Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hey Blondie

I started growing my hair out this fall.

It was unintentional at first, I have had shorter hair for years. But my hair grows impossibly fast and I was bored with my cut and next thing you know it was just longer. And so I decided to see if I could wait it out.

Because my hair is difficult when short. But almost impossible long. It is thick and wavy and takes EONS to dry even with a blow dryer. I haven't had long hair since high school, when I had this all one length monster pyramid that weighed eighty-four thousand pounds. My hair was beautiful but not particularly flattering to me or my face. Just more pretty of it's own value.

I cut my hair shorter and I felt liberated. I had free time! My face looked better! Was a beauty miracle.

But am a fickle lass who is always wanting a change and growing it out a bit--I have now officially hit the medium to long category since it is at my shoulders--is the flavor of the month right now.

Odd thing is, I am getting REACTIONS from people about it.

Things I have learned by having longer hair (which admittedly is white blond so I am sure people deduct about eighty IQ automatically):

1. Boys like longer hair.

2. NO REALLY. I mean and I guess I knew that but I am not the kind of girl that causes a ruckus in front of a construction sight. However, my hair totally is that kind of girl. Also on the free way and from strange men on buses.

3. Women dig it too. It is like I get points for being friendlier than I am.

4. My husband, who always claimed that short hair is hot, really doesn't want me to cut it. I mean he would get over it. But there is much playing with my hair happening right now. Is very very odd.

5. Except I like getting my hair played with. Who knew? Is relaxing.

6. People are really weird about the color. Men in particular want to know if it is natural. Which honestly, I always interpret as a "what color is your pubic hair?" kind of question. If women ask I figure they want to know who my colorist is but guys always seem to be fishing for if the collar and cuffs match**.

7. BOYS REALLY LIKE LONG HAIR. Am I dumb? I mean I knew this was a preference but GODDAMN.

8. People will think you are taller and thinner than you really are. This is the most awesome part frankly. Used to be that people thought I was about 5'7 (which is about right) now they always guess 5'9 (what I would like to be) and some one says to me, "have you lost weight?" nearly every day. This could mean that I looked short and fat before of course.

So nothing earth shattering. The attention is odd because I don't think I look that good honestly. My face looks a little wonky and my hair is just SO BIG. But everyone else is having such a good time I am toughing it out.

Is practically a community service.

**In a big overshare but GOD everyone I have ever been naked with has been fascinated by this. Blond people (at least in my experience) do not have pubic hair that exactly matches their hair. It matches more closely to the eyebrows. Which is usually a shade or two darker. This is why I always laugh when people think my hair is fake because my eyebrows are darker because most people that have the matching eyebrows are dying them. If everyone starts staring at my eyebrows it is going to FREAK ME OUT PUBIC HAIR IS NOT THAT INTERESTING.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Chatty Daddy

My father and I have had a strange relationship. One that has had periods of hero worship, times of anger and loathing, silence through most of the 1990's and now is chatty and loving and dare I jinx it? Like friends.

I am not sure how we are friends or even why. Other then a stubbornness that we share (among other unattractive traits) and how a few years ago we just silently DECIDED we were going to be friends.

And now we talk every day. Something that pisses my mother off because apparently once you are married for more than thirty years you don't talk anymore you just communicate silently with inflections of the head so they gossip through me. Which is awkward and inefficient but well . . .you just summed up my family.

My dad and I talk about anything and everything. He always calls with a story to tell me and it is usually during his commute or while he is at the drugstore or the like. I think that sort of multi-tasking appeals to his work ethic. And commuting is boring.

Some days we talk a couple of times, plus email. I don't know how this happens but I do know that when it does we get an impressive list of topics such as today's list:

1. Things that his dachshund Leon has eaten this week that he is not supposed to. Most of which were once touching one of my parents' ass (like underwear and pajama pants but also masking tape which if that touched anyone's ass I don't want to know even if they are wild and crazy empty nesters).

2. How even though they didn't get plumbing until very late (I believe the year 1960 was mentioned but . . .) his family still had a shower years before many of his aunts and uncles and how one in particular would bring all his kids over on Saturday nights to bathe.

3. How no one would ever buy my grandparents' house because there is no shower in the bathroom (it is in the basement pretty much just in the middle of the room). And how we know that when they die some one will just tear it down but we cannot talk about it or my dad will cry and goddamn we only cry about the dog.

4. That no matter what he wants to say Jamie Moyer is not the same as Greg Maddux. God my dad is a crackhead (we did not actually discuss a crack habit but CLEARLY).

