Saturday, January 28, 2006

they don't issue amber alerts for people my age

It is entirely possible that a man was trying to abduct me this afternoon in Eckerd. I was looking for a card to give to a friend who is in the hospital. She was just taken out of the ICU--and they don't make appropriate cards for sick people. They make a lot of "God is always with you" cards, which are intensely obnoxious. Just because someone is sick doesn't mean she wants a bunch of questionably relevant scripture tossed at her.

And then there are the cute cards. These are a worse abomination than pork-rind encrusted shrimp. They feature a teddy bear or a kitten or some other fucking doe-eyed creature with a speech impediment and a limb in a cast wishing the reader well. "We hope your widdle boo-boo is aww better vewwy soon!" I'd like to go hunting in the Cute Animal Forest. I'd bag me a bunch of already-wounded purple bears. That victory would be sweeter than anything imaginable.

So I got a blank card and I was backing away from American Greetings when I arrived in Valentine's Land. I was surrounded by puppy-kitten-teddy bear-hybrids all dressed in tshirts that read Someone In Forest Hills, PA Loves Me! when the man in the aisle with me flipped open his cell phone and started having an imaginary conversation.

"Well we need a babysitter. $30 an hour. We'll have to put an ad in the City Paper. $30 AN HOUR. Yeah, $30 AN HOUR. It's impossible."

Then he hung up on I.M. Aginary and started talking to the air in my general direction. "I can't believe how hard it is to find a sitter. $30 AN HOUR. That's what I pay. Yep, $30 AN HOUR."

I blinked and he started circling me like Land Shark. "$30 AN HOUR. I wish I could find a sitter. You'd think for $30 AN HOUR I could find a nice. Young. Woman."

I was torn. I couldn't decide if he was going to sprout fangs and dig them into my neck or ask me to help him load some furniture into his windowless van. No matter, because then I spotted one of my mother's friends, and engaged her in an impossibly long conversation about essentially nothing. He lost the scent and moved on.

But if someone knocks on your door claiming to have a telegram, then a candygram, then your lost puppy, and finally to offer you $30 an hour for something, please don't answer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

what was that about the weaker sex?

Yeah... that's what I thought you said.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

the cholesterol conspiracy

The other day I called my cardiologist's office to make an appointment, and yes, I am the youngest person ever to have a cardiologist, but if you were me you'd have high blood pressure too.

So I got put on hold while the receptionist looked up available dates in 2027. (A side effect of having a seasoned nurse as your mother is that you wind up with the very best doctors, who of course have the very busiest schedules. I ought to start looking for obstetricians now.) And as she clicked me over to the hold-message, I heard something somewhat surprising.

" for a Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger!" I don't know what the rest of it said, because I was laughing too hard.

Now I know why he's always so damn busy.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

behold the incredible unsleeping woman

Anyone who's ever looked at this blog's timestamp and done whatever equation required to figure out the actual time that timestamp is meant to convey (when not during Daylight Savings Time, the formula is timestamp - craziness = real time) probably knows that I am frequently awake until about 3 AM. I'm an insomniac. I have horrible dreams that are rarely amusing (except for the one time when I woke up and I thought that my bed's engine wasn't strong enough to carry me through time to morning, and that I ought to get up and sleep on the floor... that was pretty funny, even six years after it happened) and that's part of why it's so hard for me to fall asleep.

However, the people around me do not have this problem.

Usually when my mother gets home from a daylight shift (she's a nurse, and that shift means she leaves the house a little after 5 AM and gets home anywhere from 3 PM to 5 PM) she changes her clothes, gets a cup of tea, and promptly falls asleep in the living room in some of the most improbable positions possible. Just the other day she fell asleep with both arms propped on their elbows and held straight up in the air. You know how in a cartoon, the character's head will bob back and forth? Her arms were doing that. In unison. She sometimes mumbles or talks, but she always snores. I of course find this hilarious.

It's absolutely unbelievable. Even though my mother isn't a big woman, (she's really quite trim) nor does she have a breathing condition, she produces noises I'd previously only heard while watching Star Wars scenes that featured Darth Vader. Sometimes she's so loud that she wakes herself up. And I giggle and attempt to record her using the "voice memo" feature on my cell phone, because I'm pretty sure that I'll be going to hell anyway.

Tonight, I witnessed the only thing that could possibly be better: two people sleeping in thoroughly unbelievable positions, snoring like a pair of buzz saws cutting through knotted pine.

After dinner and some idle shopping, I went over to Scott and Jason's house with our other friend Mike to hang out and watch a movie. About a half hour or so into the movie, Mike fell asleep, as he'd had two drinks, and that makes him sleepy. Understandable. I've often used alcohol to lull myself into sleep. I've just never fallen asleep curled sideways across a chair like a large cat. Of course, I have trouble falling asleep in my coccoon of soporific softness, so I can't be a fair judge.

