On second thought, I’m through with blogging. Read here to find out why.
My goodness, it’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged here. How very unlike me. I suppose one could surmise this means my life has been all peaches and cream in the meantime. One would be quite wrong, though.
In other words: my mother came for a visit. Since this was her first time visiting us in this house — although we’ve lived here for 5 years now — her arrival involved a near state of panic as I looked around and realized that all the things I’ve been bitching about (the cracked kitchen floor tile, the stained carpets, the nasty little hand prints all over the walls) were, indeed, worth bitching about.
It also meant that since my previous 5 years of bitching had accomplished nothing, I actually had to do something about these problems myself. Which I did for, oh, about a day or so. Then I realized that since my mother is IMPOSSIBLE to please it made no sense trying to please her.
So, I occupied myself by playing Wii and outlining my novel instead. Turns out, I suck at playing Wii… but the novel is coming along nicely.
Meanwhile, my mother has come and gone which means today was my first real chance to unwind. As is my wont, I decided to do that with a cocktail or three. And THAT precipitated the following conversation with my dear husband the instant he got home from work:
ME (greeting him at the door with vodka bottle and cocktail shaker in hand): “Honey, can you make me a martini, please?”
HIM: “A martini? You know, I like you SO much better on wine.”
ME: “Wine, you say? Isn’t that funny, because I like YOU so much better when I’m on martinis.”
The end result: it’s a good martini. So good, in fact, that it tastes like another.
My new neighbors are from Canada and they’re making damn sure everyone knows it by flying a large Canadian flag outside their house. But they’re not just from any ol’ part of Canada, mind you: they’re from Quebec, that whiny little place that does its best to out-French the French.
Now, if you’ve been following me at Electric Venom for any period of time, you know I’ve had quite an interesting assortment of neighbors in the past 6 years. Back in Hawaii, we had the white-haired toothless wonder whose grandson spent his days shooting BB guns at my house. I can’t claim to miss that woman at all, and I made damn sure not to miss her grandson with a well-aimed shoe as we pulled out of our driveway for the last time.
When we first moved to Kansas we lived next door to The Loud People. Three kids, two of them old enough to be mobile very early in the morning, all of whom were born with great sets of lungs.
The wife, who had a fondness for high heels and what I thought at the time was the loudest fucking engine ever invented, would start most mornings by yelling at her kids to get in the car because, once again, their foot-dragging was going to make them late for school. The husband, like many men, was seldom left in charge of the kids on weekday mornings. I was grateful for that fact, because him being “in charge” meant turning the kiddies out at 7:15 to ride their bikes and play basketball in our cul de sac. This, at a time when I was a night person.
As luck would have it, I actually became friends with that couple after they moved. She’s now my hairdresser, and one of my closest female friends ever. He’s the guy we’re buying our next car from. Our kids ride to school together now and again (and, yes, I’m now the one hollering at them to get in the car already before we’re all late). Who knew?
After they moved out, a pair of single male Army majors moved in. No, they weren’t pulling a “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing: they were renting the house next door while attending CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth for the year. Turns out, one of them had the loudest fucking engine ever invented. And the slew of girls who’d come visit likewise drove really fucking loud cars, more than one of which peeled out angrily very late at night/early in the morning, depending on whether it was a weeknight or not. Also, they both had loud fucking motorcycles.
And again, as luck would have it, I actually became friends with both. One of them was a computer geek to whom I’d lent a couple of my favorite PC games. (And, dammit, I wish I’d got them back.) The other was, well, I don’t know how to describe him except to say that hanging out with him was, at times, like hanging out with a male version of myself. Not surprisingly, we wound up becoming great friends. (Yes, I realize how conceited that sounds. Trust me, you’d love hanging out with me, too.)
So when these Canadians moved in — oh, sorry: Quebecois — I wasn’t in any hurry to get to know them. Based on past experience, I was relatively sure that I’d soon wind up finding out more about them than I wanted to, thanks to the thinness of the damn walls.
Besides, I doubt that I’ll ever forgive them for not being the old neighbors. I’m funny that way about change.
