just rock, not classic

I got a spam comment on my last post that said something like, “This explanation is very complicated, but I will visit again and try to keep up.”

The only reason I didn’t mark it “not spam” and let it through, allowing me to mock it in my reply (because one really doesn’t get less complicated than “if you don’t like it, click the lovely little X in the corner and shut the fuck up”), was that I didn’t want any malignant spam from the same IP.

And so.

I resent being asked what my favorite “oldie” or “classic rock” song is, because most of you young whippersnappers think classic rock is oldies, and also because when I was a lass, and we had to trudge two miles to the spring, in button shoes and sunbonnets, to bring back MP3s in a wooden bucket, classic rock was called rock. Shut up. Anyway, I think my favorite “oldie” is probably Hound Dog, which was old even before Elvis Presley got hold of it, and my favorite classic rock song is Stairway to Heaven, the live version, where Robert Plant asks, so plaintively, so earnestly, and so fatuously, “Does anybody remember laughter?”

I had pretty much forgotten laughter, incidentally, till he said that, which was what refreshed my memory.

I live in the United States of America, which is okay, I suppose. I like my freedom. I like fast food. I like Barack Obama, and I really like Michelle Obama, who is the first fierce First Lady we’ve had since Jackie (or, more recently, Abbey Bartlet, if you count West Wing, which I do, even though it was fictional). I don’t like our economy, and I don’t like shootings in schools, and I loathe our versions of Top Gear and Being Human.

If I could only say a single sentence to Barack Obama, that sentence would be, “Do us a favor and ask Jack Schmitt about helium-3 on the moon; he can explain it better than I can.” He really can, actually. Go read Return to the Moon (he’s listed as Harrison Schmitt for that, appropriately, since it’s his real name).

I like Discovery Channel in the middle of the night. I feel like I learn more in the wee, small hours of the morning, when the whole wide world (within this time zone, at least) is fast asleep. I think that might have been where I first learned about helium-3.

The Disney villain I am most like is Winnie the Pooh. “But, Golfwidow,” you protest, “Winnie the Pooh isn’t a villain at all.” Oh, yeah? Ask the bees. That’s what kind of villain I am. I don’t mean to cause trouble. I just want some hunny.

I have never been a Girl Scout, but I have eaten tons of Girl Scout cookies, and also brownies (not Brownies; the edible kind) and I think that ought to count.

I would rather fly to another continent than go by ship. Aside from preferring to spend my vacation at the destination and not on the vehicle, I also feel that, these days, cruise ships are to traveling what the United States is to countries. A lot of good about it, but what’s bad is appalling.

If you’re wondering why the sky is blue, I can certainly answer that: sunlight is made up of six (seven if you count indigo, which, why would you?) colors, with red being the longest wavelength and violet being the shortest. So when the sun’s light passes through the earth’s atmosphere, the light gets broken down into its individual color/wavelengths, much the same way it does when passing through a prism, or raindrops (hence, the rainbow, duh). Each air particle acts as its own little prism, and the shorter the wavelength of the respective color, the more it will be dispersed. Yes, violet is the most widely-dispersed color, but blue (the next most widely-dispersed) is more easily seen by human eyes. So the bottom line is that the sky is not blue at all. It just appears blue to us.

As to why the night sky is black, let’s review what creates the color illusion in the first place. Sunlight. Where’s the sunlight at night? Next question, foo.

My name is from the Greek, and it means “defender of mankind.” My Hebrew name, Yehudith, was a minor character in the Bible who defended Israel against the Assyrians by decapitating their leader. I am not nearly as badass as my names suggest.

I think it’s fairly obvious about me that I would prefer to explore outer space than the depths of the earth’s oceans. There’s just so much more potential out there. However, I am quite interested in the oceans, as well. I didn’t mean to be. Chris McKay talked about how oceanic life as discovered during just the past dozen or so years has opened possibilities for life that were never before plausible: the difference, as Carl Sagan probably would have said, between “no life forms” and “no life as we know it” (emphasis mine). I don’t think we can know what we’re looking for in outer space unless we know how to look for it here. And of course, we have to look for life. We don’t like being alone.

Oh, word association; how I love thee:

The first word that comes to my mind when I see the word “air” is “breathe.” Which I’m having some difficulty with at the moment. I’ve caught some dread disease from That Man of Mine, despite taking vitamin C with zinc every day since well before cold and flu season started. So I am congested, and I am running a temperature, which is awesome, because what do you do, eh? Feed the cold or starve the fever?

When I see the word “meat,” I think of “sirloin.” I have top sirloins defrosting. I will have to cook them myself if I don’t want to be handed a scrap of grayish jerky. Which means, now that I come to think of it, that I will be feeding my cold.

The word “different” just reminds me of me. My whole life, I have been the one of these things that is not like the others. It has taken me nearly forty-three years to accept this fact.

We talked about the word “pink” last week. Not only is that little red coat the first thing I think of when I see the word “pink,” it’s the only thing I think of. Learn the right names for things, people.

When I see the word “deserve”, I am reminded that “just deserts” isn’t about sweets, it’s about getting what you deserve. Anyone who spells it like “how can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat” dessert, is wrong. Not everyone knows this. I am Here to Help.

That, by the way, was another classic rock reference. Shut up.

The word “white” reminds me of one of those Dick and Jane-type stories where the boy had three cookies and one of them was white. I was very confused by this. When the Mom made cookies, they were brown, or brown with darker brown polka-dots, or sometimes yellowish, but never white. I was about eight or nine before I saw lemon cooler cookies (which were yellow on the inside, but definitely white on the outside), and it was too late, because I was way past Dick and Jane by then.

The word “Elvis”, of course, reminds me of Hound Dog. We were just talking about that. But if we hadn’t been, I probably would have been thinking of Fat Vegas Elvis, because you can’t go to the supermarket in my town without running into an Elvis.

“Magic” reminds me of my sweet babboo, Andy Martello, who just wrote a book. Get yours.

