Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Funny "Ha Ha" or .......

Quote from The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank:

"...Making jokes is your way of saying Do you love me? and when someone laughs you think they've said yes."

It's true. It's true. It's so true it hurts my eyes.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sub-Par

On the corner of the major crossroads by my house, sits a mini-golf course. I drive by it all the time. Many of those times, the sight of it reminds me distastefully of the WORST blind date I ever had.

I believe that people are set up on blind dates not because the setter-upper believes the two datees will really and truly get along. 99% of the time the only commonality they share is their singleness. Period.

I was set up with this twit (let's just go right ahead and get the aggression right out in the open, shall we?) by a woman who thought we would "really hit it off". I admit the word "hit" popped into my head M-A-N-Y times that night, but probably not in the manner she was hoping for.

I drive up to this guys apartment in North Scottsdale. It's in one of those gigantic ant colony complexes with like buildings A through ZZ or something equally ridiculous. Of course I was given shitty directions to lead me through this warren. FINALLY I find the damn place and I'm already feeling like "Bad Date" because I'm late.

He opens the door and even though he is probably four or five inches shorter than me (a negative, but since I think I have only ONCE dated a man TALLER than me, it's not exactly a deal breaker), he is nice looking and smiling and telling me not to worry about the tardiness (which I have apologized for with my first breath). I come in and we have a drink or two and talk about where we should go. We decide to go to the cool new miniature gold course that has recently opened up not to far away from him.

He offers to drive and, knowing that we really aren't going that far away, I acquiesce. So far so good. Not looking to bad.

We get to the miniature golf/bar/driving range/arcade place. We check in and pick up our balls and putters. As we reach the first tee, I decide to make the date a little more interesting and propose a wager. Whoever loses buys the winner a beer in the bar after the game. He happily agrees.

It quickly goes down hill from there.

First he insists, INSISTS!, on reading me all the rules. Um, hello?, it's miniature golf, not the PGA. I know/don't-give-a-rat's-ass-about the rules. He could not be swayed, and when I start cracking jokes about the rules he gives me the stink eye and shushes me. Oh boy. I'm still trying, so I politely turn away before rolling my eyes. He finally finishes, leans down, picks up my ball (where I have had it sitting on the tee spot waiting for him to finish droning on so I can play), hands it to me, puts HIS ball down, and gives me ANOTHER look until I back away from the green.

What the HELL has gotten into this guy? Was it the wager? Is he just THAT competitive? Or is he just a FREAK?

I have plenty of time to ponder these questions throughout the ENTIRE eighteen holes (you better BELIEVE I TRIED to quit after the first nine, but oh no no no). He set up like it was a million-a-hole skins game. He strutted like a bandy rooster after every hole he shot lower than me (which was about all of them). He heckled my shots. I finally started goofing around and hitting into the ponds and off the walls just to amuse myself. All the while he is chortling (literally) to himself because he is "winning". Beer schmeer, I just want this miniature hell to end.

Finally, FINALLY, we play the last hole. He smugly tallies up the score (yes, he had been keeping MY score too as I apparently seemed to incompetent to handle this task myself) and crows out "I WIN!!". Duh. If there had been some sort of giant stairway he could have danced Rocky-style on top of, I'm sure he would have.

We turn in our putters and head off to the bar. For me, the evening is looking up. Not only do I have alcohol coming quickly my way, I'm already thinking there may be someone else I can pick up in the bar and ditch this loser.

We sit down at the bar and Mr. Asshat asks the bartender if they have a beer list. They do, goodie, and the bartender gets it for him. When the bartender returns I tell him about the bet (with eye-rolling) while The Champion reads the list. After a minute he looks up at the bartender and asks, I swear to god,

"What's your most expensive beer?"

The bartender shoots a glance at me. I sit for probably an entire count up to five-mississippi with my mouth hanging open, gaping, before I bust up laughing. "Yeah right!", I say.

"No, really." he says.

The bartender looks at me again and says, "Er, it's blah blah beer imported from blah blah. It's $21.00"

"I'LL TAKE IT!", Uber-asshole cries.

I again turn to stare at him. "You're KIDDING!!".

"Nope", he gloats, "I won. You have to buy me a beer and I want THAT one."

I just shake my head as the bartender, after shooting me a pitying look, heads off to get the Holy Grail of Beer. I slam back as many Bud Lights as I can, while he nurses and strokes his prize lovingly, silently cursing myself for letting him drive. When we finally leave he actually TRIES to get me to come back in his apartment for "a bit". Ha! Not bloody likely you oblivious sphincter.