Sure enough, bright and fucking early this morning, I woke up to the sounds of the Canadians — oh, pardonez-moi: les Quebecois — hollering to each other as they all piled in their loud freaking truck to go wherever it is they go every morning. And they were hollering in French.
You know, if I’m going to have to listen to some pissy blond woman screeching at her smear-faced offspring at oh-fuck-thirty in the morning, the least she could do is have the goddamned decency to do it in English so I know what the little fuckers are up to.
All day long I’ve been taking care of the umpteen gazillion tasks required to get the Venomous Hubby ready for his trip to Korea, which departs tomorrow at four-oh-fucking clock am.
So. I’d just finished scrubbing, pre-soaking, washing, drying and folding a load which consisted of nothing besides his underwear. Boxer-briefs, in case you’re curious. And while I folded one pair I noticed the crotch area is getting a little thin… as in, I could see the floor through some of the holes.
(Yes, God did bless my husband in that general vicinity — which might explain why I put up with as much as I do — but, honestly, I don’t understand how the man wears out 3 pairs of his underwear in the time it takes me to wear out one of mine.)
I’d just tossed the holy pair into the trash when he walked in and, seeing what I’d done, he frowned.
Him: “I can still get another wear out of these.”
Me: “But why? Doesn’t it hurt to have your junk seeping through the holes?”
Him: “Yeah, but you just washed them. So, okay, they’re kind of gross but I can get another use out of them. Seems like a waste of money not to use them again.”
Me: “By that logic, I might as well start picking out the unchewed pieces of corn from my poop, rinse them off and serve ‘em again at dinner the next day.”
I swear I saw the man’s eyes squinch while he gave that idea serious consideration.
I hate — no, make that I intensely and rabidly despise — the marketing trend that slaps “deep thoughts” onto products.
I don’t know which company started this annoying little propaganda practice first, but I blame Starbucks. (I’ve been blaming them for quite a few things lately, it seems.) Those leftie, greenie, “let’s hold hands and sing Kum By Ya” blurbs on the side of an overpriced latte really piss me off.
Philosophy, the maker of my favorite facial moisturizer does the same thing but since I use that stuff first thing in the morning I’m not awake enough to read their pithy little saying.
Today, however, I opened a brand new tub of Daisy Sour Cream and found a foil lid, emblazoned with sunflowers, staring back at me. On it, in fat happy letters, is the inscription:
So what? So can my middle finger, which is precisely the one I used to gesture at the sour cream before ripping off the foil lid and throwing it in the trash.
Last weekend, I had the misfortune of overhearing a conversation about blogging. By “misfortune” I mean, really, that I had no choice but hearing it since the conversation was held at full volume one table away from mine at the only cafe offering free outdoor Wi-Fi — an absolute essential for caffeine-addicted smokers like me.
Not surprisingly, the conversation started with both “ladies” (and, yes, I use those quotations intentionally) coughing like they had furballs the instant I lit up. My middle-finger gesture toward the “Smoking Section” sign — made without looking away from my keyboard — shut them up. For a while, at least.
They were there for the Wi-Fi and caffeine, too, it quickly became apparent. After their coughing spells miraculously subsided, both reached into their bags and produced laptops adorned with kitty and bunny stickers. Within moments it also became obvious they were each cruising through their blogrolls. I know this because they continued talking at full volume as they traded comments and criticism over every little thing they read. Did I mention they were loud about it, too?
Eventually, the larger of the two — which is to say the one that had 50 lbs. on the other, who herself had a good 50 lbs. on me — said she was no longer going to read so-and-so’s blog. I didn’t catch the name. Between the stickers on their laptops and the Disney characters on their sweatshirts (and I don’t mean the cool retro kind like Mickey), I was certain I had little in common with either “lady”.
“Oh, I never read her anymore,” the other one replied. “I found out she was making up some of the stuff she writes about, and I decided I just couldn’t trust her ever again.”
For five full minutes the two of them waxed ineloquent about how bloggers have a “pact” with their audience which requires full and complete honesty, at all times. “Transparency,” one of them called it. “An obligation,” the other one said it was.