The next word on the list was “heart,” so I’m glad I didn’t read ahead, because then “magic” would have reminded me of Magic Man by Heart, and I would have forgotten to plug Andy’s book. That said, when I go back and try to get “heart” all by itself (as opposed to Alone, another song by Heart), I’m reminded of Glitch in the miniseries Tin Man, telling Wyatt Cain to have a heart, because it wasn’t obvious enough that they were riffing off The Wizard of Oz. You should watch that, by the way, if you haven’t already seen it. It’s on Netflix.

“Clash” reminded me of Rock the Casbah, which, thank gourd, because otherwise it would’ve reminded me of Kevin Clash, whom I would just as soon never hear about ever again, because Elmo was plenty annoying even before all the nasty allegations.

Finally, “pulp” reminds me of fiction, but “pulp fiction” reminds me of dime-store novels before it reminds me of Quentin Tarantino.

If I could meet any person in the world, who has already died, I think I wouldn’t mind meeting Mohammad. I think I’d ask him, “Seriously, is this what you meant?”

If I could meet anyone in the world, still alive, I’d skip Liam Neeson. No one wants only one opportunity to be witty and scintillating with someone, only to stammer, “Krull sucked,” and then go hide under a sofa. No, I’d like to meet Mark Gatiss. First of all, he’s brilliant, and second of all, I like him as Mycroft. That would be a conversation in which I would have a chance at not humiliating myself.

Having got that out of the way, I could totally watch the 1998 Liam Neeson version of Les Misérables every day from today till the day the world ends, and yes, that includes having it playing on a loop inside a mausoleum in which I am interred. That is a serious fucking movie, and a serious fucking performance, because even in a crap movie like Krull, they make Liam Neeson stand in the background next to a horse and he acts the hell out of it. I wish he would stop making action films so someone would finally give him the Oscar he should have earned for Schindler’s List.

Mark Gatiss will never have an Oscar and I’m okay with that; in fact, I think he’s okay with it, too.

I’ve talked before about how to get out of a stuck elevator, but the next question specifies that, if you were going to be stuck in an elevator for a week, what would you bring with you to occupy yourself? To answer, I think I would spend most of my time trying to figure out how to pee in a stuck elevator for a whole week without becoming overwhelmed by pee fumes.

That’s really a rubbish question, innit?

If I were stuck somewhere (with a working loo), and needed to bring something with me to occupy myself, I think I’d bring The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (including the Sonnets). I crack it about once a year, but I’ve never done it cover to cover. With nothing else to do, this could be the time.

This could, possibly, also be the time I’d be able to read Hamlet without hearing the RSC in my mind, chanting “Maybe, maybe not!” in falsetto, but I’m gonna guess, probably not.

I have had my life saved, specifically, by the medical staff at Centennial Hills, but I imagine the Mom probably pulled me out of the path of a moving vehicle more than once during my childhood.

I only ever saved one person’s life (other than calling 911 and summoning EMTs to do the actual lifesaving): I once pulled a rather douchey drunk boy to a sitting position at a party, so that, when he started unconsciously puking (which he did, mere moments later), he wouldn’t drown. He didn’t (and presumably still doesn’t) remember. Considering how great my emetophobia is, I’m surprised I didn’t leave him there to do the Bon Scott all by himself.

There’s another classic rock reference for you whippersnappers. Shut up.


drinking: hot tea with lemon and ginger
listening to: Eric Calderone, Doctor Metal
wishing: i could breathe

how many questions

Part of me is worried I’ll get bored with this before I finish; the rest of me is worried that you’ll get bored with this before I finish.

No matter. I am not going to let a little thing like distraction stop me, unless oh there are those earrings; I couldn’t remember where I took them off.

I am not really sure what to say when I am asked who I am. My name is just what I’m called. Writing is just what I love; working for the company with the fleet of chocolatey-brown trucks is just what I do for money; my hair color, body size, and clothing are just how I look. I guess who I am is the person whose silliness everyone else pretty much has to put up with.

The three most important things … wait.

I think I might have done this meme already.

Hang on, kids. I might be able to let you out early.

(Really, I could have sworn that I’d remember if I answered five thousand questions in one go, but these questions look awfully familiar.)

Oops. Sorry. Apparently I stopped after the first twenty-five. See above about distractions. Sit back down.

That Man of Mine has always been rather good about displaying his affection by providing me with some incredibly fattening and delicious food, or by eating my incredibly fattening and delicious food to keep me healthy. He did both not twelve hours ago, when we made one of those midnight diner runs you can really only do when you’re solvent, off work the following day, and childless. I ordered a new item, Down-Home Dixie Meatloaf, which turned out to be their regular meatloaf (which is pretty good stuff, though nowhere near as good as my own, let alone the Mom‘s), only BREADED, and served atop a split biscuit that had been GRIDDLED, in BUTTER, then topped in BACON, and served with MASHED POTATOES and SAUSAGE GRAVY. It was so good, I kept having to ask in between bites (and sips of coffee), “Oh, my gourd, Blueberry Hill, are you fucking kidding me?” Which was the cue for That Man of Mine to start stealing bites off my plate. That’s how I know he cares.

I think it was Dave Foley who ridiculed Sarah Palin for saying, “The science isn’t in on that yet” (or something like it) because the science can never be in on anything, by definition. I mean, when Einstein discovered that energy did, in fact, equal mass multiplied by the velocity of light in centimeters per second, he did not say, “Well, the science is in,” and retire. I kind of feel the same way about myself. While Sarah Palin may be certain of her own personal knowledge, I believe mine to be an ongoing process and, if I learn something amazing today, that only means I have the potential to learn something even more amazing tomorrow.

That said, if I could learn to do three things just by wishing and not having to work for them, I’d like to be able to speak (and read) Cyrillic Russian, and I’d like to understand macroeconomics better than I do, and I’d like to become a killer guitarist and astrophysicist like Brian May.

When it comes to other people, I tend to better remember how they make me feel rather than the exact words they use to make me feel that way, but if their deeds are significant to me, I will remember them well: good or bad.

