POWDER ALLOWED BY LAW:"
MAXIMUM. POWDER. Allowedbylaw.
...well, THEN, PEOPLE, RIGHT THEN: you may have had an awesome New Year.
And Bo is fucking exhausted.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy 2006!
From all of the Doxie clan. May your days overflow with love and laughter, and your homes be filled with the interesting sound of dachshunds singing.
Fa la la la la, to you!
Happy holidays, everyone!
Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home
On December 1, I wrote these words:
In other news, I found out this morning that, because I am the newest associate at my firm, it is my responsibility to dress up as the elf for our annual holiday luncheon.
I would like for you to read that sentence again. I will even type it, once more, just for you: because I am the newest associate at the firm, it is my responsibility to dress up AS THE ELF for our annual holiday luncheon.
I don't know if anything about that sentence...jumped out at you. I do not include it here to inform you that I am the newest associate. Nor did I include said sentence so that you would be jealous of our surely-fabulous upcoming lunch spectacular. No. No, what I am really trying to convey, is that APPARENTLY, in the VERY NEAR FUTURE, I will be dressed up as an elf. At work. The costume includes tights, I was informed.
This should do much for my legal reputation. Surely, no one will ever have problems taking advice from me EVER AGAIN.
"Hmm, she sure SOUNDS like she knows what she's talking about, Bob!" "Only when she's not dressed up as an elf, Larry!" This is what I am imagining.
I am sure there will be pictures of this insanity, which I may get drunk enough to share with y'all. Until then, know that every time I see an elf on television or in the paper, every time I even think of Will Ferrell, I am filled with a slowly mounting fear. In two weeks, I will be paralyzed with terror, lying under my desk in a pair of enormous shoes with upturned toes, jingling sadly and hiding from the world.
That was then. This is now.
Yes. That is pretty much how that worked out.
Doesn't it look like I am sobbing uncontrollably? Heh. ALMOST.
But I am not [yet]. Instead, I am laughing and cringing at the same time. Laughter + Cringe = That Look. Painful, I know. It hurt my face and everything. I look like I am passing a stone.
But, in reviewing this photograph, let us not fail to notice the following:
(1) My hat;
(2) My spiky collar;
(3) My mod-elf getup; and
(4) MY SHAME.
Noticed? Appreciated? Fantasic!
And, oh. Let us not forget: The Tights.
Yeah. That is kind of how THAT worked out. I am wearing not one, but two pairs of hygenic, clean, brand-new-from-the-convenience-store-downstairs-let's-not-think-too-long-on-that-actually tights under those things. I am relatively sure I did not catch the Creeping Crotch Funk, or however the clever Gretchen described this phenomenon. But I know it was there, just...funking, in the crotch region. Waiting. Plotting. Funkily.
So. There you go. I am forever shamed. I am forever tainted. And, I just shared photographic evidence of all of this with the whole entire world.
Someone should probably buy me a drink. I am looking at you. And if you refuse, I have a pair of tights that are just dying to come live at your house, funk and all.
Yeah, You Better Watch Out.
Well, Christmas is upon us. And it landed slap across my face.
It has been an interesting few days, marked by highs (in the form of good times with friends) and by lows (in the form of running into YET ANOTHER COLUMN in the goddamn PARKING garage OH MY GOD). And as you can probably tell, quite a bit has happened.
I'm trying to decide where to start, and how to distill these events into a cohesive narrat...oh! I KNOW. The TREE. Oh, let's talk about the fucking Christmas tree. Because the Christmas Tree Evening -- that's pretty much all you need to know to understand how this week has been. It is a metaphor.
So, get comfortable, people. This particular event only occurred last night, and I am already proving very adept at turning it into an epic tale lasting a minimum of twenty minutes, and involving fighting robots. (I recently decided that all good stories must include, at some juncture, fighting robots.) I have turned what should have been a short story into a whole damn miniseries.
What I am trying to say is: We may all be here a whiiiiiiiiiiiiiile. But this is what happened with the Christmas Tree.
It started a week and a half ago, when Dukay purchased our Christmas tree. We brought it home, stood it in the corner, and cut open its little plastic, orange straitjacket. Dukay walked in serious circles around it and, after a few minutes of serious! contemplation!, ultimately concluded that the limbs hadn't fallen yet. So he declared: we would wait to decorate it. We would do it the next day.
Well. Naturally, this was stupid. And so, for the past week and a half, Dukay and I have been trying to find an opportunity to decorate the damn Christmas tree. And, for the past week and a half, the tree has stood, naked and embarrassed, in the corner. Where it stares at us, sheds, and taunts 25% of the dogs. The 25% that is Gimmme.
(Gimmme TIRED OF HATE TREE. Gimmme NAP.)
The other 75% of the dogs could care less about a Christmas tree in the corner, but poor Gimmme, who honestly does not have the sense that God gave ranch dressing, hates it. He hates it SO MUCH. Granted, he cannot actually see the tree (because Gimmme = blind dog), but he senses it, and whenever he gets to that side of the room, he just wanders around randomly, barking in its general direction. Bark? he says. Ba? Rk?
I understand him completely. This means:
GIMMME HATE TREE. TREE GO BACK OUTSIDE NOW. TREE NOT LIVE IN DEN. GIMMME LIVE IN DEN, STUPID TREE.
The tree has not responded. We are in a stalemate!
As a result of all of this excitement, if you come over, you will see Gimmme waddling through the den, gazing in...sort of a tree-ish direction, and barking at random intervals at this woodsy interloper. While the other dogs look at him sympathetically, all, "Oh. Isn't it sad that he is an idiot?"
So anyway. The tree has not had a good year so far.
And Dukay and I have been trying to find an opportunity to decorate the tree, even going so far as to retrieve the ornaments from the attic, but then there was just all this other shit that had to be done. We had a holiday dinner thing, and then we had another holiday dinner thing, and then to mix it up, we had ANOTHER holiday dinner thing, and then Dukay had to work late one night, and then I had to work late one night, and finally I just threw up my hands and declared to the world at large THAT WE ARE DECORATING THE GODDAMN CHRISTMAS TREE ON TUESDAY, IF YOU'RE COMING FINE, IF NOT I AM GOING TO THROW SOME GLITTER ON THIS THING AND CALL IT A DAY.
Fortunately, Dukay came. Unfortunately, it was not...uneventful.
And actually, now that I think about it, the whole thing actually started before Dukay ever showed up. And furthermore, y'all, it seemed to start so well.
Tuesday, 6:00: I walked in the door from an unusually dramatic day of work (including depositions! Oooo! Legal!), to find that my house was dramatically cleaner than it had been when I left that morning. And the fact that the house was dramatically cleaner had nothing to do with my own efforts, or even with gnomes; it was because Tuesday is the day that my awesome, very hot housecleaners come, and they clean and shine and mop, and do other things that I really, REALLY hate to do, and they leave my house looking like a commercial for Mr. Clean.
This makes me a spoiled brat. It also makes me the only person who totally loves Tuesdays. Love you, Tuesday!
But it is not all rainbows and sprinkles. Because I am Crazy. See, I am just...not really comfortable with people cleaning up after me, and I am totally territorial about things like dirty clothes. I'm embarrassed if I think the house is too messy, and I'm embarrassed if I get home and discover that the husband part of the couple (who is, incidentally, totally gorgeous, which helps matters not at all) has spent a fun day scraping year-old dust off of my ceiling fans, because...you're supposed to do that? Really? WHY WASN'T I INFORMED?
It drives me crazy. I realize I should get over myself, but I can't help it. It all makes me feel like a failure. I feel like I am failing Homeownership! And soon they will TAKE THE HOUSE AWAY. BECAUSE I DO NOT DUST MY CEILING FANS.
And so, to ADD to the general sense of Crazy that is already occupying my house and mind, I insist on...cleaning. Before the cleaners get there. And I justify this by thinking that no gorgeous man will EVER see a dirty toilet at my house, no matter WHAT I am paying him. I would die of shame. My mother would die of shame. WE WOULD ALL DIE OF SHAME, AND Y'ALL DON'T WANT THAT AT CHRISTMAS, AND SO I HAVE TO CLEAN.
On Monday nights, I always spend at least an hour wandering around, scrubbing toilets and hanging up clothes and putting crap away. However, while I freely admit that the first two tasks are because of the Crazy, the last actually makes some degree of sense.
See, "putting crap away" is a separate thing altogether. Because, if you leave things out, the very hot housecleaners will put them up for you, but there is not a lot of...method, I suppose, in where those things will be placed. The guiding principle behind "putting things away" is "putting them in whatever cabinet/drawer/container is closest, or possibly farthest away, or possibly we toss a coin." I am actually not kidding.
There is no method to this madness. In the past two years, I have accidentally discovered the following items in the following places:
(1) Three pairs of shoes stacked neatly behind the bookshelf;
(2) A portable phone inside a cereal box in the pantry;
(3) The garage door opener in the silverware drawer; and
(4) All of my soup bowls in a bathroom cabinet.
Now. This is like performance art to me. I think the very hot housecleaners are troubled geniuses, and I find it thoroughly fascinating, and it is fun to have a scavenger hunt in your own home. But if you have something you don't want hidden in the crawl space, then it is something to BEAR IN MIND the night before they come.
And so, I bore that in mind on Monday, and that is why I gathered up all of my suits. They'd been tossed onto a bed, waiting to go to the dry cleaners; I didn't want them to end up (a) in the freezer, or (b) buried in the yard, so I threw them into a (c) hamper, tossed the hamper into my closet, and figured all was well.
And then I got home last night.
The house looked awesome, and the very hot housecleaners had left me a thank you note for their Christmas present. And I could tell that they had clearly gone to some extra trouble; they'd even swept the back porch, and I could hear laundry going in the laundry room. THAT IS SO NICE, I was thinking. I love those very hot people!
And I was even more pleased when I went upstairs, and discovered that they had ALSO been so kind as to go through my closet, arranging clothes and hanging things, taking all of the laundry downstairs, and lining up my shoes with a military precision. Damn! I thought. They are so awesome! I am going to call them right now to give them an extra thank you. And then I thought: I wonder where my suits are?
And so I went back downstairs and into the laundry room, where I found the following:
(1) Six wine glasses stacked on the washing machine;
(2) My cell phone charger hung neatly on a coat hanger; and
(3) All of my suits. In the dryer. Drying. Hello.
They had washed my suits. They washed all of my suits. In the washing machine. And then they dried them.
And, you know, I'm not even mad, because I know they were just trying to do something nice for me, and it's my own damn fault for leaving all of the suits in the damn hamper. (They do wash the clothes in the hamper sometimes, and I should have remembered that, so really, it's on me.) So I called them and thanked them, and the female half of the very hot couple was like, "Merry Christmas! We're very hot, and also, we're so glad you're pleased!" And I just looked at all of my suits, all of which would now fit your average toddler, and assured her that, yes. I'm pleased. I'm going to be naked at work for the next week, but I am, indeed, strangely pleased. And I can't WAIT to see what they've put in the freezer.
And that was the beginning of the evening.
So, I got off the phone, and stood there, realizing that all of my suits were ruined, but that the house was very clean, and these facts collided in my brain in such a way that the only conscious thought I could manage was: well, I am not cooking dinner toNIGHT. We are ordering OUT.
7:00: Dukay showed up, and we each poured a glass of wine, and called the cheap Chinese restaurant around the corner to order some dinner. While we waited for the delivery, Dukay put on some holiday music and started a fire in the fireplace, and all of us were feeling pretty warm, and cozy, and accepting of the fact that one of us has no more work clothes, by the time the food arrived.
The doorbell rang and the four dogs responded by experiencing a total of seven aneurysms while I took some plates from the cabinet, and we sat down in front of the tree, studying it intensely ("we need to plan our attack," explained Dukay, who views decorating a Christmas tree as a military operation, happy birthday, Jesus!). Dukay opened the little boxes of food, and I had my forkfull of rice about halfway to my mouth when suddenly, he let out an anguished cry.
"AHHHHHHHHH," said Dukay.
"AHHHHHHHHH," said myself, dropping my fork immediately onto the ground and looking hysterically for the roach I AM SO SURE he just found in his lo mein, but instead, Dukay was pointing at a piece of chicken, glistening in delicious brown sauce, and sporting something both foreign and...shiny.
It was a staple. There was a staple in his chicken.
(See? So shiny, and yet, SO WRONG.)
"There is a staple in my chicken," said Dukay. This phrase would be repeated many more times over the course of the evening.
An emergency staple-ectomy was promptly performed.
But this did not make Dukay feel any better.
So, he called the restaurant and told them: "There is a staple in my chicken."
The restaurant did not believe him.
He tried again. "No, really," he said. "There is a staple. In my chicken."
To which, the restaurant then presented Dukay with its own theory of the case, namely that Dukay had planted the staple in the chicken himself. (As you do.) The restaurant also refused to issue a refund, and informed Dukay that he would have to prove the existence of said staple by bringing the full meal, staple and all, back to the restaurant, and showing it to the manager.
Dukay was perplexed. "But!" he tried. "STAPLE! CHICKEN! IN! MINE!"
And that is when they hung up on him.
Coziness and cheer and warm feelings about the season pretty much...well, they died a violent death at this point, as a raging and cursing Dukay snatched his coat and shoes, tossed the chicken and offending staple into the bag, and stormed out of the house.
8:00: I drank another glass of wine. And, being bored, began taking pictures of stationary objects.
(Like, for example. The table. There's a whole series!)
Fortunately, Dukay returned twenty minutes later, clutching his refund in one hand, and a bag of Chik-Fil-A in the other.
"I AM READY TO BE FESTIVE NOW," he hollered.
"I am going to get you some more wine now," I told him.
Fortunately, after Dukay finished Dinner, Version 2.0 ("now without staples!"), and downed a glass and a half of chardonnay, his mood improved dramatically, and he declared himself ready to start stringing the Christmas lights on the tree.
Which would have been fine, except for the fact that...well. Y'all know! They're Christmas lights! And Christmas lights exist on this earth to serve two purposes, and two purposes only, those being:
(1) to illuminate your tree; and
(2) to spend the rest of the year participating in a sweaty, secret light bulb orgy that causes each strand to become so irrevocably intertwined that upon being opened, they resemble not so much individual cords, but rather one enormous, box-shaped brick of wire, bulb, and bits of last year's tree, MERRY CHRISTMAS, FUCK YOU.
"Hmm," I said, opening the box. "It is a little tangled."
Dukay peeked over my shoulder.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHH" he said, for the second time that evening.
I settled myself down on the ground, pulling the child-sized mass of lights and cords into my lap, and began the untangling process. Sighing resignedly, Dukay sat down next to me.
8:05 - 11:00: We untangled. And we untangled. AND WE UNTANGLED. Dukay was thrilled.
When the final knot was unkinked, and the final cord untied, Dukay stood and gazed at the strands of lights strewn across the den.
"Do we get breaks?" he asked.
"NO." I told him. "THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE MERRY. WE DO NOT TAKE BREAKS. YOU DRINK MORE WINE."
And that is when I got my brilliant idea.
"Dukay!" I said. "Know what we should do?"
He looked at me hopefully. "Take a break?" he asked.
"NO. We should choose an ornament. And it will be the first one we put on the tree, and it will be the LAST one we take off the tree, and we'll do it every year."
"Okay," he said.
"And it shall be this ornament," I continued, picking up a plastic box. "This ornament, that is shaped like the Bumble from the furry-claymation television version of Rudolph, where the girl reindeer has the long eyelashes and I think a little bow and Rudolph's dad is a TOTAL ASSHOLE."
(Don't you know about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce!)
"Okay," he said.
"And we shall always hang the Bumble first, and we shall always put away the Bumble last, and even if I die and you have to go find a new woman to fulfill your manly needs, you shall take this ornament with you and you shall, for the rest of your life, observe the rules I have created here tonight, Amen."
Dukay looked at me like I had lost my mind.
"JESUS GOD CHRIST," he said. "IT IS A BUMBLE ORNAMENT. YOU KIND OF NEED TO CALM DOWN."
And, you know. Maybe he was right. But that doesn't make me wrong. Because, people? THIS IS HOW TRADITIONS BEGIN. Yes. I have figured it out.
It starts with someone who finds a staple in his chicken, and then leaves his girlfriend, who has no work clothes, at home with unrestricted access to the wine, and then she comes up with what can best be described as a random, illogical, and totally inconvenient system for performing a holiday task. This task is repeated, out of a misplaced sense of irony and "humor" for several years, until all of a sudden it has become this Whole Thing, and the Bumble ornament takes on heirloom quality significance, and my grandchildren will BATTLE over this ornament, people, like there will be name-calling and hair-pulling, but then the whole thing will prove to be for naught when some poor great-great-grandchild drops The Esteemed Mister Bumble and it shatters into forty thousand heirloom pieces, and his mother will sob and the child will have to seek THERAPY, because WAY TO RUIN CHRISTMAS, JUNIOR, and YES. THAT IS HOW TRADITION IS BORN.
Seriously. Why not start one today? Generations of guilt can be yours for just $4.99! From Target!
AND SO! I hung my Bumble with pride. And then we decorated the rest of the poor, poor Christmas tree.
Do you like our red 'n green Christmas boxes? Do you like that we coordinate our storage with the season? Do you know why I am dressed like it is July? Do you know why I am wearing a headband? Do you have any wine? Will you give me some?
Okay, seriously now, we have to return to the matter of the headband. It is cracking me up. I love the thing, which I purchased at that craft fair ('member that?), but could I look like more of an idiot? No. I really could not. I look like I'm about to lead a group of overprivileged girl scouts into the wilds of a Holiday Inn somewhere. I look like I'm a fake little hippie chick trying to impress my new boyfriend who TOTALLY LOVES Widespread Panic. I look like I'm California dreamin'! On such a winter's day! IN SHORT, I LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT.
(Not that I am not wearing it...right now. And not that I intend to take it off. Shh.)
And so, after many full minutes of decorating, and wandering around the den APPARENTLY LOOKING LIKE AN IDIOT, and someone saying, "What? I'm HELPing by taking PICtures," we finally stood back, and admired the finished product.
(Tree is all dressed now! Yay, no-longer-naked-tree! We are happy things worked out for you in the end.)
And after all that excitement and drama, it looked pretty damn good. And Dukay and I smiled, and wished each other a merry Christmas, and toasted to our accomplishment. Then we sat back on the sofa, forgetting about ruined suits and staples in chicken, barking Gimmmes and heirloom Bumbles, and for just a little while, we enjoyed the season in silence.
Until the fighting robots showed up.
And really, FOUR HUNDRED PAGES LATER: that's how we've been. Running around, worried about little things, trying to make everything perfect, and freaking out in the process. But it all keeps on working out in the end. It's so...Christmas!