When the woman who set us up asked me how the date went I toned it down to about three sentences ending with an outraged complaint about the beer. She laughed and said he told her about it but said that HE also bought ME a beer so he didn't see what the big deal was. Yet again, this man STUNS me. "Um, right." I tell her, "It was a Bud Light. On Happy Hour. $1.50" She laughs again and I vow to NEVER let her set me up on a blind date again. EVER. In fact I don't think I had much to do with her period after that.

Fortunately I got over it, because the NEXT guy I went out on a blind date with was deliciously cute, fell madly in love with me, and took me to Las Vegas for my birthday.

They have free beer there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Big Five-Oh

Sometimes it takes the bad to make you see the good things in your life. It can also help you see the bad in your life and how you can change it.

I am a very stubborn person. Downright mule-headed. I'm especially bad at making myself toe the line for rules I, and I alone, give the faintest rat's fart about.

One of my "rules" was that I only read one book at a time and once I start a book, by golly, I finish it come hell, high water or huffin-puffin wolf. I have d.r.a.g.g.e.d. myself through some god-awful boring stuff this way. I rationalized this self-torture by saying, "Yes, but look at what I learned!" (even though I may have only gleaned one drop of interesting information out of gallons of dreck).

My lightbulb moment came when I was in the hospital. My husband had brought me my current book - The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin. Now this is indeed a book full of interesting information. The forward alone is worth a look. But oh sweet Moses in a basket, is it dull. It's "intellectual".

So here I was, laying in a dimly lit hospital room, my eyeballs hurt and my head still occasionally felt like my brain was trying to escape via expansion through my skull and I have this tome of a leviathan of a "changed the way mankind thinks about itself" book that it nauseated me to just LOOK at. Then and there, the lightbulb appeared (but it wasn't turned on because that would have hurt my head, which, I guess, would make it a "dim bulb" moment, but a lightbulb moment none the less).

I thought of one of my first days working at the library when I was walking around with The Librarian, my boss, and Tom Wolfe's new novel came up (I think we walked past it). I told her, "That is absolutely his worst work EVER." She said her husband had tried to read it but just couldn't take it and gave up. She said, "I don't think anyone has read it all the way through" and I raised my hand. "You DID?" she asks me giving me a "wow" look.

I recognized that "wow" look. It's the same "wow" look I give to women who brag about how they went through 48 hours of labor with no epidural or pain medication. It's the "wow" look that means, "Wow, are you a glutton for punishment or what?" The "wow" look that means "You know, they don't actually GIVE people awards for heroic stupidity." Or self-inflicted suffering above and beyond the call of duty.

I remembered that when she gave me that look I didn't even feel the smallest bit smug or proud. I felt exactly the way I should have felt - like a twit.

But it's hard to give up habits. Everyone knows that. I had to steel myself to do it. I know how stupid that sounds, but I did. I had to drag myself kicking and screaming away from my own folly.

Now I have a 50 page limit. If I don't love it by page 50, it's "Pass!". So far this hasn't happened since Darwin.

Maybe this is why Playboy doesn't number all it's pages. So they can trick us into reading all the way to the end. Sneaky devils.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Blurry

You know how sometimes a song just grabs you by the insides and just won't let you go?

That's how I feel about "Blurry" by Puddle of Mudd. It's not just the lyrics (which are fabulous), it's the way the melody progresses.

It starts out pretty and floaty. Then the lyrics come in and are deep and confusing, tortured and heartfelt - ways I have felt far too many times.

Then the anger kicks in. The song YELLS at you. Let's you know how much the rejection hurts. How you can't even FUNCTION when you are so mentally and emotionally wrapped around someone. You trip, fall, and can't even find the strength to rise up again.

Then the song recovers, you know how it goes, you try one more time because you JUST. HAVE. TO. You love them sooooooooo much they just HAVE to love you, right? You can make them see. You HAVE to make them see. Your very fibers, every drop of liquid inside you, cries out for that person. Why can't they see?

Then the anger again. The anger. It ends with the singer continuing to seek an explanation.

That explanation never comes, does it?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

See Jane Write

The following is from A Round-Heeled Woman by Jane Juska ( a thoroughly entertaining read I highly recommend - the older you are, the more I recommend it).

"One ought not to fall in love with someone by way of their writing. One must be especially careful if the writing is good, for then one assumes the writer is good, funny, clever, profound, sensitive, smart, wise, loving, and true. It is unfair to the writer and dangerous to the reader to hold the writer to the standards of his writing, for in his writing, the writer is his best self; in person, he is a person, and we all know what that means."

