Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Who You Gonna Call?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kansas Weather Matches My Mood

I was scanning like a madwoman last night and came upon these historically relevant images in my collection. First, the sky in Lawrence, Kansas, the day before my wedding.

Second, the sky in Olathe, Kansas, sometime during my marriage.

Third, the snowy tree in Wichita, Kansas, just before the marriage collapsed.

Finally, the tree right outside my therapist's office. This is the woman I went to in desperation to save my marriage who, after a year's time, helped me to come to a totally different conclusion. She was awesome.

I like that everything has meaning if you make it so.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fried Chicken Fight

I'm known for being a shut in, especially on the weekends, but I did manage to go to two whole parties on Saturday night. To get from one to the other, I had to take the R train from Prospect one stop to 9th street, transfer to the F, then get off two stops later at Carroll street. Your typical "hop, skip, and a jump."

The New York City subway system is known for a lot of things (dirty, leaky, poopy stations / late, stalled, sticky trains / the ever-lovin sick passenger) and one of its more charming traits is the colorful collection of psychopaths, mental defectives, and teenagers that litter the trains on the weekends. Couple that with infrequent schedules, stopping for no reason, and the rain mixing with the poo and you've got a really special Saturday jaunt lined up.

Strangely, almost everything about the trip could not have been more perfect. Coming from the end station at 95th street to the first party at Prospect was a breeze -- the train was waiting in the station, it left as soon as I boarded, there was no one on the train, and it took 15 minutes tops, zing-zing zang. On the way to the next party, the R came right away, and the F pulled up a few seconds after I walked into the station--wow! I mean, really: WOW. This is not typical Saturday behavior for the trains. Why I thought I would get by without some bullshit happening in the mere two stops between destination A and B, I'll never know.

Everything seemed fine. Then I saw a fried chicken leg fly through the air. We all looked over and there was a woman grabbing a bag from Nathan's (known for hotdogs, but not today) and throwing it in her boyfriend's face. It kept bouncing back, so she threw it over and over again. Each time, fried chicken pieces flew everywhere. She didn't start yelling until after the first chicken strike but it all amounted to him being a cheating bastard, that she knew where he was last night and he knew very well that she was not, indeed, a fool. Then she opened a bottle of water and doused him with it. It kind of reminded me of mass. A little. The whole time she was doing this, standing up and sitting down, pelting and dousing, yelling and growling, she was holding a toddler in her arms. The toddler seemed vaguely interested, nothing more.

What a world.

So, now I can add that to the list of Crap I Have Seen on The NYC Subway.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Picard Face

I may hemorrhage soon from laughing so hard. Please go HERE immediately. This is a delightful diversion and I will love it 4ever. Thanks yet again to the Adairdevil who may, in fact, be an entity. How does she find this funny shite???

Side Note: I lurve me some Jean Luc Picard. Did I spell that right? Anyway. I love me some Data, some Worf, some Dianna, and even some Geordi LaForge with his damn bananaclip shades. I was an obsessive Star Trek Next Generation fan (remember the one when they kept going back in time? NO, not the finale, the other one when the ship kept blowing up and Riker--love me some Riker--kept screaming "All hands! All hands!" Remember?) but I hate, hate, hate the original Star Trek and most of the movies (including the next gen movies--very, very sad). One exception, the Borg movie--was that the second one?--because resistance is futile. You gotta love a Borg.

Oh my God I just looked at Picard Face again. I think I just popped a vein. Worth it. Completely worth it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Feel Better Now

Since I am a little bit RAGE-y these days, it is nice to find simple pleasures to ease the homicidal twitches. My dear Adairdevil turned me on to this, which is weirdly gratifying and not at all irritating, infuriating, or otherwise soul scorching.

I was reminded of it when I saw a sign of the apocalypse as I strolled down 23rd street at lunch today: two redheads, both unnaturally tan. After the little man in my head stopped screamingandscreaming, I remembered that I had an outlet. Now you do, too!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Smoking Is Naughty!

Dear Friends,

Some of you know it, some of you don't: I quit smoking on March 1. I haven't cheated, not once! I've quit before, back when I was playing housewife, but I started again when I moved to New York. It has taken me awhile (what? what? five years is "awhile") but I've finally quit again. I intend to stick with it until I am truly and completely done with it. Should be highly annoying, difficult, discouraging, and altogether soul crushing, but at least I'll be smoke free!

Just so you know: Part of the process is the whining, moaning, and general grousing about giving up the yummy lung candy. I am allowed to caterwaul ALL I WANT because HEY! I AM NOT SMOKING! So nyeh.

I've been obsessing about it for months, but when my dear friend Snarkygirl quit I knew I had to join her. It is so much better when you have a compassionate soul sister. THANK YOU, kitten! Snarkygirl made a list of some positives so I am going to copy her--as we all do around here, I am also wearing her sweater today--but I'm also going to list some negatives because, in case I hadn't mentioned it, I get to kick and scream, too!


