Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ever wonder about my softer side?

...Because I do have one, you know. It's not all jokes and sarcasm here--sometimes I open up and reveal the inner me: That shy, sweet, loving, sometimes-sad little girl crying out for affection. If you want a glimpse into this hidden side of me, check out the heartwarming conversation that took place recently between me and my friend Common Wombat. We got to talking one day, and somehow the conversation took a turn for the sentimental. We laughed, we cried, we bonded. It'll bring a tear to your eye.

It'll renew your faith in the power of the human spirit.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hey, something smells great, mom! What's cooking? Uh-oh....

Hey, good news! Jake still fits in things! Foolishly, I thought he had gotten too big for that, but I've recently discovered that if you fold him enough times, he can fit into almost anything. For my next trick, I'll put him into a #10 envelope and mail him to Grandma.

(By the way, whoever comes up with a better caption for this picture wins one 8 month-old Caucasian male infant. I'll have him shipped via FedEx to your home or office within 2 business days. But I'm keeping the pot--it's great for making chili.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

100 Things Wrong With Me (Part 5)

In case you have a life, and missed the first 4 parts to this series, a short recap:

Half the folks in Blogland have a 100 Things list, in which they detail 100 miscellaneous facts about themselves, usually along the lines of "I collect ceramic elephants," and "I think Brad Pitt is dreamy." When I tried to create my own 100 Things list, all I could think of was, "I'm hungry for a cookie." However, thinking of 100 Things Wrong With Me was way easier; maybe the easiest thing I've ever done. I'm posting it in installments, because any list of anything gets insufferably boring after the first few items. Here's #41-50.

41. It irks me to no end when companies deliberately spell their company or product name wrong in some misguided attempt to be cute or catchy. Examples: Kountry Kitchen, Fantastik, Kwik Copy, Krispy Kreme. Oh, and those insipid Chick Fil-A ads where the spelling-challenged cows constantly obsess about "chikin." I want to shoot those retarded cows and stuff their carcasses, whole, down the throat of whoever came up with that dumb marketing campaign.

42. I basically refuse to touch raw meat. This makes cooking a challenge. Luckily I've found a solution--one which involves not cooking.

43. When people bring their kids to a public place and let them cry and scream, it makes me want to stab a pencil in my ear. I guess turning the violence upon myself is my way of protecting the children from my wrath. I know I should be more patient, because, news flash: Kids are noisy. But still, someone get me a pencil.

44. I have a terrible, terrible memory. Mostly that means I forget things entirely--but what I do remember, I can't ascribe the proper time period to. As in, I may remember sleeping with President Clinton, but can't recall if that happened post-Monica Lewinsky, or back when he was the Governor of Arkansas. For a lot of years, I kept diaries, but not the "Dear Diary, today I'm sad" kind, in which a person hashes out all his or her feelings. The purpose of these diaries was just to write down the interesting things that happened so that I wouldn't forget them in six months. Even now, when I read back through them, my most frequent reaction is "What? I did that?!"

45. I'm bad at remembering names and faces, but I attribute that more to my self-absorbed nature rather than to my terrible memory. I'm simply too consumed with myself to notice others. That's not to say I'm egotistical--on the contrary, what I'm usually consumed with is criticizing myself or critiquing whatever conversation I just had with someone so that I can berate myself for my perceived faux-pas. The phrase "I'm an idiot" gets thrown around a lot in my head.

46. Everywhere I go, I drive like I'm trying to outrun the cops. (Sometimes I am, but only when I have illegal guns or black market baby seals in the car.)

47. I have the world's tiniest bladder. There's some kind of crazy bladder math at work, so that if I drink 4 ounces of liquid, it turns into 103.4 ounces of pee, which must exit my body in no fewer than 67 separate bathroom trips. And if I happen to be nervous (which, luckily, is fairly rare), multiply that number by 12.

48. Any present that I gift-wrap ends up looking like I wrapped it 3 years ago and have been storing it in a wet laundry hamper ever since. I think gift bags are the single greatest invention since Spam.

