Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I got a cork board yesterday to hang above my desk, and as I was checking out the seventeen year old girl scanning my stuff said, "Oh I just got one of these for my desk!"

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, I tacked up pictures of the cast of The Wire."

"The Wire? You watch that?"

"Yeah! Omar is my favorite."

"The gay gangster?"

(long pause as she stares at me in shock) "He's gay?"

"Shouldn't you have pictures of Zac Efron up? Cause that's what's going on mine."

"He's really gay . . . wait, Zac Efron? How old are you?"

"That's not important."

"You're like twenty years older than him right?"

(**complete silence as I stare her down willing myself not to scream I AM NOT IN MY FORTIES!**)

"Omar is gay and you're too young to watch that show."

"You're too old to like Zac Efron."

"You're too sassy to be a register girl."

"We're called cashiers!"

"I'm called 29!"

I actually liked her a lot after that. She was sassy, but she was fun. And we have the same cork board, so there's that.

Getting the cork board up by myself - not so fun. Turns out it's a lot harder than it seems, and I was pretty sure it was going to take all of two minutes and then I could start tacking things with wild abandon. Not so much. I documented the process to keep from crying every time it fell.

First attempt:

The sucker swung like that for a good five minutes, knocking everything off my desk, breaking a picture frame, but apparently not fazing James in the least.

Second attempt:
It fell on my toes and I have no photo of that as I was probably cursing more than my mom at a holiday party.

Third attempt:

At least this time it fell straight down and took nothing with it except a chunk of my wall.

Finally! Many hours later, I got the thing up and had a (much needed) glass of wine to celebrate! (That glow in the corner isn't a lamp, it's God shining on my handiwork with pride.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Disposable Razors Worked Just Fine

Walking back from the lake today I saw three (yeah - THREE) used condoms, strewn all out and about. Apparently summer is here and Chicagoans are taking advantage of the warmth and doing it. Outside.

Once at home, I settled in with a nice cup of hot tea. Just as good as doing it in the street - and by 'just as good' I mean, a stupid idea. It's 80 degrees outside! And probably hotter in what I'm now calling The Apartment That Hates Sheltering Me From Weather Or Letting Me Go A Single Night Without Hearing Mariah Carey Blasting From The Rehab Center Next Door. Anyway, tea was not my smartest move. Ice cubing my feet however, very smart. So, as I was leaning over to ice, I glanced at my arm and saw this long black hair, like way too long to be an arm hair on me, a man - yes, a monkey - sure, me when I was in sixth grade - absolutely (I had long dark hair until high school for some reason, it did not make my childhood any more pleasant I can tell you that, but it did lead to an odd period of shaving my arms, and then being grounded for several months because I refused to stop shaving my hairy monkey arms).

I freaked out for a minute until I realized I live with a cat and it had to be one of his hairs. But then I pulled at it and it didn't just come with me because it was stuck in my arm! It wasn't a cat hair, it was my hair and so I freaked out some more and followed it down to my skin, because I clearly I needed to see where this sucker was coming from. - I tried to remember if I used shaving cream when I shaved my arms, because clearly I was going to have to start it up again. I know for sure I once used shampoo and conditioner.

Anyway, I find that the thing is coming out of what looks like a mole! What?! GROSS. I deserve to be made fun of. You know who has stuff growing out of moles? Witches. And seventy year old men that smell like Old Spice. But then suddenly the mole came off in my hand and I'm like, "Oh great! Now my skin is just coming off in chunks and I am like a leper, or a G.I. Joe where you can detach things if you just manage to snap the rubber band that holds his legs on to his pelvis." But I look closer (because I'm still holding the thing for some reason) and I realize (thank god), it's not a mole . . . it's a piece of melted chocolate and one of James' hairs stuck to it! Yay! No arm shaving necessary! Freak out can stop!

