Wednesday, October 31, 2007
6:15ish - excitement! It's young M and two of his larger friends hopping out of the back of somebody's pickup. They're almost scary looking - one even has a moustache. And, really scary, they want a ride to Montford and they want it now, even though I ordered the pizza and it should be here soon! Arrgh! Solution: write check, put check in envelope, put note on envelope, duct tape envelope to door, haul ass & teenagers to Montford, return @6:30ish to find pizza and trick or treaters at door. Cute trick or treaters! Dressed creatively as pirates and zombies! Chocolate for them! Now I get pizza and when M gets home later, there will be large amounts of pizza for him! Hurrah!
7:14 pm. There have been no further trick or treaters. I am full of pizza and reeses cups. This is not good. I'm bored. I'm cold. And I spent like $10 on candy, you horrible little ingrates. Where are you? Don't make me eat all this candy. The world will regret it if I eat all this candy and go into a wild emotional jag prompted by loneliness and the toxicity level of 3 pounds of chocolate.
7:24 pm. I just smoked a cigarette out front. The neighborhood is silent and eerily deserted. I heard one of my neighbors step out on his porch and say, "Where the hell are all the trick or treaters?" My sentiments exactly. God DAMN I have a shit ton of candy. What am I going to do with it all? M's teeth will rot and fall out of his head and I will gain 6000 pounds and have to do a midlife career change - I wonder what the starting salaries are for circus fat ladies or female sumo wrestlers these days? It occurs to me I could look this up on the internets. I don't.
7:50 pm. I'm shampooing the carpet. I'm also making up my face and dancing except when I pause to weep at the treacherous lot that has been mine. . . more candy!! Wait - what's that? A small boy in what appears to have once been a turtle outfit but now is unzipped! He pets the dogs! They don't bark at him! I give him candy! All is well with the world! His mother says that he likes dogs better than candy. Sensible child.
7:51 pm. I'm listening to weird theremin music via WFMU. Perhaps this will draw them in, except, oh hell, I have to go in like 20 minutes to meet my friends and agh, I'm not ready and I still have to vacuum again. More candy will save me! Or not.
8:15 A small female superman, a spiderman and a, um, ghost or something. "Oh," said supergirl to me, "A witch. How come everyone is always witches?" "Because it's the easiest," I tell her and regret the second malted milk balls she scammed off me.
By now, you see, I'm also wearing my own "costume" which has no damn backstory at all. I can't come up with anything. I was thinking I would be the Wicked Witch of the East, since I have the striped tights on and the dowdy black dress, but then I just added about 3 inches of assorted makeup, an army jacket (it's warm and has huge pockets) and a feather boa. Now I look dissolute, peculiar, middle aged (too much bronzing powder) and confused. I think I'll just go as me, in other words, only more so, or maybe the Wicked Witch of the East except she didn't die when Dorothy hit her with the house, she just woke up in Atlantic City with a hell of a headache and a plastic bucket full of quarters. That may be too much backstory. But anyhow, now it's 8:24 and I'm out of here. Happy Halloween!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
With this house I decided to skip the $65 dog door route entirely, although of course I still had to have a dog door, and thus I got my friend D (another friend D with mad carpentry skillz - I am blessed in friends D with carpentry skills or at least a certain nonchalance about wielding power tools) to take out the landlord's nice vinyl door before the dogs ate it and install a $17 mostly screen door from Lowes. Then I just kicked a hole in the bottom right side of the screen and called it a dog door. It worked fine all summer but when the summer switched to winter as it did on Sunday night, well, it became problematic. Damn you, global warming - you're not working fast enough.
I had this brainstorm whereby I was going to buy yet another door, from Habitat this time, a cheap all wood door, and install that where the real door is and then kick, or possibly cut, a hole in that as a dog door. My friend A shot this down (possibly because he really didn't want to deal with it and also because even a brief telephone conversation convinced him that I know nothing whatsoever about what switching doors entails) and told me that instead, I should use cardboard and bubble wrap to insulate the screen door and that would not only be fine, but present all kinds of exciting new aesthetic and artistic possibilities. Yeah. That is exactly what I did and hey, it certainly is excitingly different looking. Well, to be fair, actually it looks kind of cool from outside - where noone is. Also, since I took that picture, I got rid of the white foam stuff - which, by the way, is the packing stuff I snagged when my job was throwing it away and on which I slept on Saturday night. Quite comfortably, but it functions less well as a dog door and instead I am now using a cut up striped cheap ass Mexican polyester blanket which the dog had already partly eaten. This is, naturally, vastly more aesthetic. Be impressed. I rock at winterizing, or, well, I would if there weren't still gaping holes all around the door that foam tape (which Django considers a tasty hors d'oeuvre anyway) isn't doing shit to block. Drat.
Monday, October 29, 2007
The only thing that didn't happen was Fall Back. WTF ever happened to Fall Back? I was hoping for synchronicity: the last time I was around Charleston it suddenly turned out to be Spring Forward and I was expecting an extra hour to be added to my Sunday although, M, I've been thinking about it ever since and I don't think that if you're born in the summer you will have an extra hour forever. It boggled my brain throughout the 298 miles home but I just can't see it somehow. Anyway, Fall Back inexplicably did not happen - hope you weren't late for work, H.