49. I hate being cold. I moved out of Missouri specifically to avoid the bone-chilling winters, and I thought Texas would be an ideal climate. Turns out that was foolish thinking. It's so bloody hot in Texas that every building in the state blasts air-conditioning to a degree that actually rivals those cold Missouri winters I was trying to escape. Outdoors, it's like you took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and ended up in Hell. Indoors, it's like you're a frozen carcass in an oversized meat locker. So when I go somewhere, I dress for the hot outdoors, but I bring along a sweater, and sometimes socks, for when I get inside the building. I arrive at my destination drenched in sweat, but the sweat instantly crystallizes on my body the moment I enter the sub-zero building.

50. Public restrooms gross me out. I'm not exactly a germ freak, but public bathrooms just seem to me like breeding grounds for disease and filth. I don't want to touch any fixture in there, and I don't--I can make it in and out without touching one single surface with my hands. I flush the toilet with my left boob, turn on the water at the sink with my liver, dispense a paper towel with my spleen, and open the door to leave with my small intestine.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I have a confession to make.

When Jake was born, he had a decent amount of hair. It was pretty dark, too, like my hair and my husband's--maybe even a little darker. Both Brian and I have dark brown hair. Jake's was a bit darker brown, bordering on blackish. Here he is on the day he was born, looking very sweet and pitiful in the NICU. As for the hair, he was clearly going for that spiky-looking, artfully messy look that can be seen on many of Hollywood's leading men. Don't ask why he was wearing pasties on his nipples--all I can say is he was going through a phase.

But if you have any experience with babies, you know that it's pretty common for them to be born with a head of hair, then lose most of it over the first few months, then begin to gain it back again. So it was with Jake. He started looking a bit like a baldy after a few months went by. Here he is at about 5 1/2 months, sporting his new military look.

Now he's started to grow some hair again. It's growing pretty rapidly, actually. With all that hair coming in, he's starting to look...well, less like my husband. I'm almost to the point where I feel like I should confess that one night stand I had with Axl Rose, before my husband figures it out himself.

See the resemblance? It was one indiscretion, and I hope my husband can forgive me and we can make this marriage work, because something tells me Axl wouldn't be a such a great father.

Monday, October 17, 2005

100 Things Wrong With Me (Part 4)

In case you missed the first 3 installments of this gripping series, a short recap:

Half the folks in Blogland have a 100 Things list, in which they detail 100 miscellaneous facts about themselves, usually along the lines of "I love synchronized swimming," and "I have 9 cats." I thought about doing this, but everything I thought of to say about myself sounded like a hideous flaw. Therefore, I give you my list of 100 Things Wrong With Me. I have to post it in installments, or its sheer bulk would break the internet. Here's #31-40.

31. I have over-trained my Rottweiler, to the point where she’s no longer an imposing guard dog, but more of a fluffy bunny.

32. I can’t sing. Not much use at dancing, either. I used to go dancing a lot when I was younger, though, which means I'm either not as bad at it as I think, or I used to have no idea how bad I was at it. That might have had something to do with the copious quantities of alcohol I consumed. (However, I was never so drunk that I thought I could sing.)

33. When telemarketers call, I don't bother with politely declining their offer; instead, I unceremoniously hang up on them. It usually goes something like this:
Me: "Hello?"
Telejackass: "Hello! I'd like to take just a moment of your time to..."

34. If you've read this blog for more than two entries, you probably know this, but I'm irrationally scared of bugs. Strangely, the ones that scare me the most are not the ones that could actually hurt me, like wasps or spiders. I'm most scared of June bugs and grasshoppers. Mostly it's their crazy kamikaze nature that I find unsettling. A grasshopper can be over there, looking that way, and you'll think, "Oh, he's not interested in me, he's looking the other way. Probably doesn't even see me." Then, without any warning, without turning his head or body, he will suddenly catapult straight into your forehead like a terrorist sacrificing himself to attack his enemy. Oh, and when I see a bug, I don't just jump up and flee the scene, I first emit a high-pitched screech that would lead a bystander to believe I am being eaten alive by no less than 7 lions. This makes me look incredibly stupid, and believe me, I have tried to suppress that infernal, ridiculous girly noise. It has a life of its own.