I am not sure there are three key ingredients to a good relationship and, if there are, I’m not sure there are only three. Having a really good sense of humor helps. Knowing when to stand your ground and knowing when it’s not worth a fight; that’s kind of important. Helping each other. Incidentally, I think these could probably apply to any relationship, including work, friendships, and parenting.

Three things I want to do before I die: see the Aurora Borealis; finish paying off all my medical bills; and have Liam Neeson kiss me the way he kissed Peter Sarsgaard in Kinsey.

Conversely, the three things I want to die never having done are: eating bugs; being left in a persistent vegetative state for longer than one week; and getting hit in the face with a sockful of poo. I am not making this up. Someone did this to a passenger on the CTA about a year ago. Because having to root for the Cubs wasn’t punishment enough, I guess.

I wish I could say that one cause or charity is more worthwhile than another. I personally believe in literacy campaigns, because a person who learns to read can then go forth and work toward another worthwhile cause, but I’m totally willing to agree that I’m not necessarily right about that.

When I think of the 1910s, I think of Titanic. The steamship, not the 1997 film with plot holes bigger than the one the iceberg made.

When I think of the 1920s, I think of those fringed flapper skirts. I always wanted to be tall and slender enough to wear a flapper skirt. Put me in a flapper skirt, and the fringe would drag on the floor.

When I think of the 1930s, I think of Annie, and the song “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover.” I was about ten or eleven when I first listened to that album, and it made me go look up the Great Depression in the World Book Encyclopedia, which is what we used to do before our first, kerosene-powered Internet was available for research and Grumpy Cat pictures.

The 1940s just reminds me of the Mom. She was born in 1940. One of my favorite stories about her during the early ’40s was that she had a dolly named Josephine. There are photos of her, dressed in a little wool coat and hood, with leggings, and mittens, looking like a Campbell Soup Kid, and holding Josephine in her arms. When she got older, she was told that Josephine had started existence not as a doll, but as a toy rabbit. Apparently, the Mom had pulled poor Josephine’s ears off. Now you try to think of the ’40s without thinking of that.

When I think of the ’50s, I think of Grease. I know the movie was some ’70s-filtered version of the ’50s, but you say ’50s and I think circle skirts and saddle shoes and jukeboxes. You’re just going to have to accept that about me.

I never think about the early ’60s. I’m too young to remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated. I wasn’t even a twinkle in my father’s eye yet. He didn’t meet the Mom till the late ’60s, which remind me of trippy music and groovy clothing and going to the moon. Incidentally, although I was, by this point, a twinkle in my father’s eye, I would not be born till the very beginning of the next decade, so I don’t remember any of this stuff firsthand either.

This brings us to the ’70s, which is when I started having life signs and memories, too many to recount. Here is one of my memories from the 1970s: the girl down the street got a new coat. When she wore it, she looked so pretty. I wanted the same coat, but when the Mom asked what kind of coat I wanted, I told her I wanted light red fur, because, in my head, light red is to red what light blue is to blue. So my gramma got me a red plush coat, and I tried not to be sad, because it was a very nice coat. At some point, we saw the girl down the street, and I asked the Mom, “What color is her coat?” and that’s when I learned the word pink. I decided I was always going to try to know the right word for things from then onward.

The ’80s: when the only thing bigger than my earrings were my bangs. I was in the cafeteria on January 28th, 1986. I had swapped my study hall with my lunch period because the A/V squad would be rolling in a television for the shuttle launch. I had a salad because I had weighed myself that morning and I was up to 104 pounds, which was humongous compared to everyone else in the city, let alone at my high school. The caff was noisy and I couldn’t hear the telly. I thought everything was fine. It wasn’t till the principal came in that everyone shut up, and that’s when we found out that the Challenger had exploded. After school, I said, “Fuck my fat arse,” and the GolfBrother and I went to Burger King. I had small fries and a diet Pepsi (they weren’t a Coca Cola house in those days, and other than water, Pepsi was their only diet beverage). The GolfBrother had two Whoppers®, large fries, large soda, and finished my fries. He may also have gotten up and bought another sandwich. He never gained an ounce, the brat. I spent most of the rest of the day watching Peter Jennings, who got tireder and tireder (and, I understand, smoked a cigarette even though he had quit), but wouldn’t stop reporting, because he wanted to make sure we were informed.

During the ’90s, I started (and stopped) working for the hotel industry. Most of what I remember from those years was being terribly overworked and terribly underpaid. I had my own, grown-up place, though. My roommates had fun parties, most of which I would have to miss due to having to leave for work. When we gave up that place and I got my own apartment, they stuck me with a bunch of bills they were supposed to have paid, and since my name was also on them, I paid them. I have not been caught up, financially, since.

In 2000, That Man of Mine and I kissed each other once an hour for each time the new year ticked over in the next time zone. (I had to pay attention to each one because I was working for a software company and everyone had Y2Kphobia.) Other stuff happened that decade, but that was a pretty good one.

In the 2010s, I guess the bit I remember most hasn’t, strictly speaking, happened yet: in ten calendar days, someone in my office is going to hand me a certificate and I’ll get an extra five vacation days per year, because the 19th will mark my fifth year answering phones for the company with the chocolatey-brown trucks. So far, they don’t seem to think I’m a budgetary constraint, so go me.

I suppose the 2010s is the decade to which I feel the greatest connection; mind you, I take Neurontin, so it’s also the only decade I recall with any great clarity, and that, only 2014 for sure—and it’s only been 2014 for a little over a week. Neurontin, in case you hadn’t surmised, sucks dogs for loose change.

That’s got to be enough for now, doesn’t it? There are five fucking thousand questions and I haven’t even made a dent in them. It must be time for a nap by now.



drinking: ice water
listening to: Imagine Dragons, Demons
just remembered who i am: i am sher locked.

happy new here

O hai.

Sorry. I have a million excuses, none of them really good, most of them having to do with life, work, writing non-publishable stuff, and Candy Crush.

