New and improved (and sidenotelicious)

Monk and I re-did the half bath two weekends ago. Not sure why it took us a year and a half to rid ourselves of the embarrassment formerly known as “grandma’s closet,” but it’s finally done. Don’t be too impressed, though. In our over-budgeted, short attention span world, “re-did” means we primed and painted right over the dark blue wallpaper, made some other low-key cosmetic changes, and called it a day. This gives the future owners a chance to move in, ignore things for over a year, then start a blog and complain about how the previous owners were lazy assholes who couldn’t be bothered to remove wallpaper that had been hung (by the previous previous owners) before the sink and toilet were installed. I would hate to rob them of such riveting online journal material. I’m a giver, people. I'd put up some before and after photos, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. And that "somewhere," apparently, is displaying my toilet to the Internet.

(Sidenote: Do you have any idea how challenging it is to fold your 5'10" frame into a 3' x 4' half bath, then cram yourself in even further so that you are sitting on the floor between the toilet bowl and the cabinet, inappropriately embracing the bowl, in order to ram the hand holding the paint brush behind the tank repeatedly, somehow managing to paint every damn bit of navy blue wallpaper, whether it would have been easily visible or not? Bet you want those pictures now don't you?)

We have (finally) been motivated to create an every-weekend project schedule and have started our attack on the other grimy parts of our poorly-constructed residence (first-time home buyers are smrt). Friday evening we began slapping up paint in the living room. Like a well-oiled (crazed and obsessed?) machine, we completed the living room, the main hallway and the guest bath by yesterday afternoon. Except for one little thing: The Spouse wanted to cut corners on the bathroom hardware (yes, I believe Blame looks rather handsome, perched there on Monk's shoulders), so we suspended common sense and now have a superglue-not-working-must-do-it-over-properly situation. Also, I have a square inch here and there to touch up in the guest bath but to hear me tell it, it would kill me to pick up a paint brush and enter that room again.

(Sidenote: You know your taste runs to the, er, eclectic when you are stuck in a bathroom painting all day and occasionally exclaiming "wow, that's... orange" to no one in particular. To all those that might come to visit: I promise, once you get used to it, your eyeballs do stop their bleeding.)

This coming weekend will find us painting (surprise!) the t.v. room and rearranging its contents to make it into something more "cozy and inviting," and less "other room? What do you mean other room? There's no room on the other side of the stairs, no sir, nothing to see here, move it along, people." There will also be a repeat of the credit card abuse we've been perpetrating lately, not only at Lowe's, but also because we've discovered that people with houses-that-look-like-grown-ups-live-there must "accessorize" and "coordinate" each room, which requires things like wall hangings, shelves and random candles.

(Sidenote: Sometimes? When you HATE shopping, and you have been out for five hours, looking for just the right picture (cheap, bland, medium-ish-sized) to hang in the bathroom (!), and you've already spent a gajillion bucks on things you used to swear you'd never spend a gajillion bucks on, and you finally find it and go to swipe your credit card for the 777th time that day? You may want to cry a little, on behalf of your bank account AND in relief at being homeward bound at last.)


C Words

On my way to work I saw a very large man standing nonchalantly on the sidewalk, dressed head to toe as the Statue of Liberty. The absence of a sandwich board or some other sign, or even a nearby business made me doubt he was advertising anything. Except maybe CRAZY. And we make our Crazy at home, thankyouverymuch, we don’t need to be getting it on the street.


I'm the co-coordinator of the Dallas branch of a nationally-recognized animal rescue and rehabilitation organization. (Yes. It has a heart.) (Now say that first sentence three times fast without running out of breath.) I just thought I'd put a little disclaimer out there before this next sentence: I'm contemplating killing my boss's cat. Honestly, I've never been a big fan of cats, mainly because it's hard to be a fan of anything that digs around in its toilet and then walks across your counters, kitchen table, furniture and pillows. And please don't e-mail me saying "my cat NEVER does that" because you're not home every minute and you can swat it, yell at it, spray it with water every time its little paws leave the floor when you're home to see it happen, but when you're not? It's a cat, people, and cats are not known for their listening and obedience skills. Even if they were, I'm willing to bet heavily that your cat does not give a crumbly corner of a crap about your new sheet set or freshly-wiped counter tops.