1. I can breathe.
2. I can sleep on my back.
3. I'm not hemorrhaging money.
4. I might live to see 65.
5. I don't smell like an ashtray.
6. My apartment doesn't smell like an ashtray.
7. I'm not a slave to the habit.
8. I'm not measuring the length of my days in cigarettes.
9. I'm not getting as many dirty looks as before.
10. The gum works exceedingly well.


1. I can smell New York even better now. Mmm, sourmilkcottoncandychumvomit!
2. I'm not sleeping through the night anymore. And the boyfriend's snoring keeps me up all. night. long.
3. Nicorette is expensive. It should be free. Or a nickle a piece.
4. I may live a loooong life without the sweet, sweet lungcandy that is cigarette smoke.
5. I still do smell like an ashtray on Mondays and Thursdays after I've stayed over at the boyfriend's because he will never, ever quit.
6. My neighbor smokes some kind of witchgrass hellweed in the hallway. It creeps under the door and into my apartment daily.
7. I don't know what to do with myself sometimes. I just wander the apartment, looking for crack.
8. No counter to measuring the really is all good.
9. This is New York, full of bitches. Dirty looks will happen regardless of habits.
10. The gum tastes like poison pepper laced with mint arsenic. Funny how such a nasty taste is so quickly associated with a near ecstasy of relief...or nausea if you chew it too enthusiastically.

Truth be told, I really wasn't "enjoying" smoking anymore. For those of you who have never smoked, you won't understand that, but it really can be a pleasurable experience. Luckily for me, the whole act was nothing but burden anymore. Lucky, lucky, lucky. Right. Now if I could just get over the pain of a broken is like an ex-boyfriend. You don't miss his curlies in the sink, jokes involving well-timed gas, pee on the rim, constant nitpicking, male PMS, wandering eyes, crooked teeth, and misguided love for stankbutt colognes...but you miss his sorry ass anyway because he was funny, silly, sincere, expressive and, let's face it: you loved him. Ack! Whatever. So annoying. I shall never love again! In the meantime, where is my freaking GUM?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Alas: I am a Doofus

Adairdevil, being Ms. Smartymarty, has just enlightened me to the true definition of the word I used to announce the amazing procurement of my Grand Chicken of Dreams: Alas. Alas, my ass did not know the meaning of ALAS. According to the American Heritage, "alas" is:

Used to express sorrow, regret, grief, compassion, or apprehension of danger or evil.

Well, obviously that is NOT what I meant. Gosh. I love my chicken. I look at it all the time and I am very, very happy to have found it. What I meant was:

HOT DAMN! The Chicken of Destiny Has Arrived!

I can't believe I didn't know the definition of "Alas." Monkey poop.

300 (Naked Men, otay!)

So I saw 300 on Sunday morning and I'm not sure what the problem is supposed to be. I was really looking for the huge flaws that earned all of the bad reviews. Racist? No. Homophobic? No. Good popcorn movie? Yes. Is there something wrong with that?

Let's face it. Movie reviewers review movies for other movie reviewers. They could give a shit about the masses who buy the tickets and support the industry. Instead they appear to be in a constant war of haughty persnickety-ness that narrows the field of "viewable" cinema down to one subtitled film a year. Hey! Foreign films are great! But can reviewers review with the public in mind? We are not interested in your hyper-judgemental, film school snarkiness.

Were there problems with 300? You bet! The battle scenes dragged on in places (too much slo-mo, guys -- fun stuff, in moderation), the narrator was over-the-top (translation: sometimes sounded like those lame video game voice-overs), and the dramarama cinematics were uneven (ooo, lightning and guitars and slow-mo! again!)--but all of these things combined did not render the movie horrid and unwatchable. To suggest otherwise is completely unfair.

The movie isn't going to DO IT for everyone. The little old ladies on line in front of us were horrified when the teenager behind the counter accidentally gave them tickets to 300. They wanted to see Wild Hogs. And no doubt they enjoyed watching Travolta get a crow to the face. I'm betting they would have hated 300 just like the assortment of reviewers who panned it. And I'd take both opinions with a grain of salt.

By the way, prefacing my Monday with a fine blood and guts warrior movie certainly put me in a precarious mindset for the morning rush. Some ferret-faced business poop in a long leather coat did the old "guess which way I'm going to go" juke-move as he came at me on 5th and 23rd. Usually, my first instinct is to think (but not say) "I am a PERSON!" and divert to the right. Today, however, I deepened my scowl and put my shoulders into it. Because my first instinct was to head butt him and shove him into traffic. So he jogged to the right. Out of my way. Perhaps it was in my eyes, ay? Yaaaaaaaaay, 300!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Alas: Destiny

This is the Chicken of Destiny.