But I miss here, and so, here I am.

When I was in high school, my favorite musical artists were people like the Ramones and the Who, but they weren’t my favorite ones to look at. Mind you, those of them who didn’t die before they got old definitely aged better than, say, Axel Rose, or Vince Neil.

My favorite game show host, ever ever ever, is probably Gene Rayburn, because he was the host of my favorite game show ever ever ever (Match Game). As far as today’s game shows are concerned, I skip most of them. I rather like Bill Engvall hosting Lingo. And I do think that Drew Carey’s entire career up to this point was just preparation for him to do The Price is Right, which is in no way stating that I think he is better at it than was Bill Cullen (let alone Bob Barker, or even Dennis James).

I think WordPress is the best blog-hosting service I have ever used, but I cannot say I don’t miss the now-defunct Blogcharm, which paid you (a few pennies, but still) based on your traffic. I made something like $15 from using Blogcharm for a year, which is ever so much preferable to having to give that same $15 to Andrew at Diarrhealand.

If I could meet anyone again from my childhood (excluding people I’m still in touch with but haven’t seen since then; and family members), I think I’d like to see my fifth-grade teacher. She didn’t just encourage me to write, she taught me art appreciation and music theory and probably a ton of stuff that wasn’t anywhere near the curriculum. I think I would make her my chicken tikka masala. She’d be impressed.

When I was a tiny kid, I wanted to live in England; specifically, the house in the country that had an applewood wardrobe that was bigger on the inside. Now that I’m a grownup, I want to live in England, because the phone box that’s bigger on the inside only tried to visit Vegas once, and it got stuck in a Soviet submarine during the Cold War. I don’t expect they’ll try that trip again.

I think that the most interesting bit of trivia I know is that fresh cranberries bounce. Seriously. You can dribble them like teensy basketballs. I wish they’d show that on one of those Ocean Spray middle-of-the-bog commercials.

If I could live in any point in history, I can’t really picture myself living in one where women aren’t allowed to speak their minds, which leaves out, pretty much, most of it. I guess I would pick the sixties, so I could dress like a hippie and offend my parents.

The most interesting job I ever had was my first hotel job, in the early ’90s. I am not saying it was a great job. But it was never boring. It was sufficiently interesting that, when I got fed up with that company, I switched jobs to another hotel. It would be seven years before I realized that all hotels are, from the staff’s standpoint, identical … and not in a good way. But interesting.

Here is a middle-school memory: I had a question for the band teacher, which turned into a conversation, which meant that I missed my bus, which meant that I had to take the late bus. I didn’t know anyone on it. It was a mixture of kids who had gotten held after for disciplinary reasons and girls who made beelines for the restroom, fixing their makeup and hair, dawdling long enough to miss their buses so they could ride with the bad boys. I found a seat to myself, which looked incredibly sticky, and I sat on the edge of it, praying I wouldn’t fall in front of a whole busful of people far cooler than myself. One of the bad boys told one of the poufy-haired lipglossed girls to suck his balls. When I got home, I had to look that one up in the Mom’s Dictionary of American Slang. From then on, whenever I had a question for Mr. G., I’d write him a note and shove it under his office door on my way to my locker.

My favorite Beatles song is Here, There, and Everywhere. I wanted that to be my processional when I got married, which was my cue to find a man who hates everything the Beatles stand for. We eloped.

My most comfortable outfit has changed drastically from what it used to be. I used to favor huge sweaters that hid my imperfections. Nowadays, with my internal thermostat pretty well jacked up for life, I think my favorite outfit is my denim shorts and my sheer snakeskin-patterned blouse (I wear a black tank top under it), with my sparkly flip-flops. I know I probably don’t look as good as I feel, but I don’t give a fuck.

When it comes to parties, I used to throw pretty decent ones. My rule was simple – I didn’t invite anyone who wouldn’t make allowances for anything that went wrong. I don’t really feel like going to parties anymore. I usually have to sacrifice something else in order to have enough energy. And if you think I’m too pooped to party, imagine how little I care for the idea of planning one.

I don’t know if we’ll ever move entirely from paper books to digital. I mean, I reckoned that by 2000 we’d all be using credit cards instead of paper money, and I was wrong. I think we’ll have both forever. I don’t mind digital books. I still like the smell of an actual book, but there is so much to be said for being able to carry all your books in a tiny box the size of a single paperback. Where was this idea when I had five different kinds of homework every day?

I think I learn best by experiencing. Even if I read a manual, I have to try it out before it makes sense to me.

When I was single, the main kiss of death for anyone of the opposite sex was not liking to read, or not understanding why I like to read. I met a guy at a party, and he was hot. I asked him what kind of books he liked, and he said, “I don’t read books. I like Spy Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.” And suddenly, he didn’t look even remotely cute anymore.

I feel uncomfortable when people assume you can only prefer one kind of snack: either salty or sweet. To me, preferable to either one is a combination of the two: fries dunked in milkshake; caramel topped with gray salt; a handful of Sno-Caps tossed into my popcorn at the movies … yes, I am fully aware that I’m allergic to dairy and chocolate. I will take my chances.

When I look around myself in a four-foot radius, I notice that there is a box of Wolverine trading cards under the desk. I don’t know why they’re there. I don’t know how long they’ve been there. I only know that, if That Man of Mine doesn’t get rid of them, I will start offering them to my friends.

My favorite Tom Cruise movie is Legend, mostly because it’s not really a Tom Cruise movie: it’s a fantasy movie that happens to have a pre-sofabouncing Tom Cruise in it.

I don’t expect miracles from shampoo. I have never really used one that made my hair bouncier, more manageable, stronger, thicker, or sexier. When I buy shampoo, I have two criteria: it has to clean my hair, and it has to smell good. I currently use Pantene Co-Wash, because it’s less expensive than Lisa Rachel’s Conditioning Cleanser, which is less expensive than Wen. Anyway, because this is the type of hair-cleaner I like, if I ever bought a brand that did something really wrong to my hair, I couldn’t use it for other purposes (such as washing my makeup brushes – for that, I use Softsoap), because it doesn’t lather. So I would probably write a scathing letter of complaint to the manufacturer, and then I would give it a negative rating on Amazon, to let the next buyer beware, and to make myself feel better about my bald spot or my green highlights.

