Jul 30, 2008

Never Say Never

Photo: I have questions.

Thanks to my red-headed BFF, I found the site Big Big Question yesterday, and I love it. The registration was a little wonky, so I just copied a bunch of their sample questions to answer at my leisure--and since I'm constricted by time and laziness today, those questions shall be answered right now. Feel free to answer them at will, or check out the site--you can submit your own questions, too.

If you could ask one question, big or small, of (your preferred, for this exercise, conception of) God, and get a straight, thorough answer, what would it be? Why that question?

My question: Why do people think you're such a big deal? Please cite specific examples.

What unreasonable change would you make to the world?

I would "be the change I want to see in the world" and usurp the mighty Oprah through any means necessary. The time has come.

What's the vacation you wish you were taking?

World travel is wonderful, but I wish we were heading to our family beach cabin on the Oregon coast. My favorite vacation includes my sweetheart, a stack of books, a Jacuzzi tub, digging my toes in the sand, clam chowder and crab leg feasts, kite-flying, whale-watching, a trip to the salt water taffy shop, sleeping in, scenic drives, picnics, and bonfires on the beach.

Is there anything for which you do not have a price?

Anything that has to do with my kid, my private parts, or forsaking carbohydrates; all of those things are off-limits.

What advancement has spoiled you? (Not limited to tech toys and gadgets; it could be social, political, or anything you could imagine. If pressed for a definition of “recent”, I would say “within 10 years of your date of birth”; so, within your own lifetime, or close to it.)

Crack cocaine and spell-check.

See also: Wikipedia, text messaging, vaporizers, and the IUD.

What thing should everyone own, but most people don't?

Balls, literal or figurative.

Whence your personal language peeves? (What are your language / grammar / usage / paralinguistic peeves? And where did you pick them up? Do you remember when any specific bit of usage first began to drive you crazy — or when you first stopped taking it so seriously.)

Sometimes it's necessary for me to end a sentence with a preposition, in order for the sentence to work; that doesn't mean I like it. <--!!! I also hate how we went from saying 'Oh my God!' and 'OMG!' to writing 'OH EM GEE'. Newsflash: spelling out an acronym defeats the acronym's sole purpose and reason for being. You're putting perfectly nice acronyms out of work, each and every one of you.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

He didn't have a reason not to.

What were you going to be when you grew up?

Madonna's back-up singer, Woody Allen's therapist, Queen Elizabeth's ghostwriter, Darth Maul's wife, The Mob's drug dealer.

Apparently I was going to be the someone behind the someone destined for greatness.

What advice is worse than worthless?

"Buy high, sell low."
"You'll never need an umbrella in Seattle."
"You should read Marmaduke; it's a really good cartoon."

What are you always recommending?

The transcendent tapas at Seattle restaurant * tidbit *, the tap-worthy tunes of Hot Chip, my boyfriend's sense of humor, regular pedicures, and the Business Time video from Flight of the Conchords.

What were you NEVER going to do?

Get married, get divorced, have kids, do drugs, oral sex, drop out of college, gain weight, cry in public, date a girl, karaoke, go back to the spa industry, watch 'the fights', become a vegetarian, get arrested, date a younger man, quit smoking, do yoga, consume salad, turn into a nerd, or own a bathing suit.

Oh look, I've done them all.

Suicide by inaction?

That's the only way to go.

Jul 29, 2008

Spoiler Alert: X-Files

Photo: Spoiled like a rotten egg.

I was given the No Cursing challenge by a "friend" of mine, and my first response was, "Have we MET?" To Snotty, swearing is like a basic human need; it's an essential, life-sustaining function akin to breathing, or eating cheese. Also, said I, wasn't my last post curse-free? I only said 'bitches' twice, and that's not even considered a curse word anymore; I can be bitchy, own a bitch, and bitch about others, but that's vanilla compared to what I could be saying. I'm sitting on phrases that y'all have never seen, just waiting for the right moment to unleash them upon your unsuspecting retinas. Something to look forward to, I guess.

This 'challenge' is inconvenient because this post is about the X-Files movie I saw this weekend, and I need an arsenal of curse words to describe it. After the movie, one of my girlfriends likened it to wanting someone for a long time, and finally sleeping with him, only to find out he sucks in bed. Or worse. Let's say you're stuck on the island from Lost; you're there for years, flirting with The Hottie (Sawyer) and the Sub-Hottie (Jack). The sexual tension is so palpable you're delirious with it, imagining forbidden trysts in the forest with both of them. Sawyer chops wood in front of you, giving you that slow grin of his, sweat dripping down his face, winking one sexy blue eye; Jack creates tender moments with you, protecting you--always doling out the brotherly hugs and meaningful stares. You're attracted to both of them, but nothing happens for TEN LONG YEARS. This kind of game sustains you, keeps you going--you may not ever get home or see your family again, but at least these two major hotties want you bad. Your hardest decision is figuring out which one to attack first, although you briefly wonder if they'd be down with double-teaming you. You decide that
Jack is a long-term relationship waiting to happen, and you want to nurture the feelings you have for one another; Sawyer is more of a one night stand kind of guy, so you head to his waterfront island hut first.

Now imagine walking in on them having sex. With each other. Your reaction--extreme disappointment, bottomless despair, rolling panic and thoughts of suicide--is the same exact reaction I had to the X-Files movie; that's how bad it was.

There were no aliens, no conspiracy, no sexual tension between Mulder and Scully; there were no old characters from the X-Files, except for Skinner in the last nanosecond of the movie, and nothing paranormal about it. Well, that's not true. It was about 2% Paranormal and 98% Uncomfortable. The major themes of the movie--pedophiles, priests, pedophilic priests, experimental surgeries (on animals and humans), bloody hacked-off body parts, Russians, and a political ad for stem-cell research--were all CREEPY CREEPY CREEPY, and made no sense at all. I mean, pedophiles are SO FIVE YEARS AGO, especially the Catholic variety. Hasn't this theme been done to death in the media already?

It didn't help that Mulder looked like a shabby mountain man the entire time, and Scully looked a little piqued. They supposedly 'break up' in the movie, but since there's no time between their break-up and their reconciliation--about 8 seconds--and the reconciliation isn't shown (there's no "I miss you" or "Let's give it another go", just an assumed, meaningful silence), it seems unnecessary to have them split up to begin with. I was also not happy to see them in bed together, looking like chaste, giggly siblings at a sleepover. I was thinking, is this a sex scene or a slumber party? Turns out it was the only scene that established their relationship status, since the End Scene smooch felt like a detached, forced kiss I would give my ex-husband. The dialogue was hideous ("Let's go away, just the two of us." "Away from the darkness?" "The darkness will alway find you." ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Oops, the challenge has been lost), and the plot was absurd; we left the theater, and couldn't figure out how THE ENTIRE MOVIE centered around a gay man trying to save his previously-molested lover who doesn't have a BODY. It was god awful.

Dear Chris Carter,

I WANTED TO BELIEVE, but you made it impossible. Now I just believe you're a hack who was in it for the money. Instead of seeing your movie, I could've had a V-8, re-organized my sock drawer, or stabbed myself repeatedly in the eye with a vegetable peeler. Anything would have been better than sitting through what felt like five hours of you phoning it in. The truth is out there? The truth is you suck.



Jul 26, 2008

The Women

I'm finally here in Portland with The Girls. If you're a woman, and you don't have a group of women that you call some variation of The Girls (ie; My Homegirls, The Ladies, Those Bitches, or--if you're Claire Booth Luce--'The Women'), then reading this post is low on your list of priorities; go out and find some vaginas immediately, and don't come back until you've accomplished four out of these five things together:


Shots are generally bad for your liver and your memory, but they can be useful in solidifying your friendship. Many years ago, My Girls and I did a slew of shots together, all with more ominous names than the last. The Kamikaze, The Irish Car Bomb, The Alabama Slammer, The Screaming Nazi, Liquid Cocaine, Mind Erasers, The Red Death, and, finally--The Blow Job. I always thought a little cocaine and a mind eraser would make a blow job easier, but I was red dead wrong. We danced, screamed, laughed, flirted with all the wrong men, and wobbled home on three-inch heels, sharing secrets we would never remember in the morning. The next day, when I opened one crusty, dehydrated, bloodshot eye, and saw My Girls looking like blurry, electrocuted clowns, I knew I was a part of something special.


There are two levels of shit-talking: the kind you do about Other Whores, and the kind you do about Your Whores. Your Whores are probably talking shit about you, too--it's an Elton John, Circle of Life-type thing that everyone should just accept. Usually, it's better if you stick to being catty about Other Women--vastly inferior, easy women--and bond over that. Pick a group of vacuous young ladies in their early twenties, girls with severely flat-ironed hair who've been attacked by a vomiting glitter fairy; take a few moments to input their glaring character defects into the Collective Conscious before you make meaningful eye contact. After a while, glower in their general direction, tossing your hair and perfecting your lip gloss while drinking something sophisticated; NOT a Cosmopolitan, because that is what those skanky wannabes will be imbibing. Something a wealthy grown-up might drink, like a French 75 or a disgusting glass of port. Say something disparaging at their leader, because there's always an ugly heffer leading the cowherd, and that's where you want to strike: at their sleazy, weakened epicenter. THAT'S HOW YOU WIN. Later, you'll tell the story about how you almost got in a bar fight together and died, but lived to tell the tale.