I just about puked up my latte right then and there. After six years of blogging (as of next month), I’m still unaware of any compact signed between blogger and blog-reader that requires “full honesty”. Not that I don’t give it, mind you — but I wouldn’t feel in the least bit bad about coloring the truth if I got a good, entertaining entry out of it. Nor should anyone else.
And really, when you think about it, how would either of those women know if someone was shading the truth when they blogged? And if the blogger isn’t 100% honest, who’s harmed by it? Really?
After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized that perhaps I should give more thought to their total honesty thing. So I chugged down the last bitter dregs of my latte, snubbed out my cigarette, and packed up my laptop. Then, as I was leaving, I dropped two copies of my blogging business card on their table and invited them to visit this site any time.
So, “Lady #1″ in the Anastasia sweatshirt: yes, it does make you look fat, but the sweatshirt shouldn’t bear all of the blame. And for more honesty: your hairstyle went out in the 80s.
“Lady #2″ with the tiny Winnie the Pooh above her right breast: are you sure you want to call peoples’ visual attention at how low your chest hangs? Oh, and please stop plucking your eyebrows until they look like thin little half-circles over your baggy eyes. You look perpetually surprised. And stupid.
There, how’s THAT for 100% honesty blogging?
Over the weekend, I got together with three of my girlfriends for some female bonding time. With the Super Bowl coming up, we figured this would be our last chance for several days to engage in a booze-fueled estrogenfest and, more importantly, we all wanted time away from home.
Having exhausted our two favorite topics to complain about by the time the third round of drinks arrived, the conversation turned to the economy. Specifically: the financial sacrifices we’re making because our husband and kids just don’t get it. (Okay, maybe we weren’t done bitching about our two favorite topics entirely.)
The scholar among us, whom we call Egghead, said she’s borrowing books from the library instead of spending her Saturday mornings browsing the racks at Barnes and Noble. My friend Ritzy, who loves her some designer-labels, has taken to shopping at consignment stores. A longtime fast food addict, my friend Speedy Mac is learning to cook dinners at home and brown bag her lunch the next day. And me? Well, I switched to a cheaper brand of vodka and have been saving electricity by not cleaning house very often.
After a pause while the waitress sat down a sinfully massive plate of nachos, Ritzy offhandedly remarked that she’s also cut back on visits to her salon. Instead of weekly manicures she’s ditched the acrylic tips in favor of the natural look, and she’d found that she can go 6 weeks between coloring sessions if she poofs her hair up a bit. We all nodded our own faded heads in sympathy as, one by one, we hurried to hide our similarly un-manicured hands.
By that time, the third martini must have hit me, because I chirped: “And, damn it, I miss my bikini waxes, too!”
“God yes,” Egghead agreed. “I’m going through razor blades like you wouldn’t believe.”
“Razor blades?” Speedy Mac laughed. “I tried Nair. The smell just about killed me!”
Ritzy slammed the rest of her drink and signaled for another round before saying, “Let me tell you, girls. Do NOT try giving yourself a Brazilian wax at home. Just trust me.”
We all grew quiet as the waitress set our drinks in front of us, unwilling to meet each others’ gaze. After two long years of regular booze-and-bitch sessions, we’d thought we had discussed just about every female topic under the sun. But that night we’d discovered a new one, and it wasn’t pretty.
Seriously, how do you look your girlfriends straight in the face after a conversation like that?
As blogged elsewhere, my husband recently announced that he volunteered to go to Korea for a month for work-related reasons, despite having told me that he wouldn’t.
Just a few days after that, he announced that he would be spending the MLK weekend in Minnesota helping his mother move, because she doesn’t want to hire professionals to do it. This announcement required me to cancel a long-planned trip to see my own mother, since I’d only bought one plane ticket because I didn’t realize I’d need to bring my son along.
Not surprisingly, I’m pissed.
But more importantly, does anyone know the approximate cost of having a naked rubber model made that looks like his mother? I’m thinking of leaving it in our bed as a “welcome home” present when he gets back from Korea and finds me burning rubber to go on my own “work-related” trip.
