Date Archives May 2010

Dizzying Highs, Terrifying Lows, No Creamy Middles

I don’t know how my coworkers know precisely when I need to leave the office, but they always know. I could be looking for something to do all day long, yet the only time they come sniffing around is five minutes before I have to go. The bus line that runs to southcenter only comes around once an hour–I wanted to catch the 3:30 bus, so sure enough, at 3:10, five minutes before I’d need to walk out the door to make it happen, a coworker called with an urgent problem. At 4:10, there was another task to be done–I swore, completed it as quickly as possible, and ran out the door.

Onebusaway.org is a tool of the devil that masquerades as something useful. The other day, I sat at a bus stop for forty minutes and watched a bus that was perpetually seven minutes away be delayed by 7,9,11,12,14,16,19,23 minutes and watched the NEXT bus in line pass it. Was the bus abducted by aliens? Disappear into the Benson Road Triangle? Have a bomb strapped onto it that require that its speed not go above 1mph? All I can see is how far away the bus is compared to what time it should arrive. Yesterday, in an attempt to make up for lost time, I picked a bus stop that was near equidistant from my workplace but would require the bus to (hopefully) run into a few more red lights, increasing my chances of catching it. Unfortunately, this forced me down a street with no sidewalks, just tall grass, shrubs, and mud, which I picked my way through as quickly as possible, all while checking the real-time arrival info on my phone. The tool indicated that the bus was two minutes away; I began to jog, then sprint through the shrubs and mud, but I was over a block away when I watched the bus go by. The tool of the devil had given me hope and made me run for nothing.

At that point, I had two choices–I could stand around for an hour, or I could walk the rest of the way to southcenter. I reasoned that I could use the exercise and I would arrive at my destination at approximately the same time regardless, so I continued down the road.

I was very nearly at my destination when I felt compelled to reach back and check for my wallet…and it was no longer in my pocket. Maybe I had put it in my backpack! Or another pocket! I frantically began to pat myself down on the street like I was pantomiming The Universal Airport Experience. No, no wallet. Not in another pocket. Not in my bag. Just gone. Immediately, I began to panic. What am I going to do? My life is in that wallet! My driver’s license, social security card, insurance cards, my debit card, my dilettante mocha card that was very nearly full of punches at five dollars a crack–this was a problem. My rational brain tried to take control. “Panic is not going to do any good. Turn around and start backtracking. You will find it or someone else will and they will return it to you.” “No, they are going to steal my identity and empty my bank account and take my free mocha and…” “START WALKING.” “STOP BOSSING ME AROUND, I AM TRYING TO PANIC HERE. HOW AM I GOING TO GET NEW ID WHEN I DON’T HAVE ANY ID?” “MOVE.” So I started back the way I had come; passersby must have thought I looked like a wild animal having a heart attack, the way I was clutching at my shirt, eyes bulging and flicking rapidly from side to side. My panic brain piped up again. “See, it could have fallen out of the pocket and bounced into the bushes on the side, or out into the street where it could have been hit by a car, skittered across the road, been hit by another car, knocked into a drainage vent…we’re never going to find it. You might as well give into the panic.” “No, just keep your eyes open and it’s bound to turn up.” “Oh yeah? Remember the run through the shrubs and brush? How are you going to find it in that mess? It’s time to panic.” “Fuck, you’re right.”

Panic ensued.

After I had walked back a mile, just as I about to throw a full-fledged tantrum, I saw a thick silver rectangle sitting on the sidewalk ahead. Could it be…? Were my eyes playing tricks…? It was my wallet, sitting squarely in the middle of the sidewalk.

I experienced a moment of relief so pure that I found myself no longer able to stand. In that moment, I collapsed onto the sidewalk, crying hysterically, cradling my wallet, hugging it, as if it wasn’t a traitorous piece of property that had attempted to escape further contact with my ass just recently. As I lay there in the fetal position, sobbing, my rational brain having given up to gibber in a corner, the next bus blasted by.

Eventually I pulled myself upright, used the heels of my hands to attempt to wipe off all of the mascara that had run down my cheeks during my fit, and started back down the road to southcenter.