Happy holidays, everyone; two days until I am an elf. So I imagine I'll speak with you again very soon. And I promise to leave out the fighting robots.
A Series Of Vignettes That Will Tell You Way More Than You Want To Know About My Brain
I find all of these to be outrageously funny. I am probably the only one. I apologize now.
Monday, 12 a.m.: On sofa, watching Discovery Channel special intriguingly titled "Killer Jellyfish"
Announcer: And now we see the elusive KILLER JELLYFISH, which is actually only [some small number of] centimeters long!
Announcer: But despite his small size, he is the DEADLIEST THING EVER to cross your television screen, watch out for your EYES.
Dukay: Do you think those live in my bathtub?
Self: Look, squishy.
Announcer: BUT. Despite this small creature's GREAT POTENT DEATH POISON OF DEATH, it has ONE WEAKNESS:
In perfect unison:
Dukay: JOLLY RANCHERS!
Self:... jolly ranchers?
Dukay: The apple ones!
Monday, 5 p.m., Target, Where Someone Always Tries To Pick Me Up Because The Smell Of Commerce And Plastic Drives Men Wild, Apparently
Self: La de da. Shopping.
Strange Man: Excuse me?
Strange Man: I just...couldn't...help noticing...your...eyes...
Strange Man: (speaks like Christopher Walken)
Strange Man: (is getting very, VERY close to me)
Strange Man: (is freaking me out)
Self: What about my eyes? That I have...two of them? Currently?
Strange Man: They're so...blue, and what are you, like...seventeen?
Strange Man: (is like fifty)
Strange Man: (is a pervert)
Self: (looks NOTHING like she is seventeen)
Self: (does not like Strange Man)
Self: No, I'm almost thirty.
Strange Man: (horrified) You're...what?
Self: Almost thirty. Also I'm a lawyer specializing in sexual harassment law.
Strange Man: (is noticeably backing away)
Strange Man: Really, that's --
Self: SEXUAL HARASSMENT, I SAY!
Strange Man: I've...oh...
Strange Man: (Immediately turns and QUICKLY walks away)
Self: Yay, unexpected career perk!
Monday, 6:45 p.m.: Local CVS Drug Store, Which Is Actually Not That Big For Me To Be Having This Conversation
Self: (on phone)
Self: (which she hates to do in stores because of rudeness, so is trying to be really quiet, however:)
Self: (is having trouble hearing other party, who is Party In Crisis, and:)
Self: (is trying to dispense sage advice, as self is prone to do)
Self: You know what? No, you know what? This is just like...it's like...that song?
What Other People In Store Hear: (Nothing, as I am on the phone)
So, What Other People In Store Hear: (pause)
Self: No, nothing by Jessica Simpson.
Self: Not ABBA, no. No! What was...Send in the Clowns! That song.
(Okay, so there is some confusion as to what the fuck I am talking about here. This actually Made Sense. I explained it in the comments to this entry, but basically: Party A had not wanted a commitment when Party B DID, and then Party A decided to commit at exactly the same time that Party B decided NOT to. So this is actually kind of logical. Vaguely.)
Self: Barbra Streisand? I don't fucking know, but yeah, JUST like that, because...okay, think of it like poetry.
Self: NO. Stop laughing. I mean it! "Isn't it...rich?"
Self: POETRY. "Aren't we a pair? Me here at last on the ground? You...something? IN AIR."
Self: Um, "isn't it...farps?"
Self: "...farks?" I don't know what that word is.
Self: You can't listen to poetry if you are laughing.
Self: Shut up, it's not farts.
Self: Oh, fine then. Look, I really have to go, but I'll call you later.
Self: (Hangs up)
Self: (realizes everyone in small store is staring at her)
Self: Um. Hee?
Everyone In Store: (wanders away, giggling)
Woman Behind Me: (Loudly hums "Send in the Clowns")
Helpful Man In Store: It's farce.
Tuesday, 1 a.m.: Sitting On Couch, Updating When Should Be Sleeping:
The End Of The Shopping Things:
There shall be no more shopping updates, but here are the last few to get in under the wire:
As per several reader suggestions, this site has several (very funny) products for under $10;
Melissa from Crafters For Critters emailed to let us know that y'all can get free shipping with the code FREE_SHIP; remember that they updated on Monday, so there's great new stuff there, and all proceeds go to doggies;
Kythryne, she of the previously-titled "secret pal" entry, has a pretty shop of which I was not previously aware;
And (updated) Shano has set up a whole entire $10 site for y'all with all her awesome prints. Seriously, go look at those. She's crazy talented.
Also, I met these ladies at the craft show on Sunday, and they were all very talented, and I strongly believe that we should purchase all of their inventory. Also, hello to everyone else I met, including several good-looking Doxie readers who saw me wearing (1) a Neighborhoodies tee-shirt with a 24 slogan on ("Palmer for President!"); (2) a sweater resembling a strangled muppet; and (3) That Belt Buckle Approximately The Same Size As Alaska, Featuring An ENORMOUS Gold Eagle, People, I Am Sorry I Am Such Trash. Anyway, hi, y'all!
And finally, don't forget to check all of the updates from the last entry if you're still in a shopping frame of mind; a bunch of discounts came in after I'd posted, so they're all there now. Free shipping! Percentages off! It is like a happy dream.
Y'all, that was fun. I like the shoppy thing! Maybe we'll make it an annual event. Didn't you like it? Wasn't it rich? Wasn't it...farce?
That's what I thought.
Well, It's About Damn Time
Hello, internet! I am back! I took a little time there (did you notice the white blankness? There was white blankness) for various family things, and then general craziness, and then finally Dukay's birthday (Happy birthday, Jailbait!) and somewhere in there I probably should have done some sleeping, but I think I forgot, because Y'ALL, I'M TIRED.
Anyway. First off, thank you to everyone who was kind enough to send their good wishes regarding Sis. Her funeral was the Friday before last, and was lovely. We served champagne during the service (yes, we absolutely did, because we are made of Class and Manners) and placed a little split of her very own in her coffin. We all toasted her, and said goodbye to an awesome lady. My whole family appreciates your thoughts and prayers, and I can't tell you how generous your comments and emails were, and how they really (really!) helped lift my spirits, at a time when I was pretty down.
But that is enough sadness, and actually, I am kind of tired of being sad, and that is probably the main reason why I have been running around in the manner of a crazy person for the past two weeks. But meanwhile, I must admit that I have been a Bad Journaler, and have not let y'all know that I am in (generally) one piece. I am! Go, me! All toes accounted for! Fingers, too.
But let us talk about other things, namely that, during my unintentional hiatus, we here in the Doxie household celebrated the second most fabulous holiday of the year, that being Halloween, and that being the holiday that is most likely to make me appear deranged, because Y'ALL, I LOVE HALLOWEEN.
I do not think I have ever told y’all that when it comes to Halloween, I am kind of insane. No, really. No, REALLY, and I am about to admit the extent of my insanity, and it is going to freak you the heck out.
People, I love Halloween with an unrestrained passion. My love for Halloween is Not Normal. Nobody in my family knows where this came from. We are the kind of family that carves a pumpkin, MAYBE two, and that is all. We do not fuck about with spiderwebs and mood lighting. We open the door, dole out a Three Musketeers or a Snickers, and that is the end of the matter.
But something in my genetic makeup was dissatisfied with that arrangement, and somehow, y’all, I have become...I have become That Person who feels the need to decorate the everloving HELL out of her house. I am That Person who BUYS those full-sized skeletons, hanging witches, and packages of fake spiderwebs. I am That Person, and That Person is me, and together, we are a nutbag.
Now, before I can even begin to tell you all about Halloween at my house, you need to understand that I am really not kidding about my Halloween decorations. I go ALL OUT. I have a cemetery set up in the front yard, with little stakes that hold candles to illuminate the Scariness. There is a skeleton popping out of the ground. There are corpses dangling out of windows and standing behind doors, and a witch hangs from the lamppost. Add to this the spiderwebs draped through the entry hall around scary portraits, the black lights in the overhead fixtures, and the various other skeletons and bodies sitting in chairs, and I AM TELLING YOU, I AM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD CRAZY PERSON.
Dukay does not know what to make of all of this, but he has embraced it as a “Charming Quirk” as opposed to “Totally Inexcusable And Morbid Freakiness,” and has himself become very useful with the decorating. I just love the decorations, and collect more every year (because, I AM INSANE), but I do have some rules. First, I will allow nothing that is too scary; second, I will allow no blood. At the end of the day, skeletons are fun and creepy, but the gore is just too much for a doorstep full of toddlers to handle. And besides, I am just not a gore fan. Gore stains, people. Gore stains.
I am, however, a fan of scary sound effects, dry ice, and strobe lights, so all of those items have been produced and used by Dukay in our creation of The Neighborhood Scary House.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, children and their parents walk by my house, and I see their huge, saucer eyes taking in the skeletons crawling through the cemetery, the creatures climbing out of the upstairs windows, and the tombstones planted at crazy angles. They Do Not Like my house. They Do Not Like the fact that their parents point out all of the scariness, and say, "Bet you can't wait to go there on Halloween, right?" The kids look at their parents with a mixture of horror and disbelief, and while they do not speak their minds, I know very well that they are thinking, "You foolish, foolish adult. I am not risking life and limb for a goddamn Snickers bar. Honestly, that crazy woman can take her Three Musketeers and shove them where the sun don't shine."
But on Halloween night, they come anyway, mostly because their parents are either (a) pushing them up the walkway, or (b) dragging them, screaming, towards my house. And then they are rewarded with LOTS of candy, because for all the grief and aggravation I put into my Halloween decorations, there just...aren't that many kids around. So I end up with maybe twenty trick-or-treaters, but because I am a nutbag, I have always purchased nine BAGS of candy (just in case!), and so each kid in my yard receives a handful of processed sugar and all of a sudden, MAYBE I AM NOT SUCH A BITCH AFTER ALL.
But anyway. So this year, like all other years, the decorations were in full effect. Scary lights! Scary sounds! Skeletons and witches and ghosts, all about! A cemetery! A huge spiderweb! And there, right slap in the middle of the driveway...a dumpster!
And...yeah. Yeah, that kind of killed the mood.
See, what had happened, was that I went and cleaned out my storage rooms, and brought a ton of shit back to my house. And when you finally get around to cleaning out storage rooms that you have had for, oh, FOUR YEARS, you begin to realize that, uh, you really don't...want any of that stuff anymore. Look at all these magazines! you will say to yourself. They are encouraging me to wear leggings under my cut-off jeans! They are extolling the virtues of the velvet choker necklace! I don't want these magazines! I don't want any of this shit! And...AHHHHH! Here are MY cut-offs! Here is my very own velvet choker! O, SHAME! I bring shame on my household!
And so you pack everything salvageable into boxes and donate it to Goodwill, but then there's all this...CRAP, just leftover CRAP, and so you call the dumpster people, and they bring you a massive dumpster the size of Cleveland, and they plop it in your driveway, blocking the entrance to your garage. And the dumpster will then sit there, like an angry red Buddha, as you fill its insides with everything from broken chairs to those FUCKING WASHING MACHINES that nobody could ever make work.
And then it is full, and you think, "Whoa, have I got a lot of shit in my possession, if I can fill a whole entire dumpster." And then you call the dumpster people and you ask them to please get the dumpster, and take it to a place far away, where you will never again have to deal with its contents for the rest of your life, amen.
And they say okay.
And then you spend a few days doing other things, and staying with your parents, and preparing for the funeral, and generally not being home. When you do eventually come home, you are therefore surprised to see that the dumpster is still...sitting there. Still angry. And now, thanks to the combined evil forces of "wind" and "rain", the dumpster is now belching out old newspapers and ripped towels all about your front lawn, leading to a yard that could be charmingly and accurately described as a "demilitarized zone".
So you grumble, and pick the crap up, and toss it back into the dumpster. And you call the dumpster people AGAIN, and you say PLEASE, PLEASE take this dumpster AWAY from my HOME.
And they say okay.
And then several MORE days pass, and you attend a funeral, and a reception thing, and a drunken slide show, and then you go home and you THINK that you will not have a dumpster in your otherwise haunted scary yard, but lady, you think WRONG, because there it IS, and it has now become surly, and also it is plotting, I mean you can LOOK at it and tell that it is PLOTTING, and maybe soon it will lurch itself into the backyard and eat the dogs.
SO YOU CALL THE DUMPSTER PEOPLE AGAIN. AND THEY ARE NOT THERE BECAUSE IT IS FRIDAY NIGHT. And you HATE THEM.
But you leave a nice message anyway.
So, the weekend comes and goes, and Halloween is Monday night. And you get home from work to discover that the dumpster is still sitting there, malignant and waiting, and there's really not a damn thing you can do about it. So you embrace the dumpster, and happily tell children who gaze at it skeptically that it is a haunted dumpster. The children think you are disturbed, until Dukay gets the brilliant idea to hide and BANG on the damned thing, which makes a gong sound so deep and intense that children shriek and RUN INTO THE NIGHT, and...heh. Ah, dumpster! You came in handy after all.
(And now it is time for a very long parenthetical story)
(Honestly, I am making us out to sound like horrible people who scare children for sport, when in reality, we're actually very nice. All of the little princesses and toadstools who come up the stairs get candy and compliments on their costumes, and nobody jumps out at them. It is only those older boys, those about to enter teenagedom, that Dukay feels compelled to fuck with. And this is a serious compulsion. It is like a religious mandate, and it is His Sacred Duty to terrify them right the fuck out of their Nikes.
And we would argue about this, with me being all, "Nooo, the house is scary enough, don't mess with the kids, you might really scare them, and what if they get post-traumatic shock or something, and then they will up and SUE me, I just know they will." To which he would scoff, and claim that those boys had it coming, in the manner that he, apparently, had it coming at that age.
"What about the nice ones?" I would ask. "Don't scare the nice ones!"
"I won't," he promised.
"But you won't know which is which," I protested.
Dukay strongly disagreed.
"I can tell," he assured me. "You just watch. I can tell. I will only scare the little shits."
"Children are not little shits!" I exclaimed, horrified. "They are made of sugar and diamonds and angel wings!"
"Some are little shits," Dukay said, wisely. "I myself was a little shit. I can smell them out."
I remained skeptical, until Halloween night of last year. Dukay dressed up in a suit and a mask, and settled himself down on the front porch, directly behind where I stood. And there he sat, still as stone, not moving a muscle, as children came up the steps to retrieve their candy. Little angels and devils all got a handful; Dukay stayed still. Cowboys and vampires got their fill; Dukay did not move. I had pretty much forgotten that he was even sitting there when a boy, probably ten or eleven, came sauntering up the driveway.
The kid left his father at the front of my pathway, and came towards the house, rolling his eyes all the way. When he got to where I was standing, he barked an impatient "Trick or Treat." And as I handed him his candy, he sneered at me.
"This isn't scary," he said. "This is baby stuff."
"You think so?" I asked.
"It's stupid," he continued. "The whole house is stupid. Those corpses look fake."
"Oh!" I thought. "You are a little shit."
"Hmmm," I said.
"AHHHHHHHHH" said Dukay, jumping up from where he was sitting.
"AHHHHHHHHH" screamed the kid, dropping his candy bag and taking off down the walk like his ass was on fire.
"AHHHHHHHHH" screamed me, who had FORGOTTEN ABOUT DUKAY, OH MY GOD, HOLY FUCK, I JUST HAD A HEART ATTACK.
"HA!" said the boy's dad, who was watching as his child continued to book up the street, never looking back.
"You got him!" he told Dukay appreciatively. "Man, I wish I could do that."
After that, I never much worried about Dukay's ability to figure out which kids deserved a little heart failure with their Butterfingers.)
So, we had a lot of fun this Halloween, and Dukay only scared one group of teenish boys who were traveling a la carte, without parents, and who came whacking on the door hours after all the other kids had stopped trick-or-treating. Dukay, who happened to be passing the door at the time, responded by pounding the SHIT out of the door from the inside, causing the door to actually shake with the vibration, and causing the kids to shriek like so many Little Women. And then he opened the door and grinned at him, and they were all awed, gazing at him in wonder, and asking, "Dude, that was AWESOME, man, did you just come up with that yourself?" Like Dukay is some kind of brain trust.
He is not. But he is what happens when little shits grow up.
ANYWAY. So that was Halloween, and we finished up the celebration by inviting over my sister and another friend, and drinking and watching awesome (i.e., bad) Halloween movies, such as Hocus Pocus, and my sister and I know kind of every word, and entertained everyone by saying "Amok, amok, AMOK!" for about ninety hours, and THEN we went to bed.
And were awakened at dawn the next morning, when the dumpster pick-up guy finally showed up to get the angry red beast, a full three HOURS before their posted "pick up times," and rang the doorbell to snootily ask me to, you know, move the damned CARS out of his way, because he doesn't have all DAY, you know. I mean, GOD. WOMEN.
That little shit. You know, it's just too bad Dukay wasn't still sitting on the porch; I would have liked to see that jackass run.
A Request From The Folks At Home
Just popping in for a second, at the request of my parents, of all people.
My grandmother died this afternoon. I don't really feel like writing about it right now, but eventually, I will probably get around to telling you all about her.
Basically, y'all should know that she was an awesome, no-bullshit kind of lady. She was classy, and she was cool, and she was a hell of a lot of fun. We took her out to dinner every Sunday, and every Sunday, she demanded a filet mignon and a glass of champagne.
This...has a tendency to limit your restaurant selection. But she insisted, and I'm glad she did. I hope she enjoyed the hell out of it.
There are some great stories about my grandmother that I will probably tell y'all sometime. She adored Dukay, for example, and wouldn't let him enter her home unless she had put on her lipstick. And she always wore bright red lipstick. The redder, the better. She was that kind of girl.
We called my grandmother Sissie, and that's actually a pretty awesome story right there; when she was born -- into a family of three girls -- they were getting desperate for a brother. So when she came out, minus the...you know, boy parts they had hoped for, they immediately dubbed her "Sister Bill." Her real name was Catherine, but she's been known as Sissie ever since. I have never, in all of my life, heard her called "Catherine." She is Sis.
And Sissie died today; it wasn't sudden, because she had been becoming more and more frail for years, and hospital trips had become pretty common. About ten days ago, she was taken to the hospital for the last time.
On Friday, Sis left the hospital and was placed into hospice care at Hospice Atlanta. And they were so kind. When she died there this afternoon, we all knew that she was comfortable. She was surrounded by the people that she loved. And then she was gone.