I got home to a phenomenally messy house - it was messy when I left and had not been improved by the efforts of two teenage boys and A, who they apparently talked into cooking many odd things involving bacon and baking chocolate. The remnants are strewn about the house. There are sliced apples all over the deck; I seem to have missed the "toss the apple up into the air and slice it into ribbons with a sword" competition, unfortunately, and the refrigerator is completely empty. Anyway, A hung around, S & E came over bearing wine and beer and we stayed up half the night poking at the fire (it's finally cold here.) It was nice and made up for missing the New Pornographers, alas, but I decided I couldn't afford to go. And, out of the blue, my old friend M (another M, not the M at whose house I had just been partying) in Charleston called me; I hadn't talked to him in maybe 10 years. A weekend for reconnections, all the way around.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for South Carolina (the new tent poles I ordered for the Eureka came, let us hope they work) and another party that I'm completely looking forward to and there should be lots and lots and lots of blurry pictures of bonfires and improbable instruments and barbecue coming your way late Sunday or Monday. On Sunday after I get back I will either a) crash totally or b) go see the New Pornographers at the Orange Peel. Option a is of course far more likely but I'm not giving up hope, since I'd really, really, really like to see the New Pornographers.
And now, since I'm exhausted even thinking about all this and it's been a long week, on top of the whirlwind o' fun that was speed dating, I am going to bed. I'll see y'all on either Sunday or Monday.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Damn. And I could have been SO much meaner yesterday! I was nice! I erred on the side of being relatively pleasant and look where it gets me - not a single date from . . um. . okay, a group of guys I was not interested in dating either. Still. It feels like rejection anyway and I momentarily got all verklampt and depressed. Momentarily would be the key word here, though, because at home, as you see, I have the lovely results of my brief foray into the ten cent sale at the library. Warning: Danger, not-WillRobinson, Danger. I am about to get totally nerdy here. And I do mean nerdy.
In this wonderful pile of mostly crummy escapist fiction from the seventies and eighties (man, I do love used books. I love the randomness factor and I love searching the shelves and I love the way the books change over the years so that while 10 years ago you would find, like, 20 copies of Dove, nowadays you often find stuff like Bonfire of the Vanities or the latest Sidney Sheldon magnum opus.) So, what did I find in the treasure heap of mostly 80s paperbacks that was the library book sale? Thieves World! Yes, Thieves World! Book 7, to be specific.
Back in the early 80s, while outwardly I was a freaky teenager with long hair, a dangerously devil may care attitude and too many evil friends, inwardly I was a complete and total nerd. (This is where my old friends chime in to tell me that I was an outer nerd too. Okay, they have a point. Leave me my delusions, alright?) Not only was I a Star Trek watching, Dungeons and Dragons playing, SCA meeting attending (only once, I swear. Once.) nerd, I was a fantasy & SF reading nerd. Anything I could find (some things have just not changed) and somewhere in those years, I discovered Thieves World, a place where I was happy. Thieves World is a noir, dystopic medievalish city that essentially makes no sense, populated with mostly stock characters who still made the occasional leap into good or at least interesting writing, combined with outrageous plots that kept me at the edge of my seat. I ate them like candy. I had pretty much forgotten all about it over the last, uh, 20 odd years until I saw that battered cover with an embarrassingly sinewy thewed whatever with a sword on it and my heart leaped. I read it yesterday and it was AWESOME - full of names I knew oh so well but that I would never have known that I knew. (Got that?) Also, the stories were pretty damn good, although, okay, it gets a bit complicated what with gods fucking mortals and undead fighting each other and some characters who are dead and some who aren't and wait, where's the cute thief I was in love with at age 18? Now I have to find and rediscover all the other books and I foresee some happy hunting in my future. It's good to have a quest, particularly for books, because books at least are possible, whereas love is apparently not. The hell with you, speed dating.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
But then, I am mean and creepy, so I do have a few things to say, the most important of which is NEVER AGAIN. I am never doing that again. It was like going to one of those horrible, horrible Chamber of Commerce Meet N' Greets where everyone mills around and you have to make charming small talk chit chat with people wearing nametags. "Hello, My Name is Jim and I'm a Boring Person from the Corporate Universe." "Hello, My Name is Felicity and Apparently I Have Stumbled Into Some Kind of Terrible Space/Time Rift But No Matter How Many Times I Click My Heels Together I Still Don't End Up Sitting at the Bar at Broadways, Help Me Oh God, I Do Not Speak Their Alien Language and Soon They Will Burn Me At The Stake." Nametags are just never big enough.
Speed Dating took place at the Z Lounge, where I'd never been before, a cavernous cellary space that used to be part of an antique store. When you get there, they give you a card and you're supposed to write down everyone's name on it and then check off in one of the handily labeled columns if you'd be interested in seeing them again for either Business, Friendship or, I guess, Love, although it was dark and I didn't want to fish out my glasses to see if I could possibly read that line. Sex, maybe? Hummmeta Hummeta? Who knows. Who, really, cares? Only in America, I hope, do you get the business option.