Ashley and I got in line shortly before the event was due to start and were still among the first people in the store. When one of the oiled-up male models offered me a necklace, I almost lost control of my knees again, and immediately felt the deep sort of shame one feels when one looks a goddamn mess and they’re standing next to perfection.

I learned my lesson from the Style Warriors event and bought the things I wanted immediately, and then was free to sip drinks, nosh, and staaaaare. Ashley was looking for a red lipstick that didn’t pull orange on her and wasn’t brown-toned, and I recommended Russian Red but suggested we ask the fab MA who kept coming around to check on us…who also suggested Russian Red. This was a vindicating moment for me, especially since earlier in the week, I had been dismissed by one of my heroes on facebook as ‘too young to know anything’ about lipstick that wouldn’t feather on older skin. DAMN IT, I KNOW THINGS. I DO.

Ahem.

Anyway, vindicated, I felt brave enough to take a photo with some hot, hot men, even with my puffy, streaky face.

Wait, no, I was hiding behind Ashley. NOW I’m brave enough to take a photo with some hot, hot men. Or at least poke my face out.

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Another One Bites The Dust

On Saturday, my intention was to lay around and do nothing. On our way to the show on Thursday, Emily said she can’t ever just relax, because her brain insists that if she has time to lie down, she has time to repot this plant or to clean this or to do that. I snidely told her the proper response in that situation was to say “Shut up brain, or I’ll stab you with a q-tip.” Little did I suspect at the time that her hyperactive brain was giving mine ideas, and though I tried my best to do nothing on Saturday, my brain insisted that I get up and go through the boxes I had in my storage closet like I had been intending to do for months. So, you see, everything that follows is indirectly Emily’s fault.

I loaded up my upbeat cleaning playlist (which consists of Earth, Wind, & Fire, Michael Jackson, Kennedy, ‘Do the Bartman’, etc) and since my patio faces a wooded area, I felt free to bop around and make an ass of myself. To start things off, I was listening to some Junior Senior. If you aren’t familiar, feel free to familiarize yourself:

I think it’s important that you’re able to place yourself at the scene as much as possible. So, it’s a nice warm day, I’m bopping around, the dog is watching me intently from the apartment, I unlock the door, take down a box, and it is absolutely covered in mouse droppings.

I dropped the box and screeched a little in dismay and rage. The possibility that I might encounter a mouse corpse or a live, rabid one, hadn’t even crossed my mind. I opened up the box to see if the contents were mouse-damaged, and a horde of spiders flooded out. Wave after wave, like soldiers hitting the beach. Tiny ones, larger ones, daddy long legs, those uber creepy translucent ones…I am certain, now and forever, that the proper term for a group of spiders is a ‘nightmare’ of spiders.

I shrieked and promptly declared defeat to the outdoors, decided that nothing in the storage closet was worth attempting to salvage, and threw it all away. Bye bye, Ursula costume. Bye bye, craft supplies. Bye bye, boxes I didn’t even attempt to open for fear of what new horror might be lying in wait.

Days later, and I am still slapping myself on every tickle, real or imagined. Thanks, Emily.

Crazy House Not On The Rock

Once upon a time, I used to have an off-white couch. Buying a couch in this color was a mistake, but I had a limited budget and was in a hurry to purchase since I’d just discovered that my couch was the jizz couch. It’s not that I didn’t LIKE off-white, but I have a dog who drags dirt around with him like Pigpen. His deal with the devil is that he stays white so long as he tracks dirt onto everything else. So he would drag his spitty toys up on to the couch, neurotically lick spots of the couch until they were soaking wet, and these wet spots would attract dirt. The couch turned from off-white to the color Gross, and though Ikea sells slipcovers, I was never fond of the way they looked. I also found underwear that was not mine jammed into the cushions once (and don’t feel like digging up the entry), so not only was it no longer aesthetically white, its spirit was also tarnished.

This weekend, I found a large quantity of monster fur I’d purchased for some reason, long forgotten, and as I pondered on it, my gaze fell on said slipcovered couch.