Friday, August 19, 2005

I Suppose You Want to SEE My Box Too

TV: Watch This is sponsored by CHEEZE-ITS. Get your own box!

Me (snarling at the television): YOU get your own box!! Who the hell do you think you are trying to tell me what to do! Fucking bastards!

Husband (probably rolling his eyes, not sure as I was still glaring hatefully at the TV): It's their slogan.

Me: I am AWARE of that. Pushy bastards.

Hub: I'm going to bed.

Me (yelling to the now empty room): Why can't they be more like those Blue Diamond Almond guys? "A can a week is all we ask." A perfectly reasonable request and it's phrased POLITELY! Or those two nice old Bartles & Jaymes coots? "Thank you for your support". Now THAT'S the kind of advertising I can get behind!



Don't even get me STARTED on... "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee".

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Blog

*NEXT BLOG*

I kind of dig life at the moment, really.

*NEXT BLOG*

Unless your ass can catch up to a van moving at about 65 on the Belt Parkway, don't ask me to open the door.

*NEXT BLOG*

On Thursday Night, a bunch of faggot trees decided to destroy my house.

*NEXT BLOG*

Now, I love this bar because of its cheap drinks and proximity to home, but I never go there without a couple of friends and a getaway car.

*NEXT BLOG*

grammar has been grossly neglected, and i have failed miserably in both using vulgar language or indulging in linguistic latitudinal transgressions.

*NEXT BLOG*

If you have been living a subterranean existence for some years now, the Rapture, or God's Giant Vacuum Cleaner, was foretold in the Book of Revelation, a pre-chemical hallucination known in some circles as the Gospel According to Fellini.

*NEXT BLOG*

I'm probably dead by now.

*NEXT BLOG*

Our gerbil, Slanderkins, just had 15 babies and we have been busy knitting sweaters for each of them, which has brought on a wicked case of Carpal Tunnel.

*NEXT BLOG*

I don’t know if there’s mold in the house or what, but everything (including food) has a distinctive ‘Grandma’s’ taste/smell.

*NEXT BLOG*

My mom has Caller ID, and we know that she's paranoid.

*NEXT BLOG*

Upon arrival in Texas (whether by birth or transplantation), everyone is given the middle name "Bob" (hence Billy Bob, Becky Bob, etc.)

*NEXT BLOG*

I was male in my last earthly incarnation, born somewhere around the territory of modern Turkey approx. on 575.

*NEXT BLOG*

My libido renders me stupid.

*NEXT BLOG*

I have three sons. Yes, like the TV show. Only my three sons aren't Faggotronz.

*NEXT BLOG*

The snot fairy has visited our house once again.

*NEXT BLOG*

Really, if I didn't already know better I would ask myself obnoxiously, "are you on the rag?"

*NEXT BLOG*

It brings to mind the image of Buster Keaton being chased by angry brides in Seven Chances.

*NEXT BLOG*

I'm surprised they haven't created a Law outlawing wild animals from publicly urinating and defacating!!!

*NEXT BLOG*

Anyhoo, this weekend I'm off to Fire Island, some sort of mythical gay island civilization.

*NEXT BLOG*

I don't want to turn into my own mother. How does one avoid turning into one's mother?

*NEXT BLOG*

I've finally decided that anyone stupid enough to try crossing a street as the light is turning red had better be running or I'm taking them out...thinning the herd if you will.

*NEXT BLOG*

As usual the mailroom guys know all the hot gossip and luckily I know a guy who knows a guy who knows them guys.

*NEXT BLOG*

Being a bitch and not budging on a principle is a pain, some people are more experienced in this area than I am.

*NEXT BLOG*

My Daddy says Scott Weiland is overrated and his voice sounds like dog poop. I've never heard Dog Poop, but I stepped in it once and it was smelly.

*NEXT BLOG*

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

With NEW Farking Action

Dear Crest Dunderheads,

Can you please explain to me how "Sparkle Fun" can, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered a FLAVOR?

Yes, the product in question does indeed contain an element of "Sparkle" which, most red-blooded Americans would agree, is quite "Fun". But I'm still not getting where the "Flavor" part comes in.

Personally I would imagine that anything "Sparkle" flavored would be rather metallic. While metallic as an adjective can be construed as a positive attribute, I have NEVER heard of anything with a metallic TASTE being considered as pleasant or desired. Maybe that's where the "Fun" part comes in. YOU say it is "fun" so, by golly Grandma, it MUST be "Fun".