However, I will be watching myself more closely when I eat because I'm pretty sure I had showered in between eating the chocolate and finding the hair thing. Unless James was eating it, in which case, I'm gonna have to find a new hiding spot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Took It Right Back Out Of The Trash Though - It's Really Good Tea

It turns out you can't boil water if there's no water in your pot. It also turns out I do not function very well without a nap. Apparently I'm like a very tall, very talkative three year-old.

Once I got the water in the pot I was standing near the stove reading the tea box and the fourth step in how to brew a cup of tea is "Steep for 5 minutes while contemplating your favorite internal mysteries." and I was like - well that's different. My internal mysteries. What's going on inside there. What is going on in there? Clearly my heart is beating, that's a good thing. Blood pumping, I'm pretty sure my muscles are mostly at rest, I'm a little hungry. I wonder what my pancreas is doing right now? But then I realized that seemed way too medical for a tea box, they must have meant internal mysteries like - who am I, really? On the inside. But that made me just want to throw the box in the trash because I do not need that kind of pressure from my warm drinks.

I gave the thing one last glance before chucking it and saw that it was not favorite internal, but was in fact, "contemplate you favorite eternal mysteries". Which I guess sorta makes more sense, sorta, but not enough. And I don't have any favorite eternal mysteries so I threw it away anyway for being weird.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Not Ever

I'm getting over a cold right now, and that mixing with the new spring time is making my sinuses hurt like a sonofabitch. This was my Mom's medical advice:

M: Get yourself a neti pot.
A: What?
M: A neti pot.
A: You get yourself a neti pot.
M: It works, you'll thank me.
A: What is it?
M: It a thing. . . it sort of looks like Aladdin's lantern
A: Keep talking.
M: Or sometimes it looks like a tea pot.
A: Ok, not as good but go on
M: And you put water in it with this little packet of salt. Or maybe its minerals. I'm not sure. It's a white packet of stuff with water. Mix it up, then you tilt your head to the side and pour it in one nostril-
A: What? No.
M: Then it comes out the other-
A: No, no, no.
M: Nostril. It clears everything-
A: No way.
M: Out and makes you feel-
A: No no no no no no no.
M: So much better.
A: . . .
M: . . .
A: I don't think so.
M: Trust me.
A: No, there's no way. . . I don't like it.
M: But don't forget to put the packet in other wise it hurts. It's a world of hurt. I was screaming so loud Eduardo thought I fell in the shower.
A: You have to do it in the shower?
M: It was like a sharp burning-
A: What is the packet again?
M: White stuff. Salt maybe? Like I said, I don't know.
A: Cocaine?
M: No honey.
A: Do you think that's why you didn't hurt? Because you're too high to notice?
M: No way, I saw someone doing it on TV.
A: If you saw someone jump off on a building on TV would you do that too?
M: You're ridiculous.
A: You're pouring stuff in and out of your nostrils!
A: . . .
M: Sometimes I do it even when I'm not having sinus trouble.
A: Ok. . .
M: I do.
A: I don't doubt it.

I just looked it up. And now I especially don't like it!

(the woman in the video looks like a robot. or a hostage. whatever it is, she does not make the whole process seem fun that's for sure.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Almost Mastered

I just turned in my thesis.

There was no explosion of banners swaying, or confetti falling, or brass band blowout like I had expected (in my head the band is the band from the 1962 movie The Music Man, and everyone is sort of sherbet orange-looking the way technicolor makes people in movies look like oompa loompas). The girl we're supposed to hand them in to wasn't there so I just dropped it in her box and then looked around smiling, hoping I could at least high five someone, but no one was around, and I kinda felt like when teachers used to post grades outside of their doors and you would go with your friend to check and you stand there surrounded by people running your finger down til you find your name, and then scan over to see it's not just a B, it's a B+, and you thought for sure you were going to get a D, and you turn around already mid-scream, "Chels, I got a B mother fucking plus!" and realize your friend is gone and you're screaming your grade right into the face of your professor who is waiting for you to move so he can unlock his room and get in there for office hours; and then you get all mad at your friend and say something irrational like, "Don't walk away from me when my back is turned to you", or something and she's all, "Uh, I told you I was gonna go stand by the vending machine", and then you're all, "Whatever," because you were embarrassed but you don't really want to ruin the good feelings you just had about passing so you ignore the fact she just made you look like a fool, and decide not telling her she has a leaf and part of a spider web in her hair will make things even, and you say, "I got a B+! Whoo!" and she high fives you and you're happy again.