What makes cats even more fun for me is the fact that I am severly allergic. Put one under my nose and I'm sneezing and wheezing in minutes. I cannot touch a cat without having to immediately run away and wash my hands (and clothes. and nostrils).

So. Boss's cat has recently decided that my little Wizard of Oz area is the place to be, every morning and every afternoon. More accurately, my chair is the best part of the place to be. Every morning and every afternoon, he pushes through the curtain into my "office," walks up to my chair (meowing LOUDLY), and tries to get up into the space behind my lower back. Every morning and afternoon I discourage this, which prompts about an hour (EACH TIME) of strutting around my office, looking up at me accusingly, and complaining in an ugly, warbling, repeating cry how much I have wounded him. Twice a day, this is the exchange I have with the damn cat (you'd think one of us would get the hint by now):

Boss's cat (pushing into my office): Mrrroowwww! [translation: Well? Here I am!]

Me: Get out of here, cat.

Boss's cat (circling my chair): Mrrroowwww! [translation: But I just got here, and you, you fiend, are in my chair!]

Me: Get out, cat.

B.C. (trying to push my ass off the chair): Mrrroowwww! [translation: Make me.]

Me: You know I can't touch you- get out of here.

B.C. (circling the chair again): Mrrroowwww! [translation: You will now pay more attention to me.]

Me: Shut it.

B.C.: Mrrroowwww! [translation: Hellooo?!]

Me (gritting teeth): Shut. it.

B.C. (still circling): Mrrroowwww! [translation: Or, I could just do this! Until you give in!] Mrrroowwww! Mrrroowwww! Mrrroowwww! Mrrroowwww! Mrrroowwww! [translation: Am I annoying you yet? How 'bout now? How 'bout now? How 'bout... NOW!]

At that moment I am forced to firmly push him out with the pointy toe of my shoe. If I display the poor judgment of getting out of my chair for anything at any time throughout the day, there is a good chance I will come back to find the crafty feline curled up in my desk chair with a smirk on his face. Until I tip the chair over and dump him out.

Every day, twice a day. Looks like I'll be getting my Crazy at the office from now on.


Chicken Soup for the Soul

Discussing a possible trip to Sedona with Biff, and room rates ranging from $300 to $4500 PER NIGHT:

B: Besides, I would think the $4500 rooms are dirtier than the $300 ones.

Q: Huh?

B: Well, if I’m the kind of person that spends $4500 on a room, per night, I’m probably the kind of person that’s going to be getting laid in that room.

Q: Yep, and getting laid niiice and gooood in that room.

B: That’s right, if I’m spending $4500 a night, I don’t want any of that “making love” crap, I’d better be getting FUCKED.

Q: Indeed. I’d better be blushing for DAYS.

She’s coming to visit next month. I can’t wait.


I just don't where to put the chapter breaks

Friends of Brad Pitt reportedly claim that he has regained his sense of humor and is much more fun now that he is no longer with Jen. Ouch. Wouldn’t you hate to be someone’s Jen to their Brad and then stumble across what their friends are saying to gossip columnists and radio stations? Maybe it’s just that, now that he’s no longer married, he’s back to entertaining all his friends with fart jokes and nights out at the strip club?

Monk went skating last week with a coworker. This is the same coworker who has flaked out on him a few times already, so I was glad he finally got some buddy-to-buddy skate time in, saving me from having to hop on a board and go whizzing off to my death, in the name of Keeping the Lonely Away. Because that is what I was willing to do, as a token of my commitment to this marriage. Yes, luckily (for everyone) the coworker came through and they skated off into the sunset together. But not before Monk had walked the dogs, taken in the mail, run the vacuum and prepped dinner, which leads me to what’s been on my mind (among other things): Married life.

Monk made a comment the other day about (same as above) Coworker suggesting they both spontaneously meet up for a skate, and that this guy obviously doesn’t get that Monk’s daily obligations do not cease to exist when he leaves the office. According to Monk, Coworker couldn’t understand this, because he is single and has no concept of married life. Smug Married People might joke that he is not in The Club. I do not consider myself to be one of the Smug Marrieds.