Then, if you're female, you sit at a little table with a number on it. I was number 3. I made a Prisoner joke at that point, which noone got except for J. The helpful organizers, four nice women, move you around so that noone is sitting too close to each other, although we managed it so that J & I were close enough that I could toss her a pack of cigarettes - apparently a total dealbreaker for one guy (sorry, dude. These things happen.) There were 10 women and 9 men; the men moved from table to table every seven minutes when a buzzer went off. The women were, mostly, pretty. A couple of the men were decent looking. The drinks were unholily expensive, which created a small bonding experience among everyone. Beers were $4.20, which made me make another pointless joke: "Ah, well, that's a lucky sign anyway!" and noone got that one either, which made me feel again like I'd just landed on Pluto and which made the bartender emit a weary sigh, since she has understandably heard every 420 joke in the known universe.
Then the guys began circulating. My first guy had a striped shirt and was born and raised in Asheville and I got the feeling that he was probably deeply conservative but we did not get into anything resembling meaningful conversation, thank the gods. The second guy was pretty nice and a financial something or other and I, nervous and working too long for nonprofits, hit him up for a donation to the museum. Didn't work and probably wrecked my chances but he was all, like, healthy and shit and you know that wouldn't work out anyway. There was a really, really short guy who said something about spirituality and music - eeep. There was a vaguely hippyish guy who was pretty good looking and into Michael Franti and Widespread Panic. All the women were chatting him up. There was a guy from the hospital, super nice, who was into Youtube and celebrity gossip, eeeyargh. There was a semi creepy real estate guy. There was a sad guy who lives with his parents and runs a convenience store. It all began to blur together and I started to feel like I was living in one of the bleaker Camus novels. There are only so many times you can answer the two key questions - "So, how long have you lived in Asheville?" and "What do you do?" in a chirpy, smiling manner before you just want to say, "I have always lived in the castle and all I do all day is suffer. Suffer, you fools! I suffer!"
And then there was the prize of the evening, a roofer from Hendersonville whose wife had left him 2 and a half years before. He asked me out - he said we could do anything I wanted. He asked J out. He asked everyone out. He said he worked 7 days a week and had for 32 years, which, I suppose, is why he wasn't real up on conversation. His wife took the internet with her when she left (the bitch. Imagine stealing the Internet like that.) She took the dogs too; small dogs who he did manage to describe in some detail. J gave him therapy and shot me desperate looks and finally, finally oh god, it was over and we went promptly to Broadways and drank two cheap beers and vowed, never, ever, ever again.
And now we just have to get to one of the organizers to see how we scored. You're not supposed to find this out, but we want to and we will. I suggested at the beginning that there ought to be a prize for the person who got no votes at all - at the very fucking least, free drinks - but this made the organizers a little nervous and they laughed in that shallow "I don't really think you're funny but I'm working here" way. With a little god given luck I will never see any of these people again - although the Widespread Panic guy was kind of cute and might possibly be okay to hang out with for an evening, or not - but I totally want to know if they liked me, because I am shallow like that and also I had just blown large sums of money on my hair and eyebrows, god damn it, and they better have worked.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Yesterday, I went to my zen guru therapist and as usual, he had many good points to make. It seems that he actually knows me very well, which unnerved me a bit: my instinctive response to being known well is to flee and when I say flee, I mean fleeing of the dye your hair, have plastic surgery and move to Idaho variety. He told me I had to stop putting things into one of two boxes since I seem to fit everything into either the I Can’t Have That Because Good Things Don’t Happen To Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me Box of Suffering or the If It Isn’t A Completely Magical Perfect Thing That Passes All Understanding Than I Don’t Want It Anyway Box. There is some horrifying truth to this and it alarmed me a bit. Then, however, my therapist started telling some story about how crows give warnings and how there are warnings within us that must be heeded only you have to know the difference between a crow freaking out since there’s a hawk around or a crow freaking out just because crows like to occasionally freak out and my mind started wandering and I thought, well, for my generation, this crow metaphor is just too pastoral. Personally, whenever I think there may be danger ahead, like a speed date says he loves Bush or I meet a guy I really really like who would be perfect if he had, like, a place to live, I don’t hear crows at all. What I hear is the robot from Lost in Space, yelling “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!” and then, since my name isn’t Will Robinson, I get to choose whether to ignore it or not. That comes in a lot handier than having to get all Wilderness Family Meets Don Juan (Daddy! Mr. Grizzlys says try the blue mushrooms!) and trying to figure out if a crow is just a crow or if it is, in fact, my highly exasperated spirit guide.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I also managed to hit the library 10 cent book sale and even though I got there horribly late I still scored a nice box full of penny dreadfuls, including a 1930s Nancy Mitford novel which I'm already halfway through. It's divine. I love Nancy Mitford. I should BE Nancy Mitford, god damn it, wafting giddily around 1920s London just being cool with occasional lapses into bitterly cutting wit. Somehow, being giddy in 2007 Asheville just isn't the same: even if I can occasionally lapse into bitter, cutting wit, there's noone around to appreciate it and even if they are, I'm still sure as hell not at the Ritz having a sidecar. I don't even know what a sidecar is, alas, so I will just have to be content with the mountains and an occasional PBR at Broadways, which is, truth be told, appreciative of bitter wit.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Well. It turns out that I seem to own six tents. The Eureka is there, but not, apparently, its poles. The large Eddie Bauer hobbit tent (the doors and windows are totally round) is there and so are what I devoutly hope are its poles - I'm about 90% certain that they are its poles and I just duct taped up the mysterious melted looking hole in the tent itself. There are the two small cheapass dog tents. And then - mystery! - there are two fair sized apparently relatively decent no brand dark blue tents which I guess either grew in the camping box in the garage or materialized from another plane. Here's where the math comes in: that makes five tents, each of which needs two poles, making a necessary total of ten poles, yet I seem to own only four more poles. Two of them are too long for any of these tents and two of them I swear I remember using on the Eureka, since they're gray and duct-taped, but they don't fit either and the ends are wrong. I am hopelessly confused and there are tents all over the deck which are no doubt about to be pissed on and/or eaten by the dogs. This job would be a whole lot more bearable if there was someone else here to help me curse and set up tents and the chances of me stuffing all the fucking tents back into a big plastic box and taking the giant hobbit overkill tent to Mclellanville are rising rapidly. But I love my Eureka and this is pissing me off.
