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I’ve heard them all: “I like you as a friend,” “I think we should see other people,” “I no speak English,” “I’m married to the sea,” “I don’t want to kill you but I will,” “I’m not gay but I’ll learn”…

…but never “Mellzah, I love you more than anything, and you’d make me the happiest man in the world if you’d marry me. So why not slap on this ring and make it official?” Not until last night, anyway.

I have a feeling we’ll have to do a bunch of kitschy fake weddings so I can get all of the velvet Elvis out of my system before the real thing.

Yet another cop-out.

Things have been a little roller coaster-like around the Dildarian household lately: highs, lows, and very few creamy middles, and unless I’m bitching about something, creamy middles is where I do my best work. It’s hard for me to focus on writing when things are so up and down, but I do want to get back into the routine of regular posting, so consider this my public commitment to begin posting entries at least once a week. Maybe more! But at least once a week from here on out. Just what has been going on lately, you ask?

-Got a sweet intern gig at The Broke-Ass Bride -My aunt died unexpectedly -Won a contest and will be illustrated in an upcoming board game -My grandpa had surgery to remove an aneurysm near his heart, needed a second surgery a couple of days later, and in the aftermath, struggles with his memory, so much so that grandma can’t leave him alone in the house. This may be permanent, or it could improve over the next few weeks as the anesthetic clears from his body. -I did makeup and SFX for the first season of Glitch -Napoleon’s paw started bleeding the other night, he had a mass between his toes which turned out to be a mast tumor. His options seem to be: amputation, radiation, or let it ride. All of these options suck.

And that’s just a taste. But one post a week? I can do that.

With that, have an Alien explaining to Dad why he got suspended from school.

“Wait, there’s even MORE space dust!”

The lack of posts lately has nothing to do with a lack of content, but rather, a sad lack of time. A better person than me might have the organizational skills to have a new post up every weekday in addition to everything else that’s going on, but unless I go through some amazing metamorphosis or get replaced by a pod person or get bought out in a hostile takeover by more timely bloggers, you’re stuck with me. Things should be getting back to normal around here soon, however: we wrap on the film project I’ve been working on this week, and I don’t anticipate any out of town visitors after this weekend. With that, have an Alien reading a book.

Forgery: A Family History

This Christmas, an overwhelmed friend with too much to do and too little time paid me to uphold the time-honored tradition of forging hand-signed holiday cards. Little did she know that when she offered me the job, she was hiring a pro.

I started early. In the sixth grade, the whole class was to take a trip to the roller rink–a field trip of dubious educational value, but of enormous schoolyard social importance. Backward skating. The hokey pokey. Potential couple skating. It was a big deal. It was a big deal, and I kept forgetting my permission slip in my desk. The night before the trip, at dinner, I bemoaned my lack of organizational skills, and the next morning, faced with a blank slip and a hard deadline, I made a snap decision, carefully signed my mother’s name, and turned the slip in to the teacher. I had done it. There I was, the smartest kid in the history of the world. I was on top of the world on skates.

…Right up until about an hour later, when I was summoned down to the principal’s office, where she awaited me with my very angry mother. You see, my mom had taken pity on me and had come to the school in order to sign my forgotten permission slip, but when she arrived, she was informed that it had already been signed. Uh-oh. There I was, the stupidest kid in the history of the world. It was determined that my punishment would be a day of detention and exclusion from the field trip, and as I sat there and stewed, I came to the conclusion that I’d made a mistake. Not in forging the signature, but at flapping my gums about the issue at dinner. I would have gotten away with it if I hadn’t tattled on myself.

I remembered this lesson a few years later. I was in high school, progress reports were to be mailed shortly, and I was failing Spanish. A last-minute scramble has always motivated me more than slow and steady excellence, and this pattern has generally served me well, save for the fact that progress reports always showed up in the mail just before a holiday, ensuring I would spend the entirety of it grounded. Rather than change my pattern and learn good study habits, I decided to try and circumvent the system. While riding to school in the backseat of my friend’s car, I forged a delightfully inventive note from both my parents, stating that they would be going on a cruise for a month to celebrate their anniversary, and since they would not be home to receive my progress report yet wanted to be certain I was on the correct path, could the office please send the progress report home with me? …What was I thinking? For a MONTH?! To whom does that sound like a reasonable or believable amount of time for a vacation? And yet when I brought it into the office and handed it to the counselor, she looked me in the eye, said they normally call parents to verify these sorts of notes, but in my case, she felt it wasn’t necessary, and besides, my grades were likely just fine. I had done it. There I was, the luckiest kid in the history of the world, albeit one who had nearly just dropped a load in her pants. I decided to quit while I was ahead, letting friends call me in sick from school and sign my referral papers from that point forward so I could always throw them under the bus should I ever be caught again. It’s the buddy system, only in this case, I’m less of a buddy and more of an asshole.