My favorite springtime comfort food is the orange. Even though I live close enough to the West Coast that I can have oranges year-round, the first one I have in April is the one that makes me feel like spring has finally arrived.

That’s all I have at the moment. But I showed up, and that ought to count for something.


drinking: ice water
listening to: Radkey, Out Here in My Head
favorite holiday gift: penguin bracelet

ask a silly question …

… and you get a metric fuckload of silly answers.

I have been given a total of two engagement rings. The first engagement was a complete waste of both of our time and energy. I tried to throw give the ring back, but he said it was mine. It wasn’t worth much, but I sold it and bought myself a string of nice pearls. Every woman should have pearls. Anyway, I’m still wearing the second engagement ring (along with its bestie, the wedding band), but on my index finger, because, although they were tight when I got married, and impossible to wear for years after, they’re now way too big on me. Which, yay.

This marriage is, without a doubt, the longest relationship in which I’ve been. Aside from the eleven years we’ve had paper and rings, we were a couple for a few years before that. At this point, I reckon we really mean it.

The last gift I received was a silver claddagh ring with an emerald heart, for Christkwaanzukahsticestivuseid. I didn’t get anything for my birthday due to finances (and I was too sick to go out to dinner), but I should be getting something nice for my smokeaversary, which is next month.

I dropped a cell phone into a puddle once. I stuck it in a bag of rice, but it never came back to life. I was so mad. However, it was one of those older phones, with buttons and an antenna, so it’s not like I had any vital photos saved on it or anything.

The last time I worked out, a full workout, was yesterday, but in my defense, I did do a full-body yoga stretch when I got up. I modify it to allow for my lack of balance and range of motion, but I still get all the muscles loosened up. Also, I’ll be walking later, so if I skip a full workout, I’m not going to sweat it. Heh.

In general, the only things I get to spend a lot of money on are medical bills or car repairs. I get a design on the nails of my ring fingers when I have a manicure, but I’m supposed to go every two weeks and I usually don’t even have enough money to go every four weeks. I can manage every five weeks, but my old manicure is usually quite the hot mess by then.

The last food I ate was last night, when we had hot dogs and beans because it was the fourth of July. I only had a small spoonful of beans because they raise your sugar and I’m trying to watch my carbs. That Man of Mine, the diabetic, finished the bowl.

I think the first thing I notice about the opposite sex is his facial bone structure. Eyes (and eyebrows) next, then his smile. If I can get close enough, I will check out his aftershave.

I don’t know if I have one favorite song. I love music so much. Every time I hear something new to me, it’s my favorite. Sometimes, I re-hear something old, and that speaks to me as well: like, I finally just learned all the words to Eres Tú, but it’s not my favorite; it was just bothering me. Possibly Danny Boy. It’s so sad, but it’s one of my favorite songs to sing, and my favorite recordings of it are Eva Cassidy’s and Harry Connick, Jr.’s (his long version).

I live in North Las Vegas. Some people think that this means I live at the northern part of the Strip, but I’m just too embarrassed to say so. No. North Las Vegas is an actual city, with three post offices and Nellis Air Force Base, just in case you think we’re kidding. It takes about fifteen minutes to get from here to the Strip, but that’s cool, ‘cos we never really go there anyway. We’re locals now. We refer to this city as “Northtown,” and we know where the good off-the-strip hangouts are. If you want to go to Vegas and not be bothered by that much neon, well, we can’t help you with that, but we can take you to the supermarket, where there is much less neon, and air conditioning, and slot machines, and liquor, and red seedless grapes for 79¢ a pound.

I went to West Haven High School, in West Haven, Connecticut. West Haven is to New Haven what knock-off sneakers are to Nikes: pretty much exactly the same, and perfectly serviceable, and the pizza is just as fantastic, but without the brand-name. For the most part, when people from Vegas ask me where I’m from, I say “Connecticut,” and then they ask me if I know Aaron Hernandez. From now on, I think I’ll say I’m from “just outside New York.”

My cell phone is a Trac-Fone. If I finally commit to a carrier service, I’ll let you know. Assuming you care. I have no idea why this question was asked of anyone, let alone me, but I presume it’s important.

The last wedding I attended was two strangers. They got married in the Stations buffet. To each their own. I have higher hopes for the salad bar, which had proper olives the other day, than I do for the marriage.

My favorite fast-food restaurant is El Pollo Loco. I know the other chains claim to have what they consider healthy alternatives, but El Pollo Loco is the only one that I can pick from most of the menu and just avoid a few items. It’s the other way round with all the other fast-food joints.

That said, my real favorite fast-food restaurant, when I don’t care what I’m putting into my body, is Sonic. I will have large tots, with a side of tots, and a diet cherry-vanilla Doctor Pepper, and can I get extra tots with that, please?


drinking: ice water
listening to: Thea Gilmore, Even Gods Do
neil gaiman: fast becoming one of my favorite writers ever

putting the “bum” into “biddy-biddy-bum”

The Mom did a Sunday Stealing about what she would do if she won $100 million, and the first thought in my head was, I’d move to Canada, where my money would go farther.

Only, in this economy, it doesn’t. The Canadians are apologizing to the U.S. for the state of the dollar, and it’s humiliating.

However, I’m too lazy to come up with another topic, which means one very important thing: I, of all people, need enough money to be this lazy; and I may as well take her post and make it my own.

Two things. Sorry. I’ll come in again.

One. Hundred. MILLION. Dollars.

I’d buy a bunch of different cars. The environment can go hang. I’d have a Bugatti Veyron (red), and an SUV of some sort, and maybe some classic cars. Since my neck doesn’t have full range-of-motion, some of y’all will have to drive me places. It’s a Bugatti.