However, it is true that, for us, after tucking a few years of Marriage under our belts, our perspective certainly has changed. It may have something to do with (oh, let's see if I can name a few factors) the house purchase, the financial strain from said big scary purchase, living in the suburbs, moving so much that most of our friendships became long distance and difficult to maintain, collecting dogs like baseball cards (does anybody actually do that anymore?), getting older and fatter and therefore more calorie-conscious and health-aware, one of us getting promoted to Senior Management… Suddenly we’re talking about Meal Plans and Saving Money and Life Insurance and Investment Portfolios, worrying about retirement and 401k plans, being Responsible With Our Spending, fielding questions (without panicking!) about having kids, and arguing about why someone (me) has to throw great bricks of q-tip layups at the bathroom garbage, leaving a ring of cotton swabs to clean up every weekend, instead of gently pulling the container within reach to ensure the trash actually makes it to the right spot like someone else (Monk) always does.

We’re not going out every night, and seldom do so at the spur of the moment. And we cannot stay out all night for fear of dog pee. One friend’s total expenses equal half of our mortgage payment. We take turns executing weekly tasks necessary to Having a House. We look forward to a Quiet Night In after a Long Week, and lately? All the weeks have been loooong. And the Good Night In multiplies until we realize we haven’t been Out in ages (and that was just to Sister’s place for a tame evening of poker and bitter comments). And while there may at times be a crapload of beer in the fridge and a fully stocked bar in the dining room, we (almost) always have food to eat. And not of the leftover pizza variety.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, and I’m not entirely certain that Married Life isn’t the equivalent to a single person’s Grown Up Life. It’s just all so different now than it was six years ago. Some things have grown vastly more complicated while other issues are now wonderfully simple. The routines, the excitement, the drama, the diet, the worries, the bills… Different different different. Sometimes, talking to a single friend, I hear myself sounding Married (or Grown Up!), and I realize they’ve lost interest in what I’m saying. I find I’m censoring what I share so we don’t reach that awkward point in the conversation, when it seems like we’re speaking two different languages. And then, after all the censoring, I find I have nothing entertaining to say. Instead of being on the fence about a new relationship, I’m talking about replacing our fence and enlarging the yard. A late night call used to be one that came in after midnight (and I'd still pick up the phone). Now anything after 10 p.m. is Too Late To Talk.

The quirk of it is that I am no less satisfied with my life than I was a decade ago. I’m probably more satisfied, actually, which I know is puzzling when you look at the Evidence of All the Boring, above. It’s funny how goals and priorities can change while a person can remain fundamentally the same. I would hope anyone, Single or Married, can understand that. It's really the same language, just different stories, that’s all. If you had asked me five years ago if I was ready to experience the Married Difference, I would have said hell no. But it looks alright from here, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

(So yes, the referendum banning Monk from fart jokes (in my presence) and strip club outings remains- my apologies to those waiting to run to the gossip columnists and radio stations.)

I’ve heard there occurs the same type of massive but pleasant shift when people become parents. That a lot of their “I will never” statements become a big joke and that their lifestyle, routines and priorities change even more than when they left school and/or got married; that this subtle but huge difference is not simply better or worse, just a new existence and adjustment. And I’ve heard that most people wouldn’t change it for the world. But I’m still not ready to embrace that kind of Different right now, which is why, when the pregnancy test came up negative,* I was okay with that.

*Apparently a "false negative" is possible. So that reassurance? Hasn't quite happened yet.


Well, if he's going to tell people about it, I will too.

Who says I can’t go with the flow? Last night I hopped over the baby gate propped across the landing that separates the “t.v. room” from the rest of the house (because heaven forbid the foster dog has freedom to roam. And destroy), headed into the kitchen where I popped a few vitamins in my mouth, realized my water was still in the t.v. room, grabbed my book, zoomed back to the landing where the baby gate was lurking (and plotting), swung a leg over, swung the other leg nearly over, and promptly took a dive (and took the cursed baby gate with me. Take THAT, baby gate!). If you’ve never seen someone fail mightily at scissor kicking over a high jump pole, you will have no idea what this must have looked like to Monk. My curiosity as to how he must be processing the acrobatic entertainment took precedence over self-preservation, mostly.

