Apparently, my brain decided to assign medical power of attorney over to my gallbladder, which instantly ordered a Cease and Desist order to my digestive system and revoked my Pork and Pilsners license. In technical terms, this is called a Bummer. The Russians were helpful. Did I mention I have been collecting Russians? Really, my collection is coming along nicely. One quickly sent me the largest box of green tea bags ever manufactured. Another one kindly suggested that perhaps I could simply stop having “pork orgies”. I tried reasoning with said gallbladder, but it reminded me that if you can actually feel your internal organs trying to do their assigned tasks, you have a problem. I tried sneaking one little sausage by it this past weekend, but it gave a sharp reminder that it was Not Cool with that. So, okay. Pork I can set gently aside for now. But the pilsners? Tough one. Tough. I will drink the tea. I am drinking a Seriously Nasty concoction of Chinese herbs. I am letting a woman put needles in my body. So all I want for Christmas is my alcohol license back. Please Santa. Let me Be Merry.
So, coked-up squirrels broke into my brain last night and ran riot through all of the furrows, pulling out old files, tossing around anxieties and memories and future failures – all night. They must have robbed their dealer because they had plenty to blow to keep them in a chattering frenzy. I pulled out every hippy new age remedy I could find, flipping mantras like Frisbees, (I think they just ate those). I did deep breathing, relaxed my muscles, I freaking prayed but they were ceaseless. This activity was supported by Big Gay J shifting around approximately every 23 minutes trying to get comfortable, as he is getting Old and is uncomfortable in his bones so must let out an Old Man sigh with each and every movement. In the few moments where I did get some sleep, I dreamed of sleeping chastely next to the man I love and who loves me but distance and circumstances make it impossible for us to be together, and then wandering around in a huge castle that was inexplicably well-kept up and seemed to have nefarious businesses that kept it in such good nick. All in all, not the best way to spend 8 hours or so.
When the alarm went off, the squirrels scattered, likely running up into the trees where they would be sleeping it off while I put on my work clothes, fed Pokester, walked Big Gay J in the rain, and discovered not 1, but 2 leaks in my house. Blink blink. Very much a where is my passport and local arsonist kind of morning.
But – My hair looks pretty good. And my horoscope says something to the effect that every single thing is super fantastic and you will have the best week of your life! So I have that working for me. Plus, I seem to have largely recovered from what felt and sounded like some sort of Victorian Consumption. I was so sick that Pokester brought me tea in bed and held my hand for a while until he flung it down and said “You know, when people do that in the movies, the person on the bed dies.” I have to take that as a positive, since when he came to that image he did not continue holding my hand to see if it would happen.
More happy news? It is pay day. And while I had visions of a new pair of shoes that have been shoved aside by a leaking roof, pay day is pay day. And even as I continue my life-long living out of the song Brandy, who loves a man who is not around, love is lovely. So take that coke-head squirrels.
Sorry to have been away for so long, but I broke a nail. And a tooth. And I have been counting spiders. If you are missing any, they are here at The Big Red House. It is very possible that spider webs are the only thing holding my house together at this point. Well, the laundry probably serves as the foundation. Honestly, I think I could weave a blanket out of spider webs, which would be a really cool present to give the The Needler, as spiders are his kryptonite. I am actually scanning the room right now to see if there is a single spider free area. The answer is no. I could look for the hidden meanings of spiders, like, check out the Spirit Animal Guide. I can just picture the entry: “When a spider shows up, it means you are a sorry ass housekeeper who can’t even get off your skinny ass to wipe off a window sill. You also might be a recluse and probably drink too much. Alone. Loser.”
And, of course, along with the spiders come a dazzling array of dangling, desiccated former flying insects. But as I sit and contemplate this tableau, I realize that The Pokester may finally get his wish to really sass up The Big Red House for Halloween. We already look like a haunted house! And given that now none of the exterior lights work, it will be dark and creepy with an array of poisonous arachnids dangling on the front porch. I could drop a spider in every little grubby bag thrust in front of me. 10, even! Ha! Trick? or Treat? Hey, kids! The one with the red hour glass is extra tasty!