35. I hate peppy people. I want to stab them with a pom-pom handle.

36. I like to use our digital camera to take hideous photos of myself making ugly faces, then laugh like a madman as I look at them. My husband can almost always be seen nearby, shaking his head and wondering how to get out of this marriage. I thought about posting one here for an example, but that would mean sifting through the hundreds of photos to pick one. At which point I'd probably just start cackling like psycho, and nothing would get accomplished.

37. When people repeat themselves over and over, it inspires me to kill. For instance:

Dum-Dum: Can you pick me up at the airport at 5? Because my plane comes in at 4:30, so that should give me just enough time to get through baggage claim. My mom was going to pick me up, but she can't get off work.
Me: Sure, I'll be there at 5 to get you.
Dum-Dum: Great. Because my plane comes in at 4:30, so that should give me just enough time to pick up my bags at baggage claim.
Me: Okay, sounds great. See you then.
Dum-Dum: Thanks a lot, that's a big help. My mom was going to pick me up, but it looks like she won't be able to get off work.
Me: No problem. I'll be there at 5.
Dum-Dum: Awesome. That'll be just about right, because I'll pick up my bags at the baggage claim after my plane comes in at...(interrupted by my fingernails gouging him in the eyeballs).

38. I hate pork. It just seems suspicious to me.

39. I find Spam hilarious. I could never bring myself to eat it, because I'm pretty sure it's not actually food, but Spam plays a big part in my life. One of my most prized possessions is my Spam snow globe.
I have a Spam merchandise catalog which delights me to no end. You can order Spam wine glasses, a Spam onesie for your baby, a Spam ice scraper, a Spam hair scrunchie, Spam sunglasses...the list goes on and on. There are hundreds of things in there! Does anyone else find this hilarious? No? Well, screw you.

40. I used to use this keychain. My husband hated it. I thought it was hilarious, even when I would absent-mindedly forget how crude it was and casually set it on the counter in stores as I was paying for my purchases. Only when I saw the clerk staring slack-jawed at me did I remember my offensive keychain--and I also realized then that not as many people saw the movie Kill Bill as I had assumed when I bought the thing. Still, I thought it was funny, if only for how horrified my husband was by it. Then I got pregnant. There's nothing funny about waddling around with a big pregnant belly and a Pussy Wagon keychain. At first I thought I'd put the keychain away for the remainder of my pregnancy, and then use it again afterward...but don't worry, it only took me a few moments to realize that the only thing worse than seeing a pregnant chick with a Pussy Wagon keychain is seeing a chick carrying an infant and a Pussy Wagon keychain. So I gave it away, with much sadness in my heart.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Please don't make fun of our bad teeth.

The best twenty-five bucks I ever spent were on my fake teeth. I bought them here about 5 years ago. The guy who makes these teeth is no hack; he's the son of a dentist, and these are not your typical ill-fitting, cheap gag teeth. They come with a mold that you use to shape them over your own teeth, so that they fit well. You can talk while wearing them, unlike most fake teeth which, if you try to say a sentence while wearing them, make you sound like you've got a mouthful of...fake teeth. And the kicker? Not only can I talk while wearing them, but I look undeniably HOT. (With or without the jester hat.)
These teeth fall into that huge, cavernous category of things that tickle the shit out of me in spite of the fact that most other people don't find them all that funny. Everyone seems to agree that they're good for a big laugh when I first put them on, but then they want them gone so that we can get back to talking or shopping, or whatever we were doing, with some semblance of dignity and normalcy. Once I put them on, though, I like to wear them for awhile. People tend to object on the grounds that it's hard to look me in the eye while I'm wearing them.

Once, when I was in Calgary visiting relatives, I wore my fake teeth to the airport when we went there to pick up my sister, who was also coming in for a visit. My plan was to be there, bad teeth and all, to shock her as she got off the plane. But at some point I had to go to the bathroom, and I went alone, still wearing the teeth. As I came out of the stall after doing my business, a well-dressed lady washing her hands at the sink glanced at me in the mirror, then quickly averted her eyes, appearing to be deeply invested in soaping her hands up just so. I washed my hands in the sink next to hers, then popped my teeth out to give them a little rinse under the water. She began to shriek with laughter, and told me that she had been thinking, "Oh, that poor girl--she'd be so pretty if she got her teeth fixed." She then dragged me by the hand to where her family was waiting for her so that they could all get a good laugh at my unfortunate grill. Yes, they all stood there, callously laughing at my physical flaw. Mocking me, making light of my embarrassing disfigurement. People can be so cruel.

