Thursday, July 25, 2013


The other day it occurred to me that a tattoo on my inner wrist might be hot. I did not think about this much, like some normal human being would have. I asked Facebook what to put there, picked something, and went almost immediately to a tattoo shop near my home which had good reviews on Yelp. Once there, I paid my money and gave a random dude my wrist.

He was a very nice random dude, but still. Mistake. I have two other tattoos, and they hurt. The one on my ankle not as much as the one on my stomach. But this one hurt like a mother fucker. I didn't think it would be fun or anything, but this was extreme. By the end of it I was actually seeing stars. It felt like a drill with a very small bit was etching something into the center of my bone. I could only take it for so long, but luckily it only took ten minutes.

                     The tattoo.

At times like this, I find it helpful to think about ping pong. Not Ping Pong, but ping pong. The game with the paddles. I envision the ball, and I concentrate on how to spin it. I think about how many people (fools!) believe that ping pong is a fairly sedentary activity. In reality, the way I play it, it's as aerobic as kick boxing. You have to have your body in the exact right position, see, to hit the ball from a Centered Place, to control the shot. And getting there in the split second you have requires some fast moving. When I play someone better than I am, I leave drenched in sweat. You can see why I use ping pong as a euphemism for Ping Pong. It's apt.

Which brings me to my next topic: The Puzzle Piece. This summer I have been organizing and giving away Ari's baby stuff. In the process I found A Puzzle Piece that we had been missing for the past 16 centuries. It goes to the puzzle that has race cars on it, and like any decent parent, I knew this right away. Also, like any decent parent, I proceeded for weeks on end with the following dance:
Day 1 -- Self enters dining area of home, noticing immediately that there is A Puzzle Piece smack dab in the center of the dining room table, so as not to be lost (again).
Self (to self): Oh, lookie! There is that Puzzle Piece I'm so happy I found! Yay! (Thinks) But. . .wait. Now, where is the puzzle?
Day 2 -- Self enters dining room again, sees Puzzle Piece, etc.
Self (to self): Oh, oh! Quick! Before I forget! I must: Move! The Puzzle Piece! Somewhere else! So as not to lose it! (Takes Puzzle Piece and places it in jewelry box.)
Day 3 -- Self enters dining room. Does not notice Puzzle Piece, since it has been moved to a place self rarely looks. Self goes to refrigerator and proceeds through the day with absolutely no Puzzle Piece interactions.
Days 4-6 -- See day 3.
Day 7 -- Self has head buried in an enormous Rubbermaid container, and is digging for Matchbox cars, while Ari screams in the background.
Ari: Mommy! You lost my car!!!?! (Weeps. Hurls body on floor.)
Self: Of course not, sweetie! It's here somewhere. I was just playing with it while I was waiting for the water to boil. (Finds A Puzzle. To self) Oh my god! It's the puzzle! The one with the piece! (Takes puzzle and gives to Ari--because five-year-olds never lose anything.) Ari, sweetie, take this and put it somewhere safe, where you can remember it.
Day 8 -- You know the rest. Do I have to spell it out? Answer: no. I find The Puzzle Piece or The Puzzle, but never both at the same time, and this goes on for 183 eons, until I am so infuriated with the whole situation that I am driven to drink. (That's my excuse anyway.) But! Of course today! Today! People! 

I found The Puzzle and The Puzzle Piece, and I united them, in their proper box, as they were meant to be. I was so happy I did an interpretative dance and called all my friends (who didn't understand -- some friends!) and wrote a damn essay (i.e. blog post) in honor of my puzzle piece success.

What does it all mean?
The end.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Worm guts, smashed on a rock--I did
not do this; it is a pity and a waste!
You know about my summer goals. As usual The Buddha has given me new goals, without my consent, that were better than the originals. (I don't believe in The Buddha, but use him as a catch-all for the Biological Neuron Situation that makes us do stuff.) Anyway, so I'm not really into goals. I failed so far (and it seems unlikely) to grow my own organic salad by the end of August or whenever. But! I learned to love. Again. I obsess over my plants. Ari and I have become a two person earthworm rejuvenation project. He brings the worms and tosses them into my square foot garden. Everybody's happy. How easy is that, mother fuckers? Answer: easy. All symbiotic and shit.

So, I like one insect. Or, not an insect. One bug. That will be the last. They are good for my garden, bitches. Don't fuck with that.