5. How this is the best part of baseball season, because you haven't cried yet.

6. He lied to me about his bracket, but unintentionally. His is just as jacked as everyone else's except he picked Florida (but dude my sister went there so WHATEVER DAD).

7. That working for a non-profit really helps when you need the bank to stop bitching about how there is no money in your business' account. "But we are a school for special needs children" works much better than, "My bosses are rich white guys who are tight fisted in a sick and fucked up way."

8. That pergo really is just shit, looks like shit and wears like shit.

9. Excel is the root of and the cure for all evil.

10. He doesn't think I should keep kosher for Passover because I have been sick.

11. Except for chicken and matzo ball soup.

12. Not that he is telling me how to practice my religion that he doesn't know anything about. Even though he is. He means well. He is a dad.

13. Yes, we are still calling it Spring Dinner instead of EASTER.

14. No, I still want my damn bunny.

15. Meh, logic schmogic. I get a bunny!

16. Goddamn we talk a lot.

I guess my mom has reason to gripe. I think my father only gets about 700 words a day so if he calls me twice and talks to anyone in his office at all I think he can't even answer her when she asks how his day was.

I Promise This Is The Last Bit--At Lease Until Next Time

It was bothering me today so I am adding this update to the whole Big Love thing.

I don't really like the idea of polygamy. While I can understand in the abstract the appeal--having a more community-type family, shared childcare, shared housework--I cannot imagine that playing out in real life. My marriage is about partnership and about a shared vision for our future as a family (despite his idiocy about MY TV WATCHING) and I just don't get how that works in a family with multiple wives. Perhaps I am selfish in nature. But I don't think you can be partners with more than one person.

I also understand that social implications of polygamy. That the institution seems to breed some things that are troublesome for all. Families that have more children than they can afford. Young men who are abandoned or driven away so that they are not competition for wives. Young women forced into marriages to men older than their fathers. These are big issues that cascade through a whole society and while I am sure that many polygamists don't do such things. They exist and that has to be acknowledged.

All of that aside I hate the conversations about polygamy. For me, there is something wrong about me being all in some one's business about how they want their family to operate. I think marriage is between two people. But if those two people want to have three additional adults in their marriage without a legal benefit and everyone is over eighteen and consenting? Well, even if I don't want to live that way and I don't want my kids to live that way I just don't like people interfering legally.

My husband has suggested that women are instrinsically exploited by this, that they cannot make this decision for themselves. And I have heard that repeated time and again by well meaning people. But FUCK. I hate that. Because it means that a woman cannot make a choice that you do not understand, she doesn't know what she is doing. It infantilizes her and I think that is more exploitive than anything else. Basically marriage gets reduced to this--that the man gets a women to have sex with and wait on him and the women are desperate for love and affection. It is 2006. Is that what we really think marriage is?

People have sex out of marriage all the time. Marriage is not a sexual transaction. And I think the whole men want sex and women want love crap needs to retire. I imagine that every person in the world has a different set of needs in a marriage and that those needs cannot be described wholly in one word like that. It demeans us all to speak in those terms. If this was about how we don't want men to have sex with so many women than why are we not OUTRAGED like this about affairs? This isn't 100% about sex.

Again, I don't like polygamy. And I don't think that this show or gay marriage or anything else changes that. But I really hate that the media and religious leaders and apparently J think that we are too stupid as a society to see that.

Monday, March 27, 2006

We Are Just Sad If This Is What We Fight About

So J and I had a stupid fight about Big Love. Oh dear, let us not call it a fight, more of a loud and stupid disagreement. My darling husband saw fit to tell me that he thinks that show glamourizes polygamy and is degrading to women and OH WON'T YOU THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

It took me a while to figure out why on earth it was bugging me so much that he was harping on me about this damn show (besides the fact that he hadn't watched it at all) was that he was telling me what I should think and do and that makes me want to rip his face off. Perhaps I have issues with that? I just think that I am smart enough to not to want to run off and marry into a family with many many wives just because it is on HBO. Perhaps my OH SO WISE husband could grant me permission to make my own damn tv watching decisions.

Saying that this show makes polygamy look glamorous and wonderful is like saying that people got into oil ranching and shooting each other because of Dallas.

I am sure some one will email me to prove that there was a study and that sure did happen after Dallas was on the air and HI ANYABETH YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

Way to take his side.

