Thursday, August 31, 2006

today's secret word is "insomnia"

I should be in bed, but I'm all fired up because I just wrote a letter to the editor about Plan B. Also, I appear to have sustained some sort of English injury. To my back. I think maybe there's a participle dangling between my shoulder blades. I hope I didn't split an infinitive back there. (Somewhere, someone's grandma just laughed at those horrible jokes.)

So I'm sitting here thinking about stuff and listening to the radio (good show, Dave, although through most of it I was in a writing haze and fantasizing about becoming a political speechwriter) and I remembered something I wanted to share with all (five) of you. Last night I watched a little bit of PeeWee's Playhouse. After about a minute and a half, the picture-phone rang and I started to wonder if I had somehow ingested peyote.

When I see part of a cartoon that kids today watch, I think, "No wonder they've all got ADHD." Having now watched PeeWee's Playhouse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the same week as an adult, I have come to the conclusion that this is the reason we are all on drugs.

A lot of people try to return to their childhood as they begin adulthood. I think that because so many of us associate floating disembodied heads, talking furniture, screaming, and psychedelic colors with our childhood, we find hallucinogens to be a blast from the past and a half.

Friday, August 25, 2006

i can't believe this doesn't end with "and then i punched her in the face"

The other weekend, Mom and I went with our friend BA to a craft fair in Ohio. It's pretty nice stuff -- sure, there's the usual idiotic cutesy crap, but most of it was made by people with a remarkable amount of skill. I bought an antique end table handpainted with roses, among a few other things. Most of the jewelry I looked at would have cleaned out my checking account.

Mom and I were in one booth looking around, and I picked up a little cloth sheep and we both went "Baa-aa-aa!" Here I must explain to those of you who've never been around me or my mother. We're nuts. Also, we make sheep noises. Explanation over.

So we're baaing back and forth and from behind us comes the voice of insanity. "Oh, isn't that cute! I picked that up and it said baa!"

"Oh, that was us."
"Really? Oh, it sounded so real!"
"Nope. Just us."
"That's so funny! Are you sisters?" (Right there, we should have known the woman was insane. My mom is hot, but come on -- she still has 30 years on me.)
"Thank you, but no. She's my daughter."
"Oh, gee! Now, what do you call yourselves? Something like The Ba-aa-ad Girls?"
"Uh, no. It's just something we do...we don't really know why."
"That's great. I'm a freelance photographer and videographer..."

I shit you not. So this woman whips out a camera and starts directing her daughter to pick up one of the little sheep and for us to start baaing as soon as she touches it. Not yet realizing the depths of her lunacy, we complied.

When she was done humiliating her daughter, for whom I feel unending pity, she turned the camera on us and said "Those sound effects were brought to you by The Ba-aa-ad Girls..."

"...and Ellie."

She kept rolling. So we kept baaing. We baaed an entire conversation. That film should be subtitled as follows:

"Why is that fucking thing still on?"
"I have no idea. Do you think that if we knock her down and run, people would notice?"
"Who brings a videocamera to a craft fair?"
"I guess that's the thing to do if you've just been let out of the asylum."

By now, people were starting to mill around and watch. They probably just wanted to look at the sheep.

"So, how did you guys get started doing this stuff? Do you do any other animals or voices?"

And then my mother, in an attempt to save herself, turned on me.

"Oh, she can do any voice or impression of anything. She's so funny!"

Damn you, mother. Damn you.

"Really! What else can you do? Do something funny!" Blink, the camera goes on.

"Do that Shakespeare thing," my mother urged while at the same time trying to become semiaqueous and slip through the cracks in the wall. She was referring to the impression of a British narrator from a history film that I saw in high school and which is only funny after I've set it up and you're expecting something serious.

"I love Shakespeare," she said. Of course she does.

"Actually, it has nothing to do with Shakespeare. And it's not even funny, really, unless --"

"Do it!" Mom was still made of solid matter but had managed to slide out of the shot.

"Henry VIII..." and I launched into it with no setup. I kept going on autopilot as I backed up and a crowd gathered and pointed at me and whispered to each other, probably trying to figure out what sitcom they'd seen me on. Sorry, guys, that was Rosie O'Donnell.

Still, she was not satisfied. "What else do you do?"

"Uh...really, it's hard to think of a good example when I have this display of wooden sheep digging into my back."

We managed to get away. Temporarily. In a giant, crowded outdoor space, we managed to run into this woman about every 15 minutes. And of course, she'd see us and baa at us. After the third time, Mom said, "I can't believe this fucking place isn't big enough to lose her."