In this case, there are two paths to take, and one is only a slightly higher road: good chick flicks, and horribly good chick flicks. Good chick flicks are thoughtful, nostalgic, funny, sob-inspiring, and "real". Horribly good chick flicks are filled with bad acting, soap opera plots, awful dialogue, and a lot of teenagers. I have watched them all, and always with My Homegirls. The classics include Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes, Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Say Anything, Dirty Dancing, The English Patient, Sleepless in Seattle, and everybody's favorite glorified suicide flick, Thelma & Louise. The truly awful movies that I personally loved include dignified titles like Save the Last Dance, My Best Friend's Wedding, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, While You Were Sleeping, Never Been Kissed, Bring It On, Waiting to Exhale, The Notebook, and The Holiday. Schindler's List, they're not. But every time I hang with my girlfriends and watch a crappy chick flick, my life feels complete.


So your power was turned off and your children are working in sweatshops to make the rent; none of that matters when there's shopping to be done. I don't know why shopping has the powerful pull that it does, but I'm betting it has something to do with me loving things I can't afford, like 600-thread count sheets and double-sided toilet paper. Need to put some zing back into your friendship? An eight-hour excursion to your nearest shopping center will enliven any relationship. Make sure you know where the Starbucks is located, and wear sensible shoes. The Ladies don't appreciate the whiny girl wearing pointy shoes and getting worn out around Hour Five (me); stamina, attitude, and caffeine are the key elements to a successful shopping trip. And if you don't splurge on something unnecessarily 'fabulous', you've missed the point of the trip entirely.


It's not for everyone, and this does not mean you will be marrying any of Your Girls (although by this time, they'll hopefully be Your Women--if you let one of your girls get married too young, you'll have to deal with those consequences, too). But someone in your crew will at some point Mr. Only-Guy-Left, and when they do, that's where you'll earn your true friendship stripes. If you're a bridesmaid, I like to think of a wedding as The Last Girl Scout Badge you will ever be awarded, and just like in Girl Scouts, that badge means nothing. If you succeed in your task, you will enjoy the praise of your bridezilla friend, and her elder female relatives that smell like potpourri and soup, for hours and years to come; if you fail, it will be remembered for the rest of your life her life. Failing the bride looks a lot like this: getting hammered and passing out at the reception, dancing on a table where people are still eating, using her ex-husband's name when toasting the couple, humping her underage cousin on the dance floor, eating the cake before it is cut, sleeping with the groom, answering your cell phone while standing at the altar, pushing her grandmother down the stairs, bringing an actual shotgun to the wedding, and dying. I was going to include 'not showing up', but if you really no-showed on the day of your girlfriend's wedding, you'd be dead within 48 hours anyway. Weddings have a very shiny, almost counterfeit feeling to them: here is your girlfriend, the same one you've drank and fought with, cried and vacationed with...here is your best friend, the one who slept with every frat guy in three major cities, experimented with your female roommate after college, and who won an amateur stripping contest on a dare in Canada...here she is, dazzling in an elegant white gown, looking like a Vera Wang wet dream as she walks down the aisle to her Happily Ever After, Maybe. She is barely recognizable through the heavy wedding haze, but yep--it's her. This is her Next Step, and it's a step for you, too; from here on out, the friendship will change, but hopefully for the better. Just like any relationship, things may have the same look about them, but the focus will change and will continue to change. Friendship should be pliable, but sturdy. Being a part of someone's wedding is an important rite of passage, because Those Bitches will have to help you with your Happily Ever After, Fingers Crossed, and everything that comes with it.

My Girls and I have all convened--from Bellevue, Ravenna, Los Angeles and Portland--so that we can de-stress, re-group, and nerd out at the X-Files movie. There isn't anything I'd rather be doing, or anyone I'd rather be doing it with--although if Johnny Depp showed up, we'd need to have a meeting. Good friends don't let you drink and drive; great friends won't let you pass up the perfect opportunity to sleep with a celebrity.

Jul 24, 2008


Photo: Modesty at its' finest.

If you can find something more annoying and universally obnoxious than American Eagle Outfitters Abercrombie & Fitch American Apparel, then I say BRING IT. There is nothing more soul-sucking or underwhelming than the Crayola-colored tights at American Apparel, nothing more galling than their pre-teen pornography that masquerades as advertising. Were I a colorblind, anorexic, meth-smoking freshman at UW, moonlighting as a low-budg prostitute (Incoming Calls Only), I might shop there, as that's their targeted audience.

Speaking of inappropriate public porn (because there's a lot of appropriate porn in public), Abercrombie & Fitch continues to push the limits of advertising reason with their smooth, tanned, extremely young boys of summer; the marketing campaign consists of brobdingnagian black-and-white photos of half-naked children
. Again. Hello! Calvin Klein did this 20 years ago--your shit is tired. Also, it affects me EVERY. DAY. The first thing I see when I get to work is Abercrombie (they're right next door); I walk past the open doors, Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' blaring from the store, and see a MONUMENTAL PHOTO of a 12-year old's Photoshopped torso and his Ken doll anatomy. It's not 'life-size', because if that were true, this kid's mother was Paul Bunyan; his belly button is the size of my ass. I also feel bad that all of the Abercrombie models are neutered before being photographed. They don't even get to enjoy their own junk before it's surgically removed. Sad.

Last but not least, American Eagle Outfitters: boooooring. Big-time yawn. Their catchy slogan for the summer is this:


Quite the Think Tank they have over there at American Eagle; a veritable brain trust. OUT OF ALL THE WORDS IN THE WORLD, this is what they came up with? Think of the countless meetings, research, emails, phone calls, and money that went into this slogan. PEOPLE WERE PAID FOR THIS. I guess One Life to Live was already taken by the soap opera industry--bastards! I'm sure the Think Tank was sitting around at a big mahogany table, and they were all, well 'Don't Live Your Life' doesn't really work. We don't want American Eagle-related suicides in the paper. And 'Live Someone Else's Life' doesn't sound quite right, either; might inspire stalking. What about 'Living Is For the Living'? Does that sound too...redundant? Or like we're a home for senior citizens? Hmmm...this one's a toughie! And then they all went out for lunch, living their lives like our lives should be lived.

LIVE YOUR LIFE. Because the alternative is too depressing. American Eagle Outfitters.

Snotty is back, and going into advertising. If you know any tweeners with low morals and a come-hither look, let me know.

Jul 22, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Photo: Defeated Flakes.

Disclaimer: This post is VERY F-WORD HEAVY. Proceed with caution....

While you were out enjoying Heath Ledger's hygiene-deficient performance in Dark Knight, Jessica Simpson's country album, and Uma Thurman's new baby bump, Snotty McSnotterson was having the Best Week Ever!

I wish. The past week has been so challenging--physically, mentally, emotionally--that I've wanted to stab myself in the face (or stab myself in your face, if that's even possible) from the moment I resentfully wake up, to the moment I resentfully go to bed, weary from weeping screaming living. This morning, I told Manthony I was eating Defeat for breakfast; he decided I was eating a bowl of Defeated Flakes, which I thought was funny, even though I was sobbing at the time. There were some pretty funny moments this week, as well, so let's have a lil' recap; by the end, though, you'll wish you'd had a nightcap. A big one.


Racist Bitch of the Year Award goes to a new client of mine, who kept me in stitches from the minute she entered my appalling life, to the minute she thankfully exited. An older divorcee who used to be beautiful, this woman's attitude was the worst. She entertained me with her painfully racist theories about China, the country, and all of the Chinamen (pronounced fast, like 'vitamin') who want to be Westernized. "I just think everyone should sit in their own seats, if you know what I mean," she said, quite haughtily. I knew exactly what she meant, as I was sitting on my own shamefully brown seat at the time. "What nationality are you?" she barked at me. "I'm Samoan," I replied, to which she exclaimed, "I KNEW you were Hawaiian!!" She was pretty pleased with herself, since everyone knows that Samoans and Hawaiians are basically the same, kind of like desert-dwelling camels and Camel Lights in a hard pack are exactly the same. When I found out she lived in West Seattle, I grasped at the only straw I could and said, "So! Did you go to the West Seattle Street Fair?!" She glared at me as though I'd asked to see her sandy, unused vagina. "I don't GO to street fairs. It's like going to a third world country--it's all JUNK." I laughed at that one, because you know she has never, ever been to a third world country (although maybe she's been to New Jersey). It was amusing until she found out I was adopted BY CAUCASIAN PEOPLE (she repeated that phrase about nine times), and wanted to know what their motivations were; the question was posed to me in a 'were they on mescaline or opiates?' tone of voice, and when I suggested MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE THEY WANTED A BABY AND COULDN'T HAVE ONE, she shrugged, as if to say, 'well fine, don't tell me the real reason'. She asked me one last time, "And they're CAUCASIAN???" To which I replied, "YES YOU UPPITY BITCH, THEY ARE SOME ARYAN MOTHERFUCKERS. NOW PUT THIS DIRTY SOCK IN YOUR MOUTH AND SHOVE IT." (I actually said, "Yep!" And I said it brightly, as though my parents' skin color just tickled me pink, which made me totally hate myself.) And she replied, "Well, you're very well-spoken", implying I was lucky I had white people around to teach me proper English. That's when I smothered her with a pillow made by Chinamen and dumped her in the nearest river.

