Tuesday, February 26, 2019

So irritating, really

I know there should be some structure to this narrative but I’m just going to start with what comes to mind. Maybe someday I’ll find an editor to help me corral all this nonsense into something worth reading in long form. But today I want to whine about shit that doesn’t matter like omg my ex died and never updated his will after we were divorced so GUESS WHO gets to be the executor of his estate and clean up all his messes post mortem? The good news is at least there is money to take care of his debts so I really have no business complaining. It could be SO MUCH WORSE if you can believe that.  But fuck if I don’t come home from a long day of doing other people’s taxes (glad for the work) and 90 minutes on rainy mountain roads (glad for my cozy home in the redwoods) and then sit down with angry letters from creditors who don’t seem to understand that none of this is really my problem. I’ve just always been the responsible one and that’s the sad fact.

I would run away in a minute if I thought I could get away with it. But the kids, always the kids, even though they’re semi-adults now. They shouldn’t have to deal with this at their tender age. You should definitely be in your 30s AT LEAST when your parent dies. You shouldn’t be a sophomore in college and have to take incompletes for the semester that you have to make up over Christmas break because you simply can’t go back to school feeling the way you do.

You should definitely be in your 70s AT LEAST when your spouse or even (especially) your ex dies. All I can say to you sweet young things out there is if you get divorced, try to get your ex-spouse to change their will before they become an ex-person or at least have the decency to remarry so that their death is someone else’s problem, logistically-speaking. Because someone else should get to (and want to) display that urn (yeah, you know the one) and be glad for the opportunity to plan their loved one’s memorial (ugh do we really have to go out to the beach to scatter the you-know-what and then have food and stuff afterward ugh ugh ugh) and call up all the banks and creditors and lawyers and just everyone and deal with things like why is he still getting charged for phone service when I thought that nonsense was cancelled months ago - oh and who’s going to return the cable box - oh well I guess it’s easier just to pay for it, etc etc etc ad nauseam.

There was a pack of Camels in the glove compartment of his car so GUESS WHO is now sitting on the deck each night with a bottle of IPA and exactly one cigarette because I’m responsible even when I’m irresponsible if that makes any sense at all. I haven’t smoked since 1997 but goddamnit if my ex can die of organ failure from abusing his body for four decades then I guess I can smoke one cigarette a day and it’ll be okay.

Sue me. I have a lawyer now. I can take it.

Okay that’s all I have the energy for right now. Thanks for wanting me to write this. I might have done anyway but now at least this tree falling in the woods is making a sound.

Monday, February 25, 2019

so my ex died a while back wtaf

Hey there. Been AFK for a few months now. I had to take a break to process (whatever that means) the events leading up to and away from the death of the illustrious Mr. K.  I haven’t had the - well, get out the thesaurus - strength? Energy? Tenacity? Will? Enthusiasm? I. Simply. Could. Not. Each day ideas would occur to me, themes I should write about, memories, stories, jokes, even.  This is great material, I really need to make the most of this, I would think. But maybe tomorrow, or next week, or after tax season.

“After all, I’ve suffered an enormous loss,” I said aloud to no one, as I installed myself in front of the tv with a Greyhound in one hand and a vape pen in the other. “I really can’t be expected to do more than the bare minimum. I need to take care of myself first.”
Yeah, that’s been working pretty well for three months. I think it’s time to start writing, or at least typing again.

I took down the Facebook page but I think I’ll bring it back up and see if anyone’s around. “I can’t believe you’re not posting,” said an IRL friend (yes, I do have a few). “There are so many people out there who follow you, they’re going to wonder what’s up. You really have to write something for them.”

Great. Now on top of everything else, I have to worry about you lot. Kidding. I don’t. But I think about you. I want you to know everything’s okay with me. It’s intense. It’s painful. It’s definitely a struggle. A *journey* <gag> But it’s okay.

My ex died from drinking just like I said he would when I left him because he didn’t believe me and wouldn’t stop. Ain’t that a kick? Everything just like I predicted. I was finally proven right, after years of being alternately mocked and ignored.  How do you say, “I told you so” to a dead man? I mean, is it before or after, “I miss you, you sonofabitch, and I didn’t know I would”?

So. Lots of ground to cover. All the feelings. All the things. My plan is to write snippets and post them once in a while, with an eye towards wrapping it all up in some kind of publication someday. But for now, really, it’s been a whole 30 minutes I’ve been sitting at this keyboard. I deserve a break. Now, where’d I put the grapefruit juice?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

This. Is. Not. Normal.

I don't know much about normal, but I know this what we have going on right now in our world is definitely not it.

I tend to shy away from politics on my blog.  I used to say that Nutjobs have enough to worry about without dragging politics into it. But these days, I feel like I can't afford to turn away from the National Nightmare, and all the feelings that arise from witnessing it. Even people who have their shit together are losing it all over the place. So I decided to turn my attention away from my navel (gross) and out toward the world (really gross).

