Friday, June 29, 2007

it's so ... naked gun ....

jcrew and i were sitting outside talking to a mutual acquaintance. just the usual stuff: why she had to purchase 30 bananas and was wearing virtually the same outfit as her boyfriend and why she won't shop at the super walmart.

about 30 feet away was a homeless couple -- one of the more recognizable in the hillside -- i'm sure you've seen them. they were playing with a mangy-looking cat when we sat down.

"i thought that was a squirrel," jcrew said.
the cat, too, is familiar to me. my hillside my home, and all that.

more chatter, our mutual acquaintance leaves for a weekend in wisconsin and jcrew and i continue to jabber. we see a pregnant woman running down the street, fetus bouncing.

"gross," jcrew says.
"i think i just got pregnant looking at her," i say.

two police cars come urking to a stop near the couple. one pulls up on the sidewalk, the other screeches to a stop inches from the first car's bumper.

we see our mutual acquaintance walking toward us. she'd been gone for at least five minutes.

"did you guys see that?" she asks.
"huh?"
"that domestic going on like 10 feet away?"
we shake our heads.
"when we drove away, that couple was totally beating the crap out of each other."
"wha?" i say.
she nods.
"and you two ...." here she makes the universal sign for chatting with her hands has mini jcrew and pista puppets.

our mutual acquaintance was the one who called 911.

this cracks me up. i'd actually like to see the whole scene on video. jcrew and i all caught up in our own little blah blah blahler lands and behind us, rocky X: hillside brawl and a mangy cat. legs flailing. punches thrown ...

it's so ... naked gun.

***
the last time is saw these two they were laying in my front yard in a pile of snow. they seemed a little drunk.

"why'd you cheat on me?" the woman asked, rolling on top of the man.
"(indiscernable grumbling)," said the man.
"you cheated on me," the woman accused.

this pillow talk went on for much of the afternoon.

most of my waking hours (a pictoral from wednesday) ...

on wednesday, i decided to take a pictoral account of my day from noon until 11 p.m. when i got bored of the project. i give you: "my waking hours."

noon. what i see during my first cigarette.


1 p.m. chuck launches starship aggregator.


2 p.m. coffee and the new yorker summer fiction issue. this is the only issue i actually read, instead of just looking at the cartoons. that means it costs about 80 dollars.


3 p.m. my lunch. which is a decisive separation from the "i rescued a kitten from the taco bell dumpster" fare i with which i used to clog my innards.


4 p.m. oprah ... almost. nah. inline skating. less weeping.


5 p.m.
munger trail. gratiutious sports bra shot. we can address my translucent blue stomach skin in late july.


6 p.m. maintainance light has been on for nearly a year now. the seat light belt? 16 years.


7 p.m. i'm going to write about TOOTHPASTE on my BLOG!


8ish p.m. a little frozen pizza din din


9 p.m. by my fourth piece, i've solved the csi-new york mystery


10 p.m. i prove to be mechanically inclined by outsmarting ikea for jcrew's new dining room concept


11 p.m. i put the finishing touches on a rhubarb pie and learn that sugar+rhubarb=liquid

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

the great toothpaste taste test of 1999 ...

almost 10 years ago, when fannie mcfanster and i lived together in this very small two-bedroom apartment where our neighbors hated us for having the audacity to throw a toga party in addition to finding other reasons to have a keg floating in a garbage can in our very small living room.

we ran out of toothpaste one night.
it was my turn to buy it.
i was the bad roommate. the one who didn't clean the litter box and paid my portion of the rent in nickles and let toonses make a happy meal out of the cord for her new mac and stole her favorite jeans.
her worst quality was manic cleaning when she was hung over, which really isn't such a bad thing if you can live with a vaccum cleaner running at 7 a.m. after a night of drowning the agony of being a secretary at a nonprofit agency that expected you to roll into work before 10 a.m.

so we had a few drinks at the smiling moose and made our way to hi-vee after last call. she was colgate or something; i was crest. or maybe it was vice versa. whatever. we decided to have a taste test. we opened a few tubes of lesser known brands and squirted a bit onto our fingers and decided whether or not we could live with bubble gum or cotton candy flavored toothpaste.

then we saw the brand close up, which inspired all sorts of nostalgia for the 80s. we tasted it. YUM! so i bought it.

the next morning, fannie left me a note that said:
i noticed that close up does not have approval from the american dental association. please pick up some real toothpaste today. i'm not using a brand that doesn't have the seal of approval.

it was like the previous night's fun, frolick and taste testing had never happened. friggin' fannie.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

foiled identity ...



"whoa," chuck says. "i'm scared of you right now."
i haven't even said anything yet. but apparently my aura is readable in the way i opened his screen door. he's like a canine, this one.