I did not want to write about Sissie's death, and frankly, I had no intention of announcing any of this to the world at large. Sis lived until she was almost ninety, and she had a wonderful and full life. Sis was a reason to celebrate, and I didn't think I could write about her without sounding like it was some ploy for sympathy, and that was not my intention at all. And so I decided that I would just take a few days, and then I would return, probably with a story about chopping off my remaining toes, or buying the entire Fall inventory at Zappo's.
However, after I got home this evening, my parents called me with a request. They asked me to tell all of y'all about what wonderful work Hospice Atlanta is doing. And they are doing wonderful work; they have a beautiful facility, with a library, private dining rooms, and a chapel. Sissie's room opened onto a patio with a fountain. It is a peaceful place.
But the people there are truly extraordinary; the nurses and doctors who attended to Sis were so kind, and so understanding. They sat with us, and they were willing to talk for as long as we wanted. On Friday, my father met with the doctor in charge; later, when he told me about his visit, he was amazed that she had been so giving with her time.
"She would have talked to me all day, if I had needed it," he told me, amazed. "And she would have listened to me all day, too."
The services offered by Hospice Atlanta are completely covered by Medicare. They provide care for anyone with a short life expectancy, and they have the resources to make that time as comfortable as possible -- not only for those who are dying, but also for those who are left behind.
And Hospice Atlanta, like many other hospices around the country, is a non-profit organization. They rely primarily on donations in order to maintain their services. Oddly, we have donated to the facility for years, without really knowing what they did; tomorrow, however, we will be making a donation in honor of Sister Bill, champagne dinners, and one enormous crush on my boyfriend.
If you can, I urge you to give to Hospice Atlanta, in memory of someone you love. And even if you can't, I hope you put on some Frank Sinatra and your best red lipstick, and smile a little, for a lady who knew it was time to go.
Status Of Toe, Interrupted By A Totally Unrelated Story About Musical Theater
Know how some people have those little text boxes on their websites, that tell you their mood and their latest book and what they are listening to, and other interesting information? I do not have such a thing, so tonight I shall improvise, for I am providing you with a status report, because naturally, you are wondering. Here is my report:
Comments Counter: Still broken
Favorite color: Greenish
Does that help? It is kind of insightful. Hello!
First off, thank you all very much for your concern over my very debilitating and tragic injury that happened to my poor toe. I believe it is growing back nicely, except I will not look at it, for it grosses me out completely.
Indeed, I have no idea of what is going on down there. Something squishy. That is all I know. My toe could secede from the Union that is my body and I would probably not notice. The Toe may rise again! I am really trying not to think about it too much, and yet, clearly I am thinking about it too much.
Anyway, turns out, there is both a Good Side and a Bad Side to my recovery. I will share both with you, starting with the Bad, simply because I am one of those people who when you say, "Good news first or bad news first?" I always say, "Bad news first! BAD NEWS FIRST!" because apparently I cannot experience joy unless it is already ruined.
ANYWAY. So, here we have:
The Bad Side: Other than pain and general reverse-tiptoeing (try walking without putting any pressure on your toes. Seriously! Try it! You will look like an idiot duck), the Injury has forced me to wear very ugly shoes. And y'all, I am not an ugly shoe person.
I am currently wearing shoes with no heels, and huge, round toe areas, that allow for the bandages. The only shoes that I own that fit this description are a pair of kind-of-scary boots with wingtips, wingtips, people, and I do not know where they came from and also they look very weird and oddly like they belong in a stage production of Oliver Twist, and so I am trying to compensate by wearing long pants, only then I really look like an urchin attorney because long pants and only kind-of-visible wingtips are really not a recipe for Fashion Success.
I feel like walking up to people in my office and looking at them hungrily. And then I will ask, "Please, sir, can I have some more?" and they will hit me with a cane or something, and sing about it.
Actually, this is kind of unrelated, but for some reason I feel like sharing that the only play I have ever appeared in, in my whole entire life, was Oliver. And I was in the sixth grade, and I was Mrs. Bedwin.
Mrs. Bedwin is not exactly a major character. She is not Oliver, for example. No. She is Mrs. Bedwin.
As Mrs. Bedwin, I was matronly and had gray hair and a long black dress with an apron, and I spoke two lines. In my first line, I was to walk into the room, and announce, "There's someone at the door." I was then to walk out. This was not a very challenging role.
In my second line, Oliver was to sing a song to me, about loneliness and sadness and urchinness or whatever, and I was to put my arms about his small shoulders and gently announce, "I understand."
That was all. Because those are all of the lines Mrs. Bedwin has. Mrs. Bedwin is not some kind of super star, people. She is a senior citizen.
But this did not matter to me. The stage! The lights! The fame! It was clearly my calling.
So, I practiced. Oh, how I practiced, in my little sixth-grade world. I would sit in my room for hours, in front of my mirror, and whisper my lines to myself. "There's SOMEone at the door," I'd try. Then I'd mix it up a bit, I would feel out my character, with "There's someone at the DOOR."
"I understand," I would say. Then, with tears in my eyes: "I...I understand."
It is kind of like how Meryl Streep practices, I bet. That is the kind of devotion I had to my role: a Streep-like devotion. And so, when the night of the play came around, I was ready. I was ready for middle school stardom. Please go ahead and give me my Tony now, is what I was thinking, because I had that bitch down.
But...oh, you guys. There was a problem. And the problem, of course, was that in the sixth grade, I was madly, passionately in love with the "actor" (and let us use this term loosely) who played the Artful Dodger, and I believe his name was Keith, and I was pretty fucking sure that Keith and I were destined to be together, and that we would have a thousand babies, and that we would probably live in my parents' guest room and that I would bake pies and do the ironing. The problem with being in love with Keith, however, was twofold: with (1) being that Keith did not actually realize that I existed, seeing as he was a worldly eighth grader (and eighth graders had totally gone to second base by then and were listening to 2 Live Crew, duh) and I was a lowly sixth grader with braces and insane hair and skinny legs who was always dressed up like an old woman during play practice but whatever, that may have been surmountable except that I also had a tendency to (2) TOTALLY LOSE THE ABILITY TO SPEAK when the beloved and manly Keith was in my presence. So the fact that I was in a play, with actual lines, which involved speaking, in an out-loud fashion, while Keith was watching...well. This posed a bit of a problem.
On the night of the show, I sat in the green room and did breathing exercises that our music teacher (and underpaid, miserable director) had taught us. I got into my character. I considered my motivation. And I pretty much held my breath for an hour before the stage hand came to collect me. Then the door opened -- "You're on," he stage whispered.
And, oh! The excitement! I remember standing up briskly and straightening my apron, looking at him, and nodding confidently. I was born to perform, I thought to myself. I should probably just live on a stage somewhere. I am very likely a theatrical prodigy, with my two lines. The world...the world is not ready for the degree of talent that I am about to unleash onto this Middle School auditorium.
Grandly, I walked onto the stage for my first line. And I was feeling very cool and collected, and I was just supposed to walk into the room and announce that there was someone at the door. There's someone at the door! That...is an easy line! Many people say that without falling down or vomiting on themselves.
Except! When I went out there, and I saw all of those people in the audience, and I saw the lights and the other actors, I kind of...froze. I froze. And I turned to my right, and THAT is when I saw Keith, talking to the eighth grade WHORE who played Nancy, and he was NOT caring about the fact that I existed, even though I was a sixth grader with needs, KISSING NEEDS, and as a result of this total betrayal of my Life Dream, I completely and totally balked.
I stood there, silently. Approximately nine million eyes were trained on my little gray head.
And so I tried to collect myself.
"There's SOMEone at the door," I thought, furiously. "There's someone at the DOOR."
"I understand!" I announced, to the room at large.
The "actors" looked at me, confused. Nobody, who ranged in age from eleven to thirteen, knew what to do. Ad-libbing was simply too much to ask of our collective experience. Finally, the guy who played...someone, finally let loose with the clever, "Well, bring them in!" which would make sense, HAD I ANNOUNCED that someone was at the door, WHICH WAS IN FACT my line. However! When that statement follows up the pronouncement, apopros of nothing, that I UNDERSTAND whatever it is that is happening in the room at large, then...not so much sense! More "senseless" than "senseful."
So: I ran. Zoom! I hiked up my apron and skirt, and bolted off of the stage, and not into the arms of Keith, who should have fucking COMFORTED me, seeing as he was supposed to be The One, but he was busy nibbling on the ear that belonged to the girl who played Nancy, and PEOPLE, at that moment, my sixth grade heart turned black as coal, and maybe that is why I am cynical and mean to this very day.
But the evening was not over. Oh, no. I still had one more appearance. I was to comfort Oliver, and put my arms about his shoulders, and tell him that I understood the pain and misery and whatever else about his fragile emotional state. And all of this was to happen after he sang to me.
And so the two of us walked out onto the stage for the song (Where is Love? if I recall correctly, which of course I do), and he lifted his small chin to begin singing, and we waited, together, for our cue, and this is what we heard:
Because somehow, the music was...not working. OF COURSE IT WAS NOT WORKING! The P.A. system had gone out, because GOOD TIMING, and so all of the wondrous canned karaoke-style music that we were supposed to sing along with had spontaneously died, and now we were standing there like IDIOTS on stage, me and Oliver, ALL ALONE, and he was unnaturally short for a sixth grader and I was stragely tall and he was looking at me in horror, because he was NOT ABOUT TO DO THIS A CAPELLA, NO, and all I could think to do was announce my line ("I understand!" "I understand!") and so I said, with total conviction:
"There's SOMEone at the DOOR."
And then we both bolted. We fucking ran off of that stage. And the play...uh, ended. And the music teacher did not speak to me for a week, and THAT, PEOPLE, is why I did not go into musical theater as a career. If you were wondering.
Not that any of that really has any bearing on my foot. But it's nice to remember the most embarrassing moments of your life sometimes! And it is nice to hope that Keith the Artful Fuckhead eventually got run over by a bus.
Sigh. No, not really.
No, definitely not. That is Hateful.
(But maybe a very...light bus, that only held, like, feathers and...balloons?)
NO. That is Wrong. BESIDES.
Now it is time for The Good Part of chopping off your toe pad thingy (remember when that was the subject of this entry, lo those many paragraphs ago?), which is:
I have been placed on the disabled list in my building, and no longer do I have to participate in the annual fire drill, or, as it is commonly called, "The Annual Having To Walk Down Twenty-Four Flights Of Stairs In High Heels And Then Spending The Afternoon Waiting For Your Turn To Go Back Up The Elevator So That, I Don't Know, You Can Get Something Accomplished Today That Vaguely Resembles The Practice Of Law And Not An Adult Obstacle Course."
Y'all! Because I am on the disabled list, I get to ride the serivce elevator! O, happy day! Yay, missing toe! Thank you for this silver lining.
And, that is about it. The toe remains unseen and secret and squishy. The service elevator awaits my call. And Keith is probably living happily somewhere in the midwest, selling insurance and not -- absolutely not -- participating in musical theater.
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.
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.
Scary Beach Crime Scene Photos; Pandering; Hello!
That is the only title I could think of for this entry, because that is what I am going to show you, is Scary Beach Crime Scene Photos. And then I am going to pander. And at some point I will say hi. Anyway! People! Allow me to explain.
See, we finally made it out of Birmingham on Tuesday, and started driving to Gulf Shores, because my dad called the Gulf Shores Department of Commerce or Tourism or something similar, but what should actually be called the Department of Big Fat Stinking Liars, Liar Liar Pants on FIRE, because this is what happened.
Dad called and said, "Hello. My family has been trying to get into Gulf Shores for six days, but then, you know, hurricane, and now we can't get in touch with the condo people, and we don't know if we should come..."
And the Department of Lying Lying Dogs lady interrupted him and said, "COME IMMEDIATELY RIGHT NOW EVERYTHING IS FINE BRING YOUR CREDIT CARDS CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU YAY TOURISM."
Dad believed her, and so we all packed up and left the relative safety of Birmingham, and we drove to Gulf Shores. And it wasn't until we were, oh, I don't know, MINUTES from there that the condo people finally deigned to call us back and inform us that, HA HA, you were lied to, and nobody is allowed in to the whole damn city.
So! Now we are kind of in Alabama-ish, and without lodging, and I am getting cranky like I do. So we pulled over to a gas station in the middle of Nowhere, Inbetween States, and Mom and Dad were both on their cell phones, trying to find somewhere, ANYwhere, that would take us in for the night.
We were kind of like Joseph and Mary right then, don't you think? Except not holy. Just irritated.
ANYWAY. They found somewhere. It was 200 miles away, BUT WHATEVER, we have cars and gas at $3.17 a gallon. So, we drove on, stayed in Alternate City (it was lovely), and then this morning, the condo people called again. And apparently they had gotten some lessons from the tourism dirty liar lady, or there had been some kind of meeting of Gulf Shores People Who Live On Tourist Dollars, because they were like, "PLEASE COME NOW WE UPGRADED YOU EVEN KISSES!"
So we went. And we drove all day, because there is traffic of people who are trying to do important things like "find out if their homes are still standing and family members are alive", and I waved out the windows all day at other cars in a manner that I hope conveyed "friendly" and not "prostitute trying to pick up strangers in her car". And as we got closer, we began to see things like:
(1) Houses that were missing key ingredients, like:
(c) both (a) and (b)
(2) power lines all over the place
(3) fire trucks.
None of these things were encouraging. But at this point, the family was like, "WHATEVER, we're going to the GODDAMN BEACH, and we don't CARE if there is no power and no water, ALL WE NEED IS SOME FUCKING OCEAN."
And so we went on.
We arrived in Gulf Shores and pulled into the condo complex, where we were immediately informed by the lady at the gate that they were, in fact, not allowing people to check in today, where EVER did we get such a notion, please go home you IDIOTS, etc.
And this is where mom and I had to wait in our respective cars, because this is also where we both grew fangs and mean long fingernails-claw things and decided we would just EAT the people at the front desk, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WE DO IN MY FAMILY when we get really really pissed. We eat people! We eat them whole.
Dad, however, is all "reasonable" (read: LAME) and locked us into our cars and forbade us to leave and went in to talk to the people at the front desk. And he did not eat them, and within three minutes, we had keys to condos and everything was FINE, and something about catching more flies with honey but I wasn't paying attention because I still wanted SOMEONE TO DIE AND I WANTED TO EAT THEM because WHO THE FUCK spends three days trying to travel 200 miles? BESIDES THE AMISH?
But anyway. So, now we are at the condo, and it's great and we even have internet service, which is good because HI, EVERYONE! What we did not have, for the first four hours upon checking in, was:
What we still do not have, and who knows when we will have this, is:
And now is where we actually get to the point of this entry, which is where I show you pictures of THE CREEPINESS that is the beach right now. Shudder! You can close your eyes if you get too scared.
See (and now we talk science), apparently, in a hurricane, the ocean just...gives back all of those things that it doesn't want. And there are a lot of things that people put into the ocean, because some bad people do NOT follow the life lesson of Giving a Hoot, and they just toss in any old thing (mostly these are beer cans. FOR SHAME, Beer Can Thrower-Inners!).
And also, during the hurricane, the ocean also took some stuff that does not belong to the ocean, like doors and windows and other things, because the ocean is a kleptomaniac. The ocean kind of needs counseling.
So, right now, instead of "beach," there is a long line of debris. And I've never seen anything like it. It is...creepy. It looks like a crime scene, especially when you find things like clothes and shoes and boots and almost brand-new colanders, and I am CONVINCED that it is just chock-full of skeleton bits from old shipwrecks (which...yes, I recognize and admit that this makes no sense, but WHATEVER), and it is FREAKY.
The freakiness factor did not prevent me from wandering out into the middle of it all and taking approximately one zillion pictures of the rubble. And here I share with you, because Self = GIVER, SUCH A GIVER.
And here they are.
Now. As creepy as all of that is (SO CREEPY), I am well aware that I am pretty fucking lucky to be sitting here now with a glass of wine, knowing that everyone I love (including the dogs. Oh, y'all, I have called the vet EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR about the dogs and their safety, and the vet hates me SO MUCH), and I am able to update my little web page and say hi to everyone. (HI EVERYONE!). I've got it pretty damn good. So many people can't do any of that, including all of those lovely, classy ladies from Pascalgula, Mississippi, with whom I spent the last several days. They have...nothing. Their homes are fucking gone. Last time I saw them, we all had a cocktail, and they were joking about what color FEMA trailer they would request (turns out, pink is everyone's signature color).
So, let's do something...interesting and different. I'm going to ask anyone who can, to send a donation to the Red Cross for disaster relief. And, when you send a donation, leave me a comment or send me an email telling me that you've donated (of course, you don't have to tell me how much; just let me know that you're in). And I will take all of those names, and I will have a raffle, and someone will win, and that someone will recieve one of my paintings. (Wait! Y'all! Did you not know that I paint? I don't think I've ever posted pictures of my paintings. Anyway, I do. They are...you know. Interesting.)
SO! It's kind of...lame, but what do you have to lose? You may end up with a painting you hate, but THAT IS WHY JESUS GAVE YOU EBAY. And anyway, it's a Miss Doxie original, and surely that will be worth SOMEthing when I am dead. So donate away.
And if you can't, at least send positive thoughts and good vibes to all of those good people who have lost so much.
And whatever you do: stay the hell off the beach. Unless you really, really need a new colander.
This Post Is Brought To You By The Fact That The Power Finally Came Back On In The Fucking Hotel
Well, HI, y'all! Guess where I am. No, wait. Guess where I am supposed to be.
If you guessed, "on vacation," you would be right. That is where I am supposed to be, on vacation in Gulf Shores. And that is where we have been trying to get, my family and myself, only we are not there. Not even slightly! Instead, we are holed up in a hotel in Birmingham, where we have been for, oh, FIVE DAYS, sometimes without power, most times without cell phones. And that was fun.
It's really not that bad, considering the NIGHTMARE of this storm, and how much trouble other poor people are having. I mean, we have shelter, and an operational bar. Plus, we are with awesome people, because we were all here for a wedding anyway. And the wedding people were So Much Fun (hi, Babs!), and it was just a good time, you know, until a big old hurricane came and BLEW AWAY ALL OF THEIR HOUSES, I AM NOT KIDDING YOU. The majority of the other guests here HAVE HAD THEIR HOUSES BLOWN AWAY.
Everyone is handling this remarkably well, because that is just what classy ladies do, apparently. That is not what I would do, because I am, evidently, not a classy lady. If my house blew away, a la Dorothy/Oz/Big Bad Wolf/"huff and puff" etc., I would:
1. Freak THE HELL out;
2. Drink SO MUCH;
3. Yell at everyone;
4. Max out all credit cards buying pointless items like legwarmers and gloves with no fingers, slap bracelets, capelets;
5. Drink more;
6. Pass out in puddle of own tears.
But that is just me. I do not handle adversity well. Did you maybe guess?