I finally came clean to my dad about this second forgery this past weekend, and he laughed and told me it was something that obviously ran in the family. When he was in third grade and his brother Larry was in seventh, Larry came home with a report card that had two “C” grades on it in suspicious green ink. When questioned, Larry insisted that it was the only pen the teacher had, but when pressed repeatedly that my grandparents believed he’d changed the grades from “D”s to “C”s, he admitted to it. The matter sat for a day or so, while grandma kept grinding on the matter in her head and eventually confronted Larry with her suspicion that he’d actually changed the grades from “F”s to “C”s, and Larry again broke down and admitted to it–there was no point in continuing to try to lie, as when grandma gets her mental teeth into something, you might as well try to stand down a hurricane. Grandma said she was disgusted and refused to sign the report card and stuck it in a drawer. My dad, full of all of the smartassery given to anyone of our name, stepped in, pulled the card out of the drawer, and scrawled “I am very disappointed in Larry. Mrs Dildarian” in a third grader’s handwriting, and then put it back in the drawer, figuring that was the end of it. A week later, Larry came home and said the school insisted upon having it back, so grandma pulled it out of the drawer, and was not only unhappy with the son who she knew had written it, but she was also unhappy with the son she’d believed coerced him into doing it.

I suppose the lesson here is never buy anything from our family with a supposedly authentic signature on it.

I hereby declare this day to be Snow Day, the funnest day in the history of Springfield!

Western Washington has been deluged with snow, businesses and schools alike are closed, some people have lost power, and the governor has declared a state of emergency.

We made a snowman, little suspecting that we’d have our own snow-based emergency on our hands soon.

Frosty, no!

“The t-rex has been clocked at 35 miles an hour.” “Say again?” “We have a t-rex!”

We recently made the decision that we’d be staying in this house for at least another year, thus revamping my interest in home decor–it doesn’t make sense to pound a bunch of holes in the wall if they’re just going to be more work to fill in a couple of months. But since we now have time and the inclination, we’ve gone on a furniture buying orgy, replacing the dresser with the middle drawer that wouldn’t open and the bottom drawer that wouldn’t shut (I am now going to attempt to fix and finish it in an exciting manner for guest bedroom storage purposes), ordering a new gliding, reclining loveseat couch to replace the couch with the annoying cushions that we hate, getting a new bookcase to store all of the books that have been piling up around the old one (and to prop up the old one and keep it from falling over because it had a “leaning tower” effect going on), purchasing a slightly banged-up demo dining room table for me to strip and finish to my heart’s delight (chairs are next), and one completely frivolous, useless thing.

We were drawn into the store by its assortment of kitschy crap–puma clocks, rattlesnakes poised to strike coiled around treasure chests, blinking jesus pictures–stuff that would be fun to give as gifts so long as you could see the recipient try to make an appreciative, thankful face after opening it.

And then I saw it, and knew it must be mine.

Playing it cool, I asked the shopkeeper if the price listed was his best price for that t-rex up on the wall, you know, whatever, and he knocked off another twenty dollars.

It was mine AND it was a bargain.

We could hardly fit it in the car.

It adds a certain touch of majesty to our home, does it not?

“I don’t know how good you are, darlin’, and I don’t know what it is you’re good at, but if it’s at the Cheetah, it’s not dancing, I know that much. “

Jason got me a giant Alien figure for Christmas–when I say giant, I don’t mean lifesize, but the next best thing at twenty-two inches. It now poledances for my amusement.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll let it help me in the kitchen.

