May 31, 2006

Fever Pee

It started in my throat. I had that thick feeling, like there was a gelatinous pile of goo taking up residence at the base of my throat. My cough produced none of the goo, only the flavor of it.

The more I coughed, the more the germs spread. The goo gave directions for my entire throat to be inflamed and sore. It gave me a good excuse to refrain from speaking to anyone.

The sore throat gave my body instructions to start fighting back. Fever ensued. The only way I can now be comfortable is to have some portion of my body in motion at all times. With all of my aches I find myself rocking and fidgeting, behaving not unlike my ex-sister-in-law. She blamed her inability to stand still on adult ADD, but I think she just had worms.

Along with the fever trying to fry those nasty germs, my urinary system gives a valiant attempt to flush the germs out of my body. There is nothing worse than fever pee. In a weakened state, at least every half hour, I have to trudge into the bathroom. I dread the cold, impersonal toilet. Setting my hot little body on that cold seat produces a sensation so inhumane it could be considered a valid torture technique. With the commencement of the flow, I double over and rock back and forth on the seat and let loose what seems to be five gallons of fluid. By the time I’m finished, the toilet seat isn’t as uncomfortable, but I know it will have ample time to chill before I have to use it again.

Hopefully the fever will dissipate by tomorrow. I predict the goo will move into my sinuses by then. I’ll look like a stupid hillbilly breathing through my mouth and my ability to hear will be practically nonexistent. I’ll spend the day lying on the couch with a glazed look on my face, breathing through my mouth, goo draining back into my throat, watching TV at a volume that All My Children and Judge Judy will be heard by the UPS drivers as they pass down my street.

Finding me in my snotty state, pale-faced with dark circles under my eyes, weak and whiney, hair standing up in all directions, and smelling like a 1950s hospital ward, Boyfriend will wonder for a moment why he ever wanted me in the first place. But he’ll tend to me and take care of me despite his revulsion. I love him so.

May 30, 2006

Four Cups Potatoes, Boiled And Cubed

Some people say, “a writer reads.” Others say, “a writer writes.” In order to keep myself from becoming too lop-sided and to assure my success in becoming a writer, I try to do both. However, even at an attempt to cover all the bases, I come across some pitfalls.

In following the “writer reads” theory, the pitfall is reading bad books. I’m trying to finish one now. I failed to follow the sub-theory of “never read books by authors who are still alive.” I’m reading a story by someone rumored to be so spell-binding with his frightening tales that one cannot put the works down. I find the book tedious and dreadful. He makes way too much use of his Thesaurus, frequently choosing such obscure words that they distract from the picture or thought he is trying to convey. Either the reader has to interrupt the story to look up these words in the dictionary, or the word and meaning of it remain completely wasted as the reader ignores the entire sentence completely. I refuse to acknowledge the possibility that I’m too ignorant to comprehend a mainstreamed author, so my criticism of him stands.

I’ve been reading this book since February, but experience week-long stretches of being unable to face the author’s trite details and bizarre choices of words that I don’t even open it. But I’m determined to finish it for two reasons: 1) Faux-Ma drives me nuts when she announces that she sometimes doesn’t finish books because she doesn’t like where the story is going. Out of principle, and out of respect for the author, I refuse to behave like a spoiled child who wants everything to have a happy ending, or at least demand the story turn out the way I think it should. 2) I’m using this book as a study in how not to write, both in technique and theory.

In following the “writer writes” theory, I write every day. This blog is a tool in my goal to write every day. However, any of you reading it will notice I’ve gone four days without so much as a dowdy-do to my loyal fans. I blame the holiday weekend. I was too busy hob-nobbing, roasting weenies, and swilling many hard lemonades to be coming up with blog entries, much less be bothered with any of my larger pieces of work.

So today, as a writer to my devoted readers, I raise my glass (still filled with hard lemonade) and toast the commencement of summer. I also pledge to all of you that I’ll finish that dreadful book by the end of the week and will continue to write every day, even if it’s only to copy my mother’s potato salad recipe.

May 25, 2006

I Enjoy Being A Girl

Yesterday I was tormented by the heinous byproduct of being a girl – massive overloads of bad hormones. Instead of taking Boyfriend by surprise and just pushing him down as I pass him in the kitchen, I usually try to give warning that it’s "that time." But warnings only offer warning and do nothing for the pain of actually living with Psycho Pig Bitch, Queen of PMS. I feel sorry for him, but not sorry enough to spare him if he gets in my way. Yesterday’s episode was especially disturbing as I had the uncontrollable urge to tear the faces off of every head that crossed my path. It took a few doses of happy pills to calm me down.

Calm down I did. It was a good thing too, because I didn’t know if I was in any condition to honor the appointment I had with my insurance agent yesterday afternoon. I was very grateful for my ignorance on the subject of insurance because it forced my agent to speak to me in a slow, deliberate, and almost condescending tone not unlike Mr. Rogers. I was quite soothed by the whole experience.