YES.

The monster fur on its own was not nearly enough to reupholster the entire couch, so I walked to Jo-Ann fabrics to pick up some more.

…Unfortunately, this is an item they only carry ‘sometimes’ and now is not one of those times. However, they DID have black vinyl with silver glitter AND it was on sale for the first time in about a year–I’d been keeping tabs because I’d originally wanted to reupholster the whole couch in glitter vinyl.

The fates came together, fabric and a staple gun came together, my thumbnail and a hammer came together, and this is the result:

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I love it. It’s like I skinned a goth muppet and made furniture out of it. It’s just tacky enough for someone like me to love. There’s one more step I want to take, and that’s to cover the nail backs with rhinestones for even MORE fabtacular bling. It’s not a forever couch, considering it’s from Ikea, I figure I’ll be lucky to get a couple more years out of it. But DURING those two years, I will love it to death. And then maybe I’ll have won the lottery and can afford THIS couch.

Also, I finally hung the jackalope amazoni got me for my birthday.

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Nom or Vom: Creamy Ogre Filling Edition

Poll #1565300 Nom or Vom: ‘Creamy Ogre Filling’ Edition Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 41

Would you eat this?

View Answers nom nom nom 5 (12.2%) 

vom vom vom 36 (87.8%)

 

I just…who thought this was a good idea? It’s like they took a twinkie and filled it with green baby shit.

The very first porn movie I ever saw was called ‘Sex Trek’. One of the more memorable moments (ok, the ONLY memorable moment) was when Spock got a blowjob and he came green (after she swished it around in her mouth with some food coloring)…it also kind of looked like this.

How tasty does it look now?

Honk You!

One of the very best things about the walk home is that I can take my time through the Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland; there’s a lot of wildlife out and about, and even if I make it down the trail without having seen any animals, it’s still a prettier walk than along the street. I see blue herons from time to time (of course, never when I’ve got a camera on me!), and lately I’ve been seeing loads of baby bunnies.

Yesterday, as I was walking home, I saw some geese with a bunch of fuzzy goslings AND I happened to have a non-cell-phone camera on me.

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The goslings were adorable, and I wanted to get a closer picture of them–of course, as I attempted to sneak up on them like a lumbering elephant, the parents began to pump their necks at me like the avian version of air jordans and hissing, which, if you’ve never heard it, doesn’t sound all that threatening. Essentially, it looks like the bird is sticking its tongue out at you in a sassy manner.

I should have already learned my lesson about geese–once, when I was driving Jennzah back to her room at UW Parkside after a parental-forbidden excursion to Milwaukee, a flock of geese were blocking the road, preventing my ’88 Mercury Topaz named Bernard (which coughed blue smoke and stalled at intersections) from passing. I honked. They stayed put. I tried to drive forward to intimidate them into moving. They stayed put. It was then that Jennzah decided that she could chase them off the road on foot; why she thought this when they would not move for a sputtering deathmobile that could crunch them like ants, I do not know, but the fact remains that she got out of the car, ran into their midst, and with insane goose hivemind, they turned on her and chased her, screaming, back into my car.

Even though I remembered this incident, and was being warned by the parents not to approach their babies, I decided to try and get closer. Clearly, it was time for another Lesson About Geese.

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As I approached, the parents began to herd the babies away from me, down into long grass, down to the water, places that made it yet more difficult to photograph them (and, let’s be honest, if I got very close, I probably would have tried to catch one. No, I don’t know what I’d do with it once I caught it–I’m not big on long-term planning.), forcing me to pursue them down the hill. Once the babies were safely shuffled away from me, that is when the lesson began.

I swear you could hear the goose honking “YOU SON OF A BITCH, I WARNED YOU, I FUCKING WARNED YOU” as it launched its surprising bulk into my face, wings flapping, beak seeking to blind me as I shrieked and ran backward into the street, almost getting both the goose and myself creamed by a car. The goose gave up the chase at that point while the occupants of the car pointed and laughed.

This morning, on my way to work, I swear I saw the same goose in the distance, giving me the eye. Can birds hold grudges?