Black Friday, Black Friday, gettin’ trampled on Black Friday

If I could pinpoint the thing I hated the most about working retail, it was the inevitable Black Friday ritual of getting up at 3am to be at work at 4am when the doors opened to the pushing, shoving, rude masses who would elbow-drop their own grandmother to save a buck. There are plenty of professions that make their employees work shitty hours, but very few will pretend to give you a holiday off while taking half of it away with a shift that starts five hours earlier than normal (or now, a shift that starts at 9pm on the same day), just so the guys at the top can make some extra money and then still let you go at the end of the season. Why even bother to leave the house? Some dingleberry who set up camp outside the store a week ago is going to get all the stuff at the low advertised prices, leaving you sleep deprived and caffeine jittery to pay full price because you feel like you’ve got to justify why you’re out instead of eating pancakes while wearing a fuzzy robe.

If the day after Thanksgiving isn’t complete for you without shopping, why not try shopping online at some of these awesome indie shops?

Firelight Fusions: This indie perfumier is inspired by classic games, movies, anime, and comic book characters. The perfume oils are carefully blended by hand and react with your skin’s chemistry to make a scent that’s uniquely yours. Best of all? She makes custom orders for special requests, so if you need something reminiscent of space and time for a Dr Who fanatic or a zesty scent inspired by the Pepper Spraying Cop meme, you know where to go.

Batgirl Designs: One thing I’ve realized after living in the pacific northwest for a while–not nearly enough coats have hoods. Particularly the cute, stylish coats. This seller makes an ingenious product that is a hood, scarf, and handwarmer, all in one, in a variety of colors with geeky/cute embellishments to match any winter ensemble. She also takes custom orders!

Shanalogic: There are about a million things I love here, made by a network of over 100 artists from around the world. But everything is packed and shipped from one central location so it’s one-stop indie shopping!

Fomato: For when you don’t want to get someone a gift, but you do want to get them a card. An awesome card.

Pumpkin Stabbing 7…IN SPACE

This year, we hit the pumpkin patch the day before Halloween–we were late enough in the season that we missed the Triple Crown of Pig Racing (The PigTucky, The Boarmont, and The Squeakness), but we did manage to be there for the very last races of the season.

The girl who was called upon to bless the race by kissing a pig was less than thrilled about her new duty–nor was the pig, judging from the high pitched squeals.

This year, I again wagered on Arnold Schwartzenhogger, who failed to come through for me. However, given the small betting pool owing to the drizzly day, a few members of our group ended up winning pig racing t-shirts, suitable for nearly any occasion, from church to fundraising dinner to couch with ease.

Afterward, we went to visit the tiny pink horses in the barn to congratulate them on a job well done. The larger pigs were eating, but the smaller pigs were curled up in an adorable pig pile under a heating lamp. I could almost, almost taste the hot dogs in the air.

Awww, look at those cute faces! Wait, what? Let’s look at that sign a little closer:

Sponsored by Bacon Forever!? Well, I guess if they’ve got to go, at least it will be as something delicious. As opposed to “Sponsored by Dry Pork Chops” or “Brought to you by the amazing odor of Stankwurst” or “Presented by Bluudenhoxxencakes”.

We ended up only doing half of the corn maze this year; the ground was so sloppy and muddy and we had to concentrate so hard on simply not wiping out that it was less fun than it should have been. The mud, however, only enhanced the monster truck ride.

My hair was caked with mud, mud was splattered up Aisling’s back, and a large splotch nailed Jason on the head. While getting muddy was fun, trying to clean off chunks of it when I’d already connotated mud with poo in my head meant I spent a decent amount of time trying to hold back my urge to vomit, smelling poo when there was none, and retching deep in my throat while wiping it off.

Daniel and Rebecca had walked the pumpkin patch and found that the few remaining pumpkins were all moldy, so instead of buying an already-decaying pumpkin, we stopped at a grocery store on our way home and bought our pumpkins there. Lots of people helped out with the party this year by bringing food, and we all ate until we were stuffed to the gills and we STILL had more food leftover. Jason ended up bringing the majority of the leftovers to work, because while I enjoy pumpkin cookies, I don’t want to eat an entire batch.

Although this year didn’t end with a vomit contest or a leaking garbage disposal or a broken dishwasher, I’m still going to confidently declare this the most successful pumpkin carving party yet!