In other home mysteries, my bedside lamp, which is a milk glass unvaluable antique once owned by my grandmother, has become possessed by small electricity demons and it's kind of miraculous that it hasn't killed me yet. It started by shutting itself off randomly; the first few times that happened I could fix it by screwing the lightbulb in harder. That didn't work forever - lightbulbs only go in so far - and then it started hissing, crackling and spitting a bit, as well as turning itself off and on randomly. Even though I know how dangerous this must be, I can't really get worked up about it. Instead, while I'm lying in bed, I reach over and push it around a bit until it works, even though every single time I say to myself, "Hey, self! Don't touch that hissing, spitting, crackling tower of deadly electric voltage! You could die! Just get rid of it!" Yet I do not put in a new lamp. Death wish, or simple stubbornness?
Friday, October 19, 2007
project 365 #291: stormy morning sky with inn at biltmore
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Of course, this matters to precisely noone but me. I recognize this, but although the truth may shock and awe some of you who know me well, I do have an obsessively organized side (it just doesn't extend to my house or office, really) and this kind of pointless project is right up its alley. And that side of me is having fits. The laissez faire side of me, on the other hand, is saying, what the hell. Ignore it. So you have 360 pictures at the end of the year or something. Then you get to dump some dumb ones, thank god. This kind of heresy reduces my OCD personality to sputtering speechlessness.
So there we are. In other news, I decided this morning that it's a good thing I'm not a poet, because I started waxing poetical purple this morning about the "heron haunted river" until it occurred to me that whatever it is that herons do, they do not haunt. They're not subtle, they do not waft and they are not ectoplasmic. Most of the time, they look annoyed, actually, and petulance is not a noted quality of spirits and, alas, "heron annoyed river" just doesn't sound as, well, poetical.
As for politics, I think I moved from the "laugh so you don't cry" stage to the "cry so you don't move to Finland" stage about two years ago. And, anyway, I've pretty much made every single possible joke about the current administration. Except, perhaps, this one:Knock knockSo, yeah. You can see why I stopped.
George W. Bush
Oh, god. Still?
Yes, for 14 more months
The full post is here.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Yesterday I wore the aforementioned corduroy skirt and these kneesocks, even though I grant you that striped kneesocks are more than a little jejune and perhaps, now that I am well over 40, I should give them up. I worried about this a little all day but decided that my happiness at seeing my socks outweighed my fear of looking like an idiot. Y'all will have noted that many things outweigh that particular fear. Sometimes I think I should cut my hair into a sensible bob and dye it a real color like brown or gray and change my raggedy bohemian wardrobe for suits and slacks and those jeans that come up to your ribcage and have pleats, take the stickers off my car and throw out my sci fi novels and Halloween decorations, so that I could quietly blend in. Thank the gods that sometimes is not all the times or I would throw myself into the river one fine morning and not look back.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
However, this particular normal person cannot, of course, afford to run screaming, so she stands in the kitchen and screams. It doesn't seem to faze the kitchen much. In the spirit of kitchens, therefore, I have decided to offer you some helpful household hints. They are very helpful. They will make you all Martha Stewartesque and godly although, in the immortal, paraphrased, slightly remembered words of Tom Robbins, if, by this time in human history, godliness isn't next to something a damn sight more interesting than cleanliness, we're all doomed.
2. Those Mr. Clean Magic Eraser things? They work. It's too bad that they're filled with toxic chemicals that are reducing the life of the planet by visible increments, not to mention shortening your own, personal life every time you inhale (and you had better plan on wearing gloves, too, unless you want to truly understand what the Victorian novelists meant when they talked about housemaid's hands) but fuck it, they work.