Today I’m feeling much better, and am merely on edge. Yesterday, I was maniacal, my emotions whipped into an incomprehensible frenzy with a vengeful rage inspired by Satan himself. Presently I feel compelled to curse at my coworkers and force people off the freeway because I don’t like the color of their cars; compared to yesterday, I’m damn near serene.

Now, if I can only get through the upcoming dinner engagement with Faux-Ma and Faux-Pa tomorrow, I’ll be out of the woods. The doctor says I can’t mix happy pills with the four Cosmopolitans I usually have when I’m out with them. Dang.

May 23, 2006

Accident-Prone And Testosterone-Deprived

Mr. Mipple is a man … wait, I stand corrected. He’s not really a man. He’s a person with male genitalia. Well, I assume he has male genitalia. Hey, I never considered the possibility that he lacks male genitalia. It would explain a lot if he weren’t packing. Anyway, he’s the guy everyone in the office has come to resent. I’ve known the guy for twenty-six years, and the older he gets, the more pathetic he becomes.

First of all, he has been divorced from his first wife for almost as long as I’ve known him, and he still wants revenge. According to him, she was a major psycho, and he was just too young to know any better than to marry her. My guess is she was the first person to give him the goodies and he fell for it like a dumb, rotten sack of potatoes. Besides that, she was the boss’s daughter. I’m sure he figured he could get the goodies and become CEO out of the deal. No such luck. Mr. Mipple turned civil servant when he realized that sugar-daddy-in-law wasn’t going to give him action the way his daughter did. Ugly divorce ensued after the damage of breeding occurred.

Fast forward to within the past five years. He fancies himself an athlete. Picture it, about 5’10”, 230 pounds. Athlete my ass.

He plays volleyball at the Y. He has a broken finger and nose to show for it, not to mention the many scars around his eyes where the ball hit him in the face causing his glasses to get rammed into his skin.

He also rides his bicycle. He used to ride his bike to work every day. I’ll never forget the time I walked into the storage room to get some envelopes and saw him changing clothes! Ew! I should have filed a sexual harassment suit right then and there. Instead I asked him why he didn’t use the bathroom for such a personal activity. He claimed it wasn’t comfortable for him to do that. Well, that all made sense. His comfort was certainly more important than that of those who worked with him and really didn’t want to see him naked.

He also takes walks on the taxpayers’ clock and graces us all with his smelly, sweat-soaked self. When he isn’t engaging in all of these athletic activities, he’s shoveling food into his face.

Now we come to the part where his body falls apart right before our very eyes. He decided to undergo lasic surgery to rid himself of those pesky glasses that always get in the way of his volleyball game. Instead of having one surgical procedure on each eye, he has undergone at least five. I’m almost positive he will be completely blind before his doctor is through with him. He also can’t hear. It’s no wonder he doesn’t know how to do his job, he’s never heard the instructions on how to do it. Also, when dealing with clients, their destiny is a big crap shoot. Did he hear them correctly? Does he report their statements accurately? One will never know for sure.

I can’t really fault him for physical maladies over which he has no control. However, I do fault him for the grandiose notion he has that he is a master handyman. Last year he bought a bobcat, thinking he would eventually supplement his retirement by doing whatever one does with a bobcat as a service to his “summer home” neighbors. He flipped that thing over backwards more than once. He also decided to make some furniture out of logs. Easy enough, for a master such as he. Except there was a slip of the chisel and he damn near cut his arm off. Off to surgery he goes again, for repair of the ligaments, muscles and other tissues he sliced wide open. Not only that, during the pre-op exam the doctor found that he had carpal tunnel syndrome in both of his wrists. He was out of the job for nearly three months undergoing various arm surgeries, while the rest of us scrambled to cover his caseload.

It was a rough year for Mr. Mipple, and I can’t say I’m not glad to see him prepare for retirement this fall. He has made more work for his coworkers than they could appreciate, and his incessant whining about his many owies was really wearing thin. Just when I thought he was getting his shit together, he came into work yesterday with a Band Aid on his head. A very sheer Band Aid. I could see the gash through the blood-soaked tiny piece of gauze. Smart girl that I am, I completely ignored the injury, frustrating his desires for attention. I asked my boss if she knew anything about Mr. Mipple’s head injury. Yes, he is re-siding his garage. I can just see it; Mr. Mipple pulling those nails out with all his might and slip of the hammer – the claw end recklessly flies into his head. I wonder if he cried. My boss assured me that she instructed him to stay away from any home improvement projects, at his city home and at his lake home, until October, when he is out of our hair forever. My prediction is after he retires he’ll disable his body so severely with all the athletics and carpentry that he’ll need to come back to work simply for the health insurance. He’ll be blind, deaf, armless, legless, and senseless.

But to me, he’ll always be the dinkless wonder – a warrior wielding no sword or stones – only a first aid fanny pack containing plenty of ace bandages, eye patches, iodine, and a do-it-yourself stitch kit.