"me, too," i say, because i'm cranky and i want a beer the size of my gas tank and a rubber hose to suck it through and an emt to pump my stomach when i'm full so that i can start again.

for convenience sake, we walk to burrito union and along the way i say: "you know, if burrito union is closed, it just means jesus doesn't want me to drink."
and when chuck tugs on the front door, peers inside and we notice that they close at midnight on monday nights, i decide that jesus just needs me to be more creative.
we are on our way to quinlan's when i say: "screw it, chuck. let's just pick up some 40s at the ghetto spur and sit on your deck."

***

we walk into duluth's preeminant 40s dealership with four minutes to spare before they can no longer sell off-sale, watered-down, biggie-sized beers. i yank two 3.2 bud lights from the shelf, and a strawberry-flavored gatorade as preventative medicine. this sets me back roughly $4. this also means i can no longer judge people who buy their liquor by the 40-ounce at the ghetto spur. it's a trade off that, given the circumstances, i can live with.

***

we never make it to the deck. i spoon my first 40 on chuck's couch and watch my mood go from homicidal, to pensive, to weepy, to giggly, to ushy gushy little miss romance. and that is the one that sticks through the second 40.

***

i never actually get drunk. it takes me approximately 4 1/2 hours to put away the swill. mostly i just get full and the beer gets warm and i start cringing my way to the bottom. about 20 ounces in, it starts to taste like my backwash. but that cannot be scientifically possible. ... is it?

***

i wake myself moaning with stomach pain. its like i'm hung over, but more like i poisoned myself by drinking warm mayonaise topped with mushrooms. i wake at noon. read the last three paragraphs of "endless love"* and go back to sleep until 2 p.m. feeling like i'm going to give birth to something so impatient that it will just tear through my skin like a quarterback before the homecoming gamee.

"you can't drink anymore," chuck needles me.
and he seems to have a point.
2 40 ouncers in four hours and i feel like i died three days ago and have been attacked by ravanous buzzards.
2 40 ouncers of 3.2 bud light, at that.
who am i if i can't negotiate that seamlessly?
i need a new identity.

* "reading 'endless love'" is my new euphamism for going to the bathroom.

my beer-o-logical clock ...

... seems to make me want to drink about every four days.
[the rest of the time i like to walk around thinking about what a healthy lifestyle i'm almost leading.]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

spinderella cut it up one time ...



[FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, I'VE BROKEN THIS POST INTO CHAPTERS SO YOU CAN TELL IF YOU WANT TO INVEST YOUR READING TIME ON THE SEGMENTS.]


saturday night was so hot, the air in central hillside thick as a sudafed and draino stew. i love hot nights. i love to hate hot nights, rue them and use them as an excuse to fall face-first into a vat of margaritas. until my skin is pruned and my fluency, coordination, sense of decency are stalled at an elementary school level. when its hot, i want to be loud and social and dressed in the least amount of clothing legal outside of wisconsin point.

but i ignored the call to be wild, and instead decided i could trick my body with a midnight inline skate to chuck's house. one mile of mostly-flat, quite public and decently lit sidewalks. past at least three or four bars. i could have my fun and skate it, too.

HOW I CAME TO GET MY SKATES
i receieved new inline skates as a birthday gift at the end of last summer. and then, last summer, i wore them once outside of my carpeted apartment. about fifty cool feet before realizing that these skates, these marked-down-from-more-than $300 skates, are faster than my legs and more adventageous than my soul and that i should probably stow them away in my closet where i hide all of my disillusionment. besides, it would probably snow soon. and toonses had begun chewing on the laces.

i sensed this when i picked them out. that i was out of my league. that different skates are made for different people and that my skates are for people in red spandex with numbers affixed to their chests and the CEO of adidas on speed dial. but i really like skating. and i didn't want to buy the skates made specially for people who cling to one all-conference triple jump in 1996 and a sixth-to-last finish in a marathon in 2004 as great athletic triumphs. call me vain.

MY HISTORY AS A PERSON WHO SKATES
i have, for my entire life, owned skates. first a tin pair of roller skates that i could strap onto my blue nikes, and, with a crank of a screw, could accomadate me as i went up four or five shoe sizes. i clanked down the sidewalk sounding like recycling on wheels. then, in order to keep up stylisticly with jenny hanson -- who lived down the street and took roller skating lessons at skate country and wore actual flimsy skating skirts and had pom poms on her laces and a skating partner she kind of wanted to kiss -- i finally got a brand new pair of white roller skates.

most songs by lionel richie, phil collins, wham, cindy lauper, and a handful of top 40 hits from the years 1983-1986 remind me of roller skating in circles in my basement for hours. and hours. and hours. and listening to a boom box.

my brother got inline skates when they were still just ice skates boots with wheels attached. that summer our family went to orlando, fla., on vacation and he spent the nondisney hours skating around the cabin we were renting. he attracted a small crowd of people who had never seen roller skates like this before. years later, i was watching a pop culture documentary on mtv and kurt loder said that inline skates were brought to the warmer states by farm kids from minnesota. while we weren't farmers, i knew that kurt loder was talking about my brother.