Maybe you found me from Twitter, which is awesome, because I have very little idea how that even works. I never really used Twitter, although I had my Facebook posts set up to repeat over there, like a bizarre echo chamber. Lately I've taken all the energy I used to focus on my Facebook page and moved it over there. Now I just post memes and funny dialogues with my boss or my son on Facebook, and save the political stuff for Twitter. Boundaries. Cool, right?

Anyway, welcome, Twitter folks. Have a stroll around.

And of course a hale and hearty "Namaste" to the Nutjobs.  I'm sorry that I haven't posted much lately.  In addition to the aforementioned National Nightmare, I also began taking creative writing, so there hasn't been much energy left to stay current with the blog. But just know that I'm out here, thinking about you, and worrying about you, and trying to find ways to help you feel less alone.

You don't have to be crazy to enjoy my blog. But it doesn't hurt. Oh who am I kidding? Of course it does.

Namaste, y'all <folds hands, bows deeply>

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Annual Anonymous Winter Holiday Blog of Familial Hostility, National Nightmare Edition

It's that time of year again, the one we dread, especially those who made some piss-poor choices back in the day and are now regretting the consequences with every fiber of our beings.  This winter in particular, the Familial Hostility will be at an all-time fevered pitch, as a result of  . . . well, you know. 

Each year, I ask the readers to send me their secret holiday greetings.  The ones they wish they could say to their so-called families at this so-called season of giving.  This year I couldn't bring myself to do it. Reading the infotainment that masquerades as news, scrolling through scathing social media, pounding my fist on the dashboard at drive-time radio, I am heartsick.  So I thought I would dust off a post from last year, when we had no idea what horrors lay ahead of us, when we thought the worst thing about Thanksgiving was having to defend ourselves from the onslaught of familial passive (and not so passive) aggression.  Without further clichéd ado . . .

I am eternally grateful for my fussy-faced husband for finally stopping the 30-pack-of-beer-a-day habit. Thank you also for the fine case of genital warts.

(Guess he wasn't that fussy-faced after all)

Fuck you all very much for eating all my jalapeño cheese dip and blaming it on the two-year-old.

(I hope he's potty-trained because that diaper will be insanity.)

I am thankful that I have enough self-control not to get all stabby with my fork when my sister's boyfriend chews with his mouth open and food drops out of his mouth.

(That's pretty gross.  If you're not using that fork, may I?)

No mom, you cannot pray my gay away. I'm afraid my sexuality doesn't quite work like that. So! Who wants pie?

(I do!  A big gay piece of pie!  And kisses!)

Daughter-in-Law -- go right back out the front door you came in and keep on walking.  You’re a lazy slob who does absolutely nothing for your family.  My son owns his own business and works 16 hours a day all while taking care of your daughter. You need to go home to your Minecraft family and have them cook you Thanksgiving dinner.

(Could that happen?  That would be fucking awesome.)

Eat, and get the fuck out so I continuing drinking this memory out of my mind.

(Oh, Barkeep <rattles ice in empty glass> )

You are all immature, selfish assholes and I would rather eat ramen by myself. Your children are not cute. They are monsters you have created.

(Preach.  And don't forget the scrambled egg in the ramen.  Because protein.)

I'm glad you're all here to hear this together. I'm leaving my husband, and I never ever want him to come home or to be close to him and all I ever want to do is drink when all of you are around so fuck you. My lawyer and I are going to take half of your money.

(And then I'm going to pay my lawyer with the other half.)

Stop telling me how to raise my kids when I'm raising yours. Stop telling me I'm doing it wrong!

(Back off, bitch, I got this.)

Ten fucking years, you sorry son of a bitch. I have supported you, rewritten my dreams, raised children alone through four fucking deployments and now you say you don't want to be married to me anymore? You say YOU HAVE NO MOTIVATION TO SAVE OUR MARRIAGE?  Fuck you.

(Now we have no motivation to cancel that hitman.)


(So many doctors miss that Tourette's diagnosis the first time around.)

I love each of you but if you got off your ass and washed a dish I'd love you more.

(Just one from each of you would do it, I think.)

Well, another year without a loved one here. Prison does that to families. We can only trudge on and hope no one else gets locked up this year. But at least we can all be thankful another criminal is off the streets. We miss you, Cousin Craig. I hope you got the soap on the rope I sent.

(Soap on a rope is funny in and of itself, but the prison thing was inspired.)

No, mom didn't love you more than anyone. She hated us all the same.


Stop wearing men's basketball shorts and t-shirts everywhere, you're a 53 year old teacher. Lose the mullet.

(Every family has that one guy  . . . .)