I hate that woman in the cancer treatment commercial: the black lady who says “even the doctor’s hands were cold” then brags how she’d been instructed to come back the next day but never did. You know, like disobeying doctor’s instructions is a badge of honor?
Her inability to use verbs notwithstanding (“they kind…they care”), I just can’t help cringing every time she describes how she took her pain and “put it to work for the patients”. Because you just know she was a busy-body who’d show up in other patients rooms snapping her fingers before planting her hands on her hips and bobbing her head around, reveling in her self-appointed role as the treatment floor’s one-woman pep squad.
Honestly, if I were one of those patients I think I’d wind up dragging myself out of my bed for the sole purpose of kicking that woman’s ass.
Shopping options aren’t abundant in the boring little town where I live. Oh, we have a decent shopping a mere 25-minute drive away, but the fucktards who built that mall were oblivious enough to make it an outdoor mall. In Kansas, where it goes from brrr-freaking-cold in the winter when there’s a foot of snow on the ground to sweltering hot in the summer when the temps hover in the high 90s for days on end, extremes that are only interrupted by a handful of weeks when the weather is actually mild. We call that time “tornado season”.
So if I want one-stop-shopping, I have two options. I can either go to K-Mart, which is so crowded there is no way to navigate one’s cart down the aisles past the behemoth-bottomed women who stare gape-mouthed at the displays of inferior merchandise. Or, I can go to Wal-Mart, and it’s a sad state of affairs when that place is considered “upscale shopping”.
Today, having run out of shampoo over the weekend, I had no choice but to haul ass to Wal-Mart so I could take a shower before I leave to pick my son up from school. I had a few other things I needed to get, too, so I grabbed the list from our fridge. Since shopping at Wal-Mart usually leaves me feeling the need for a shower, I made a point of heading there at lunch time so I could get home and still have time for the first leisurely shower I’ve had in the 17 days my son’s been home over Winter Break.
But I hadn’t counted on the unbelievable slowness of the old person our local Wal-Mart employs to stand at the door and pass out shopping carts to people as they enter the store. She was all of four and a half feet, if that, which made it darned tempting to just grab a damned cart and pretend I didn’t see her. Unfortunately, she had a blue-veined death grip on the rack of carts kept near the door so the only way I could have retrieved one for myself was if I’d knocked her ass down. (Then, of course, I’d be further delayed while management insisted on filing a police report.)
As I stood there waiting, the old biddy didn’t even acknowledge my presence. No, she was too busy chatting with three other old biddies with whom she’s apparently quite well-acquainted, or so I surmised from their free exchange of details about the various parts of their bodies which began aching yesterday when a cold front moved in.
I coughed. I cleared my throat. I tapped my foot, studied my fingernails and sighed loudly. That, of course, did nothing since the woman is far too old to actually be able to hear. Apparently her eyesight is just as equally bad because she kept right on ignoring me.
Another woman got in line behind me. She, too, was apparently a bit put off that we couldn’t simply grab carts and rush through our shopping. Then a man wearing mechanic’s overalls joined us. Soon, three other people were also waiting — all just as impatient, and all being equally ignored.
“You realize we outnumber them,” I finally said, making no effort to keep my voice quiet. “I’ll get the Greeter lady. Who’ll take down the other three?” And, of course, the crowd of equally impatient people standing there with me all chuckled. Finally, the old biddy huffed and tugged at her little blue Wal-Mart vest before shooting me a rheumy-eyed glance which she no doubt intended to be a drop-dead stare. Then, nodding goodbye to her friends, she began passing out the carts and taking great pains to make sure that I was the last to get one.
“Some people are so rude,” she said as I reached for the cart.
I swear to God, I’d have run the old biddy over and put her out of my misery if I wasn’t worried about criminal charges and medical bills. Instead, I opted for the second-best thing: I whipped out my cell phone and called the store’s office to tell them what had just happened. I was midway through my explanation when I decided to grab my cart and get my shopping done at the same time, which meant I left the old biddy standing there wondering what management was going to do about her. Meanwhile, the influx of shoppers needing carts continued.
Man, I had no idea an old woman could move that fast!