I knew, as my shoe hit the gate (and the beer hit my bloodstream?)that I was going down with one free hand and nothing to grab, several vitamins in my mouth that I’d rather not choke on, a tongue I wished not to bite, and the good fortune of carpet to maybe cushion my fall. There was that very sharp moment of clarity in which I knew there would be one definite outcome, and two options that wouldn’t change the unfortunate result: I could flail madly, throwing the book to the side and attempt to get a ridiculous hop going, long enough to send me crashing into the entertainment center, or I could just go with it. I’m sure Monk saw the entire thought process play across my face, down to the resigned but very zen moment of “oh, fuck it.”

Despite the fearful realization that I narrowly missed puncturing the back of my skull on the corner of the dog crate, and waking up this morning with an aching neck (no doubt from locking my jaw to hold the vitamin stash steady and still, just like the way the beloved Irish Setter from my childhood once carried a terrified slew of baby rabbits in her mouth, now that I think of it) plus a tender rib and sore lower back, I am most concerned that I have scarred Monk for life.

Witnessing my slow Matrix-esque (sans fancy cartwheel move, guns and black trench of course) sideways tumble into the t.v. room last night has made a huge impact already. Instead of laughing at the clown he married (indeed, the whole way down I was waiting and watching for the Mirth That Never Came), he went on and on (and on!) about how disturbing the whole situation was, and later fell asleep and dreamt falling-themed dreams all night. I guess the whole production has startled something loose in him. I’m not sure how I can ease his traumatized subconscious now, since I thought he understood from the beginning that “klutz” should be a blinking neon sign attached to my forehead forever and always, but I’ll try to think of something to smooth his brow and erase this disturbance from his psyche.

Maybe I should fart in front of him.


Television is good for you.

M: See, that’s another reason why I pull the cover all the way up to the top [of the bed, when making the bed], that way no dog hair gets on the sheets.

Q: Shhh, it’s hard to absorb a point when you’re trying to go to sleep.

M: You’re reading.

Q: Okay, I meant you shouldn’t try to prove a point when you’re trying to go to sleep. Good night!

We went over to Sister’s last night to eat homemade spinach pasta (life’s rough, eh?), and watch a few shows we tragically missed when our DVR thought it would be funny to play Amnesia Victim and abandon all the “record regularly” programming we worked so hard to input. This is why I'm always so cheerful when I pay the above-our-comfort-level Dish/DVR bill.

We watched the Desperate Housewives episode where Gabrielle kisses Tom. For those of you smart enough not to get hooked on this show (all three of you), just know that Gabrielle kissed her friend Lynette’s husband at a party, as a joke, and Lynette did not appreciate the humor. This led to an interesting discussion on the way home last night, in which I admitted that I would absolutely have a problem with someone kissing my husband, jokingly or otherwise. This irritation would apply to any jokester - friend or stranger - and to anyone for whom I felt that romantic bond that can twirl giddily into a streak of raw, immature possessiveness (so: boyfriend, husband, Orlando Jones, etc.).

Monk once again showed his oddball stripes by declaring that his irritation had conditions. For example’s sake, he would not be bothered if, say, Friend A or Friend B kissed me. However! If (pause, pause) Friend C or (pause) Friend D kissed me, we’d have a problem. Not only was it thought-provoking that he clearly had to dig fairly deep into his memory to recall the names of some of my more-absent friends, but also that some posed a bigger threat in his mind than others.

But here’s the belated point: He would not be bothered if I were the one doing the kissing, as opposed to being the one on which the kissing was done. Something about trusting me and my intentions, blah blah blah. One of the delights of being married to someone like Monk is that he is still full of surprises. All these years I thought kissing was at the tip of the off-limits iceberg, turns out I’ve been interpreting the marriage vows incorrectly. I guess I’ve got a lot of Making Up For Lost Time ahead of me. Pucker up, boys and girls.


So... Seen any good movies lately?

It’s going to be a real drag if I have to purchase a pregnancy test on Wednesday.

(I typed that sentence about an hour ago. I keep coming back to it to add something, anything, even if the follow-up isn’t even remotely related to interesting writing or a punch line.)