Thanks for showing up empty handed. I couldn't find anything better to do with my holiday than to cook for you ungrateful, mooching, sorry ass fat fucks. Happy Thanksgiving.

(Something tells me they really DGAF about what you just said.  Wasted words -- so frustrating.)

Thank you to Diesel fuel and my Mercedes’ longevity for making this drama-free Thanksgiving possible, far, far away from the people who make me need Ativan.


To my mother in law: You are a narcissistic bitch who raised a couple of man-infants. Nice work.

("Narcissistic" is a word that gets a lot of airplay this time of year.)

As you all know, a year ago today I was inpatient for depression and suicidal ideation. As you also know, not one of you were there for me. Despite that, I have gotten much better. I am NOT going to pretend that I have my shit together. But I'm getting there. Pass the wine!

(Next year in Jerusalem!  Wait.  Wrong holiday.)

Thanks for leaving me with so much guilt I can't breathe when I sit next to you.

(I felt that in my soul, no sarcastic)

Kids, I just want to say how fucking disappointed I am in all three of you.  I know you listened to your father when he said "It's all in her head, she's a psycho.” Fuck off. Love, Mom.


I'd like to thank my mom who no longer speaks to me. I raised myself and YOU lost out. This is the last time I give you any power.


Please tell me again that I'm such a bad parent for keeping my child and raising him and giving him everything he needs, not wants, NEEDS to succeed in life, when you’re only 24 and have had so many abortions your cooter is gonna fall out?

(Crap.  Could that really happen?)

MIL: You are a self-centered narcissistic bitch. We are never speaking to you again.

(She probably didn't hear you so it's just as well.)

It would be really nice to actually be invited to dinner instead of having to call around asking which family member is hosting this year and then inviting myself.

(Oh honey, I wish I knew you IRL because I would totally invite you -- before Halloween, even.)

You are a rotten, abusive, piece of shit husband. And I am planning on divorcing your ass as soon as I can find the nastiest shark lawyer on the planet.

(Hit me up, I know someone.)

I feel guilty for feeling depressed when I have so much.

(The realest of the real.  Hang in there, honey.  I promise you, it may not get better, but it will get different.  You are not alone.)

Sláinte, you Nutjobs, you. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Dream Recounted

Other people’s dreams are never interesting.   The dream-teller will try to draw you in by adding (manufacturing) details about how you were in it a la “and then you were there wearing a polka dot dress with Birkenstocks and slouchy socks which is totally not your style.”  But you’re not falling for it and you turn around in the middle of their sentence and go to the break room for some coffee.   Please. Make it stop.

So I try really hard not to be that girl, the dream-teller, the annoying one.  It’s really the worst kind of solipsism, a dream.  Such personal, specific significance.  It’s a story your brain is telling itself.  No one else really needs to hear it.  

Having said that,  last night I had a dream that was so vivid and so interesting (and funny) and I actually remembered it (which never happens) so I’m writing about it and you can read it or not, that is totally up to you.  I dreamed that I was at a party and someone got shot.  No one was paying much attention, so I got on the phone with 911 trying to get direct them to the house, but I didn’t know the address.   My loser alcoholic bike messenger boyfriend (I know, I know, #NotAllBikeMessengers) had brought me.  He was always dragging me to parties where I didn’t know anyone and I never knew where we were.  I sometimes think he did it on purpose because he knew I couldn’t leave without him if I didn’t know where I was (this was a long time ago, when I was even more timid and paralyzed by indecision than I am now).  Other times I think that he wouldn’t have been capable of those kind of mind games, which let’s face it, are pretty sophisticated.  In any event, I never had much fun at parties.  I was always hopelessly too straight and uncool, and I never knew anyone anyway.   I was always overjoyed if the hosts had a pet, because that way at least I would have someone to hang out with.

Anyway.  I knew we were in The City and it was one of those weird places where the address is different depending on what side of the house you’re on.  I kept walking around with the cordless landline phone with the dispatcher murmuring encouragingly in my ear (you can do it, hon, just tell me what you see), looking around at street numbers placed strategically throughout the house, one number printed in gold on column in a corner in the hall, another on a wood placard by the door.  None of it made any sense, and I could feel that anxiety welling up from the pit of my stomach, you know the one, the “I’m gonna be in so much trouble for this thing I didn’t do that I’m going to be blamed for anyway” feeling.

The dispatcher keeps intoning “what’s the cross street what’s the cross street what’s the cross street” and I keep whispering “I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know.”  Finally she says, “Well, ask someone who’s with you” and I say “They’re all too fucked up.”  And then I gasp with alarm because I realize that I must have blown someone’s cover somehow and that as soon as the authorities figure out where we are, we are all busted.  

