Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waste Not, Because I Will Flip the F*&k Out About It

If there’s one thing that bothers the crap out of me – and I’m sure we all know by now that there's more than one thing that bothers the crap out of me – it’s people being wasteful. I particularly hate it when people waste food. This, btw, is why I’m getting fat.

It’s not the starving children in China I’m worried about. China is actually experiencing a pretty alarming childhood obesity problem, second in severity only to our own. Hilariously, the People’s Liberation Army is now too fat to fit into its own tanks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

My mother never guilt-tripped me about the starving children in Africa, because I’d read Calvin & Hobbes and I would have offered to send them my leftovers in the mail. Instead, if I didn’t want to finish my food – which happened a lot, because my mother’s idea of cooking was opening two cans and lighting a cigarette – my mother would go along with it, but then the next time I got hungry she’d say, “I want you to go to your room and think about all that food you wasted the last time I fed you.” Then she’d refuse to feed me until she was satisfied that I’d thought hard enough about the terrible, terrible sin of wasting food.

It didn’t make her a better cook, but it gave me a complex. Now I can’t stand wasting food. I’ve been known to eat until I make myself sick rather than leave any food on my plate in a restaurant, and I will eat the same leftovers every day for a week and then freeze them so I can eat them for another week at a later date, if that’s what it takes not to waste them. I’ve recently started feeding my kitchen waste to the marmot that lives in the woods on my property, in a sort of compromise with my own neuroses. I’ve spoken with the marmot’s doctor and we’ve agreed that he could stand to put on some weight.

This is not the marmot, this is his sexy cousin.
Image by user Clayoquot on Wikipedia.

All of this is relevant because I like to have parties, and the people who come to these parties like to bring unreasonable amounts of food and booze. On one memorable occasion I asked people over to build a fire in the fire pit and make smores and ended up with six fucking bags of marshmallows. SIX. I fed a bunch of them to Fatty because he loves them and also he plays with them for like half an hour first, which I figure burns off enough calories to balance things out. That’s not animal abuse, right?

Other food items that have been brought over and left in my house include a gallon freaking tub of ice cream from Aldi’s, and more recently – last weekend, for my birthday party – one and a half cheesecakes, two-thirds of a tres leche cake, and two giant-sized bottles of wine plus one normal-sized bottle of wine. In my weaker moments, I wonder if my friends are trying to get me to eat myself to death.

Now you might say, “Why not just save the bottles of wine, irrationally irate blogger?” And I would, Gentle Reader, if not for the fact that my friends opened BOTH giant bottles of wine and drank a glass from each of them. For the past four days, I’ve been staring at these mostly-full bottles of wine in my kitchen and thinking to myself, “Why would you do that? Why not just open the one giant bottle of wine? Why let both of them go to waste?”


Naturally I’m not going to drink two giant bottles of wine by myself – I’m not an alcoholic, and I don’t even like wine – so they have gone off. I just tasted one to make sure. Luckily, it turns out you can freeze cheesecake, but I can’t personally eat two-thirds of a tres leche cake, because I’m already getting fat from all the other things I forced myself to eat. But I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I’m just going to have to THROW OUT two-thirds of a cake and two liters of wine. THERE ARE SOBER CHILDREN IN AFRICA, FOR FUCK’S SAKE.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wacky People I’ve Met: Tide Bottle Pee Man

I’ve traveled a lot – to 40 states and a dozen countries, to be exact – and in all that traveling, I’ve met lots of people. Lots and lots of people. Some of those people are nut jobs. I’m always telling my boring friends who stay at home stories about the nutty, nutty people I’ve met in my many travels. Then it occurred to me, when I was driving home from yoga class, that I should really be telling these stories to all of you! They’re probably wasted on my boring friends who no doubt see them as proof that they should never, ever go anywhere, ever. So for the first installment in my ongoing blog series, Wacky People I’ve Met, I’m going to tell you guys about the Tide Bottle Pee Man.

I met the Tide Bottle Pee Man in California in 2004. Can you guess where I met the Tide Bottle Pee Man? I’m sure none of you will be surprised to learn that it was Venice Beach.

To be honest, Tide Bottle Pee Man wasn’t the strangest person at Venice Beach, and he wasn’t even the strangest person I’ve ever met. I know lots of people even now who are probably crazier than Tide Bottle Pee Man. But Tide Bottle Pee Man sticks out in my memory because he peed in a Tide bottle.

Some background: I was traveling with my hippie boyfriend, the Redheaded Guitar Player (not to be confused with the Redheaded Banjo Player, a different hippie boyfriend who may or may not appear later on in the series), and when we met the Tide Bottle Pee Man, he was living out of a van on Venice Beach. I mean, he was basically doing the same thing we were doing, but with a much nicer van. The Redheaded Guitar Player’s van was a 1972 Dodge Something-or-Other held together with bubblegum, dreadlocks and duct tape. The Tide Bottle Pee Man’s van was a much newer model, and while it wasn’t as big or as well-appointed as the Redheaded Guitar Player’s, it had one thing the Redheaded Guitar Player’s van did not – a Tide bottle full of pee.