Every time we ran into her, her daughter looked like she'd lost a little more of her will to live. Also, our relationship seemed more and more significant each time. Normal people would have chuckled once and then politely ignored us. Because what else is there to say? We baaed, you taped us, we wished we were born mute. That's the extent of our relationship. Or so we thought.

I think we're on her Christmas-card list now. We had to leave before we wound up on vacation together.

It could be worse. I could be one of the people she's going to force to watch that tape.

Friday, August 18, 2006

a wise woman once wondered, "what the fuck?"

What's up with all the barely-legal little boys wanting to be my friend on MySpace? Not only do I feel weird for having a profile on there now that everyone and their chihuahua has their own profile, but seriously, what do I want with an 18-year-old? (Or a 15-year-old pretending to be 18.) Some of these children are in high school. High school!

Some kid wearing an Abercrombie shirt in his profile photo sent me a friend request. Apparently he works there, too. (I think they make you wear their clothes when you work there...of course, if you worked for that kind of company, you're probably not smart enough to realize that they're an evil empire or that their clothes are ugly.) In his interests, he listed his girlfriend's name. Also, he was looking at the camera as though he wanted to give it scabies. I smell a Nobel Prize in his future, don't you?

Come to think of it, what the hell does he want with me? I've compiled a possible list of his motivations.

- he wants to discuss Paul Auster
- he would like a recipe for a Key Lime pie that's so good it'll make you slap your own mouth
- he was wondering what the difference is between "it's" and "its"
- he has to learn how to drive a stick
- he needs a tutorial on cunnilingus
- he would like to fully understand why Rick Santorum should be set aflame
- he is an idiot

Definitely has to be one of the above.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

it's's's essentially really a useless ability

I have yet another weird vaguely psychic story about me and one of my co-workers. True story.

So, I guess it was Friday night (could have been earlier in the week because I have a habit of remembering dreams way fucking after they happen) that I had a dream about a friend of mine at work named Brendan. Actually, he's sort of like my boss, but I pretend not to notice. That seems to be something I do a lot, but those are other stories for other times with other parental advisories to go before them.

I dreamt that I was in the car with Brendan and he kept telling me that we had to get to Locust Drive. Locust Drive, Locust Drive, we had to get to Locust Drive. I thought this was a weird frigging dream, even for me. Probably because no one died. People tend to meet violent ends around me in my dreams. Sort of like in real life.

Brendan walked by me and said "I'm Batman." Did I mention that a while back I had a dream he was Batman? Yeah. True story.

So, that reminded me that I'd had another dream about him. I figured we would joke about Penguin being on Locust Drive or something and we'd have a good chuckle. Instead, as I repeated "Locust Drive" to him, his face shifted into an expression usually reserved for things like seeing the dead rise up from their graves or happening to catch part of the evening news.

He started at me. I've never seen eyes that wide. I thought maybe I had a booger. Or a french fry hanging from my lip like a half-forgotten Marlboro.

"Amanda," he said. I think maybe I blinked. I tried to make a joke.

"What? Did you..." I said the first thing that popped into my head. Living on Locust Drive would be too obvious. A slightly fresher quip would be funnier, and then I could check for boogers or fries on my face. "Did you grow up on Locust Drive?"

He nodded. Slowly. Still vaguely terrified of me, I think.


"Yes. And not on Locust Street or Locust Avenue, but Locust Drive."

This is crazy. This is creepy. I got out of the car and we did the only thing you can do in these situations. We told Dave.

"Holy shit," said Dave. (He says this sometimes. Usually when I've done something crazy and/or creepy. Which I do sometimes.)

"Let me get this straight," he said. Dave is not impressed by psychic ability. "So, you said Locust Drive first, and then you said you lived there?" Brendan nodded. "Wow. That's impressive." (But sometimes he is.) "You know," he said to Brendan, "she rescued me once when I ran out of gas." Oh, Dave. I've told everyone this story. Why? Because it was crazy and creepy and you already knew about it. "You should figure out a way to use your power for evil instead of good," he said.

Although really, who's to say that I'm not already?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

lust, grasshoppers, and rambling boredom (not necessarily in that order)

Have you ever been so bored and unable to sleep that you looked up an ex's blog and read it? If that's not hitting bottom, then I don't want to know what is. I was on some totally non-related website and thought "I wonder what [BLEEP] is up to." (That's not his real name, but it would be funny if it were. Brackets and all.)