Anyway, that's how I was feeling standing there with my thesis all turned in and no one around me. I turned back and stared at it for a moment, almost as if I was waiting for it to burst into flames. Or start to glitter. Something, anything, and then I would say, "Ah, this is it. This is what I've been waiting for. Two years of hard work, and sixty thousand dollars of debt, this thing better glow in the dark too."

After a while I realized nothing was really going to happen, so I gave my thesis a little love tap and walked down the hall. On the way out I passed by a man who was carrying a bucket of something and said, "I just turned in my thesis." Nothing. "For my master's."

Without stopping he said, "Oh well, I got a bucket of cream cheese I'm taking to the second floor."

"Well, congratulations!"

He did not like me.

At least he has a job. I just have lots of debt. Well, lots of debt and a thesis. And pretty soon I'm going to have a burger and a few pitchers of beer and that, THAT, is going to make it seem totally worth it.

Friday, May 01, 2009

He'd Be So Cute In Scrubs Too!

So I went to bed feeling a little under the weather and woke up with a sore throat and an achy feeling. I didn't think much of it until I remembered I just saw a friend of mine who saw a friend of his who has relatives who know where Mexico is and suddenly my throat started to swell up and I was sneezing all over the place. I'm not one to freak out about worldwide sickness panic, but then I also realized I had just eaten some bacon recently and I'm not an expert on how things travel, like if there's a blood brain barrier it has to cross over or something, but I didn't want to risk it. I called my mom to double check and just reassure me everything was going to be ok (which looking back on it was kinda stupid on my part considering this is a woman who would scream, "Do NOT get blood on my carpet!" at her children.)

"Hi honey."
"Hi Mom."
"Why do you sound like you've been drinking?"
"I think I have the swine flu."
"You do not have the swine flu."
"How do you know?"
"You don't even sound sick."
"You just said I sounding as if I'd been drinking."
"That's fun honey. Not sick. But you shouldn't be drinking so early."
"I'm not drinking I haven't even had breakfast. . . Do you think I should get a medical mask for James?"
"Oh no. If he's got it he's already a goner."
"Is there something you wanted to talk about, I'm late for my nail appointment."
"Nope. Just my impending doom."
"Ok, bye."

After that I did what I always do when I'm unsatisfied with her motherliness and called my sister.

"Hey Bub. I woke up sick. I think I have the swine flu."
"I'm sick too."
"Well, don't call mom for sympathy. She's getting her nails done."
"Why would you call mom for sympathy?!"
"I know."
"And she's not getting her nails done. I'm on the other line with her."
"I'm on the other-"
"Oh I heard you."
"Mom for sympathy **probably shaking her head at me**, that's rich."
"Sonofabitch, she's not getting her nail done?"
"Do you think I should get a medical mask for James?"
"Come on . . . if he's got it he's already a goner."
"Did she tell you to say that!"
"No, but she did tell me to see if you sounded drunk."
"I'm not drinking. I'm sick!"
"You sound swollen."
"What? What does that even . . . who sounds swollen?"
"Uh oh. Mom got cut off and now she's calling me back. I gotta take this."
"Fine. Tell her she can just hang up with me. She doesn't need to lie."
"You're not going to tell her are you?"
"Not on your life."

I called a few more people and no one thinks I have the swine flu, though a few people were kind enough to suggest the Avian flu and/or SARS. (Thanks Dad and Grandma!) I think I should still get some sort of protective gear for James just in case. I mean, I know he falls into my toilet a few times a week, and he's currently pouncing around in the parts of my wall that have fallen off on the floor, but still - you can never be to careful.