The Tide Bottle Pee Man was a totally normal-looking dude. His hair was a little long, but he cut it that way on purpose. He was clean shaven and wore normal clothes. If you’d met him in a bar or coffee shop or something you’d have never guessed that he lived in a van and peed in a Tide bottle. The only way we know was on account of him standing next to said van, pointing out said Tide bottle, and saying, “I live in this van and pee in this Tide bottle.”

“Why?” asked the Redheaded Guitar Player, who was just as baffled as I was.

“Well, because I see it, and I think, clean, you know?”

The Redheaded Guitar Player and I looked at each other. Neither one of us wanted to ask why he didn’t just pee outside, although we totally had that exact conversation the minute we were out of Tide Bottle Pee Man’s earshot. For the record, neither of us had any good ideas about why Tide Bottle Pee Man peed in a Tide bottle.

I guess he was concerned about his privacy, but I’m a woman, and I’d bare my snow-white ass and pee outside before keeping a bottle of urine in my van. It’s even easier for men to pee outside. I know this because they never shut up about it.

Tide Bottle Pee Man was lonely, too. “Yeah, you know, I just wanted to get this van, and enjoy this lifestyle, you know, man,” he said. “I had a girlfriend, but she didn’t want to live in the van with me. I don’t know why.”

“Women, man,” said the Redheaded Guitar Player, in solidarity. I didn’t say anything, but the Tide Bottle Pee Man looked wistfully out to sea like he really didn’t know why his ex-girlfriend didn’t want to live in a tiny van with a guy who pees in a Tide bottle. I just can't stop picturing her trying to wash their clothes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Seeking a Professional Writer Who Is Also a Wizard

* The following is a PARODY of a Craigslist Writing Gigs job ad. THIS IS NOT A REAL JOB AD, DO NOT TRY TO APPLY TO IT. (You know who you are.) *

Hi there! We’re seeking an experienced, qualified, research-driven professional writer/blogger/editor who is an expert on a wide range of topics including shopping, fashion, travel, dentistry, underwater basket weaving and more. Ideally we’re looking for a writer/blogger/editor who is an expert in at least seventeen fields. If you have a Master’s degree or higher in one or more fields in addition to at least a BA in English, communications, journalism or a related field, that would be perfect.

Of course we realize that not everyone can be an expert in every field, so if you want to narrow your focus down to five or six fields, let us know.

We’re specifically looking for a writer who can develop 10 to 12 pages of original content per week in specific niches, while putting together a content development team of about 30 to 40 people and working with them to develop, edit, place and promote shareable blog content for our client base of several dozen businesses in a wide range of industries. You should also be able to source open-copyright images from the Web or, ideally, be a photographer.

Our perfect candidate also has experience in video development and production, although this is not required provided you are able to kidnap a film student (graduate level only) and hold them captive in our basement while compelling them to produce our YouTube videos for us. You will need to supply your own set of chef’s knives for this.

In addition you should also be adept in Javascript, C++ and HTML. If you’ve picked up any other programming languages along the way please let us know. We’re going to need you to do some light web design and app development from time to time, but nothing major. Please have experience building infographics and charts.

We need someone who can spearhead our social media marketing efforts, so we’re looking for a real social influencer who has really made a splash on social media. Please send links to all of your social media profiles for the past ten years, as well as your login information.

If you have any experience with witchcraft or magic that would be a big plus, but only if you can provide references who will verify that your spells and talismans actually work. Also, some of us here at the office are really getting into the local food movement, so if you could establish and singlehandedly nurture a rooftop garden capable of feeding all 20 of us and our families, that would awesome. Please give us an overview of your farming experience in your cover letter.

If you think you’d be a good fit for this position, please send a cover letter and resume along with:

  • Your areas of expertise
  • Links to your blogs, websites and published articles
  • A comprehensive portfolio showcasing your writing abilities
  • Links to your favorite websites and blogs
  • Any memories you may have of your first day of school
  • Your firstborn son, or if you’re childless or only have daughters, one of your feet

If you have any questions about the position, please don’t hesitate to ask. The chosen candidate will receive a competitive salary of $300 to $400 a month.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Have a New Tenant

So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned that not cutting your grass attracts snakes? I wasn’t joking. About a month ago, after not cutting my grass for like a month because my lawnmower broke down and I had to take it into Sears for repairs (Long story short: the Sears guy had to remove a large rock from inside the mower. No, I don’t understand it either.), I string-trimmed a snake. Don’t worry, I didn’t kill it. I think I stunned it though, because it just sat there and looked at me like – well, like I’d just walked up and shoved the business end of a string trimmer in its face, because that is exactly what I had done.