Ok, here is the part where I be funny. One of my summer goals is to Play More Video Games, and of course anyone who knows anything about grrls who are anti-violence/non-sports video game addicts (all two of us) knows that I am playing The Sims 3. This is a gardening game. Or, actually, it is a whatever you want it to be game. Genius! (Have we gotten to the funny yet? Answer: no. Hold your horses, people.) You can have The Sims 3 (and of course I have ALL the expansions=$1000? But who's counting?) be about gay sex! My sim has ignored seven gay love letters this week alone because she is busy gardening! You can have it be about gardening or cooking or wine (aka "nectar") or raising goddamn mother fucking Horses! Anything! You can swim in the ocean. You can discover a tomb. You can be a werewolf. Whatever. Free form, people. Gaming unleashed, etc. So, right, enough Sims plug. I am obviously growing a lot of organic veggies in The Sims 3 and in reality. Sometimes I don't know which garden I'm in, and I think I need to protect my real garden from hungry werewolves. It's pretty surreal.

I have my sim living on Isla Paradiso, for the excellent gardening climate, but she is a medical researcher because she can't support herself (yet) on organic veggie sales. The problem is that she has to take a boat and then a car to get to work, and it takes her five hours to get to work and home again. Thus, the damn garden dies because she is too exhausted to tend it by the time she gets home. If she quits her job, she can't afford seeds or to feed her dog (who wards off gophers and such). I almost wrote to the developers to say it is unrealistic to have a person take five hours traveling to and from work every day, but then I was like: no. I know people who do that. How fucked up is this? Answer: very.

Ok, here is the part where I get funny. There is a guy--I kid you not--who just went jogging by with a jug of milk in one hand and a slab of beef in the other. As in: he was using these food items as weights for his personal fitness. That cannot count as my being funny because it is a true fact, and the dude was funny, not me. But still.

Which brings us to another topic. Bread. Why is it? That when I buy a loaf of bread, even though I buy the shit that's full of preservatives, it gets hard before the specified date? If they are gonna fill that shit up with preservatives and additives, shouldn't they at least, like, work? Am considering growing my own bread. In the meantime, Ari and I love our garden. Best not step on our soil, bitches. Because we love that garden hard.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thank You.

One time long ago (who the hell knows when), I was very much looking forward to writing 48 thank you notes for Ari's birthday gifts. "Why, why would anyone want to write thank you notes?" you wonder. Because it is a rest--you have to sit down to do it. I had actually tried to write them while unloading the dishwasher, going for a little jog, folding laundry, and washing Ari's hair. Mixed results. Finally, I had to stop. Multi-tasking is a Slippery Slope! If you aren't careful, you will soon be texting while driving, eating spaghetti in the bath tub, texting House-guests while gardening, and losing your phone in the soil! Many unfortunate things might occur. Plus! You don't get your thank you notes written.

It had been five weeks, and I needed to focus. So, I begged B to do something with Ari and sat down with my thank you notes. By the time my butt hit the chair I realized she had the list of who'd given what in her phone, so I texted her to send it.

While I waited for the list, I noticed the cat in the corner, performing her catly function of repeatedly barfing. I considered getting up to clean it, but then thought it best to wait for another round because there is nothing worse than cleaning up the cat barf and then having to do it all again once you realize she wasn't finished. 

The list arrived, and I decided to print it so that I wouldn't have to scroll and delete and could just scratch out names with a pen as I finished notes. Here is what happened next:

Printer: The printer is out of order. (Prints)
Self: Huh?
Printer: Please replace toner cartridge. (Spews toner out front)
Self: (Covered in toner) But. . .
Printer: Please load paper in tray 2. Please load paper in tray 1. (Starts pushing many sheets of paper out very quickly, each with one character on a random location of page, so cannot be used again)
Self: You never print this fast when I want you to.
Printer: Memory failure. (Lights flashing)
Self: I don't understand. I didn't even touch you!
Printer clunks and wheezes pitifully, then turns off. Self leaves room and decides it is better to scroll through list on phone than print it.

As I left the room, I stepped in cat barf and noticed that, down the hall, the cat (white) was performing her second catly function of rolling all over B's suit jacket (black). I yelled at her, and she leapt into the closet, using her claws to rip little holes in the suit jacket. Then she went to the far back of the closet and started puking there. I would like to say I was heroic and got her out, cleaned all the puke, and took B's jacket to be mended. Instead I just shut the damn door. What do you want, people? Mother Theresa? 