That is how my week started.


Speaking of funny, one of the support people--a 22-year old sweetheart--was back in the lunchroom, screaming her face off when I walked in. "OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD!!!" She was on her cell phone, and jumping two feet off the ground like a pear-shaped pogo stick. She was twirling her hair excitedly around one finger, hopping from foot to foot, and doing a big ol' Happy Dance. She screamed into the phone, "OHMYGOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE COMING, I CAN'T BELIEVE WE HAVE TICKETS, OHMYGOD, I'M GOING TO PEE MY PANTS FROM EXCITEMENT!" At this point, I wanted to pee my pants from excitement, too, so I said, "What's going on? Who's coming to town? I wanna go, too!" She looked at me and screamed, "HANSON'S COMING TO TOWN!!!" I decided to keep my mouth shut in the lunchroom from that moment on. Keep in mind, this will be the third time she has seen them in concert; I think I might actually love her. God Bless America.


We saw Wall-E at the Majestic Bay in Ballard; it was magnificent, except for one small thing: I wept through the entire movie. Silently, painfully, and with great feeling. It was a good film--really good--but it pulled at too many of my heartstrings, I guess. Now those heartstrings are made of droopy, worn-out spaghetti, the leftover kind that nobody wants to eat.


I was asked out by a hot cop; he really was hot, although not my type at all. First off, he was black (who's racist now)--and second, I'm taken, so it was a bit awkward. He was standing behind me in line for a sandwich, and offered to pay for my meal. I said something like, "But I don't even know you!" And he said, predictably, "But we could get to know each other over coffee sometime." I laughed, and asked, "What would my boyfriend think of that?" He actually responded with "Well give me his number--I'll call him and see what he says." Later on, I ran into him by Starbucks, and the first thing out of his mouth was, "Change your mind?" He was nice, but now I see him around all the time which is annoying; every time I see him, it's like there's an inside joke between us, but the inside joke is that I publicly rejected him, and I'm the only one who seems to remember.


After the longest day on Earth--a day I was off my game, a day where I had no money and couldn't eat, a stressful work day where I was working on about three hours of sleep--I got mugged. Like 'for real' mugged, like 'an alley in Chicago' mugged (not Oprah's Chicago, but Jerry Springer's Chicago)--scary fucking gun and all. It really pissed me off that the guy was so nice about it, apologizing for scaring the rectum out of me, and being generally helpful in ways that only a mugger can be helpful--reassuring me that he wasn't going to hurt me, being respectful of my bank account ("Don't worry, I don't need any money from your account, just the cash in your wallet"), and practically singing a legitimate "Sorryyy!" as he bolted out the door. I DON'T NEED POLITE TEATIME ETIQUETTE AND SOCIAL NICETIES WHEN YOU'RE ROBBING ME BLIND, ASSHOLE. There were cameras by the ATM, so hopefully they'll catch him, and strangely, the hot cop showed up and helped me get to the bus, but GODDAMN. I hope that jerkoff has fun with my twelve dollars; enjoy buying one Hot Pocket and two gallons of gas! I would make a terrible hostage--"I'd be shot immediately or within three minutes", was the verdict my friends came to--because when he motioned to my right hand, the hand holding my bus money, I became a wheedling teenager. "Duuude, that's my fucking BUS MONEY! I don't have a way HOME." He motioned for it, and I reluctantly gave it over with a big sigh, an eyeroll, and a very audible "HMPH!" Walking around downtown with no money, no boyfriend (he was an hour away), no car and no one answering their phones, I actually felt HOMELESS. I didn't call my parents, because I could have walked home in the time it would have taken for them to pick me up, and I didn't want to worry them. Also, I saw the hot cop, and he gave me bus fare since I wouldn't accept a ride home from him (it felt too weird).


I guess it's getting around to the crackheads that I'm writing disparaging things about them , because while I was walking towards the back of the bus (Rosa Parks, I am not), a female crackhead kicked me in the back and I landed on my face in front of about 40 people. Afterwards, I cried the whole way home, in front of about 39 people, and wondered where my good karma was hiding. Normally I wouldn't have been so emotional in public, but this was 30 minutes after being mugged, and I'd had enough. I felt like I'd won the Chump Championship. 'Hey Mom, look! I think that's the #1 Chump, weeping right over there next to the helmet-wearing retard; she looks like a broke, Hawaiian fan of Hanson.'

It was a really long night.


I can't even dive into the worst part of my week, due to bullshit legalities and the deteriorating, delusional mind of a sub-human swamp creature that I once knew but never respected; let me just say this, fairly and without emotion, and then be done with it:

To the person heinously unrecognizable Thing who put my work life, personal life, and professional reputation at stake, for no good reason at all: It's going to be subtle, what I do to you. I can give just as good as I get. And the nice thing is, when it comes to sweet revenge, I have an infinite amount of patience, like a placid rock, or a stealthy ninja, or a woman fucking scorned (sound familiar?). I can rest on my laurels for years, just biding my time. And I don't feel sorry for you, no--I feel sorry for anyone who has ever had contact with you, even the surgeon who replaced your brain with a rotting, half-eaten sandwich. Pitch as many toddler-sized tantrums as you want, everyone knows you're absurd, addled, anserine, asinine, blockish, bovine, brainless, brutish, cloddish, crass, cretinous, dazed, dense, dimwitted, dizzy, doltish, dopey, dull, dumb, fatuous, foolish, footless, foppish, hebetate, idiotic, ignorant, imbecilic, imperceptive, inane, insensate, irrational, irresponsible, lethargic, loutish, meaningless, moronic, oafish, obtuse, oscitant, pointless, purblind, senseless, silly, simple, slow, sluggish, stultifying, stupefied, torpid, unintelligent, unwise, vacuous, witless, and worthless. I would have just said 'worthless', but apparently www.thesaurus.com knows you better than I do. You brought this on yourself, really; you never should have involved me.


After doing the Big Boss at work, I received this card the next day from the Other Big Boss:

Big Boss was very impressed with you and your service! She said it was one of the best times she has had at Our Spa in a very long time--and was quite possibly the best pedicure she has ever had. Thank you--I am very happy you are with us.

Nice, I guess. Better than 'Big Boss wanted to know why you were sweating profusely and drowning in your own drivel during the entire service. Also, were you crying?' No. There's no crying in baseball.


The best part of my week was this: going through all this stupid crazy shiz, and not smoking once. Not even when I was in the car with two smokers who were smoking, not even after I was mugged, or kicked on the bus, or called into the Big Boss' office to mull over the LARGE PROBLEM I cannot discuss, or when I finished this monster fucking post, and IT DIDN'T FUCKING SAVE. NOT ONCE. And that made me feel pretty fucking good, even if I used the F-word 84,000 times this week.


Jul 18, 2008

Pirating Trends

Trends are out of control today; I know this, because I keep buying into them.

"I'm not really into the trendy stuff", I'll say. I emphasize the word 'trendy' as though the word itself has gone out of its way to offend me. When I think 'trendy', I think of the fashion world and its' up-to-the-minute seasonal fare; these trends are made for starving giraffes with windshield-sized foreheads--wave to Paris Hilton--and not the human female. I should craft a strongly-worded letter to the designers, imploring them to leave the Mothership and walk amongst actual Earthlings someday, just to get a feel for what we really look like.

Fashion fads are one thing, kitschy trends are another. Remember when bacon used to be one of your favorite breakfast foods? Now you have to show your love through bacon-themed products; eating it for enjoyment isn't the point anymore. You must purchase bacon Band-Aids, bacon action figures, bacon bumperstickers, a bacon wallet, bacon mints, bacon undies, and bacon air fresheners if you want to be seen as a true connoisseur; until you are driving down the street wearing a bacon uniform, driving a custom-made Baconmobile, and waving an oversized bacon flag through the streets of your city, you will not be considered a fan, oh no. I personally own all of these bacon-related things, and yet I don't know why. Probably because I love bacon so much, and I want that love to win. True love should always end in competition, that's my motto.

