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Archive for the ‘OMG! and/or WTF?!’ Category

Spring has sprung in the Portland area. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, inexplicably pale people are sneezing and the “summer music” is back. It’s inescapable: blaring from the grocery store sound system, oozing from the speakers at the coffee shops and blasting from the radios of neighboring cars at stoplights, and, finally, making its final descent, back into the part of my brain where really bad music lives during the off-season (May-early September). Sheryl Crow, Bob Marley, Steve Miller, that Canadian who wants to ride a highway, all night long… Somebody, at some point, while high on something, decided that this would be the soundtrack of the American summer. I, for one, would like to say that I think a revote is in order. Hell, maybe even a revolt.

Here’s the trouble:

1. Sheryl Crow: In a word, she is whiny. By all means, soak up the sun. But please stop singing. Lance pedaled away from the whining, and so will I. (note to self: learn to ride bike)

2. Bob Marley: Been there, smoked that, hung a rug on the wall and pretended it was art, and now I’m a grown-up. Goodbye, Bob. Thanks for the memories (of needing to explain to one of your fans, yet again, that you did not die of “toe cancer.”)

3. Steve Miller: “I bought you a crate of papayas, they waited all night by your door.” Papayas are disgusting. Any friend of papaya is no friend of mine.

4. The Canadian who wants to ride a highway, all night long: no explanation needed

So, what do I actually want to listen to during The Warm Months? I’m not telling you. I’m weird like that when it comes to music everything.

Image

photo credit

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Do you ever find yourself in a public place, daydreaming about past disappointments and garlic bread, when suddenly a person appears before you where once there was none, your heart skips a beat, and you are certain that you are about to die? Yeah, me too. Often. Too often. And this experience is not relegated to dark alleys and public transportation terminals. In fact, I haven’t been in a dark alley or a public transportation terminal since the early 1990s. I’m talking about the grocery store. I’m talking about the library. I’m talking about the cheap burrito joint. Why are these predators after me, you ask? Who are these blood-hungry pillagers, hell-bent on slaying me where I stand? Well, I’ll tell you. They are demons in the most clever of disguises. They are children. Children whose parents lost their goddamned minds and bought them wheeled shoes.

The skull and crossbones really speak volumes…

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I feel that putting children in wheeled shoes should be considered an act of domestic terrorism and that the Department of Homeland Security should hand these parents their asses on a plate. And then confiscate the wheeled shoes, gather the villagers, and burn the shoes in a huge bonfire in the town square. Drinks and light appetizers should be served, but we can work out the details later.

The thing is, I like to keep tabs on all humans who are within my immediate area. I assess their ability to kill me, based upon a patent-pending formula of size, proximity, age and perceived physical limitations. Wheeled shoes fuck up my whole formula. Kids are quick. Kids are impulsive. Kids have never heard of “personal space.” Do we really need to up their already extraordinarily high chances of breaking the hips of the elderly? I say, let’s not. I say, let’s work together on this societal scourge that is wheeled shoes.

Parents of wheel-footed children, I have a proposal for you. You keep your horrifying precious sociopaths offspring in non-wheeled shoes when they are indoors, and I double dog swear that I will stop sending my kids to the library with nunchucks and throwing stars. Deal?

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Today, while looking at a variety of salad dressings at the supermarket, I had a very serious thought: “God, I wonder why Newman from Seinfeld has never made a porn and called it Newman’s Own.”  Immediately after this, I realized that I was losing my mind and decided that I should head home after checking out the after-Christmas sale candy at once.  I’m 35 and I have long-since given up hope that I will start thinking things that “normal 35-year-olds” think (Mortgages and matching my shoes to my handbag and retirement, oh my!).  I’m me and I’ll be damned if I don’t kinda like me.  If I weren’t me, I would seriously consider hanging out with me and I just don’t go hanging around with anybody everybody.

I hope that you all had a beautiful Christmas (and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a beautiful Day-That-Some-People-Pretend-Is-Jesus’-Birthday-So-That-They-Can-Eat-Too-Much-While-Exchanging-Gifts).  I had a wonderful holiday with my husband, my daughter, my mom and my new puppy (whose name is Buzz but whom I am currently calling The Artist Formerly Known as Satan).  More posts will be coming in the New Year (or so I claim).  My group of subscribers is small but you are some kick-ass folk.  I wouldn’t trade you for all the tea in China.  Thank you.

Now go and try to rid yourself of the image of Newman engaging in explicit sex acts.  I dare you.

