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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

I am from Richmond, Virginia (RVA if you're nasty), but the majority of my family is not. My mother's side of the family hails from the small town of Rocky Mount, VA where the sweet tea and unending love for Bill O'Reilly is abundant. I couldn't even find a map that has the Rocky Mount on it, so you'll have to trust me when I say it's here-ish:

My grandmother (85!) and ancient aunt (94!) both reside in Rocky Mount, so for holidays the family makes the trek to go visit. I hate this place. I mean, I hate it with every microcell in my body. I'm sure that if I could look at the place objectively, I would see that it's a lovely small town populated by equally lovely people, but when I visit Rocky Mount all I see are my relatives who are old, frail shells of their former selves. Before she lived in a nursing home, my aunt used to harvest produce from the family farm and give relatives homemade canned preserves for Christmas. Today she sits in a hospital bed all day and constantly asks when her husband (whose been dead for 8 years now) is coming back home. When I visit Rocky Mount, it's a constant reminder that I can't change these people's situations, no matter how much I want to and that I will never ever be able to alter the fact that growing old and slowly losing all of your bodily functions frankly is "a load of horse shit" as my father once said.

This Thanksgiving I spent a good portion of my time hanging out with my ancient aunt who has basically lost four out of five of her senses and asked me last week if I had any idea how much more comfortable it is to urinate in your bed rather than to go to the restroom. In my mind, Thanksgiving, or at least part of Thanksgiving, should be spent in a nursing home. Nothing - let me repeat that, NOTHING - will make you more thankful for being alive than spending time with an incontinent old woman. In fact, nothing will make you want to blast the Sex Pistols and dance ferociously and make love to the first good looking stranger that walks by more than spending time in a home specifically designed for people who are anxiously hoping for a quiet death.

After wiping rectums (plural! fantastic!), plucking facial whiskers, and flushing crusty eyes for four days, I came home last Saturday, took the hottest luxury bath* of my life, put on a skirt that was once deemed "just a smidge inappropriate" by a manager at Bath and Body Works, and went to a party where the vanilla rum and double dutch-themed dancing flowed like water. I spent the night laughing with these people:

and playing the Nintendo Wii (Awesometown!) while semi-intoxicated and doing many of the things one is supposed to do before you hit the nursing home days. It's been a long time since I felt that grateful to be alive. I hope your Thanksgiving was equally fantastic.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

For Liberty!

Last night I had a dream that I wrote a screenplay about someone who went back in time on a mission to gather up several key former U.S. presidents in order to form an army of the most important leaders in American history to fight a plague of ultravampires that were destroying the nation. I don't remember who all made the cut, but I do know that Washington, Lincoln, Zachery Taylor, James K. Polk, and Chester A. Arthur - who the Presidents kept referring to as Chester A. Asskicker - all were prominently featured. In the dream, there was a scene that looked almost exactly like this:

except in addition to fighter planes, there were also covered wagons with tank-like guns attached and Christopher Columbus-style boats with gernades on the sides and old school canons loaded with missiles (Abraham Lincoln was definitely firing one of these, top hat and all). Every time they fired on the vampire plague, the Presidents would should "FOR LIBERTY!" At the end, there was some sort of American flag with vampire blood falling in the shape of its stripes. I woke up wanting to go see that movie so badly it hurt inside.

Happy Thanksgiving America.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Do You Love Parentheses? Have I Got A Post For You.

Last night I went to a coffee shop (like all the cool kids with red-hot Saturday night plans) and just as I sat down with my tragically hip laptop (the weapon of choice for all the cool kids with red-hot Saturday night plans), I noticed a somewhat cute boy sitting at a computer a few feet away. Trying to play it all cool, I bought a cup of tea, sat down at the largest and most important-looking table I could find (the Champagne Room of this coffee house), flipped open my laptop, and just as I was about to pretend to be preoccupied with VERY important work that could probably ruin nations, I went to cross my legs and actually kicked an entire cup of hot tea over. Dropping something is one thing. If executed correctly, it can even be played off as charmingly clutzy, but to kick something over...like with your leg...as in the way Chuck Norris handles most matters...especially while trying to execute a feminine leg-cross...is inexcusably embarassing. You may as well wear a helmet around along with a sign that says "FINE MOTOR SKILLS NEVER FULLY DEVELOPED...APPROACH WITH CAUTION."