This is the Chicken of Destiny at another angle.

His arse.

Making friends with the Chinatownchicken. It's love!

How do I know it is him? I just do. Here's the story:

I finally went on EBay though I had not one stitch of confidence that I could ever find the Grand Chicken of Dreams there. After all, you enter the word "Rooster" and eight thousand listings pop up. Well, EBay has gotten a LOT better since I last used it (to sell my wedding dress)--they now break it down into different categories.

I clicked "ceramics and pottery" and began searching through the 700+ possibilities. I think there were 16 pages total...on page 11 (or so) I saw something that seemed like a possibility. I clicked it. Scrolled down to the enlarged pictures, three at different angles. It was him.

After I fell back to earth, I shook off the shiny-shiny joy and got down to business. Was it expensive? Probably. Did I have a confirmed address? OhGodohGodohGod. No. I emailed my girlfriends, who I will refer to by their superhero names (because they ARE, they ARE): Snarkygirl and Adairdevil. The title of my email was "Now Everybody Just Calm Down," which someone needed to do and it was not my girlfriends. They talked me off the ledge and Adairdevil, being the wonderful, giving, understanding soul that she is, offered to be my EBay go-between as she did, indeed, have the fabled "confirmed address." So we ordered him. And waited.

We got the notice that he was waiting for us at the post office yesterday. Adairdevil, Snarkygirl, and I travelled out to Adairdevil's 'hood on the Godforsaken F Train (heretofore known as the Vomit Express for it was very crowded and I am not quite ready to rub elbows with the masses stacked on masses yet). As we were waiting for him, I watched the bored Post Office employee blithely plop the box down for scanning and felt my inner monkey bare its teeth. But then we opened the little security window and the box was safely in my arms. Alas!

We took a stroll over to the local watering hole (owned and operated by John, other John, and other John's brother, Chuck) and ordered up a round of drinks. I then proceeded to open the box with Adairdevil's keys--it took awhile because the guy had taped the hell out of it. Finally, inside that box was another box--a box made just for my rooster with custom fit styrofoam and everything. We took him out, placed him on the bar, and proceeded to coo at him like he was an infant. The Chicken of Destiny!!

Needless to say, he is now safe at home, well-loved and adored. But the question is: Now that destiny has been fulfilled, what is my purpose? There are no more chickens left to conquer!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Update: Destiny

I hold in my hands a peach-colored slip of paper that will be the key to JOY later this evening. It says...

Sorry We Missed You!
Item is at: Post Office
Available for Pick Up After 3/7

By the end of this day I will have what I have sought for (Jesus Christ in a Rowboat, really?) ten years. Ten years, man.

Here's a peek!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Thug Life, Texas Style

So when I was five years old I lived on a horse and cattle ranch about an hour outside of Seymour, Texas, with my mother, grandparents, and assorted crazy relatives from my grandmother's side of the family. Since my memories of this single year in my life are from a five-year-old's perspective, they are both grand and whimsical and not at all disturbing, although they should be. Maybe.

My favorite memories of Texas:

  1. The ranch, our little home, my grandparents home, and the nicest home of all, mostly left empty because it was reserved for the well-to-do relatives who owned the ranch. I think we went in it once. All I remember was that it smelled old and closed up. I couldn't understand why no one was allowed to live in it, but five-year-olds never understand the politics of greed at that level. I did understand the concept of mine, mine, mine, however, so it could not have been so alien.

  2. I got my tongue stuck on the frost of our freezer once. Every kid does this, right? Mom, being the sadist that she was, pulled me off instead of pouring warm water over it. Thanks, Ma! I still feel the pain when it rains.

  3. Sign of Creativity and/or Sociopathic tendencies? You decide: My only true friends were my hands, created by putting the thumb and pointer together for the mouth and splaying the rest of the fingers like a cockscomb (hello, chicken). I don't remember much about them, although I do know that they advised me on all manner of important things and that each was a distinct individual with sometimes conflicting opinions from the other. Oh, and the two hands put together at the fingertips? God. He told me to run away once. I packed my tiny suitcase, too. But I never followed through.

  4. Kindergarten, where I learned to cause as much trouble as possible. Also where I learned what "paddling" was all about. It was very practiced, with the teacher's thin-lipped grab of my arm and rapid march down to the principal's office, followed by ten licks, if memory serves. Funny, the only paddling I really remember was the one I received for a crime I did not commit. I suppose injustice stings worse. I did not, in fact, hurl a phone at another kid's face. It didn't fit my m.o. at all. I was a stealth brat, at the ready to shock and awe. And I did it a lot, which is probably why I got pinned for the flying phone crime.