Anyway, I'll be in touch more when we are allowed to, you know, leave, and when the internet connection isn't dying out every nineteen seconds. In the meantime, please send happy thoughts and prayers to those good people who are dealing with this DAMN STORM.
And someone? Someone send me a drink.
Apparently, I Just Broke
To begin with, let me just say that I watched the Six Feet Under series finale last night, and I AM NOT OVER IT. No. I have not recovered, and every time I even think of that last epilogue-type closing sequence, I start to CRY, and Y'ALL. I am not a crier. And all I can think now is WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, because...TELEVISION SHOW! Six Feet Under is a TELEVISION SHOW, and meanwhile, Real Life is like, sitting there, waving at me confusedly, all, "Wait, am I not...enough for you? Why do you never cry for me? Jim never vomits at home!"
(I mean...y'all. Poor Dukay made the unwise and unfortunate decision to call as I was watching the final ten minutes, and I answered the phone, LITERALLY BAWLING, like shoulders-shaking, hiccupping bawling, and after dating for almost four years, a time which has included funerals, Dukay has never seen me in such a state. As a result, I succeeded in thoroughly terrifying him, quite possibly forever. He was like, "WHO DIED?" and I was like, "EVERYONE EVERYWHERE.")
(OH, and then I felt the need to call my mom, while I was still sobbing, and tell her that I love her. Fortunately, she knows and watches Six Feet Under, and even though she had not seen the finale, she understood my little meltdown, and made nice-Mommy noises. Thanks, Mom, for not having me immediately committed! Kisses!)
(...okay, listen. People, I am under a lot of stress right now. And then, that finale, it just...I don't know! It AFFECTED me. Don't judge! Just, you know. Laugh at me! It's healthy!)
ANYWAY. So, feeling neglected by the comparative lack of emotion I tend to display for actual events, Real Life decided that maybe it would FUCK WITH ME TODAY, to see whether it could elicit the same type of emotional response from the generally level-headed, logical, happy-go-lucky me. But HA HA, Real Life! You will not beat me down! Even though you tried REALLY HARD, and for that I give you props, because...y'all, this day? SUCKED.
And I don't know what it was about today (except I am generally stressed and just crazy-like right now anyway) because I have survived MUCH worse days, days that involved things like death or other assorted horror, and yet...AND YET! This day has almost done me in, y'all! SOMEONE COME HOLD ME.
Anyway. Let's review:
7:30: Wake uppish. Bo, in a radical change from his usual morning routine of stubbornly hiding under the covers, is oddly very eager to rise! Can't wait! Turns out, decided priority = pooping, and as such, he does not make it quite all the way to the door. Result: One large, steaming fun pile of poo abooooooooooooout twelve inches from the back door, with Bo running, all four legs crossed, to the bathroomish freedom that is the yard, tiny turds still popping from his backside like so many sands from a small, fat, brown hourglass.
7:31: Paper towels. Very many paper towels. Sigh. Good morning, world.
8:15: Leave to go to work. Pick up Dad, whose car is in ths shop, and whatever because we go to the same office anyway, and Hi, Dad!
8:16: Learn I will also be taking Dad to the airport, circa afternoonish. Okay! Break from work! Also, Dad invites me to lunch. Day is LOOKING UP!
8:50: DAY IS LOOKING DOWN. Arrive at work, and learn that Important Earth-Changing Brief that was due on Friday? NOOOOO! Now due TOMORROW. 50 pages, minimum. Hope you weren't planning to, I don't know. Sleep.
8:51: Begin frantically working on Brief. Coworkers stop in to say hello, nice weekend? etc. Give them the Crazy Eyeballs. They run in fear; cowering occurs.
12:30: Dad takes self to lunch. This is the high point of the day.
12:46: Oooh, lunch is good. LOVE lunch.
1:30: Take Dad to airport. To counteract possible airport-related terrorism, you can no longer drop someone off right outside of the Atlanta airport, OH NO, there is now this odd drop-off system thing going on in the former parking lot, and there is SUCH CONFUSION, and this is where I begin to become: befuddled.
1:34: Drop off Dad. Befuddlement becomes symptomatic.
1:37: Attempt to leave airport. OH, IT SOUNDS SO EASY.
1:39: Heh. Know what I did? I missed the turny thing that takes you out and to the highway. Hee! I'm trapped in the airport! Oh, well, I guess I'll just go in a circle then, and soon I will be out.
1:47: Wait, I...SHIT, I missed it again. DAMMIT. I am an idiot. Okay. I need to go around the cirle-y thing again. This time I get off where the...hey, I just said "get off." Ha! I'm funny.
1:55: OH MY GOD I MISSED IT AGAIN.
2:06: ALRIGHT. I'm OUT of the airport, and I'm on the highway. GOOD. Now I need to just get back downtown, to the exit I always take, though usually I am coming from the other direction.
2:17: Where's the...exit? This is the region where I get off, usually, but...hey, I said it again! "Get off." Heeeeee. Oh! Good song on the radio!
2:23: Wait. SHIT. There went the place I usually go. Huh. Why is there no exit from this direction?
2:25:...because there is no exit from that direction. FUCK. Okay, now I have to exit elsewhere and work myself back through the city.
(Have we talked about my sense of direction? HA HA HA)
2:26 - 3:49: Ridiculously lost. Ridiculously lost. Atlanta is not big enough for me to have been so lost.
3:50: Return to office. I am hysterical. EVERYONE is looking for me.
3:51: Ignore phone. Work on brief.
4:50: Still working on brief.
5:50: STILL working on brief.
8:50: BRIEF! BRIEF! Dinner.
9:15: Arby's drive-thru. WHATEVER. I will be up all night. If you are going to be up working all night, you get curly fries. It is a law. It is IN THE BIBLE.
9:17: Finish curly fries. Still starving slap to death. Think anticipaty-happy thoughts about sandwich. Mmm. Sandwich!
9:30: Arrive home. Set food on coffee table. Free dogs.
9:31: Open door, and am immediately DIVE BOMBED from above by winged insect (turns out to be a grasshopper) that lands deep in hair of self. Self FREAKS.
9:32: Dogs freak accordingly.
9:32: Grasshopper kind of freaks, in insect-y way.
9:33: Puglsey pees on floor in sheer terror.
9:33: Self slips in pee while trying to disengage grasshopper. Toppling. Bruising. Elbow destroyed forever.
9:33: Bo takes advantage of grasshopper-related confusion/freakage/toppling to run to coffee table AND STEAL SANDWICH THAT BELONGS TO SELF AND THAT SELF PAID FOR AND THAT BO DID NOT PAY FOR.
9:34: Self releases grasshopper from hair, and into wilds of back yard. Meanwhile, Bo calmly finishes last of sandwich.
9:35: Must clean up pee. Paper towels. Finish off roll. It has been a long day.
9:37: Self returns to dinner. But dinner is...gone. Bo is licking his chops and looking at Self like, What? BO HUNGRY.
9:36: Self considers crying. Instead Self plugs in work laptop to continue working on brief for the rest of the night, hollowly realizing that because Self has been too busy to shop, there is officially No Food in the house, so, no dinner. Self is beginning to feel veeeeeeery sorry for self.
10:15: Brief. Work through it, self! (Elbow kind of hurts.)
11:04: BriefBRIEFBRIEFBRIEFBRIEFBRIEFBRSelf needs break. Poor elbow. Elbow is starving, but no food, so, TV.
11:05: Self turns on TV. To...HBO. The last channel Self watched last night...
11:05: ...just in time to see the end of Six Feet Under Season Finale. Again.
And that? That right there? Is when I decided to GO TO BED. Now, logically, I know people have worse days ALL THE TIME. That there are people who are sick, or who can't feed their kids, and I know that this, in the long run, is small and silly and petty and ridiculous. But y'all, I am just BEAT.
Good night, everyone, and I wish, for all of us, that tomorrow will be a better fucking day.
Or, at the very least, I hope it is a day that involves a lot less paper towels.
What All That Education Got Me
Okay, well. I feel compelled to write again (I know! So quick like!) because first of all, my spam? Really entertaining. Funny to me. I'm not even deleting it. Since when is "penis enlargement" coming up with witticisms? Why does "penis enlargement" kind of think nobody cares about me? O, penis enlargement, you're so clever, but why are you trying to make me feel bad about myself? You are penis enlargement! I, personally, am happy with the sizes of my body parts! Let's not project our little insecurities onto others. TSK TSK.
And, the second reason is a spoily one, because I finally read the Harry Potter book (I say "finally" as if this took, like, months and months, when in reality, it was, what...two days after it published? Hi. Dork) and then everyone had to Deal With Me, and now I feel compelled to talk about it. And I will feel compelled to talk about it, with anyone who listens, until approximately Saturday. Then I will cease to care.
I had a conversation with Ziz about the book last night, and it was pretty funny (well...funny to us) and involved many of our various theories, and so I thought I'd pass it along to y'all. BUT FIRST, I MUST WARN YOU, with ALL OF MY WARNY POWERS, that I am about to spoil the everloving HELL out of that book. Oh, yes. I will name names. So if you haven't read it? GO. GO AWAY. Read this entry ANOTHER DAY. I will even post something interesting for you to look at instead. Look at these! Aren't those freaky? Now scram. It is for your OWN GOOD, it hurts me more than it hurts you, etc.
Okay? Well, you have been warned. Because here we go.
Ziz: Hi! What's u-
Self: DID YOU READ IT YET?
Ziz: Read? WHAT? WHO?
Self: DID YOU READ HARRY POTTER BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE HAS FINISHED HARRY POTTER AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT HARRY POTTER WITH SOMEBODY AND NOBODY WILL TALK TO ME ABOUT HARRY POTTER AND THEY KEEP SAYING SHH.
Ziz: Whoa. Uh, yeah. I finished it the first day. Are you just now done?
Self: Listen, I try to have a social life. Nerd.
Ziz: Uh, except, you are, apparently, ATTACKING people and trying to get them to discuss Harry Potter with you.
Self: Shut up, person-who-points-things-out-that-I-don't-want-pointed-out.
Ziz: That was...succinct. But yeah, I've read it. What do you want to discuss?
Self: Um. How...I don't know. Who do you think is cutest?
Ziz: THAT'S what you want to discuss?! Not, like, Dumbledore dying and Snape being bad -
Self: HE IS NOT BAD.
Ziz: Sigh. Yes, he is.
Self: NOOOOO. He's totally, like, doing what he has to do, and I think he killed Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders, just like how, you know, Harry would have killed Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders, when he forced him to drink the yucky stuff and didn't know what the yucky stuff was going to do to him? And it totally could have killed him, and MAYBE IT EVEN KIND OF DID and Snape was just putting him out of his misery? And there were bodies and a boat and everything?
Ziz: Okay, deeeeeep breaths...
Self: Because Dumbledore's like, "Harry, you do what I say!" and Harry's all, "Yes, sir! I'm your man!" And Dumbledore's like, "Even if I'm like, crying and shit and ask you to do horribleness!" And Harry's like, "Got it!" And then Harry makes him drink the stuff that makes him dying, because Dumbledore told him to, just like DUMBLEDORE TOLD SNAPE he had to kill him, and anyway Dumbledore KNEW he was going to die in this book, and that's why in the beginning Harry's all, "Do I need to put my invisible cloak thingy on?" and Dumbledore's all, "Oh HELL no, because you're with me," and then when Harry's all swimming with Dumbledore and he's like, "Hold on, Dumble! Don't fret!" and Dumbledore's like, "I'm not, because I'm with you?" See what they did there, with the passing of the torch and the coming full-circle and O THE HEAVY MEANING IN A CHILDREN'S BOOK?
Ziz: Weren't you once...smart? Like when you were an English literature major that time? And...and this is how you now analyze books?
Self: I fail to see your point.
Ziz: "Hold on, Dumble"? "Don't fret"?
Self: I may be...paraphrasing. Some.
Ziz: Sigh. Anyway, I think I follow you, but that does not mean that you are, in any way, correct.
Self: See, Snape and Harry have this big, like, PARALLEL thing going on.
Ziz: In which they are both played by hot actors?
Self: ...there is also that, yes.
Ziz: But Draco is way hotter.
Self: Know who I want to be? Draco's mom.
Ziz: Except for the evil bitch part?
Self: Or I want to be Fleur.
Ziz: Except for the whiny bitch part?
Self: Huh. Yeah, I guess the hot women aren't all that...nice.
Ziz: Oh, there's nothing wrong with a little bitchiness. I kind of want to be Tonks, though, for the hair thing.
Self: I keep forgetting who Tonks is. Who...oh, yeah.
Ziz: You forgot Tonks? Hi, major character. Do you want me to remind you of who Ron is?
Self: No, it's just that there are so many characters, and I keep forgetting who is who, and-
Ziz: I KNOW! I can't ever remember Mu...Mublummbins. Mulbinnins. Mungumbers.
Self: YES! Like him. Mundsomething! I can't ever remember him either. I need, like, a directory.
Ziz: That man does nothing for me. I'm sure he's horribly important and will end up being Dumbledore's long lost son.
Self: Or it will turn out that he is actually our own father.
Ziz: That is not...terribly likely.
Self: Oh, here we go again, with the not-confusing-fictional-characters-with-real-life business.
Ziz: Well, we have already had this discussion as it relates to the carrying around of a pressure cooker.
Ziz: And also as to how it relates to the cast of 24, and how Kiefer is not, in actuality, a big secret government agent.
Self: YOU DON'T KNOW THAT.
Ziz: Yes, I do. Kiefer Sutherland is not a secret agent.
Self: SHUT UP.
Ziz: Sorry. Anyway. Do you have any other...uh, "brilliant" Harry Potter theories?
Self: Not really.
Ziz: Well, me either.
Self: Then I guess we have nothing to talk about.
Ziz: Yes. It's like we're strangers now.
Self: Strangers who disagree on the evilness of Snape.
Ziz: And yet, not on his dark and moody hotness.
Self: Right. Thank God for common ground!
And so on. You know how we get. We may have also discussed, like, real people. Actual events. Shit like that.
BUT, because most of my friends have STILL not finished the damn book, I encourage all of you to enlighten me with your own Harry Potter theories and whatnot, because again: for the next three days, I will be completely interested in this subject, until approximately Saturday when I will stop caring with a searing vengeance.
Until then: what did y'all think of the book? Do you think Snape is evil? And, most importantly, who in the everloving FUCK is this Mundusnfmnglumb guy?
So, comment away! Unless you are penis enlargement. Penis enlargement, you can go suck on an egg.
This is what you get when THE INTERNET DIES.
Nothing. Nothing! That is what we all get when the internet dies, and I cannot figure out how to fix it. Because I am an idiot.
But anyway. Hi! So, I've been a little busy, and then the internet broke, and I am now at work, typing reallyreallyreally fast, because I do not update from work, OH NEVER, because I like my job and SO THERE, but on this one occasion I am making an exception just so y'all don't think I up and died. It's all for you! Look at the risky risks I do take.
So, the short story is that one of my parents' dogs? Maggie? A disc in her back slipped, and that made her paralyzed, necessitating several jillion dollars worth of surgery, and now she is STILL paralyzed, but now it is, supposedly, on a temporary basis, but mom and dad had to leave town, and someone had to watch her, and that someone = Me.
And let me JUST TELL YOU SOMETHING about watching a paralyzed dog. It is not...fun. She is kind of sad and pathetic. She can't actually pee on her own (I know!) and so I have to...uh, take her outside, and massage her bladder. This is something I had to learn. I had, previously, never massaged a bladder before. This is ALL NEW TERRITORY.
But, turns out, I am an AWESOME bladder massager, and I rock at massaging bladders, to the point that now I can just rub her stomach and she immediately lets fly with a cascade of hot pee so voluminous and cascade-y that I have to be, you know, KIND OF CAREFUL about rubbing her stomach, because y'all, I HAVE BEEN PEED ON EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS.
(And, my google referral stats just exploded. Pop.)
(Dear Golden Shower fans: Sorry!)
(Dear Mom: No. I do not know what a "golden shower" is. Go ask your other daughter. I've never heard of it. Golden what?)
So, ANYWAY, I moved into my parents' house for the time being, to watch the paralyzed dog, plus the other dogs, plus deal with my hospitalized grandma, plus also I still have, you know, work, plus I STILL HAVEN'T BEEN TO IKEA, plus then Dukay got sick with some weird fever-thing and I had to make him chicken soup, and then my parents' internet conked out, and then I'M JUST KIND OF BUSY, with the bladder massaging, and all.
But I did want to pop in and say hi. Hi! Is everyone doing okay? Are we all happy? Have we avoided massaging bladders? Is it wrong that I am getting really used to talking about pee? Do you want to send me a rubber smock? Are you guys kind of hungry? Etc.
So, I'll write more later, VERY SOON, provided I can figure out how to fix the internet. And, to that end, I foresee a very long, tedious phone call in my near future. Y'all can come keep me company, if you want.
Just make sure you bring some chips. And rubber pants.
How Can A Four Day Week Be So Loooooooong?
Because I am kind and generous, I will let you off the hook and answer my own question: turns out, a four day week can be REALLY FUCKING LONG when you have to pack eleventeen days worth of work into 96 hours. THAT IS HOW.
It boggles the mind! It boggles physics! Physics is sufficiently boggled! And yet, somehow, it is being done, by Yours Truly, who would really like to just, you know, finish these briefs and SLEEP ALREADY.
But, still. I am nonetheless thankful for my Monday off, even if it meant that my work load quadrupled on the remaining days, because WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE about a 4th of July weekend that is defined by prolonged bouts of RAIN? WHO DOES NOT LOVE THAT? WE LOVE THAT!
SO, my big plans for getting all tan and golden and cute (which is so bad for me, I know, and I am sure previous attempts at this will ultimately lead to my nose falling directly off of my face) were cancelled, apparently by God, because it is evidently His wish that my skin remain the color of "Fish, Dead" for the duration.
Still, though, we managed to have fun, even if that meant that we played an excessive number of card games, and drank approximately seventy-four hundred bottles of wine, and looked out at the gloom, because we were ALL TOGETHER, AND THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS!
(That, and not being at work on Monday. Yay!)
Oh, except, ACTUALLY, we were NOT all together, because Dukay, who apparently has "Wish, Death," decided to fly on one of those itty bitty made-of-almost-paper airplanes with his friend on Sunday, and they went to Charleston, leaving me DATELESS for the actual 4th. Dateless, but surrounded by other couples, including my parents, and all of them proceeded to be cute and cuddly and PEOPLE, HAVE YOU NO SHAME?
Not that I am...bitter.