I decided to go out on the balcony to write my thank you notes, where the cat wasn't allowed. Of course, she was shut in the closet, but I felt I needed a double barrier. The minute I stepped outside this dude who rides a Harley with no muffler started doing laps around the little neighborhood square I live on. I do not know why a Hell's Angel would want to live in a suburban neighborhood full of perfect, pansy-assed landscaping and straight-laced, suv-driving dorks, but he lives here. Maybe he moved in because he hates us and took out his muffler to piss us off. I think it is an illegal level of noise, but I don't call the police because I don't want to have my fingers chopped off. Anyway, his laps around the little square were deafening, and as usual he didn't seem to be going anywhere, but instead was just doing laps, like exercise or something. 

I thought I would put on some music to drown out the motorcycle. This only led to more headache because I couldn't get my speaker to pair with my phone. It loves to pair--pairs indiscriminately. But it doesn't like to be faithful. It had unpaired with my phone to pair with B's laptop, Kris' phone, the downstairs neighbor's iPad. Anything but my phone! Please note--it had been a week since Kris had his phone anywhere near my speaker, and yet it was still pining away for his dumb phone. Why couldn't it remember my phone like that? Because my speaker is a slut, and not of the ethical variety.

I couldn't deal and went back inside, where I spied six more piles of cat barf, considered a brief drug excursion, and realized I hadn't enough time. By then, B was walking in the door with Ari, asking how the thank you notes were coming. I think I may have burst into tears or something because the next thing I know, Ari and I were cuddling in front of the tv eating chips, and B had fixed the printer, appropriately paired my speaker, cleaned up all the barf, gotten the dude on the Harley to leave (She negotiates for a living.), and was writing thank you notes. She finished in one hour and didn't even dare to say "what was so hard about this?" Because she just got lucky, and she knows it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

After Party

I went to a barbecue recently, and it was nice, but the fun really started when B, our house-guest, Aram, and I came back and put Ari to bed. When I say that Aram was our house-guest, I mean simply that he was staying overnight in our house. He does not play ping pong. Well, I mean, I think he plays Ping Pong. I certainly hope he plays Ping Pong. We all need Ping Pong! But Aram doesn't play Ping Pong with me. Of course we talk about Ping Pong, in the way all good friends do. But we don't play Ping Pong with each other because that would just be weird.

Now that that's cleared up: we had a barbecue after party, which, like all the best after parties, included guests who did not attend the original party. It did not include Ping Pong. Nevertheless, it was fantastic. Ari was put to bed. Casey (House-guest who does play Ping Pong with me, but did not, on this particular evening, do so) and her husband Kris came over. We drank and talked and stood and sat on the beautiful porch in the beautiful night and listened to beautiful music. I related several stories about squirrels, pigeons, and other pests. Other people told other stories. And then sometimes we were silent, gazing drunkenly into the night, thinking, most likely, about Ping Pong. I told Aram to leave me his shirt when he left in the morning, because I liked it very much, and he did

What (H)house-guest did this?

When he got up the next morning, Ari noticed the light was dangling from the ceiling in a rather unusual way. He said, "Mommy, look! What happened?" What happened, indeed. Here is what happened, bitches: I had A Throw Down After Party. I then got up at 7:00 am with my child and managed to be civil to him and feed him breakfast. And then! I fixed the light, washed Aram's shirt, and wore it--well. All without coffee, before 9:00 am, on the morning after My Throw Down After Party. Because I'm a damn superstar, thank you very much.

The end.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Knocking Shit Over

There is a special kind of hate one saves for oneself. Mine starts like this: I go into the bathroom to apply a product to self -- hair gel or something. This should be simple enough, for someone who's pretty graceful and not even drunk. But I reach down toward the gel bottle and miss because I'm not paying attention or because I'm so tired I close my eyes for a second and am like, sleep-primping. My hand has suddenly grown into an enormous, mallet-like appendage, and I knock over the big bottle of mouth wash, which I don't know why we own, since no one ever uses it. It's so big it takes up almost the entire home--extending beyond the bathroom somehow, at least in concept. The mouthwash falls and knocks over the perfume bottle and 29 other things, since it is so gargantuan. Then, as I try to pick these up, I knock over the 38 small samples B and I keep because we're product whores. Our WHOLE ENTIRE Sephora stockpile goes skittering all over the counter and floor, making a shit-ass bunch of noise, and knocking other stuff over, too. By now I have a headache, so I open the medicine cabinet, and when I grab the Tylenol my pinkie grazes the shelf, and because medicine cabinet manufacturers are masters of Precarious Shelf Creation, everything on all three shelves tumbles out.