A big impressive company such as yourself, and the monolithic corporation that you are a subsidiary of, would never intentionally MISLEAD the fleecy public. Right?

I believe this delicate and potentially unsavory affair can EASILY be remedied. Simply remove the word "Flavor". TA DA! I believe you would have paid a special outside consultant in the neighborhood of $635,000 (plus stock options) for coming to this very conclusion. I offer it freely in a gesture of goodwill because, frankly, it annoys the heck fire out of me. Plus if I had the foggiest IDEA of how to get my genius to translate into anything that would offer any monetary compensation I would have done so by now.

I thank you in advance for you prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

AJ

PS - In my next letter we will discuss how something can NOT be both "Liquid" and "Gel" at the same time.

PPS - While you're at it, why don't you just come clean and admit that "Flouristat" is a completely fabricated. I'm on to you. I'll be on the lookout for any "New" products by you that claim to have "Unicornium".

Monday, August 15, 2005

Shit Happens

The Podunk, Nebraska town my aunt lives in (and from whence we have just returned) is a route many bikers take to Sturgis.

The local radio station, in addition to broadcasting pork and beef futures, loosely disguised gossip and bad repartee, also gives a daily report of biker fatalities. On Wednesday, they reported this one....

A biker from Texas was killed when an item fell off the truck he was following. He attempted evasive maneuvers but to no avail. He was struck and killed.

The item? A Port-o-Potty.

Apparently it was his turn to go.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Good Times in the Badlands

We're visiting my Mother's family in middle-of-nowhere Nebraska. Boring, right? Well, yesterday we.......

- Played with a baby Bengal Tiger (he was trying to topple my three-year-old daughter and pulled on her skirt in a manner remniscent of old Coppertone ads)
- Pet an Albino Hedgehog and a little Badger named Marvin
- Got licked by a Dingo
- Saw a National Geographic dig of Rhinos killed by the ashfall of a volcano in southwestern Idaho
- Had milkshakes for lunch AND dinner
- Found out we are related to Charlemagne.

You just never know where a day will take you.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

In Which Our Heroine Gets Heroin

Okay, okay, it REALLY wasn't heroin. It was morphine. But still....

So last Saturday night I go to bed with a slight headache. Several times during the night said headache wakes me up, but since I AM such a lazy little cow I just go back to sleep and hope it goes away. Needless to say, it does no such thing. In fact my apparent disregard for it seems to make it grow stronger and nastier. By the time 8am arrives it is a tyrant of a headache. I immediately get out of bed (I started to say "hop out of bed" but the pain does not allow any fancy sudden movements) and take three Extra Strength Tylenol.

I go down to breakfast only after making the hub shut ALL the blinds, as light causes a not-so-delightful stabbing pain in my ocular region. I nibble some toast and bacon and quickly flee back to my darkened room hoping a little nap added to the Tylenol and food will cause the headache beast to flee.

Fat Chance.

Every four hours, on the hour, I gulp down now FOUR Extra Strength Tylenol and retreat back to bed where I keep my head covered to block out any sneaky rays of light. My headache laughs at the Tylenol. I might as well be chomping Flintstones chewables. Probably would have the same effect. My brain feels like it is trying to escape the confines of my skull by brute force. By Sunday night I meekly proclaim that if the headache beast is still in residence Monday morning that I will hie mine self to the MedCenter.

Monday morning I wake up and start THROWING up. Every fifteen minutes. For about five hours. Then I weekly cry "Uncle" and call the hub home from work to take me to the Med Center. I throw up again while waiting for them to see me. I throw up again in the exam room. They are much more concerned about the headache. I feel like such a pile of shit I don't CARE what they want to focus on I just want. it. all. to. stop.

I'm still cold and shaking from throwing up when they decide I'm dehydrated (hmmm, imagine that) and the literally POUR a bag of fluid into me. Even with a heater in my room and lying under a pile of blankets I shiver so hard my teeth rattle. A Physician's Assistant asks me questions. Her name is Livingston. I'm too sick to make jokes. She asks me if I could be pregnant. I ask her if she is TRYING to make me throw up.

An actual Physician comes in and asks me questions. A SECOND actual Physician comes in and asks me questions. A few pow-wows later they tell me they are calling ahead to the hospital saying I'm on my way. To get a CAT scan. Hub literally pales. I say "okay" because, as I may have mentioned, I feel like hammered crap and I just want someone to figure out what the hell is going on.