May 22, 2006

Oprah Almighty

Once again I stand agog before the intelligence level of our society. Here is an article written by Ann Oldenburg for USA Today titled “The Divine Ms. Winfrey?”

I’ll admit that there was a time when I was persuaded to read books from Oprah’s Book Club until I saw the dreary pattern of victim/female victim/black female victim/on and on. I wouldn’t say the books were bad, (except that dreadful House of Sand and Fog!), they were just variations on the same theme – victimization. I got bored. Let the record show that I have been victimized in my lifetime. Seriously so. Frankly, there is no subject I would object to talking about more than my being a victim and/or a survivor. I wanted to get over it and move on with my life. And so I have. Oh, I may have a flashback now and again; nothing disabling, though. But I digress. My point is that Oprah thrives on stories of victims in an attempt to validate her own journey and triumph over being a victim herself. She lives it over and over again with every book she recommends and every sorry victim she features on her show.

As for her divinity, I say “piffle!” She has marketed herself tremendously. She tells her target market exactly what they want to hear. She’s not a goddess, she’s a marketeer! According to Oprah herself, her goal for the talk show, when it first began, was to beat out Phil Donahue. I didn’t hear anything about her wanting to save the world from itself or devoting her life to the service of others. No, she wanted ratings, and she got them. She’s also become the world’s richest woman because of those ratings. Being the richest woman makes her the most powerful woman. I suppose we have been conditioned to believe power equals divinity. No?

Here’s what I see: Oprah is making her life’s journey public. She’s working out all of her private issues in the living rooms of damn near every female in America. She turns on her urban-speak to appeal to those in the ghettos, and she wears the posh clothes to appeal to those in suburbia. She’s got a lovely smile and can give the impression of being completely genuine. She feels your pain because she has pain too. She comes from pain. The fact of the matter is she’s damaged goods and is working through it just like the rest of us. The other fact of the matter is Oprah has twisted and mutilated the trust factor over the years to where she has the women of America believing she cares about them. The ultimate fact is the women of America are Oprah’s personal validation. Ladies, it is you who are the saviors in this story.

Don’t let Oprah fool you. She has made millions off of you, and will continue to do so as long as you let her. Her philanthropy serves her double the amount it serves her beneficiaries. The saintly figures throughout history have never been loud, flashy, or rich. Those nearing divinity have never been so gaudy as to give away cars and consistently remind the poor of their destitution. Simply put, Oprah is living the ultimate American Dream. There is nothing divine about getting rich. There is nothing divine about giving to others in order achieve a higher self-esteem.

Hey there Oprah, I think you’re great. I love to get into the muck of the gossip on your show and see the celebrities on your stage. I salute your ability to become rich beyond your wildest dreams. But divine? I think not. You’re searching just like the rest of us, and I think it’s a shame how you commercialize such a deep and personal quest. As for the rest of you, keep Oprah on the ground where she belongs.

May 21, 2006

You're Not Getting Older, You've Always Been Old

I attended a two-day seminar this weekend. Of course I was totally exhausted after the end of each day of lectures and demonstrations, but was prepared to start my week armed with a ton of new knowledge and pumped with motivation. All was well in my little corner of the universe. Until …

Boyfriend got a call from Faux-Ma this afternoon. Faux-Ma told her son that Faux-Pa wasn’t able to attend some funeral this past weekend because he had stomach problems. Hmmm. He wasn’t able to attend Easter dinner at our house because of stomach problems. Another episode of Munchaphobia? (See Axis II, 04/23/06.)

Because of Faux-Pa’s recent (and obviously recurring) stomach problems, Faux-Ma hasn’t made the restaurant reservations for Faux-Pa’s upcoming birthday celebration schedule for this coming Friday. She asked Boyfriend, if and when she makes those reservations, would 6:30 be okay? I ask you, have you ever known a person over the age of sixty to dine at 6:30? When we go to a restaurant with the Fauxs, we are always sitting down at our table by 5:00, sometimes sooner. Now she wants to make reservations for 6:30. By the end of his conversation with his mother, Boyfriend was absolutely sure that his father is suffering from an invasion of some rare South African parasite in his colon and that his mother has completely lost her mind.

Am I prepared to face the aging-parents phase of my life? While my parents are clearly not as insane as Boyfriend’s (he begs to differ), the inevitability of confiscating drivers’ licenses and choosing nursing homes is somewhat daunting. Will I be able to distinguish plaques and tangles from evil mind games? After they lay down for the big dirt nap, will I feel never-ending guilt over all the nasty things I’ve said and thought about these parents? When they’re finally gone, will life be easier, or lonelier?

I’m going to pull a Scarlet O’Hara and think about it tomorrow. As of this moment, all is as it should be in the parental arena of my life. My parents drive me crazy, even though I know they love me to pieces. Boyfriend’s parents continue their games of Medical Twenty Questions and How Can We Get Them To Pay More Attention To Us Without Begging. Life is good.