Anyway. It was a fun weekend, though. In part because, on Saturday morning, Dukay and I got up and drove to Alabama, where we purchased about seven million dollars worth of fireworks. From people with a minimum of fingers on their hands.
Y'all, I am not kidding. Nothing inspires confidence like buying fireworks FROM A MAN WITH NO THUMBS.
"Think this is safe?" I asked him. "Sure it's safe!" he assured us.
OF COURSE IT IS, MAN WITH NO THUMBS! Honestly, Legislators, why are these things illegal in my home state? Please get on that immediately.
ANYWAY. We have...kind of a bad history with fireworks. The last time Dukay purchased them, he was struck by the brilliant idea to set the things off at, oh, I'd say, about ONE IN THE MORNING at my parents' lakehouse. This would have been fine, except for, well, THE NEIGHBORS, who had been sleeping, and who were NOT PLEASED, OH NO, NOT HAPPY, and who came out on their porches with actual shotguns and screamed at us to (and I quote) "KNOCK IT OFF GODDAMN IT RIGHT THIS SECOND YOU GODDAMN FUCKERS BEFORE I SHOOT YOU ALL."
When people start yelling, know what I do? I run.
And leave Dukay there to deal with things, while I sit inside the house with all the doors locked, acting all innocent, like I had absolutely no part in that madness, and NO IT WAS NOT ME who lit that last one. Nope. Your eyes are lying to you. Look at my thumbs! One, two. ALL PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR.
So, learning from our mistakes, we decided to set off the fireworks at a much earlier hour on Saturday night. And my dad set off a bunch of them on our dock, and we all Oohed and Ahhed appropriately, but then it was time for...The Box. The Box is one tremendous firework that weighs about seventy pounds and which cost sixty-three dollars, FOR ONE FIREWORK, and which was named, very appropriately, the Pyro Extreme.
The Pyro Extreme is the most firework powder...stuff that is legal in this country. It consists of something like sixty-some odd "breaks," which is the technical term for "explody things," and basically, you light the fucker and then you RUN LIKE HELL and then you have a show that you hopefully watch with thumbs intact.
So we made Dukay light it. And it started going off, and HOO BOY was everyone impressed, and HOO BOY did everyone continue to be impressed as bits of firework debris began raining down upon us, apocalyptic-brimstone fashion, ultimately settling on the roof of the dock and CATCHING FIRE.
Fortunately, this led to neither major property damage nor loss of thumb, because the roof of the dock is metal.
BUT STILL. THE ROOF. THE ROOF. THE ROOF WAS ON FIRE. That can't be good, people.
The Pyro Extreme was actually very awesome, and we were all appropriately impressed (those of us who were not saying, "Y'ALL, THERE IS A FIRE ON THE ROOF, DOES NOBODY CARE?" were maybe not paying so much attention) and it lasted for a while, and the neighbors did not even shoot at us, and we retained all appendages, AND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, I think that makes for a pretty successful Fourth of July. Yay, Independence! Yay, still-attached-limbs!
So, I hope everyone else enjoyed their 4th. And I hope the rest of y'all aren't as crazy busy as I. But most of all, I hope nobody is spending this Thursday night staring forlornly at the burnt-out husk of the Pyro Extreme, hopped up on painkillers, and mourning the loss of their thumbs.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled shopping
Before anything else, I want to say thank you to all of y'all who commented and emailed over the last few days, expressing your sympathies for Noah's death. It meant the world to all of us, and I can't thank you enough. I appreciate it so much. You are all so awesome.
But, you know, that's...enough of having depressing things on the homepage, is what I am thinking. It is time to talk about something else. And the "something else" I am thinking of, is of course, the fact THAT AN IKEA IS OPENING HERE, IN THIS CITY, ON WEDNESDAY. YES. I AM NOT EVEN LYING TO YOU.
People. Ikea. I have never been inside an Ikea before. And I just read in the paper that it is going to be 350,000 square feet of shopping bliss. I, personally, am like...three square feet. Maybe I am even less! Listen, I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH A SQUARE FOOT IS, but Ikea has A SHITLOAD OF THEM. And all of their square feet are filled with small trinkets and lamps and wineglasses that I am pretty sure that I need.
The store opens on Wednesday (which...Wednesday?). Evidently, they are giving a $4000 gift certificate to the first person in line, or some other similar marketing ploy that ensures that the Insane have somewhere to sleep on Tuesday night, and by "somewhere" I mean "the Ikea parking lot," or more probably, "the area outside of the front doors," which does not look comfortable to me. But then again, I am kind of a snobby snob snob, and will not sleep on concrete.
(But I have to admit, that I am actually kind of...tempted. Four thousand dollars in Ikea gift certificates! I mean, couldn't you, like...buy everything? You could furnish an entire house at Ikea for four grand. That will buy you seven Iksogomehforr beds and twenty-three Truposedpoj coffee tables. Too bad I am too big a fan of "showering," and also, "my job," to participate.)
So anyway. Ikea. Apparently, there are meatballs there. Meatballs AND furniture, AND lighting solutions, AND vases! VASES! To me, this is like a kind of heaven. To Dukay, this spells, "Apocalypse." It spells, "Apocalypse, with meatballs."
But it's fine if Dukay doesn't come, because everybody else in the state is going. We were all talking about this, in the car, the other day. Me and some of the other attorneys I work with, and they were talking about how they had all been to Ikeas, and it was taking on this kind of mystic quality. Like if you have never been to Iceland, and someone tells you, "Oh, I have been to Iceland, and it is wonderful," and they get that faraway, dreamy look in their eyes, and you are overcome by their cultured...ness, and then you ask them questions like, "Oh! Iceland! Is there ice there? Did you wear a parka? Can you buy inexpensive housewares? ARE THE STORIES TRUE?"
Of all of the people in the car, I was the only one who had never experienced the inside of an Ikea. And there were a number of sympathetic looks cast in my direction, and people gently placing their hand on my arm, all, "Don't worry, dear, you'll get there someday," and PEOPLE, SOMEDAY IS WEDNESDAY, and I'm totally going.
Somehow, the thing I know the most about with Ikea is the crazy ass names they give their products, and YES I KNOW it is not supposed to be English, and yes I know that it is a Scandanavian company (I...think. Something like that), but still. I can imagine myself on Wednesday, having completely fallen in love with a Schmorgazobin bedside table, and then getting confused and ending up with a Schmorgenfritzen shower head, BECAUSE THESE WORDS MEAN NOTHING TO ME. Can't it be like..."Table with glass top thing"? "Chair with cushion part"? "TELEVISION STAND IN BROWN"?
I could totally come up with better Ikea names. I have been working on this. I will even keep the fun, unpronounceable thing they've got going! I will respect the Ikea model!
Anyway, my ideas are as follows:
See? SEE? EASY!
That's all I can come up with right now, because I am tired and I fibbed a minute ago when I said I'd been thinking about this. I have not. I just made those the hell up.
Which means, obviously, that y'all can do better. So, in honor of the Wednesday opening, let's see your Ikea product names! Be creative! Entertain me! Or Dukay will Brakurlegs.
And if you've never been to an Ikea? And have no idea what I'm talking about? Well. Don't worry, dear. You'll make it there.
Revenge of the...Something.
So, we went to see that, finally. Dukay and I. But we hadn't seen the other one, the Episode 2 one, so we watched that one first. And there...there is a lot of frolicking in it. In fields.
Frolicking makes Dukay nervous. Frolicking makes Dukay think that people are maybe about to burst into song. Dukay hates it when people burst into song.
But, we watched it, and nobody sang, and so yesterday we went to the movie theater that serves drinks and food (Hi. Yes. And you get to sit in comfortable chairs, and why are all movies not like this?) and we watched the Return of the Sith, and it was...kind of long. And Natalie Portman is glowy. And kind of wearing a lot of layers. That is all that really registered with me.
I am not, in general, a huge fan of the science fiction thing, including the genre of superhero movies. I didn't get Spiderman. And also, I don't care what you say, people, but Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal ARE THE SAME PERSON. YES. They have been tricking you all this time.
Doesn't anyone see this but me? It is FREAKING ME OUT. They are never in the same room together at the same time! It is Batmannish.
But, anyway. Star Wars. I am just going to go ahead and tell y'all that my love for the original (Episode IV, apparently) is undiminished and great, and when I was five, I watched that movie PRETTY MUCH EVERY DAY. I did. On Beta. TOP THAT.
I was mostly convinced that I was, in fact, Princess Leia, and had the underroos to prove this. Also, my grandmother made me a white drapey-dress thingy with a belt for Halloween, and I wore that just about every day of my life. And...well. Maybe things got a little bit unhealthy there, just a little, when the pressure cooker got involved, but...you know.
Yeah. I said it. PRESSURE COOKER.
Because, see, the pressure cooker? Was small. And cylindrical. And had a domed glass top, and buttons. And...do we see who that looks like? Maybe? A little?
I will give you a clue.
I mean, sort of. Shut up.
Except the pressure cooker we had was much more R2 like. I swear. I have witnesses.
And, anyway. It also had an extension cord, and maybe it has been alleged that a five-year old Miss Doxie would wander around the house, DRAGGING the pressure cooker by said extension cord, from room to room, TALKING TO IT, and maybe, JUST POSSIBLY, making beeping noises when it..."responded."
Maybe we would have guests over, who would walk into the den, find me whispering to the pressure cooker. Maybe those guests would then...leave. I don't know.
So. Anyway. Now you know.
Also, as long as we're talking Star Wars (or...I am, anyway), I would be remiss not to share one of my favorite Star Wars related stories of all time. And here it is.
So, one time? In college? When one of my friends was in the car with another one of my friends, who had (allegedly) just consumed/inhaled a wide variety of controlled substances? And they were in the middle of Officially Fucking Nowhere, North Georgia? And that is when they got pulled over by the cops? Yes!
And my sober friend, who was driving, and whom we will call Mr. Sobriety, was like, "DUDE. You will not talk. You will leave the talking to me. You will be completely silent and mute-like."
And the friend, whom we will call The Other Guy, immediately responded with: "..."
Because that is about all he was capable of at that particular moment.
So the cop approached, and this is what went down:
Cop: Let's see your license and registration.
Mr. Sobriety: (reaches for his wallet)
Mr. The Other Guy: (lunges across the car, thrusts his hand in the officer's face, makes swirly motions with his fingers.)
Mr. The Other Guy: You don't NEED to see his identification.
Cop: (stares blankly)
Mr. Sobriety: Uh...
Mr. The Other Guy: THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR.
Mr. Sobriety: Oh, FUCK.
Mr. The Other Guy: MOVE ALONG!
You can imagine the fun that followed. Fortunately, nobody was arrested very much.
And...those are my Star Wars stories. All two of them. Don't judge me.
Because, if you'd have had a pressure cooker, you'd have loved it, too.
Directions, Shmirections. (Or...Erections! Ha. That's funny to me.)
Well, I have finally succeeded in buying a new car. This took...time. It took time, because the ASSHOLE who I was purchasing a car from? JAY? Well. We negotiated the deal, and he agreed to get this big ass scratch fixed, and then he turned around and sold the car to someone else who DID NOT SEE the scratch. Possibly a blind person. I don't know. Anyway, there was screaming and cussing involved. Y'all know.
But, so, I found another car, from a very nice man named Tom, and Tom was cool, and was not slimy (as was JAY, EVIL used car salesman whose name I curse regularly), and Tom got me all new tires and got the car detailed, and I finally fucking picked up the car tonight. And now I am inviting all manner of people over to my house to take test drives. The phone calls go something like this:
Self: Hey! Want to drive my car?
Friend of Doxie: Um. No?
Self: Yes you do. Come over now if you know what is good for you.
Friend of Doxie: Sigh. Maybe...not so much at ten on a Tuesday night. Later though! Kisses!
Self: You are a Hater. I shall now write about you on the internet. And my car will throw up on you directly.
And so on. Anyway, Dukay and I went to dinner to celebrate, where I promptly misjudged the front length of my new(ish) car and drove directly over the curb and into a flower garden. Hi.
And then I called my mother, and forced her to come to the parking lot located next to the restaurant, and see my new(ish) car. Which she did do, because she is long-suffering, and then she drove the car in circles and was like, "Well, it...circles nicely, dear."
Also, she said it was pretty. IT IS. It is very pretty, and also it has a computer thingy that tells me where I am. And y'all, THANK GOD.
People, I do not think I have explained to you how bad I am with directions. Ha! So bad! It is one of those things I cannot understand, like that I described last week. Not at all, not even if you promise me shoes and wine, I CANNOT FIND YOUR HOUSE. And then I cannot find my way home. I will have to live with you.
I am perpeturally trapped in a state of almost-lost, which means that on my first day of work at my new job, I had to call my dad and have him talk me through the directions, WHICH ARE NOT THAT COMPLICATED, and pretty much went like, "Go straight...okay, take a right...and, uh, park."
But still. I can't find anything. I have gotten lost between my parents' house and my own. AND THIS IS FOUR MILES. I have had to accept the fact that my directional instincts = always wrong, because otherwise, I end up in a part of town that is strange and unusual and which I have never seen before, and which may, in fact, be Alabama. This has happpened. I am not kidding.
Actually! One time? In college? I was the driver for a trip to Miami of Ohio, to visit our friends there, and my cute boyfriend who possibly turned out to be gay. So, I'm driving, and everyone falls asleep, and eventually I am lost enough to stop and ask questions, AND THIS IS WHERE I LEARN THAT WE ARE IN INDIANA.
And another time! I was named Driver for our trip to Mardi Gras. And again, my idiot friends fell asleep, and I was responsible for navigating our way to New Orleans. And all was going well, I thought, until I somehow ended up on a smaller road, which led to a sort-of paved road, which...led to a dirt road, which led to...uh. The woods. The forest. Where the road stopped. In the middle of Louisiana. Which is haunted.
I woke everyone up, all, "Um, we're...in a forest! Isn't it magical?"
Obviously, everyone was thrilled with me. I am the best driver ever. Who else takes you to haunted forests? NOBODY! Hop in, people!
So. The navigational computer thingy is gorgeous, and it knows where I am, and knows how to get me home, and is smarter than most college professors. And totally worth all the ridiculous money I paid (it IS, SHUT UP) even though the dogs and I will be eating Ramen for the next...sixty months. Give or take.
So, that's that. Car = bought. In the driveway. Waiting for a place in the garage, which must now be cleaned out. (This will be an devastating story, I am sure. Wait until next week, when I discover the box full of REFRIGERATED GOODS that I remember packing back in 2002, but have not seen since. Death waits in the garage.)
And I'm all excited, y'all. I bought a car! It is pretty! Thanks to Tom, for not being a fuck, and for not saying, "You just need to grow up, young lady, and live in the real world like the rest of us," WHICH IS MAYBE WHAT JAY SAID TO ME, when he admitted he had SOLD THE CAR I had already negotiated to buy. Ha ha, Jay! You know, I think we should go on another test drive.
I know a pretty good forest we could check out.
Driving Miss Doxie
It occurs to me that I have never written about my car, my POOR, POOR, long-suffering car that I have abused and driven irrationally and unsafely since I was FIFTEEN, that keeps on chugging away even though I say mean things to it, except when it decides to die spectacularly on the side of the highway that one time. I have never written about that car.
And I should, poor car. Let me tell you a little bit about said vehicle, whose name (y'all, I know. But we name everything in our family. We have a truck named Robert Redford, and I will leave it up to you to guess the make and the color) is Beeper, after an imaginary friend I had when I was four and was, apparently, demented. So, I got Beeper as a Christmas present when I was fifteen, so I could learn to drive on Beeper prior to my 16th birthday in March. And I loved Beeper. And I washed him, and I petted him, and I told him nice things about his interior lights and little bitsy headlight wipers (SO CUTE!) and I adored him like my child.
But then the years passed, and now Beeper is not so...healthy. And it's my fault, really, because...uh.
Here's the thing.
Know how you can be really smart about some things, but really, phenominally stupid about others? And know how there are just some areas that you Have Not Mastered, that really, you don't know too much about and are just kind of going by the seat of your pants and hoping like hell that NOBODY ASKS YOU ANYTHING, because you will almost certainly get caught in your zone of idiocy?
Well, I think I'm a reasonably intelligent person. Generally I know what's up with politics and the world and what damn thing Gwyneth wore to the Oscars this time. And I went to law school, and now I practice law, and I manage my household and do other things that imply A MODICUM of common sense.
But! I have absolutely no grasp of several things. None. I cannot learn them. I do not understand them. A sampling of these things include:
(1) Units of measurement (ounces? Who?);
(2) Geography (I think "Delaware" is maybe somewhere next to "Europe"); and
(3) What an OIL CHANGE IS. HI. THIS LAST ONE IS A PROBLEM.
Yeah, I didn't know. I thought it was the same thing as having oil put in your car. Which...no.
Now, before some of you send me emails and comments telling me what an idiot I am: Y'ALL. I KNOW. I'm a complete and total moron. I WILL CONCEDE THIS POINT. I will also concede that I am a complete and total moron who paid about $3000 two months ago when my LACK OF OIL CHANGE caused the car to explode grandly on Georgia 400, as I was going through the toll booth, and prompting the woman who was taking my dollar to shriek, "Oh, SHIT" as white smoke came pouring out from under my hood and filled her little toll-booth-house-thingy. You're welcome, toll lady! Keep the change!
When I got the car towed to my service place, the lady mechanic in charge was puzzled. "It's like everything's just...fused together," she said, peering under the hood. "Let me just look at your records."
After a few minutes, she returned, white faced.
"Where do...where do you get your oil changed?" she asked slowly.
"Um. I just add oil. When the light comes on."
"But. Oil change. Where? And more specifically, when?"
"See, 'No' is not an answer. 'When' and 'where' are the questions."
"And yet I am sticking with 'No'."
Which caused her to put her head in her hands, and wail, "LEIGH. It has been FIVE YEARS since you had your oil changed here. FIVE. YEARS."
To which I just looked at her. Blankly.
"THAT IS VERY BAD."
"Oooookay. God. Lecture much, DAD?"
Well, yes. I got a lecture. I was made to hold sticky things that are not supposed to be sticky. And then, because Mechanic Lady also services everyone I know, I had to field phone calls for two weeks from such people as my (1) parents, (2) neighbors, and (3) EX-BOYFRIEND about how HOO BOY, am I an idiot, and Lady Mechanic made THEM hold the sticky thing, and she had taken pictures of the engine of my car, and did you know I was probably going to be in a magazine about funny things idiots do to their cars?
Yes. I am brilliant.