Hey! Let’s go to the movies! More accurately, let’s talk movie reviews! I believe we’ve established that Monk and I may be the last people on the planet to get around to seeing the films everyone else has viewed, discussed and forgotten several months back, so just consider this a blast from the past. HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz all seemed to be in cahoots to disappoint over the weekend, so we dusted off the Blockbuster card and picked up some DVDs.

Sin City

This is a bad-ass film. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it, and if you have seen it, rent it again and invite me over because at one point? I fell asleep and missed a very important part of the plot resolution. Cold medicine overdoses notwithstanding, this movie is intrigue, action and art all rolled into one, a delight to watch. I’m not too familiar with Frank Miller’s stuff, but it really was like stepping into a comic book. If you’re the kind of person who gets off on reading comic books, that will impress you. If you’re not, it’s like watching the sexiest person in the room describe his/her favorite comic book to the point that you feel like you’ll just die if you don’t go out and buy that comic book and read it, so you have something in common with the sexiest person in the room… Huh. Lost my train of thought there. I’ve heard that happens a lot to pregnant women.

Must Love Dogs
Ehh. Cute movie, if you don’t mind the message that divorced people are depressed and bitter souls leading lonely and empty lives, all of which can be fixed by having a love interest. The screenplay was based on a book that wasn’t very impressive in the first place. Well, I know that now. I didn’t realize it while we were watching the movie, so the whole time I had this strange feeling that I’d already seen it, just with different actors. And then this one scene? That was exactly like a scene from the book? I was very angry that the screenwriter got away with such a blatant theft of plot. After I researched it and realized everything was above board, however, I was highly amused at myself. Mood swings. Again, a trait prevalent in women of the knocked-up variety.

Haven’t seen the original, so I didn’t attempt to take that into consideration when viewing this film. This is another visually fun movie, and I especially liked the way everything seemed to take on an increasingly 60s feel as the story progressed, from hair, makeup and clothing to cityscapes and lighting. There were also some visual effects that added to the retro feel. The story was not as light and happy ending-ish as I had hoped, but overall I’d say it was enjoyable, even with the excessively charming monologue bits. Except! By the end of the film, I discovered that too much of Jude Law talking? Turns my stomach. Interesting- a new aversion developing out of nowhere. At least it has nothing to do with food. Because, you know.


In other news

If you happened to receive a message from me in which I sounded vacant and maybe a little, um, falsely bright, ending the call with something along the lines of "...and all that good stuff," you should know about a little distraction in the form of a man in the truck ahead of me, eating a sandwich while simultaneously picking his nose. So that strange tone in my voice was actually Incredulous and Disgusted battling it out, while attempting to keep my car from veering up onto the curb or into some flowering shrubs.

Moving on, a quick note to the jackass in the minivan on Preston Road during the lunch rush today:

Dear Jackass,
Driving ten miles under the speed limit is not acceptable, especially when there are no cars or other impediments to your progress in front of you. I was not the one who impatiently beep-beeped at you (that was the car in the left lane who, I can only imagine, was honking for all humanity! for the love of God!), therefore I did not appreciate your slamming on the Mad Brakes of Vengeance, causing me to stop short and risk colliding with your ugly-mobile, not to mention handing a Very Close Call to the car behind me.

That was me, however, laying on the horn for an obscene amount of time after you played your Scary Tail Lights trick, hooooonking while I pulled around you and caught up to the rest of the world. Just so you know, next time you want to teach someone a lesson, make sure you have the right someone. The only thing stopping you from getting a salsa-bloodied taco salad carcass all over your windshield was a hunger pang. My stomach growled just as I reached into the carryout bag and brought me to my senses. Consider this a warning. My hand was in the bag, man. My hand was in the bag.

In other news, I had to scotch tape my skull back together today, after it exploded with the revelation that someone who wrote the following e-mail response takes home about twice my salary:

"I'm embellish with the mogul poppin' ski bunny profile!!!!"

I tried to take it in context with the question that preceded it, but I still can't make heads or gloopalgorp of it.

Edited to add: Heard a rumor it was national de-lurking week. No pressure, people. I personally am being all rebellious-like and have NOT, in fact, de-lurked anywhere, but you all do what you want to do.


