Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
In my family we are always late with birthday cards and gifts and that kind of shit. It’s not like we don’t think about people or how important those things are. It’s just that we’re writer whackos and the irony is that when you write and create and are thinking about ideas all the time; the day-to-day writing tasks tend to go by the wayside. I even have trouble writing down a grocery list before getting to the store because my mind is wandering and wondering what I should be writing next. Do I want to write down unbleached flour or an unwitty observation about the coos bucket that just cut me off in traffic with her H2 Hummer while texting her new butt buddy she fell in lust with at The Liar’s club the previous night?
Take right now, for instance. Do I want to write about the freak neighbor whose wife kicked him out a few months ago because he refused to get a job and just sat outside all day rewashing his vintage convertible Chevy with no top while his hyper, unstable Dalmatian crapped in concentric circles and barked at its own shadow? Did I mention he had been a male model in Holland but left the land of legal Hash snacks to pursue a catering career in Hollywood hoping to find a wife under a rock somewhere with a U.S. Passport and a comfy couch to crash on?
Lucky for us the model found a spouse right next door to us but after a few boozy months of liquored-up love and ferocious fighting she tossed him out of the one bedroom-boning palace, never to be seen again… until two days ago. Yes, Mr. Dutch Oven has returned and has perched himself on the front stoop of the ex’s place and begun asking various neighbors if he can sleep on their pull-out sofas or shower in their dimly-lit bathrooms.
If you’re wondering if, in the last few days, he has asked us if he can partake in a whore’s bath in the same tub that houses a vintage Fisher Price Marina and a collection of Thomas Trains that float, you should guess again. I am the last person this tall drink of tap water would ask for a guest pass into my inner sanctum. My reason for disliking him is simple as a pimple.
Last year while a few of us neighbors stood outside having an innocent, impromptu, late-night sidewalk discussion about smog, peeping Toms and religion, Commandant Holland or as he’s better known, the third runner up of Milan’s Mediocre Male Model of 2001, suddenly burped up his racist opinion on the Jews and their fashion. Surrounded by three Jewish men and me, an angry wife of the baddest of the bad Jews I know, the fashion soldier actually said, “If the Jews don’t want to be persecuted than they shouldn’t wears those beanie things on their head. I mean, come on man. Stop advertising your religion and just dress like us. You’re asking for it.”
After I punched, kicked and spat my way through that conversation with a six-foot asshole that, no doubt, was the great, great grandson of the devil-dipped douche stick who turned in Anne Frank and her family, I never again looked at him without tired, pissy daggers shooting in his anti-Semitic direction. Until the day he was asked to vacate his volatile vacation home, he always seemed a bit scared of me and that didn’t bother me a bit. Sure, it may have been my good morning mullet or the ratty pair of brown, hand-me-down, Juicy sweatpants that made my legs look like they slept in a rusty dumpster that struck terror in his racist retinas but either way, I was glad he got the message.
Oh, wait! I just remembered that I want to write about American Idol but I am too damned depressed to type D-e W-Y-Z-E.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Today there is the strong scent of freshly cut grass and new cement in the Los Angeles air, a combo-platter of smells that bring me back to the Septembers of my youth. With my lopsided Dorothy Hamill hair mullet and marshmallow-white Chiclet teeth perpendicularly punching their way out of my mouth and into an unfamiliar world of beauty and poise, I began my soccer career looking more mangled pitchfork than majestic filly.
Throughout my childhood, I would roll onto the local athletic fields twice a week after school, dribbling and kicking like a crusty member of a convalescent home for the criminally violent. With the wind whipping against my skinny legs and the sweat tide-pooling in my clavicle, I grunted, groaned and galloped until I collapsed into a pile of nylon netting in the back of the goal, pretending to have scored the winning point for a women’s Olympic team that hadn’t been born yet.
This afternoon I will pick Otto up from school and drive him to his very first soccer practice, a thrill I equate with my first bite of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and my eleventh viewing of Grease at the Old Mill 6 Theater. I have been talking about it all weekend hoping that Otto would be as thrilled as I am at the prospect of him out- dribbling his teammates or tackling the full-figured fullback and receiving his first official yellow card.