Seeing that I am going to be useless in establishing a location, the dispatcher tries to figure out an alternate plan.  She says, “Well, I think I know where you are and they’re never going to get the emergency vehicle in there because the streets are too windy and narrow (and I think "hold up seriously this is San Fra-fucking-cisco") so go out back and describe what that’s like maybe they can get in through there.”  So I pull back the curtains and slide open the glass door to reveal a sandy beach with the ocean about 20 yards away.   And I say into the phone, “Plenty of room, Janet, but they’re gonna need a catamaran” and I thought that was about the funniest thing ever and you could hear her chuckling as well and then in horror I remembered why I was even on the phone with her in the first place.  I was failing my mission of getting someone the fuck to the house to attend to this dying person who was almost certainly already a dead person because I was wandering around looking at indoor house numbers and making weak jokes with a benign and indulgent civil servant.  

And I’m suddenly seized with this paroxysm of grief, like it suddenly hits me, this dude got shot and it’s my fault that no one is here helping him. I mean at least I should be doing CPR or something.  The dispatcher asks me what’s wrong and I tell her “My friend just got shot” and she said “I thought you didn’t even know him.”  And I said “To be quite honest, everything is my fault ultimately and this dream is just another manifestation of my horrible self-loathing and my compulsion to take care of everything all the time because no one else around me is capable.”  And the dispatcher said, “Honey, I know just what you mean.”  

It was the clearest damn dream.  And the message it carried was resonating on every level.  And the fact that I was explaining my interpretation to someone IN THE DREAM was so damn cool that I woke up and jumped out of bed and started writing it all down.  

And you were in it, you know. Wearing a polka-dot dress with Birkenstocks and slouchy socks which is totally not your usual style.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Where Have I Been? I'm Glad You Asked.

Hey you guys! You may or may not have noticed that I took my Facebook page down for a bit. People have been asking, so I need to let you know.  I’m okay.  I’ll probably bring it back up soon. I just lost my taste for it.  Yanno?  I felt like staying on top of it was sucking me dry.  You guys need a lot of attention, and I don’t always have it in me to give it to you.  You’re like houseplants or something.  I forget to water you and you wither and I feel guilty.  So instead I put you out on the patio and hope it rains and doesn’t get too cold.  And OMG some of you (trolls I know, but still) with the negativity, misunderstanding on purpose, people who seem to feel the First Amendment applies to whatever the fuck axe they have to grind on someone else’s stage.  But it’s all good.  A little break never hurt anyone.  

What can I tell you except I’m battling the same things you guys are, watching in horror as American political-socioeconomic system (for lack of a better term) twists and writhes like an effigy in the wind.  I really shouldn’t read the news and I DEFINITELY need to stop getting in comment wars on Facebook pages, that shit is for the birds.  Roche Pharmaceuticals stock goes up five points any day I scroll through my Facebook feed, see a controversial story and wonder what gems await me in the comments section.   What is the opposite of adrenaline because I need some of that after a good verbal jousting match with fellow members of the Screedwriters Guild.  That’s not a typo, that’s me being clever.  

What I’ve been thinking about lately, because I know you’re just aching to know (dripping sarcasm):  I’m doing the math on whether it’s worse to die alone and be sad and scared about that or to die alone and give zero fucks about it, unless you count panic attacks (which are sneaking up on me with increasing and alarming frequency) in the fucks-given tally.  This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.  Thanks, Tyler Durden, Thanks, Chuck Palahniuk.  One inexorable minute, the length of the pool, underwater with lungs bursting.   Swimming metaphors. Kill me now.

I’m crying a lot lately.  Mostly it’s just something that strikes me in the moment, I hear a song maybe, or someone says something either amazing or terrible.   It just washes over me, this need to cry.  Last weekend on our hike PreMed said this about her dad, “Pretending no one could see him behind the door of the liquor cabinet doing shots while the rest of the watched TV in the next room is NOT NORMAL, Momma. You did the right thing.”  I cried when she said that because I felt so validated (i was right i was right i was right) and at the same time, miserable (i was wrong i was wrong i was wrong) that I had let it go on as long as it did before finally gathering up my “courage to change the things I can.”  How long it took me to get The Gamer out of that toxic, toxic environment, to set up a nice, quiet place for him to feel calm and safe, to be himself and not tensed up all the time as you ACOA know all too well, a groovy crib to have friends over without worrying about what they'd be walking into, a little taste of Normal-As-I-Have-Come-To-Understand-It.  

So anyway. I cry a lot.  Out of nowhere.   Whatever. I’m still a BAMF.

Back to the forever alone thing -- I’m mostly okay with it.  I was talking with my online friend the other day. (I have very few IRL friends. We'll wait while you unhinge your shocked jaw.) The conversation went a little something like this:

Me:  I really don’t need anyone in my life right now or maybe ever.  I mean, who else thinks popcorn and Coke Zero for dinner while binge-watching The Good Wife is a perfect way to spend an evening?
Him: Good point.   You should put that in your online dating profile.  
Me:  Yeah, about that.  I really only made that to gather material for the blog.
Him:  Which you still haven’t written.
Me:  Good point.