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So, I just got a brand new pair of walking shoes and have decided to commit to taking a daily walk, weather permitting.  The main reason that this resolution is not a great, big, terrifying albatross around my neck is that I live in Oregon.  The weatherman predicts one more day of sunshine before we head into approximately 7 months of rain.  Perfect!  But in the meantime, my daughter and I have been taking a daily stroll along one of the walking trails near our home.  You know who else is taking daily strolls along this walking trail (besides the scary dude who chants to himself while clutching a plastic bag to his chest)?  An unreasonable number of couples who are walking hand-in-hand, that’s who.  I don’t get this phenomenon.  Why are they doing this?  Is one of them prone to dodging into traffic without notice?  Is one of them kidnapping the other?  Have they seen too many Meg Ryan movies?  Even these reasons are not good enough for me.

I like to have complete and total charge of my own appendages.  What if I trip?  Or worse, what if my husband trips?  I don’t need anybody dragging me down with them.  Gravel in my forehead was not a part of my wedding vows.  What if a bee or a mosquito or a bear or a Jehovah’s Witness approaches my face?  I would like to have both of my hands available to fend them off.

Do you stroll hand-in-hand with your partner?  Do you live anywhere other than Europe? {For some reason I choose to give a pass to Europeans.  They seem to look “right” holding hands.  They can wear weird hats, too.  And forgo deodorant.  You can’t.}  Yes, you do participate in the hand-holding?  Explain yourself.  That is, if you have two available hands with which to type.

^^NOT European^^

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I would like to announce, right here on my little blog, that I am hereby instituting a trade embargo against Trader Joe’s. In effect, I will no longer be trading my money for their increasingly questionable goods. The trouble began last year (although I have a hazy memory of some moldy 7-layer dip in or around 2001) when I bit into a Trader Joe’s bran muffin and found myself receiving an unwanted flossing with a previously unknown hair. I am not saying that the hair was necessarily of pubic origin but I am saying that the hair was shorter and curlier than I am accustomed to seeing atop any head that doesn’t belong to Tom Jones. Because I like to make the same mistake repeatedly, I returned to the scene of the crime last month after finding that the price of frozen, organic fruit at Whole Foods is nearly double that of Trader Joe’s fruit. While in the frozen foods aisle, I also picked up a few individual servings of mac and cheese. Because who doesn’t love mac and cheese?  Nobody! Oh, wait…  I no longer do, since biting into yet another unwanted hair courtesy of Joe and his hairy traders. Thankfully (?!) this one was quite long. When I told my brother this story, he countered with his own hairy escapade from the TJ’s frozen foods aisle. He found a hair in a frozen, chocolate-covered banana. Gross. Really, really gross. True, Trader Joe’s may have great prices but I think that I’ve uncovered their secret to keeping prices so low. I feel it’s highly likely that their Monrovia production lines are staffed by naked, underage slave-apes who are suffering from alopecia. In fact, I’d like to challenge you to prove otherwise.

I have other complaints against Trader Joe’s but I won’t list them all here. Well, maybe just a few:

1.  I feel that they certainly must add extra sulfites and nitrates to their wines. Nothing else could explain the ensuing hangovers.

2.  Must they sell their bananas individually? Is it that hard to weigh a bunch of bananas?  Maybe they could get their Alopecia Apes to help out.

3.  Why the hell are so many of their products made on equipment that also processes tree nuts, soy, eggs, dairy, fish and shellfish?! I mean, really? I want my hummus to be processed on equipment that processes hummus. And maybe tabouli and baba ganoush.  But that’s it.

4.  The shirts that they force their staff to wear remind me of Nick Nolte’s mug shot photo.  This is definitely not a plus.

So, did I return to Trader Joe’s for my $2.99 refund? Of course. I told the whole, awful story to the cashier (frozen banana and all). His reply? “That’s disgusting.” You can say that again, Middle-Aged Man Wearing Board Shorts and a Hawaiian Shirt.

“Hair” is curiously absent from this list of ingredients.

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This week’s What I think May Be True But I’m Really Not That Sure Because I Am But One Woman was inspired by the family who sat behind my daughter and me today at Ramona and Beezus.  To preface, I get very excited when a G-rated movie hits the theaters.  Very excited.  The reason for my excitement is two-fold.  1.  I am a complete nut job when it comes to keeping inappropriate media away from the eyes and ears of my child and G-rated movies are supposedly free of inappropriate content.  (I say supposedly due to the fact that I have been personally offended by some aspect of every single G-rated movie that I have ever seen – ie: Ratatouille made Schindler’s List seem cheery in comparison – but my inexplicable prudishness is a story for another time.)  2.  The popcorn.  Question: How often do you get the chance to consume upwards of 30 grams of butter-like saturated fat and a week’s worth of sodium, all in the name of family-friendly entertainment?  Answer: Not often enough.