Sadly, now, it appears my son will carry on this cursed trait. Two of his teeth came in, and we were so excited at first...til it became apparent that they weren't pretty like we had hoped. But let me make it clear that we love this child, no matter what he looks like. Perhaps when the world sees him, they see a hideous freak, but he is beautiful to us. We can only hope that people will love him for his inner beauty, rather than mocking him for his outer flaws.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

100 Things Wrong With Me (Part 3)

In case you missed Parts 1 and 2 of this series, a short recap:

Half the folks in Blogland have a 100 Things list, in which they detail 100 miscellaneous facts about themselves, usually along the lines of "My favorite color is blue," and "I'm half Irish, half Dutch." I thought about doing this, but the boring details of my psyche began to put even me to sleep. Therefore, I give you my list of 100 Things Wrong With Me. I've chopped it up into nice, bite-size pieces, lest I lose your attention somewhere around #54. Here's #21-30.

21. I am the absolute worst at sports; just completely inept. In grade school and junior high, it seemed imperative to the other kids that they end up on the team I was not on, or else the world might end. There was much groaning and snivelling amongst the members of the team that got stuck with me. Snot-nose little bastards.

22. I take issue with women who think men should put the seat down after using the toilet. Why not the other way around--why shouldn't women put the seat back up after using it? I think any woman who just goes racing into the bathroom heedlessly, yanking her pants down in mid-run and flinging herself on the seat without looking at it first deserves to get a wet butt.

23. I leave the refrigerator door open the entire time I'm in the kitchen. I am tempted to rationalize it by saying that I might need something else out of it before I leave the kitchen, but that's only sometimes true. The real truth is, there are plenty of times when I take something out of the fridge knowing that I won't need anything else out of there, and I still don't close the door. I can't explain to you why I like having the door open. What I do know is that it makes my husband want to wring my neck. He'll close the refrigerator door behind me, and I'll turn around and open it again, just to be evil.

24. I'm genuinely stupid when it comes to math. I actually use my fingers to add. I don't even try to hide it, which means that not only am I a big dummy, but I'm not even smart enough to be ashamed of it.

25. When Brian and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, I thought it was our first. Brian was shocked and appalled that I seemed to have no idea how long we'd been married, and my attempt to play it off with "Time flies when you're having fun!" didn't fool him. Now, in my day-planner it doesn't just say "anniversary" on October 5th, but it also tells how many. This year it said "3rd anniversary." I've also been known to get my son's birthday wrong when asked, and the kid is not even a year old yet. I don't think.

26. I'm a picky eater. I pick up each piece of chicken with my fork and inspect it closely on all sides, looking for anything suspicious that I might need to saw off. I look like a forensic scientist inspecting for clues. Except that I eat what I inspect after I'm done inspecting it.


27. I rarely cook. My mom owned a restaurant when I was growing up, and because she worked all the time, there were no at-home meals. When I was hungry, I walked to the restaurant and ordered off the menu. Nowadays you'll find me sitting at my big, empty dining room table, waiting sadly for someone to come along and serve me.

28. I regularly utter the phrase, "I hate people."

29. I have no hobbies. It seems like there have been ten billion occasions in my life when I've had to fill out a form that included the question "What are your hobbies," or someone in conversation asked me what my hobbies were. I always feel like a soulless mannequin when I am forced to admit I have none. The whole goddamn world is out there skiing, rock climbing, whittling, playing tennis, knitting, cooking, bear hunting, or making homemade tampons out of masking tape and dental floss, while I fritter my life away cracking jokes and reading All I can come up with is that I like to read, write and watch movies, which is really the same as saying, "You would swiftly die of boredom if you had to hang out with me for even one day."

30. When The Sopranos current season is airing, I spend the entire season doing something that must be really irritating. You know how the theme song says, "Woke up this morning, got myself a gun?" I continually try to find ways to bait Brian into letting me tell him that I woke up this morning and got myself a gun.

A sample exchange:

Me: You won't believe what happened this morning.
Him: What?
Me: I got myself a gun. (Then I cackle with laughter as he rolls his eyes.)

