Thursday, October 23, 2008

The "t" in "often" is SILENT, but two guesses as to what I'll be doing more OF(T)EN

Because of this:

So to kick things off, like, eight days before it's really necessary to start the hunkering down process, here is a copy of an email I sent yesterday. And if you are too lazy to read what I think is my last post, the one where I bitch about the steroids, then just know that the Teenage Acne is still going strong! I liken this whole experience to getting totally shit-faced and going home with the skeezy guy by the pool tables and then waking up two months later with a raging case of herpes so you go to the doctor and he says "Yep, that's the herp, enjoy!" and you're all "And this lasts how long, exactly?" and he's all "FOR-EEEV-ERRRR" and you're all "sweeeeeeeet." Except in my case it's not forever, so it's really more like I have herpes of the face for 6-9 months.
The email:
Random: So I’m in Walgreens a minute ago because my head was about to explode, right behind my left eyeball, throbbing away like someone was pinging it with a ball peen hammer, and I’m perusing the skin care section, like you do, because I’m nearly thirty godamn years old and I’ve got teenage fucking acne on my cheeks (wtf, can we not grow out of this? Am I being punished for my clear skin as a teenager? For all the times I just thought people weren’t washing their face enough? Dear Universe: I’M SORRY I WAS A TEENAGE IDIOT. PLEASE DO NOT HOLD ME RESPONSIBLE FOR MY UNDEDUCATED VIEWS OF THE ACNE-RIDDEN.) So I’m looking around and I notice this thing on the top shelf, mainly because the price has three numbers in it and I think, Holy Cupcake, what kind of skin care regimen has three numbers before the decimal sign comes in to play? And it’s this crap called Zeno and it zaps the zits with it’s hot hot heat and I WANT IT. I looked at the reviews on Amazon and everyone’s all, love it! can’t get enough! would make out with it if I could! And I’m thinking, you know, I just might buy this. This is self-esteem in a mechanical device! Plus, it’s a gadget, and I can get away with buying stupid crap because THAT’S WHAT I DO. If not for my uncontrollable quirks (hello, I’m looking at you, Miss Carmen Electra workout strippercize video set) I would be just a regular human with the rather obvious and odious problem of not cleaning out my vehicle.

Do you support the purchase of this item? Check yes or no.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I may have leprosy.

No lie, I have been sick since June rolled it's humid ass into Arkansas. In the process I have formed a personal relationship with my doctor, something I have always avoided. This is the man who has to see me beg for sedatives, the man who stands unflinchingly in the line of fire breath during a bout of strep throat, the man who knows exactly how much I weigh. This is not a man with whom I want to create memorable impressions. I want him to forget my existence when I leave his office, my co-pay securely transactioned by his receptionist.

Instead, he now knows my real name, not the official name that populates my medical records and employment applications. It's just a middle name, nothing fancy like a mob nickname or anything. But it's how I differentiate between those I don't care to chat with (doctors, credit card companies, the weird neighbor who keeps asking for my "chat" i.d.) and those I do (friends, family, Robert Downey, Jr.). And to top it off, the nurse has "befriended" me. That's in quotations because let's be honest, we're not really friends. We just share laughs about how every time I come in and she asks me when my last menstrual cycle cycled on through, I respond with "three weeks ago." After she got that same answer seven weeks in a row she told me she knew exactly what my problem was- I was packed FULL of shit.

No, actually, I'm packed full of plegm with a little useless trivia thrown in for fun. (The Golden Girls premiered in 1985! The heaviest element is Uranium!)

The best thing to come out of all of this? I now know what it's like to be a fifteen-year-old boy. Thanks to several weeks of steroids I experienced the following:

1) Misplaced rage and an increased combative nature. Case in point: While walking through the Detroit airport I got so fed up with a woman who blocked my passage on the moving walkway I started to curse her, IN MY LOUD VOICE, and then sort of gently connected her rolling suitcase with my patent leather flat. Excuse me ma'am, my name is Temper, last name Tantrum.