But my hereditary hooliganism did nothing more than encourage Otto to eat more grapes, abscond with six Matchbox cars after a play date and ride his outdoor, plastic car with a bit more sass. Or so I thought. This morning I awoke to my little monkey dressed in his new Adidas navy and white striped sweat suit looking like a slightly smaller version of David Beckham at a book signing. This is the same sweat suit that I coveted for years, begging my parents to spend the mere $59.99 to insure my place in the popularity pecking order.
They balked at my request making me suffer through the latter years of elementary school dressed in a cheap, JC Penney knock off that pilled at the collar and smelled like burnt toast when it rained. By the time I reached middle school I had convinced myself the sweat suit no longer mattered until I saw Bonnie McBride wearing the one I loved so much, sashaying those stripes down the social studies hallway like Christy Brinkley on the catwalk. To add insult to injury she had a house the size of a blimp hanger and could handpick any boyfriend out of the Preppy Handbook that made up the male population at our school.
I never forgot the yearning I had for that blue and white striped 1970’s relic of sports mania. And a few months ago while shopping at an outlet mall in the high desert Dave and I spotted the mini-man suit in the same colors and knew that Otto would wear it well. But due to brain freeze and life’s juggling mind jumble I stuck it in his closet and forgot all about it. All these months passed without even a memory of the purchase until last week when I signed him up for soccer and was searching his closet for extra t-shirts. There, hanging on the original hanger with the tags still on it was the minuscule version of my fantasy fashion statement. I took it out and told him that it was a real soccer sweat suit and that he could wear it to practice anytime he liked. He seemed to show no interest, due to the lack of farming equipment photos on the front and no apparent green in the color scheme. Then, this morning, as if on cue and ready to break his momma’s heart with happiness he insisted on wearing the whole ensemble to school as well as practice.
I have no idea how the first session of soccer will go. Will he love turning in circles with a ball between his feet? Will he kick the ball in the right direction? Will he be a team player or a ball hog? Will he throw a fit if there are no Twinkies and cans of Coke after the last whistle? Only time will tell. But I do know he will look the part and learn life lessons while I travel back down a lane of memories I cherish above all others, a collection of snapshots of a gangly girl running into wind with nothing on her mind but moving forward and making it matter.
Friday, May 21, 2010
This week was once again a cruel reminder that a storm is always brewing somewhere in the sky. On Tuesday I was a bit out of sorts after thumb wrestling with my computer all morning. When I tried numerous times to reformat a document in Word that I desperately wanted to post, a collection of lopsided paragraphs that resembled an Allan Ginsburg poem typed sideways, the powers that be inside my MAC gave me the virtual finger and laughed maniacally in emoticons and lower case letters spelling out, “u r a lzrL(:”
By the time I had conceded to Hal 9000 I was late and as frazzled as Courtney Love’s bikini hair on a Cancun couples retreat. Donning what a cricket player might wear to a beginner’s yoga class in a muddy, Calcutta cow pasture I raced to school to jockey for a parking space and a child. The school was celebrating a mysterious Jewish holiday that involved the creation of the Ten Commandments and guilt. But, in truth, it had less to do with Moses and bad feelings and more to do with inconvenient reflection and inflicting midweek parental suffering.
So began our observance of the holy day of Shavuot on Tuesday, a short school day that would soon feel like a month of badly dressed boot camp. After an eight-hour stretch of In ’N’ Out French fries, dangerous indoor batting practice, willful word games and roundabout story readings, the day concluded with my body curled up in a limp, worthless mound next to Otto in his tiny bed as he dreamed about bulldozers and blue M&M’s and I drooled into oblivion.
Wednesday there was no school at all and, as I have mentioned above, I saw it less as a mommy/kiddy hang day and more of a day of religious persecution toward the non-believer. Initially, I had intended to take Otto to the Long Beach Aquarium, what I assumed was a fish centric cesspool 20 miles from our home. But due to my inherent laziness and my pathological fear of sharks and large schools of shimmery guppies I have never bothered to visit it and could not confirm, if in fact, it was as pleasant as a large toilet filled with sushi. The plan was almost complete when, thankfully, I received an awesome invite for a nearby play date with a school pal of Otto’s and heard a piece on NPR saying that the aquarium had just opened a BP-sponsored exhibit featuring lectures on sea life conservation and how best to save the endangered, oil-soaked sea otter. Without thinking twice, I opted for the easier and less ironic of the two.