I’d have a home in New England, so I’d have a base of operations to visit my family; I’d buy a home here in Vegas as well, ‘cos I like it here; and I’d have a flat in London, which would be awesomely cool of me.

Certain members of my family would never want for anything ever again. Certain members would have trust funds so they would have money to dip into when they get big enough to go to college or blow it all on cute shoes.

Certain other members of my family will be wondering why I don’t feel like being their doormat anymore.

I would donate to Literacy Volunteers of America, and a bunch of health-related charities, and perhaps I would fund a scholarship for kids who want to grow up to be writers. Or punk rockers. I think there ought to be a scholarship for that.

I have very few friends at the moment. I am recording their names now, because I’ll be checking people off the list when they show up at my home in New England (or Vegas, or London), hands out, asking me if I remember what good friends they were to me.

I would go everywhere for vacation. First I’d go back to all the places I already know I like so much that, if I died, I’d regret not having gone back. Then I’d go to all the places I have wanted to see but haven’t yet. Then I’d go back to all the places I’ve only been to once before. Then I’d drive by all the places I’ve never wanted to go, and moon them out the car window.

The first luxury item I would buy (after having taken care of first-world necessities like beautiful homes and cars) would be a private jet. Did I mention that the environment can go hang?

My life would change so much if I had a hundred million dollars. Mostly for the better, I think. I would pick up a whole new set of worries, granted, but many of those that I have now would go away.

I would put aside enough to take care of myself in my old age (assuming I live that long) and spend the rest, because I don’t anticipate them figuring out a way I can take it with me.

I think it would change my current relationship quite a bit. Because we have so little, That Man of Mine and I have no choice but to share everything. Once I had that kind of money, I’d hand him a wad and advise him that, once that’s blown through, he will exist only by peanut butter and jelly and my good graces.

I’d definitely retire from the workforce, but I wouldn’t just walk in and say “I quit.” I like this job. I’d give them at least a month’s notice and help to train my replacement if needed.

I’m not saying I’d never work again. I would spend my time going back to school, and writing, instead. I just don’t want to punch a card, deal with the smell of fish and broccoli in the break room, or deal with rude people for low pay, anymore.

I would hire a staff to do the things I never want to be arsed with anymore, such as balancing my accounts and scrubbing my bathroom floor. Not to mention flying my jet. Oh, and my helicopter. I know a helicopter pilot.

I’d never have to fly my own helicopter anymore, if I didn’t want to.

I have never before typed the above words in that precise sequence. I thought you might want to know that.

The main dream I’d finally get to achieve would be to spend serious time abroad. I want to travel through Europe, taking pictures, drinking beer, and writing about it.

I would hire my office girlfriend, because he has such good fashion sense, to be my personal stylist. It would be his responsibility to make sure I never wind up on the “what-were-they-thinking?” pages of the celebrity magazines.

I firmly believe that the reason that rich people, like the Kardashians, are not fat is that they can afford some easy treatment that isn’t accessible to us po’ folks. So, if I won a hundred million dollars, I think I’d go find the secret place and pay them to make me sexy.

The main thing I think I’d miss about being poor is the fact that most people know that it’s a lost cause to hit me up for money. (I say most. There are still a few people who don’t realize that, just because I have more than they do, doesn’t mean I have enough to take care of myself and them.) Once I had my hundred mil, I’d miss no longer being that lost of a cause.

I suppose you think the first person I would tell ought to be That Man of Mine. Please. He is the very quintessence of champagne tastes on a Budweiser budget. I’m telling him last. The first person I would tell would be the Mom, and I will say it something like, just a casual, no-big-deal, “Here,” as I hand her a big fat check.

They say money doesn’t buy you happiness, and I have said many times that, were I only to have some, I would then have peace of mind, so I could make my own happiness.

That is true.

But I’ll amend it to say that having a hundred million dollars would mean I could hire Kari from Retro Bakery to deliver cupcakes daily. And I can have as many cupcakes as I want, because I already paid for the secret Kardashian thinnermaker.

As many cupcakes as I want?

Sounds like happiness to me.


drinking: ice water
listening to: Demi Lovato, Heart Attack
nanaimo bars: for those, it might be worth it to move to canada after all

pillar of useless information v

Last week, we discussed my favorite fruit (Bosc pears, not, as I might previously have intimated, apples. Sorry). This week, we shall discuss my least favorite fruit, which is probably durian, although I’ve never tasted it yet. I have heard that it is reminiscent of corpses, or smelly feet, and I’m just not with that. My least favorite fruit that I’ve actually sampled is probably raw papaya. It hurts my mouth. I still like it … just not as much as pretty much every other fruit.

If I won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, I think I would pick Amazon. That way I could get a bit of everything.

I don’t have a particular brand of sports apparel I wear more often than any other, mostly because I don’t tend to wear sports apparel. I work out in sweatpants or shorts, and an extremely tatty t-shirt advertising a shipping company whose trucks are chocolatey-brown and who pays me not to mention their name in my blog, even about my tatty t-shirt. I believe I own a Nike hoodie, somewhere, but it’s not because I purchased it. I think That Man of Mine got it with Coke Rewards points.

I was a rubbish student, in the sense that I hated to study and was bad to procrastinate, homeworkwise. However, I was an excellent student in that I read all the textbooks the first week of school and was good at churning out great homework at the last minute. Also, my teachers tended to love me, even when I was going through my badass stage.

Amongst my friends, I believe I could arm-wrestle, and beat, a few of them, because I have been working out with wrist weights and I think some of them don’t work out at all. However, the only one I’m sure I could beat is MommaJ, who just retired. She’s two years older than baseball. I could kick her arse, if she weren’t so freaking sweet.

If I had to choose a branch of the military to be in, I’d pick the Marines. I reckon that’s the branch that would kick me out the fastest.