It's not just bacon, it's EVERYTHING. Pirates, ninjas, cowboys, kitties, monkeys, unicorns, robots, yetis, hula girls, zombies, monsters, nuns, leprechauns, the Krakken, the narwhal, sushi, tofu, parasites, flamingos, retro everything, tattoos, mustaches, cupcakes, mustaches, and Jesus. JESUS. This year was totally His year: Dashboard Jesus, action figures, t-shirts, bandages, decorative tape, lunch boxes, wall hangings, jewelry. That Jesus really knows how to brand himself; He definitely has a future in marketing.

So many of these fun fads are way overdone; I only need to mention the word 'pirate' to convey my full meaning. Suddenly, every jerk I know was shouting 'YARRR!' and wearing striped shirts and bandannas, even my own father. Skull-and-crossbones flags went up in homes, in car windows, in office cubicles; it felt inauthentic, because it so nationally popular. That, to me, is the definition of 'trend': when every white-collared white guy in your office is quoting Blackbeard and singing sea shanties, the trend is OVER. Instead of feeling like part of a rogue pack of thieving scalawags, I felt like I was stuck on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland with a bunch of thirtysomething toddlers. It was cool for two seconds, and then kind of annoying. Chop off a leg from the knee down, train a parrot to speak, develop scurvy, and forget about bathing for six months: NOW I believe you're a pirate. Yo-ho, indeed.

I jumped on certain fadwagons, although I loved them before they were popular, and will continue to love them equally after their popularity wanes: cupcakes, robots, bacon, unicorns, and smoking bunnies galore. The narwhal gets an honorable mention, because my partner loves it so. He claims that the narwhal is majestic, but that kind of language should be reserved for British royalty, purple mountains, and the animated Disney film Fantasia.

I wish I could like something just because I want to. Places like Archie McPhee's, Urban Outfitters, and neighborhood boutiques make it impossible to just like something for the aesthetic, or for the memory it evokes. You can't just love a trend, YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF IT. You have to buy and love and buy and love, on and on, ad infinitum. You must take the thing you love, advertise it throughout your life, and strangle any positive feelings that may remain; then, and only then, will you be truly worthy of enjoying a thing like bacon in the way God intended: through good old-fashioned capitalism.

Jul 16, 2008

Wifely Dreams

Photo: Dreamy.

I attended my own wedding last night. It was a frustrating dream.

To me, there's nothing better than a dream wedding. Things always go my way, and things always go my way. What could be better than that? In my dream wedding (not to be confused with My Dream Wedding, which sounds like something Mattel would make for Barbie, who everyone knows is a beard for Ken), everything was perfect. That's how I knew it was a dream--well, that and I was super thin. Also, everything was free, which made the Esq supremely happy.

I don't actually want to get married, at least not today (or tomorrow, or two years' from now), because that's something for The Future. Some days, marriage seems right around the corner; other days, it seems far off in the distance, like a scud missile aiming straight for my face. Since I'm divorced, I'm okay with holding out, no matter how many wedding magazines I purchase; I just like looking at the pictures. Also, my Wifely Abilities--cooking, cleaning, raising kids, and caring about cooking, cleaning, and raising kids (or whatever wifey stuff chicks are into these days--knitting and therapy are popular right now)--seem to be diminishing the older I get, and are quickly being replaced by my Girlfriend Abilities, which consist of blogging, bitching, and baking (with a Super-Sized Honorable Mention: CONSTANT PMS). It's not like I started out with a large reservoir of wifely knowledge, though. I figure whatever I don't know, I can learn through YouTube or Wikipedia at a later date. Housewifery for the Helpless, or Common Marital Misconceptions (Misconception #1: Marriage is Murder). There has to be something useful online, a reference or a guide of some sort. Here's hoping.

Okay, the dream. Setting: Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg (where I've been, incidentally). Everything: perfect. One small problem: I was sitting in the audience, watching myself walk down the aisle, and I couldn't see anything. I felt like I was being interviewed by Barbara fucking Walters; everything had that too-bright, soft-glow look about it. All I could see were blurry shapes and colors, and there were candles and people everywhere, blocking my view--blocking my view of myself. Weird. I remember thinking, somebody better pass me a joint so I can deal with this early-onset glaucoma; it's like I had scratched my eyeballs with rusty railroad spikes, because that is how I roll. The dream was frustrating because all I wanted to do was A) see my dress, and B) figure out what song was playing, but it was near impossible. Finally, towards the end, I saw the dress (flouncy and ice-blue), and heard the song (Ceremony by New Order), and all was well. Those things, combined with 'wedding in France' and the aforementioned 'I was thin and it was free' elements, made it the perfect dream wedding. Not to be confused with My Actual Dream Wedding, which will probably involve a trip to the courthouse, very few people, chocolate cake, and robots--lots of them. Stay tuned.

Jul 15, 2008

Downtrodden Unperishables

Photo: Reluctant refried beans.

Photo: I wrote this last year (2007) when I found a can of these in the back of my kitchen cupboard. I posted it, but this version is edited. This is what I do when I feel bad about throwing unused food away; I lend that food a voice.

Our anniversary looms large on the horizon; I don't expect you to remember. I'm insignificant to you and your self-indulgent lifestyle. But in case you were wondering, and I'm sure you aren't, tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the day we met, the day you found me on the shelf at Safeway and brought me home to supposedly use me. I'll admit right now, I had high expectations at the time. I thought you would allow me to settle in, get my bearings, and that we'd start collaborating immediately. I assumed when you purchased me, you had big ideas in mind for our relationship: a sassy bean dip destined for the annual Mexican-themed block party, perhaps, or maybe a healthy soup to share with your loved ones.

Now I see the writing on the wall.

For 364 days, I've been repeatedly pushed around and forgotten, until I came to what I now call "my final resting place": the back of the cupboard. What, you think I have friends back here? You think that No-Fat Refried Beans and cumin have a lot of common ground? I can't even think of a tactful way to ask the Cumin what it's useful for without looking like an inconsiderate asshole, so here we sit, together in silence, hour after hour. You assume that the chicken stock and I have something chummy to chat about? You think we're gossiping like carefree teenagers and comparing tattoos? That chicken stock has been here longer than any of us, and, like a crotchety old man who will not die, it revels in our failures. This paltry pantry existence, this JOKE of a life, is unacceptable. The back of the cupboard is where orphaned foods go to die, and I'm not going down like that.

I understand the misconception; No Fat Refried Beans aren't generally thought of as a fun food--but "No Fat" doesn't mean "no fun"! So my packaging isn't all that exciting--you knew that when you met me. You could have bought an expensive brand-name can with fancy lettering and showy colors, but you didn't; YOU got ME. There is nothing wrong with generic brands, especially when those brands deliver a delightful, health-conscious treat for your entire family. If you would just give me the chance I so rightfully deserve, I could display all of my features and benefits, to you and the entire world. First of all, I'm only 120 calories per serving! I don't actually know what that means, but in my limited mathematical experience, it seems quite low. Back here, the canned green beans continually boast about how low in fat they are, but seeing that they have no real food value, I scoff at their false bravado--up until yesterday, they thought they were real green beans! In a fit of frustrated rage, I told them what they really are and where they came from, and sadly, they don't talk much anymore. Their silence is pervasive, but the silence if preferable to a can of long-winded, egotistical green beans. To continue, I am also quite easy to prepare. Heating instructions are as follows: Empty contents into saucepan and stir over low heat until warm. How easy is THAT?! A suicidal can of fake green beans could do that in the dark.

The point is: I'm delicious and user-friendly, I have patience AND personality. But NO, all you see is your fancy blue tortilla chips and your overpriced cookies. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't ingest corn chips the color of my laundry detergent or trust a dirty bunch of elves to bake treats for me in their sketchy, crackhead treehouse. But that's just me and my lofty standards of food preparation. And who am I to you? Just another can of insignificant matter, a refried notch on your food belt, an unperishable that will surely perish from your scorn and neglect. I don't know if you want to re-connect with me and what we had; I don't know if you miss "us" at all, or if you remember our budding relationship fondly. All I know is, you have until January of 2008 to make amends and turn this relationship around. That's not a threat, that's a promise. Don't make me regret ever having met you. Do the right thing. Don't give up on us.

Jul 14, 2008

Robot Acquisition

Photo: Mine.

A girlfriend asked me the other day, over lunch, "What are the key factors in a successful relationship?" To which I replied, "I need my fucking tarter sauce; that bitchy waitress forgot it again, and my fries are getting cold." I glanced up and saw her staring at me, head cocked slightly to the side, as though she were judging me and listening for a faint dog whistle in the distance. "Oh, sorry", I said, wanting to get past the awkwardness, "I should have said That Bitchy Waitperson, or whatever--why are people so fucking sensitive these days? Whether I use the phrase 'waitress', 'server', 'air hostess' or 'flight attendant', I'm still just ordering the bitch around." The girlfriend laughed, and repeated her question. "I said, what do you think are the key factors in a successful relationship?" I stared at her, dumbfounded. "How the hell should I know?" Her answer: "Well, you're IN one." OH. Good to know. I wish someone had told me sooner.