I was thrilled for the impending all-boy play date and it did not disappoint. It was a magical and marvelous four-hour time killer in a sunny house filled with new, big boy toys and a group of high-energy masculine monkeys who shared Otto’s enthusiasm for couch diving and roller-wrestling. Save for the five or so times Otto came into the kitchen and pulled me by the reconstructed pinky finger and asked me to hold his hand while he built a Lego rocket car four feet away, I actually got to sit and chat with some lovely moms from school and wax poetic on the wonders of the disgruntled grandparent and potty training in public.
After Otto got his fill and our happy hostess seemed ready to take back her house, we climbed into the car and headed to Target to purchase a potty training stool for each bathroom. (Oh, doesn’t that sound like I live in a mansion of mutilated moneybags and Mascarpone…psyche!)
On our shopping excursion Otto was adorable, awesome and amazing, helping me put stuff in the cart and discussing his fear of polar bears and his newfound love for all things pee-pee and pooh-pooh. He really loves peeing standing up and I do suppose the first time must have made him feel powerfully perpendicular. But the first time I tried it I felt nothing but out of control and wet around the ankles thus forcing me to embrace the vagina and have a seat.
As the conversation continued we cruised the aisles hoping to avoid any bi-polar beauties on a bender, a now all-to-common customer base at my local Target of terror. We found a new pair of racecar pajamas, a Paul Frank key chain with attached Lipsmackers lip balm, two, bright green, rubber toy buckets, a swim suit with Lightin’ McQueen on the left leg, a four-pack of kiddy toothbrushes in assorted, neon-colored Chinese plastic and a humungous red bean bag chair for Otto’s reading corner. The only thing that wasn’t specifically for Otto Man, the king of our castle, happened to be a six-dollar, rust-free shower caddy to replace the one we already owned that looked as if it had been bartered from a crackhead Merman at the bottom of the ocean. That and a jumbo pack of Carefree Pantiliners I intended to use as body armor in case we were jumped by an unstable, unsatisfied customer experiencing her menses.
When we were done at the cashier and I had paid too much for too little, Otto, obstructed by the bulbous beanbag and out of my line of vision, let out a faint and unintelligible yell. I couldn’t understanding what he wanted so I pushed the cart to one side and walked around to see. Tears were welling in his sad, little eyes and again, he yelled and pointed to a two-pack of green, Matchbox cars hanging on the impulse-buy shelf next to the register, alongside the mini hand sanitizer bottles, SpongeBob Squarepants disposable lighters and an assortment of candy-flavored condoms.
Before I could explain to him that A) that was a futile/rude/unacceptable way to ask for anything and B) I had already paid a fair amount of money for a huge pile of shit that was exclusively for him, he began his first, official descent into the terrible Target tantrum. Within seconds he was screaming like a mentally challenged tween at a Justin Beiber Mall of America appearance. He was the color of an overripe San Marzano tomato with the lungs of a fat soprano. He was a deluge of disproportionate devastation. He was in it to win it.
I turned to the two women in line behind me and cheerfully chirped, “Birth control” and then wheeled the wildebeest away. Otto continued to wail as I did my best to sooth him with my exemplary explanations of why he could not have the cars and how my own experiences of daily disappointments and horrendous heartbreaks only made me weaker and more prone to bouts of deep-seeded depression. As I kept up my perky pep talk we boarded the elevator and there, as Dog is my witness (remember, a non-believer here) I saw Jane Lynch, the hilarious star of Glee and Thirty Year-Old Virgin standing right next to us, sympathetically smiling at my cacophonous predicament.
When I see people I really, truly admire I either ignore them while sweating and twitching profusely or I say something stupid and embrace the embarrassment. When Jane, my new BFF, sweetly asked what was wrong with Otto I actually responded, grinning ear to ear, “He is upset because he is your biggest fan and is overwhelmed by meeting you.”
Wha? I didn’t!