Anyway. It is great to be back
Wow. Going back to work has been awesome. But, I wasn’t really prepared for the reduction in personal time thing and the writing time thing. Writing takes a lot of moldering time for the brain, at least it does for mine. And, I kind of forgot to reduce my drinking time. While it is true that I have to squeeze it into a different time schedule, it just seemed to mean that my after work hours became make up time. And for some reason I like to write at 11 am.
I did, however, recently find time to throw a dinner party. Texter wanted to get the parents together – meaning, his GF’s parents and his own. So I called up my (sort of) ex-husband – long and short of that is that we have been separated for, well, um, 8 years, but have not actually filed the paper work for divorce – and I arranged for all of us to get together at The Big Red House for dinner. GF is a vegetarian, and sometimes my culinary skills get wonky around vegetarians, being more of a slow cooked meats kind of a girl. And then I had to push back the time, twice actually, as it dawned on me that as I work until 6, and hadn’t shopped, it would be hard to have the original 6:30 schedule. They were kind about it, and they arrived with many bottles of wine at the appointed hour. I liked that. I liked them. The “children” went off to do video game type things with Pokester, which was awesome, and the “adults” stood around in the kitchen, drinking and watching me cook. Extended cocktail hour meant dinner at 9, by which time the “adults” were having a high old time.
I am proud to say that I only fell down twice. And it was in exactly the same spot. Went down on one knee, right leg extended cheerleader style, left knee took the beat down. The second time GF’s mother said “Take those shoes off!” which I immediately did, because she has that kind of presence. If she had demanded that I give her my debit cards and remove my undergarments I probably would have done that too. Seriously. She has that Take No Prisoners thing going on. We politely agreed that Big J’s drool was the culprit in the slippage department, but GF’s Momma took to calling me Grace after that. The “adults” had fun, the “children” were probably pretty mortified.
Thankfully, I think I have gotten the rhythm of work now and can adjust my drinking schedule to accommodate my writing schedule. The vacuuming and mopping schedule will likely not be affected, since when I had 40 hours a week to get that done, well, you know. I did learn, however, that inviting GF’s parents over threw Texter into a cleaning frenzy. So they might become regular guests.
I just cannot get undergarments right. A while back I wrote about an incident in which a dog fight revealed my lack of wearing panties. So, in attempting to correct myself, I do try to wear panties when it seems appropriate. Like today. I was downtown for important reasons, in a pretty dress. So, panties. I was walking up one of the busiest streets in our fair city, in the middle of the afternoon. Cars were streaming by, people out on the sidewalk, crazy sky ready to either bust out some sunshine or pour down some buckets of rain – just a normal summer day. And I am walking along, going to my destination when I dropped a letter I was carrying. I bent down to pick it up, and then when I stood back up, my panties fell down. Onto the Sidewalk. In front of a toothless homeless man. And many, many other people.
I don’t have a lot of backyard real estate, so to speak. And I guess these panties were just ready to give up the ghost or something. I had had to tug them up a few times, which was awkward enough. But I have to tell you that given the choice between having your skirt blow up to reveal no panties and having your underwear FALL OFF ON THE SIDEWALK I would choose the former Every Single Time. Because you know what? You are presented with quite a dilemma in the second situation. There is no graceful exit to your underwear on the sidewalk. You cannot in anyway reach down and put them back on. You cannot recover. Your underwear fell off in public, and there it is. On the sidewalk. Picking them up seemed equally as appalling a choice. Am I going to pick my panties up off of the sidewalk and put them in my purse? Walk away and let the toothless homeless man ponder my panties? Someone find my underwear on the street and wonder about That Story?
So there we were, Me and the Toothless Guy, staring at the spectacle of my undergarments on the concrete before us. Who knows who else witnessed this “brief” event. Nobody honked, although that would have really made it better, because then I could have put on my show face, picked them up and waved them around my head yelling “Woot! Woot!” or some other such typically drunken girl exclamation. But alas, I was slightly at a loss as to how to deal with the situation. So I stood there for a moment, glanced at toothless man, and then started to laugh. And laugh. He looked at me and said “Ma’am?” and then kind of laughed a little too. But I think he was mostly Confused. I did pick up my panties, stuffed them in my purse, and then(hopefully) discretely dropped them in the trash. And then went about the rest of my day.