3. Cucumber peels do not repel cockroaches. That is some kind of stupid ass hippie myth, and while we're at it, white vinegar does not clean everything in your house. If white vinegar cleaned everything in your house, Mr. Clean and his freakish white eyebrows and his daring earring would never have had to come over to visit and a giant industry of toxic household cleansers would never have been born. Vinegar is a hippie myth, like Tiger Balm, which doesn't, by the way, cure headaches. The only thing vinegar really does is cure sunburn and make everything smell like cheap salad; these are good qualities and I'm not knocking them, but fuck trying to clean stuff with it. I, personally, would like to finish cleaning the house before 2012 and for that you need Mr. Clean. Or bleach. Or both.
4. There is no four tonight - I'm tired and I'm not entirely done with the stack of cheap detective novels I got from Downtown Books and News last Friday. Therefore, you will have to come up with number four all by yourself. Hint: decoupage.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It made me decide that I want a honeymoon. I was married twice and never managed to have one, since the first time we were too poor and I was pregnant and thus we just went to Myrtle Beach with the cover band for whom my new husband was the soundman and the second time we were too poor, period and anyway we had already been living together for three years and had a toddler. I could skip the marriage part, I guess, but damn if I don't want a week in a luxury hotel. Yes, I do and I think the universe owes me one. Get to work on that, universe, will you?
This is not a picture, however, from the Biltmore. It's a picture of sunrise at the park yesterday before Theo went into full asshole mode and I'm leaning towards making it my picture of the day. There are several candidates for picture of the day, which is unusual, because I'm starting to hate Project 365 with a fiery passion and wish I had never, ever committed myself to it. I don't want to take a stupid picture every day anymore but I'm damned if I'll quit now, with less than 70 days left in the year, so I'm soldiering on. Anyway, these are my contenders. 1, 2, 3 and the one above - which one is the best and why?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Actually, the great gurus staged a rebellion this morning at the park and I am furious with them. It was Theo who was so bad but it goes against the grain to be mad at him, since usually, except for his underwear fetish, he's the Good Dog. Or he was the Good Dog, until this morning, when he decided to take off literally into Hominy Creek and he would. not. come. back. For anything. Meanwhile, I had Django locked in the car, which he was trying to drive (why will dogs always try to drive? Don't they understand that it takes thumbs?) which consequently soaked every inch of the front seat with muddy river water and sand, as I discovered when I got into the car in a flaming temper and started to drive off, revving noisily to let Theo know that he was being abandoned and I was hoping that he would be eaten by the Hominy Creek Creature. Given that Hominy Creek is only, in this drought blighted October, about 18" deep at it's deepest spots, the Hominy Creek Creature is probably kind of small and wistful, but I was wishing him on Theo hard anyway. The revving did the trick and Theo remembered that my driving away without him made his chances of receiving breakfast exponentially slimmer, and he came up out of the creek and jumped his sodden self into the car. Which Django promptly jumped out of so he could go see the creek for himself, since he was nice and dry now. That's when I started screaming, I think, which wasn't really helpful, since Django is conditioned to hide under beds whenever Mom starts screaming and, when there are no beds available, his small brain becomes confused and he runs in freaked out circles very fast.
So I'd already gotten my freakout of the day over with by 8:15 am and I suppose there's something to be said for that, even if it mostly just makes me feel tired. Very tired.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up the paddles from K’s house. I had already gotten pucks from the sporting goods store (super cool pucks in different shapes, with super funky mylar designs on them) but there we were, with a working air hockey table, our other friend K expected at any moment for the first of what one hopes will be many air hockey tournaments, and no paddles. Or handles, or whatever they’re called in pro air hockey. I haven’t looked pro air hockey up on the internet but you know it just has to be out there. So S and I retired to the porch to smoke cigarettes and grouse. “Stop this,” I said, “We are women of infinite resource and sagacity and we can totally make our own damn paddles.” It turns out that upside down plastic containers of the kind used to hold small portions of hot and sour soup from your local friendly Asian takeout work admirably as air hockey paddles. Except when you slam into your opponents paddle, at which point you jam your fingers and yell OW loudly and realize why air hockey paddles have handles. Then while your opponent is feeling guilty you can totally get around her and score another goal.
The air hockey table looks perfect in the garage. We drank a couple of beers and played air hockey and generally channeled our 16 year old selves, because for American teenagers, there is always and has always been and will always be, global warming and catastrophe aside, someone you don’t know all that well, whose house boasts an air hockey table in the garage or the basement, where you go with a group of other teenagers to smoke pot and play air hockey and records. “What time does your mom get home?” asked S and slammed a puck into the goal.
Given the chair and the air hockey table, I’m starting to feel like my oh-so-seventies ranch house is calling things home and I’m wondering what will be next. I’ve found myself actually looking for orange macramé plant hangers and thinking seriously that maybe, just maybe a shag rug would be cool. There’s already a green light up EXIT sign and a lava lamp in the den – right next to the record player. We were thinking that some large speakers in the garage would be pretty cool and then we could put on Aerosmith and Fleetwood Mac and get DOWN.