Then, to add another corpse onto the hot, stinky puke pyre I turned to Otto and said, “Otto, tell him why you are crying.”
HIM? I called Jane Lynch a HIM? What the fuck is wrong with me? Sure, she is a super tall lesbian who favors slacks to sucking dick and yes, she just got engaged to her girlfriend, who by the way, happened to be in the elevator with us and yes, I sadly recognized her. But to call Jane a HIM, even while my only child melts into a puddle of pathetic is unacceptable and unbelievably lame. Of course, she can be man-ish at times but look at me six days a week. I could double as Rosie O’Donnell’s dirty, left Croc on a rainy day. And who cares if her hair looks like Ellen DeGeneres’s leftovers. She’s Jane Lynch, darling of the Christopher Guest set, star of the #7 show on television, centerpiece of the best Madonna parody video of all time and she only looks like a dude when she wears a color-coordinated sweat suit. Wha? Huh???
So, here I was, inserting my huge foot in even huger mouth while Jane smiled and Otto dismantled everyone’s eardrums with his pterodactyl tirade. Then, as we exited the elevator I told Jane that she was the greatest and funniest and I loved her and her Madonna video was the shit and as a sign of my appreciation for her existence I wanted to give her my screaming, hollering hellcat as a gift. She and her fiancé laughed at my horrible attempt at hilarity-sprinkled child abuse and bolted away from me with the speed of a runaway train filled with hobos and hippies.
Even after the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Lynch fled for their lives, Otto continued yodeling for the Matchbox cars, at one point nearly breaking the car windows with his Wagnerian windpipe. The farther I drove away from Target the more he hiccup-cried and begged me to turn the car around, insisting all along that he was, in fact, not crying. By the time we walked into the house he was a shell of the beast I had been caged up with and, after a huge, calm, cuddle he finally stopped snotting all over his favorite cargo pants and pleading for a present. I took him into his playroom, opened up a storage box of Match Box cars and handed him two monster trucks and a chipped racecar filled with dried up Play-Doh that doubled as a family of four.
And just as quickly and insanely as it had begun, Otto was back to Otto, playing with his cars as if nothing had ever happened. I fed him lunch, which only improved his mood and we continued to discuss the benefits of big boy underpants, the satisfying side dish wars: broccoli versus zucchini and if and when space flight may be viewed as a viable pastime for pre-teens with permits.
Throughout this entirely improvised episode of “All My Children” I never broke a sweat or lost my cool. To be clear, I am not bragging or implying that I am some sort of Wonder Mom. I am not the calm, mellow type who takes it lying down like a communal meditation pillow that everyone farts on at all-vegan yoga retreat, quite the contrary. I have a tendency to come undone as quickly as a sorority girl’s bra strap after Sunday night language lab whether faced with a horny Heisman winner or, in this case, a tyrannical toddler.
The reason I was nonplused during Otto’s Machiavellian meltdown was not due to a case of twenty-four hour witchcraft or a moment of hellacious, higher consciousness. I was too busy laughing inside my skull at his ludicrous lamenting and at the same time, planning my secret trip back to Target to buy those cars. I mean, come on. I said no the first fifty times but shitcrackers, I love the cake out of my kid and he is so cute when he cries.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Life can sometimes stab you in the kneecaps and steal your 14 karat-gold-plated charm bracelet you have worn since Reagan was re-elected and clogs were cool. Everything can be going as smooth as a surgical glove and than, bam! You get pummeled with a sack of cumquats right in your convex camel toe.
Sure, there is that select group of freaky Fridays who live in a perpetual dream state of good fortune. These are the platinum-sprinkled fairy folk who always get a great table, a perfect parking space, a free refill and front row seats. Their car is always clean, their hair is always dry, their children always listen and their pets never shed. They have severe allergic reactions to dimples, disappointment, diarrhea and dressing down. The word “no” always morphs into the word “yes’ after spending a few precious seconds in their perfectly clean ear canals and their perpetually spotless underpants are a direct result of the fact that they never experience automobiles accidents with the luxury cars that they own outright. You get the picture.