I of course went to Livejournal and looked him up. Who the fuck still has a Livejournal? Better question -- who intentionally reads her loser ex's Livejournal? This is like a contest for who has become the most pathetic. Even though he has a better-paying job and a girlfriend, I still think he takes the Loser Crown for various reasons. Star Wars sheets is in the top 5. I hope he doesn't read this, because I don't really hate him and I wouldn't want him to feel bad. I'm just saying, though. Burn those.

So I glance through at the scattering of uninteresting posts -- most of which were links to stuff on CollegeHumor. If you're not familiar with CollegeHumor, congratulate yourself on not being a freshman in college. Freshmen are the only people on the planet who should not be punished by death for frequenting that site. Everyone else -- flamethrower.

I guess I'll continue this train wreck of a story. So I get to one post, and it's all the lyrics to a song that I once put on a CD I made for him and it's under the title "For [BLEEP]". (Once again, not her real name. That would be confusing.)

I don't know this girl, and I have absolutely nothing against her. Nor am I seething with some weird jealousy that he used "my" song. But seriously, out of all the love songs in the world, did you HAVE to choose that one? Then again, creativity was never one of his strengths. It just struck me as obnoxious. And also, if I were her, I'd be pissed if I found out my boyfriend used a song with which his ex had once had a Pavlovian sort of association in a cheesy blog love shout-out straight out of junior-high-style courtship. Could have been worse, though. At least the song wasn't "Amanda," because that most assuredly is not her name.

That's enough of thinking about him. I've been nauseated for three days as it is and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. I wish I had a specific person to blame this on. Then I would have someone to slaughter.

I filled up my tank tonight on my way home from work. I stopped at the same BP station I always go to. And for the second time in a row, there was a grasshopper on the roof of my car. And for the second time in a row, it did not want to leave. It sat there as I tried to coax it off with my debit card. Then it jumped onto me. At least it didn't go down my shirt like the moths at the work parking lot. They gravitate like, well, moths to the lights outside the doors, and then, I suppose, attracted by the glow of my pale, pale flesh, fly straight down my cleavage as I walk to my car. If there is security video of this happening, I'd love to see it. I could probably win a million dollars. It's a three-step process:

- I go outside.
- I am walking like a normal human being.
- I am possessed by Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance.

It's like some bizarre Riverdance-inspired mating dance. Because oh dear god, it's been way too goddamn long. This is cruel to the point that Amnesty International is going to have to intervene on my behalf. If you get a mailing from them, for the love of god, sign the petition and the little "hang in there" card, and if you really care, scribble a dirty limerick or something under your name. It is a dark, dark hour. And I'm out of batteries.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

things i don't like

You know what pisses me off? A lot of shit. But here's a small assortment of rants.

- People who say flippant shit like "make up your mind" referring to bisexuals. Don't you fucking think we would if we could? This is especially infuriating when it comes from gay people, who ought to fucking understand that it's not a goddamn choice. Why don't you go hang out with the 700 Club assholes, you fucking hypocrites?

- Mosquitoes and my deliciousness. I have more bites than I can count. I think I have one on my ovary. I'm not sure.

- Little helpful hint -- if you're calling someone to tell her whether or not she has a potentially deadly/life-altering illness, don't fucking chit-chat with her beforehand. No one wants a segue from the weather to "you're going to need a hysterectomy." Lead with "you don't have cancer" and then feel free to tell me whatever the hell you want.

- Russian lifeguards. Actually, it's just one specific Russian lifeguard, but he's ruined it for the rest of the class.

- People who for some reason "don't believe" in global warming. The current temperature trend notwithstanding, global warming is scientific fact. Just like evolution. It's not something for you to believe in. You can hold proof of evolution in your hand. And soon, you'll be able to reach out and touch a glacier, because everything is fucking melting.

- The AZN network.

- The Family Circus comic strip. Every once in a while I accidentally read it, because it's usually about 6 words and a stupid drawing, and it's possible to read it without even realizing what you're doing. There is no one left alive in the country who finds The Family Circus charming. No one has ever found it amusing.

- Anything remotely related to Mel Gibson.

- Rick Santorum's campaign ads. Nobody fucking cares that your grandpa was a steel worker for 147 years and he came from Not America and he had fourteen cents and half a cracker when he immigrated and then raised 93 children. We're not voting for your grandpa, you idiot. My grandpa grew up in Braddock and taught himself to read. He was also a racist who thought my mother was a whore. Note the subtle contrast between the generations.

- Joyce Carol Oates.