At any rate, I enjoyed the show. Because the characters are very real to me, nobody seems particularly good or bad. They all feel human. And it is different and smart and what Desperate Housewives could have been if they weren't so stupid and fucking lazy with that show. In my view Big Love is basically a soap opera and blah blah J and I need to get over ourselves.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Something Is Just WRONG With That

J and I have never been ones to care about the yard. To call us gardeners would be such an insult to gardens everywhere my guess is that flowers would rebel by not blooming in protest. Our old house had a lawn service built into the HOA dues so all we had to do was keep the weeds in our tiny flower beds down.

I am sorry to say that we never even did that.

Before we sold the place it was a mad dash to kill off shoulder-high weeks and plant something that was er alive in their place. We laid down bark and soil and just tried to make it look like we did some maintence at all during the previous four years.

The new place has no HOA and no lawn service. In theory this means that we just have to mow the lawn as there is not much in the way of a garden. But we are a lazy pair and it took us the better part of an afternoon to sweep up all the pine needles (an entire yard waste bin full of just needles) and cut up the big pile of cardboard boxes that have been piled up outside our mudroom since we moved in. We are so lazy that some of that cardboard had been there since September.

Yes. It did smell just as lovely as you might think. Especially with all the rain and dog piss.

Aren't I lovely for claiming other people are trash?

It is all gone now and frankly I am starting to think that my dad was right all along. That it is easier if you don't let it get so bad.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Home Sweet Home

I am not lying when I say that I live in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. I hesitate to even post such a photo, because I curse every positive media moment that this area gets as you can here the millions of Californians moving here each time it happens, but I don't think people are going to flood the neighborhood because of one photo.

I won't post another though, just in case.

At the bottom of the hill you can see the train yard. J loves the noise from that yard beyond reason. I think it has something to do with boyhood fantasies of riding the railroad--either that or adult fantasies of escaping life with me. But what other people see as a negative about our neighborhood has really become a positive. We don't have the endless chirping of frogs outside anymore, we have the endless bell ringing of a huge network of trains. I really love it when they drop a car and you can almost hear the silent MOTHERFUCKER hanging in the air.

I feel so at home when people say motherfucker.

I hate my commute. I mean, I do it by bus and train so it isn't so bad but those are hours of my life that I spend trying not to smell the guy in front of me instead of watching Cheerleader Nation and that is just no way to live. But that is what I come home to each night.

Now imagine the crashing of tons of steel hitting cement and unionized workers cursing in ways that would curl your hair.

Feels like home doesn't it?

Slow Start

It is funny how it is the little details you start skipping when you get sick. No eyeliner, maybe a ponytail instead of straightening your hair--then you feel worse so you stop wearing heels and maybe you don't moisturize for a week. You don't do the dishes and you don't make the bed. Next thing you know it is working on two weeks and your husband is humping your leg and whining BUT BABY.

And when you are napping on the toilet at work (what? don't you do that) you notice that it has been QUITE a while since you did any landscaping of the bikini line. But I suppose the bikini line is a signal that business is as usual and given the fact that I barfed up a lung today just trying to make it to noon business is not usual.

I did shave a bit though, because when your bikini line hits mid thigh you have let it go too long.

I was doing so well and maybe I got cocky. I still cough like I am in the late stages of emphysema but I felt pretty good. We even went to our class last night. I mean I almost passed out have way through but Christ, I hadn't been up past seven in a week. But today was bad. Bad in a way that I am just going to pretend didn't even happen. Instead, I am partying because Big Baby won! And I cried. And baseball starts in two weeks. And Peter Gammons made me cry about that. And because I truly LOVE my electric water kettle. But not enough to cry.

I didn't say it was a wild party. Starting slow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cheerleaders Kick . . .

As some one who has watched Bring It On way too many times it shouldn't shock me that I am hopelessly in love with Cheerleader Nation.

Economically advantage spoiled southern girls who cheerlead and break curfew, what is not to love?

Actually, considering they are all in high school I just love all these girls and find them adorable. Yes, they are bratty about curfew and I just want to shake that Chelsea when she brats at her mother. But that is the age and I call my mother weekly to apologize for being an asshole as a teen so they can do it too. It is just oddly compelling to watch.

I personally love the football loving dad who has no boys and so is maybe a little too into his daughter's cheerleading. I want to adopt him and his adorable, "they work just as hard as football players" self.

Of course J sprained his eyeball rolling his shit at me for watching it today so . . .just another reason to hit subscribe on the Ti-Faux.

Monday, March 20, 2006

But He Really Does Have Tiny Hands

Even though it is not even seven pm and first graders are still playing outside I am settling into bed for the night. This virus has taken my stamina and hocked it out like a gooey loogie. At two this afternoon I was totally wiped out, though I did fake my way through a couple more hours.

