Sunday, October 29, 2006

Not for those with a Low Ick Factor.

This is my bedroom from the old apartment. It's serenity belies the terrors that lurk beneath the surface.

Here's one of the living room. Pretty, no?

This is Lilly Monkey. She is very ferocious.

So imagine my surprise when this fell out of my laundry hamper:

Notice the malicious glint in his beady black eye. This one, he was a fighter.

Immediately following The Great Rat Hunt of 2006, my ceiling popped a giant zit, spewing roughly eight gallons of air conditioner water all over my bathroom floor.

And then came the mildew. Or mold. Really, it just wasn't my job to ask questions at that point. Also, I'd like you to play close attention to the random holes. This is what my douche of a landlord did to "redirect the water flow" into the bathtub, rather than the floor. Smelled great, too.

Here's another one of the rat, just because I know how much you wanted to see your breakfast again:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Crunchy Apples

After a fascinating Sunday morning with the babies I decided it was high time to get my move on, so I cashed in all my sexual favors and played them out as moving chips. As it turns out, I had so many moving chips that I was able to bribe some individuals to drive across town and pick up my first real full-money adult furniture purchase. And I must say, it is beautiful and stunning and worth every bit of the two and a half years I spent searching for The Perfect Couch. It’s so perfect, in fact, that Pier One sent me thank-you note for choosing the Chocolate Flannigan Sofa. This is also known as a credit card bill but we are so not having that discussion.

Before I get into the full Moving Day details, I’d like to make a little announcement: Should anyone tell you that Hell has something to do with fire and brimstone you have my permission to call them a liar right to their face. Hell has nothing to do with an eternity of burning flesh and everything to do with third floor walk-ups.

That being said, I have wicked nice friends, some of whom have wicked nice boyfriends and brothers, who quietly agreed to move every piece of furniture I own and never once threatened to disembowel me, even when they realized I’d omitted that whole ‘many flights of stairs’ bit until the day of the move. I repaid them all with pizza and beer and still I think my debt has not even come close to being repaid. This of course means they can call in a Move Day Favor at any point in time and so the vicious cycle of helping friends move begins.

Move Day marks my transition from free-couch-having individual to purchased-couch-individual-with-an-extra-bedroom-JUST-CAUSE. It does not, however, mark any transition that has something with me being less of a dumbass. Please see the following example:

After moving an especially heavy piece of furniture, Lilleee came bounding down the stairs and flexed her muscles at Amanda and myself, stating she totally has tickets to the gun show. I looked at Lilleee and asked her why on earth she wanted to go to the gun show, thinking she had some previously undiscussed fetish for flying metal projectiles of death. Lilleee says No, the gun show, like, for my arms. And still I am confused. Why are you going to the gun show for your arm? Do you have a gimp arm that needs gun protection? No, they both say, the gun show one goes to for having strong arms, also known as strong guns, WHY ARE YOU SO SLOW. At which point I told them I would need a memo if they were going to make obscure references to muscle strength, jeez.

Last night was my first night in the new apartment and I have to say I quite like being so far off the ground. While those last five stairs are almost enough to make me wheeze in pain, the simple fact remains that should someone feel like breaking into my apartment, they better have a jet propulsion pack or really bad projectile burrito gas. Because short of setting up a trampoline outside the house, there is zero chance of my kitchen window being confused with the Burger King drive-thru.

Long Hair and Knee Tapping

After throwing away just about everything in my Lazy Laundry pile (due to the aforementioned rat carcass contamination) I had significantly reduced my total laundry time but not so much that my mother didn’t roll her eyes heavenward as bag after bag of dirty clothes came rolling out of the back of my car.

And yes, I totally took my laundry to my parent’s house on Friday. First of all, it’s free. Second, I can put a load on and go take a mini-nap or have a cup of coffee in a building that isn’t crawling with random dryer-bunnies and cigarette butts. Third, well, I don’t know what comes third so just accept that it’s way easier to take it home when I’m pressed for time.

The original purpose of the trip was to visit with some family friends that I grew up with, one of whom is now in his late teens and making the rounds as a bad-ass guitar player. I was going to use the f-word in conjunction with just exactly how good this kid is but his mama would probably tell me to watch my language when speaking about her son. Because his delicate ears, they’ve never heard such language. *cough

Anyway, I stayed up late with my mama and Jolene and had girly chats, the same kind we used to have when I was like eight and they were, um, younger than they are now. Only I didn’t beg to braid my mother’s hair and I didn’t run my mouth about whatever it is that an eight-year-old will run their mouth about. My shining moment was when I yet again managed to make a total ass of myself by using the word ‘pussy’ in relation to me not dating people who have those. I can’t get annoyed with her for jokingly asking about my preference because hello, when was the last time I brought a guy home? Much like the Prince song it was 1999, only we didn’t party and I’m fairly positive that no cracked a smile. All together now: AWKWARD.