May 18, 2006

Dining Experience Extraordinaire

I attributed personal taste to the wrongness of a Philly cheese steak pizza. I looked the other way when burger joints started serving taco salads. But I will not be silenced over the new Bowl-O-Slop offered by the local chicken shack.

Here it is: mashed potatoes topped with kernel corn topped with fried chicken bits topped with gravy topped with cheese. They serve it in a bowl. You eat it with a spoon. Good God, has it really come to this?

It reminds me of a time when I would wake up at 1:00 in the afternoon suffering a massive hangover. With a foggy brain I might scrounge the refrigerator and plop into a bowl all of the left over remains of a chicken dinner. I might eat it simply for relief of my dried up cat-like tongue caused by drinking a keg’s worth of $.25 beers and smoking three packs of cigarettes the night before. But even in the grog of such a hungover state, I would never put cheese over the whole thing.

Shouldn’t it be illegal to serve hangover food in a restaurant? Maybe it’s just a colossal joke on the part of the restaurant owners. America, please, don’t indulge them by actually paying for something that looks like it was sneezed out of a baby’s nose.

May 17, 2006

Navin Johnson's Daddy Always Said, "Don't Never Ever Trust Whitey"

The Da Vinci Code is quite deeply embedded in my list of books to read, but one would have to be completely unaware of his or her surroundings to not know the gist of the story. And while there is nothing more enticing to me than a good battle between religious zealots and artists of literature and film, the commotion surrounding the worldwide opening of the movie leaves me dumbstruck.

The book was/is a best seller, and I can't imagine the movie would be bad if it involves Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. Why the uproar? In my opinion, it is because too many people have very large sticks up their asses and can't lighten up. It's a novel. It's a movie. I say hooray for anyone who uses Jesus Christ as a protagonist, or at least a procreator. He was human, after all. And that Mary Magdalene ... well, I hear she was one hot mama. If we can't let our imaginations run wild once in a while, even in the religious arena, then we are poor excuses for intelligent life.

What really kills me is the outrage of Michael McGowan, head of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation. He states in an article I found on AOL News:

"The Da Vinci Code" will be the 68th movie since 1960 to feature an evil albino. "The "Da Vinci" character "is just the latest in a long string," McGowan said. "The problem is there has been no balance. There are no realistic, sympathetic or heroic characters with albinism that you can find in movies or popular culture."

Albinos? Forgive me as I have not read the book or seen the movie, but does the albino have a huge role? I know the albino is a murderer. Is there more than one albino in the story? Oh, wait - I'm sorry - am I being politically incorrect in referring to them as “albinos?” Perhaps they prefer to be called “people of no color.”

Does Michael McGowan really believe Hollywood has some kind of vendetta against people of no color? I suppose so, as he has taken the time to watch and count all the movies since 1960 that contain scary or mean albinos.

While Mr. McGowan has every right to voice his opinion, I can’t help but laugh at his offended sensibilities. How dare Hollywood portray albinos as evil, and on such an outstanding number of occasions?! Frankly, I think McGowan's argument pales in comparison to issues of real oppression such as historic and present day global politics that have, for example, subjugated entire races into slavery and practiced genocide. Michael, where is your perspective?

Come on guys. Pull those sticks out of your asses, relax, and just enjoy the movie.

May 16, 2006

Simple Pleasures

What a lovely day. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The bunnies and squirrels are mating like there’s no tomorrow. Yes, bunnies and squirrels – together. The product of their coupling is known as a squirny. Squirrel + bunny = squirny. There’s your biology lesson for the day.

How am I privy to being surrounded by such natural wonders? I’m away from the office today. I took it upon myself to sacrifice a day at work in order to be available to the workers replacing the glass in some of our windows due to broken seals. Boyfriend and I decided it would be much more economical to replace the glass rather than the windows themselves. Like, ten times less expensive.

The workers came promptly at 8:30 a.m., as scheduled. They told me they didn’t need help with anything and that they had enough space in which to work. (It took me hours to clean up the crap scattered on the floor – a new decorating technique I label as “things placed quaintly in areas you wouldn’t normally find them because you haven’t the closet space or decorating sense to put them anywhere else other than on the floor in front of the window.” It’s a far cry from “Shabby Chic,” but you know.) So I wandered around the house trying to decide what to do while they were working. I couldn’t very well just sit and watch soap operas; they’d think I was white trash. I decided to do some ironing. That way I looked busy, but could assist at a moment’s notice if need be.

It only took them a couple of hours to replace the glass in six windows. Just as they were finishing their job, I was finishing my ironing. I paid the nice men for the job well done and watched them drive away. When I went to inspect the windows they had repaired I immediately wanted to call them back and kiss them both full on the mouth. Sealed windows are a wonderful thing, but what got my motor running was the fact that not only are these windows sealed, they’re clean! There is nothing that turns on a woman like me more than clean windows, especially if I don’t have to do the actual cleaning myself.

I’ll spend the rest of my day sitting in front of these tight, clean windows watching the world go by while I fantasize about someday having the nice men come out to replace the glass in our other windows. I couldn’t have asked for a more satisfying day away from the office.