Then, half an hour later:

Me: Oh crap. I just realized I have to get up early tomorrow.
Him: Why?
Me: To get myself a gun. (More psychotic cackling.)

Mind you, I don't even necessarily do this while we're watching The Sopranos (although I consider that a bigger score if he falls for it during an episode of the show), but randomly throughout the season. It gets harder and harder to trick him as time goes by, of course, and I have to get more creative as he gets more suspicious. Eventually, every time I open my mouth, he probably thinks I'm going to pull the Sopranos trick on him. One day I'm probably going to be having a heart attack or stroke, and he's going to think I'm about to pull the "got myself a gun" gag on him, and he'll simply ignore me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Ruby!

Oh, the gifts I would heap upon you if you were still here! You're missing out. I love you and miss you every minute.

(Ruby is my mother, in case you're wondering. She died two years ago. If you didn't know her, that's a shame. You would have loved her, too.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

100 Things Wrong With Me (Part 2)

In case you missed Part 1 of this series, a short recap:

Half the folks in Blogland have a 100 Things list, in which they detail 100 miscellaneous facts about themselves, usually along the lines of "I love to cook," and "I'm a Scorpio." I looked deep inside me, and found there's just not much there. What is there is bad. Therefore, I give you my list of 100 Things Wrong With Me. To cut down on the odds that you'll fall asleep reading it, I've broken it up into parts. Here's #11-20.

Part 2 (11 through 20)

11. I'm obsessive about my weight. I weigh myself every day, and if I go one pound over what I was yesterday, I adjust my food and/or workout to get rid of that pound. This is very shallow, empty-headed behavior.

12. I am intolerant of music I don't like. I like a lot of different things, from Rob Zombie or The Chemical Brothers to Billy Joel or Eric Clapton--but the list of music I don't like is far, far greater--and I simply can't tolerate the stuff I don't like. I moan and whine like I'm being forced to watch execution videos. I really have no room to talk, either, because I listen to Gwar, which not one other living person seems to like except me.

13. I refuse to mingle with household garbage in any way. That's the sole reason I got married. The deal at our house is I do all the inside cleaning and Brian does the outside stuff (lawn, mostly) and takes out the trash. Once in a while, he takes out the trash and forgets to put a new trash bag in the can, and then he leaves for work. I will actually leave trash sitting on the floor next to the can all day rather than just putting a new bag in there myself--that's "boy work." When he gets home from work, there's a tidy little pile of refuse waiting for him.

14. I often speak before I think, which can lead to embarrassing exchanges that haunt me for years. Fortunately for me, I speak at a very fast pace, so my only hope when I've said something so retarded that chills run down my spine the moment the words leave my lips is that maybe, just maybe, they didn't catch it or are unsure they heard it right. They probably spend the next hour or so running it over in their minds asking themselves, "Did she say what I think she said? No, it's not possible. No intelligent person would say anything so stupid." Little do they know.

15. I have no ambition or competitive spirit whatsoever. If I'm playing a game with someone, I don't really care if I win, and I've never been one of those people who really sets career goals for myself. I don't know if I could handle success, but I've totally mastered mediocrity.

16. I have a major fear of my house burning down. We have a fireplace that I basically won't let my husband make use of. My big fear is of the house burning down and taking all my photos with it. The lengths I've gone to to avoid this are comical--I have scanned each and every photo we own--literally thousands--and saved them to CD, making two copies. One copy stays at the house, just so I have the digital images to screw around with, and one copy goes into a fireproof safe at my father-in-law's office. All my negatives are in that safe, too. Then of course, there's my secondary fear: That someone will break into my father-in-law's office and steal the safe. The sad part about this is that if you could take a look at these photos I cherish so dearly, you'd just see a lot of drunk people with retarded looks on their faces, and you'd wonder what I'm getting so sentimental about.

17. I sleep with a big brown teddy bear. Yes, like a three-year-old might. His name is Roe.

18. I change my clothes in the car a lot. Usually while driving, but more often at stop lights. I can't stand to be too hot or too cold, so I usually have a change of clothes and shoes with me, and I change in the car rather than hauling everything into a bathroom to do it properly. I'm like Superman, only without the phone booth. And without all that do-gooder baggage.