Don't read this if you have a strong gag reflex

Despite my militant self-sufficiency, my cynical mindset and my tendency towards the practical rather than the fanciful, there still remains an unrealistic wistfulness inside of me that keeps holding out for that movie moment. My subconscious has taken all the Grand Gestures conjured up by Hollywood and built the world’s most unfair yardstick to prop up alongside the events and people in my life. It can be pretty frustrating to live each day with the certainty that some big, perfect moment is right around the corner, and even more discouraging to be the one on whom this expectation falls. I realize I have a problem, but as yet I haven’t been able to shake the stubborn hope that someday the hero will swoop in and save the world.

The other day I ranted and raved (perhaps excessively) about a particular t-shirt slogan, and lashed out at two out of the three founding members of a brand new clothing line. Monk is the third member of this company. While he had nothing to do with the Bad Shirt, I couldn’t understand how he could stand by and watch it go public. Especially knowing how deeply it offended me. Especially, especially after the co-founders pointed their defensiveness and poorly-disguised insults in my direction.

It was unfortunate that my objection to the shirt started a battle. Unfortunate, too, that the two co-founders revealed themselves to be even more small-minded, petty and cruel than originally perceived. While Monk is always aware of my high-flying “I Can Take Care of Myself” banner, he fought the good fight for both of us and for the Principle of the Matter, keeping me out of it while trying to smooth things over. Unable to smooth, he drew a line in the sand, stepped over to stand by my side, and broke with the company for good. This Grand Gesture means the company loses their artist- the creative force that makes any of the shirts noteworthy (in my not-so-humble opinion). It may cause the company to fall apart, or simply prevent them from putting out quality designs in the future. Maybe the two remaining co-founders will eventually see the light and pull the shirt. Maybe.

The point is, Monk wasn’t willing to smile and nod for the sake of potential profit. He stepped out of his usual role of mediator and simply stopped the debate altogether. His refusal to compromise on this issue speaks volumes about his character, his opinion of me, and our relationship.

My hero.


Stand up.

What do you do when your spouse won’t take up a cause with you? Where’s the law that states “when thou doth marry-eth, thou shall take on all viewpoints and passions as thy partner in good haste and forevermore?” We, as rational folk, know there is no such law (and not even a good, solid unspoken agreement, either). All the after-school specials and public service announcements (and my own bit of twin phobia) tell us that the world would be a boring/scary place if all people were alike.


When there is an issue that strikes you to your very core, one of the very few non-negotiable, deal breaker items that lie just under the rug of your psyche, an issue that makes you sweat and shake and see red and get dizzy and lose sleep and lose your appetite and lose your lunch … And someone takes this issue, puts it on a t-shirt as an example of ironic comedy (or comedic irony, I’m not really sure which), and you get upset (to put it mildly) and your partner says “well, I can see why they think it’s funny,” or “I can see both sides of this” (or GASP! utters BOTH phrases!), you may find yourself contemplating divorce for the first time in your marriage (because you suddenly understand how self-righteous can lead to litigious, and fuck it all, you sure want to sue someone’s ass off right about now).

Especially after you’ve tried to explain yourself and your cause and your stress, and the t-shirt makers dismiss you as melodramatic, uptight or sad, and your spouse still does not become enraged on your behalf. Is not too stressed that you haven’t been heard. Does not seem to mind that your opinion has been flicked aside because it is unsolicited, extreme, negative and “not within the target demographic.”

Naturally my rage shifted from my spouse back to the t-shirt makers, where it seems to be setting up shop, mentally spitting out an infinite number of responses to the t-shirt makers and their good friend, a pesky little asshole I call Ignorance.

It has been stated that if the clothing line wanted my opinion, I would have been invited to express it. It has been said that the poll I posted on an all-women message board that garnered a flood of outraged, disgusted and offended feedback was unfairly worded, and that I was playing the victim, stacking the deck with my “women’s lib” friends. (It should be noted that this is a national message board, made up of hundreds of women 18 and up, from all different backgrounds, income levels, social circles and humor buttons, but I guess with any all-female group some people assume you’re about to stop shaving your legs, start burning bras and embark on a Down With The Patriarchy rampage.)