May 15, 2006

The Trouble With Coworkers

Do you ever just go through a day feeling all pissy? That was me today. I’m losing patience with almost everyone, and wish they would all just get the hell over it.

Today my boss and I were commiserating over a few of the people we work with. One of them is all pouty because she didn’t get a promotion. She’s been pouty about that for two weeks now. She’s walking around treating us all like shit because she didn’t get the position on mahogany row. She doesn’t understand that the reason she didn’t get the position on mahogany row is because she has a reputation of being pouty when she doesn’t get her way. What makes matters worse is that the person who did get the job was her closest coworker who held the same position as she does. In the spirit of tip-toeing around the emotional cripples, my boss arranged the promotion celebration for the winner of the position to coincide with Pouty-Girl’s vacation in Mexico.

Another of the workers is just plain inept. His wife, who also worked in the agency, retired last summer and he has been a basket case ever since. He never does anything the same way twice which results in his doing almost everything wrong. I am secretly responsible for double-checking his work which, as you can well imagine, torques me off. Why should I have to do his job and my job? This guy is also financially unprepared to retire, and he knows it. He’s 55 years old. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs for all the toys he has. His motivation for retiring is simply the fact that he can’t function without his darling (read: controlling) wife situated within a 10-foot radius of him.

This guy also has an eating disorder. He can’t stop compulsively shoveling the food into his wussy little mouth. He does his best to work off the food with physical activity, but that just makes me hate him more. He goes on walks just prior to seeing clients, resulting in him presenting himself with a sweat-soaked shirt and reeking of moist skin. Worse yet, he doesn’t wear an undershirt, so his man-nipples (or "mipples," as Boyfriend calls them) appear in all their glory through the damp and clinging shirt. God!

Both Pouty-Girl and Mr. Mipple refuse to take responsibility for themselves. Pouty blames her former friend and co-worker for kissing up to the interviewers for the very prestigious and high-paying job Pouty didn’t get. Mr. Mipple blames the computer for all his blunders. He also claims he is expected to remember too much and therefore should be excused from doing his job properly.

I’m sick and tired of Pouty’s passive-aggressive attempts to get attention and sympathy, and I’m sick and tired of smelly Mr. Mipple and his whiney-ass, it’s-not-my-fault attitude. My dad always said, “never get in a pissing match with a skunk.” These two better heed this advice or one day soon they’ll both go home crying. I'll make sure of that.

May 14, 2006

Out Damn Spot! And Fluffy! And Rover!

I was raised in a pet-less family. Oh, we had our occasional goldfish, and even had a little, tiny turtle we named Pokey, but they didn’t last long. We found the goldfish belly up, and on the day we put Pokey out for some air and he ended up being fried in the midday sun. These small pets didn’t last long because my family really didn’t have an interest in animals.

My parents didn’t want to contend with the challenges of pets on top of the business of raising children. I can respect that. I like animals anyway. I like birds and rabbits. I like polar bears and penguins. I’ve even been known to handle a newborn lamb despite being subversively taught from birth that animal fur contains toxins beyond the scope of human resistance.

Wild animals and farm animals are essential, and well within my acceptance level. Bunnies and deer are found in our backyard on a regular basis. While they tend to be a nuisance regarding our landscaping plans, they have every right to be roaming freely. They are wild. We are on their turf. I want to live in harmony with nature. I’m sure I would feel equally tolerant of farm animals were I to live on a farm. Even pigs, with their smelly reputations, are of no mind to me.

Domestic animals are another matter completely. Some pet owners are completely aware of the fact that they are keeping a "pet." It provides companionship, acts as a guardian, or fetches that poor, defenseless duck Master shot through the head. These people understand the concept of "pet." However, if I live to be 100, I’ll never understand the personification of domestic animals. I know a person who refers to his cat as his "daughter. People use baby talk when speaking to their pets. A dog owner I know said the best thing about her dog is its ability to give her unconditional love. Love? I argued that the dog doesn’t have the capacity for human emotions, and that any kind of affection it appears to give is simply a learned behavior to procure food or some other basic, animalistic need. I thought the woman would melt my flesh with the fire in her eyes.

What is worst of all is the fact that these fanatical pet owners think their animals have as much right to roam the earth as freely as wild animals. No, they don’t. There are laws that say they don’t have that right. The wandering domestic animals are sure to provoke angry villagers to pursue them with flaming torches and pitchforks. At the very least, the authorities will be notified to rectify the situation. Simple solution: Keep those beloved furry children, the ones who lavish you with unconditional love, on a leash. It is the surest way to keep your little pooch or puss from having its head bashed in with a shovel.

May 13, 2006

Basking On The Shores of Alan

Dear Alan:

Last night I dreamed I went to Boston. Although I've never been to Beantown in real life, I woke up with a desire to pack everything up and move. I attribute the dream, and my urge to move there, to you. I love you Alan Shore, and I won't experience all the joy life has to offer until I am with you.