A 'successful' relationship is hard to pin down, because the word 'successful' can have many meanings. Is it how many years you were together? Is it how happy you seem? Is it that you just never gave up, even though you fought all the time? Is it that you're both still living? A successful relationship, to me, is one that ultimately makes me the happiest; but it's also good if I'm learning about myself, and growing, and creating personal success in my world, too. There has to be a balance.

I am not in a successful relationship; I'm in a relationship. To me, evaluating how successful one's relationships are when they're still new is like going out and getting the guy's name tattooed on your ass around the third date. Stupid. I was happy my girlfriend thought we were somehow successful, but we're still getting to know each other. How well can you know someone after a year or two? Imagine all the things I will know about the Esq in two more years, or in ten.... the sky's the limit, really. Knowing more about him won't necessarily make us more triumphant as a couple, but at least I'll be more informed when I say, "Well, Sally Jesse, these are the things I've learned so far that make our relationship successful...."

I can, however, make a list of things that have assisted in making our relationship easier:

1. Find common music to listen to; makes for better monkey business and more interesting car rides.

2. Homemade gifts are better than store-bought gifts, although it depends on the store, really. Are you saying you'd rather have a bracelet made out of wilted daisies that smell like rotting weeds over a brand new computer? Girl, please.

3. That toilet seat is going up and staying up; just accept it and move on. There are better things to fight about, like porn. Oh wait! That porn is going up and staying up; just accept it and move on. There are better things to fight about, like back hair maintenance.

4. Apologize quickly, even if you have to figure out why you're sorry later. This applies to men and women, although women seem more reluctant to apologize than men. I personally believe that most women can't effectively argue, favoring the nagging/bickering/shaming route in lieu of verbal maturity. At least, that's what I do; hence the reason I'm always apologizing. Quickly, though, before it escalates (although Lord knows I love me some fightin' words).

5. No one is going to change for you, not even your mother--and if your mother won't do it, why should your boyfriend? I still laugh when I hear girls saying, "He needs to change this, or else", and "If he can't quit doing -X- then he can find someone else to do -X-." He can, and he will. And I wouldn't blame him.

Having the same value system is important, too; that's a given. If the Esq was a hardcore Christian who sang in the choir, went to two services a week, and read the Bible every night, that wouldn't work for me (AT ALL). But it would certainly work for Suzy P. Jesusfreak, and they could ride into Heaven together upon fiery angelic steeds, or whatever kind of heavenly transport the Christians have finagled for themselves. Value systems are important. As Chris Rock said, if you're a crackhead, your man should be a crackhead, too. Same lifestyle=easier relationship road (although it might be harder for the crackheads, honestly--what with the CRACK and all).

Later on, if someone asks me what the secret to a good relationship is, I'm just going to say "my boyfriend". I think he's the main reason why it works so well; he understands me, de-fuses me, makes me laugh when I want to scream, and gives me a lot of space. It's hard to find nice guys like him, as his make and model are somewhat outdated, but you might find a good deal on Ebay, or maybe even Craigslist. If you find another one, let me know--I can always use a back-up, in case I break this one. I'm like an earnest Boy Scout when it comes to relationships: always be prepared.

Jul 11, 2008

Paging Marla Singer

Photo: That's my girl. Fight Club forever.

Now that I'm a non-smoker, I see smokers everywhere. Usually this is cause for alarm; with triggers everywhere, how long can I hold out? But as Kathie Lee Gifford might say, "triggers come from within"--and at this point, she would break into song, probably while on board a Carnival cruise. She's like a modern-day Yoda.

After thinking about it, my triggers are: stress and smoking. So I don't smoke, and when I'm stressed out (all. the. time.), I have a refreshing V-8. Just kidding! I punch someone in the face, hard, and without mercy. It's helpful. I haven't had many cravings, although the other day, I watched a guy put a cig out with his shoe, and then walk off; the cigarette was stuck to the bottom of it, so every time he took a step and the cigarette disappeared, I felt like it was waving good-bye to me. Probably because it was.

The smokers I used to see on the street, back when I started smoking, were actually sort of cool. Of course, I was really young back then and to me, 'cool' was anything I wasn't: stylists with edgy haircuts wearing all black, sharply-dressed gay men, bull dykes with chain wallets on badass Harley's, rockabilly pin-up girls and their bouffant-loving boyfriends, 'fast women', and older people who used the word 'fuck' in their conversations as much as they used the word 'and'. There were others--artists, thugs, secret smokers, and roommates--but at the time, those were the people who shaped my idea of what a smoker was, or rather, the kind of person I thought I could become one day. I don't know why I thought the world was ready for a Samoan Betty Page, but the 'cool' factor I sought through smoking never really revealed itself.

Now there's a sameness to the people I see smoking today. Maybe it's because I've adopted a different group now (the 'new, fragile non-smokers who need lots of love' group--although I'm looking forward to joining the 'newly-converted, high and mighty non-smokers who preach to current smokers about how stupid they are' group), or maybe it's wishful thinking, but the quality of our smokers has gone way, way down. This used to be a club for beautiful people like Marlene Dietrich, but now it's for the Marla Singers of the world (although I loved her, too, wholly and undeniably).

The people I spy smoking downtown nowadays: Penguin waiters (or if they're liberated, "penguin servers") in their black-and-whites, smoking fast and loose in front of their restaurants. Women in their early 40's, with fake tans and too much makeup, smoking ultra-slim cigarettes. The homeless, always. People in ill-fitting clothes, for some reason. The poor, which seems like an oxy moron, because cigarettes are so damn expensive these days. Drug addicts sucking furiously on their cigarettes, chainsmoking on the corner, looking for a real fix. Drama queens who use their cigs to emphasize something in their stories, stabbing the air with a lit cigarette to prove a point. Surly hipsters who have a homeless look about them, except for the pricey pack of Camels in their front pocket and an Iphone glued to their ear. People who wear sunglasses at night (Corey Hart, I'm talking to you). Underage whores in whorewear, talking on their blinged-out, hot pink cell phones, smoking Newport Lights. Old hippies with home-rolled smokes, sauntering around the park in their rock-climbing shoes. Rockabilly men smoking Lucky Strikes, who still make it look like a death-defying lifestyle, rather than a deathwish. Tourists from Jersey, or places like Jersey, who smoke everywhere and don't care if they're ashing onto the head of your six-month old baby. Guys who go to Shiny Shirt clubs (and wear shiny shirts, and the shiny-shirted women who love them). Women with crunchy, curly, overprocessed hair. Girls who look like Lindsay Lohan; girls who are Lindsay Lohan. And then, the cab drivers--although generally, they're either Really For or Really Against smoking. Tell a cab driver you smoke, and he might just light up with you. Tell the wrong driver you smoke, and you'll get a 10-15 minute lecture on how smoking is bad for you (Newsflash: "You could DIE!") and a story about a family member who perished from smoking, even after the family member was lectured to, in the very same cab. Then you pay for the lecture, and feel obligated to tip the man, since he sounded much more interested in your health and your future than you had ever been.

This is the best part about being a non-smoker: judging those who do smoke. Also, there's the health benefits, but I'm interested in things of real value. For the most part, it's about bringing down the Iron Fist of Judgment upon the Lame and Unworthy, in--your--mind. Don't go around teaching smokers a lesson by trying to fist them; that's awkward. Just silently judge them from afar, and feel good about yourself as you throw metaphorical stones from your metaphorical glass house. I'm not saying smokers deserve to be judged (they do, they do!), I'm merely making the statement that YOU DON'T QUIT SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, BUDDY. And, reversely, that's what you get! I was judged every day! Take my judgment and SMOKE IT, BITCH, while I'm over here hating you! This is my just reward! I've never had a leg-up on anyone, with the exception of sarcasm and how many stones I weigh; now I can add Non-Smoker to the list, along with 'ate a salad this year' and 'didn't punch any strangers today'. That's called progress.

There was an attractive, underdog quality about Marla Singer that I found positively appealing; I think it was how natural she made smoking look, while at the same time coming off as jagged, desperate, and totally unhealthy. Someday, I hope to make jagged, desperate, and totally unhealthy look natural--effortless, even--without a cigarette. R. Kelly believes I can fly (also? I can touch the sky), and I will put my faith in that.