But let’s stay on point here: Because I do not watch the news I am able to occasionally forget the fact that the whole world is poor right now.  This blissful ignorance, coupled with the fact that I have seen exactly two other movies since the recession began, left me with the antiquated image of Opening Days Past.  And when I say past, I’m talking Reagan-era past.  Remember the days of packed movie houses, free-flowing New Coke, and Mel Gibson having nothing more to be ashamed of than his sometimes-permed mullet?  Yeah, me too. But this is not what greeted our arrival at the 2:20 showing of Ramona and Beezus this afternoon.  Instead, we arrived to plenty of front-row parking, one person in front of us in line to buy tickets and a plethora of teenagers in black polyester suits, pretending to be happy to serve us.  A tumbleweed or two may have rolled by as we made our way to Theater 10.  Once inside, we found that the entire theater was literally empty.  We sat in the 5th row, on the edge, and started eating our $8 popcorn.  Before long, a few more families came in and settled into their seats, mostly in the very back of the theater.  As the lights went down and the previews began, I heard some late arrivals making their way through the door.  A woman and her three children entered loudly, blindly feeling around at the walls, and then proceeded to shuffle into the seats directly behind us.  I thought that they would surely move once their eyes adjusted to the dark but I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  Instead, the pack of four (Is it possible that the children themselves were wearing Giorgio Beverly Hills?) began chatting, munching their individual servings of popcorn, sipping their huge sodas and tearing into their crinkly bags and boxes of candy.  First of all, were these people billionaires?  Have you seen how expensive refreshments are at the movie theater these days?!  Secondly, are you effing kidding me here?  With at least 200 other available seating options, you are sitting directly behind another family?  Since my annoyed glances didn’t do the trick, I grabbed my popcorn, my kid, and my kid’s smuggled-in water bottle and moved up a few rows for the remainder of the movie.  The movie was very cute (despite its egregious use of the word “stupid”) and my neck is starting to recover from the strain of staring up at the screen from the second row for 90 minutes.

So, here is this week’s What I Think May Be True But I’m Really Not That Sure Because I Am But One Woman:  There are two kinds of people in this world.  There are the kind of people who enjoy their personal space and then there are the kind of people who will sit right behind you at the movie theater.  I would sooner watch a movie through the little window in the swinging door than sit behind other people in a virtually empty theater.  Was this family insane?  Were they trying to steal my purse?  Were they trying to steal my child?  Whatever their issue was, I know that I will do my part to keep my children from growing up to be Personal Space Invaders.  Between Swine Flu, Pinworm (my newest phobia) and the plague of children who may or may not be doused in Giorgio Beverly Hills, couldn’t we all just use a little breathing room?

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Big Bird talking

Well, spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest.  How do I know?  All of the trees are covered in tiny buds, the Cherry Blossoms (which bloomed early this year) are dropping their pink petals all over Seattle like confetti, and… there’s one Goddamn bird who is choosing to herald in the changing season by peeping all night long.  Although I’m sure it’s nothing personal, I feel stalked, harassed and harangued by this bird.  What does it want?  Who is it peeping at?  Is it on amphetamines?  Last night, I listened to this bird from 2am until well after 5am.  It never stopped.  At times it sounded fatigued, frustrated, possibly even irritated with itself.  But the peeping never ceased.

At first I assumed that the bird was looking for a mate in all the wrong places, like the loud, drunk guy at every wedding.  “If I just keep talking, eventually I’ll wear somebody down.”  But then the peeping became more distressed.  I started to wonder if the bird was protecting its eggs from an overzealous squirrel.  Lord knows there are plenty of those around!  But as the night wore on, the chirping became frantic.  I began to wonder if this bird had a message that it needed to share.  Perhaps it had just returned from its trip down south and it needed to tell us what is up down there: “Peep!  I’ve been to California!  Chirp, chirp, chirp!  Arnold Schwarzenegger in the governor of California!  Peeeppp!  We need to do something!”

Hey, anything’s possible at 4am.  I wish I’d paid more attention in 8th grade Science because I have a few questions: Do birds sleep?  Do birds have an intense desire to bear their souls?  Do birds drink alcohol?  Is Tourette’s Syndrome prevalent in the bird populations of NW Washington?  Can a bird be prosecuted for disturbing the peace?  I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  Do you?

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