Saturday morning someone managed to set up the Play Station on the living room TV and I realized just exactly how silent my house normally is. And how silent it will remain, forever and always. The Play Station was for Jason, the youngest of the three boys at the age of ten. Josh is the bad-ass guitar player at eighteen and Jacob is the guy who used to own a ferret and now has a little boy of his very own. If you’re confused about the names, you should be. Because everyone’s name starts with J and no one gets called by their given name. Jake and JP and Jase and Joshie and Jay and really, just keep thinking of nicknames because they’ve got them all.

In the early afternoon we all bundled up against the blustery weather to watch Josh play with The Reba Russell Band at a downtown festival. I could lie to you and say they were good but in all honesty they were fucking unbelievably awesome. Notice how I used the f-word but did not use it in direct correlation to Jolene’s son, which should keep me out of trouble. Josh has been playing on Beale Street in Memphis since he was a wee young lad and as he’s only eighteen now, I mean WEE YOUNG LAD. Of course he’s not a wee young lass now, he’s all grown up with facial hair and everything. As such, I will never tell The Internet that I used to clean his room out of sheer boredom because Jolene was never nice enough to pop out a little girl for me to play with. I was just much too cool to play Thundercats with my brother and Jacob and Josh in the basement. I will also never tell anyone about what a cute little ball of diapered rolli-polliness ol’ Josh used to be, because that would be embarrassing and I’m a kind-hearted individual like that.

By mid afternoon the blustery weather had turned to searing heat from the roiling sun and I was wishing for a bucket of ice water to pour over my head. But still I sat, bouncing my knee to the music and the great singing and in total awe of just how good the whole band sounded, and that was with an incompetent sound guy who couldn’t figure out how to turn up the piano volume because look at all the pretty birds in the sky and maybe that girl over there has some weed and holy shit man! I’m supposed to be working all these crazy buttons for the sound and I really want some ice cream. That was a roundabout way of saying Senor Slacker was a bit distracted, but he was, and I stand by my appraisal of him.

At the end of the set I managed to convince my mom to give me some cash in exchange for my out of state check and purchased a CD from the vendor by the stage. I should add that I rarely purchase music because I have a short attention span and should I feel like singing in my apartment, that’s what The Cure cd’s are for. What I’m trying to tell you, and probably not doing a very good job of, is that this band rocks out with their Lego blocks out and if ever I was going to endorse something, THEY WOULD TOTALLY BE IT.

So just in case you missed my sneaky link above, here it is again. Not that I'm being a pusher. Or anything.

Make it out of this Rivertown

I don’t even know where to begin. And they say if you don’t know where to begin you should just start at the beginning, which gets you halfway to begin. No one actually says this so just accept that I totally made it up. Because I’m a liar, and god hates liars.

Last Thursday night I was on day two of the Packing Spree, which is not to be confused with any other kind of Spree. This Spree had nothing to do festively coated Smarties-wannabees and everything to do with knocking over a liquor store and stealing all of their boxes. I’d been boxing up books for two nights and was contemplating having a Nazi-esque bonfire in the parking lot because those things are heavy and I’m damn tired of moving them. But then about eleven o’clock I realized I was done, done with the book packing! Huzah! So naturally I moved away from other packable objects because the paper cuts those liquor boxes can give you are just plain angry kittens. Hence, I found myself staring inside my wee little closet with a total sense of dejectedness.

I should first explain that I’m not an abominably messy person. I put my dishes in the dishwasher, I pick up my dirty clothes and I make my bed at least eight percent of the time. However, I hate washing clothes with a passion. Not so much because of the folding or hanging up, but because it’s wicked annoying lugging bags of dirty towels and sweaters into the car and across town to the laundromat. I have many stories from the laundromat, none of them good. As such, there tends to be a small laundry basket devoted to things I’m currently unwilling to wash, things like polar fleece sweaters from last spring or the heavy bathrobe I wore during the winter. I mean, it’s not like they’re going to rot away down there, so I just leave them languishing in their plastic basket until the time comes when I’m ready to sacrifice an extra hour doing laundry or it’s sleeting and I need a hoodie.

Because I was moving I thought it might be nice to start off with a clean slate, so I started pulling out the bags of normal laundry for separation into dark piles, darker piles and bleachable items. Then I pulled out the purple plastic basket that normally sits shoved in a dark corner with all my Lazy Laundry and started sorting it as well. Blue bathrobe into the dark pile, black jacket into the darker pile, green towel into the dark pile, dead rat in the EXCUSE ME WHAT IS THIS DOING IN MY LAUNDRY BASKET I HAVE NO ACCEPTABLE PILE FOR YOU UNLESS IT INVOLVES A HIGH SPEED BLENDER AND SOME BLEACH.