This past week we got a big fat, slurpy “no thank you” from the powers that be. Living in Hollywood and chasing a brass ring covered in coke dust and the dried blood of many an under fed ingénue can takes its toll. Rejection is a staple here, as is the three-hour juice cleanse and the Ed Hardy, all-over body massage, a deep tissue rub down using the sweat of a middle aged, toothless prostitute, chopped up pieces of day-old veal Carpacchio and toxic lead-based oil paints in colors that can be scene from the Hubble telescope.
All week we have been shuffling around the house with a serious case of the mopes. One moment I will be wallowing while wearing a pair of old sweatpants that wouldn’t pass muster at a soup kitchen relay race. Then Dave will space out for a second and look wistfully out our dirty living room window as he watched one of the homeless regulars in the neighborhood getting arrested for following a group of fourteen-year old girls into an apartment building and showing them his broken zipper collection. Even that will not cheer him up. You know it’s bad when you feel nothing for a hairy man covered in a dark coating of gutter slime who wants nothing more than seven minutes in heaven with an eighth grade cheerleading squad and a dry place to nap. You know your self-pity has reached its apex when you view Sisyphus simply as a lucky motherfucker with a cushy job and every possible advantage.
But then, after three fit-full nights of sleep-tossing and a perpetual, all-over hazy feeling that I have been dipped in glazed doughnut coating and left in an airless display case I hear some great news and am slapped out of my selfishness by something real and significant. A casual acquaintance that happens to be very close to one of our nearest and dearest has been sitting in a parent’s worst nightmare. Her newborn infant Addie was misdiagnosed with the reflux condition and had serious heart damage as a result. I am being vague as I know little on the specifics and do not want to speak out of turn. Her mother used Facebook to ask for blood donations and people came from all over this City of Angels, a town that often gets a bad wrap, especially from moi, to help Little Addie when she needed it most. As of yesterday, the second surgery was deemed a success and it looks as though the worst is over.
Then, I checked in with one of my blog homies and read the wonderful news that Jodi at Pistols and Popcorn http://www.pistolsandpopcorn.com/ is pregnant again and this time with a synchronized swim team. This woman has been through the wringer and if anyone deserves an abundance of babes it is this chick. Read her and weep and get addicted just like I did. Her writing is an honor roll of pithy and perfect and she is that rare writer who gives props to others and truly ascribes to the Clintonian adage “It takes a village.” She is someone you really want in your hut and I bet she can make fire from a toothpick and a tambourine. She is a badass in Brooklyn, after all.
In conclusion, I can suck it. Roaming around boo-hooing about professional disappointment is serious bullshit in the big scheme of things. My head needs to be professionally removed from my ass and I need to look around at the great. No more sour-pussing, pussy and no more inner monologue about how life is hard when... you feel blue and tired and the rain is coming down and the skies are a grieving gray and you are a bloated balloon animal and pre-monstrous and sugar-free and pit-bull protective of your man and all the brilliance he has sprinkled all over everyone for a year and the hard work he has done feels unappreciated and the suits are chicken shits and their tastes vary from middling mediocre to boxed macaroni and cheese and they are as visually impaired as Stevie Wonder and his fashion stylist and the anger you feel comes out in drab, monosyllabic monologues toward the cat and the chipped tea kettle and the left sofa cushion that now looks like a disfigured maxi-pad at the bottom of a suitcase and what did they expect for fifteen dollars and a one-hour time limit in a seedy motel room with a broken vibrating bed and dirty, poly-cotton blend bedding with CSI stains in the pattern of a newly minted corpse, just off a viewless freeway with no mini soaps, a torn shower curtain, a leaky toilet the color of German Chocolate cake and a rusty ice machine that spits out brown nuggets in the shape of a broken dreams? Shut up, Dotty.
I feel better now.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
It amazes me when the time in your day evaporates as quickly as those warm and fuzzy pre-prom feelings. You know, ladies, the thrill of the frilly, obtrusive strapless dress purchase, the staged, repressive, sexually suggestive parental-driven photo shoot, the euphoric limo ride that smells of Pine-Sol and prostitution, the feel of that rubbery, wet chicken Cordon Bleu entree waddling down an innocent and unseasoned throat, only to experience yet another meaty main course by the time the last slow dance burps out its final nauseating soft rock note. Ah, how quickly the memories vanish into the Glade freshened, smoke-laden air of the past. How time flies like a drunk fruit fly.