2) Men are strangely attractive, even when they're not. I think that actually makes me a homosexual teenage boy if we stick with the analogy from above. Anygay, it's not that I don't find men attractive in a steroid-free world, it's just that I didn't appreciate the sheer number of hot y chromosomes strutting around. My usual standards were thrown out the window (too short, too tall, too stupid and listens to tween pop on his ipod) and suddenly everyone, in the words of Marlon Brando, coulda been a contender.

3) Teenage Fucking Acne. Oh yes. The malfunction at Skin and Pore Streets was just a taste, just a dangling dingleberry of what was to come. And apparently is still coming, all over my WAIT. Sorry. I should also mention that I developed the ability to make tasteless jokes at random. Back to the acne. It's awesome and very teenagery. So if we follow that out to its logical conclusion, that means the acne actually makes me look YOUNGER. I have found the secret to eternal youth. Spread the word.

4) "Are you going to eat that?" became my mantra. I have never been so hungry, never ever, not even when I managed to do things like exercise or let's be honest, extend any sort of physical effort whatsoever. During my steroid spell, I woke up in the middle of the night to EAT. In addition, I ate two breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners. It was during this cheek stuffing spell that I had flasbacks to my little brother's teen years and how we used to order an extra large pizza just for him. And how he ate it. All of it. But my brother had the metabolism of an actual teenage boy while I was just experiencing teenage boy-like symptoms. My metabolism remained firmly grounded in the nearing-thirty range, which lead to:

5) Weight gain! Nearly ten pounds in the first ten days! Insert fat ass jokes HERE.

Overall, I'd say my steroid abuse was pretty fucking lame, dude. (Keeping the teenage slang alive here at birdsovafeather!) I've still got an annoying cough and a very depleted checking account because apparently one can't just google one's symptoms and call in to request specific medication. They like to see you in person so they can do things like weigh you and check your glands. Greedy bastards.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Follow the yellow brick...river

Two Sundays ago I was bouncing a five month old baby girl on my lap while Amanda, the other nursery worker, corralled the older toddlers. Without warning I heard Amanda’s voice stairstepping over her no, no, nooo, nooOOO, nOOOOO, NOOOOO’s and looked over to see two year old Layla awkwardly straddling the window of the child-sized plastic house. Her left leg was angled strangely outward, probably all the better for her urine to come splashing down the side of the house and onto the linoleum floor.

This is not the first time a child has peed on the nursery room floor, but it is certainly the first time a child has peed on the nursery room floor with such flair.

So I picked the cuddly baby off my lap and started to place her on the floor when I realized my right leg was uncomfortably warm. And wet. In the midst of all the chaos my first thought was not “Fucking hell, I’ve been pissed on by a diaper-clad baby” but rather “Holy cupcakes, this baby drools a lot.” I can’t tell you what happened to my common sense but I have the distinct impression that it packed up and left for The Netherlands where it smoked some really good hash and laughed uproariously when I doubled over to squish my nose against my thigh because goddamn, that seriously cannot be urine on my leg, let’s smell it just to be sure.

Obviously it was urine. Grade A Baby Piss. And instead of helping Amanda throw two rolls of paper towels at the yellow moat around the playhouse, I stripped off my pants and threw them in the sink, where I had a minute to contemplate a) my pants-less state and b) how a fifteen pound baby managed to unleash the Nile on my leg. Thankfully I had on a mid-thigh length tunic that could have doubled as a dress if I had done a better job of shaving my legs that morning and if I was into wearing mini-dresses, which I didn’t and I’m not. But the urine overflow was another story.