The nasty curled up monstrosity landed square on top of my fleecy black hoodie and because I am a girl I’m allowed to tell you I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran in the living room at wicked fast speed. Think of me what you will but imagine a large dead ferocious looking rodent falling within inches of your delicate and unprotected bare feet and there’s not a single one of you out there, at least not that I’ll believe, who’d have been calm about that situation.

I sat in the living room for a good five minutes and contemplated what, exactly, I was going to do with the dead rat. Obviously get rid of it, but how? I couldn’t imagine wrapping my hands in paper towels and picking it up *retch* and carrying it outside. Just the thought of feeling it’s creepy dead little body, even through the layers of an entire roll of paper towels, was enough to keep me from eating for a solid day.

In the end I settled on sweeping it into the dustpan, the one I was going to soak in bleach after I carried it outside for a proper burial in the city dumpster. But before I took it outside I decided this was a situation that needed documenting. I grabbed my camera out of the closet and clicked it over to the I’m Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille setting. Then I sat down on my wood floor and got way more personal with a rodent than I ever anticipated. I snapped him from the top, from the bottom, from the side where you could see the malicious glint in his beady black eyes. I got close-ups of his snarled mouth and ginormous rodent teeth. I immortalized the length of his thick stubbly tail and the way his claws had curled into his belly in death.

And then I sang the Robin is a Big Girl song as I carried his pleasantly scented carcass through the back door. If you’ve never heard the Robin is a Big Girl song well, you’re totally missing out. I’ve got a voice like two dollar prostitute with a two-pack-a-day habit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Definitely Throw That One Back

Yesterday I was telling a friend of mine about how I had this urge to move to Iowa and get my MFA and I got this blank look followed by “What the hell is in Iowa?”

She may have a point, but it’s not like she, or anyone ‘round these here parts, can say anything because, hi, we live in Arkansas. A state that should for all intensive purposes be pronounced as ‘ar-can-sus’. And please, feel free to the emPHAsis on any sylLABle. But somewhere along the way, probably the point where the hill folk became known as hill folk and stopped caring about their lack of teeth, the state became ‘ar-can-saawww.’

It’s just I’m perfectly aware of the stigma this state has. Just like Idaho. What’s in Idaho? Potatoes. And Iowa? Corn. And Tennessee? A fucking lot of Elvis impersonators, that’s what.

So I get it, I get that some states are way cooler than others. Can you imagine a prime-time show about teenagers at Central High School? There’s one rich kid whose daddy thinks they need to experience a “mixed culture” and everybody else sports fashions from the sale rack at Target. That’s a far cry from the Gucci purse or Jimmy Choo shoes worn by the perma-bored cast members on “The O.C.” Also, there’s just something so infinitely less cool about flipping your 1996 Honda Civic as opposed your 2007 Range Rover.

Which is why, when I read stories like this, I get a little annoyed. First of all, who the fuck rolls around with a crossbow in the back of their SUV? And who picks up said crossbow and shoots it at another vehicle? God, what is wrong with people.

Though I will admit I laughed my ass off. Granted, wouldn’t have been laughing if some drunk country boy whipped out his crossbow on the interstate and shot out my back window. But funny nonetheless.

Monday, October 16, 2006

See, what happened was

Last week I bought some new Lower Sugar! oatmeal, because I figure it can’t hurt me to consume less sugar and I imagined that if they took away the ass fatening sugar they replaced it with the fake sugar.


What is the deal here, folks? You think I want to eat vaguely sweetened insta-oatmeal? Do you? You are so very mistaken. If I have to pour four packets of Splenda on the top just to make it bearable then you should add someone smart like me to your marketing team, someone who will point out on the box that while it may be lower in sugar, you will probably have to add double your usual amount just to choke it down. And then I’d point out that the now fake super sugary taste will probably not distrct you from the fact that when we took your sugar we replaced it with Goo.

I do not like the excess Goo. It is gooey and strange and it makes a weird gooey mess in my bowl.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Little Boxes Made of Ticky-Tacky

Last Thursday I decided I wasn’t going to move, I was going to stick it out in my apartment as long as possible. The rent is cheap and to be honest, it’s a beautiful place. Beautiful doorways, nicely worn floors- plus my furniture ends up looking less like an eclectic hodgepodge of flea market finds and more like an eclectic hodgepodge of intentional purchases. In brand-new-cookie-cutter-apartment-complex type places all of my things (the old hats, the antique purses, the stack of old-fashioned brown leather suitcases) look vastly out of place, almost sad and forlorn. But next to an imperfectly smooth wall or a slightly chipped window frame, they look content and at peace. They’re not competing with the fresh white paint and the brand new beige carpet, they’re winking slyly at the creaky floors in the kitchen and the door that doesn’t quite shut in the hallway.