And I really do prefer it, this being alone, although I guess it would be nice to have someone in my life to make plans with that I would then dread, and resent the person for taking up so much space in my head when let’s face it, all I really want to do is lie around in sweats, drinking coffee and messing with people on the internet.   I really don’t feel lonely until I think about what my life must look like to other people. I feel their scorn masquerading as unnecessary (and unsolicited) pity for me because I prefer the richness of my solitude to wearing a bra and waiting for a bartender to notice me so he can get started patronizing me for my drink choice while making agonizing small talk WITH THEM.   

Is that so wrong?  <hint:  nope>

I'm going to post this now because I'm out of ideas (LIE - I'm really just lazy and I want to be done) and because I wanted to let you guys know I'm okay. I know you worry, but you can knock that off now -- all is well as far as I can tell but take that with a grain of salt. What does that even mean, "take it with a grain of salt?" Where did that come from? Too bad we don't have a big book or something we could look stuff up in. Someone should get on that.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I'm Starting Christmas Before Thanksgiving This Year and IDGAF What You Think

I’m putting up Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving this year, and IDGAF if you don’t like it.  Well, IDGAF is a little strong.  If I truly didn’t GAF, I wouldn’t be writing about why I’m doing it.   

I used to be like you, scoffing and sneering and decrying a culture that wants to usher in Christmas front and center by the first of November.  And I still do mourn the commercialism that drives the early start to the “Holiday Season.” I loathe Christmas music, except for the sacred stuff that’s no longer sacred to me, but simply beautiful.  When Gregorians chant in time to my windshield wipers on my rainy evening commute (please god all I want for Christmas is eight inches . . .  of rain before the first of the year).   When Rickie Lee Jones (and I) belt out “O Holy Night” while I slave over my famous (microwave) fudge.  When Kate and Anna McGarrigle murmur “Il Est Ne” a deux as I hit “buy with one-click” and scroll through what “other people shopped for.” When the Christmas carols roll out, I am transported to the few good memories of my childhood, when my family ruled the roost in the Episcopalian church choir loft.  

But in general, like you (I’m guessing here), I find a lot of the Christmas trappings trite and tiresome (always avoid alliteration).  I do judge the people down the street who already have that quilted replica of Santa wrapped around a tree in their front yard, the result of a single-sleigh mishap, pranked by his reindeer.  There are lots of things to make fun of, this time of year, lots of things that make us cringe -- hypocrisy, materialism, and plain and simple poor taste.  And I dislike them all the more for the effect that has on the good stuff -- it’s good stuff, man, and I want to get to it.  But the way we have fucked up Christmas these days make me want to bury my holiday lights in a bushel basket full of manger straw.   

This holiday season is different.  I’m in a new space, a good space, there’s no chaos, there’s no destruction, it’s not out of control.  I feel like it’s safe here.  I feel like my Christmas decorating could survive, even thrive.  I could put up a few plain white lights, tasteful, you know?  With a bunch of candles that smell like cinnamon and spruce.   I’m not going to cut down a tree, even though my friend the environmental expert, who has been to a week-long seminar in Florida with got-damn Al Gore, told me “It’s okay because Christmas trees are planted to be sustainable, so get out your axe and do your thing.”  No.  I’m getting a little artificial tree and it’s not going to be tacky, even though when I mentioned it, I got an eyeroll from The Gamer.   Right.  The arbiter of good taste.  Bitch, please.

I’m gonna make cookies.  I’m gonna lay in pounds of butter and bags of flour and sugar and good chocolate and nuts and just bake the fuck out of dozens and dozens of cookies.  And wrap empty Pringles cans with Christmas paper and lay those cookies in there with cupcake liners and take them around to all my friends.   Well, maybe not that last part.  That presumes that I have friends, or that I’m even willing to leave the house.  But I *am* making massive amount of cookies, and anything is possible.

I might even write a Christmas letter.  Yes, the dreaded Christmas letter.   In the past I shunned the Christmas letter, mostly because I was so jealous of the ones I got that I ripped them up without even reading them.  I couldn’t even begin to write one because of all the horrible things that were happening that I was pretending weren’t happening, and how hollow I felt inside when I thought about the lies I would write instead of the agony that was really going on.

This year is different.  I have some okay things to say this year, even though it’s awkward to talk about where I am now and how I got here.  I’m happy in a safe space.  I’m taking care of myself and my son.  I’m listening when I tell myself nice things, and telling that voice to fuck off when it turns mean and angry.  I’m working on a book and might get it published.  I’m planning to semi-retire and move to Mexico.  GOOD SHIT IS HAPPENING YOU GUYS.   Don’t pay any attention to those other assholes trying to wreck everything.   Nothing to see there.