Jul 9, 2008

Hippie-Tested, Oprah-Approved


Whole Foods Market. Never have I been so committed to an unhealthy relationship like I am to this one; the guy I dated who decided he was gay, the drug dealer with mommy issues, and that asshole loser who hit me got nothin' on Whole Foods. Upon entering the upscale market, I instantly feel fat, unworthy, and poor--something that is all-too familiar from my previous relationships with men who were fat, unworthy, and poor. Being fat isn't a new concept to me, and the same goes for being poor: I'm freakishly consistent in both, actually. But self-worth, something I'm low on already, shouldn't be handed down from my local neighborhood market, no matter how good their Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges and Pistachios are (like sin, they're so good).

There are two types of people who flood Whole Foods Market: hippies and yuppies. They are separate, but equal--I'm convinced it's only these two groups that eat quinoa and drink Yerba Mate. Quinoa (KEEN-wa) is a species of goosefoot, eaten mostly for the seeds, and is also known as a pseudocereal. I know, it even sounds tasty. Only a white hippie or a white yuppie could unearth such a discovery and brand the ever-loving shit out of it; I can see it now: 'A species of goosefoot called quinoa? 'Pseudocereal' sounds so scientific! It's a seed, you say? And it tastes like the butthole of an organic Grape Nut? OH MY GOD WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A FORTUNE.' I also believe it's an unholy combination, hippies and yuppies, shopping peacefully together for overpriced 'food', like organic Fuyu persimmons and conventional tumeric root (both a high priority for the Earth-human diet). Hippies probably like what Whole Foods represents: food that even an animal wouldn't eat. Does your dog enjoy eating Kabocha squash or organic mellow brown miso? Of course not! But a hippie does. So does the yuppie, as long as it's shiny, expensive, and Oprah-approved. Whole Foods is all of those things and more.

I resent the fact that Whole Foods is so awesome, even amidst all of their scandals. And even Wikipedia says Whole Foods is 'a food retailer of "natural" and organic products', in quotation marks, like "natural ha-HA". I resent the order in the store, and how pretty everything is, with vegetables artistically arranged and gleaming in the museum mood lighting; it also seems like everyone shopping there is also shiny, expensive, and Oprah-approved. The hippies are the clean, nerdy kind; the yuppies are of the 'rich, white, and down to Earth' variety. I am none of those things. When I go grocery shopping, I want to feel good about myself, not like I should have put lipstick on before going to the gym, and it would be nice if their price point didn't rape my bank account from behind every time I go there. But if it wasn't all of those things, it wouldn't be Whole Paycheck Foods. It would be QFC (eww) or Safeway (double-eww) or Albertson's (Patricia Heaton can suck my Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta)--and I'd miss the experience of trying to fit in, hoping to look like I belong. Also, as relationships go, it's only emotionally abusive (not physical, verbal, or sexual), which is a step in a direction. That's the real reason why I will continue shopping there: addiction hope. If Whole Foods can affect my self-esteem so easily, surely it can nurse me back to health, just like the gay guy would have, the drug dealer could have, and the asshole loser should have. Of all the unhealthy relationships I've had in my life, this one is my favorite.


Whole Foods Market. That place is fucking awesome.

Jul 8, 2008

Adventures in Anger

Photo: My favorite kind of street urchin; the literal kind.

This is a story about how I beat a grubby ho down last week, and lived to tell the tale. Not to be confused with a grubby hoedown, which would make it a very different story, indeed.

My overheated, overworked, nicotine-deprived, unbalanced, PMS-having self was standing on 4th Avenue--arguably one of the busier 4-lane, one-way streets in Seattle--when a guy (man, boy, crackhead, whatever) walked past me and said, "Nice jar of oils." Hold on a second, let me back up so you can get the whole story:

I had a nice jar of oils with me.

After giving my boss a manicure/pedicure, I was allowed to choose any three products from the retail area (a very generous tip, since those three equaled $100 bucks or so), and one of the products I chose was our yummy sea salt scrub. After work, I was waiting for the Esq to scoop me up, and didn't have room for the scrub in my bag, so I set it on one of the big concrete planters that line 4th Avenue. This kid--this scrubby, emaciated, drugged-up street urchin--walked past me and said, "Nice jar of oils", while reaching for it. I said, "Please don't touch my shit"--I thought the 'please' was nice enough, but he looked back at me and said, "Whatever!" A minute later, I was texting someone when he came back my way, fast, and grabbed the jar--he was trying to steal it from me! With my hands full, my only reaction--my only choice, really--was to put my foot in his ass and kick him into the street.

Not literally IN his ass, because he didn't really have one, and not into the street like "a street filled with vehicular danger"; yes, the street is busy, but I kicked him into what I call the Sort-Of Safety Lane. The Sort-Of Safety Lane is the lane people illegally park in while waiting to pick up their loved ones from work, the spa, or a meth deal (in my case, all three). Plus, the Esq just bought me new work shoes that are really expensive and totally boss, so I wouldn't deign to ruin them in some crackhead's garbage-riddled asshole.

Anyways. The street urchin yelled, "Heyyy!" as though I'd offended his delicate sensibilities, and a crotchety old black woman (or should I say, 'crotchety old black witness') across the street shouted, "You coulda kilt that boeh!" I bent down, wrenched my salt scrub out of his hands--which I have now dubbed The Sea Salt Scrub of Justice--screamed "GOOOOD!" at the lady, and screamed louder at the kid, "DON'T STEAL MY FUCKING SHIT!"

Upon reflection, this is not what I should have said. Shit can't fuck; screaming silly phrases at a bedraggled sewer rat is desultory. It made no impact at all. Why couldn't I have shrieked a perfect movie line? Something cool, like, "And let that be a lesson to you!" or "I know a guy who knows karate!", or, "I'm going to follow you home and kill you in your sleep, and then I'll kill your parents and eat all your food." But no. I didn't say those things. It's not like I'm The Fonz; one-liners don't just appear out of the sky. You have to work for them.

Moral of the story: don't steal my fucking shit stuff, or I'll put my foot in your ass knock you into oncoming traffic. Let that be a lesson to you.

Jul 7, 2008

Freedom From Tyranny, or Whatever

Photo: A sure sign of independence.

Fourth of July was awesome, which is even more awesome, because I tend to think of the Fourth as an amateur throwaway holiday. Singed faces, missing fingers, scorch marks upon the earth; afterwards, it's as though an agitated dragon has visited each and every neighborhood, leaving behind burnt evidence of his wrath. Last year was the first super fun Fourth I had, hanging on Arlene's houseboat and kicking it with Kate. The Esq took Joshy up to his parents' house, where they blew shit up and became men, or whatever guys do on the Fourth of July.

Despite all of the fun this year, the holiday itself remains a mystery to me, because no one actually celebrates our nation's independence--nobody even pretends to be interested. The resolution to our independence was actually approved in Congress on July 2nd and publicized on July 4th, but nobody cares. I'll bet America cares. If it was your birthday, and everyone decided to celebrate your birth two days later--every single year--you would care, too. I also equate the Fourth of July to the Fifth of May; Cinco de Mayo is an amateur drinking holiday that Americans celebrate whether they know a Mexican or not, and the Fourth of July is celebrated every year with tons of booze and very little knowledge of the United States, even though we all live here. This is our history, people! The day we became independent from the British did not include hot dogs and public drunkenness; it was not about getting an even tan, or buying dangerous explosives for toddlers from a dwindling tribe of Indians. No one even knows what Independence Day is about, which is why I'm providing this link for you: Freedom isn't free! Click on the link and be saved. I had a client last Thursday, a younger woman, who summed it all up for me in just two sentences: "I'm, like, gonna go and, like, celebrate Independence Day with margaritas in the park? Oh my God, and I love that Will Smith movie." Margaritas, the park, and Will Smith in the movie Independence Day (where he and Jeff Goldblum saved us from the martians, not illegal aliens); this is what our nation's independence has been reduced to.

Speaking of total ignorance, do you know the history behind Cinco de Mayo? It seems as though Americans aren't very thoughtful when it comes to other cultures, either (surprise!). Most of my friends think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, much like our Fourth of July. Celebrating their independence comes at a hefty price, though; four to eight margaritas. This is how we honor our neighbors to the South. "We're celebrating *slurp* Mexico's Independence Day!" "OhmyGod, where's my camera?! *slurp* We need a picture of you in that authentic Mexican hat-thingy!" "Mexican chicks are hot, dude. *slurp* Remember Anna? She was half-Mexican." "Woo-hoo, Mexico! *slurp* You are now free!" I think Americans like to think that they personally freed the Mexicans from slavery, or tyranny (which sounds a lot cooler); Americans also seem to believe that for every watered-down margarita they have, a Mexican child will get their wings. It's noble, really, all of this rampant alcoholism to save the children. Unfortunately, Mexico's Independence Day is on September 16th; Cinco de Mayo is a throwaway holiday, even to the Mexicans.