If the shirt makes it out of the gate and onto the perky chests of the young female population, I wonder how many out there will actually see it and chuckle. Maybe two out of every three women laughing makes that one you just handed a flashback to, worth it. Because, you know, if what happens every two minutes in this country is executed in a courteous manner, it’s, like, all contradictory and ironic and funny, ha, ha, snort. Or hey, maybe Gary Lee Jackman will be really flattered by the t-shirt tribute to his nickname.

It is tragic that there are still people out there that don’t get it. That believe this is acceptable, and don’t know why there has been “all this hype for just a word.”

“Just a word.”

I thought there weren’t any to express my fury and frustration; turns out there are too many. The only defense I have against that deplorable sentence (and the apalling mentality it reveals) is an echo of the sentiments of my (apparently) anti-men, femi-nazi internet pals:

There is nothing funny about rape.


You suck.


I'm too tired to come up with a decent title

I was at the grocery store, trying to figure out how many watermelons it would take to feed 30 people at my upcoming dinner party when, from the next aisle over, someone’s cell phone started ringing. And ringing, and ringing, and ringing, and ringing, you get the point. Irritation turned to anger and I started ranting. “Hey, assclown? That’s your damn phone ringing, why are you not answering the damn phone or just turning it the hell off it’s been ringing for, literally, minutes now, pick. it. up. Damn it! And what kind of a gay-ass ring tone is that?!”

It was my alarm clock, people, which does happen to be my cell phone. It’s disturbing enough that my subconscious hates my ring tone, but, a watermelon dinner party? And let’s not get me moaning about how I don’t even know 30 people.

I’m back to sleeping in the marital bed, and also back to getting little (or just plain shitty) sleep every weeknight. Which explains why every morning I require a gaggle of necromancers to get me up in time for work. While it was true that Monk and I suffered a bit of a disconnect during the sleep-apart experiment before Christmas, and haven’t since our sleep reunion, I’m trying to find something here that doesn’t cover the whole situation with an either-or, damned if you do, etc. cloud. Because sleeping apart? Happy but distant Quinn, not so happy and distant Monk. In the same bed? Crabby, depressed Quinn, happier Monk, and boy, how those two can work as a team! Better like this, or better like this? Better like this, or better like this? I don’t know, doc, it’s all gone blurry now.

After dumping my misery on Biff the other night, and declaring my intention to get to bed early (which, hilariously, does not happen when someone keeps you on the phone for THREE HOURS), she suggested I call my doctor and have some special pills prescribed. I’m not sure what kind of a doctor she has, but no doc I know is just going to write off a script for sleeping pills without an exam, or without the whole “you’re probably depressed and should go see someone before I give you a magic pill, which means it will be months before you can have any hope of just sleeping when you need to sleep already” conversation/referral, especially if you’re like me and do not actually have a regular doctor. I’m thinking the one that moved out of state can’t help me, and the other one that prescribed the Miraculous Allegra might need more to go on than a phone call from me, crying “I just want to sleeeeeep!!!!” (I suspect she’s stingy with prescriptions anyway, if the limited supply of Miraculous Allegra is anything to go on.)

Tonight I begin the Yoga Experiment, to be executed minutes before going to bed. I figure I’d better get into the organic solution mindset, as I’m about to become a massage therapist and aren’t they all new age-y, spiritual, hairy vegetarian anti-western-medicine types? I may be putting a wee bit too much pressure on my inner self already. Screw it, if the yoga doesn’t work, I have an emergency stash of Tylenol PM in the cupboard.


Psst... I want to show you something (New Year's Post - Part Two)

Just because I was a bit merry while writing the last one and completely missed the bus (if buses were synonymous to having a point and writing a cohesive post).

Because it is fun to see how we do not measure up, there must be a New Year's Resolutions List. In writing, and cleverly (but not too cleverly) tucked away, to be read, burned or mocked on the following New Year’s Eve. If you have the (bad?) luck to be invited to a party in Quinnland, or even the (unfortunate!) coincidence of being in the same room with Quinn and Monk when midnight strikes, you will see one or both of us scurrying around to find pens and papers, and soon you will be cajoled or coerced (or simply yelled at until you surrender) into making your own empty promises for the year to come. Here are the highlights from the resolutions ziploc bag of New Year's Eve 2004 (names have been obscured to protect the somewhat innocent, but mostly to prevent a nasty law suit):

It's always a good idea to keep it simple:

Only the truly great parties have an undercurrent of hostility:

I think he discussed things with his future wife later:

Huh. Optimistic? Pessimistic? Just plain odd?