Red-faced and covered in tea (the sexiest way one can be), I scrambled to sop tea from my face, sweater, trendier-than-thou scarf, couch, table, floor, laptop, and finally from the random anatomy books sitting on the end of my table. Wanting to fess up to whoever owned the anatomy books that they had been soaked as a result of an overzealous leg cross, I went to the cashier and started apologizing to her. She informed me that the books were not hers, but in fact belonged to the cute kid at the computer and I felt my face go from red to marroon to that sickly color of bruised purple that pre-zombies get just before they become full-fledged zombies. Exhibited here:

I took the soaking books up to the guy and I didn't really know what to say, so I just sputtered, "Hi, I was sitting at that table back there and I accidentally spilled my tea and unfortunately your books were kind of collateral damage. I tried to dry them as best I could, but if you want me to buy you new anatomy books or...ummm...[ridiculously long pause here]...a cup of coffee! [to be said in a voice that would indicate that you just invented coffee two minutes prior]...or...[long pause]...a pony! or whatever else would make this situation better, I would be happy to do so."

And then there was silence. A really really long silence, in fact, before the guy finally said, "I don't want a pony. I want you to give me my anatomy books," at which point I realized that I was actually gripping the wet books as if trying to squeeze the information from the pages into my fists. I gave him the books back and started to say "Is there anything I can..." before being cut off by a resounding "NO!" I started to back away, but not before finishing off this ridiculously smooth encounter by saying "Um...ok...well...if you think of anything, I'll be in the back" and then pointing to the back of room as if he had no idea what the word "back" meant and completing the encounter with the piece de la resistance - double finger guns - demonstrated in one-handed, thumb-retracted form by Jesus Christ here:

Sidenote: The picture below was also found while searching "Jesus, Finger Guns"...don't say I never gave you anything:

In retrospect, it didn't even make sense to tell the guy that I would be in the back since immediately after giving the finger guns (see above), I packed up my things at lightening speed and left. What's the word for that feeling you get when you find a picture of a bearded man doing a split on the wall of what looks like a motel where you might find a dead hooker and you KNOW, from the bottom of your heart, that this guy, in all of his flexible, Jesus-resembling glory, is definitely less awkward you? Oh yeah, pathetic.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Today I found this book:

If I wrote that book, it would be called 'Health Care Job Explosion (All Over Your Face).'

Friday, November 10, 2006

Congratulations John and Megan.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My state is dumb, but this is coming from someone who saw Saw last night and stayed awake until 6AM because she was afraid of serial killers. This is the pot calling the kettle black...or just dumb.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote Today

Or you'll feel like this:

This public service message brought to you by the state of virginia.

Come Here Often?

Today while hanging out in my neighborhood dog park, a boy approached me and used the line "So...come here often?" Lacking all of the following:

* Social skillz
* The ability to maintain a straight face when people say lame things
* Fashion sense

I had no idea how to answer. After an inappropriately long pause, I said, "Um...well...I come here when my dog needs to run around I guess. [long, long silent pause here] I don't have a back yard, so I come here as often as not having a back yard necessitates..."

At this point, I'm way nervous that I've used the word 'necessitates' but instead of stopping while I only sound sort of like a nerd, I just keep going:

"I mean, I don't know, I come here in direct proportion to the exercise needs of my dog."

Jesus Christ on a bike! The only way this answer could be more awkward, verbose, or scream YOU ARE DEALING WITH SOMEONE WHO IS RECENTLY SINGLE AND HAS NO IDEA HOW TO INTERACT WITH BOYS OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER!!!! would be if I had actually pulled out a calculator and graphed the answer for him. You can see from these line graphs that dog park frequentage correlates directly with pet energy level.

After I answered, we sat in a very uncomfortable ten minute silence until I took my dog and my silver-tongued charm home. This is what it feels like to sit at the catsup-eating, D&D-playing lunch table of life.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hellfire and Brimstone

I was 7 years old the first time I ever began to question my church-one-Sunday-a-month Baptist upbringing. I was sitting in a Sunday school classroom and my teacher, whose name I cannot remember but whose high-waisted, elastic-banded, polyester-denim blend pants that started at the EXACT point where her breasts stopped still haunt my nightmares, told me the following:

"You can have many nice Jewish friends, but they will NOT! get into heaven."

What sticks out in my mind is how she said NOT! As if there was someone standing by the pearly gates whose sole job it was to give Jews the OH NO YOU DID-NT head bob and accompanying 'talk to the hand' gesture of rejection. I grew up in suburban Virginia. I didn't know many Jewish people or really many religious or ethnic minorities for that matter. The first boy I ever kissed was a Southern Baptist and I remember wondering if God would be against plain vanilla Baptists and new and improved Southern Baptists "shackin up" (as my grandmother calls it) because, you know, they're so different and all.