Which brings me to the final reason I’m getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving this year.  I was thinking about this despite the Paris attacks, and the Lebanon attacks, and the Kenyan attacks and the daily violence against people of color in our own country that goes unremarked despite the brutal and pervasive injustice. In that context, it’s even more important to me.  I’m a person who shields her soft and tender heart with sharp and scornful self-deprecation and impatient intolerance for ignorance (alliteration alert again).    Right now, for the first time in a long long time, I don’t hate people.   I mean, of course I hate certain people, like ISIS and racist homophobic idiots and other wastes of oxygen, but the point is, I don’t hate the usual people in my everyday life.  I feel kindly toward other motorists, (well, except that broad in the Lexus SUV who WILL NOT YIELD when I’m trying to move over even with my turn signal on bitch I’m going to miss my exit).  I’ve been holding the elevator door for people in my building instead of surreptitiously punching the close button over and over. I feel like overall life is worth living, and people are worth the effort.  I know, right?  It’s like my whole life has been a lie.   

I told my son that I was putting the Christmas decorations up this week and he looked at me as though I had sprouted two heads.  “But, Mom,” he started to protest.  I waved him away with that hand thing that Drake does, you know the one.  “Do not get in between me and this feeling.”  I said.  “I don’t hate people right now and I want to make that not-hating-people feeling last as long as possible.  So Christmas starts right now and it doesn’t end until I say it does.”

So yeah, I will be that asshole with the lights up this week.  I will be the one writing that ridiculous Christmas letter.  MAYBE.  I’m still not 100 percent on that.  Maybe I’ll just send everyone the link to my blog.  (Can you imagine -- haha Merry Christmas jk).  I will be the one making a list and checking it twice.  And handing out five dollar bills when I leave the store even though I usually don’t carry cash.   I will be the Grinch whose small heart grew three sizes in one day.  Who let her guard down in the triumph of hope over experience.   

You know those people who should be shot?  You know the ones who roll up on, like, November 2, simpering, “Are you ready for Christmas yet?”  The same ones tell you when it’s Friday every week and ask you if it’s hot/cold/rainy enough for you.  Yeah, you know them.  And this year, I am looking forward to them.  Bring it on, good people. Come at me, bro.    Am I ready for Christmas?   Hellz yah, I’m ready.  You bet your sweet sugarplum I am.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Light the Candles, Pour the Wine

I shared this quote on my personal Facebook page today. I almost shared it to the big page, but let's face it, "after thought" should have been one word and I'm pretty anal-retentive particular about stuff like that. It's important that stuff I post to the page not have typos and grammar mistakes and shenanigans like that all over the place. Anyway, I collect those inspirational af quotations. I click "like" over and over and comment things like “word to all of this”  or “THIS FOREVER” or sometimes something like “Ain’t that a bitch?”  

This particular quote is about not holding back, not caring what other people think, not limiting yourself or depriving yourself or censoring yourself, because ultimately, you’re going to be dead so who gives a fuck unless you enjoyed yourself?  Yanno?  And it always resonates with me, I always do that mental fist-pump, you know, f’yeah man, true story, I gotta remember that.  And why don’t I?  And why am I the kind of person that needs to be reminded, why aren’t I think kind of person that is ALREADY DOING THIS?  Why am I not living my life like this already?  

Because, basically, I suck.  So much for inspiration.

My friend liked the photo, and posted a comment that made me smile.  “Burn the good candles.”  She is so right.  Right now I am looking at a beautiful arrangement of candles and I don’t even have a way to light them.  I’m going to have to twist up a paper towel and light that from the gas stove and then light each one of the candles with that like a fucking acolyte.  Go ahead and google “acolyte” but I’ll save you the time and tell you it means the assistant candle-lighter at an Episcopalian worship service.     Like so:  

But I’m going to do it.  Yasss, queen.

Because this whole thing reminds me of the last time I read something inspirational af like this.  And I asked myself, “What are you waiting for with this 2003 Regusci Cab that is staring at you like, ‘Drink me ffs it’s too damn hot in your house and I would be great in another five years if cellared properly which is like the opposite of what you did so let’s go before it’s too late.’”  And then I said to myself, “He’s right, you know,” which is a very odd thing to say when the antecedent of the pronoun is a bottle of wine.  

The point is, what are we waiting for?  When am I going to cook the meal or have the people over or stage the event that merits the serving of this fantastic bottle of wine?  (Hint:  Not bloody likely any time soon).  And that shouldn’t matter anyway because who is going to appreciate this wine more than me?  (Hint: no one).  None of my friends know wine well enough to appreciate it except Bossman and I spend enough time with him each week already so, no.