You astonish me with your ability to articulate your thoughts so perfectly without having to practice in front of a mirror. No matter what the cause, you manage to present your views in such a succinct and convincing manner that I can't help but believe all in which you believe.

The designer suits you don send my heart aflutter. I can only imagine that you also smell delicious. You are the epitome of the distinguished, cosmopolitan man. What could be more tempting?

Your scotch and cigar habit is more than endearing. The way you thoughtfully draw on your stogie and savor your liquor turns my knees to jelly and makes me all warm you-know-where. How attractive it is to see a man with a penchant for partaking in oral pleasures.

Boyfriend has accepted my desire to be with a man of your high caliber and high salary. He gives us his blessing to live happily ever after, as long as all syndication royalties are sent to him.

Your lover Denny (as you refer to him), is another matter entirely. I accept that his presence in your life is non-negotiable. His character is almost as notable as yours, but he is by no means as desirable as you. Nevertheless, I would be honored to act as a third party in any activities you and he deem me worthy. After much contemplation, I have concluded that the introduction of mad cow disease to a sexual union could be quite interesting, if not excitingly dangerous. What a delightful threesome we would make.

So, my dear Alan Shore, I submit. I bow to your eloquence and panache. Please make me wait no more to hear you say my name. I will serve you during daylight and save you from the night terrors that dastardly Tara inflicted upon you. To be sure, I would never be unfaithful, and would never ever expose you to clowns.

Until I am in Boston and legally yours,


May 12, 2006

Pick The Fuzz Out While You're At It

I have a friend of over twenty years who hasn’t the slightest idea what I’m all about. I attribute his being so unaware of my personality (and the many other personalities he associates with) to the fact that his life revolves around one primary activity – deep navel gazing.

The sport of deep navel gazing is one I dabbled in for many years, so I know of what I speak. It gives the illusion of self-awareness; in reality it is the inability to see beyond the scope of one’s self. It strengthens defense mechanisms and minimizes compassion and empathy. It sooths the ego, but disables the ability to formulate deep and intimate relationships. The best part about deep navel gazing is that it convinces the participant that he is superior.

Amazingly, deep navel gazers have an uncanny ability to infer the most bizarre accusations from the simplest of statements. Of course those inferences generally pose a threat to the gazer. When I say, “I accept you just as you are,” the gazer infers “she doesn’t think I accept people,” and goes off to defend his tolerance of humanity. When I say, “… if you were to see my conclusions of you in black and white ...” the gazer infers, “she sees me in black and white,” and defends his complex and colorful personality.

Colorful these gazers are, indeed. They defend themselves incessantly, looking for validation. Ultimately, they reveal themselves as unabashedly self-involved. When challenged to that effect, they’ll deny it to the death.

I love you navel gazers anyway. Between you and me we know who is right, who is just, and who is most important. We also know who will get in the last word.

The story never changes, and it’s always about you.

May 11, 2006

I've Got Your Dangling Modifier Right Here

Find the errors in these sentences:

I have been tasked to champion the project.
Thank you for gifting me on my birthday.
We will be lunching at The Brown Derby.
Would you be willing to office from home?

Far be it from me to claim flawless grammar, but I know the difference between a noun (person, place, or thing) and a verb (action word). Elementary grammar has escaped the English language. One doesn’t lunch, one eats lunch. One isn’t tasked, one is given the task. I’m sick to death of people turning nouns into verbs in an attempt to speak quickly and efficiently, or worse yet, to appear vogue. It’s doesn’t appear vogue, it just plain sounds stupid.

I feel like Lionel Twain in Murder By Death when he tells Sidney Wang to “say your articles and prepositions.” Who in the world ever decided it was okay to use a noun as a verb, and why has it become so acceptable? In a society tripping over itself to be politically correct, I can’t help but wonder what happened to the eloquence and grace of a properly formed sentence?

In my disappointment at the demise of the English language, I will task myself with couching this evening. Hopefully, while wining from a crystal goblet, I’ll solution the dissonance between proper grammar and corporate speak.

May 10, 2006

Hi Mom

Mother's Day is May 14. How many times has that been announced via magazine ads, store signs, and television and radio commercials? Anyone who doesn't know by now that Mother's Day is May 14 is simply not paying attention, or is living in an underground hermitage somewhere in central North Dakota.

But here's the thing: I think it's a sad commentary on our society that someone (most likely the greeting card industry) felt the need to tell us we must appreciate our mothers. Will reminding ungrateful children and inattentive husbands to recognize these women one day a year with a bouquet of flowers and brunch at the local fancy-schmancy restaurant truly make the mothers of the world feel special? If they are such turds to be ungrateful and inattentive, a made-up holiday isn't going to change their attitudes. With a celebration, the mothers of these families will think not only are their children ungrateful and their husbands inattentive, they're hypocrites to boot.

And here's the other thing: When is my day? There is no special day to recognize women like me who choose not to add demand to an already overloaded planet. Why is there not a greeting card section for those ladies who gave up their rights to systematically (albeit unconsciously) cause many neuroses in the up-and-coming future of America? I think there should be a Population-Conscious Woman Day, or a Thank God She's Not A Mother Day.