I stood there and stared at it like an idiot because that’s what I do when I see a snake. It stared back, because that’s what snakes do when they see a human.

I told you that so I could tell you this: about a week ago, despite having mowed my lawn at some point within the previous month, probably closer to the beginning than to the end of that month, I found a big damn snake in my garage. I mean, this snake was at least three or four feet long, although when I tell people about it, it was naturally forty feet long. I could tell it wasn’t venomous because of the shape of its head and because I have seen rat snakes before.

I spotted it slithering around in the corner of my garage when I was getting out of my car. My first reaction was, of course, to get out my phone and snap several pictures of the snake to post to Facebook. Not a lot goes on around here, you see. When you ask me what I’ve been up to lately and I just get real quiet instead of responding, it’s because I don’t want to say, “Well, the other day I saw a big damn snake in my garage,” but it’s either that, or nothing.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a really good photo of the snake because several of my possessions were in the way, damn them, and I didn’t want to scare it by moving the wheelbarrow and everything.

It's the thing with the head.

Then I got worried that maybe I shouldn’t leave the snake in my garage, like maybe it would crawl up into my car somehow and surprise me while I’m driving, so I texted my friend to find out what I should do with the snake. He advised me to pick it up with a snow shovel and remove it from the garage. But by the time I could get out my show shovel, I couldn’t really get at the snake anymore, because it had crawled back into its hole and was doing this:

I know this photo is kinda fuzzy, but I didn't want to get too close to the big damn snake.

When the snake saw me coming with the snow shovel, it bared its fangs at me. I texted my friend, “It just yawned at me is that a threat” to which he replied, “It mocks you.”


So in the end I just stood there and stared at the snake for several minutes, and it stared at me back. Then I realized I was in a Mexican standoff with a snake, so I put my snow shovel away and went back in the house. I haven’t seen the snake since. But I know it's out there, somewhere, mocking me.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Embrace Your Geekness Day Is July 13th

A couple of weeks ago Sam Bowling over at SingleHop asked me (and a bunch of other bloggers) to join them in celebrating Embrace Your Geekness Day on July 13. It’s also Gruntled Workers Day, which is celebrated by complimenting fast food workers.  

If you’ve been following along at home, you’ll know that around this time last year I blogged about how I’m not sure I’m a geek at all, even though my grandmother was an honorary crew member of the USS Enterprise. I agreed to blog for Embrace Your Geekness Day anyway, because even though I don’t feel like much of a geek, I do have a cat whose confirmation name is Admiral James T. Kirk, so there’s that.

Shoe Fatty FatFat Admiral James T. Kirk Pocket Von Fittington III. Catholics have such long names.

I’m not really into video games or techy stuff, but I’ve been given to understand that my fondness for BBC programming is geeky. I don’t think it’s geeky at all, but I’ve probably just internalized the opinions of all the British people I know. I like to pretend that my love of the BBC stems from living in Chamonix around British people for all those years, but I loved to watch Dr. Who and Are You Being Served? and Keeping Up Appearances on PBS when I was a kid. I don’t watch Dr. Who anymore because no Doctor can replace the fourth Doctor in my heart. 

As I’ve discussed before, I come from a Star Trek family, and I don’t speak Klingon or anything, but the object of my first awkward childhood crush was Mr. Spock. Even as a girl, you see, I was into emotionally unavailable men.

Other things that probably make me a geek include:

  • I have read all of Terry Pratchett’s books, most multiple times. Terry Pratchett is the source of my all-time favorite quote, “Rules are there to make you think before you break them.”
  • As a teen, I was a big fan of the Beat Generation and Jack Kerouac in particular. His first language was French so, in order to really understand his frame of mind, man, I decided to start taking high school French when I was 16. That bizarrely-thought-out decision led to a French degree and a profoundly altered life. In retrospect I’m glad I decided to take up French instead of alcoholism. Good call, Proto-Marge.
  • I have been to the Louvre more than two dozen times. I still haven’t seen it all. Fucking thing is huge. I kept getting lost.
  • I have read The Hobbit over a dozen times. You’d think I’d have just bought another book, but no.
  • I read books about daily life in Europe during the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period for fun.
  • I have a zombie apocalypse preparedness plan. It involves getting torn to pieces because who am I fucking kidding.

Friday, July 4, 2014

My Next House Is Going to Be a Condo

So, it being the 4th of July and my having a rare weekend off from work, I had grand plans today of weeding the rockery. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s British for “rock garden.” Yes, I know I’m in America now. Thank you for asking.

Anyway, I’m not even sure it really is a rockery. For a long time I thought it was a French drain, but it doesn’t seem to have a pipe of any kind in it and it’s not actually draining anything. It just sits there, looking rocky, growing weeds, and collecting insects and dead grass clippings. It is the ugliest fucking thing ever.