So I pull the 2003 Regusci Cab from its place on the shelf and dust it off.  Yes, I know I just moved six months ago, but dust is dust and it won’t be denied.   I get the corkscrew (now people are going to yell at me about how I should be using some other contraption besides a corkscrew but honestly, just save it because I am in no mood to be lectured) and open it up.   But the sad thing is that I waited too long to drink this wine and I didn’t store it properly because there was too much variation in temperature and moving it around a fair bit what with hiding it from my ex in several different places over the last couple of years.  ANYWAY.  The cork dried out and broke off in the middle of the bottle so I had to strain the wine through cheesecloth only I didn’t have cheesecloth so I tried a paper towel but that was an epic fail so I just poured it into a glass and tried to filter out the pieces of cork with my teeth but that didn’t really work either.  

So the point of the story is drink your damn wine before nonsense like that happens.  Because I’m dying a little inside to think of how I wrecked that wine by saving it for something special.   #irony

HEY I’M SPECIAL, yanno?   Just because I am.   Special enough to drink the wine and light the candles and celebrate EVERY DAY.  

(Also privately, I’m high-fiving myself with incredible relief that that scenario didn’t happen with Bossman standing there watching me fuck up one of his favorite wines.  The end.)

Monday, June 22, 2015

500 Words, Day 30 - End Game

Wrapping up the #500WordsADay experiment via @KaleandCigarettes with one last post.  Looking back over the last 30 days, I see that I’ve written more posts in the last two months than the last two years combined.  I asked at one point whether it was better to write every day to see what came of it, or to write only when inspiration struck.  The consensus was, “write every day,” because you lot are a bunch of suck-ups, basically.    

But let’s do a little recap, shall we?   Some observations.  How meta.  (I got to say that AGAIN and I’m thrilled).  Anyway.  Some overarching themes emerged.  There were quite a few where I was casting about wildly in search of a topic.  Where it was time to put 500 words on the screen and basically I just let whatever came into my head out through my fingers and called it good.  Well, no.  I called it shitty and then I called it done.  

Winning at wallowing. 
There was perhaps too much wallowing.  Although I tend to rock the wallow overall, if you don’t mind my saying.  The third person narrative turned out well.  A bunch of you really liked that.  Hell, I really liked it too.  Award Night, Kitchen Work, Round We Spin.  Yeah, those were good.   I went back and I read those a lot.  (Spoiler:  I. Cried.  Every. Time.)  Reading back over those make me want to pull my shit together and shop it, maybe see if there is someone who would be interested in it.   I have no idea how to do that.  Shoot me a message if you have some guidance for me on that. (minasantorini@gmail.com and I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret doing that so don't spam me, bro)

There were a couple of funny ones that turned out well, I thought.  The OkCupid one, the Senior Discount.  The Sign Says Yield, the hiking ones, both of them.  Twitter.  So, yeah, that book is gonna be bouncing around a fair bit.  (SURPRISE)  

Maybe make it two books.  One that’s composed of all the cutesy ramblings, and one that’s a “thinly disguised roman à clef” as someone put it, where I write about all my problems in the third person to make them seem more literary and less pathetic.    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we?   Haven’t even figured out the first step and already I’m one volume shy of a trilogy.  Besides, I’m still waiting for everyone to die so they don’t find out what I wrote about them.   Or what I wrote about myself.  Will the real Klonnie please . . .  oh for fuck’s sake.  Enough.  

One result of this experiment has is that I have resolved to write every day, even if I don’t post the fruits of the exercise.  If I treat writing like a job, I might take it more seriously.  I might really try to do something with it.  It may end up being nonsense, but maybe it’s like that room full of monkeys, banging away on typewriters.  Eventually one of them’s gonna type out some Shakespeare.  And win a goddamn Primate Pulitzer or something.  It could happen.     

It means a lot to me that you guys read this nonsense and get something out of it.  I appreciate all the feedback, I love hearing from you. Thank you reading, and writing, and getting it.  Seriously.  You have no idea.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

500 Words, Day 29 - Mason Jars

I just spent a half hour looking around on my Facebook page for something I wrote about Mason jars that I was going to use to get started on 500 Words, Day 29.  I failed to post on the appointed day, but a deal is a deal so I’m just going to finish up a few days behind schedule.   If I’ve learned anything about myself on this month’s voyage, it’s that when I say I’m going to do something, I take it very seriously.

So now I’m working with that sick feeling you get sometimes when you have to reconstruct some work you did that was pretty decent at the time, but now what was brilliant about it is escaping you so you have to write about the process of writing the story instead of the story itself.  How meta!  (I love that phrase that I learned this month, so thank you to The Frozen Yogi, Ph.D.)    