P.S. I was on my way back to work. Thas right! (Belle got a Job)
Really. This is a dirty little secret. Of course I have good table manners out in public, and certainly seek, in vain at times, to instill them in the orangutans I share my table with nightly. But alone, I, as my grandmother used to say, find myself “gobbling like a field hand.” I stuff the food in my mouth, spill it on my clothes, wipe my fingers on my pants, dribble drinks down my chin…And I don’t know why. My Great Fear is that when I become Old, which is feeling a little bit like next week, that I will forget the social graces I so effortlessly carry off in public and my Inner Field Hand will shamble out of the dark, grabbing food off of my grandchildren’s plates and stuffing it lewdly into my pie hole, wiping the remains across my sadly deflated Fun Bags.
My own grandmother, who could be caustic and persnickety, went more quietly mad, but she also traipsed around in transparent negligees. And one memorable time at the beach, when we had workmen in the house, I found her in the living room with her shirt pulled up and her once mammoth breasts drifting down around her pants, having escaped the confines of her bra. She looked utterly confused, just staring down at them like they were foreign refugees who had appeared at her waist begging for help. “Something is wrong, here…” She said. So then there I was, trying to quickly and quietly stuff 20 lbs of unruly wayward boobs back into their structural support system while she stood by passively watching me both pulling and pushing them back into submission. Not pretty. And in a previous post I told about my Aunt who once entertained the Church Ladies wearing nothing but a shirt. So maybe it is is Mad Nudity that will come upon me, rather than poor table etiquette.
Having watched family members get old, I fairly recently did ask Texter to take me outside and shoot me in the head once I started going crazy. He was Truly Horrified, but suggested that perhaps he might could accept poisoning me. He may feel different when I appear naked at the table and stuff his wife’s pork chops in my mouth. But reflecting on all of this, I realized I should have asked The Pokester to help me with this task. I know that he is probably in the process right now of plotting my demise, as I have taken away all of his electronic equipment. Last night he told me I was “impossible to live with” and I wanted to say, “Honey, just wait.” Actually, I wanted to say “Honey, pack your effing bag and Get The Hell Out of Here” in the moment. But I decided just to send him to his room where he could more quietly calculate his revenge. So at least now I feel more confident about who I can turn to when the Naked Field Hand arrives.
Hello. I haven’t written in a while for several contributing factors. One, The Needler had my computer for a while, and I am sadly too stupid to understand how to get to my own website unless it is bookmarked on my browser. Also, I have been madly applying for jobs in order to prove to the Unemployment Security Commission that I am indeed looking for work and not just sitting around playing solitaire and watching Louis CK videos. Plus… I have been involved in the delightful adventure of getting to know Someone. Fortunately, I already knew this Someone, for quite some time, so we didn’t have to bother with the awkward dating phase. He has been a quiet question mark in my heart for many years, but is quickly finding his way to being an exclamation mark.
He recently visited, and as I like to give people secret code names, I am happy to report that he actually self-monikered during a card game we played with Pokester. So, introducing Belle and O.T.T. O.T.T. is a Quiet Man, until he is not, and then he is animated and delightful. But being around a Quiet Man makes our household aware of how Not Quiet we are. We are a cartwheeling cacophony of Loud Music, Sarcastic Banter and Inappropriate Humor. Playing games is kind of a crucible around here. We examine people’s style and are frankly ruthless in our approach. Once O.T.T. understood the actual rules of the game we were playing, I had to explain to him that we also Gloat and Smack Talk. I am happy to report that O.T.T. was able to not only completely school us in the game, but represented quite well in Smack Talk. I think he is going to have to work on the Gloating a bit, but that is ok. We will give him many examples to follow.
