March 31, 2005

Rotten Eggs Is Going on a Whirlwind Tour

By which I mean, of course, that I'm totally ditching you for the next five weeks whilst I take a fabulous cross-country trip with the King before moving to gorgeous, temperate, heavenly Honolulu where I will live for free on the taxpayer's dime and work for myself from a laptop on the beach.

No, I'm not kidding. Aren't you jealous?

Seriously, though, I'll try really, really hard to post at least once a week between now and May 6th, and I'm sure our jaunt across the highways and byways of America will lend itself to many good posts, especially as we're visiting both of my best friends from junior high school, neither of whom I have seen in ten years. And one of whom I used to hate because she said she would be my bridesmaid and then didn't show up to my wedding. She gave me two weeks' notice that she wasn't coming because she didn't want to have to be away from her husband for a whole two days to fly out to Georgia and be in my wedding.

Now she's trying to make it up to me. We'll see.

Anyway, I love you and I'll miss you all terribly! I'll get back on here as often as possible and tell you all about the glory of the Flying J Truck Stop and what it's like to hang out at the local gas station on Friday night in rural North Carolina. It'll be fun, I promise, so don't totally abandon me, okay?

March 28, 2005

Monday Morning Alarm: Haiku Trilogy

Holy crap, the beeps
Talk radio comes on loud
The sexy dream ends

I was having sex
With Angelina Jolie
Then the alarm comes

Alarm buzz shocking
Hand slapping, alarm falling
Shit, I broke the Bose

March 26, 2005

Fun with Crazies

There is a free newspaper in Washington, DC, the Examiner. The newspaper folks pay homeless and poor people a couple of bucks to stand around metro stations and pass out copies to people walking by. Two of them are exceptionally interesting:

The Muslim Cusser. This woman stands at the entrance to my train station in a full-length black chador, the very-conservative Muslim dress. She looks very pious and modest in her black headscarf, which carefully covers every hair. You'd think she was the most perfect conservative Muslim woman. Then she holds out a paper and says, "This weather is a fucking pisser, ain't it? Have a newspaper."

The Catatonic. At the Franconia-Springfield metro stop, there is a man who holds papers. He doesn't actually pass them out, because he is a catatonic. For real. The man is an actual catatonic. He stands perfectly still in the center of the doorway, his arms held out, with a pile of newspapers on them, and people take one off the stack as they walk by. He's obviously homeless, and I've never seen him move. It's a bit embarrassing to walk up to a stranger and take something out of their arms without them ever moving or making eye contact, much less speaking. He's like a human bookshelf. I often wonder if the newspaper people actually pay him, or if they just put him in place three months ago and just refill his arms with papers twice a day.

March 25, 2005

The Last Hurrah

I've got so much bursting out today that I actually sat down and made a list of all the posts I want to get on here, so refresh early and refresh often. But to start, today is my last day of work!!!

To celebrate my departure, the building fire alarm has gone off six times in two hours, thus ensuring that I get plenty of exercise before my move to Hawaii by walking down three flights of stairs, through a basement, up half a flight, and through the lobby to the outside, and then retracing my steps once they get the motherfucking alarm turned off. Wait twenty minutes and repeat. Six times.

Also, we're going to a bar this evening for happy hour. I intend to get very, very happy, and I intend for it to last more than an hour.

Because after 5 p.m., I am officially OUTTA HERE! Starting tomorrow, I will be officially self-employed, a freewheeling freelancer with nothing but the stars to hold me back. And the IRS, who wants my first estimated tax payment in three weeks. Before I've actually earned any money. Because they're just cool that way.

March 24, 2005

Awful Irony

I had promised myself I wasn't going to expose any of you to any more stories about Terry Schiavo, but I just can't help myself. I just found out (yes, I'm slow) that the reason she's in the vegetative state is because she was severely bulimic and was working on starving herself to death. Does anyone else find it bitterly funny that she might finally get what she wanted?

March 22, 2005

How Not to Publish a Book

Notes from an editor:

1. When you send the manuscript to a publisher, send it in a plain, ordinary envelope. Do not wrap the manuscript in plastic wrap, bubble wrap, duct tape, aluminum foil, or all of the above. This will make me think it is a bomb and will scare me a lot.

2. Follow the publisher’s directions. If our website says to send in four copies, send four copies. There is a reason for this. If I have to Xerox your manuscript three times to pass it out to our other editors, I will be very annoyed, and I will be almost infinitely more likely to throw your book in the trash.

3. Do not harass me. If you want to make sure we got your book, sent it return receipt requested. Do not call me every day. Do not leave long, rambling messages on my voicemail about how you were inspired to write this book by a little bird that crapped on your head one morning, thus teaching you that life is infinite struggle. Buddha already said it, and he did it better than you.