So, needless to say, even after $3000 and much apologizing to Beeper, the car has been PISSED. Since the Explosion, the following seemingly unrelated items have stopped working entirely:
1. Seat mover thingy;
2. Back taillight;
3. Windows (all);
4. CD player;
5. Air conditioning;
6. Rear widow defroster;
7. Gas gauge; and, as a final "FUCK YOU" from Beeper to me,
8. Driver's seat sun visor, WHICH FELL INTO MY LAP as I was driving to work last week.
So, after thirteen years, I made the difficult decision that, PEOPLE, it is time to buy another car. It is time for Beeper to move on, to go to a better place, and he is being donated to a charity company, which will most likely bring him back in one week, all "THANKS SO MUCH, but he bit off my leg."
So I've been doing research, and I think I've decided on my new car, and today I am OFF TO THE DEALERSHIP to buy it. This is exciting. This is also KILLING ME with the nervousness, because "buying" means "bartering", and even with my law school education and mean courtroom self, I...suck at bartering. I do. This is how I imagine things will go:
Salesman: That will be forty million dollars.
Self: Forty...? I was thinking, maybe, like, um. I don't know. Uh...less.
Salesman: Really. Less. Like, thirty-nine million?
Self: Oh! Um. Lesser?
Salesman: No. Because you hesitated, the price is now forty-three million, and we get to whack you with a stick.
Self: Sigh. FINE.
Salesman: Also we take your eyeballs and kneecaps. Sign here.
So, I am understandably nervous. What if I get a bad deal? What if I accidentally sign away the dogs? What if I mess up and end up with a car I don't like? What if the car tries to bite off MY leg? These are all issues.
But, you know. Buying a car, by yourself and without your dad, is a Major Part of Growing Up. As are...oil changes. Which is why I am scheduling nineteen of them today. SO THERE.
So, y'all wish me luck! Hopefully, next time anyone hears from me, I'll be zipping around town in a very cute, only-slightly-used car, with seats that move and windows that go up and down and a cd player that does not play the Static of Satan when you turn it on.
And probably wishing I still had my eyeballs.
Rise of the Machines, Part II
'Member when, about a year ago, I bitched and moaned that appliances and electric doodads were conspiring against me, and that all I had to do was merely PASS BY something with a plug, and it would immediately start the Beeping of Death, followed by smoke and/or fire, and then die in a painful, shuddering heap? Remember that? Well, good people, THAT TIME IS UPON US AGAIN.
It started with the washing machine and dryer. They had worked so faithfully for me for so long, even moving from Athens to Atlanta with no complaint, existing in peaceful harmony even though one was white and one was bisque and they clearly did not match, THIS DID NOT MATTER, they provided nothing but love and spring-scented clothing anyway, for they were FAITHFUL APPLIANCES. Until they turned on me.
The dryer was the first to go, but it was followed quickly by the washer, who died a sympathy death much like the second dog in Where the Red Fern Grows (OH I HATE THAT BOOK). And even though this was maybe a little sad on an sentimental level, I wasn't too upset, because I purchased a BRAND NEW, FANCY ASS European washer and dryer several weeks ago, which had been donated to a charity-used-things-sale, and which I had bought, in anticipation of THIS VERY DAY.
So I was feeling smart, and also smug, because I knew I had two brand new, top of the line European machines just sitting outside in the garage, waiting patiently for their opportunity to European-ly permanent press the daylights out of something. I imagined that while they waited, they talked to each other in stereotypically German accents, saying things like:
Washer: I can't VAIT to start the voshing. I vill vosh EVERYSINK zat she has, and it vill be so CLEAN and VONDERFUL like days of Spring.
Dryer: I vill dry like the engine of zee jet. I vill be so fast she vill vonder, where has time gone? Poof!
So, anyway. I called Dig and Dukay and my father, and everyone came over to participate in the Great Switching of Washers and Dryers, and it involved a dolly AND a hand truck and lots of rippling muscles, and I pretty much just stood there, smugly, watching and offering to wash everyone's clothes, and their families' clothes, and anyone else's clothes, pretty much, because...new washer! And dryer! Yay!
Y'all, I even went out (wait, correction. Had Dukay go out) and buy the industrial-sized jug of Tide, which contains enough detergent to wash the whole entire wardrobe of a family of seventeen. And DRYER SHEETS. A WORLD of dryer sheets. I was ready to WASH, y'all!
Wait, hold on. Is it...sad that I was so excited about doing laundry? It's...it's sad, isn't it? Awesome! I officially suck now. Don't tell anyone.
But ANYWAY. So the moving was completed, and Dad started hooking up the European washer. And then he turned it on, and all these buttons started blinking, and I said, "Oh, let's WASH something! Let's wash THIS!" and happily grabbed a towel, and threw it in the basin, and added soap, and pushed some blinking lights, and sat back and waited, BREATH BATED, for water to fill the machine.
And this is what happened.
Machine: (Gurgle. Splurt. WATER! Stop. Gurgle.)
Machine: VOT IS HAPPENING.
Machine: WATER! Stop. Gurgle. Splurt. Beep?
Machine: Vosher is feeling...so...wrong...
Self: Look! It's energy efficient! Or...something!
Dad: Yeah, I guess...
Machine: Beep! WATER! Splurt. Gurgle. Blaaaaah.
Machine: VOT IS HAPPENING TO VOSHER?
Dad: Is it supposed to do that?
Self: Um. I don't actually know what classifies as "European," and what classifies as just..."broken."
Dad: I think we're in the second camp.
Machine: Ding! All done!
Machine: Good bye, vorld.
Machine: (Turns off.)
Self: Aw, shit.
So, the washer? Broken. And us, with no manual of any kind, because I bought it from a thrift sale thingy, thinking I was the most brilliant and economical individual on the planet. Ha ha, good intentions!
And naturally, that was just the beginning, because at that point, at least we could install the dryer, but NOT SO MUCH, when Dad turned to me and said, "Wait, are these European?"
And I said yes, indeedy. In fact, they are German, with stereotypically German accents.
And he said, "Well, what is FUNNY, is that the plugs ARE ALSO EUROPEAN."
And I said, "..."
And SO, Dig and Dukay and Dad had the sheer pleasure of REMOVING the new European washer and dryer, placing them BACK into the garage, where they are sitting next to the OTHER two dead machines, and the inside of my garage is now riddled with dead appliances.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
Because the NEXT DAY, while sleeping, a major thunderstorm hit. And apparently, the fucker hit MY HOUSE, because I woke up as the entire room flashed white and there was the kind of crash that indicates that maybe GOD IS PISSED AT YOU.
(Dukay, naturally, slept through the whole Biblical thing. No wonder I feel so safe when he's around! It's like being protected by a doberman. Who happens to be dead.)
So, I figure that whoa, that's...loud, but seeing as I'm still alive, and Dukay is still snoring, I guess all is well and I'll just go back to sleep.
And all WAS well, until the following afternoon, when I tried to watch a DVD that I had in the DVD player, and the damn thing would not turn on. Nor would the VCR. Because they were FRIED, like EGGS, like YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS, and like many other examples of things that are similarly fried, and as a direct consequence, WILL NOT WORK ANYMORE.
The realization that the DVD player was fried, and that it contained a disk that I was not going to lose, OH NO, because it was a bootlegged and possibly slightly illegal copy of a television show which you can find NOWHERE, and I NEED THAT, put me in the novel position of having to try to figure out how, exactly, one extracts a DVD from a player that will not turn on, no matter how nicely you ask. Ultimately, the question was solved by using:
Two steak knives
A gallon of gasoline
(No, not really. But it was CLOSE. Still, isn't that very MacGuyver of me? I called all kinds of people and announced "I just got a DVD out of my DVD player all by myself!", only it was sad because nobody is ever impressed by what I do. There is no pleasing some people.)
But. ANYWAY. SO, so far, casualties include TWO washers, TWO dryers, a DVD player, and a VCR. I'm glad the TV and laptop haven't been struck (although...matter of time, possibly), but I am now eyeing all of my appliances suspiciously, wondering who is going to turn next.
And frankly, I've got my money on the dishwasher.
Me = Being skinned alive by new job, but
Me = Still loves you. Really.
You = Patient. And also,
You = Good looking. Did you get a haircut? Is that a new shirt? Because
You = One sexy motherfucker. I'm just saying.
Anyway. Y'ALL. This new job? The one where I am when I go to work in the morning? It is fucking BUSY. They want a lot of this "work" business, at all crazy hours, and apparently it will calm down soon, but right now I am hoping someone will just show up and KILL ME ALREADY because Hoo Boy. Ow, with all the work. It hurts my head part.
I'm only human, Boss People. I know I look capable; that is an illusion! In reality, I don't have the faintest idea of what I am doing! Shh!
But...uh. I couldn't allow this blank screen bullshit anymore, especially after getting a phone call from Aunt Rie (Hi, Aunt Rie!) saying basically, "Honey, they'll think you went and DIED," and a message from Kiefer Twin A, basically reading, "SCREEN IS BLANK AND LONELY, REPEAT, SCREEN BLANK, CALLING EMERGENCY FORCES, OVER AND OUT," and so here I am, at almost midnight on a school night, typing drivel.
Because I love you. It's loving drivel. Don't hate me today. I JUST CAN'T HANDLE IT.
Anyway. I love you. And I will be back in a few days, with something interestinger. Kisses!
P.S.: Dukay says hi. He thinks you look pretty hot, too. Which is why he's in trouble. Damn flirt!
I mean...that's all I even have to say about that.
It BLOWS, y'all. I am having to pack up all of my things in boxes (as that is, you know, sort of the cornerstone of the moving process), and I have filled FIVE trashcans (seriously. Yes.) with crap from my office, and...and...ugh. It's driving me up a wall.
But, you know. Worth it. Better job, bigger firm, better everything, working with my diddy. Worth it even, to open up your desk and discover the seventy thousand packets of SALT, SALT EVERYWHERE, that have apparently taken residence and begun to breed.
Y'all. Why do I have so much salt? Am I scaring away evil spirits? Am I trying to attract deer? Kill slugs? I do not know.
But, um. Really, the reason why I am writing? A warning. A warning for you, gentle reader. Let's do some imagination exercises. Close your eyes...and then open them, you know, to read, but then close them again real quick-like, and maybe it will work.
I am playing soothing music for you now. Enya-like. Relaaaaaaax.
Let's imagine, say, you quit your job, and then you have an impromptu party at your house to celebrate said quitting. La la la. And then, maybe, I don't know, let me think...you do some drinking to celebrate this. And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, you have the music going, and a really good song comes on.
Do you feel this? Are you with me?
Well. You may feel the need to throw your hands in the air! And wave 'em like you just don't care! That may happen, don't you think?
And you WON'T care. You won't! Unless...unless there is a ceiling fan.
Then: You care. Intensely, deeply, painfully. YOU FUCKING CARE, right then, at that moment, and you will scream BLOODY FUCKING MURDER, because OW, I mean...OW, and then you will spend the next day PACKING YOUR OFFICE with a curled-up ouchy hand that does not have working fingers, and cursing whomever it was who TOLD you to throw your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care, because LIAR.
Now. This is just a hypothetical situation. None of us knows anyone who would maybe have a party, drink a little too much, and stick her fool hand in a ceiling fan. Ha ha! Can you imagine?
Moron! Let's have a good laugh at her theoretical expense!
So, now that THAT'S finished, I'm going back to sitting. And thinking about packing. And, uh...icing my hypothetical hand.
Still! Sinking! In!
Okay, but, with all this nervous energy, I'm learning about Flickr. What is this? Why didn't y'all tell me? Don't y'all want to see eleventy thousand pictures of the dogs, which I will upload right now to keep from chewing on my desk, because all of my fingernails have already been ingested?
Reality Seems To Have Sunk In Around 12:57 p.m.
I just quit my job.
I may just update nine hundred times today. And every update will say something like, "AAAHHHH I JUST RESIGNED FROM MY JOB IT WAS A PERFECTLY GOOD JOB THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY JOB AND YET I QUIT IT."
I've never resigned from a job before! I feel like I should go up to everyone here and be all, "Listen, it's not you, it's me. You're too good for me, really. You'll find someone else, someone who can appreciate you more. Seriously. Can we still be friends?"
And then I remember that I never dated my job, so maybe that response isn't appropriate.
But still. Just so you know: I quit! And I'm taking the fancy stapler with me.
Sometimes Change Is Good
Okay, so. Bet you wonder where I went and ran off to!
Okay, see, there was this thing? And then there was this other thing, and the net result of all of these things, and all of the SHEER PANIC and TERROR inspired by these things, and then, there was this:
I'm switching law firms.
Oh, wait. That's not...interesting? Oh. Um, you're totally right!
Except, this is a Big Deal in the Doxie world, a Deal So Big it involved champagne toasts and the ordering of a celebratory pizza, and Dukay bringing me a dozen roses, and phone calls and shrieking and excessive amounts of Professional Restrained Hugging. Because I am officially moving to work at my father's law firm, something I have wanted to do since I graduated law school, and Y'ALL. I know, it's nerdy, but it's a big deal to me.
And I have never written about my job before, and am only doing so now because of the aforementioned champagne (THANKS A LOT, BOOZE), and it is one thirty on a school night, but I do have to say that I am so excited to be working with my dad, y'all don't even know. I adore my dad. He is brilliant, and every day when I work with him, I plan on bringing him one Hershey's bar with almonds, because those are his favorite.
Aw. Look at me, getting all sentimental. You know, all this fuzzy sentimantality will disappear REALLY FUCKING FAST, THOUGH, when I have to actually...move. Then I will say things like, "This may be the worst idea in the history of mankind. Why can't I just keep all my shit in my car? A LOT of people work out of their cars. Like ice cream men, for example. I shall be a mobile lawyer! Leave me be, with my glove compartment and tape deck!"
(Because I do have a tape deck in my car. Still. My car is old enough to be your mother. But! I digress.)
So, that's where I've been. And also I bought a bright blue coffee table. IT NEVER STOPS GETTING INTERESTING AROUND HERE, PEOPLE.
But...I don't know. I'm so excited, y'all. And I just wanted you to know. Even though it ain't funny (and THE FUNNY IS COMING, I SWEAR, because we still have to talk about The Thing With The Bug), it's a big deal to me.
And I thank y'all for sticking around.
P.S. (The next morning) (While sober) (Hello): Heeeeee. Y'all, we had some chamPAGNE last night. Dig and Timmy and Dukay and I were REALLY not kidding around with the champagne and the celebrating. But in trying to capture our general jubilation in this entry, I failed to be particularly clear, and so now I just want to let y'all know that I am not having to move cities. My dad's firm is also in Atlanta, so the only thing that has to move is (are?) the contents of my current office. Which includes a trillion pictures, nineteen coffee mugs, forty bazillion books, and one long, pink boa fashioned from yarn. Which...uh, I don't know why it's here, either. Because all employment lawyers need boas? I'm just guessing.
But anyway. Not moving! So don't y'all worry. And thanks for all of the nice thoughts; y'all are all gorgeous, and happy, hungover kisses to everyone!
All This Can be Yours, For Only $275 A Night!
I just, just got back from Charleston -- again -- because we went to a wedding there this weekend. And, you know, maybe if we knew there was going to be a wedding in Charleston this weekend, maybe if, say, Dukay hadn't received the invitation, responded yes, and then promptly lost said invitation, maybe if, I DON'T KNOW, Dukay could have read said invitation, and noted accordingly that said wedding was in the city of Charleston, then MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, we would have consolidated the trips and we would not have driven seventy million hours twice in a month.
Hi. We have been in the car for a long, long time. I may be a little slap happy right now. I may also be completely insane, so...grain of salt, everything I say in the next many words. Blee!
But, honestly, I'm just complaining. As usual. It's actually lovely that we got to go to Charleston twice in one month, because my love for Charleston is new and extensive and enduring, and You are so CUTE, City That Is Only Legally Permitted To Serve Liquor From Those Miniature Airline Bottles! I adore you. And I adore your itty bitty bottles of booze!
Even if...well, even if the hotel? That I made reservations for? Ha. HELLO, SHIT HOLE! And I do not say this lightly. I say this in the manner of a woman who checked into the hotel at midnight, to discover all manner of hair on the toilet, and standing water and bits of...something floating in the tub, and an odor that I can only describe as "onion-like" and "wrong" permeating the room.
And...and this I could overlook. Maybe. If the hotel was cheap. But this hotel was EXPENSIVE, and the only hotel in the city with two vacant nights this weekend, so I was not in an overlooking kind of mood. I was in a VERY BAD kind of mood. And my very bad kind of moods tend to go like this:
Self: DUKAY. DO SOMETHING.
Dukay: Oh, it's not so bad. We'll...spritz some air freshener, or...something?
Self: DUKAY. GET INTO THIS BATHROOM.
Dukay: Why, what's...AHHHHHH!
Self: I KNOW.
Dukay: Those...AIIIEEEE! Are those HAIRS?
Self: THOSE ARE HAIRS.
Dukay: WHOSE hairs? WHOSE?! And...AHHHHHHH! WHAT IS FLOATING IN THE TUB.
Self: DUKAY. GO TO THE FRONT DESK AND PITCH A HISSY.
And this is what Dukay loves to hear, he loves that, because let's recall that Dukay is a send-backer of food? And to send back a whole entire hotel room? Well. This probably made his year.
Also, y'all. Dukay is a talker. He is a people person. And he can talk you into anything, or out of anything, etc. So, once he returned from the front desk, hissy successfully pitched (check!), he immediately got onto the phone with the front desk of the hotel we stayed at last time. This is what I heard on my end:
Dukay: Hi, this is El Dukay and Miss Doxie calling? We stayed at your hotel earlier this month, and MY GOODNESS, is it lovely. We sure did enjoy our stay there. Mmm hmm.
(Pause. Please bear in mind that it is one in the morning by now, and Dukay is now calling a hotel, just to chat, apparently, with the front desk about how very nice their accommodations were.)
(Several weeks ago.)
(Somehow, this works.)
Dukay: You're welcome! Aaaaanyway. See, we're in a little fix. Ha ha! We're back in Charleston for a wedding, isn't that wonderful?
Dukay: Thank you! We will dress warmly! And, you know, we so wanted to stay with you this weekend. We tried to make reservations, but you know what? You were all booked! Every last room. Sigh.
Dukay: Oh, please don't apologize. Not your fault! We can't expect a hotel as fine as yours to stay vacant for little old us.
Dukay: Now, that is so kind of you. But listen, I have to be honest with you. See, we're at a competitor-
Dukay: Oh, I KNOW. Shudder! Because there is hair on the toilet and standing water in the bathtub, and my girlfriend is dirty and tired and she might kill me, because it is my fault that we didn't make our reservations until the last minute, and frankly, I would rather not die!
Dukay: Tomorrow night? A suite? At a reduced rate?
Dukay: With a fireplace in our room?