And in every group, there's an overachiever (cough! cough! WET BLANKET! cough!):

Mine was kind of boring, and written in a giddy, Austin Powers-like tone. Something overly enthusiastic about a hardbody and a screenplay. As I actually gained weight in 2005 and spent most of the year moping about my lack of inspiration, you can guess how that all turned out. Monk's was also kind of boring, having to do with focusing/practicing on the drums and being a good person or something like that. Um, hello?! You can't resolve to do something you do on a regular basis!

Wait, can we? If so, I want to change my resolutions for 2006: I resolve to 1) complain a lot, 2) do a lot of laundry and 3) not be a morning person.


The obligatory New Year's Resolutions post

Some good friends of ours, or at least People We Used to Talk to on a Semi-Regular Basis, sent us two christmas mugs and some hot cocoa mix. I was trying to think of a meaningful way of thanking them that didn't involve dragging my ass to the post office since I don't keep stamps around the house because gawd, U.S.P.S. is soooo early nineties, but as I am not versed in pigeon training or smoke signals, an email will have to suffice. The package kind of smelled of re-gifting, but honestly, I'm just glad they remember us, since I've flung a few emails their way over the past several months with no response. Carwin also has been back in touch, and I detected a slight chastisement in his last message, as he referred to other good friends he loses touch with regularly, who are apparently never less than ecstatic to hear from him and everyone happily picks up where they left off, tra la la. Low maintenance friendships. I used to be a low maintenance friend, then I paired up with some high maintenance people and I guess it rubbed off, since I have somehow evolved into a mostly high maintenance friend over the last several years, much to my chagrin. So this whole thought process lands an additional resolution to my skimpy list of goals for the coming year.

I'm not big on making grand promises to myself, since I rarely follow through (who does, really?) and so, when I unfold the paper from the previous year I end up ushering in the new year focusing on everything I did not, in fact, do. It is especially disappointing if you consider that in making a Resolution, you are giving yourself a time frame of 365 days. That's a long time, people. A fairly relaxed deadline, and still, very few of us actually accomplish what we, in the twilight before the Brand New Year, thought was so damn important. It takes less time to grow a baby (a fresh, new, fully-formed, soul-included life!) and unleash it onto the world. We should all be ashamed.

On that note, my little no-sweat Resolutions list for 2006 (for future reference and self-flogging):

1) Do not create any lofty goals for the coming year, as life gets pretty damn busy, filled with trivial, yet stress-inducing things, and who needs a shoulda-coulda-woulda hanging over their heads? (This is where I do not mention any writing goals, dog obedience classes, trips, savings account status, quitting my current job, having a thriving new career, becoming People Who Own a Boat, becoming People Who Are Buying a New House Because It Has a Pool, etc. etc. etc.)

2) Be a more low maintenance friend. (This may necessitate finding a whole new group of local friends, but we won't mention that, or the idea of having to become more assertive and outgoing in a social setting, hell, even venturing out into the world of Other People more than once a month, not depending on Monk so much to be my sounding board, errand buddy, and weekend entertainment, or the accessory to the resolution that besides banning dramatic demands for someone's attention, also prohibits venting, whining and tallying up Gestures of Relationship Effort.)

I guess that's it. Heaven forbid I get too ambitious. It will be interesting to see who I've become and what I've done with myself a year from now. Someone told me the other day her big accomplishment for 2005 is not killing herself, which struck me, at first, as the best personal achievement of all. Then I started wondering if the rest of us could get our slice of the pat-yourself-on-the-back pie. I mean, anybody who abstains from any sort of killing is doing a-ok, don't you think? That clerk you didn't stab in the neck with your keys at the post office? Props to you, man. The receptionist you deal with everyday who is really too large to be wearing clothes that small and too dumb to be talking so much? Good job on not strangling her, yesterday, today and tomorrow. And we ALL didn't kill ourselves in 2005, whether we thought about it or not, which is aces. Here's to our continued success in 2006! Happy New Year everyone!