4. If you are writing a children’s book, do not tell me that I must publish it because your kids love it. Your kids love you, not your book. Your book almost certainly sucks.

5. If you are writing a children’s book, do not include illustrations of limbs detached from their bodies in an auto wreck, injured animals dripping blood and gore, or adult men in children’s darkened bedrooms. Trust me--if you include pictures of any of the above, we won’t be publishing your book.

And to that guy in prison who wants to write a kids book about how he really, REALLY loves his pretty, little 8-year-old niece, I’m calling the fucking cops.

March 20, 2005

You Found Me

I've been wanting to get some good search terms up here recently, and lo and behold, the Internet has provided...

I've gotten this one before. Seriously, how many people out there are interested in that part of her body?

A bitter, bitter bug student?

I know it's weird, but the addition of "pick" instead of just "axe" on this one made me laugh.

And really, what on earth were you looking for, dude? If you're reading this, I'd really like to know. Was it about President Bush? Neurology? A really odd porn fetish?

March 16, 2005


I was going to just combine this with the post below, but it seemed to really need its own blogspace:

Today is the 18-month anniversary of us trying to have a baby.

I will be celebrating by having chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then drinking myself into oblivion. I think the King is worried about incipient alcoholism in me. I told him to worry about his goddamned "9% normal" morphology issues.

How did you celebrate your infertili-versary?

Going, Going...

...GONE! That's right, the whorehouse is sold! Some schmucks, er, nice couple, offered to give us $5,000 more than we asked for for our 20-year-old, beaten down house, for a total of $370,000. That is a 75% increase from what we paid for it three years ago, illustrating the COMPLETELY PSYCHOTICALLY INSANSE housing market in metro DC. It's madness. We put the house on the market last Friday and had our first contract in five hours. Three more rolled in over the weekend.

This is happy for us, because the King wants to start investing in real estate when we get to Hawaii. I don't want to, but he's managed to talk me into buying some sort of property we can rent out, ala a condo on the beach or something. I agreed because if the renters turn out to be for shit and leave us without paying, we can always go and live in it. Not so if we had gone with his other (more-beloved) idea, which was to buy an empty store in a strip mall and rent it out to a business. Although sleeping in an empty Baja Fresh might have been kind of cool.

March 15, 2005

People Are Funny

I am incessantly curious about what other people are buying at the grocery store or restaurants. I try valiantly to pry my nosy eyes (nosy eyes? That's a weird phrase, no?) away from their carts or baskets, but I just can't help myself.

Like this morning, I was in Au Bon Pain getting a bagel with egg and cheese, and the guy in front of me in line was buying three bananas. He paid about $3.50 for what would have been about thirty-nine cents worth of bananas at the grocery store. I was dying to ask if all of those bananas were for him, or did he share them with people the office? I mean, really, who needs that many bananas? Is he suffering from a serious potassium deficiency? Does anyone like bananas that much?

And then there was the old, gray, ill-looking man in line at the grocery store who was buying nothing but ten pounds of potatos and a huge bottle of plain-wrapped vodka. I desperately hoped he was conducting some sort of potato experiment to see if he could make vodka at home, but I feel that he was actually just in the end stages of cirrhosis of the liver and was using the potatos as his only nourishment while he drank the cheap, foul vodka.

(Not that I'm criticizing vodka. No, I love the stuff. Just got the two-dollars-a-gallon kind.)

And then there are the people who you see with a cart piled sky-high with macaroni and cheese, boxes of preflavored, dehydrated pasta, ramen noodles, and a 24-pack of Mountain Dew, and then, perched on the very top of their mountain of bad-for-you food, is the package of five-dollar organically hand-grown tangerines that you rejected as ridiculously overpriced and only fit for rich, pretentious people. Do they think you'll think they're really very healthy if they stick that stuff on top of all their other crap? Do they think they'll think they're really healthy? Am I just way too obsessed with other people's business?

March 13, 2005

Drive-Bys at the Drive-In

Not only are there Mommy Drive-Bys, there are Infertility Drive-Bys. Today, the King and I went to a car dealership to look at new trucks, as we will be buying one after we move to Hawaii:

Car Salesman: [gesturing to Ford F-150] So, what can I do to put you in this truck today? I'll give you a great price!

The King: Oh, no, we're just looking today. We're definitely not planning to buy today.

Salesman: You never know, you might change your mind! People get surprised all the time--they come in, just planning to look, and they drive off in a new car. It's just like having a baby!

The King and I almost died laughing. Then we left. I don't think the salesman saw the humor.

March 07, 2005

...And on the "Slowly Losing Your Mind" Front...

I'm off for the rest of the week to work at a big work conference, thankfully, the last one I'll ever have to do, yay! I'll try to post again, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give you an update on my mom and her Alzheimer's. Thanks to some information by the ever-wonderful Alzheimer's Association, my dad has been giving her turmeric pills. There has been a recent upsurge in studies showing that turmeric (but not cumin or curry powder) may help stop Alzheimer's. In parts of India, where people eat lots of turmeric, Alzheimer's is virtually unknown.