As always I'll continue to grace my mother with the adoration she has come to expect on Mother's Day. I'll succumb to the societal pressure to worship the womb that carried me for nine months, and to praise the woman who insightfully realized that spanking with a wooden spoon wasn't such a good idea after all ... once her children were grown and on their own.

I know I may sound bitter, and perhaps I am simply for the fact that I, too, like to get presents, flowers, and brunch on a day that isn't my birthday. There just isn't much of a market in dried-up barren spinsters like myself. However, every year on Mother's Day I take much solace and have a silent, subversive pleasure in the knowledge that I will probably never have to wrangle with a prolapsed uterus. Lucky me!

May 09, 2006

Holy Crap

Everyone knows Mr. Hankey, right? He's the Christmas poo from South Park who comes out of the toilet at Christmas time and spreads (and I mean spreads) his poopy Christmas cheer to all. Normally don't admit to knowing about Mr. Hankey, but I am compelled to talk about poop today. I'm not sure why.

In my family, everyone was taught from birth that solid human waste is referred to as a bowel movement. BM for short. For some reason this name, BM, always made me uncomfortable. In my child mind, I figured it would be much more delightful to refer to it as B-got. I have no idea how I concluded that B-got meant the same thing as BM; I just knew I could say it out loud without feeling stupid. My sister's children must have felt as uncomfortable with the term BM as I did. They simply referred to is as B. That works for me too.

Some synonyms of the ever infamous BM are: shit, crap, turd, doo-doo, dung, waste, poo, dookie, feces, defecation, poopie, woogie, runs, excrement, droppings, log, manure, stool, number 2, noog, hershey squirts, and poopie doodle. Poop, as natural as it is for all living beings, is shunned by humans as being disgusting despite the fact that we have such colorful references to it. Poop is probably the first naughty thing a kid jokes about. According to Sigmund Freud, poop, and one's practice of excreting or retaining it, can be a cause for a great many life-long neuroses.

As open and free as I appear to be on the subject of poop, I, too, am disgusted by it, yet oddly fascinated. I'm sure I've contracted one of those Freudian neuroses. One thing I know for sure, I don't think it should be done in public rest rooms.

The bathroom I use at work is very clean and tidy. However, I can't help but cringe when I walk in and am bowled over by the remaining aroma of someone's morning dumpage. There I stand, in the cloud of stench. All of the stalls are empty, and I have a five in six chance of choosing one that isn't the source of that gagging scent. They all look clean, so I pick one and sit down. Of course the seat is still warm.

Am I afraid of getting some on me, despite the fact that all evidence of poop (except the smell) has been erased? I'm not sure. I just know that I'd be horribly embarrassed to leave a load in a public bathroom, especially one that stinks so much for so long. I finish my little tinkle and flush the toilet. Invariably, when I open the stall door, there is someone coming in who thinks I'm the one who left that lovely aroma for all to experience. I could just die.

So the next time you walk into a bathroom that reeks of yesterday's taco and refried bean dinner, I'm just telling you it wasn't me.

May 08, 2006

I Humbly Confess

I like the movie Smokey and the Bandit.

I'm really good at writing limericks.

I enjoy barber shop quartets.

The only dance I do well is the polka.

I'd turn gay for Catherine Zeta Jones.

May 05, 2006

Scary Friday

One of the things I love about my job is flextime. Monday through Thursday I work nine hours, and Friday I work four. While I hate getting up at the wee hours in the morning in order to get home before dark on those nine-hour work days, I absolutely adore being able to leave the office at 10:00 a.m. on Fridays.

Another thing I like about my job is the fact that my boss doesn't bother me much. She trusts her workers to do their jobs, and expects them to let her do hers. A fine arrangement for me.

Because my office and her office are on opposite ends of the suite, and because I am dismissed at 10:00 a.m., I rarely see my boss on Fridays. I rarely see anyone in the office on Fridays. As a result, I don't take a lot of care in my grooming prior to work on Fridays. I figure I'm just going to work up a sweat doing all that laundry and house cleaning when I get home.

One morning my boss had to talk to me about an issue that had cropped up. She walked up behind me, and when I spun around in my chair to face her, she expressed a mixture of pity and horror as she took a couple steps back. "Do you feel okay today?" Surprised, I questioned, "yeah, why do you ask?" "Well," she said, "you just look kind of grey and pale."

My boss is a very intelligent woman, but doesn't possess a lot of social skills and comes from the flower-child generation that is all natural all the time. I don't think she shaves her legs. Ew.

I chuckled at her concern for my health and told her, "It's Friday; I always look like this on Fridays." After allowing a second or two of growing confusion on her part I said, "I'm not wearing any make-up."

She apologized profusely and seemed genuinely embarrassed for pointing out how horrendously ugly, contagious, and scary I look in my natural state. I haven't seen her on a Friday since that incident. It's kind of comforting to know I have the power to inspire shock and awe simply by bearing my naked face.