Scott, who had just subjected himself to the horror that is laser eye surgery, (don't get concerned--he's fine, and they even opened up his third eye when they accidentally left the laser on while switching from one eye to the other) and who'd also had a few drinks, pulled the throw from the back of the couch and started snoring. He was sitting upright, and every so often his head would bob back and forth. Then he'd wake up and open his eyes wide and look extremely alert, and then immediately fall back asleep. He looked like he was doing an impression of himself falling asleep. Even my mother hasn't managed to be that alert and then completely unconscious in the same second. There was no waking-up or falling-asleep interim. There was only Awake and Asleep. Jason and I had as much fun watching them as we did watching the movie.

I'm going to bed now. Perhaps I should try sitting straight up--it seems to do wonders for other people.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

the flava of gold accessories

Tonight, Mom and I were watching a show on VH1 (I think it was The Most Awesomely Hot Sexy Celebrity Bad Songs of March, 1984) and a commercial for The Flavor of Love came on. For those blissfully not in the know, it's The Bachelor. Except with scads of ridiculously hot women competing for the affections of Flava Flav. I assume there's also a monetary incentive, otherwise you'd just have one episode where a bunch of women claw at each other to get through doors and lower-level windows. Naturally, this cultural phenomenon led to some discussion.

"I can't believe anyone would compete for Flava Flav."
"Is that a person?"
"Yeah, that was the guy with the clock around his neck and the Viking helmet and the gold grill."

She laughed, then paused, apparently trying to figure out the wording to the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. "When you say 'grill,' do you mean like the front of a car, or a grill you'd cook meat on?"

I had no response but to laugh so hard I chirped for several minutes.

"What? What did I say? You did say 'grill,' didn't you?"
More chirping. Faster, harder chirping. I suffered hypoxia.

"Yes... I said... 'grill.' It means... your MOUTH. Your TEETH."
It was her turn to chirp. Mom is a good sport.

"Well, you were talking about a Viking helmet and a clock around his neck... he'd probably wear a gold front end to a Mercury if he had the chance."

And the thing is... she's right.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

the writhing anglophiles

There is a certain school of thought (it's generally referred to as "being in your twenties") that subscribes to the notion that everything that is British is vastly superior to anything that is American. (A notable example of the fallacy of this idea would be any food ever made.) The people who follow this school of thought irritate the very life-force from my being.

So when I was scrolling through the digital cable television listings the other day and saw that "The Office" was on, I nearly creamed myself with joy. And then I realized that it was on the BBC, which meant that it was a "stolen show," as the writhing twentysomethings call it. I could hear their nasal, condescending voices in my head already. "Ugh, the British version was so much better. So much more sophisticated before they dumbed them down for Americans." (Here they generally say "Americans" the way I might say "Rick Santorum" or "dog vomit.") Although there are very few Brit-coms I like, I absolutely love the American "The Office" and hoped that the British one would at least be as funny. Granted, I only watched one episode, but I didn't even giggle. It wasn't that it went over my head, or that I couldn't understand their accents (they're British, for Christ's sake). The jokes were just ridiculous. The only enjoyable part was drawing comparisons between the British and the American versions of the main characters. (Incidentally, the guys who play Jim look like they could be cousins.)

I tend to dislike these Anglophilic dolts not only because I disagree with them, but because I dated one for entirely too long. Although generally, he just liked to disagree with anything mainstream, no matter how ingrained into our DNA the subject might be. I once listened to him rant about why humans weren't designed to walk on two legs after watching a commercial for a mattress that offered some sort of superior lower-back support. He disagreed with walking. Yeah. You might want to stop reading, get yourself some tea, perhaps put your head between your legs before you resume reading, as you might have a small stroke. I know I did. The next person who accuses me of disliking Harry Potter simply because of its popularity should go have a little conversation with that douche. (That and read a real book.)

Before those friends of mine who are Anglophiles start leaving me nasty comments containing extra U's and E's peppered through their vocabulary, I will leave you with this.

There are many British things I do like. Tea, for example. I usually drink it with half-and-half and sugar. Monty Python, although not every single goddamn sketch. I say "quite" and "indeed" a lot. Wallace & Grommet. (Actually, Nick Park in general.) And I'm not exactly a patriot--patriotism is dangerous. To paraphrase Voltaire, to become a good patriot, one must become an enemy of the rest of mankind. This doesn't mean I don't like America. After all, our (good) television shows are vastly superior. That and we'd never serve baked beans for breakfast.