I think the combination of sickness and medicine made me really punchy because on the way home I could not stop staring at this woman. She was a very large woman, tall and with broad shoulders. And wearing GIANT cowboy boots. Actually, many things about her made me double check to make sure that she really was a woman, not that it should matter one way or the other. I finally checked her hands, and they were small enough that I was reasonably sure.

Then I started thinking about how my dad would be a good cross dresser. Because he has tiny hands and feet and incredibly thick hair.

Of all the things this virus has taken from me, the innocence of never imagining my father as a woman is what I think I will miss the most.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Any Day Now

Y'all. My concept of God doesn't really allow asking for things. I don't really see God as a Santa Claus who answers the letters of good little girls and boys. But I broke my own philosophy this week because I KNOW I prayed for death at some point Thursday. I reached a low point of vomiting up mucus. I didn't stop coughing for four days straight.

Today is a bit better. I went and got a pedicure with my mom this afternoon. Of course I am now totally wiped out.

I'm sorry for being so pitiful. I should be back to normal any day now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Virus That Is Trying To Make Me Crash My Car

This morning I was driving into work (because of an elaborate and now feeling fool-hardy plan to go to work and go to the doctor) I did the Grossest Thing I Have Ever Done.

I do not hand out that title lightly folks. I have done many gross things, things like fishing my cell phone out a vomit-filled toilet. Things that you just do not talk about in mixed company.

But today I was driving and I suddenly could NOT BREATHE. Breathing is important y'all, I think we can all agree. I was having many thoughts about not breathing. Thoughts like DUDE I NEED AIR but also about how I was going to crash my car, killing myself and others and causing the mother of all traffic jams. I figured out that I was choking on a loogie and so I picked up a cup and hocked everything in my soul into it.

A loogie the exact size, shape, color and consistency of a EXTRA LARGE EGG YOLK came flying out of my throat. Streaked with blood.

And I am gross enough to admit that cup is still in my car because I am not well enough to deal with the fucking cup.

That was just the start of my day y'all. The crux of the matter is that I am not dying (excellent), I will continue to feel like shit for an indeterminate number of days (not excellent), I do not have mono or strep (really excellent). I have the shakes very bad and am coughing and hacking and in my own fool-hardy way considering going to work tomorrow (see I am filling in for some one on leave and doing her job and my job plus I was out for a conference for three days last week and missing even a couple of hours feels like DEATH to me right now).

If you need me I will be under the influence of strong pain killers and cuddling my prescription inhaler. My dogs will be poking me to check if I am still alive.

Perhaps they will update here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rooster Says Shut Up

Rooster says I need to stop being such a fucking baby.

Rooster says fevers of over a hundred are no big deal. Rooster says stop whimpering about your damn hand, Lady, because CHRIST.

On the bright side, I have scared the shit of this cat with my deep manly voice and fluid cough. I feel like hammered ass which should be obvious since the main pleasure of my day has been upsetting the damn cat. J just took a trip to the drugstore for tea and many drugs and I am wondering if I will make it past seven tonight.

Sometimes I really miss having an immune system. Pretty much every cold and flu season.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Seven Days

Buster had a long day today.


There was sun. And running. A walk to the park that involved sniffing every blade of grass that has ever been peed on in the distinguished history of grass-peeing. There was stuffed gorilla asses that needed kicking. There were birds that had to be barked at DON'T THEY KNOW THEY CAN'T JUST FLY BY WINDOWS MY GOD IT IS ANARCHY!

Buster is tired. And looks a little hungover really. Just in that one eye but really he promises he did not just smoke a giant doobie.

Quit looking at Buster. He does not know where you can get weed.

Buster is resting up for next Sunday.

Graceful As Always

Today has been a learning experience for me. I've been learning exactly how many things I do with my left hand during a day. Things like shampooing my hair, drying my hair, holding wine at Trader Joe's, buttoning my pants. Things that are extremely painful to do when you managed to fuck the hell out of your hand falling up cement stairs and jamming it into a metal railing.

Yeah. It is possible to fall up stairs.

The stairs leading to our cellar are uneven--being built in 1916 and all. And I am. . .not the most graceful. So I took a plotz over my own damn feet, jammed the railing into the web of my head between my thumb and pointer finger. That part of my palm is now enormous and purple. And hurts like a mother fucker.

I can't really grip anything. Can't quite hold anything with any authority. And so I wailed through my shower, trying to shampoo without pressing anything into my palm. I walked around town with wet and stringy hair today because I couldn't begin to face drying my hair.