In a freaky twist of fate or something, my friend E actually found my house on Flickr – it was the childhood home of someone who lives in Florida now. I wonder if they had an air hockey table but I’m kind of afraid to ask.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
In my latest fit of what turns out to be acute hypochondria or, more honestly, a combination of an ovarian cyst and the IBS I have had for years deciding to take it up several notches all at once (I don't want to talk about it. This is a family blog. I'll talk happily and without shame about sex and violence, but I can't handle bowels. We all have our little quirks.) as we know, I went to the doctor. The gynecologist, to be more specific, and not my usual gyno, either, but her partner because she was out of town. My usual gyno knows me and does not take me seriously. Sometimes I find this reassuring, sometimes annoying but there you have it. In general, I am as healthy as the proverbial horse (if horses are so healthy, why did I constantly have to be calling the vet in the wee hours of the morning for my horse Alfie? And then the vet would come and stick a long tube up his nose and into his stomach and all in all it was extremely instructive if you, like me, were 13 years old.) and my gyno thus refuses to worry about me. However, this was her partner, who seems very nice and took the trouble to call me and tell me about my ovary and general health last night.
There was one thing about this doctor though, that threw me a little. Gentle readers, I will not beat about the bush: (hee. Hee. Hee hee hee!) she hummed. Yes, as I obediently scooched down the table with my feet in the stirrups and she took out the speculum, she hummed. I'm not sure what she hummed - it might have been, oh god, Ride of the Valkyries, but let's hope not - but as the speculum went on its merry way she continued humming. A bit louder. It was a little unsettling - kind of charming, I'll give you that, noone has ever before approached that part of my anatomy while humming - but unsettling nonetheless. And also, it's difficult to stay still on a table with your feet up in the stirrups when you are seized by a massive oncoming fit of the giggles.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
It's not my appendix and it's not my pancreas and and it's not my liver and it's not, apparently, my kidneys, although one of my ureters is apparently a little wacky and inflamed, but not enough to be worrisome. It's not anything big and scary like cancer or small and scary like my gall bladder. It is, apparently, not. So this should be good news and I wish I felt more cheerful about it but unfortunately, my stomach still hurts. I guess this is just the way it is going to be from here on out.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I went to see my zen therapist this morning after a month or so break. I was kind of dreading it, because first of all I thought he would be mad at me for not coming in for a month and then I thought, oh gods, the minute I tell him I've been sick for umpteen days he's going to start telling me it's a metaphor. He did. I told him he was predictable. He laughed. It was okay. He said, "The last time you were here we were talking about you doing a threshold ceremony." A threshold ceremony, for those of you not from Asheville, is some kinda funky hippie ritual shit whereby you get rid of old stuff and make yourself ready for new stuff. Like, I need to give up, as above, black coffee, spicy food, alcohol and handsome, insincere men. Also, cigarettes. Also, my attachments to a few specific people and things and patterns that just are not good for me anymore (if they ever were. Well, sure they were. I never could have gotten this cynical without them.) I've been balking at this because I'm not very good at getting rid of things, first off, and then if I was going to get rid of my attachment to a certain person than I'd have to get rid of the stuff he gave me and that's some of my favorite music and I am NOT getting rid of my favorite music just because it came from someone specific. There must be an easier way.
So guru zen therapist said that I should probably do a ceremony, particularly after I ranted a bit about how I hated facing reality and that if visualization and all that shit worked than why was there anybody starving or unhappy in the world and, let's face it, reality in general and mine in specific kind of sucked and I was never, ever going to have a house or a partner or enough money in the bank to retire and it all sucked and so on and so forth. I wound down after a while and sighed. "Okay," I said, "I was thinking about having a dinner party this weekend but I guess I'll go out to the fucking woods and burn shit instead."
And maybe I will. If I'm not having my appendix or other bits of my interior anatomy carved out of me instead.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
A coat of paint and some cleaning won't save everything, but it sure can make a difference to some things! At least it can take a chair from loathesomely hideous to, well, funkily hideous. Just wait til I start gluing jewels all over it. It will be even better.
So I bought a new cheapass lawnmower and two cans of red spray paint. Then I came home and dragged my new hideous chair, kindly deposited in my living room on Friday by either C or some of his minions, out onto a tarp on the deck and spray painted it candy apple gloss red. Then I floated around the stratosphere on the paint fumes for a while, listening to my brain cells shriek as they died and went to bed. Today, I went back to Lowes, bought more paint and a wrench to build the lawnmower, since the directions told me I would need one. I'd never bought a wrench before. I got a bit muddled as to what, exactly, a wrench was, but I finally figured it out, which made me feel competent and smart. Okay, it took 40 minutes of wandering lost around the tool department until I intuited the difference between a wrench and a socket set, but I did it.
Then I finished painting the chair, assembled the lawnmower (which was a royal pain in the ass) and mowed the front yard and half the giant back yard. I took the stinky covers off the stinky foam cushions, washed the covers in the bathtub (which was unbelievably gnarly) and scrubbed the cushions themselves with Febreze, baking soda, vinegar and some weird spray stuff called Odo-Ban which I found in the back of a cabinet and I think dates from the desperate days of Theo's housetraining mishaps. All this should exorcise the ghost of the chair's previous owner, who I believe by the strength of his odor was either a secret undercover Yeti or a large old man who sank into that chair in 1975 and didn't get up again, smoking all the way.