Of all the things that snacked on my time and devoured my days this lovely second week of May, what I refer to as the month of flowers and failure, the potty training had to be the most challenging. Yes, we chose Mother’s Day, or should I say Dave, my more ballsy half, chose the Hallmark holiday of hackiness to try and convince Otto not to shart himself while trying his three year-old best to form a clever and sardonic past particle.
After having a vodka-infused pow-wow with a stranger at a birthday party on Saturday night, Dave threw down the potty training gauntlet and told me how it was going to go down. This stranger, it turns out, was a mother of two with a penchant for extolling knowledge like a Macy’s perfume sprayer. No, I had never seen her before and yes, she spent a substantial time with my husband in the kitchen sipping from Williams-Sonoma cocktail tumblers while I sat outside in the cold, sober as a seamstress listening to a dissertation on basic astrology from a woman whose frequent use of the words earth, fire, water and air reminded me of the list of elements that propelled me to cut chemistry 101 with such passion and consistency.
After getting hypothermia of the eardrums I went inside to get a closer look at the kitchen temptress who clearly had my husband’s attention wrapped up in her moss green pashmina. She had rich, dark brown hair, all one color, something I had not seen in the mirror since my sophomore year of high school when I indeed began acquiring a taste for afternoons littered with conjugal bites of chicken Cordon Bleu and delicious dashes of Preference by L’Oreal.
After trying to hate her top half, my eyes fell down to the floor where her size seven feet casually napped in a pair of perfectly worn leather boots I wanted to kidnap and hold captive for eternity in a closet with no windows and very little ventilation. She was perfectly accessorized, confidently casual and taller than I could ever be, a trait I often equate with unwavering validity, towering SAT scores and emotional stability. There is a reason the saying goes, “I really look up to her.” And until that moment, I hadn’t realized what it truly meant.
By noon the next day, I had thrown out all my cheap shoes, gotten a pedicure with a trendy, green nail lacquer that made my feet look like Shrek’s back acne and tried to hide my highlights/lowlights combo mop under a wool cap that wasn’t even cool in 2004. Meanwhile, Dave ran off to Kmart and stocked the changing table with tiny, tighty whitey under pants decorated with Thomas the Train’s weird, wide face and Lightning McQueen’s smiling grill, a decorative motif that would make any little tyke’s VIP section appear to be driving over the speed limit.
Apparently this tall drink of woman told Dave to get rid of all the diapers, blow off the pull-ups all together and go straight to the cotton banana hammocks. She insisted, in her stylish wisdom, that the moment there was an accident Otto would feel uncomfortable and want to be changed immediately. After putting on a fresh pair of cartoon-covered briefs we would need to make him clean up the mess while we chirped in a cheerful voice, thus teaching him the ways of annoying adulthood and fragrant shame. If I wanted to relive James at Sixteen I would go on Youtube, type in "Movie Of The Week/worst childhood ever/two-hour nightmare” and cry myself into a nap.
Wrapped in scratchy recycled Trader Joe’s paper towel and a decorative ribbon made out of Seventh Generation spray cleaner mist, my mother’s day gift consisted of five, large puddles of pee on the hard wood floor, a nice, steamy shit perched on Otto’s wildly overpriced and borrowed high chair and three crying jags that reminded me of my weekly Monday inner monologue, a worthless word jumble that always runs on a loop in my head after a Sunday of too much salami and self-doubt.
Meanwhile, the poop deposit, the last of the accidents, resulted in the immediate disposal of the newest occupant of Otto’s underwear drawer and its pungent contents accompanied by another cry-fest. By three o’clock Dave called “uncle” and I was thrilled that tall, dark and happy was so very, very wrong for once in her perfectly postured life. A woman with legs that long and the personality of well-trained Seeing Eye dog had to have some faults, after all.
The Huggies came back, three loads of laundry were washed on warm with extra phosphate-free detergent and the tears were mopped up by the remaining absorbent material found within arms reach of where the magic never happened. Otto seemed to bounce back rather well with a little TV and a bowl of old raisins and I covered up my guilt in a good, old-fashioned dishwashing marathon while Dave watched Otto watching Curious George not wear a diaper.