And if I’m honest, I can say that I was a bit reluctant to leave a place I got a tingle in my back about. I found the apartment one evening over a year and a half ago on my way downtown for dinner with a friend. She was setting me up with an acquaintance of hers, one that I was just going to fall in love with and marry on the spot. I was a bit early and it was a breezy late spring evening, so I slowly drove around the downtown neighborhoods. On my way up a one-way street I saw a beautiful red brick building, shaped like an open U with three flowering trees planted down the center of the courtyard. The upstairs apartments all had French doors that opened out onto narrow New Orleans style balconies and I stopped my car in the middle of the deserted street because I knew, with a surety I can’t even explain, that this was where I was going to live. When I walked into the open courtyard I saw a tiny orange For Rent sign in one of the windows and decided it was Fate. I hadn’t even been looking and here It was, the tingly back feeling and a perfect apartment for rent. Done deal.

Two months after I had moved in, my dear friend Lilleeee needed a place to live and she moved into the apartment directly over my head. We used to sit out on our back porches and sip coffee on Saturdays, until her brother moved in a few months later and then she found Jeremy and he moved in too. It’s like the Brady Bunch up there, only with about seven less people, no maid and no creepy incest vibe.

But then I found a leak and then a rat and then rats-sah, which is my way of saying plural rat infestation without having to use that infestation word. Obviously that plan worked out well. And then I found another leak and then the bathroom ceiling popped a zit and then my friend Mr. Mildew took over and it makes me sneeze like nobody’s business. And then my landlord expressed confusion and dismay that it had never been fixed, because he didn’t get a single one of my five bazillion messages or threatening emails, and said he’d get right on it.

That was Thursday, and he agreed to have it all fixed on Monday. The ceiling, the mildew, the chewed up rat holes in the kitchen cabinets. And I smiled and agreed because MY APARTMENT IS SO DAMN CUTE. Plus I’m old and I’m tired, tired of putting my shit in boxes and lugging it across streets and counties and state lines. I have moved house eighteen times in seventeen years. Fourteen of those times have been in the last eight years. That’s a lot of moving. And did I mention that I’m tired. And lazy. Exactly.

But then it was Friday and I woke up and had a back tingle. It was the same kind of tingle I got when I woke up one morning and knew I had new job, a big snazzy new job with a big snazzy pay raise. I hadn’t canceled the appointment to see an apartment on Friday and I kept it mostly out of principle, because I thought it was rude to cancel on such short notice and it wouldn’t kill me to see what XXX.XX amount of dollars would get me in my neighborhood.

I rolled up outside the building on my lunch break with Amanda in tow, because the cardinal rule of apartment hunting is you never go in a locked room with some man you don’t know. That’s not to say I don’t ever break this cardinal rule, but if I have the opportunity to stick to it I’m mighty happy.

I knew the apartment was mine before I even walked in the door so of course it was utter perfection. Big windows, open floor plan, lots of closets. Plus, there is a second bedroom, something that makes me feel very settled and mature. Because nothing sucks more than having your mama come to visit and sharing a full size bed or attempting to get comfortable on The World’s Most Uncomfortable Couch.

So now I have a new apartment. And I’m pretty damn happy about that. Little scared about the one year commitment and all, because I may or may not be utterly devoid of that gene that lets me happily commit to things.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Try hanging up and slamming your hand in a drawer

Last year was the first year I have ever voluntarily participated in having a Christmas tree in my home. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas trees, because I do. I think they’re relatively pretty in their own way and I recognize that some people spend a lot of time and money making things twinkle and sparkle. And I will fully admit that I like they way they look, all lit up and glittery, through frosty windows in mid-December. It’s just that it was always an awful lot of effort, not to mention fundage, to get one of those things up.

The one-bedroom apartment I shared with two other people (no matter how expensive rent is, NEVER DO THIS) in New York didn’t have room for an extra coffee cup, much less a Christmas tree, but somehow my roommates found a way to cram it almost underneath the spiral staircase. This annoyed me to no end, seeing as how each and every morning as I stumbled down the staircase, bleary eyed and fuzzy haired, the tree made it it’s joy in life to scrape my legs with it’s stupid stubbly plastic green branches. It snagged my pants and tickled my feet and while I might be able to forgive you for snagging my pants, I cannot forgive you for tickling my feet. And so I spent two months with that green monstrosity hulking in the stairwell corner, doing nothing so much as reminding me exactly how much I hated my roommates.