The one Jewish girl I knew growing up was pretty kickass since she would routinely lend me pencils and not rat me out for buying erasers from our school store, covering them in my mom's lipstick, and selling them back to children as "magical amulets." I liked that kid (apparently not enough to remember her name though) and when I heard word that she would NOT! be getting into the land of milk and honey (mmmm honey), I remember thinking "yeah, I don't buy it." Up to this day, the mention of hellfire and brimstone* sends me into a Mr. Hyde-like rage, mainly because I don't think that Christianity was ever intended to be a religion founded on threats. This past weekend, Hawkeye Leah found a comic book on the subway. The story is about three friends, pictured here along with a slight cameo from my thumb:

Without even reading the comic, you automatically know something bad is going to happen to the kid on the right for no reason other than he's wearing a sweater that makes him look like a tool. NO good has ever come to a man in a sweater his mom made. Ever. You can write that rule down. Something bad does happen - the kid gets killed in a car wreck - but the worst part is that he refused to repent his sins:

You can't see it because I'm an inept photographer, but the man on the right, you know, the one with a full beard who you just know has a stockpile of hash and listens to Slayer actually has a satan tattoo on his arm. I don't think you have to be religious or spiritual in any way to know that your high school kid probably shouldn't hang out with satan tattooed-people 10 years older than him who probably smell like Penzoil and make amateur porn in their basement. Anyway, in her mourning, Timmy's mom does take the time to explain, calmly I might add, that yes, her son actually is in hell [she's speaking from the right].

The story concludes with everyone merrily repenting and learning a little bit about life (and about themselves!)

And I'll never forget you, propaganda-laden New York subway comic. I think we've all learned something today.






*Riddle me this - Why has no metal band used 'fire and brimstone' as their name or at least an album name? Asleep at the wheel people.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Warning: Contains the Word 'Butthole' and an Accompanying Story

Halloween is one of, if not The, best holidays ever. There's no gift-giving, no religious connotation, no bizarre rules about what may or may not be done in school, no scurrying to fix up your house for relatives who don't really know you all that well, no stress over what to cook for dinner, and for me, it's the only holiday where I don't have to worry about how my family will start shit with each other. Halloween is the only time of year when it's perfectly ok to be weird and creepy and maybe even a little awkward, three things I do extremely well. The best place to be on Halloween, hands down, is New York City. This is a city built on a bedrock of freaks and Halloween is their time to step into the light.

Last Halloween was hard to top, so this Halloween I headed to The Big Apple to visit Leah, the only other person I know that appreciates the freaks as much as I do. For me, the highlight of Halloween which was dressing up like Batgirl, meeting 10 or so pun-savvy people, two of whom are featured here (photo stolen from here):

You can't really tell from the picture, but these kids were dressed as A Salt and Battery...genius?

and heading to a party where the DJ was not afraid to let the people know that "we love the bitches." You, DJ man, are a gentleman and a scholar. The definite low point of the evening was when a girl (ironically dressed as a naughty nurse) got pushed into me and accidentally shoved her knee into my ass...and not the cheeks if you know what I mean. I don't know if you've ever had a knee shoved into your butthole, but if you have, I don't have to tell you that it hurts. I mean it really really hurts, like pain will shoot from your rear end to your skull and you'll be sore for a couple of days, not minutes. The worst part of having an unwelcomed backdoor guest is that it's not really an injury you can admit to people or complain about to your friends, you just have to sit to one side all the time and pretend like you're hung over and not sore to the point of tears. Just thinking about it gives me the post-knee-in-butthole (P.K.I.B.) shivers. The worst kind of shivers!

Other things that gave me the shivers (but thankfully not of the P.K.I.B. variety) on Halloween included a ridiculously mean bartender (who apparently is bartender of the month because she's "so happy all the time." Maybe by 'happy' they mean "bloated, venomous, and permascowled" because seriously she was Viola Swamp-level mean) and a sweaty drunk guy in lederhosen who was perpetually looking for the drunkest girl in the room to make out with. This guy was aiming for women that couldn't walk on their own, remember their own name, or keep the contents of their stomach to themselves...awesome. Mother warned me about boys like this.

By and large, the scariest thing I saw on Halloween, the only thing that frightened me more than the naughty nurse and her unorthodox way of pushing through a crowd, was this:

but I'm saving that story for tomorrow. For tonight I have a mountain of work to do to make up for living the rock star life this weekend. Hope your Halloween was as spooktacular as mine.