This is what you're celebrating on the Fifth of May: in 1861, Mexico--like an out-of-work older brother who always finds trouble--quit making interest payments on loans it had received earlier. In response, France (and other European countries) attacked in order to force payment of the debt incurred. On May 5, 1862, the French were defeated in the city of Puebla. This is what we as a country celebrate together at private parties, barbecues, picnics, and every bar imaginable, across the entire nation: Mexico being cheap assholes and dodging their creditors. When I successfully evade my creditors, no one gets drunk on my behalf, much less an entire country. I think it's bizarre.

Also bizarre is my take on fireworks, which is this: they will kill you. Those stupid M80's sound like a pirate ship has landed in your backyard, Roman candles have a very 'Saving Private Ryan'-type screech about them, and sparklers are just glittery, anorexic harbingers of doom (I know a girl who could be described like this). I don't know how everyone can be so cavalier about death, every single year; I like my fingers, and I'm attached to my face, even if I don't exactly like it. While everyone was tempting Fate, I was hiding behind our car in the driveway. Eventually, though, I saw Joshy holding a Roman candle and shooting off fireworks like Shaft, or Neo in The Matrix; I thought, fireworks are dangerous, but a gun made of fireworks...that sounded like a good idea. The Esq hooked me up with one, and it was pretty dope. I felt like Harry Potter, as though magic were shooting out of my fingertips; Josh and I kept yelling 'Expecto Patronum!', which is only funny if you are Harry Potter nerds like us. I did it twice, so we could get photographic proof of my firework badassery, and still lived--but I won't be doing it again. As the Esq noted, I'm very pet-like in my fear of fireworks; I'll need a whole year to recover.

During the day, the girls from my apartment building (my awesome, amazing apartment building) got together for an in-building spa day. We combined forces and did mini pedicures, facials, massage, and tarot cards; halfway in, there was a knock on the door, and when we opened it, pink champagne had been delivered! Afterwards, another couple from the building (Robin and Krista), Joshy, the Esq and I headed to the parents' house in Bothell; apparently, their neighborhood spends more money on fireworks than the entire state of Washington. The fireworks were as good as the ones on Lake Union, but there were MORE of them and they went on for much, much longer. How embarrassing for the state of Washington, really; Bothell--the smaller suburb of Canyon Park, more specifically--just kicked Washington's ass in the firework department. Bounce back from that.

Yesterday was a red-letter day, work-wise. All of my clients were beyond outstanding, and I made a shit ton of money; the only way it could have been topped is if someone offered me a book deal, or my very own spaceship. Hint, hint.

***New photos on the photo blog and apartment blog.

Jul 2, 2008

Friendly Duel to the Death

Photo: There's a fine line between 'winner' and 'weiner'. A very fine line.

I'm "competing" this year in the Blogger's Choice Awards (Best Humor Blog, unlike last year when I competed in just the Swimsuit Category) against one of my all-time favorite blogs: www.dooce.com. Dooce is run, and written, to near perfection by Heather Armstrong, a self-proclaimed Stay At Home Mom (or SAHM, or Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker--her words). I stumbled across Heather's site one night when I was stalking an old boyfriend online; somehow I made it to her page, and I've never looked back.

This isn't a plea for you to vote for me and not for her; this is a top-level directive that you go directly to the Blogger's Choice Awards webshite, and vote your ass off for me. I was thinking of setting up a Triangle Scheme, where you convince five friends to vote, and they hire ten of their friends to vote, and so on and so forth; then, in the end, I swindle you and keep most of the Tupperware (and all of the votes). But I couldn't make it work--I'm diabolical, but also very sedentary. I'm not going to beat Heather--namely because she has, you know, a cult following and has been doing this for years--but I'm also not going to take a giant beating from some shit ass ho motherfucker. Besides, she's one of my blogging idols; she supports her family through blogging (i.e.; living my dream), and only had to be committed once (true story). Her life must be so cool--think of the drugs she's able to afford!

At the very least, I can beat out The Communist Dance Party... they only have 105 votes so far, and I know at least 106 people (not counting imaginary friends). Plus, we've got a wager going, and I don't want to lose. My thirst for competition has reached an all-time high, in part due to the lack of sweet, sweet nicotine in my life, and partially because of the goddamn heat; so lately, I just want to rip, maim, and eviscerate.

The safest place to do this is online.

If you'd like to help me (or actually think this blog is funny, whereas I find it tragic), vote swiftly like a ninja, and you will eventually be rewarded--although, truthfully, it would be a lot easier for me if you just considered it volunteer work. Remember, no one likes a sore loser, which is why we have to win.

You can find the voting polls HERE! (link updated)

**Addendum: 1. They were having some server problems earlier--of course--so if you can't vote, just vote for me in spirit--thanks, Kiki! 2. I think you have to log in, which totally sucks--so again, spirit-voting is good for me, karmically-speaking...although if you'd like to register, it takes less than one minute and involves one Captcha, and one trip to your email. Just so you know. Thanks, all!

Toasting Toast

Photo: Me and cats, bad idea.

Like a lot of women, I enjoy things in baby form, whether it's a human infant, a newborn kitten, or an adorable miniature pizza. I'm also very good with storing vital information about babies, much like Wikipedia. 'In basic English usage, an infant is defined as a human child at the youngest stage of life (see also child and adolescent). The term "infant" derives from the Latin word in-fans, meaning "unable to speak". A human infant less than a month old is a newborn infant or a neonate.' See how easy it is to program your mind into a Wiki page format? Then you just fill in the blanks about how and when infants were invented, the failed experiments, unseen rogue warriors, and the final, epic battle [the factual accuracy of this section is disputed]. Also, one should always check for babies underfoot, and maintain a healthy, baby-free diet. (The simple fact is, if you eat the babies, they won't grow up to make more babies, and that's counter-productive.) Anyways, the point is: I love infant things, widdle-bitty pet-type things, soft and furry tail-like things, or ferociously-cute little cuddly things that go *rawr?* Once they're big enough to make inappropriate hand gestures and walk away, I'm done, though; they're dead to me.

But then I had a kid. And in this country, it's illegal to put children out of their misery
set the child free, since they supposedly can't take care of themselves, even though you've shown them a thousand times how to pee into the toilet rather than just around it, lazily. So he grew up, moved to his dad's, and I went on with the business of being insanely free.

Same thing happened with the cat. My ex-husband and I decided to "take care" of this cat that was found in the parking lot. Why the
parking lot part didn't tip us off will haunt me for the rest of my days. I'm pretty sure we got him to fill a void (notice I said "ex-husband"), but we at least wanted him in the beginning, much like I did my ex-husband. We named him Nigel Barker, after the hotter-than-hot photographer from America's Next Top Model, because we watched it religiously at the time. As usual, the minute I saw Nigel, I fell in super-duper love with him, or at least the idea of him. I imagined quiet nights by the fire, brushing his hair; training him to fetch me drinks from the fridge; the inevitable oil-on-canvas portrait of us in the drawing room. I expected a refined cat from the parking lot, not a ginger-headed, unlovable, backwoods trailer park cat. I thought I wanted him, but then I saw how needy he was-- food, water, and a litter box?--and I reconsidered. What was I, the sudden owner of a charming bed-and-breakfast?! I couldn't even handle my own flesh and blood! When did I morph into Mary fucking Poppins? No matter, Nigel stayed with us--happily scratching, ripping, shitting, and biting--for what felt like five-and-a-half years, but was really just nine months (or three, maybe)... that being said, it was NINE (or three) MONTHS OF PURE HELL. I think it was nine months; maybe it was six. I wonder if we ever really owned a cat, or if I made this up. Yeah, I remember--we did; I may even have some pictures to prove it. I hated that asshole as much as he (or she) hated me.

This matters only because I've fallen in love again, hard, and his name--no kidding--is
Toast. Michelle, my neighbor downstairs, is cat-sitting Toast for five weeks, as a trial run to see if she'd like to keep him. Toast got his name from the previous owner, who knew if she didn't rescue him, he'd be toast--and so she did. I thought his name was adorable, and so I pictured in my head THIS cat; a soft, purring, tiny mountain of fur, big melty eyes, and a feisty disposition. In my mind, he was the color of perfectly-toasted white bread, which, if we're talking paint samples, I've always imagined as a warm, buttery ecru, with just a touch of browning on the ear tips and tail. I'm definitely one of those people who judges animals (and children) by their looks; I mean, why would I pay two grand for a puppy (or child) missing an ear, or for one who needs Lasik surgery? Call me shallow, but I think things that are generally thought of as 'cute' should then generally always look cute. I drummed up some old cat fantasies yesterday, briefly eyeballing our largest wall for dimensions, just in case I should need it for an oil painting in the future. I also fantasized about how we might cat-sit for Toast, despite both of our rampant cat allergies (and alleged hatred for cats in general), and how he would come to love us more, and how Michelle would graciously see that and hand him over, only wanting the best for him. I would raise him to be a domesticated diva with the heart of a lion, and train him to live longer (and stay cuter) than any other cat in the history of cats. I was excited to meet him so I could welcome him to our building, and to his new perfect life with me.