I think my best feature is my brain, but for people who have to have something to look at, I guess you could do worse than looking at my eyes. They’re light brown. They used to be darker, but I appear to be losing pigment with age. Anyway, I’m told that they twinkle. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

If I were to win a Grammy, I’d probably win it for Best Performance In the Shower, Without Actually Knowing All the Words, and With Air Guitar. Not a category, you say? Well, it should be. If I were to be nominated for an actual Grammy, for the kind of stuff I actually sing most often, I guess it’d be Rock.

If I were to win an Oscar, that would be for Best Performance by Someone Who Actually Can’t Act. Oh, for pizza’s sake, you want a real category again. Fine. Is Comedy a category in the Oscars, or only the Golden Globes? I guess I could manage a screenwriter’s nomination, but it would have to be for something lighthearted.

My favorite season is paprika. Oh, season. Not seasoning. I like autumn. It’s a nice relief from the agony of summer in the desert.

What counts in your immediate family? Is that the person to whom you’re married, and your offspring, or is it your parents and siblings, but not your offspring? Probably a moot point, since I’ve never offsprung. Anyway, counting it off: I have the Mom, and my dad, who are still married to each other, and I have a brother, who has two daughters, who are also related to me by blood, so do they count, even if his wife, whom I adore, isn’t? I have-ish a sister, whom I am not close to, and she recently married, and I like her husband quite a lot, but he’s not related by blood, so he’s not immediate family. He’s more of eventual family. And then there is my That Man’s twin sister, whom I am extremely close to, and her kids, which still don’t count as immediate family, so I guess that’s four immediates. If we’re counting. I’d just as soon not.

I think, of the five main senses (I think there are more), I most value my eyesight. I’d be annoyed if I couldn’t smell anymore, devastated if I couldn’t taste anymore, pissed if I couldn’t hear anymore, and relieved if I couldn’t feel anymore (no more pain? hell, yes). But if I couldn’t see anymore, I’d miss the lightning. No.

I would be a more successful singer than a painter. Most people can tell what I’m singing when I sing. When I paint, I get a lot of, “Wow, that’s a nice dog,” and then they have to backtrack when I explain that it’s supposed to be a lion.

I have a degree in Business Admin. Given the time and the money, I’d go back to school and do four years for my BFA in writing, another four for my MFA, and stop if I were too old or too tired. If I weren’t, I’d go back for another four for my BS in astronomy, and possibly another four for my Master’s if I hadn’t dropped dead of exhaustion. I’m tired (and broke) just thinking about it.

The only surgery I’ve ever had has been biopsies, unless spinal taps and colonoscopies count. I’m supposed to be having another surgery for a spinal cord stimulator, to cut my pain, but there have been a few communication snafus between the psychiatrist and the pain specialist. I don’t expect them to sort their shit out anytime soon. In the meantime, I have Percocet, and Australian ginger beer. I’ve survived on less.

I would rather be a professional figure skater than a professional football player. I would have loved to be a professional figure skater anyway. They look so lovely. Unfortunately, I am full of ecarg, which is the opposite of grace.

If I could collect anything, it would be first-edition books. This sort of collection doesn’t fit my budget. I content myself with collecting penguins, in the sense that I never actually have to buy any. I just mention that I like penguins and then everyone buys me some, or sends me pictures of them, or makes sure they’re on my birthday cards, et cetera.

As far as how many valuable collectibles I own, I think that number is zero. However, there are a metric fuckton of baseball cards in my home, and I think I paid for some of them, so do they count?

The final question in that hundred-question survey was: “What one question would you add to this survey?” Really? Don’t you think you covered everything? Sometimes dividing it into two questions? Here’s the question I would add:

Do you feel you learned anything about yourself by answering all these questions?

And my answer would be: I don’t know if I learned anything I didn’t already know, but I’m pretty sure I remembered stuff I thought was long since forgotten.


drinking: ice water
listening to: Ne-Yo, Let Me Love You
betting: you’re thoroughly sick of this meme

pillar of useless information iv

If I were driving a car, I’d prefer to be in a sports car, because they look cool, and they use less gas than SUVs. However, if I were a car, I’d probably be a Smart Car. Small, not particularly fast, more intelligent than the cooler cars and, as a consequence, just way too dorky to hang around with.

The only items I have ever taken from hotels accidentally (whether staying at them or working at them) have been pens. I tend to stick them in my pocket or drop them into my purse without thinking about whether or not they actually belong to me. This is not to say that pens are the only items I have ever taken from hotels. I have taken ashtrays, towels, matchbooks, sugar packets, Danish that was only going to be discarded anyway, and, on one occasion, a lampshade … all from hotels at which I worked, and all completely and totally deliberately. I reckon the statute of limitations is up on all of that stuff. If not, they can have back the ashtrays and matchbooks. I already used the sugar packets.

I have fallen twice whilst showering. The first time, I was home alone. Thereafter, I stopped showering unless That Man of Mine was home. I did not tell him, because I am a fool. He found out the hard way, the second time I fell. I have a shower seat now, but I use it more for balance than actually sitting in it to shower, anymore. My equilibrium has gotten a lot better now that my health is more under control.

I do not use deodorant soap. I don’t like how it makes my skin feel. I use Bain de Luxe foaming body scrub, which smells like oranges and vanilla, and follow it up with hypoallergenic crystal deodorant. I can’t afford my favorite perfume, Very Irresistible by Givenchy, most of the time, and thank gourd, because I always misspell “irresistible.” (I put in an “a,” every single time.) So I have some, but I only use it on special occasions. For everyday, I wear Bath and Body Works Forever Red, including that I have a pomander necklace that I use as my badge lanyard, and in the little pomander holder thingy is a wodge of cotton moistened with Forever Red. Not only do I smell okay without the use of deodorant soap, my badge is probably the best-smelling one at the company of the chocolatey-brown trucks.