Upon stripping down the cherub-faced infant I noticed her bloomers were soaked through, not surprising, and that she was wearing a pull-up, moderately surprising. Specifically, a pull-up made for a thirty-six month boy. Later, when her parents came to pick her up and I told them that their baby had peed straight through her PULL-UP and PULL-UPS were not for BABIES and to please refrain from dressing your still-on-the-breastmilk baby with a [insert mental cursing] PULL-UP, they just laughed. Said how hilarious it had been when their older son had wanted to dress his sister in one of his, wait for it, PULL-UPS. And I’m sure it’s no big deal to them, I’m sure they get pissed on all the time with their real-live version of Wanda fucking Wetsherself but I did not squirt this thing from my vagina and therefore I am less inclined to slather myself in its excrement.

At the end of the day we had sanitized the linoleum and the plastic house and my pants got a good soaking in a mix of antibacterial hand soap and Lysol. As an added bonus, I got to walk past an entire congregation of churchgoers in one half of the outfit they’d seen me arrive in.

And here’s an added bonus for you, but seriously, take heed. It makes you cry a little on the inside as you pee a little on the outside. (Only NSFWish if your boss doesn't have a sense of humor.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

At the corner of Holy and Shit

I didn’t have bad skin as a teenager. By some genetic fluke, I remained nearly blemish free throughout nature’s most awkward years. On the flip side of that coin was a penchant for twelve foot bangs, multi-colored braces and tapered leg jeans. The universe made sure to punish me.

Admittedly, there was this one time in ninth grade when I woke up with a wee little dot on my chin. It was the day before chearleading tryouts and I was in a panic, convinced that my entire social career depended upon my pom pom performance and my pom pom performance was entirely dependant upon the eradication of the the angry nodule of bacterium. So I convinced my mother to drive me to Eckerd’s, which was the Walgreens of the south before Walgreens was even a glint in nation’s pharmaceutical eye. The Piggly Wiggly to your Costco.

In the skin cream aisle I was confronted with a whole list of products that had previously never crossed my radar. Wrinkle cream, exfoliants, face masks that promised to devoid you of puffy eyes, the whole lot. I bypassed them all, looking for something, anything that promised to scoop out the byproduct of my teenage hormones.

That night I placed a dot of Oxy-10 on my chin. And then I kind of smeared it around, thinking that if one pore had instigated a riot, it was possible that others might join in the fray. Then I squeezed out a quarter sized amount and rubbed it all over my t-zone, a facial area that my new Seventeen magazine claimed was “prone to breakouts.” I remember this moment succinctly because I had been annoyed with Seventeen for calling it the t-zone when cleary it was more like an inflated I-zone.

In the morning I woke up with a fluttery stomach (cheerleading! tryouts! today!) and an itchy face. I had prepared for the fluttery stomach but not for the itchy face. The bathroom mirror provided a glimpse into my worst teenage nightmare- splotchy red patches all over my chin, my forehead, the inner edges of my cheeks. The zit was gone, but so was the top layer of my skin. It was peeling and flaking and nowhere near the ninth grade perfection I had demanded of it on this one day, this one social career-defining day.

It took nearly a week for the angry red skin to subside and just in case you were curious, no, I did not make the cheerleading squad. I was relegated back to the band field in my hot polyester uniform and squeaky clarinet, somewhat relieved that I wouldn’t have to flash my navy blue bloomers to the whole of the student body come football season.

Which brings us to nearly two weeks ago, when I woke up with a little malfunction at the junction of Skin and Pore Streets. I wouldn’t have paid it much attention, but it was the day before I was to leave for a job interview in Vermont. My to-do list had said nothing about an angry adult zit, so I was wholly unprepared. That day at work I did a little internet reading about homeopathic remedies and came to the conclusion that putting toothpaste on my face was just a poor decision. So I stoped by the grocery on my way home and picked up a tube of goop that promised to clear up my skin in a snap.

You see where this is going.

Before bed I put just a wee dot of the clear gel on my cheek, right over the tiny little red dot. I didn’t smear it around, just kind of dabbed it into position. I brushed my teeth, pulled up my hair and put my suitcase beside the door. I laid out my airplane clothes and packed my purse with essential reading material. Then I crawled into bed and turned out the light.