Dukay: And you'll send someone over to the bowels of hell here to pick up our luggage? You are a wonderful person.
Dukay: No, I mean it. Thank God. Thank you. You seem...you seem angelic to me. Have you any wings?
And so on. And so on. This ALWAYS WORKS FOR HIM. He can get away with anything, ANYTHING. And somehow, it also always works on me, because he is slippery, and I am an idiot.
So, thanks to Dukay's people skills, we were able to move the next morning into a much nicer hotel, where we were not at risk for catching scabies from the sheets. And this made me happy, and the rest of the weekend passed drunkenly, and without incident, but HOO BOY was it fun, and HOLY CRAP did we not sleep very much.
But, anyway. I'm back! Though not for long, because I will be at weddings pretty much for the rest of the month, none of which are mine.
So, hope everyone had a lovely weekend! I promise I'll post something more interesting very soon. Just as soon as I recover. And these scabies clear up.
If ANYONE Knows What I'm Talking About, PLEASE, PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET ME KNOW.
Phone: Brrrrrrrring! Ring ring!
Ziz: I'm not dead.
Self: What? Excuse...what?
Ziz: I'm not dead. Apparently, I'm supposed to call you and tell you that I am not dead, so I'm calling you, and saying to you, "I am not dead."
Self: Which...okay. Why.
Ziz: Frankly, I'm really not sure, but Mom said I had to.
Self: And...was there any explanation about this? I mean, is this just a Stevie Wonder, "I just called, to say, I'm not dead?" kind of communication, or is there something more sinister afoot?
Ziz: (Ooo, sinister. Good word.)
Self: (I try.)
Ziz: Anyway. Uh, I really don't know. She just left me a message on my cell saying that there was someone with a purple flag terrorizing L.A., and I needed to call you and let you know that I was not dead.
Self: To let ME know?
Ziz: Apparently. Listen, I'm trying not to think about it too hard.
Self: Wait, but...okay, let me get this straight. A purple flag?
Self: ...and, he's....terrorizing L.A.? In what manner?
Ziz: I haven't the foggiest.
Self: Well, is it on the local news?
Ziz: See, and that's where things get even more interesting, because I am, in fact, not even in L.A. at the moment, so I am nowhere near the dangers posed by someone possessing a purple flag.
Ziz: Boston. I'm in Boston.
Ziz: And, I'm not seeing any purple flags. I mean, I'll be vigilant and all, but...nothing on the radar. Eyes open, though!
Self: Wait a minute, we need to return to the issue of how someone can be terrorized by a person with a purple flag.
Ziz: See, and I wish I could help you with that. But I cannot, because I have no idea what she's talking about.
Ziz: I guess...well, you could bop someone over the head with a purple flag.
Self: Yeah. Boppity boppity. Or poke 'em! You can poke with a flag. With...uh, with the pointy end.
Ziz: You can also use a flag to claim land as your own, Eddie Izzard style..."Do you have a flag? No? Then this backyard is now mine."
Self: You could impale someone on your purple flag.
Ziz: You could trip someone with your purple flag.
Self: You could choke on your purple flag.
Ziz: You could catch a nasty infection from your purple flag.
Self: God, I'm beginning to see why Mom was so concerned!
Ziz: Dude. YES. Flags are dangerous.
Self: But...purple? Why purple?
Ziz: I KNOW! Purple is kind of a happy color!
Self: It's royal!
Ziz: And Mardi-Gras like!
Self: Personally, I would be much more terrorized by a red flag.
Ziz: Or a black flag. Eee! Scary black flag!
Self: Or...something that was not, in fact, a flag. I think I would be much more terrorized by other objects, say...FIREARMS.
Ziz: Sigh. Okay, in all seriousness? You can keep repeating "terrorized by someone with a purple flag", but it's not going to just spontaneously start making sense.
Self: I'm going to need to summarize this, because maybe this is more than I can wrap my mind around. So, you just got this message, from our MOTHER, instructing you to call me and let me know that you were not dead, by the hand of someone who is carrying a purple flag.
Ziz: Yes. You have summed it up nicely.
Self: This is reminding me of something Dukay did the other night.
Ziz: I don't...I don't think I want to know.
Self: No, we were just sitting on the sofa, and he turned to me, and asked, "Can you train hummingbirds? Because if you can, that opens up a whole WORLD of opportunities."
Self: I know! I don't know what he was talking about, either. He hasn't mentioned it since.
Ziz: Do you think...maybe Mom and Dukay have...I mean, are they doing crack together?
Self: Maybe. That could be it.
Ziz: Well, glad you seem to still be maing sense.
Yeah. Well, glad you're...like, alive.
Ziz: Well, me too.
Self: ...FOR NOW.
Ziz: Oh, shut up.
Self: BECAUSE WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT...
Ziz: Oh my God. You are a huge dork.
Self: ...THE PURPLE FLAG WILL COME. IN THE NIGHT. IN THE DARK.
Ziz: Oh, is the flag ambulatory now? Is it on its own, without the guy to carry it?
Self: THE FLAG HAS GONE SOLO.
Ziz: Aw. Just like Cher!
Self: IT'S...FLAG DAY.
Self: DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.
Ziz: Coming to a theater near you, I'm guessing.
Self: See, I'm just really fucking creative. They should just give me a movie deal and be done with it.
Ziz: Right. Anyway. Got to go, but Me = Not Dead.
Self: Right. But be careful. Remember, Flag = Deadly.
Ziz: You = totally going to write about this on your site.
Self: You = probably, sadly, tremendously, right.
So, watch out, y'all. It's a dangerous world out there.
And if you see something...purple ...lurking silently in the bushes, billowing softly in the wind...I would highly recommend that you run far, far away.
And then you should TOTALLY call my Mom.
P.S.: On a totally unrealted note, goodness gracious, I love you people. With your eleventy hundred thousand book-on-tape selections, thereby assuring that I will spend the next ten years hanging out alone in my den, twiddling my thumbs and terrorizing the dogs (possibly WITH A PURPLE FLAG). At least, that is what I will be doing when I'm not at the library, which...I mean, LIBRARY, DUH, which I did not even think of, because sometimes I am not so bright.
Books on tape at the library. IT'S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
And, if y'all feel like supporting a good cause, I recommend that you go here and learn how from Coleen, who is doing a nice thing.
And AND, thank you all so much for your votes in the Diarist Awards! Yay!
Okay, I'll shut up now. Y'all just watch out for purple.
You should probably just go read something else
...because I have nothing to say. Hi! Nothing! Thhhppbbt!
Still. I'm kind of bored, so I figured I'd write something anyway. Y'all know how I get.
We had an awesome weekend, and I may even get around to posting a story or two about it. Maybe I'll talk about going swimming at midnight with Mad, who chose that exact moment, when we were alone, to ask about whether the Easter Bunny would be coming that night or whether it's all just a total load of bullshit perpetuated by The Man. Or, oooo! How about the time Mad looked at a vaguely pornographic black and white nude I had forgotten to take down from the den, and innocently asked me, "What's that?"
I turned around to answer her, but then I realized what she was looking at, and my eyes grew to the size of dinner plates and all I could manage was a little "eeeeeee" noise from the back of my throat. AB fell off of the couch trying to laugh silently at my INTENSE DISCOMFORT, while I looked at her, all, I'M SORRY I ACCIDENTALLY SHOWED YOUR CHILD SOME PORN, ANNA BETH.
Those are some examples of things that happened. Also: rocking, starring Dukay and Vince, and very loud singing, featuring AB, myself, and Mad. But mostly me and AB. Especially when it is time to really ask yourself, really what is going on? Where is the love?
It was mostly in my den. As I previously mentioned.
And...nothing else! I've been busy, though. Sort of. And this is where I make another confession, but one that is startlingly less interesting than the poop confession of the last confessional entry, but...well, really, I can't top the poop confession. Which is a good thing, I suppose.
But anyway. So one of my friends (hi Dig!) sent me an email last week wondering where in the hell I was, because we hadn't done big social things in days, and I finally had to admit that I have gotten myself this very embarrassing new hobby, that I picked up by accident, in the style of a nasty viral infection.
And, see, (now is where I explain myself to try to make this sound normal. Pay attention) it all started because I hate the radio, HATE YOU, RADIO. All Atlanta stations are desperate to appeal to either the 16-28 year old immature male group, so it's all "Fear Factor" and trying to swallow animal testicles at eight in the morning, which...no, OR it's going for whatever Lifetime-movie lovers (which...okay, sometimes me, but shut up) want to hear, which includes stories of Love and Togetherness and Weddings on the Beach (aw!), interrupted occasionally by Tales Of Children On The Brink Of Death But Who Were Then Saved By The Dog. And even that I could handle, if they didn't feel the need to punctuate an already interesting (shut UP, I said) radio story with snippets of EASY LISTENING MUSIC. I mean...have you heard this? Do you know what I'm talking about? Someone is talking, and then the station will cut away from that to play a few seconds of some heart-wrenching song, and then, WHUMP, back to the interview? It's disconcerting. I HATE. Here's an example:
Lady on radio: So, the dog was whining for me to follow him, and I finally decided I'd better turn off the Springer and go on upstairs...
Sudden CutAway Fairy: Did you ever knooooow that you're my heeeeeeeeeeeeroooooooo?
Lady: ...and there was the baby, sitting in the middle of the floor, just chewing away on something...
CutAway Fairy: Did I ever TELL you YOU'RE MY HEEEEEEEEEEERO? You're EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, I WISH I COULD BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Lady: ...and THAT'S when I saw that the baby was eating from the big box of broken glass I like to keep next to his crib!
CutAway Fairy: Walkin' on, walkin' on, broken glaaaaaaaaaaaass!
And so forth. I'm guessing this isn't just an Atlanta thing, but it has finally, permanently driven me away from the radio. And don't get me started on the AM stations. Just...don't. And I love me some NPR, but it doesn't hold my attention the way that babies who eat boxes of glass shards might. I need stories! I need entertainment! So what's a girl to do?
Well. A girl goes on Amazon and buys a shit ton of books on tape, is what she does. (We are, of course, now talking about me.) I went on Amazon and bought about ten of the things, which ranged in price from fifty cents to seven dollars (because the tapes are cheap, people! Forego the CDs of Expensiveness!), and now my car is FULL of wondrous, terrible, cheesy Dean Koontz or Jeffrey Deaver crime novels, and I don't even MIND the traffic, and I am like a woman reborn.
But here comes the confession part, and that is that I keep on getting sucked into these damn tapes. When I get home, I don't want to get out of the car. I want to hear the rest of the chapter, dammit! But driving all the way to Snellville isn't so much an option, so ultimately, I have settled for bringing the tapes inSIDE, popping them on in the den, and sitting there and listening to them. For. HOURS.
And, really, I don't know why this seems so much more shameful to me than just watching television. If I were to sit there and watch TV for three hours, nobody would make fun of me. Conversely, if I were to just read for three hours, nobody would say a word. But...there's just something about sitting in your den, twiddling your thumbs and looking out the window, or picking lint off the sofa, or annoying the SHIT out of the dogs by attempting to brush their teeth with your fingers, while LISTENING to a story. It's just...weird. It's weird.
And I was kind of embarrassed about this new hobby, because let's just go ahead and admit that it puts me squarely in nerd category, but also, LAZY nerd category, because I'm too lazy to use my own EYES to read a book, and instead am all whiny and, "No, YOOOOOOU read it to me," and then this is combined with the sitting and the idle hands, and IT'S JUST KIND OF STRANGE. So when Dukay shows up, I realquick turn off the tape player. So now...uh, now Dukay thinks I just sit in my den, with the television and stereo off, just...sitting. Which is really no improvement, now that I think about it. I think he is kind of scared, actually. Hee! Oops! Sorry, Dukay. I'm not plotting your death.
But anyway! That is what I've been doing. Rocking with Chaos, exposing nine year-olds to pornography, and listening to bad books on tape. It's kind of awesome, and kind of pathetic, and COMPLETELY satisfying. Like eating an entire pie.
So! If you have any suggestions for great books on tape? And by "great", I mean, "really fucking awful"? Don't hold back, people! I will love you forever, and if you have children, I might even expose them to a little bit of accidental porn. You don't even have to thank me.
In Which I Never Learn
...because, after I wrote that entry, about the pooping and the car and the going to the vet? Uh. Well. I made Dukay take the dogs to the vet, and Dukay took the other dogs into the vet first, and left Bo in Dukay's (new) car, and...uh. Bo pooped in Dukay's driver seat.
Right there. Driver's Seat. It was Dump of Displeasure II: The ReDump.
Wait, maybe it should be Poo Two. Or...actually, maybe I should stop thinking about this.
Anyway. Now, this happened, um, because possibly...possibly I had forgotten to mention the poo predicament to Dukay. Okay, yes. I forgot that. But still, TOO BAD, SO SAD, because if he'd only read this SITE every once in a while, he would learn important things about which dog to take into the vet FIRST, and which dog you NEVER, EVER LEAVE UNATTENDED IN THE CAR while you take someone else inside, BECAUSE BAD IDEA, DUDE. Hope you brought Clorox.
See, all y'all know. If I asked any of you, then you would say, "I plan on taking Bo inside first, because I do not want a close, intimate relationship with the poo of another living creature, particularly not before lunch."
For you are all brilliant.
Anyway, after the major explosion that was Dukay after the dog pooped on his seat, things calmed down considerably, and we drove to Charleston.
And we drove. And then we did some driving. And then we drove some more. And then we were still not there, so we did the natural thing, and that is DRIVE SOME MORE, and then we did the next natural thing, and that is we exited the highway too soon and got totally turned around and lost, like the tourists that we are.
But somehow, we eventually found our hotel, and it was lovely, and we managed to find a wonderful restaurant for dinner, and frankly, we were feeling pretty fucking proud of our grown-up, traveling selves. We are so awesome, we were thinking. But we were wrong.
Somehow, as we entered South Carolina, Dukay caught Curse. We're not sure when it happened. But for some reason, every time Dukay ordered food, for the entire weekend, something would be wrong with his order. Every time. It didn't matter if we were at an expensive restaurant or at a hole in the wall; somehow, something was WRONG.
And, Dukay does not deal real well with "wrong." He is a send-backer, which clashes with my own passive-aggressive-"no, it's fine"-restaurant martyrdom. Frankly, his way is probably better, but for some reason, I am physically incapable of sending back a meal. If I found a human thumb in my risotto, I would probably just pick around it and sigh dejectedly; this is the depths of my commitment to not be a pain in the ass to any server at any time.
Also, I am a complete and total chicken, and I am convinced that if I'm a bitchy little diva, someone is going to spit in my food. And, while Dukay does not deal well with "wrong", I do not deal well with spit. I HATE SPIT. Spit freaks me the heck out.
But anyway. At the first restaurant, Dukay's salad was never delivered to our table, and his requested medium-cooked steak showed up frighteningly, terrifyingly rare. Very rare. Rare as in, mooooooo.
So, at first I'm all kidding about it. "Baby," I tell him. "Charleston is flirting with me! Charleston doesn't like you. Charleston wants you out of the way."
The next day, at lunch, Dukay ordered barbecue shrimp. They arrived after I had already finished my meal, and they were still frozen.
This gave me a new theory. "Baby," I suggested brightly. "Charleston thinks you're fat."
Later, Dukay tried for a basket of hushpuppies. They never showed up. My theory was beginning to grow darker. "Baby," I whispered across the table. "Charleston wants you dead."
When we arrived at our final dinner reservation on Saturday night, Dukay explained all of this, in painstaking detail, to our server, who was both horrified and highly entertained. He, in turn, told the chef, who very kindly sent us out an assortment of special things and came by our table to make sure Dukay hadn't, I don't know, CHOKED on something and DIED, because that was about how his luck was going.
But, besides eating everything and drinking everything in our vicinity, we also went on a ghost tour, which was both incredibly touristy and tremendously awesome. The most awesome part was maybe where our tour guide almost got into a smackdown with a competing tour guide from another company, and I got all het up with this newly-forged loyalty to our tour guide, whom I had known for a very special twenty minutes, and proceeded to go all oh NO YOU DIDN'T and called the other tourguide a dried-up old hag.
And then we had to leave the city before she tracked me down and spit in my food. You understand.
There's more, and I should tell you about how Dukay met up with his friend Popsicle, and the two of them ordered seventy pounds of barbecue on Sunday afternoon, and THAT didn't end well. Or how I made Dukay shop pretty much all day on Saturday, but he didn't complain very much because he is vying for sainthood all of a sudden. Or how I made poor footwear choices, because Charleston is a walking town, turns out, and when you are in a walking town, cute pointy high shoes are A FUCKING BAD IDEA, IDIOT, and now my legs are sad at me, and I have actually managed to give myself shin splints, because I am really, really stupid.
All of that happened. But what's important is that we went to Charleston, it was the best weekend I've had in years, and Dukay and I had a lovely, romantic time, even though Charleston possibly wants him to die.
And now, all that's left? Is to pick the dogs up from the vet. Y'all pray for me. And also for the upholstery.
Go , Shorty
Hello! Here are a series of things, things that have nothing to do with each other, in any way whatsoever, Amen.
Thing One: At the end of comment time, there were 372 comments wishing Mr. Phil a speedy recovery. I went ahead and rounded up to 375, because...well. It just sounds better to me. And so, I made a donation to the ACS in Mr. Phil's name for $375. Thank you all again for all of your help, and thank you particularly to the wonderful people who emailed me or commented that they would be willing to match this donation. You are Awesome. In the end, all of y'all helped raise close to $800 for the ACS.
Aren't you proud of yourselves? You should be! I kiss you!
Thing 2: Completely unrelated. I warned you.
So, Dukay and I were talking about music the other day, specifically, music we used to know but haven't thought about in a long time, and we had this conversation:
Self: Wait, wait, what was that song, that Cracker song, and...Get Off This? Was that it?
Dukay: Yeah, that was it, but I don't remember the words, something...if you want to change the world, something something...uh...
Self: Yeah, shut your mouth...uh...something...uh...
Self: WELL THE GUITAR PLAYER'S HANGING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD SAYING HE'S JUST TRYIN' TO GET SOME SLEEP BUT EVERYONE'S COMPLAINING ARE YOU TRULY DEEPLY CYNICAL CAUSE BOY YOU KNOW I LOVED YOU SO WHEN NO ONE KNEW YOUR NAME AND YOU WERE POMPOUS.
Self: I think I just blew up.
Dukay: Baby...where...did that come from?