O.T.T. also introduced me to a game of his own invention in which the players have three cards and whoever wins the most cards has to answer the winner’s question. I was fascinated by this game and wanted to play it A Lot. Posing the questions is a great deal harder than answering them for me, because at this point in life, there are just some things I probably don’t want to know. But a question I asked produced an unexpected answer. I asked “What has surprised you the most about me?” His answer was The Big Red House. See, when I heard that, I kind of glowed a little because of all of my hard work in shining her up for him. I even brought in reinforcements. My ears pricked up, my tail rose like a dog happy to feel the sun on her ass, thinking all about how we was going to say how lovely and shiny it was, when he said “I thought you would be so much more Martha Stewart. But then I look around and see stuff like that…”, pointing to a pile on the floor sort of behind the kitchen buffet. Funnily enough, that pile actually contains most of my important documents, which I had out at one point in doing Important Documenty type things, but they had collapsed and slid to the floor where they remain collecting dog hair and grease stains. Sigh. But still, I was like, “Um, you read my blog. Why would you ever think I was Martha Stewarty?” But here is the thing, and one of the things I like Eversomuch about O.T.T. He sees my Inner Martha. Somehow he knows that I actually want to alphabetize my cans and have all the undies I never wear in neat little nests in my perfectly pristine dresser drawers. When he spoke of his own dream of renting an industrial waste container and throwing out the majority of the contents of his home and starting fresh, my heart skipped 6 beats, as this is a dream I have quietly possessed in my own soul. Order. We could make Beautiful Order together.
So thank you, O.T.T. for seeing past the piles and the dog hair. Thank you for quickly Whipping My Ass in a game I am so good at, thank you for asking me Interesting Questions, thank you for trying to tolerate my Hairy, Drooling Big Gay J, thank you for the Rodenbach, a beer that made you want to absolutely gag on that I so dearly love, even going to the store at 9 am in your town to buy those last dusty bottles, knowing that I cannot get it here, so that you looked like the sour beer slurping alcoholic, sparing me such indignity. As soon as we can teach you to Gloat, we will really be hitting High Gear.
Hey — and meanwhile, please check out the link below. Our State has recently created a crazy, bigoted, damaging new amendment to our constitution. I, know – awesome, right? Below is a link for a petition to repeal it. You do not have to be from this state in order to sign the petition. And you will feel so good about yourself when you sign it. Really. Martini Good.
There are certain questions that can trouble a young boy’s mind; questions he needs answered by an older, wiser, experienced man who can ease his mind and help him to make good decisions. That is why I was so glad The Needler was here the other day, doing what he called “responsible collegy things” which clearly could not be accomplished at The Bachelor Pad, where upon my last visit I was met by The Needler at the door waving his hands and physically pressing me backwards so that I could not cross the threshold.
Pokester had carefully laid out the following items:
What you see here is a Pokemon catalogue, and comb masquerading as a switch blade, and a “silver” chain from a grocery store gumball machine.
Looking to his older brother, he posed this Important Question: “In case of a Zombie Apocalypse, which one of these items would you choose to defend yourself with?” Now this is one of those Pokester questions that makes me want to put needles into my veins and gently slip away into a nice heroin haze. I never get the answer right. Never. And he will not let me off the hook but will hound me to provide an answer so that he can scoff at me. But not The Needler. He thoughtfully considered each item, picking them up, gently turning them in his hand, feeling them, popping open the switch blade comb, and then he asked “Can I light the Pokemon catalogue on fire?” Pokes thought about this. “I think you would have to stamp it out pretty quickly” he replied. “No, I would want to tear out each page and light them separately.” The Pokester accepted this condition, and The Needler chose the Pokemon catalogue, because evidently there is a sound theory that Zombies are afraid of fire. There was radiant approval from The Pokester. I did not have to begin my career as a Junkie. The Needler shone in a Great White Light of Wisdom and Bravery. I celebrated by having a(nother) glass of wine. Everybody wins!
Thanks, Needler. And I want to thank you also for stepping in to support me that time I had to “explain” that Pokes could not have one of his spelling word sentences be “I will spread Blood All Over The World.” That was Helpful.
Now, I must return to cleaning, as I have Honored Guests arriving this evening, and Texter was not able to remember to make the dining room table actually visible. And I have to make sure that I have light bulbs in the lamps this time so that my friends are not sitting around in the dark like last time. See – I am making progress! Sadly, none of the outside lights are working, so I may need to hire Pokes to stand out in the back and wave the old gas lantern to welcome our guests. And that way we could also be sure no Zombies slipped in.