A Week of Funny Notaro Women

What is it about the last name Notaro and hilarity?

On Tuesday, Anne, Boolia and I went to see Laurie Notaro on her book tour to promote her latest work of fiction, Spooky Little Girl. Instead of reading from the book she was promoting, because she feels excerpts out of a novel are awkward, given that if you haven’t started from the beginning, you aren’t familiar with the characters or any of the significant plot points, she read an essay from the non-fiction book she’s currently writing–about the time that she convinced her best friend to dress as Blanche from “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” for Halloween, the lies it takes to rent a wheelchair, and how she, dressed as Baby Jane, ended up trying to give the heimlich maneuver to Blanche, whose wheelchair kept trying to escape said heimlich maneuver by rolling all throughout the house and ended up looking like a scene of onscreen abuse brought to life.

Not familiar with Laurie Notaro? Here is an excerpt from “Autobiography of a Fat Bride”:

“It’s not you!” he shouts one last time. “It’s me!” That’s enough to make me stop dead in my tracks. “Really?” I ask as I spin around. “Are you sure it’s you? Because that would make my day, just knowing that it was YOU and NOT ME, especially after I caught you in the middle of an escape attempt. Is it you? Is it really you, Ben?” “Well, I guess it’s me a little bit,” he stammers as Dog Girl peeks an eye out from behind the purple curtains as one of her hair ornaments chimes. “But, well, if you really want to know, I’d say that yeah, it’s mostly you.” “Mostly me?” I reply. “It’s mostly me that’s forced you into this scene from Children of the Cornrow? God, it looks like Stevie Wonder and Bo Derek jumped you in an alley and gang-braided you!” He stands quiet for a moment, thinking, then nods his head. “Actually, it’s pretty much all you,” he adds with a sigh. “I don’t think it’s me at all. No, no, it’s you. All you. It’s not me, because the feeling I’m getting in my chakras is that it’s definitely you.”

 

As if I needed confirmation. I’ve seen that play It’s Not You, It’s Me before, and as a matter of fact, I’ve played the lead in that scenario since before I had boobs.

My role is “Super Idiot Girl,” the kind of female who searches out the most alluring sociopath to date, who never learns that if you see a tornado coming, especially one that works in a record store and displays no ambition outside of making mixed tapes from bootleg Grateful Dead shows, duck under the nearest table until the roar passes.

 

It all started in fifth grade, when my mother bought me a box of Valentines from Kmart. I searched out the perfect Holly Hobbie valentine, a little farmer boy in overalls milking a cow, for the boy I wanted to move into sixth grade with. Only a few days earlier, he had passed me a note, chunkily folded into the shape of a football, that said “Whats your shampew? Gee, your hair smels terrifik.” It absolutely declared the love that was to guarantee me perfect happiness for the rest of my life, or at least until summer vacation. In my best cursive handwriting, I signed the back of the valentine, “To Paul, I use Breck once a week. Luv, Laurie,” and, to add a sense of female intrigue, dotted the i’s with puffy hearts to let him know I was all lady, all right.

 

I can understand now how that kind of message would be chilling enough for a boy to shy away from the love of an oily-headed, prepubescent girl, but I still don’t think it reached the proportions required for him to stand up at lunchtime and loudly scream “I am NOT your boyfriend! I like Melissa Crow because she can sit on her hair and has horses!”

Clearly, this woman is my soulmate. I gushed at her and made her fear for her life a little, I think, but she was gracious enough to not betray her fears that I might attempt to wear her like a dress out of the store. She signed my book, signed Lanny’s book, and got to hear the story of the Christmas at which Anne vomited on the table after dinner and then promptly signed her book with the word ‘Hottenfoyzingoux’.

On Friday, Carrie picked me up for a girls’ night out–we went to dinner at Boom Noodle in Bellevue, charmed the wait staff as usual (making one laugh until he snorted), and then we went to Laughs to see the inimitably deadpan-hilarious Tig Notaro.