My stomach finally feels better, as you may have guessed. Who knows what the hell it was? My mother now claims that a cousin of hers had an appendix that acted up now and again for 40 years until it finally burst when he was conveniently alone in a canoe on a lake in Canada. Canoeing in Canada is my new euphemism for death - he lived, but minor details shouldn't affect good euphemisms. My brother told me Friday night that he went into the hospital to have his appendix taken out when he was 9 but after 3 days it had gone back down and they sent him home with appendix intact. So I've decided that chancy appendices run in the family and I am not going to worry about it anymore. I'm just hoping it doesn't come back and I keep on feeling okay - it's odd, whenever I'm sick I have trouble believing myself. I think, oh, I'm not really sick, I'm slacking, I'm imagining it, I'm actually okay, this is all in my head. And I believe that and yell at myself internally a lot until I feel better, at which point I go, damn, I felt like shit on a proverbial shingle for more than 2 weeks, didn't I? And it wasn't all in my head, what do you know.
Friday, October 05, 2007
No doubt partially due to this, I have on one earring today. I thought the other one was in my purse, but it isn't. That is to say, this morning when I put on one earring, I thought oh yeah, the other one is in my purse. Then I promptly forgot about it; did not look in purse, just wandered out the door with one earring. This is nothing much: the kicker is that I repeated this scenario. Several times. Like, probably 15 times or so: reach up to ear, think, shit, I'm only wearing one earring! The other one is in my purse! And then promptly forget. Finally, around 2:00 I actually looked in my purse. No earring. And now I know I have only one earring on. Oh well. At least the hangover is finally gone.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Finally he deigned to examine me and then told me that it was my appendix, but not to worry, some people just have chronic appendices that flare up now and then and it would go away. The medical establishment, he said, was threatened by this fact, which is why noone knew about chronic exploding appendices. It would go away faster if I fasted, he said, but that was up to me. The whole experience was so strange that I went home and told my housemates all about him and they were so intrigued that they went, one by one, to consult him themselves and had equally bizarre experiences, which we all dissected at length. I wondered then and I wonder now just what the hell this doctor who was what, retired? Insane? Debarred? A psychiatrist from one of those really weird schools of psychiatric thought? thought about the stream of raggedly dressed art students coming in to his horse farm with a variety of imagined symptoms. When I moved back to the area some 10 years later, he was long gone, replaced by a normal doctor in a normal new office building and the horse farm had become a subdivision.
Well, okay. Here we are 20 years later, same symptoms: clearly it is my chronic appendix, dormant all this time and now malevolently awake again like a James Bond villain. Soon it will return to sleep, no doubt, and I can revisit this whole thing in 20 years. Also, it occurs to me that maybe everyone my age and older just feels like shit all the time. Maybe I will feel like this for the rest of my life. It's doing a good job of combating the PMS that's just coming on, anyway. Yesterday, in the car, I started into my usual self pity whine: I like this neighborhood. .. but I will never get to live here. . . I will never own a house. . . I will never have a husband . . . I will spend the rest of my life alone in a rented slum. . . wait. The rest of my life is probably only about a week! A rented house and lack of partner are the least of my problems! Huh! I feel better!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
First, the good news of the bad news: after a sonogram (you would have thought, at my advanced age, that I would be through with that sort of thing) and various probings and pokings, it was determined that all this pain is not related to my kidneys or my female bits. They're fine; I mean, I have a small ovarian cyst and a polyp in my uterus, which I got to look at on the sonogram, inasmuch as anyone can see anything on a sonogram - I tried to look intelligently at the thing - but they are, apparently, nothing to worry about. On the bad side of the bad news is that noone is quite sure what's causing this pain but the doctor seems to think it's quite likely that my appendix is fixing to blow.
Damn. Let me write that down again, because I still don't quite believe it: the doctor seems to think it's quite likely that my appendix is fixing to blow. And here I thought that appendicitis, like childbirth, only happened during hurricanes on desert islands just as the brave doctor is hit on the head by the mysterious stranger. Or during snowstorms in 1880 on the great plains while the Indians are attacking. You know. Drama. Instead, we have mysterious pain that isn't going away and a bunch of blood tests. And, they wanted me to go have an abdominal CT scan. They wanted me to do this tomorrow, but tomorrow I have a big giant huge day at work, featuring an event which I have to set up and pour wine at and be charming and etc., so I said, "No, Friday." They looked at me funny and said, "Uh, you may not have a choice about that." Being the stubborn Taurus I am, I still said, no, Friday, thinking to myself that if I keeled over with appendicitis during a museum event, well, that would be much more in keeping with the kind of appendix thing you see on TV. Then I went over to the CT scan place and got two giant jars of apple flavored (the contrast dye stuff comes in banana, berry or apple. You get to choose. All three sound horrible. Why don't they just have barium flavor or whatever it is and leave it at that?) stuff that I have to drink on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, my stomach hurts and I'm terrified. I've always been healthy as the proverbial horse and stuff like this freaks me way the hell out. I'm always sure it's some kind of terrible disease that noone has ever heard of and I'll end up being profiled in some creepy women's magazine: Meet poor Felicity, who was healthy all her life until she was suddenly diagnosed with Aapoiremnfopimeuhroism, a very rare, debilitating condition that means she has to live in a small iron box in constant pain with no hair and also, she shouts random rude things at passersby and is blind. And deaf. And covered with poison ivy like blotches. You think I have trouble finding a boyfriend now? It could be so much worse. I could end up being inspirational. Ewwwww. I will not suffer nicely, I tell you. I will be cursing and shrieking until the very end.