I figured he was just desperate for any hope and didn't put much thought into the turmeric thing. But I spoke to my mom on the phone for the first time in four months yesterday. My dad stopped putting her on when I call home a long time ago because there was no point--she had no idea how to use the phone and couldn't take part in a conversation. But yesterday, we had the following exchange:

Me: Hi Mom!
Mom: Hi!
Me: How are you doing?
Mom: Good, very good.
Me: What are you up to?
Mom: Just hanging out!

I know it seems stupid, but I was crying by the end of that little, six-line exchange. She actually responded to me and was able to answer my questions. I haven't been able to have a conversation with my mother in over a year--you can't imagine how it felt to have her say she was good when I asked her how she was. I'm crying again writing this. Maybe I'm imagining that she's improved, but even in my imagination, it's a wonderful thing. My dad swears she's looking at books again (she was a voracious reader) and responding to him more, and that it's because of the turmeric. Let's hope.

In other news, the British National Health Service is considering cutting payment for Aricept and Memantine, among other Alz drugs, because they don't cure Alzheimer's.

If you live in the UK, please read the article and contact your government. They're right--Aricept and Memantine don't cure Alzheimer's. It's true. But those drugs gave me six extra months with my mom, six months when she still knew who I was, and when she got to come to my wedding and meet my husband, months we wouldn't have had if it weren't for those medications.

No, they aren't a cure. But I dare the British government to tell anyone who has ever had a family member dying of Alzheimer's that those six months just aren't worth the money.

March 04, 2005

My House Is a Whore

Our house is now officially for sale. There is a big, whorish sign out front, inviting every crazy axe murderer with a lock pick set and a hunting knife to wander in and check out my jewelry box and my boobs. The wood floor has been hand polished. (No, seriously, it has. The King did it.) It now has the slickness of the Staples Center floor during the Ice Capades. I had lots of fun sliding on it in my socks last night, until I got a big-assed splinter in my foot and the King had to pull it out. Even the doorknobs have been polished. Love for sale, baby, and we're open for business.

Selling the house feels like a high-school popularity contest, like running for Homecoming Queen or something. What if no one comes to look at my house? What if everyone laughs at us and says we're ugly? What if some other girl shows up in the exact same dress, ala Brenda and Kelly from 90210? I might cry.

We worked for about 37 hours cleaning the house and making it perfect for potential buyers. Our realtor spent three minutes pounding a wooden stake into the front yard and hanging his sign off it. For that, he gets 3% of the selling price, or about $10,000. If this is high school, then he's the football player who convinced me that buying me a three-dollar carnation corsage meant he got to feel up my tits.

Plus, to add insult to injury, this whole letting-people-come-wander-all-up-in-my-shit thing means that I have to put on pants! On the WEEKEND! By eight a.m.! PANTS! And the King specified that they must be clean pants! How can he expect me to do that? Weekends are when I bust out my ratty sweats and don't bother to put on underwear for two days. I don't know why the King doesn't like that--I say, "Hey baby, these sweats don't have any zippers or buttons. That makes it easier for you to get in them, and I know you want to get with this, baby," while rubbing myself lasciviously. To which he says, "You have egg on your shirt." Oh.

March 01, 2005

Brush Your Teeth at Home, Crazy Lady

There's a crazy woman at my office. She's the CEO's secretary, so she thinks she's God. That's not what makes her crazy, though--all "executive assistants" to CEOs think they're God. No, it's her bathroom behavior that makes her certifiable. Let's call her Mary Smith.*

On my first day on the job, I walked in the bathroom. She was standing at the counter, staring at herself in the mirror. As I walked into the toilet stall, she said, brightly and loudly, "My makeup is from Revlon!" I had no idea what to say, so I just smiled freakishly brightly and quickly shut the door on her.

She also stores a box of those things that are sort of like baby wipes but are really for cleaning your ass off on the back of one of the toilets. It stays there all the time, and she has used a big, black marker to write on it, "Belongs to Mary Smith! DO NOT TOUCH!" As if we'd want to fondle her ass wipes. Freako.

On another day and another trip to the bathroom, she trilled at me, "I just love blueberry pie, don't you?" This while I'm peeing and she is putting on eyeshadow, with nary a pie in sight.

She also spends approximately thirty minutes in the bathroom after lunch each day. She brushes her teeth for ten minutes, then flosses, then uses a mouthwash. She's not a dentist and isn't married to a dentist, so she's just very, very concerned with dental hygiene--much more than most people. Forgive me for thinking that's just kind of weird.

A coworker made the greatest comment about her: "Mary Smith marches to the beat of the drummer in her head."

* Names changed to protect the crazy.