I can tell working this week is going to be an adventure.

Friday, March 10, 2006

But Really It Doesn't Hurt

I have figure out that acupuncture squicks some people out but good. I have to admit, I do sometimes chuckle maniacally when I realize that I actually pay a women to jam 30-40 needles into my body once a week. But I am pretty open-minded about body work so it doesn't freak me out (except that one time she put one between my eyeballs and I almost DIED).

People ask about pain--it usually doesn't hurt. And they ask about blood. And I had never bled.

Except this week.

I usually have about ten needles in my ears (around the cartilidge--she isn't piercing my ears or anything). They are the only ones that ever really hurt, mainly because she has to use a larger needle to get it to stay in the harder tissue. And she will clean out my ear after she removes the needle because there might be a pinprick of blood.

Well this week I guess we skipped that step because back at my desk, at least an hour after my appointment with my hair up and away from my ears I scratched the cartilidge and came out with a finger full of gore.

Both my ears were just coated in dried blood. After I cleaned it all up I starting thinking about what the hell everyone I had seen for the past hour must of thought. I mean MY GOD I had dried blood just EVERYWHERE.

Just wrapping up the week re-enforcing that professional image I have been trying to cultivate.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Maybe Another Week?

I went to the acupuncturist today and she was like, "You are so positive!" And I was.

I am.

I feel so good today, despite a cold that is making me feel a little like my face is re-melting, that I wasn't even pissed off that she suggested that I am usually less than sunny.

I am not sure why I feel this way. I have spent most of the week in a big meeting at work that I was dreading but actually loved. And I think I wasn't the only one to drink the Kool-Aide because everyone in my group is so chipper and motivated. Perhaps they had amazing drugs hidden in those pastries they were feeding us every five minutes.

I feel relaxed. I feel asleep with thirty needles in my face today and it was the best nap I have had in ages. I feel like what we are doing is working. Progress is being made everywhere.

I don't know how long this feeling will last but I am savoring it like the opening bars of Islands In The Stream.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

To Go Or Not To Go

A couple of weeks ago I got a postcard announcing my tenth high school reunion is coming up this summer. I threw it in my purse and tried to pretend that it hadn't come.

Because I don't know if I want to go or not.

I didn't have a bad high school experience. I was neither popular or unpopular. I had friends and activities and had as good a time as is possible without becoming one of those sickos that really LIKED high school. I wasn't scarred by the whole ordeal but I am not sure how I real feel about the whole thing.

I haven't maintained friendships with anyone from high school. I haven't seen anyone for at least seven years. I can't actually think of a reason that I should go but then again I can't really think of a reason that I shouldn't.

How DECISIVE of me huh?

It seems like people go to reunions because they want to see other people all fat and old. Or to prove that their lives are better than their former classmates. I am quite sure that some people I went to school with are fat. I am sure that some of them have failed to do the things they wanted to. I am sure others are beautiful and successful. I think when I was eighteen I might have really enjoyed seeing a fat cheerleader or too. And I do have a job that would impress some people (stupid people but STILL). None of that feels very important though. I suppose that is being an adult (LAME).

So I am torn on the whole thing. I have nothing to prove to anyone and nothing I want some one to prove to me. The only reason to go is to possible see people I may miss without even realizing it.

And to show of my awesomely hot husband of course.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Loose Ends

So I have a stop gap solution to the creep bus fucker situation (since driving is not an option and shit I am not staying at work an extra half an hour). A lovely gentleman (who totally looks like my third grade math teacher but obviously isn't what with the whole three thousand miles away and hasn't aged a bit in twenty years thing) who rides my bus to and from every day stopped me at the stop in the morning and said, "I don't like what he did."

Just simple. Direct. I told him the whole thing, how I didn't know the guy, how he was creeping me out and he says, "Sit with me. Every day. He can't bother you if he can't sit by you."

So hooray for not-my-third-grade-teacher man! You are divine!

It does make me a little depressed with myself that I had to be all woe to me I need a MAN TO HELP me about this situation. And I don't. But seriously, anything that removes the idea of physical confrontation even further away from a possibility is good with me.

And to deal with my mini-breakdown of the other night I have decided that I am doing my hair and fucking wearing lip gloss EVERY DAY to help with the I feel like a hag thing. We are talking business plans and bullshitting about things that will not happen for a real long time to deal with the what am I doing with my life thing. And I am considering spending a hunk of my bonus on a fun object to deal with the somebody get this woman a fucking hobby so she won't lose her shit all the time thing.

Exciting no? And so specific!