But after a Mother Day’s debacle worthy of a Courtney Love court-appointed visit, things have truly turned around. Four days have passed and Otto has now begun announcing every urination like it’s a coronation. He hops up and down yelling “pee-pee” until we take him into the little boys room and dismantle his diaper. He then insists we step aside until he has completed his mission of manliness. There, like a newly minted figurehead on the bow of a suspicious Viking ship he points and shoots with a sailor’s sea legs and a sniper’s eye. He has not peed in his diaper once since Monday and I cannot help but feel that maybe the nefarious kidnapping plan I dreamed of devising should focus more on absconding with this mystery woman’s child-rearing chi instead of her high-priced footwear. And now, onto the poop.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Something is going on in the world and I don’t like it. This past week has brought the devastating BP oil spill, the deadly Nashville flood, the barely foiled bomb plot in Times Square, my first fender bender with a parking structure, the launch of Tila Tequila’s new gossip blog and the random, albeit dirty dude who gave me the bird today while I sat in my car at a stoplight listening to NPR. Sorry I am trying to expand my horizons, Gary the grime goblin but if you took a bath with soap, not used motor oil and stopped collecting urine-filled water bottles and free CVS circulars swathed in feces than maybe, just maybe you wouldn’t be so angry at a woman with over-processed hair who has just given up caffeine AND sugar and is simply trying to drive her kid to school so he can learn NOT to express himself in one-fingered syllables like you. Call me on your broken Barbie phone when you break up with that layer of ashen diarrhea that calls itself your skin and you choose to be nice to people who try their best to make a difference by holding doors for old, smelly people and warning poorly dressed tourists about assholes like you.
Add that mound of fecal frosting to a real shit cake of a week and you get the creepy Target stabbings at MY Target on Monday. Two mornings ago I was motivated and ready and roaming the aisles of the West Hollywood Target. I needed environmentally friendly dishwashing detergent and Goldfish crackers and rubber gloves and hand cream to cure my sandpaper claws. Everything was fine. The place was almost empty, everyone looked happy and satisfied and I was in and out in less than twenty minutes. Not two hours later I read on Facebook, because I am a loser addicted to social networking updates, that a crazy woman with no concept of how to paint on an eyebrow or use a lip pencil properly went on a stabbing rampage in the cosmetics aisle at (I will say it again) MY Target.
I could not stop thinking about it for the remainder of my day and subsequently, had nightmares that night involving a man wearing a long sleeved Brookes Brothers shirt made out of chef’s knives. Okay, my husband just directed the first few scenes of a super scary thriller he wrote involving a homicidal maniac with a penchant for knife play and meticulous human dissection. So, my subconscious may have some residual gore hanging out inside its nooks and crannies. But thinking about this crazy bitch in a tube top running through the shampoo section stabbing people at random not only got me angry, it scared me right out of my comfort zone and into a freaky, poorly produced re-enactment show on The Discovery Channel.
Cut to this morning: Dave and I were wrestling Otto out of the house for school. Our neighbors Amanda and Jude were walking by and stopped to say hello and play. Jude is Otto’s two and half year-old best friend and his confidante in all things Cars, Lightning McQueen and string cheese. These two kids are like brothers and are often mistaken for twins. His parents lovingly look after Otto when we are in a pinch and we try and do the same to relieve them of the monkey business that comes with toddlering. So, as we are catching up on life and love, Amanda tells us that she was there when the wacko wench went mental with one of Rachael Ray’s all-purpose Santoku Gusto Grip 7-inch kitchen knives. My friend, my neighbor, the mother of a child I love to pieces was just steps away with Jude in tow as this bi-polar bitch held up a three piece kitchen set and began screaming about socialism and the drawbacks of the modern witness protection program. Amanda then tells me she saw on e of the knives, grabbed Jude out of the cart and ran to the corner of the store where she hid behind the Capri Sun juice box display and the spring gardening sale items that were 40% their regular price.