The background:  We were going through glasses faster than the dishwasher could keep up, because in addition to moving in my daughter’s lowlife drug-dealing boyfriend, my ex had also moved his nephew in from Alabama.  “Just a few weeks while he figures a living situation out,” was how it was explained to me, but by the time I myself had moved out six months later, he was still living there, rent-free, despite having located a job where he made more money that I did.  (That sentence is needs some real structural help but let’s leave it for now because I spent a lot of time looking for the Facebook post instead of writing the piece I was going to use it for, and now there’s very little time left to write, let alone edit.)

That’s how I knew that I had posted the vignette sometime between August 2012, when Nephew moved in and February 2013, when I moved out and stopped caring whether there were enough glasses to drink out of between dishwasher cycles.   I had gone to Goodwill because I had wanted to buy a bunch of glasses that I wouldn’t care about if they broke because cheap.  But of course I found really awesome glasses that I really cared about when they broke because conflicted.  

While I was there, perusing the shelves of glassware, I saw a young woman, maybe 22 or so, who appeared to be looking frantically for something in particular.  She hurriedly pushed aside the glasses until she came across a Mason jar, setting each one she found carefully in the handbasket she had lined with a silk blouse that I recognized from the women’s clothing racks.

She turned to me.  “If you see any more glasses like this, can you grab them for me?  You know, if you don’t want them.  I know they’re hard to come by.”

“Actually,” I offered helpfully, “They sell them by the dozen at OSH and a couple other places around here.  Are you doing a canning project today?  What are you going to put up?”  

Blank look.  I couldn’t tell if she was stymied by the question or the discovery that her search was unnecessary.  “Canning project?  What do you mean?”

“I mean, you know, are you making jam or spaghetti sauce or pickles or what?”

“Well, I’m having a barbecue.  I’m making mojitos and the guys are bringing beer.”  She furrowed her brow quizzically.  “Do you mean people use these glasses to make jam and pickles? How funny.”

I am not even kidding right now.  That really happened.  And when I wrote about it the first time, I told it a lot better than this, which is why I’m mad at Facebook right now.  And mad at myself for not preserving greatness.    Haha.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

500 Words, Day 28 -- Violated Space

She hadn’t known her son had plans with his dad today.  Around ten a.m. there had been a noise at the window.   She had glimpsed a male figure walking by the half-opened blinds in the living room.  She had assumed that it was her neighbor, walking his dog.  And in fact, her neighbor had walked past the window at that moment, which confused her when she realized that there was a second person there, and that it was her ex.

A dozen thoughts flew threw her mind at once.   The first one, and this screamed inside her head GO AWAY (what are you) GO AWAY (doing here) GO AWAY.   It was primal, not cerebral, a feeling-thought-no-feeling coursing through her reptile brain.  The veep veep veep of the violins in the Psycho shower scene.  The adrenaline shot through her, and her first instinct was to duck and hide.  Don’t see me.  Don’t be here, but if you have to be here, then let’s pretend I’m not.

The screaming fit she threw in her head was followed quickly by self-doubt.  “Dammit I don’t want to be that person, that woman who is so crazy that she won’t let their father of her children into the house he pays for,”  she thought.   She didn’t want that to be his narrative.  She didn’t want to give him any material for the stories he tells about how he is the wronged party in all of this, how she and her craziness drove him away even before she left on a whim.

He had skulked around outside the door.  He might have texted her son, but he was curiously tech-challenged for an engineer.   She concluded he must have rapped on her son’s window, peering in like some kind of fatherly Peeping Tom.  Her son came out, saying over his shoulder, “Just gotta put my shoes on.”  He didn’t look at her.

She sat at the kitchen table, composing her face into a neutral mask that would not betray her.   She would not ask what they were going to do.  She would not ask why she had not been consulted, or even notified about this impromptu outing.   She didn’t follow her usual pre-departure, didn’t ask the usual questions, did you eat, do you need money, when will you be back.  She sat, impassive, resolute.  She sent a silent message to her ex with her mind:  You have no effect on me, even though you want to.   You’re trying to manipulate me, but I am immune.  

She wants to throw open the door and hurl invectives at him, where is the paperwork the lawyers need, why don’t you return their calls, how long are you going to stall on the settlement, why are you such an asshole, costing me so much money, forcing me to go to court to compel you to do the right thing.  But to do that would be to acknowledge that what he does affects her in any way.

Why do you hate me so much, he had asked her one night, his voice thick with bourbon, his stance in the doorway unsteady.  I don’t hate you, I nothing you, she said.  

As her son muttered something in parting and closed the door behind him, the tears that lived permanently at the outskirts of her eyes welled up again.  She sat at the kitchen table, lost in thought.  She wondered if it would be easier to recover from death of a spouse than from the end of a marriage that trails off weakly with no real resolution, just denial and blame and awkward avoidance.     Her chair scraped the floor as she got up wearily and began to inventory the fridge and cupboards to make a list of groceries they would need for the coming week.