  5. My first boyfriends, acquired under threat of pain. Are there better ways?

  6. Other things I did to get paddled: I only remember two. The first: Screw you and your plants, too: I was sitting next to my teacher at recess, and right next to us stood the other kindergarten class' plant project. I don't know what kind of plants, just that they were eye level and easily accessible. I remember contemplating it, the pros, the cons: our class didn't have a plant project (pro), the teacher was sitting right beside me (con), the other kindergarten class only had to stay half-days (pro, and the tipping point). So, I reached over and ripped it to shreds. I got paddled. And shamed in front of both classes. I don't remember feeling all that bad, but maybe I did. All I know is that I did not truly reform until first grade when we were back in Wichita. The second: You are MY Bitch: My best friend (Carrie?) talked to someone I didn't like so I walked up to her when we were lining up for recess, grabbed her arm, twisted it, and ran my nail down the inside from the wrist to the elbow. Then I lined up like usual. I didn't think much of it until the teacher grabbed me and showed me what I'd done. She was bleeding and crying. From my adult point of view, it was awful, but I think I must have been Michael Myers or something back then, because it didn't really register. Don't I look like a nice kid? I am sure there were a legion of people who would have volunteered to drown me. I would have been one of them.

  7. My bus ride to school was and hour each way. One day, the bus driver let me off, but there was nobody home. I somehow managed to get over the cattle guards and all the way to my crazy relatives' house before remembering to watch for rattlesnakes. It was a long trek for a five-year-old, and a nice taste of independence.

  8. My Favorite Brain Injury, Ever: I was prone to head injuries growing up; standing up under things was my specialty. One day, our bus got stuck in the mud. There were only a few of us left; some had parents come pick them up and I was left to stay at some girl's house to wait for my people to claim me. So, I didn't like her. Shocking, right? It's clear I had issues at the time. But I really, really didn't like this girl; she was older than me and had more things that I had--I was still a few years away from understanding rich vs. poor and the crushing sorrow of a poor girl's envy, but I knew this little shit had a tennis court and I most certainly did not. So, we were playing on the tennis court and she was chasing me with one of those shark-head-on-a-stick toys where you squeeze the handle and the shark goes chomp-chomp-chomp. I'm running backwards because, hey, shark on a stick, man, when I trip over the tennis net and land directly on the back of my head. At this point, everything happens in slow motion shutter clicks. The girl asking me if I'm okay, face transforming from teasing goblin to genuinely worried, her mother pulling me off the ground, somehow getting into the house and sitting on the couch while the girl says over and over, "Are you ok? Are you ok?" I can't remember when I snapped out of it, but the knot on the back of my head was enormous. You know how Blow Pops have that ridge across the middle, like a mini candy Saturn? That's what the knot felt like: a big, hard candy-planet with a ring around it. I even presented my injury at show-and-tell to wide acclaim. It was fantastic. I do believe there was brain damage, however, which sucks. I could have been a surgeon, an astronaut, or a smarty marty math professor. We'll just never know.

  9. My grandpa: All memories of my childhood lit with warm light and close comfort invariably include my grandfather. My favorite person then, now, and always. I miss him terribly. We watched The Incredible Hulk together because Lou Ferrigno scarred the hell out of me. He would make sure I was okay whenever the Hulk appeared, and we would yell "ewwwwww" whenever the kissing started. He was my hero and I loved him.

  10. This is the infamous year I threw Farah Fawcett out the window because my mom caught me putting Farah and Ken in a lustful position. We were driving in the car, I was sitting right next to her, but I still got mad about getting caught. And, as the logic goes, I punished my mother by throwing my favorite doll out the window. See? Brain damage.

  11. The horses at the ranch were not particularly ride-able--they were the biting and bucking kind--but they'd let me pick the burrs out of their manes.

  12. My grandparents' picture window genuinely looked like a picture. At least, my memory tells me so.

  13. I got Fonzie for my birthday. Now that I think of it, he may have been the one getting it on with Farah, not Ken. Either Fonzie or Donnie Osmond. I can't remember. Anyway, he had a trigger on his back that you pulled to make his arms go up and down. His fists, you might guess, were in perpetual "thumbs up" motion. Aeyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeee.

  14. The last time I spent any real, one-on-one time with my father was in Texas. He picked me up and took me to some kind of dime store. He bought me the junk that all kids love and parents despise: the cheap crap in plastic sold on the endcaps by the registers. I thought it was pretty alright. I remember not really understanding who he was.

  15. Riding in the truck with my mom, listening to Linda Ronstadt or Dolly Parton, depending on who was winning the war. Mom won ALL THE TIME, so now "Blue Bayou" is forever tattooed in my damaged brain. Thanks, Ma!

I'll admit that some of these memories are a bit thuggish. I get it, violence is wrong. But part of intrigue is how foreign it all is to me now. I haven't been violent, destructive, or sociopathic since I was five. Mostly. And Texas is, now and forever, a psychedelic mind-trip from somebody else's dream. Now that's a postcard.