The next tree came a year later, in the apartment on Broadway I shared with my old college roommate. Kasi is much more of the seasonal decorator and while I didn’t heartily object to her putting up a tree, I sure didn’t offer to help, either. I’d just gotten Llama five months before, the first addition in what would later become the collective entity of The Demonspawn, and he took great pride in worming his wee little runty kitten body up the center of the tree and knocking it over. I even once saw him take a flying leap from mid-living room, launching himself directly onto the middle branches with front and back legs spread akimbo. This was reason enough for me not to participate in the decorating because anything I put up was just going to be knocked over, plus people with no money shouldn’t spend it on useless things like ornaments. They should spend it on gas and cigarettes.

Then came the Year of Living With My Brother. Needless to say we did not decorate at all, because we have exactly the same views on decorations. Can you eat it? No. Can you fix something with it? No. Can it get you to a specific destination? No. Only my mother came to visit around the first of December and brought some random cast-off decorations for us to use, which really only served to emphasize the fact that Matthew had cooked a pound of bacon three nights before and yet again left all the cooking accoutrements strewn about the kitchen. But look! There is a garland above the door! Pay no attention to the smell of rotting pig flesh!

So last year I made my first attempt at seasonal decorating. I purchased a fake tree that looked decidedly better in the store, seeing as how the store person probably had many years of tree-fluffing experience while I was unaware that branch fluffing had to occur until my neighbor pointed it out. I purchased the cheap ornaments from Wal-Mart because I wasn’t quite ready to commit to this decorating crap and why spend $4.99 per ornament when I can buy a box of 50 for ten dollars. Unfortunately I later learned that cheap ornaments = nasty glass shards all over wood floor. I spent the month of December sweeping up colorful broken crap. Not cool.

All of this has been a very long lead-in to the real story, the one that involves me being totally perplexed by the strangeness of the human race and one of my co-workers and his recent move. In standard office conversation I found out that he had over one-hundred boxes of personal items that the movers picked up over the weekend. Of those one-hundred boxes, three of them contained his Christmas Village.

“Christmas Village?” I asked. “What the hell is a Christmas Village?”

Three pairs of eyes turned on me, expressing such shock and dismay you’d have thought I said something about draining the blood from small woodland creatures and nursing helpless infants with it.

As it turns out, several people in the office actually have these Christmas Villages. One woman has a Village so elaborate it takes no less than ten days to set it up. My coworker has one that comes with a little train that runs around the village. There are little teeney tiny figurines you can buy to make it look like your Christmas Village is full of happy, rosy-cheeked individuals. They buy special tables and set them up in their living rooms and foyers and guest bedrooms, all so they can have creepy Beetlejuice-esque town replicas full of tiny snow covered buildings and spindly street lights and you know what, I bet they make animatronic versions of these Village things and THIS KID DOES NOT DO ANIMATRONICS.

I’m not judging anyone because I’m sure there are people out there who totally don’t get why a woman who finds it acceptable to buy pants from Old Navy finds it unacceptable to purchase shoes that have a starting point of less than two hundred dollars. Right this very second, the shoes on my feet are worth more than my pants, my top, AND my earrings. So I get that people spend money on things that maybe don’t make sense to others. But these are shoes, people. You walk in shoes. They get you places, plus, they’re wicked cute. But the ultimate function is still there. Christmas Villages? Um, what the hell? They just sit there. And collect dust. And your kids and pets and stupid neighbors probably knock shit over all the time. This isn’t like a pretty picture that sits on your wall all year long. This is something that’s not only useless, but you look at it for one month out of the entire year.

Thank you but I’ll stick with my penchant for expensive shoes, rather than purchasing strange mini-replicas of a Dickens Utopia Snowy Townsville.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Upsy Daisy

Earlier this evening I was watching the premier of Saturday Night Live, only about a week or two late. Thankfully they replay such things on various channels which is why I occasionally get moderately caught up with this supposed icon of pop culture.

The host for the evening was Dane Cook, a guy with whom I’ve become only vaguely familiar since they’ve been playing the previews to Employee of the Month (starring Jessica Boobson) pretty much every 45.7 seconds. Apparently he’s some internet stand up comedian and a purported previous love conquest of Ms. Jessica Boobson, who totally doesn’t want to be known for her blond hair and boobs but still insists upon flaunting them about like cupcakes.

The thing is, for the first five minutes of his super lengthy opening monologue, all I could think was a) THIS is the guy everyone’s talking about and b) did no one tell that kid his shirt’s too tight? Because he wasn’t really that funny and his hips kept moving in strange quasi-flamboyant movements. Plus, and I know I’ve mentioned this already, his shirt was too tight. As in so tight I could tell he’d laid off the crunches the past few weeks and maybe it was time to go up a waist size in jeans. Which sucks for him because he’s not a chubby man. He’s not even a super flabby man. But when your shirt is 87% spandex with a little cotton thrown in to dull down the sheen, you have to be very secure in the fact that you’ve spent a lot of time in the gym or you’ve got a personal assistant who doubles as your emergency liposuctionist.