When I overheard someone say Toast had three legs, I thought they were kidding. They weren't. Toast was also, in cat years, close to 105 years old, or at least Burt Reynold's age. And if Toast had perfectly-colored hair, or any hair at all, it wouldn't have been the right shade of buttery ecru--more like an Orange Creamsicle rolled in a ditch and lit on fire for five seconds. This is only in the spots where he still has hair, since his flea bath and constant over-scratching have left him with large bald patches; it's like he's wearing an indented hair-vest. I told Manthony that I wouldn't have been surprised if the cat had been wearing an eye patch (or had scurvy!), like a drunken, dirty pirate. I thought he was positively mangy, a down-on-your-luck cat, a vintage ice cream treat with a sunken shoulder. I didn't even want to pet him, much less pay extra to have a fourth catleg added to our oil painting portrait.

... I got over it, and now I think he's awesome. He's the sweetest cat that ever lived, really. Not afraid of people or of whoring himself out to them. He's a lover, and snuggly, and adorable in his mangy three-leggedness. And he's not ugly, by any means--he has character, and a kind face (somewhere out there, a cat is describing me in the same way to other cats). I'm glad I got to know him--happy, in fact, that I could see past his one giant flaw, which wasn't a flaw at all: he's not a baby kitten.

I can get over that, just as soon as I'm done with this veal & spinach ravioli. Mmmmm, baby cows; cute on the farm, delicious in my tummy.

Jul 1, 2008

Parading For Queers

Photo: Supporting the gays, one chocolate at a time.

I started Pride out on Sunday morning, when a gang of pre-teens with 'Team Queer' t-shirts flooded the bus. Amateur photographers, gay couples, gothy punk rockers and sweaty drag queens alike sat together in harmony while I silently cursed them--because of them, I had to stand. It's bad enough I have to take the bus like a simple commoner, but balancing like a tightrope walker amidst homo-friendly chaos, on a bus that's barreling down the Express lanes like Mad-fucking-Max, is not my idea of a good time.

I was working during the Pride Parade, but had the best seat in the city. We sat in my treatment room, which is right on 4th Avenue (Seattle's version of "Main Street"), munching on snacks, taking pictures, and enjoying the AC. The room is roughly the size of a clown car, so there was only room for three people at a time (or, 47 clowns), but there were other windows to peek out of, mainly in the Sanctuary (our spa's version of a waiting room). It wasn't as fun as being in the parade, but did I mention the air-conditioning? The sun looked like a hot steaming bastard that day, especially for those in platforms. Luckily, I'd left mine at home.

The parade was fun, even with the cheesy sponsors and bad emcees; not Erik, he was great (you should watch him on NW Cable News!). He's the way an emcee should be, in my opinion--professional, funny, focused, good-looking. Who would want an ugly emcee? I asked myself. That question was answered almost immediately; apparently, the people of Seattle do. The other emcee... egads, she was quite possibly the most hideous woman I've ever seen, or the ugliest drag queen, I couldn't really tell--either way, that's really saying something. I was squinting in her general direction when she started speaking through the bullhorn she calls 'her mouth', and that's when my ears began to bleed. Her voice, buoyed by what sounded like 50 years of smoking unfiltered cigarettes during her life as a long-haul trucker, was a veritable scythe of sound; it slashed through the air at you, repeatedly, while you screamed in pain and ran for your life. If Gilbert Gottfried and Ethel Merman had a voice baby, it would be this one, there's no doubt in my mind; in my diary, I referred to her as The Mouth. And this was the voice that could be heard throughout the entire spa, all. day. long. Imagine lying down on a warm massage table, candles flickering, soft music playing. You breathe deeply, inhaling the scent of essential oils, while sinking further into the bed. Then, you hear the most annoying sound in the world. On repeat. For the entire day. And then you pay $125 for it. Hilarious.

AVER (American Veterans for Equal Rights, aka the hardcore gays who defend our country and the people who love them) was in attendance again, and just like last year, I thought they were pretty lean--in numbers--but at least they're standing up for their rights (rights?) and their shitty country who won't recognize them in the armed forces. The Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was invented by the same people who invented hospital gowns: old white men without a clue.

The marching band was pretty amusing; my reaction to the 'Rocky' theme song was, "Um, really?" The best part of the marching band was their unsteady, gay homeless cheerleader (that's what he looked like) bringing up the rear with his bright pom-poms and drunken choreography. He reminded me of Paula Abdul, which basically means he was two shots of Tequila and four Vicodin away from becoming a lesbian.

The Safe School Coalition group was confusing, because at first I thought they wanted to keep our schools safe, but I was wrong; they just want to keep them safe for the queer kids. Screw the heterosexual kids getting beaten to a pulp; if they want to be safe, they should get their own coalition. Hopping cheerfully alongside the big yellow school bus were dead, slutty Asian girls--turns out they were just gothy, underage, gay Harajuku chicks in school girl uniforms. Gwen Stefani would have been proud.

The GSBA, or the Greater Seattle Business Association, couldn't get their act together this year. I swear it took them 20 minutes to walk a block, A BLOCK. You know the GSBA, they're the people who make the condensed directory of gay/gay-friendly businesses; I'll bet you have one of their books, which makes you feel socially progressive, but I'll also bet you've never actually opened it. They did prompt one of the funnier comments from The Mouth, when she shriekingly honked out, "BUSINESS IS NOT JUST FOR STRAIGHT PEOPLE ANYMORE!" I laughed out loud, but then stopped abruptly, because I didn't want to encourage The Mouth, unless it was to go away.

KUBE93 (the local rap/pop/R&B station) came by on a Summer Jam-themed float, which to me screamed, "Wine coolers and date rape are the BEST!!!!!!!!" I remember when I used to listen to that station in 1996. I had to stop, though, because I missed using proper English, and got sick of flavored malt beverages.

I had to start a service at this point, but when I ran through the Sanctuary again, it looked like a gay soccer team had taken up residence, with soccer balls the size of a Volkswagen. I thought there was a euphemism in there somewhere, but didn't have time to think about it.

After walking to Pike Place Market for lunch, and weaving through the throngs of drunk and sweaty people, I came back and settled into my room. I was excited to have an hour of people-watching ahead of me, which is when I should have quit: while I was ahead. Anticipation is a funny thing--it propels me, and holds me back, and also slaps me square in the face when I'm least expecting it. There I was, perched on my chair, camera phone ready, anticipating the next crazy thing that might come our way--and who should flagrantly and unabashedly roll down the street? The naked and painted-up Solstice whores on bikes. Naked they were, painted they were, and definitely on bikes they most certainly were. Now I don't care about nudity (much), or biking (much), or painted fairies (I've only known one), but when you put those three things together, I think you're just asking for it. I don't know what you're asking for exactly, but the phrases 'epic ass crack sweat', 'unfortunate accident', and 'you're living out one of my nightmares' come to mind. Adding to the hilarity was this: upon closer inspection, I realized I knew a couple of them. Accidentally seeing your friend's painted junk while you're on a lunch break is the very reason people cut themselves, I'm telling you; that's why I started.

I was in the back room, where Howard--a previous employee filling in for a sick employee--was commandeering the laundry. Howard, in the interest of backstory, is probably in his 40's, reminds me of Andre the Giant in movement and in stature, and has the exact voice of Wallace Shawn, aka Vizzini in The Princess Bride ("Inconceivable!"). He's also special in some way, but I can't put my finger on it. Our main laundry guy, Tim, is also mentally slow, but I don't know what ails him--seems like he's either Autism-tastic, or has some form of Asberger's. I find myself speaking to them as though they were foreign children, here on a free trip to Disneyland; I'm like a walking exclamation point, a screechy tour guide in a city they already live in. "Do. You. Like. The. Paraaaade?!" I shout, brightly. They nod. "I. Love! The. Paraaade!" I say with enthusiasm. They nod. "Isn't. This. FUUUUN?!" I ask, desperately. I know I look and sound like a total asshole, but it sounds even worse when I'm mumbling sarcastically to them, as I'm prone to doing with "normal" people. I have to find a balance.

When I went through my camera phone to collect photos of the parade, I realized I'd only taken one picture. One. And it was of the The Macy's people. No, that's a lie--it was of a Macy's employee, pulling a Frango cart behind them. You know what a Frango is: the delightful, mint-chocolate treat in the green, pentagon-shaped box? I took a picture of those in a bucket on wheels, being pulled by a sassy gay Mexican. That photo will represent everything I experienced from the Pride Parade of 2008 (or it will highlight my apparent lack of pride and a surplus of chocolate-y goodness). In later years, I will look back upon this one small picture, and struggle to remember the significance behind it--maybe my blood sugar was low, or perhaps I was exceptionally hungry that day. I could have been drinking on the job, or had a head injury, or both. I'll bet, in about six months, I will have already forgotten what the picture is from, and accidentally delete it.

Memories are the best.