19. I love leaving drawers and cabinet drawers open. This is not to say that I am too lazy to shut them, but that I love leaving them open. It just seems sensible to me--if I'm going to need another bowl later today, why not just leave the cabinet open so it'll be easier to get to? And no, I wouldn't want the cabinet doors removed instead, because then things would look cluttered, and I like things to look neat; hence the beauty of closing the cabinets on those stacks of dishes when company comes over. But when it's just us at home, why not leave them open? Well, according to Brian, it's because he keeps whacking his fragile skull on the open cabinet doors. I never do this myself because I expect them to be open. He expects them to be closed, so he continually slices his head open on the doors, then gripes and pleads for me to close them from now on. I nod solemnly and tell him I'm sorry. Then I continue to leave them open.

20. I had my husband's wedding band inscribed with this heartfelt phrase: "Put it back on." I proudly gave it to him and expected a big laugh when he read it. Instead, he was visibly disappointed with the lack of romance. I had to keep saying, "But isn't it funny? Come on, that's funny!" He didn't think a wedding band was the right place to crack a joke.

But come on, it's funny, right?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I am a freak magnet.

The weirdos have been out again, surfing the internet for sad and strange things. Which always seems to land them here, on my site.

To the person who found my site by searching for lessons i've learned in the movie riding in cars with boys: I didn't see this movie, so maybe I'm way off base here, but I bet the only lesson to be learned from this movie is this: Avoid any movie starring Drew Barrymore like it's the goddamn plague. There's nothing more irritating than watching someone put on a fake lisp for two solid hours. And when did a lisp become something to pretend to have? People who legitimately have a lisp should be indignant about this. They probably spend all their time trying to make it look like they don't have one, and this horrible actress pretends she does have one.

To the pervert searching for chloroforming girls: It really is a shame how little useful information there is on the internet on how to successfully chloroform a girl. We all know it has something to do with a rag and a suspicious-looking bottle, but the details are important, and hard to find. Like, how do you do it without accidentally chloroforming yourself? And isn't this kind of a stinky, and therefore unstealthy, crime to commit? We all know there's got to be answers out there to these important questions, but where, where, where? Unfortunately for you, Mr. Predator, not here. You'll have to figure out the details on chloroforming girls the old-fashioned way: By trial and error. That's how our grandfathers did it, and their grandfathers, and their grandfathers' grandfathers.

And to the person looking up where is karla now: How exciting! Someone is looking for me! Hopefully it's not the chap who was looking up how to cholorform girls. Knowing my luck, it's probably the IRS or the free clinic. If it's the IRS: I didn't declare any wages that year because all my income came from illegal activity. If it's the free clinic: I got it from him, he didn't get it from me.

To the person who found me by searching for accidentally sit in urine on a public toilet seat: I understand why your search led you here, since I wrote extensively, one angry day, on the subject. But still, I think it's sad--I picture you, poor soul, wet-bottomed and angry, banging away at the keyboard of your computer looking for advice on how to remedy your unfortunate situation. As many times as I've haplessly sat in a stranger's pee in a public restroom, I never thought to get on the internet afterward and search for advice. I have an answer for you, though, my soggy friend: Go dry your butt off.

To the person looking for pregnant farm slut: I'm not sure why you think I'm the person you want. I did live on a farm for about four years as a kid--and I have been pregnant once in the recent past--but these two events did not happen even close to the same time. And as for the slut accusation, well, I won't even dignify that with a response. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some strangers to sleep with.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

100 Things Wrong With Me (Part 1)

Half the folks in Blogland have a 100 Things list, in which they detail 100 miscellaneous facts about themselves, usually along the lines of “I like puppies,” and “My favorite food is pizza." While this idea appeals to the narcissist in me (which, admittedly, takes up most of the space in me), it just doesn't sound like it would be as entertaining to you guys as reading 100 things wrong with me. Of course, this brings up the problem of trimming the list down to a mere 100...but here goes. And because I'm long-winded, I'll post this in segments, lest you fall asleep reading it. Here's 1-10.