I was getting ready to change the channel because MY GOD this was the longest opening monologue I have ever seen on SNL and I could be doing important things like lint rolling my ironing board. I hadn’t managed to crack a smile through the opening act of politically correct holiday celebrations (oh, I’m sorry, didn’t you guys already to this sketch like three years ago? k, thanks) and this Cook chap was certainly not tickling my fancy or my funny bone. But then he started a bit about shoe shopping and I stopped my finger from pressing the channel up button because, well, here’s something with which I can relate. He saw a pair of boots and he needed them in his life. This I understand.

So he asks the shoe girl for a twelve and she hands him a nine. At which point he makes a joke about a bone saw and don’t ask me what I found so funny about a bone saw but it kind of made me snort a little. Shoe ladies the world over adhere to the same practice then, I thought. I ask for a ten and they say “well, I had it in a nine” and I have to hold myself back from pushing my finger in their eye. If I’d wanted a nine I would have asked for a nine you ignorant twat. And now, look, here was a grown man expressing the same shoe shopping frustrations. I CAN SO BOND WITH YOU NOW.

Then he launched into a bit about erections and I mentally rolled my eyes because I totally expected him to go with the beaten-to-death (no pun intended) joke surrounding those pills that help men get their thingee up and the ensuing joke about “if you have an erection lasting four or more hours...” Funny the first time and, if I’m really honest, funny eight-hundreth time, but still not funny for a paid comedian to add in their act.

But he took it in a totally different direction, not mentioning the thingee-lifting hydraulic pills but instead talking about a really dandy stiffy he’d had one day while making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Noticing a can of cashews he pops the top and places a delicately curved and salted nut right on the tip, pulls back his member and flings the unsuspecting cashew towards his head where he catches the nut between his pearly whites. At this point I’m actually laughing out loud in my apartment because This Man Be Crazy.

Cut to commercial and my laughter dies down. I think this situation through. And then it fully dawns on me that this Dane Cook guy has admitted on national television that he ATE A CASHEW FLUNG FROM THE TIP OF HIS PENIS. I’m still finding the situation amusing but am now very concerned about his personal hygiene. Because just in case you didn’t know, THAT’S WHERE THE PEE HOLE IS AND HE JUST ATE SOMETHING OFF IT.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Don't think for one second that I won't cut you.

I have a serious complaint and I’d like all four of you out there to read this in its entirety, because it’s of great significance, possibly even great NATIONAL significance. Or something.

People. Why do you not respond to my emails? I’m not talking about friends and acquaintances, though to be honest I can’t say I don’t want your responses, because I do. It’s just that I know that there are times when I’m not good at replying. I get distracted by the ceaseless noisemaking of the two felines that insist upon living in my house, even though I’ve decided they are good for nothing but lots of smelly poop and tracking miniscule bits of litter on the sofa. And so I read an email and hear a meeeOWWWW, mmmeeeoowWWWWW, MEOW BITCH LISTEN TO ME I WANT YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION meeeOOWW. And then I throw whatever unsolicited mail has managed to pile up on my desk right at their heads, halfway hoping the sharp pointy edge takes out their vocal chords. As such, my attention gets turned away from the laptop and towards a dust bunny that needs sweeping or a marathon showing of Laguna Beach. (Who gives a 16-year-old a Range Rover? Seriously.)

So while I don’t normally judge the friends/acquaintances group for not replying, because I have replying issues of my own, I most certainly judge the work/business inquiry group for not replying because, hello. Does your email not sit directly in front of you all day long? Have you somehow managed to figure out how to keep the little You Have New Mail celebratory message from popping up in neon lights on your desktop? HAVE YOU? Because it took me nearly a year of using Outlook to figure out that was even a changeable option, that I could somehow turn off that annoying function that not only shows I have a new piece of mail but also displays the first twenty or so words to whomever happens to be sitting in my office. Which is awesome, especially when I get a non-work-related email that starts off something like Hey hooker, how’s your day? Ugh. I’ve got major gas from those burritos last night…

More specifically, when I send you an email inquiring about an apartment for rent, one you listed on your confusing and inelegantly designed crock of a website, do not take eight days to reply. This is a cutthroat business, folks. Someone is bound to snap up an under priced two bedroom in the historic district and you with your slow replying and lackadaisical response of “I can set up a viewing anytime late next week” is totally unacceptable. I don’t apartment hunt for my health. I apartment hunt so I can find a place I like, sign a lease and MOVE IN. I do not dilly dally. I don’t wish wash about decisions. If anything I make decisions too quickly, only stopping to mock the slow decision makers along the way. This may or may not be a good trait but personally I could not give less of a shit.