The counter is now an empty plain where once there was bounty, and each item has landed in the worst possible place. The mascara managed to open itself (how? how??) and smear black on the white towels, even though they're on the other side of the room. The bleach pen has burst a hole in its container and is leaking onto the blue bath mat and also my shirt. Somehow both toothbrushes end up in the unflushed-to-conserve-water toilet, even though I swear to god the lid was closed, the tweezers are embedded in my thigh, and the Toxic, Poison mildew remover has exploded and splashed me in the face. (I don't know why the bleach pen is on the bathroom counter instead of, say, the laundry room. Sigh. A mystery.)

A product minefield

"Excuse me," I say to the stuff I've knocked over, because in addition to being a clumsy oaf, I somehow don't recall that beauty products do not understand English. So I continue talking. What can I say? I'm a communicator. "Stop. Falling. Over!" I tell the stuff as the clatter dies down. I am furious but whispering, since of course this type of thing only ever happens when we have people over -- normal ones who don't engage in such fool behavior as talking to products. And why am I sleep-primping in the middle of our social time? That, people, is another question, for another day.

After everything has fallen, I usually take a moment of stillness. Silence. Breathe. Etc. Also, must be still because there's broken glass all over the floor, and I'm barefoot. I decide the gel isn't worth it -- my hair is a wreck by now anyway, and it really doesn't matter, what with the tweezers stuck in my thigh, blood dripping down my leg, and the skin of my face smoking under the mildew remover. ER staff doesn't care about my hair--only tetanus shots. The best I can do is hope the side effect of this whole interlude will be my looking cutely disarrayed. After my little bathroom meditation, I bend over to pick up one item which I drop on the way up. Why? Momentary paralysis? Arthritis? Epileptic seizure? No. No reason at all. You know, like, just because. Then I attempt to shuffle toward the door, thinking I'll leave this whole mess while I'm still alive. I slip on a tube of lipstick and go hurtling, headfirst, into the toilet bowl. This does not help my headache at all!

By this time I'm not mad at the products anymore. I'm mad at self. So I do this thing I think everyone does. I start saying "moshum fetter shonish vu!" and that kind of thing. You may think I'm trying to speak to the products in their native language. However! I am attempting to say "#!!*%" which, loosely translated, means "omg, it's fucking unbelievable how much I suck!" I'm attempting to say this in English. Which products don't speak. Because I am a communicator. 

Do you hate me yet? I do. I mean, not only have I knocked enough shit over to frighten myself with the noise, but now I am talking to products and seem unable to pick up something and lift it two and a half feet without dropping it. I am concussed and bleeding and need a tetanus shot. And did I mention I'm not even drunk?

Hate, hate, hate.
The end.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sleep Over

Ari attended his first sleep over the other day, and I MISSED HIM SO MUCH!!!!! I don't normally see him in the night. We're sleeping! And I've spent many nights away from him since he was born, of course, but this was different somehow. He got home the next morning, and I couldn't stop kissing him. Meanwhile, he was happy to see me, too. He began to tell me all about his experiences, and I had trouble keeping up. Maybe you people can translate? Here is some approximation of what he said:

"Mommy, we watched the Star Wars movie, but just the part with the tie fighters. R2D2 and Darth Vader were in it together. Their tie fighter was the strongest!" (Darth Vader and R2D2 in the same ship made no sense to me, but I am no Star Wars expert.) "The tie fighters look like this." (Pause for demonstration.) "They fly like this!" (Demonstration #2) "And we ate pa-corn, but then we didn't eat it all. There were pancakes this morning for breakfast, and the grey one likes you to touch her, but the black one will claw you if you bother her." (Apparently we've moved on to cats?) "Ryan was sleeping, and I didn't spill too many on the floor." (Popcorn?) "I watched because I was in his room. I didn't sleep any at all!" (This is some kind of accomplishment, I guess.) "I wanted to go in the sprinkler again but it was too dark, so in the morning we were gonna go, but then the movie was scary, and I stayed awake all night and thought about tie fighters, and it was raining, so we couldn't. I wanted to go in the sprinkler. Darth Vader and R2D2's tie fighter was the best one. I wanted to go in the sprinkler, but I didn't wanna go alone in the dark. It was black!" (Black tie fighter? Do they have those? Black sprinkler? Black night? Black as metaphor? What is black here, little dude?) "I remembered to bring black puppy home, but I didn't like the pancakes." (Wait--what? I hope he wasn't rude about it!) "May I please have a g-anola bar? And, oh, mommy, I missed you so much!" (Pause for five year old body hurtling at me, arms outstretched, trusting me to provide a soft landing.)

Yes, child, you may have a granola bar. You may have everything I have to give you.