May 03, 2006

Sweet Melissa

She's a middle-aged sweet thing. And I mean sweet. Like, too-much-sugar-gag-me sweet. I think Melissa is so sweet because she's trying to find meaning in life. She's one of those people who always tries to find the good in everything. Gag-me sweet.

Before you start judging me for criticizing a perfectly lovely person, let me just tell you that not only is she gag-me sweet, she is on a crusade to save the face of that raging horror, Mustang Sally. She has taken it upon herself to shield Mustang Sally against cruelties Sally herself doesn't have the backbone or balls to fight herself. Cruelties such as the likes of me.

Mustang Sally's complaints would be quite noteworthy if she ever decided to do anything about them. If she actually did something about them, she probably wouldn't get on my nerves so much. But what would be the fun in that?

Recently a friend of mine and I confronted Mustang Sally regarding her recurring complaint #47: "my daddy's so mean and makes me act like an abused dog, even though he has never abused me." My friend and I read "mean daddy" as "dad who is sick and tired of his adult child sponging off of him and wishes she would get a job, keep it, and get the hell out of his house." The fact that she sabotages every job she has thereby forcing herself to live with daddy completely eludes her. Being the good friends we are, we suggested healthy alternatives to her unhealthy behavior patterns.

Enter: Sweet Melissa. Behind Mustang Sally's back Sweet Melissa ever so gently and sweetly suggested that my friend and I cease trying to help Mustang Sally, despite her secret admission that Sally is a complete psycho attention hog. Sweet Melissa suggested that we peacefully visualize Mustang Sally having a harmonious relationship with her dad, implying that those visualizations will send sweet and positive vibrations across the airwaves and into the home of Sally and her father. With all those good thoughts, what could happen but a miraculous recovery of the festered relationship between Mustang Sally and her father?

My friend quietly retreated, and I respect her for that. I, however, had to question Sweet Melissa as to her agenda. Did Mustang Sally ask her to talk on her behalf? If not, how are my communications with Mustang Sally any of her business? She didn't specify, but I know Sweet Melissa is just trying to smooth the waters to her own comfort level. Sorry, but my name isn't Smooth Water Meredith.

After a short debate regarding how the Mustang Sally situation should be handled, Sweet Melissa had the audacity to say that I am a "smart cookie" and if I think about it for a few days I will see she is right.

Smart Cookie? Cookie? Well, as long as we're being condescending, let me just say that Mustang Sally has not escaped the wrath of Smart Cookie Meredith, and Sweet Melissa can just suck herself into a massive sugar buzz.

May 02, 2006


Soccer Mom traveling 55 mph in the right lane feels entitled to be in the left lane which is moving along at 70 mph. She cut me off without so much as signaling her intent or checking her blind spot. And then she never sped up to the flow of traffic.

Mustang Sally feels entitled to all her verbal spewage and is exasperated when others respond to her in a way that is less than congratulatory. Then she is entitled to tell us all to go to hell.

Many of the people I see in my office feel entitled to free government money, and are bothered by having to attend appointments or fill out paperwork in exchange. When they often don't attend appointments or fill out paperwork they are angered, sometimes violently so, because their checks are in danger of being ceased.

Illegal immigrants feel entitled to legal rights in America. Except, they're here illegally.

I must be a fool to work the job I do, when all I'd have to do is realize I'm entitled to be an astronaut and poof! ... I'd be an astronaut! I'm an idiot for thinking I have to earn lots of money to afford that Jaguar I love, when all I have to do is feel entitled to it and take one! I'm out of my mind to think I have to earn a living and respect. What the hell is wrong with me?!

I guess I have the satisfaction of knowing I can provide for myself. I'm a thoughtful and considerate human being. I don't expect the world to bow down to me and give me everything I demand. I'm not making a lot of noise, drawing attention to myself, trying to convince everyone that I've been done wrong. I am invisible. And it is the invisible, thoughtful, hard-working people who are the most entitled of all.

Ain't life ironic?

May 01, 2006

Happy Happy Day

Some days I'm just grateful that there is one person in this vast universe who can put up with all of my quirks, bad hair days, and fluctuating weight. Just one. That's really all I need. I found that person ten years ago, and he's been putting up with me ever since.

Of course I'm putting up with him too, but that isn't really the point. I don't really mind that he compulsively needs to do chores while I'm sitting on my ass watching Desperate Housewives. I don't really mind his insomnia which leads to unexpected bouts of giddy punchiness and near psychosis. I don't really mind that he came with Faux-Ma and Faux-Pa as part of the package.

What really matters is that he can stand me. There's nothing better in this world than someone who can stand you on a consistent basis for a very long time. Some call it unconditional love. I call it being a damn good sport. For him and all he is to me, I am grateful.

Happy Birthday Hon. I love you for all you are and all you aren't. And I really love you because you don't make too much fun of me on those occasions when a forkful of food misses my mouth.