At 3:27am I woke up from a dream where someone was dropping lighter fluid on my face while I tried to light an outdoor grill. It took me a minute to realize that the lighter fluid was code for HOLY BALLS MY FACE IS ON FIRE. In the bathroom I grabbed a hand towel, shoved it under the cold faucet and pressed it against the side of my face, only to watch a perfectly circular swatch of skin be wiped away, little red dots of blood welling up in the wake of the hand towel.

It took me nearly half an hour to get my cheek to stop bleeding. Another fifteen minutes before I had calmed down enough to go back to bed. The scene wasn’t any better in the morning, either. The nickel-sized ulceration had spent the rest of my slumber scabbing over, something near impossible to cover without industrial strength makeup and a healthy dose of Photoshop.

Without enough time to drive across town to the supercenter, I resigned myself to dabbing layers of loose powder over my cheek. I figured it was early and one of the four airports I would be in that day would surely have some liquid heavy duty makeup.

Not so much. So I got to introduce myself to everyone with an icky spot on my face that looked like someone had put out a cigar on my cheek. With every new introduction I wanted to explain that the scabby looking monstrosity was not an indication of my usual appearance and to please forgive me for looking like I just took up a meth habit.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Last week my mother called to tell me that they’d been victims of identity theft, only when she told me she didn’t know the proper way to communicate her rage (MOTHERFUCKER STOLE MY SHIT? AW HELL NO) and instead said something nice and fairly restrained like “I just can’t believe someone would steal my checking account number! I’m just so… so… well, frankly Birdie, I’m pissed.”

Really? Because let me introduce you to some websites that will not only steal your credit card information, they’ll make a brisket out of your ass and sell it back to you as cheap barbeque. That might even warrant a damn pissed. But this attitude is one of the things I love about my mother, that she can look at a bank statement missing thousands of dollars and tell me she got a little nauseated when she had to talk to the bank manager. Because I’ll be honest, I do not have that genetic trait. I would not have been able to refrain from driving to Katy, Texas, where the faux checks had been cashed, finding the ignorant catfish that had stolen my money and setting their house on fire.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A whole new look

For the most part I ignore the Spam folder in my gmail (an email address that will remain forever sacred because, hello, have you ever been online-stalked by a foot-obsessed podiatrist? I have and it's not as fun as you'd think). But today I got a wild hair up my ass, an expression I am just now contemplating and realizing is a bit disturbing. I'm picturing rotund buttocks with mutant fur that grows steadily into the rectum, all in fast-forward video. It is not pretty. And neither is my Spam folder.

As you can see, quite a lot of people are encouraging me to update my penis.

First, let's talk about the random capitalization of letters. Why is Penis capitalized, but not Your? I mean, this is a perfectly good imperative independent clause. Implied subject, verb, noun, the whole bit. What kind of significance are they placing here? It's like saying "Clean your Room!" or "Change your Underwear!"

Second, how does one go about updating a body part? I mean, I love makeover shows, but the thought of giving a weiner a new set of earrings or a stylish new hair-do is just plain un-American. Updating is what you do to your wardrobe or nail polish, it's not what you do to your wangalang.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On a walk with my pregnant friend Lily, who has since given birth:

"I lost my mucus plug on Saturday."
"Party foul. "
"I called Natalie to ask her if it should look like a 'roid loogie and she said yes, so I guess all I've got left is the bloody show before my water breaks."
"Is Marilyn Manson going to perform?"
"It's not really that bloody, just sort of, you know, a show. Of blood. Just a little Hiieeeey! It's meee! Bloody Show! right before all the hip spreading and birth canaling. But then the nurse gives you drugs and all is well. My husband gets to live another day."
"I support you in this drug business. I talked to my mom about all this and I found out she gave birth to me AND my brother without drugs. She's way more hardcore than I realized. But I was a fairly small baby so maybe it wasn't that bad."
"How big was your brother?"
"Over ten. He was nearly a month overdue."
"I kind of want to send a sympathy card to your mom's vagina."