The good news, though, is that for the measly sum of $10, I bought the Ugliest Chair in the World and as soon as C has a minute, he's going to pick it up at the Habitat store over by Biltmore Village and bring it over to my house. It won't fit in my car. There's a damn good chance it won't fit in my house, either, but I want it anyway. We need another chair to watch TV in now that M & I have discovered and become addicted to Heroes. It's made of wood. Big chunks of wood in a sort of Mission style, if the carpenters at the original Mission were Neanderthals, that is. It rocks. Well, it kind of rocks. And, the piece de resistance: it has orange plush cushions with a large orangish bucolic millpond and barn scene printed on them. It is so ugly, it's amazing and not only that, all that wood will give even Django (who ate Disc One of Heroes yesterday, which is going to cost me some serious $$ at the video store, goddamn that fucking dog) pause. Even he can't gnaw through that much wood very quickly. I may finally have found a piece of furniture that my dog cannot destroy. Be still, my heart.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Anyway. Sunday night the kids and I settled down in front of what passes for the familial hearth these days: the Sci Fi channel. Which was playing, first, the end of a movie called Avalanche! which was satisfyingly awful (so bad, in fact, that I can't even find it on IMDB, unless I managed not to recognize Mia Farrow in it, which is possible. Hmm.) and then something called Stephen King's Storm of the Century. We thought, in our innocence, that this would be a 2 hour movie, just barely possibly including a monster terrorizing the inhabitants of a small Maine town. We were right about the monster and the small Maine town - big stretch there for Stephen King! Not like he ever writes about that! - but hideously wrong about the length of this movie. It went on for six hours and by the time we had figured that out it was too late and we were hooked. So we watched it. And watched it and watched it and watched a billion commercials and got all Buffy-ized, which is our family shorthand for what happens when you watch too much TV and become punchy and giddy and weird and lurch around when you try to stand up.
The brief plot synopsis of this movie, in case you care, is that there's a big scary snowstorm which cuts a small Maine island, populated by stalwart white (very white) Maine types with a bewildering assortment of accents, off from the mainland. This naturally brings down a scary demon who goes around killing people and controlling their brains and so on. He is pretty spooky. Whatever. Then he demands a kid and they give him one. Stephen King always sort of falls apart at the end. Then A left, I managed not to buy a Chevy, although I felt deeply driven to do so, and went to bed. The next morning I got up and walked the dogs as is my habit and wont.
Well. There was a car in the parking lot at the park. Oooooh! Yikes! I got all paranoid and started jumping at shadows and freaking out. So bad, in fact, that I very nearly continued instead of turning around and went to Amboy Road and called C to come pick me up, since he is a gentleman and probably (not definitely, but probably) would help out a damsel in distress even if it was me. Then I thought I was being dumb and I came up with all these tactics that I would use if accosted, from magically melting away into the mist to running up onto the highway to siccing the dogs on him to using my amazing martial arts skillz, which I mystically acquired via years of Buffy watching and the 3 months of Tae Kwon Doh I took 10 years ago. All this was very good and empowering and I felt tough and competent and then a jogger came up silently behind me and said politely, "Excuse me!" and I shrieked like a little girl and jumped 6 feet up in the air.
No more Stephen King miniseries for me. Too scary. I better not watch anything stronger than My Little Pony ever again.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Okay, I went to the party. I got horrendously drunk. And I sort of swept the awards, thanks to all of y'alls kind voting. I am now the Official Queen of the Blogosphere, so, um, watch out. Soon there will be purges. Definitely there must be a court. And a throne and shit. Or, on the other, possibly saner hand, let's not and say we didn't.
I am really touched and kind of embarrassed and, uh, I don't know what to say here except, gee, um, thanks. In the immortal words of Sally Field, it would appear that you like me, you really like me! Perhaps I should institute a tip jar. ;-) I am honored, actually, really honored and very proud and also, to all of y'all who voted for me as the person they most want to have a beer with: this goal is eminently achievable once I fully recover from the hangover spawned by winning all those awards. Which may take a while.
Anyway, thank you. Seriously. Thank you. And huge thanks to Screwy Hoolie for arranging all this, to Edgy Mama for giving out prizes (I so know it was you who selected that Pop Up Book of Sex. It is beautiful. I am so embarrassed. You know I'm a secret prude, don't you? I just stuck it in the bookshelf and I'm wondering how long it will take young M to sniff it out.) to K & J for hosting yet another fantastically wonderful party (sorry I left my stuff strewn all over your yard, um, yes, I know, I was shedding large clumps of belongings at the end there) and again to everyone for everything. Y'all rock.