Part One: 1 through 10

1. I like to talk conspiratorially to Jake about Brian, and have Brian "accidentally" overhear me. For instance, I'll be changing Jake's diaper in his room and I'll hear Brian come home from work. As he's walking in the door, I'll pretend to be in mid-conversation with Jake. In a sympathetic tone, I'll be saying, "I don't know why Daddy doesn't love you. It's not because you're a bad kid, though--you're a great kid. Daddy just doesn't seem to care about you. It's okay though, because you've still got me." Brian will come in to indignantly defend himself, and I'll act surprised that he overhead me. Of course, this kind of fun will have to stop when Jake starts understanding me. Damnit. But I can keep doing it with the dog, which is how this little game originated, before I had a baby to play with.

2. I eat basically the same thing day after day, like a Cocker Spaniel.

3. I can't stand being wet. Don't get me wrong--I love a nice, long shower--but I hate being wet afterwards, to the extent that I stand in the shower and meticulously dry off each body part thoroughly before stepping out into the air. Once, I was sitting at a boyfriend’s house waiting for him to shower so we could go somewhere, and I saw him just wander out of the shower, dripping wet, only half-heartedly swiping a towel over a body part once or twice. His whole back was still beaded with water! And then! He just got dressed! Dry clothes on top of wet body! The horror! I do like going swimming, because when you get out you’re still baking in the nice warm sun, so it’s not a cold wet. But I don’t like hot tubs at night, because while they're nice to sit in, it sucks to step out of them, shivering.

4. I have a degree in writing which I have never made use of. I have always worked non-writing jobs.

5. Regardless of what I may actually look like, I always think I look about ten times worse. For instance, if I looked like Angelina Jolie, I'd look in the mirror and see myself as Ellen Degeneres. If I looked like Ellen Degeneres, I'd see myself as Janet Reno. If I looked like Janet Reno, I'd see myself as the Green Bay Packers.

6. I don’t mind most household chores, but I hate to mop floors. I can’t even admit to you how seldom I mop my floors, lest you ostracize me from the community.

7. I'm vain. I never leave the house without fixing my hair and putting on some mascara. Also, I'd never go anywhere in sweat pants. This is very silly behavior, since it's not as if the paparazzi are hiding in my bushes waiting to snap my photo or anything. No one really gives a rat's ass if I'm put together or not.

8. I am fairly patient with people, but in a spectacular display of stupidity, I have no patience whatsoever with things. For instance, if I try to close a desk drawer and it won't close, I am very likely to start slamming it shut over and over like an angry chimp until something breaks. I understand, as I'm doing this, that even a 5 year old knows the solution is to look inside the drawer and see what might be stuck, but I turn into a pouty robot bent on destruction, with an eye toward teaching that drawer "a lesson." Man, does that sound stupid when I confess it in writing. And yes, it's just that stupid in real life. Of course, owing to my extreme vanity, I would never lose control of myself like that when other people are around (except, occasionally, my poor husband). It's just not safe to leave me home alone with breakables.

9. I hate having the toilet paper roll on the dispenser. No, I don't mean I'm too lazy to replace the roll when it's empty, I mean I hate having it on there. I hate having to paw at the thing to get a few squares off of it--it's just faster and easier to hold it in my hand and unroll the amount I need with my other hand--and I'm all about speed and efficiency in the bathroom. My husband hates not having the roll on dispenser, so the compromise is to use those kind of toilet paper dispensers that are only closed on one end, so that you can slip the roll off and on easily. Oh, and remember when I said I break things when they don't instantly succumb to my bidding? Just the other night I went into the bathroom to blow my nose in the middle of the night, and I didn't turn the light on. I took the roll off the holder, unrolled the amount I needed, and then attempted to replace the roll onto the holder. But it was dark, and I stabbed at the thing a couple of times and it didn't go on. Then I just started jamming it like I was trying to punch it out, and of course...I won! I got it on there. But now it sits crooked on the wall and looks all ghetto. But I did teach it a lesson. It understands that I'm the boss.

10. It drives me insane when people pronounce things wrong. I took a sign language course in college, and the teacher pronounced specific “spee cific,” as if it were two words. It sounded like she was saying "spee" to rhyme with "bee," then taking the slightest pause and finishing with "cific." It used to eat at my brain. Our first assignment was to think up a sentence, look up how to sign it, and then get up in front of the class and sign it for everyone. Mine was "I'll do anything for ten dollars," but it should have been "Learn to pronounce “specific” or stop saying it, asshole."