 

We laughed until our stomachs hurt, and then laughed some more, and each picked up a ‘No Moleste’ shirt–I am going to wear mine on the bus as a clear message to all the guyliner-wearing psychopaths that I’m only interested in dinner and nothing more.

Afterward, we went back to Carrie’s place to watch Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve got to say, that while it was probably the booze impairing my ability to follow what was going on at ALL, it could have also just been incomprehensible and the longest movie of all time. I say this because we started the movie around two in the morning, and when I woke on the couch at 6:30, it was still running.

I should say I was woken at 6:30; it’s not something that happens to me naturally at that hour. Oh no. You know the creepy moments in Paranormal Activity when the girl gets out of bed and just stands over her husband, staring at him, for hours, and how freaky it was? I woke up to Carrie’s roommate’s daughter standing over me in just the same way. To my credit, I only shrieked and flailed a little, but I still shrieked and flailed, waking up approximately three city blocks and perhaps even an ex-boyfriend who lives just down the street.

Jesus and I would like to have sex with you.

The thing about not having a car is that it takes about a million times longer to run errands. Just simple things like going to the bank and picking up my baby-allergy medicine can take up the better part of a day, so while I have Fridays off, it’s almost always an errand day. I also had to make a return to Ulta–apparently they thought I wouldn’t notice if they subbed colors like hot pink and bronze in place of the electric blue and pure gold I ordered. Thanks for the extra hassle, guys.

Anyway, after a long day of running errands, I found myself in the area of Kent Station, and figured I’d stop into Shindig for a couple of drinks. Two absinthes later, and I was plowed, and my brain fuzzily tried to figure out why I was so drunk–I’d been giving my liver a proper workout the last few weeks, surely I’d built up a bit of a tolera——ooooooh yes, I hadn’t eaten yet that day. At all.

I walked to the Jack in the Crack in an attempt to remedy that problem, and was appalled to discover they didn’t have indoor seating. I wasn’t about to eat a burger out on the street, perhaps laying on the ground. I’m not David Hasselhoff!

I had a gift certificate in my bag for Mama Stortini’s, but I figured eating at a nicer restaurant while drunk was not a way to get maximum enjoyment out of the food, which is how I ended up on the bus, drunk, waiting to go home and make something to eat.

A young man, whom I figured for about nineteen based on the way he was wearing poorly-applied guyliner, sat down next to me and introduced himself. Fifteen minutes later, I was getting off the bus with this person to have dinner.

…I really probably need someone to whisper ‘Whoa! No! Bad idea!’ in my ear at all times. ALL TIMES. Would you like to know why?

Because at dinner, this not-nineteen-but-actually-twenty-five-year-old told me that he suffers from deep depression coupled with severe psychosis. He told me that God told him to write a novel of poetry, that he and God have these conversations quite often, and also that he was hoping I would go home with him so that perhaps he wouldn’t have to pay for the 80 dollar cab fare of the girl he had met on fling.com to come spend the night with him. No chance. I might have been stupid. I might have still been drunk. I might have been stupid drunk. I was neither that stupid nor that drunk.

So here I was, eating tortilla soup that tasted like fear, waiting for him to leap across the table and stab me because I wasn’t going home with him because God told him so. I was thankful that the waitress came to check on our table approximately every three minutes. I made my dashing (boring) escape by pulling out my phone, exclaiming ‘Oh goodness me oh my, the last bus home will be along shortly’ and ran, RAN across the street. “What are you doing tomorrow?” he called after me.

“Sooooooooooooo busy, sorry!” as I hopped on the bus and away from danger. Mostly. The guy seated in front of me kept talking about killing white people. After he got off the bus, I moved to be seated nearer the driver for the illusion of safety. Some other drunk chick was on the bus talking about how her boyfriend didn’t trust her, I one-upped her with psychosis boy, and then a kid who was trying to pass as Lil Wayne sat between us, put his arms around our shoulders and said “Ladies, tell me all about it.”

I’m thinking of walking everywhere from now on.