Apparently, it came from some long forgotten part of my brain, that has just been holding onto those lyrics, much in the same way that it holds onto the rap-type part of "Hook" by Blues Traveler (SUCK IT IN SUCK IT IN SUCK IT IN) and all of the words to "We Didn't Start the Fire" (HARRY TRUMAN DORIS DAY). This is not necessarily information I need, and the fact that so much of my brain power seems to be occupied with keeping these useless nuggets of information totally intact means that, almost certainly, important things must be seeping out of my ears on a pretty regular basis. Next time I forget something important, LIKE MY OWN PHONE NUMBER, which I forgot last week when I was at the cell phone store, I am just going to shrug and say, "Listen, don't blame me. Blame Cracker. They bogarted all the good brain cells."
Bastards. You realize, this is what my reliable brain cells have retained. Just say no, people.
And, thing three: Still, no connecting principle here. La la la. Talky words.
So, it's March 6th today. It is my birthday, which makes me twenty eight, which seems VERY OLD TO ME all of a sudden.
Do you want to see some scary math? 30 - 28 = 2.
TWO. TWO YEARS UNTIL I AM THIRTY.
So, I may be freaking out. Send wine.
P.S.: TWOTWOTWO. TWO.
UPSATE: HELLO! It is now 12:39, which mEans it isno longer my birthday. We had a party and thuings. Love yo!
P.S. DUkay says hi! And lotsof other peolpe too. HEllo!
But Seriously, Folks
If y'all read my comments with any degree of zealousness (as I do. I love you, comments!), then maybe you noticed a very sweet comment left the other day by someone named Aunt Rie.
Aunt Rie is not technically my aunt. She is technically my mother's best friend, and has been for about a kazillion forevers. She and her husband, Phil, have been like second parents to me since I was nine years old, and they are excellent people who think I am wonderful. Obviously, that means that they are also brilliant and have good taste. Because it is ALL ABOUT ME.
But anyway. My other father, Phil, was recently diagnosed with cancer, and underwent pretty major surgery on Friday. He's expected to make a full recovery, and we are all very relieved and happy, and YAY, etc., but he's going to be in the hospital for about two weeks.
Two weeks. And they had JUST bought a TiVo, y'all. UNIVERSE, THAT IS SO CRUEL.
So here's what I'm thinking. See, they love my site, and read it religiously, even though I include bad words. (I think they shut their eyes at the dirty parts.) So I was thinking, wouldn't it be nice if all these strangers wished Phil a speedy recovery in the comments section? And then I could print them out and bring them to him in the hospital, and that would be almost as good as Tivo!
And then I thought, well, ALSO, how about if I donate a buck for each comment left, in Phil's name, to the American Cancer Society? That would be a nice thing to do! So I will do that.
So, y'all. I am asking you to please leave a comment wishing Phil a speedy recovery, and for each commenter, I will donate a dollar to the American Cancer Society. It's a good cause, and it will make Phil's day, and YOU WILL ALL BE HEROES TO ME, and I will have your children.
(Possibly I am kidding about having your children.)
I will close comments on Wednesday, so I can bring the list to him on Thursday. Thank you all for participating, and let's all hope that my wonderful Mr. Phil gets better very soon.
So, comment away! Seriously, the more, the better. You are all awesome.
UPDATE: HOLY CRAP! It's Monday morning, and we're nearing the 200 mark. I AM SO EXCITED. This is just unbelievable, y'all! Thank you so much to everyone who has already commented. Your comments have been so sweet and funny, and just awesome. For those who haven't, please do; this is turning out to be WAY cooler than a TiVo, in my opinion.
Also, I would like to point out that I just said "holy crap" instead of "holy shit." I did that for my Aunt Rie. Hi, Aunt Rie! I didn't say shit!
Well, it's Valentine's Day! Again. We had one last year, too!
And it occurred to me that this, this is my second Valentine's Day on Miss Doxie. Yes! Y'all, I've gone and had this site for a year, and forgot to say anything about it. Possibly because I have no clear idea of when I started up (it was Januraryish), but still. I had an anniversary! Which I...forgot! Someone send me some flowers!
El Dukay and I have Valentine's Day plans, of course, which include dinner at my favorite restaurant, where we will drink wine and hold hands and gaze into each others' eyes and try very, very hard not to think, "DEAR LORD I AM MISSING 24, and IT IS KILLING ME."
And the TiVo at my house? Not working yet. (This is grounds for divorce in some states.) And programming the VCR? Uh...no. First of all, that is such a NINETIES thing to do, to "program your VCR." It is totally going to be one of those old person phrases, like, "wind your watch" or "play those eight tracks." My children will never know the heartbreak of trying to program a VCR. Thank you, technology!
Hey! "Programming the VCR" should be a dance move! It would involve squatting and poking and cursing. It would be like an old school throwback, and I came up with it first! Y'all remember that when you see it on TRL.
But anyway. It's Valentine's Day, and I wanted to take this opportunity to send a big heart-shaped kiss out to all of you, to all of my friends and family, to all of my readers, and of course, to my El Dukay. I love you very much, and I'm glad you're my Valentine.
Y'all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
P.S. It's the final day of the raffle, if y'all want to play. Which, of course you do.
Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson
So. Last Sunday night, my parents, El Dukay, and I all went to see The Graduate, starring Morgan Fairchild and her naked body, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
The good news, and I may have mentioned this before, the good news is: they serve wine at the Fabulous Fox. And also, martinis. And we needed them, y'all, because YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.
Now, have y'all heard about this? This Graduate stage production thing? Because I will be happy to tell you ALL about it, namely, that it involves Morgan Fairchild, BUTT ASS NAKED, and also, with no clothes on, and incidentally, the woman is NAKED AS A JAYBIRD, right there up on the stage, in front of my PARENTS, and that may be a sign of the apocalypse, right there.
When we told my father about our evening plans, he was less than thrilled. And my mother kept saying, "Oh, come on. You'll get to see Morgan Fairchild naked. Every man wants to see Morgan Fairchild naked." And this horrified my father. Deeply. And he kept on protesting, "No, I DON'T, and why WOULD I," and he was VERY BOTHERED, because Dad...well. Poor Dad had mixed up Morgan Fairchild with Morgan Freeman. And they have different hardware entirely, and I am not even going to get INTO the look of pure, sweet relief on his face when he realized his mistake.
But speaking of hardware. People, we are talking about watching NAKEDNESS with parents. My parents do not have a "naked." I don't even want to talk about it. They were born wearing shoes and parkas, and that is that.
Now, my dumb ass was responsible for purchasing the tickets for our evening of theatre, and because I am both AWESOME and STUPID, I (through no fault of my own, I may add) ended up procuring front row seats for the show. And so we went, my MOTHER, my FATHER, my BOYFRIEND, and myself, to see Morgan Fairchild in her birthday suit, because DID I MENTION that the woman is NUDE.
Now, they use tasteful lighting in the scene where Morgan Fairchild shows us the goods, and by "tasteful lighting", I mean, "it is kind of dark." So people who are in, say, row FIVE will see nothing. People in row one? Well...hello, Morgan Fairchild's vagina! And how have YOU been?
People, it pains me to say this. But Mrs. Robinson...well. She got herself a Brazilian. KILL ME.
(Sidenote! As someone who wrote one of her two theses on The Graduate (this is true. The other one was on Marilyn Manson, but that is a story for another day), well, as someone who did that...this made my cry a little. From SHAME.)
So, anyway. We're sitting there, my MOTHER, my FATHER, my BOYFRIEND, and MYSELF, gazing at Morgan Fairchild's girl parts and thinking, "How did this happen, exactly?" and also, "Oh my FUCK," because I never, ever want to be in the same room -- nay, not even the same ZIP CODE -- as my father gazing at a woman's netherreigons. This is not RIGHT. This is the sort of thing that drives otherwise healthy people to insanity, I am thinking.
What made it worse, what made it MUCH worse, is that Morgan Fairchild...well. Y'all? Just between us? NO. That woman was not born with those breasts. There is a team of surgeons in Malibu high-fiving each other every time she exposes herself, because HI, THEY ARE ENORMOUS, and they are WAY BIGGER THAN MY HEAD on this BITSY little Morgan Fairchild body and that is NOT RIGHT. Frankly, I was terrified. Now, THEY deserve their own zip code. And area code. And dress code. Frankly, they may take over, and Kiefer is looking into it, and we are all in danger.
So, Morgan Fairchild (I feel the need to use her full name, because I HAVE SEEN HER PARTS) waltzes out onto the stage in NO CLOTHES, and I think, well, things can't possibly get any worse than this! No, my discomfort could not possibly increase! Because, hi, DAD!
But, unfortunately, this was not the end of seeing way more of Morgan Fairchild than I have ever wanted to see. Because remember, WE ARE ON THE FRONT ROW at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, and she kept on getting under the sheets of the bed and then they'd...MOVE, and stuff, and the woman is not wearing undergarments and it was HORRIFYING, and I say this because I AM SITTING NEXT TO MY MOTHER, and the woman is very liberal, BUT THAT DOES NOT MATTER, and I JUST SAW WHERE THE BABY COMES FROM.
I freaked out accordingly. So I had to drink several martinis. Y'all know.
At the end of the show, as we're all sitting there, with everyone else in Atlanta who is thinking "Hello, I just saw SNATCH on a Sunday night, and that is the day of the Lord," my father turned to us while Morgan Fairchild was taking a bow, and said, "I have one word for you: PLASTICS."
And the man was so right, y'all. So terribly, terribly right. Please send help. And more martinis.
On the wings of love
I'm tired of looking at the post about Bo, because the title reads, "This way to crazy," and that is seriously irritating me. And I am irritated every time I see it, because I always read it as, This way too crazy, like, this shit? Is WAY too crazy, people! This WAY too crazy!
And that is just...wrong. I mean, who says that? It was supposed to be more of a directional joke, as in, take a right, a left, and give the dog a glass of water, and then you will arrive at Crazy, population: me.
I wrote the fucking thing, and even I can't read it correctly. Which means it's time to move it off of the top of the page, forever.
Unfortunately, that does NOT mean I have anything interesting to replace it with. No. I've been working, and yesterday I refinanced my house, and none of that is interesting in the slightest. Basically, it's all blah, blah, work life things.
But just because I don't necessarily have anything interesting to say does not mean that I won't write anyway. You know this. And today, I think we should have a frank discussion about the startling fact that I have been having some seriously fucked up dreams, like very fucked up.
And, hey. Know how you totally hate it when other people start talking about their dreams, and it lasts for, like, forever, and they go into all this tedious detail and you just want to start throttling them just so they will SHUT UP, OH MY GOD, YOUR DREAMS ARE SO BORING?
If you answered "yes", you probably want to quit reading. Now.
Because last night, I dreamt that I was engaged to both Kiefer Sutherland and a myna bird. No, really. I'm absolutely serious. El Dukay was somehow completely uninvolved in the equation.
And, yeah, I can see the Kiefer thing, because we've been watching a lot of 24. First, we had to catch up on season three before we could watch the premiere on Sunday. And then they showed those two episodes on Sunday, and then two more on Monday, so I have been, essentially, SATURATED with Kiefer to the point that it is NOT SURPRISING that my unconscious mind believes that Kief and I (I get to call him Kief) have developed some sort of special, two-dimensional relationship. I have stared at Kiefer's little face for about sixteen hours in the last four days, which is much longer than I have stared at any other faces in the last four days. Possibly ever. So this can be explained.
But...a myna bird? I mean, first off, what the FUCK is a myna bird?
I didn't even know. I had to look it up. It turns out that they are pesky and small and inappropriate marriage material.
(Still, if I get to choose which myna bird I am engaged to marry, I choose the one with the big hair. Big hair looks sort of hot and carefree on myna birds.)
Meanwhile, while I am having dreams about being betrothed to a bird, Dukay continues with his amazing ability to sleep like a freak. The other night, we were sleeping, like normal people. Then, all of a sudden, he grabbed me with both arms, and started...just...bouncing me up and down, all boppity boppity boppity. And all the while, as he bounced me, he was very loudly hollering, "MINE! MINE! MINE!"
And obviously, he was warning away Kiefer, is what he was doing. Kiefer, and lusty, lusty little myna birds. That is the only logical explanation. But whatever the hell it all means, I can only say, this shit? Is WAY too crazy, people! This WAY too crazy!
Yet Another Entry Where Satan Makes A Guest Appearance
Tonight, I had dinner with Ziz and my parents and El Dukay, and this was a bittersweet occasion, because while the food was very, very excellent, this dinner was technically Ziz's goodbye dinner, because that fool child is moving to LOS ANGELES.
Which is all the way across the country, I MIGHT ADD. She is a heathen.
According to our little Jet Setter, she'll only be gone for a year. To this I say: poo. See, I think she should live with her awesome big sister (hint: this is me) and we should get drunk a lot. This is what I think. But NOOOOOO. She has this bee in her bonnet, something about "career" and "opportunity" and blah blah blah talky. (I tuned out. There is nothing more boring than "career." I mean, I'm trying to DRINK here, Buzzkiller.)
So now I don't know what I'm supposed to do when there are problems that only Ziz can solve, and there are a lot of such problems, particularly involving this DAMNED COMPUTER that I do not understand at all. See, I'm currently using Ziz's old Mac, and I DO NOT KNOW how to use a Mac. It is mysterious. Also, shiny. Also, I am constantly causing the little fucker to seize up. And, most significantly, when I tried to install wireless internet, I managed to knock out ALL internet service to my home. We don't know how this happened. I blame gnomes.
What we do know, however, is that after I brilliantly killed the internet, I had to connect using a DIAL UP MODEM. Like I was living in 1992, only without the metabolism I had when it was 1992, because apparently, that is asking too much.
But anyway. So I was on the dial-up, and Ziz instant messaged me (and this is something I don't truly understand, to be perfectly honest), and asked me if I'd fixed the connection. And I said no, and then we had this lovely exchange:
Self: It's completely dead. It's probably possessed.
Ziz: That's really the only explanation. It definitely wasn't your fault.
Self: POSSESSED, I tell you! By demons! By STAN HIMSELF.
(A very long time passes.)
Ziz: Wait. Who the fuck is Stan?
See? Because...not so much...Stan. I meant Satan. But it turns out, Stan is just a typo away.
And then we died of hysterical laughter, because PEOPLE....STAN! If you know someone named Stan, PLEASE send us his phone number so we can call him forever. And we will say witty things to him like, "Is your name Stan? Heeeeeee! You're, like, ALMOST Satan. Do you feel vaguely evil? Like if you had an 'a', you could do some serious damage?"
And then...that's the thing. I can't think of anyone else in the universe who would go ballistic with me at three in the morning over a typo, or who laughs at all of my jokes, or who can just look at me across the dinner table and say one word and render me hysterical. And now she's moving to California.
Ziz, take good care, and come home often. Watch out for sun poisoning, muggers, actors, and, most of all...Stan. I love you a million.
Christmas is in the air, and on my Mastercard
I have spent an unreasonable amount of time Christmas shopping in the last week, which almost certainly guarantees that the following will happen:
1. I will be finished by this weekend.
2. I will begin hating every Christmas gift purchased sometime around Wednesday of next week.
3. I will panic.
4. I will RESUME shopping, and buy NEW gifts for the same people for whom I have already purchased gifts.
5. I will then live in glowing holiday peace for about twenty minutes, until:
6. I decide I hate the new gifts even more than the first gifts.
7. I will panic.
8. I will throw myself desperately into debt, purchasing THIRD gifts for the same people for which I have already purchased TWO gifts.
9. I will panic.
10. I will have to sell the dogs on eBay.
This happens every year. Every year, I start Christmas shopping early, and every year, what seemed like a brilliant idea on December 1st seems awful and cliche and TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE by December 10th. But I never actually return any of these awful and inappropriate gifts. Oh, no. I keep them, and then my poor family members end up with a selection of presents ranging from awful to desperate, with no discernable purpose or theme, grouped together only by the guiding principle of "All Smooshed Into The Same Box," because:
11. I will forget to buy boxes.
12. I will lose at least three gifts within the next eighteen days.
This always happens, too. Because I am an excellent hider. Thus, in April, 2005:
13. I will find all of El Dukay's stocking stuffers. From 2002. When I lived in a DIFFERENT CITY.
Despite my debilitating Christmas stupidity, I love Christmas. I've downloaded (illegally! O, spirit of Christmas!) an extensive catalog of Christmas Classics onto my computer, and I listen to them all day long. Except for that awful song about the Christmas Shoes. Christmas Shoes song, I hate you SO MUCH.
I have also bought and decorated a Christmas tree, and hung stockings for myself, Dukay, and the four dogs (OF COURSE I did. Shut up RIGHT NOW). And Dukay brought me a pretty poinsettia, and I put those candle things in the windows, and it is all extremely cozy and festive and wonderful.
(And, you know how poinsettias are supposedly deadly poisonous? Apparently they are not, because apparently, my Christmas stupidity developed early in my childhood, and at age two I ate an entire poinsettia plant. As of this writing, I have not yet died.)
(Although, y'all don't just run out and start eating poinsettias.)
Also guaranteed to happen in the next few weeks:
14. I will purchase a shitload of Christmas cards. I will send exactly zero Christmas cards.
This also happens every year. Every year, I spend actual green money on new, sparkly Christmas cards, and every year, the package sits unopened on my desk. Leering at me. Because it knows, it KNOWS, that I have never in my life sent a Christmas card. I am missing the Christmas card gene. It is the same gene that makes your thank-you notes leave your mailbox in a timely fashion.
15. I will buy some Christmas-themed item of clothing for the dogs.
Yeah, I know. But I'll take pictures, and then you can forward them to the ASPCA, and it will be holiday fun for everyone.
Last year it was Christmas tree bandanas, which seemed like a good idea until the entire experience climaxed with Bo ripping Tasha's bandana off her neck, dragging it into the yard, and peeing on it in abject disgust.
Also guaranteed to happen:
16. I will attempt to bake something. This will not end well for anyone. But maybe the fire department will come.
17. I will take nine thousand pictures, four of which will come out well, but Dukay will accidentally erase them all when Tasha starts humping Pugsley, her own SON, and Dukay will be immediately overcome by the need to photograph this scandalous event from every angle, as if he were planning on selling the images to a glossy magazine. And when I go to download my own photographs, the memory card will be FILLED with images of Tasha straddling poor Pug, who will be looking up at the camera with an expression of pure Oedipal misery. The reason I know this will happen is because IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE, because that is apparently where the vacation pictures went.
18. I will forget at least two people on my list, they will show up at my house with a gift for me, and I will give them something that I find in the kitchen. Or a closet. Or they can have a dog.
Clearly, I have a busy few weeks ahead of me, keeping up with my numerous Christmas traditions! But meanwhile, I'd better get going. I have more soon-to-be-horrendous gifts to buy! And frankly, those capelets are starting to look VERY APPEALING.