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dear Jackass: Volume 4

Dear customer in line behind me at the retail checkout counter:

Why the passive-aggressive refusal to step into my space? I've finished paying for my purchases, and for the few extra seconds it takes me to dig my keys out of my purse and gather my bags, you hang back and refuse to put your items down so the checker can start scanning them--in spite of the fact that there are ten toe-tapping people in line behind you who wish you would. I even turn to you and say "Go ahead," because, clearly, I have completed my transaction and stepped to the far end of the counter...I'm not in your way at all. But for some bizarre reason, you remain in place, stricken, unable to move on with your life until I have completely left the area. Are you perhaps afraid you might catch some contagious disease or flesh-eating rash if you get near me?

You're just like the jackass in my gym locker room the other day. I was standing up on the bench so I could reach my upper-level locker, and I had both hands buried deep in my gym bag which was inside said locker. I was rooting around looking for something, when I saw a lingering jackass in my peripheral vision, hovering, clutching her towel. I thought she must be trying to get to the lockers below, so I stepped out of her way and continued rooting on tiptoe, now at an odd angle since my feet were over HERE and my arms over HERE--but she didn't budge. Finally I looked down and said, "Am I in your way?" She motioned wordlessly toward my water bottle--which as it happens, was sitting in front of her locker. I thought, "Christ, you've gotta be kidding me. She couldn't just move the bottle a few inches all by her little self?" But I was patient with the jackass, and merely said, "Oh, just go ahead and move it aside," and continued digging through my gym bag. But she refused to budge, and instead continued to stare miserably at my offensive water bottle. I looked up from my digging a moment later to see her still there, and finally I just knocked the bottle over with my foot so that it rolled a few inches away. Then, and only then, was the jackass free from her paralysis and able to approach her locker. Jackass.

Dear garage sale hosts:

You filthy liars. How dare you trick me into coming to your sad little trash heap sale with signs that say "HUGE sale! Multi-Family!" when clearly, there is nothing in your barren garage but three hats and a broken mug. I shake my fist at you. Also due for a fist-shaking are those garage sale entrepreneurs who make tiny, handwritten signs that can't be read from a moving car--am I expected to pull over, extract my handy magnifying glass from my purse, and fight to decipher your bad handwriting in order to locate your house? And what's the deal with putting one sign out on the major street, but none on the seven intersections I must then turn through in order to find you? Do you think I'm so intimately familiar with your neighborhood that at the mention of Shady Bluebird Drive, I can instantly pick up the trail with no further aide? And then when I do beat the odds and find your house, must you really sit there in your lawn chair in dead silence and stare full-on at me like a serial killer as I shop? Jackasses.

Dear construction workers:

You are one of life's greatest mysteries. What is broken inside you that causes you to whistle and whoop when a woman has the misfortune to walk past your work site? you defy logic and dignity by hooting and shouting like you're at a rodeo. Am I to be flattered by this? Should I drop my purse and bags and sprint over to where you are, throw my arms around you and yell, "Thank you! Thank you for noticing me! Here's my phone number--or better yet, let's just go copulate behind that dumpster over yonder!" I don't know why this particular display of stupidity is exclusive only to construction workers...but I wonder, what would it be like if men of every profession behaved like you do upon seeing a woman? What if my gynecologist whistled and yelled "Hey baby, bring it on!" every time I hopped up on the examining table? What if the pharmacist at my local drugstore leaned out the little consulting window and catcalled at every girl who wandered past, looking for the Mylanta? And what happened to you to make you this way, anyway? I imagine you started out as a normal male, able to comport himself with dignity around females. Then you got a job on a construction site, and slowly things began to change inside you. Is it the constant hammering sound that slowly eats away at your brain? Is it the hours of baking in the hot sun? I don't envy you your job--it seems very tiring and difficult to me, and I salute you for being able to handle it when I doubt I could. And what do I know--perhaps nothing quite takes the edge off a hard day's work like humiliating a passing female and making her wish she were invisible.