Cream of Sum Yung Gai

Yesterday, I was in no shape to go anywhere or do anything due to my ovaries punching me from the inside out, and decided what I needed was some chinese delivery. 45 minutes later, there was a knock on my door and a man who either spoke very little English or was Ashton Kutcher in disguise, punking me, was shouting at me “SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! VERY BEAUTIFUL! VERY SO BEAUTIFUL!”

Thank you, crazy man. I have been flatter-terrified into never ordering from that restaurant again.

Steaming Hunks of Hot Love Chunks

On the previous Saturday, sweet little Julia got married at the St. James Cathedral. I almost, almost didn’t make it. We were running so very late that Frank dropped me off in front of the cathedral and went to find parking while I rushed up the stairs, stumbled out of a shoe, asked some holy guy if I was too late, to which he replied “not yet, but it’s very close to starting”, to which I replied “OH THANK CHRIST” which I later realized was probably not among the more decorous things I could have said. The important thing is that when I crossed the threshold, I didn’t immediately burst into flames. Emily had the same thought about herself, but Tom countered that if god had any sense of humor, he’d wait to get her until the moment she stepped out of the church.

The ceremony was beautiful, the choir was wonderful, Julia looked gorgeous, and Jason couldn’t stop smiling. The last thing they needed was my donkey bray of laughter reverberating through the entire cathedral, but it was a close call. When the priest asked everyone to raise their hands to bless the couple, the couple in the row in front of ours had their arms around each other and thus only raised one arm each. Jim leaned over and whispered that it looked like they had a ‘heil Hitler’ thing going on, which had me doubled over, shaking in thankfully silent laughter. It also seemed like every time we were asked to contemplate something in silence, someone took it as the opportunity to drop keys, programs, cell phones, and the Encyclopedia Britannica on the floor, cough, and snort phelgm up into their heads…so maybe an echo-y design isn’t the best for a church. Just saying. If I were god, I’d zap every single one of the phlegm-snorters who were supposed to be quietly reflecting on my blessed love instead of sucking back a wave of snot, all squinty-eyed.

All too soon, it was time for the reception at the Olympic Hotel’s Garden Room, which was very, very nice.

 

As favors, Julia and Jason had ordered bottles of Jones Soda with their photographs printed on them–one of Julia as a child, one of Jason as a child, and one of the two of them together. Each place setting also thoughtfully held a large number of wine glasses, all of which were kept full at all times. We immediately settled into our ‘best table at the wedding’ behavior, which mostly consists of laughing loudly enough that other tables are jealous of our gaiety, even stuffed into dress clothes. Our table even got a shout-out during Jason’s wedding speech as he cast away the microphone with “Microphones? I don’t know how they work. They must be magic, ICP.” We hooted with laughter, no one else knew what was going on.

During Julia’s dad’s speech, a good half of the table burst into tears, all for different reasons. It was like we instantly switched from the best table to the ‘sobbing wreck’ table, but this was soon remedied with us busting moves on the dance floor.

30226_385422348939_4191143_n First dance of the bride and groom.

 

After a while, we noticed that the priest had joined the party but was still seated at a table while everyone else was well on their way to funky town (or whoreville, depending on whether or not you were the maid of honor getting banged in the bathroom), and Emily and I took it upon ourselves to get the priest out onto the dance floor. Picture it: April 24th, the Olympic Hotel’s Garden Room, George Michael’s ‘Faith’ playing overhead, and two hot, sweaty, drunk chicks approach a priest.

Mellzah: “You should dance.” Emily: “Yes, come dance!” Priest: “Oh no, that won’t be happening.” Mellzah: “Look, no one is a bigger atheist than me, but it would make me feel a lot better about religion if you came and danced.” Emily: “Plus, this song is about faith…a-faith-a-faith!” Some friend of the priest: “The only way you’re going to get him out there is if you play some Neil Diamond.” Emily: “….I’ll be right back.”

Moments later, ‘Sweet Caroline’ began playing. Emily gestured from the dance floor. “Come on! You promised before God and everyone!”

And that is how we tempted a priest into dance. Somewhere, there exists a photo of a priest both raising the roof and fist-pumping, and I am so very sad I don’t have them to share with you.

I still haven’t burst into flames.