So, I thought I was going to pull all the weeds out of this thing, remove the rocks, lay down some gardening fabric to prevent the re-growth of said weeds, and then replace the rocks. All in one day. Because, after 31 years of life, I not only don’t know myself at all, but also lack a fundamental grasp of reality. Needless to say, I did not weed the rockery. I weeded about half of it, before I was like “Fuck this, it’s a holiday, I’m getting sunburnt, I’m hungry, and why the fuck do I have a rock garden anyway? GOD HAS PUT THIS ROCK GARDEN HERE TO SPITE ME FOR NOT BELIEVING IN HIM.”


But seriously though, why do I even have a rock garden? It doesn’t serve a purpose. It just sits there like an asshole, requiring me to spend entirely too much time pulling weeds out of it and getting glared at by big-ass spiders and stuff. For that matter, why even have a lawn at all? Whose idea was that? I’ll tell you who – some English lord with a bajillion serfs to do all the mowing and weeding and rockery-spider-wrangling for him. “I say, old chap, this gardening business is smashing. Let’s go throw some peasants in the haha.” Fuck that.

If I had known how much of a pain the ass home ownership was going to turn out to be, I’d never have purchased one. No one said anything because misery loves company.

When I was house-shopping, I was all into my “outdoor space.” I was all, “I want some nice outdoor space!” And yes, going outside is lovely. I do it at least once a week. In any case I have two porches and if you’re not good with numbers, that’s more porches than I can use at one time. I could have gotten a condo with a balcony or one of those gardens that somebody else mows. At least, I could have gotten a home on a smaller lot. I could have gotten a home on a flat lot. I mean, my home isn’t exactly clinging to the side of a cliff or anything, but even a small incline is a bit much when you’re pushing a mower and it’s hotter than 40 hells outside. How am I supposed to mow the lawn when it’s hotter than a stainless steel toilet seat in the Sahara? It’s madness, I tell you, madness. I mean, no one’s going to fine me because I live in the middle of nowhere, but not mowing the lawn attracts snakes and ground wasps and one of my neighbors, so I have to do it. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

As you’re no doubt aware, today the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can deny women health insurance coverage for contraception on the grounds that women as a group don’t know any better than to not go straight to Hell. I mean, of course, the actual Christian Hell, because if another religion tried this crap they would get shot down so hard. Yes, there are other religions. I KNOW, RIGHT?

We all continue to have high expectations of the Supreme Court in spite of the fact that they recently gutted the Voting Rights Act and not-so-recently upheld segregation. My point is that the Supreme Court cannot be trusted to make the right decision. They also have been known to change their minds. Remember that whilst you’re strutting around feeling vindicated and forcing your semi-coherent opinions down the throats of anyone who wanders within range.

Naturally, I’m talking about assholes on Facebook. I have, of course, already deleted everyone who rants at me, both from my friends list and my life. I am not fucking around.

But that doesn’t stop me from seeing my friends’ friends rant about how said friends are immoral sluts. Nor does it stop me from getting upset on their behalf.

I will never understand why so many people who disagree so strongly with you (or me, or anyone for that matter) feel such a deep and burning desperate need that aches to the very pits of their souls to come along and pick a fight for no good goddamn reason. Did your mother raise you to be nasty and argumentative with every rando who expresses an opinion that differs from your own? Because mine did, and yet I STILL MANAGE TO BE A NICE PERSON, FUCKWAD.

Yes, I know you are entitled to your opinion, and I know that only an arrogant asshole refuses even to try and understand an opposing opinion. But, two things:

  • First of all, I am one hundred and ten percent certain that none of that crossed your mind before you barfed up your poorly-spelled beliefs in someone else’s personal space. In fact, I’m one hundred and ten percent certain that NOTHING crossed your mind before you chose to show the hot chick from your sophomore English class exactly why you’ve been married four times. You just saw an opinion you didn’t agree with and couldn’t stop yourself from smacking it right the fuck down. Look, you’re nurturing relationships, not playing Whack-a-Mole. Before you say something on somebody’s Facebook, imagine walking into their living room, where they’re sitting there knitting and watching Blue’s Clues with their two-year-old, and saying it to their face. If that imaginary scenario ends with an imaginary knitting needle in your imaginary eye, keep your real opinions to yourself.
  • Secondly, I’M supposed to consider YOUR opinion, but you don’t have to consider mine? I may very well be an asshole, but at least I’m not using my powers to pick fights and ruin people’s days, again, FOR NO GOOD GODDAMN REASON. You’re not going to convince anyone by angrily enumerating the reasons why they’re an ignorant wrong stupid slut. 

You catch more flies with HONEY, not ASSHATTERY, ASSHAT.