I was upset before but now I am furious. Six degrees of separation just got way to close for my comfort. To think that two people I care for could have been hurt or killed by a reckless, selfish, psychotically unstylish woman who drove miles out of her way to wreak havoc on the innocent folk just trying to stock up on panty liners and Pepsodent boils my blood. Who knows what the reasons or circumstances in this woman’s life were to bring her to the breaking point in which she could possibly do such a horrific thing? Maybe no one will ever know. But I do know this.
Random violence is called random for a reason. It doesn’t just happen on the news. It happens here and there and everywhere at anytime to anyone. All we can do is live our lives as honestly and true and as safe as we possibly can without living in fear and living inside. Miraculously, no one was killed and the four victim's of Charo's stand-in are now in stable condition after a brave under cover cop saved the day next to the Purell shelf. The lesson in all this? Just don’t take your life for granted and do not trust a woman dressed like my sister’s hand-me-down Skipper doll made over with acrylic paints and the wardrobe of a street walking field mouse.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Yesterday was not a typical Monday after a not so typical weekend. Friday night, Dave and I celebrated the completion of his two-day directorial debut. (He just shot a short sizzle reel for an upcoming feature film he wrote and will direct and yee-haw and more to come on that slice of awesome!) We hung hard and long with two of our nearest and dearest buds, Ashley and Bobby and the makers of movie magic. Ashley, a producer extraordinaire, worked non-stop and called in every favor, smoke-signaled every past life and sky-wrote a long, languid letter to her peeps in the business who wanted to help out Dave and his baby budget and work for free. The cameras were top of the line, the lighting was Michael Bay-Norma Desmond delicious, the catering was sublimely sumptuous and the port-a-potties were nicer than most CEO powder rooms on the west coast of Waikiki.
Meanwhile, Bobby took multiple days off work to do anything and everything to make sure the shoot ran as smoothly as a tub of Pinkberry Green Tea fro-yo melting down the cigarette-singed throat of a newly minted Hollywood “Was It” girl. It was a lesson in loyalty, friendship and true grit that I will forever clutch close to my blackened, beat-skipping heart. I can only try to repay them in off-colored jokes and Dave’s hand rolled Tagliatelli. I have nothing else to give, unless, of course, they want me to nap for them. That I can do.
While our celebratory evening was an A+, the results were far from the desired ninety-ninth percentile. I do not recall consuming more than two beers and a glass and a half of an excellent Cake Bread chardonnay. But, the next morning said otherwise and proved to be as challenging as the second time I took the SAT’s without studying. I woke up Saturday feeling like BP had relocated their treacherous off-shore drilling into my left frontal lobe and were well on their way to destroying my natural eco-system as well. The pain was so excruciating, in fact, that while I was down I decided to kick myself in the temple with a well-worn Payless Shoe Source heel spike. In the throes of a college worthy hangover I, poor choice-maker extraordinaire, decided to take the painful opportunity handed to me by both my frothy fists the night before and give up caffeine and sugar while suffering a severe case of the Bukowski’s.
The last five days have been a hairy haze of cold sweats, dizzying and unintentional living room pirouettes, electrifying eyeball aches and odd moments of euphoric flights of fancy. I am not a coffee drinker and my husband was shocked to hear I felt I had a caffeine addiction. That is until he looked in the back of my gas guzzling SUV and saw a sea of empty iced tea containers waiting to be put into the proper recycling bin. Even with my crafty fifty-cent refills and my obsession with reusing the polluting plastic I was still consuming enough green tea to fuel a Kurosawa samurai sword fight before noon each day.
And for the record, Starbuck’s green tea is not the good shit that the people of Okinawa drink, the same people who live well into their one hundreds because of a seaweed, green tea and all fish diet. It is not healthier than coffee or less caffeinated than black tea or Jolt cola. It is pumped full of pulverized No-Doze and crushed up crack rocks and is as harmful as falling asleep smoking an unfiltered Pall Mall on a pee-stained queen-sized Serta with a gun powder-packed Civil War musket.
And as far as the sugar, I haven’t emotionally or physically crossed that sweet, crunchy glazed bridge yet. I am too busy white knuckling my water glass and giving every Starbucks in my neighborhood the finger when I pass by their titillating green 1990’s font that screams, “Corporate rapist.” And yes, my fingers are fucking killing me.