I am SO sick that I don't even comment on the fact that the last Doctor's name was Dr. No. Oh yes, I was THAT sick.

After a lovely almost two hours in the ER waiting room, where I snooze on hub's shoulder due to lack of sleep and some kind of drug, they finally call me back. Thankfully they put me in a darkened room. Apparently they've seen this kind of thing before. Whoopee. The doctor comes in to tell me that, contrary to what the check-in person told us, my CAT scan had NOT been ordered yet. Yeah, we're not really surprised by this news. Then the doc, who is going off shift in an hour, gives us the low down.

First I will get the CAT scan. If it turns out okay I will get a Spinal Tap. Now it's MY turn to visibly blanche. Although I had epidurals with both my preganacies, the first one was bad. When I say bad I mean I heard crunching. I tell the doctor this. She says is I can be sedated. Since I'm pretty much always game for a little sedation, I fell better about this information. She says if everything looks good and goes according to plan I will be out of there in about three hours. Hub and I both laugh at her estimate the minute she leaves. It is about 6pm.

The good news at this point is that I haven't thrown up since we got to the ER.

I lie in the dark, waiting for them to come take me for my CAT scan. I ask hub what he is thinking. I'm sure he lies because he doesn't say the words "tumor" or "blank number of days left to live" or "life insurance". I ask him if he can think of the name of a city that rhymes with "beaver". I had been trying to spice up "I see London, I see France, I see someone's underpants" by changing the last line to "I see someone's hairy beaver" but I can't find a city that rhymes. While he ponders this problem I come with the alternate, "I see London, and Milan, I see someone's bearded clam". Hub and I then have a discussion regarding whether you pronounce Milan so that it rhymes with "lawn" or "can". I of course argue for the later because lawn obviously does NOT rhyme with clam.

Finally I get my CAT scan. I wait for the results and a small part of me hopes they find something small and silly so they don't have to give me the spinal tap. Hub points out that things founds on CAT scans may be small but are rarely silly. Spoil sport. Spinal tap doctor comes in to tell me the "good" news - CAT scan looks good. She says nothing else complimentary about my, I'm sure, big and beautiful brain. She is probably too obsessed with poking holes in my spine.

I feel I should mention that she told me they don't call it a "spinal tap" any more because that scared people. Gave them anxiety. Now they call it "lumbar puncture". For some reason this shiny new name does not exactly alleviate MY anxiety. I tell her they need to hire a new procedure-naming person. She's blond, young, cute AND she laughs. I still hate her.

Since I don't come out of sedation well (as hub found out when I had my impacted wisdom teeth removed several years ago and came to crying and yelling and thrashing) we decide I should just get some good painkillers and I could just suck-it-up during the spinal, er, lumbar puncture. I wanted to be lucid for the results and whatever might follow. To her credit, Blondie does a good puncture. I keep waiting for crunching pain that never comes. Goodie.

Eventually a doctor comes in to tell me that my spinal fluid does contain white cells which means I have meningitis. They are still not sure if it is bacterial or viral. They will be admitting me to the hospital. By the time they send me upstairs (to the neurological ward - which FREAKS hub out) and I get settled into my new bed it is 3am.

After two days in the hospital and a couple more doctors later (including a specialist on infectious disease) they decide I have the viral flavor and we all breathe a little easier.

Strangely enough I have lots of male nurses and nurses assistants. They CONSTANTLY offer me pain medication. Many seem surprised when I tell them I'm doing okay. Again, my hearty peasant stock ancestry comes to my stead. I don't need no stinking pain medication. Okay, maybe to help me sleep. When I finally ask for some I tell the nurses assistant to have them bring me something below "Jim Morrison" level. The male nurse is my new best friend because, as it would turn out, he is a huge Morrison fan and he thinks my comment was hilarious. He also thinks it's hilarious when I later ask him to up my meds to "groupie" level as they don't seem to be working. Yeah, I'm the darling of the neurological ward. Probably because I don't shout constantly (like the old man next door to me) or wet myself.

Hub's work sends Peace Lilly both to the hospital AND to me when I get home. Apparently there is some "Handbook of Appropriate Flower/Plant Gifts for Every Disease" and under "meningitis" it says "Peace Lilly". Curious.

So now I am pretty much back to normal. When my mother-in-law heard that some of the symptoms I might exhibit during recovery would be "forgetfulness" and "clumsiness" she said "Oh GREAT!".

I just figured no one would notice.