So in conclusion, if your livelihood depends upon me and various others stroking you a check every month, it seems that it would be in your best interest to reply to my email already and in quick-like fashion. The sooner you get me in, the sooner I am likely to fork over a thousand dollars worth of security deposits and pet fees. And the sooner you can lease a new Porsche or twelve with your rental income, all because your wife’s father was loaded and gave you some change to purchase a real estate “investment,” which now funds your golf habit and that tennis pro you’ve been seeing on the side.

Monday, October 02, 2006

C'est la Viesitation Hours Are Over

Saturday afternoon a bug must have crawled up my ass because I decided it was okay to venture forth to Wal-Mart, the place where people walk three-abreast down tiny aisles with the sole purpose of pissing me off.

My original purpose for going there was to find some sort of container to hold the cat food. Since The Great Rat Hunt of 2006 I haven’t really felt comfortable with leaving the bag in the bottom cabinets and the upper cabinets are just too small. So that left me buying the medium sized bags of food and leaving them out on the counter, which quite naturally hurts my supreme decorating sense. I’ve just never been able to reconcile the shiny blue bag of cat nuggets with pretty Cuban pictures and apple green cabinets.

Not to mention the fact that now that the cat food sits within reachable distance of The Demonspawn, I spend a lot of my time shooing them off the countertops. Don’t ask me why it’s even tempting because it’s not like their special red bowls ever fall below the half-full line. Maybe they need the exercise or something. Or maybe they’re just throwback cats and I got the dank end of the kitty gene pool. Whatever the reason, it’s damn annoying to come home to a brand new bag of cat food that they’ve managed to claw, pull and swat of the counter. And they don’t just leave it there, either. They spend days in cat time chewing a hole in the bottom because again, IT’S NOT LIKE THERE’S READILY AVAILABLE FOOD IN A BOWL LESS THAN THREE FEET AWAY.

I started off in the pet aisle because I was absolutely positive that someone besides me had experienced this problem. I mean, they make automatic litter scoopers and electronically enhanced, free-flowing water bowls. Surely someone, somewhere has animals that find it amusing to attack their food bags.

No? Okay, then. Moving on to the next aisle.

A couple of rows over I found some of those glass food containers that people like to leave out on their countertops, usually filled with festive colored pasta or decorative rice. Those things always bother me because at what point do you need to change out the contents? Is it just one of those things you learn upon becoming a mother? Change out yellow and red pasta every two years! Clean rice container every three!

I thought about getting the biggest size, a five gallon monstrosity with a stainless steel lid, but decided I wasn’t really that keen on displaying multicolored brown nuggets so prominently in my kitchen. I mean, I love my cats and all but I don’t LURV my cats.

One aisle over had shelves full of all kinds of Rubbermaid containers and storage units, most of them of the design that lets you slide them under your bed for easy-breezy storage. Only my bed is like eighteen feet off the ground and it’s not the type for a bed skirt, meaning my see-through Rubbermaid storage container would be very see-able upon walking down the hallway. Again, not really the look I was going for. Plus, I’m lazy enough as it is so imagine having to pull some fugly plastic box from underneath my bed, open it (my arms, they are so tired), get a scoop of cat food (is it over yet??), walk to the kitchen (I’ll just stop here and take a nap) and finally drop it in the bowl. And then I’d have to repeat the process because there are two cats, two cats who must have separate bowls for separate eating.

At the end of that row I decided if I didn’t find what I needed in the next five minutes I was definitely headed home. I was out in public on a Saturday and I’d already passed three people (two men, one woman) who apparently found deodorant on the Optional list of personal hygiene. So it was with much elation that I made it to my last and final row, confronted with all sorts of containers that would most definitely suit my purpose.

Trash cans! Trash cans, everywhere! In every shape and size and finish! Small metal and red, oval plastic and yellow, flip top, step top, no top, hurah! So I purchased the medium oval brushed-metal step top, complete with removable black bucket (with a handle!) for easy cleaning.

On my way out of the store I was so pleased with myself for finding a solution to the food storage issue that I swung by the pet aisle again. Now that I had a nice sealed and relatively unmoveable container I figured I could again start purchasing the more cost efficient Giant Bags o Cat Nuggets, the kind that most people assume are dog food they’re so big. But apparently you haven’t met Llama, The Fat One, the cat who can eat through an eight pound bag of cat food in like two weeks. So I grabbed the chicken-n-rice formula and placed it in the buggy, merrily making my way to the checkout lines.