So, I didn’t parse out the details of my breakup with The Man, because, well, I don’t know. It was all so freaking trashy and unbelievable. And still, I am going to spare you all the details, even though it would be tempting to illuminate just how dirty someone can do you. When it all hit the fan, I picked up my toys and left, including several pounds of lamb shanks that I had been planning to cook for his birthday dinner. I went on an epic journey around to my friends’ homes, fuming and saying every bad word available in the English lexicon, murder and revenge in my heart. I was Mad. So I spent 48 hours cursing, drinking and cooking in various households what became known as The Travelling Lamb of Despair.
For about a week I was like Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to know. I had Bad Thoughts. I was a caged tiger who smelled blood. I Brooded. If that is a word, that is what I did. I plotted Revenge – so much so that my friends felt compelled to “check in” on me, and remind me that maybe I shouldn’t be thinking of things that would cause them to have to visit me in prison. Oddly, though, the storm passed over fast – it was like a tornado, ripping up the landscape to where it becomes unrecognizable, where you are left standing there with everything in your field of vision uprooted, wind whipped, rain soaked. And then the sun comes out. Surveying the scene, I suddenly realized: I didn’t want to live there anymore, anyway. I was Done.
Well, then came The Great Opportunity. I am kind of sorry that it took a Tornado Shit Storm to finally clear my eyes enough to see that someone was out there, someone who has been on the edges of my landscape for most of my adult life. But it takes what it takes, right? I didn’t have a Thunderbolts and Lightening moment. It was more like a George Harrison “Here Comes the Sun” arrival moment. Like, Oh! And, Duh! And, Ah! Well, there He is. There He Is. Hi there, You. So, I find myself cupping my hands around this sweet igniting flame, tending it slowly and watching it glow, realizing that it has been flickering there for such a long time. And I think I am perhaps now Grown Up enough to take Good Care of it. And Him. And Me.
Please indulge me today. I know I am usually not political, and I am not even sure that this counts as “political” because I am not taking sides or promoting anyone’s agenda – except my own . But as I look around this great country, I see that in certain areas, things are not really going in a direction I like. These areas are Healthcare and Warfare. In my humble opinion, these two issues are pretty black and white, meaning Healthcare = Good and Warfare = Bad. I am watching this whole debate unfold around the Affordable Care Act, and I am thinking, “You know what? I don’t want Another Single Penny of my tax contribution to go to Warfare. I want my money to go to Healthcare.”
I was partially inspired by this video that is making the rounds on The Facebook:
This video shows that “people” feel differently about war than “government” feels, because, a “government” cannot “feel”. That is our job. So I am standing up to say that I do not want our country to fund any more wars. Of course we should be able to defend ourselves. But “Defense” is different from “Aggression”. Here in my beloved home state, Amendment 1 is going to the polls, so that people can say that other people cannot get married. And everybody is Freaking Out about it, making signs and getting the vote out. Because for some reason, some people think that only certain people should be able to get married. But at least we get to vote on that. So I am proposing that we have a new constitutional amendment that states that the United States of America cannot enter into any war without a vote from the citizens – not their representatives, but the citizens themselves. And I think that unless there is at least a 60% turnout of registered voters, we cannot enter a war. Period. We cannot send troops anywhere without the consent of the people. Because we are a “By the People for the People” country, remember? Plus, if we had to vote on it, then we could not bitch about our representatives, because we would be personally accountable for the decision!
Do I think the government should underwrite healthcare? Yes I Do. To replace the excellent insurance I had when I was working would cost me $1000 per month for four people with no health issues who go to the doctor about once every two years. Now all I can afford is “catastrophic” coverage for my kids – that is a $10,000 deductible, and I pay for everything. And I have been turned down because I once took antidepressants, one of the most prescribed drugs in the country. Nothing about that seems ok to me. A 2011 report from The Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch notes this
“Our analysis of the financial position of 33 Blue Cross plans suggests that their capital position has reached a level that’s difficult for the nonprofits to justify, and if sustained, will lead to significant tension between the nonprofit Blues, regulators and consumer activists,” McDonald wrote. “According to our data, the nonprofit Blues held a total of $52 billion in capital at the end of 2010, or more than $29 billion above minimum regulatory requirements.”
Um, did that say $52 billion in capital, Scooby? And these guys are supposed to be the nonprofit guys, not even the insurance companies that boldly and shamelessly announce that they are in the business to Make Bank.
Belle says: Healthcare: Yes. Warfare: No