I have never locked myself out of the house so badly that I couldn’t get back in. We all got locked out once when I was a tiny kid, and the GolfBrother got us in. I can’t remember if he broke a window (probably the cellar or the garage, if he did), or if he just cut a screen. He was even tinier than I was at the time, so it’s no good asking him. Anyway, I locked myself out of my first house twice. The first time, I went to the neighbor’s, used their phone, and called my roommate, who worked about two miles away and came home to let me in. By the second time, she and my other roommate were working in Milford, which was a longer haul, so I went around to the side and pried open the basement window. It was undignified, but it worked. Better than I cared for, since my stereo and things were inside. I wasn’t thrilled that it was so easily accessible.

I would not want to make a living as a singing cowboy. There’s only one I even know of anymore, and he sings in tighty-whities and a Stetson on a street corner in New York. I don’t imagine he’s making a living at it, or he could afford britches. I’d far rather make my living as a voiceover artist on The Simpsons. In fact, I’d rather be a writer for The Simpsons, but I do what I do.

I suppose you think that, if I could invite any movie star to dinner, I should invite Liam Neeson. That would be foolhardy. That Man of Mine eats dinner here too, you know. I think I would invite Laura Linney. She seems very cool. She’s also, unbeknownst to That Man, one of Liam Neeson’s closest friends, so, of course, when I was walking her out, I’d whisper to her, “Tell Liam Neeson I made really good spaghetti sauce.” It’s far less harmful, and less stalkeriffic, than saying, “Tell Liam Neeson that I’m wondering if the rumors on that Tumblr page are true.”

I have to go to the ophthalmologist. I have reading glasses, but lately I’m noticing that everything has a lovely fuzzy halo around it. I guess my prescription ran out.

I have, in my travels round the axis, hung out with and/or dated plenty of people my other friends didn’t like. In fairness, most of them have done the same thing, more often even than I. While I refused to pass judgment on their choices, taking their sides even when I didn’t agree with them, because that’s what BFFs do, they generally did not return the favor. Most of them are off living their own lives now, and I don’t hang out or date anyone, because I am married, and we only have the one car, which he drives. I hang out with whomever he fancies hanging out with.

I have also, in those same travels round the axis, been obligated to hang out with people whom my friends liked, but I didn’t. This will continue to be true for the rest of my life, I am afraid, because That Man of Mine likes golfers and card collectors. I couldn’t possibly be more bored.

I myself have never returned a gift to the store, but my gramma got me a shirt once that didn’t fit, and she exchanged it. Since she worked at the store, it wasn’t a difficult thing to do. I had the new shirt the next time we went to visit. As far as other gifts I’ve received, I have either really, genuinely loved them, or not liked them but not had the receipts, so I kept them or regifted them. I don’t regift capriciously, incidentally. For instance, when someone gave klutzy old me a pair of spun-glass ballerina slippers (meant as a wall hanging, not for actual wear), they were one of the more useless (and, potentially, short-lived) gifts I have ever gotten … but I do happen to be friends with a dancer who thought they were a lovely gift from me. So I did get some satisfaction from them, after all.

I don’t care for the Olympics. I’m not interested enough in athletics, and I have seen too many instances of cheating and/or rigging of the judging in the past few games. If I were being forced to attend one event, I would probably pick women’s basketball, since it would likely include at least one UConn alumna whom I would recognize.

If I had to participate in an Olympic event, I’d pick some sort of race, and then, at the starting gun, I would move to the side, sit down, and read my book, which is what I do when the Olympics are on telly, anyway. They wouldn’t know what to do with me.

I own, for me, a lot of shoes. Five years ago, I owned two, and I hated both pairs. They were ugly, but they fit someone whose feet and ankles were terrifyingly swollen. Then my meds got fixed, my size went back to normal, and I made a deal with That Man of Mine that, any time another packet of baseball cards entered the house, I would be buying another pair of cute shoes. He’s been more prudent as a result, but every so often, cards just need to be owned. I have gone from one pair of horrible black loafers (which were my dress shoes) and one pair of white canvas sneakers with a coffee stain on the right toe, to two pairs of sneakers (one of them high-topped and patterned after the Union Jack, possibly my favorite sneakers I have ever owned), five pairs of heels, seven pairs of ballet flats (two red pairs, because red shoes just put me in a really good mood), two pairs of sandals, one pair of regular flip-flops, and a pair of Swap-Flops, with five interchangeable vamps so I can color-coordinate. I have my eye on another pair of flats, but I won’t get them until That Man really needs more baseball cards.

When my gramma was alive, I would never have told her if she got me a gift I already had. I loved that woman. I would not knowingly hurt her feelings. However, my gramma was also the sort of person who, if she got something for you a second time, she’d say that she didn’t know you still had the first one, because she certainly didn’t see you using it. You think I’m snarky. My gramma invented snark.

I no longer sing in the car. That Man does all the driving, and he picks the listening. Either we don’t listen to anything at all, or we have sports radio. We take the occasional side trip into Yawny — I mean, Yanni — or Andrea Bocelli. I cannot bring myself to stay awake for Yanni, let alone sing along. I don’t sing along with Andrea Bocelli because I’d ruin it. All of that having been said, I sing in the shower, and when I’m alone in the house, you’d better watch out, because music is on, and I am singing along at the top of my lungs.

My favorite breed of dog is probably the beagle. They’re not so big they destroy the house or drag you at the end of their leads, and they’re not so small they yap incessantly and bite your ankles.

If I had money to spare, then yes, I would donate money to feed starving animals in the winter, if it were an organization for which it could be proven that that’s where the money was going. Be fair, if I had money to spare, that’s not the first charity I would choose, but I can’t deny that it’s a noble cause.

My favorite fruit is probably the Bosc pear. I think, in a previous post, I might have said apple. I do love apples, but I prefer Bosc pears, and I just forgot, that’s all. It’s a blog. I didn’t chip the shit into my tombstone or something: “Here Lies Golfwidow, Lover of Apples to the Exclusion of All Other Fruits.” That’s a rubbish epitaph. Pears. They’re yummy.


drinking: ice water
listening to: Dave Mason, We Just Disagree
craving: curry. which means i have to defrost some chicken