Where I stood for twenty minutes behind some crazy bleach-blond hair lady with five children, all girls, who’d apparently taken to mommy’s Sun-in over the summer because ALL OF THEM had three inch roots. Not so terrible, maybe, except the oldest was maybe nine and the youngest was pushing four, all with beautiful waist-length hair that their dear sweet mummy had irrevocably screwed up.

Once Roots and her seventeen kids had checked out (all five girls got some kind of white stuffed puppy in a pink carrier, very Paris Hilton-esque) I moved forward and handed the checker my boxed trash can and my giant bag of food. She scanned the trash can and handed it back to me, where I placed it right back in my buggy. Then the bag of cat food. Same process. Scan, hand back to customer. Only something happened on the transfer and the bag kind of caught on the plastic bag dispenser.

No worries, I think. I lift the bag up and over the edge of the buggy and drop it in the bottom, WHERE IT EXPLODES.

Not just a little leak. Not just a few brown nuggets on the floor. No sir. That bag ripped from top to bottom, side to side, spilling all sixteen pounds of multi colored chicken-n-rice flavored crunchy kibbles ALL OVER THE WHITE LINOLEUM FLOOR. There wasn’t anything I could to do to stop it, or even slow it down. So I just stood there, hand on my debit card, watching it bounce over sixteen square feet.

When it was done I just looked at the checker and told her she’d probably need to take that item off my ticket.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ann Ranned Away, Far Far Away

A while back, Dan Dan the Can Can Man (who has abandoned his blog because he’s wallowing in the pits of despair) asked me why I did not care for the Evil Mayonnaise. And if I didn’t partake of the creamy substance, what condiments DID I enjoy? Honey Mustard? Ketchup? Just a smidge of lemon?

The thing is, I don’t think I can ever fully convey how much I hate on the mayo. Back when I was a wee little nugget, probably four or five, my mother made a plate of snack crackers for my digestive enjoyment. Normally these snack crackers came with peanut butter, but on that dark day my snack plate was filled with half the crackers smattered in peanut butter and the other half in a very innocuous looking white substance. Who was I to question a snack plate prepared by my mother? Mothers love you and take care of you, hence why would I have ever prepared myself for the UNRELENTING HEINOUSNESS OF THAT FIRST BITE.

Needless to say, I was disgusted with the mayonic substance even then, before I knew that it was nothing but liquid fat and eggs, before I made the correlation between what goes in HERE and then shows up DOWN THERE, right on my ass. My mother, on the other hand, will pour the substance on her bacon and tomato sandwiches, so much so that every time she takes a bite it kind of squishes out on the side. And every time she takes a bite, I die a little inside because somewhere along the line she’s going to hug me and what if some of that mayonnaise seeps from her pores and attacks me? The travesty.

Normally if I’m out in a public place with my mom I will totally and unashamedly make her check my sandwich for me, just to make sure that the waiter completely understood that NO MAYONNAISE WAS TO BE PRESENT DURING THE MAKING OF MY SANDWICH. At a wedding reception earlier this summer we filled our plates with the reception food and headed to a comfortable couch to talk amongst ourselves, seeing as how I lack social skills and it must totally get annoying having your grown ass daughter follow you around while you make small talk with guests. So we made our way to the back and began picking through the random shrimp sandwiches, cheese rolls and mini desserts when I came across a rye bread mini sandwich that appeared to be cream cheese but just to be on the safe side, I made her take a bite for me. Lo and behold someone had concocted up a swiss cheese and mayonnaise sandwich and just IMAGINE my horror had I bit into it, mistakenly thinking it was cream cheese.

As a final example I submit to you the incident in Atlanta, a mere two weeks ago on a business trip with two other women from my office. One of them was my friend Amanda who joined me for lunch in the office cafeteria. We’d placed our lunch orders first thing that morning, me ordering a roast beef sandwich with cheese and lettuce ONLY. I’d put that bit out to the side of my order, underlining and highlighting the line where I specified NO MAYO.

For whatever reason the “chef” (and I use that word very lightly) decided that I was being snotty about his special sauce and smeared it on my sandwich anyway, but only in the middle so when I lifted up the edge to check it appeared to be white-goop-free.

Nanoseconds after taking that first bite I felt the grotesque substance coating the insides of my mouth. Try as I might I couldn’t convince myself to swallow it, even after chewing with grown-up determination for a solid five seconds. I finally gave up and spat it back out, right into my napkin as discreetly as possible.

And then my dear friend Amanda took the mayonnaise-ridden bread from my sandwich and replaced it with her own dry bread. She even wiped the mayo from the top of my roast beef with her extra napkins, bless her.
So I’ve decided that I’ve added this quality to my Must Have list for Friends: Willing to wipe disgusting mayo from sandwich bread with proven ability to NOT JUDGE ME for behaving like a four year old when that crap comes within five feet of me.