when they became more popular and eventually added a brake to them, i got my own inline skates and i skated a lot. i'd call my friends nora and denise from the cross country team and say: "hey, kid. wanna skate?" and that, in fact, is part of my senior quote in the 1994 lourdes high school yearbook.

on my second day of college, i got drunk. my cousin nerissa, who lived on my floor, strapped my into my rollerblades with a warning to be careful. i made it from dowling hall to st. thomas' south campus before i took a digger next to a classroom where i'd later take theology. i limped back on one skate. the next day, nerissa laughed her ass off and knew exactly what had happened.

later my freshman year i met a former hockey player from austin, minn., who looked like tom hanks, and i liked him anyway. we used to skate from 1-3 a.m., circles around the campus. cleveland, summit, cretin and selby down the middle of the road. it didn't make him fall in love with me. then a sprinter on the track team taught me how to catch air off of the speed bumps in the dorm parking lots. and so i began to dabble in trick skating in jean shorts with no padding or fear. when i went with the track team on the spring trip to santa barbara, most of my teammates got tattoos. i skated through town with another triple jumper, steve. we were sexual tension on wheels. he wanted to be a fireman. we never even kissed.

in rochester i skated around silver lake. sometimes i skated to work. i skated a lot, but mostly i ran.

in duluth, i've always felt it necessary to own skates and upgrade every few years and maybe even sometimes sign up for the inline marathon, yet rarely touch them.

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO YESTERDAY
i wobbled up the steet. if i'd been in water, you'd have thought i was drowning. i was one of those people i hate. an uncontrollable, uncoordinated old lady on wheels flailing SOS with her arms. you probably thought i was directing traffic.

i got a block ahead of some dude who said:
"miss? can you help me?"
i said: "no."
but what i meant was: "does it look like i can help you? i'm on wheels!"

who, aside from someone with wheels attached to her feet, would even realize that fourth street is downhill? not this lady who almost died skating over a twig in front of last chance liquor.

someone whistled at me.
i almost fell face first on an asphalt chunk going up an avenue.

WHICH BRINGS US TO TODAY
i don't like to do things i'm not good at. this is why i don't golf. this is why i don't allow anyone to use numbers in my presense. and right now, i'm really not good at inline skating. i'm laughable.

i tried again today. stood at the top of an avenue first street and imagined that if i went down this hill, i'd be wearing a bus for the rest of my life. i took one step forward and fell on my ass just thinking about going down. i was staring down the hill when bubbles pulled up at the stoplight and asked me what i was doing.

"thinking," i said. showed her my skates. nodded down the hill.
in the time it took her to park, i had fallen again and then relegated myself to the grass.
at that point i put my pride aside and asked if i could cling to her like a squealing maniac as i rolled down the hill to a flatter surface. she agreed. first i attached myself like a monchichi. then i had to grab harder. at the bottom, my sherpa and i parted ways, and i skated downtown toward the lakewalk.

at the pier, i did laps until i started to feel like i had my skate legs back.
i was cruising up a hill. chugging, actually, and a man asked me if i had time to learn about jesus christ.

"i've already heard about him," i said, skating away.

on first street i felt i was going to pass out, so i sat on a park bench across the street from the pioneer. a man walked past and laughed. i wanted to say:

"will you go into the pio and get me some water, please? tell them its for christa."

sitting hurt, so i laid very unladylikely and decided i didn't care which member of the YMCA could see what up my terry cloth shorts. fifteen minutes later i realized today was not the last day of my memoir in motion. this heat stroke would go away. so i skated back to my car and took off my demon wheels.

i'm gonna get good at this again. or literally die trying.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

hey, dakota, go stand next to the man ...

as i've mentioned, chaz and i are in the midst of covering the 39-ish mile superior hiking trail one or two segments at a time. this gives me a reasonably valid reason to get out of bed before 2 p.m., and also has shown me a lot of pretty cool places to drink 40s and scribble my gang sign on rocks if i ever have the opportunity to be a high school student.

our last trek went from martin road, through hartley and on to chester creek, where we ditched out on east sixth street. we did our previous 7.1ish miles in the rain and when we finally emerged on arrowhead less than midway through, my shoes were caked with mud and my braids were ratty and i just overall felt like a fugitive from a maximum security women's prison. then charles turned to me and said something i'll never forget. he said "haha. you look like a hippie." about two weeks later, i still have dirt under my toenails. i tried to scrub it out, got bored, and instead opted to just paint my nails bright red until the dirt eventually flecks out on its own accord.


yesterday we plopped back into the wilderness where we left off. our route went from this spot, to the rose garden, along the lakewalk, behind the DECC, over the pedestrian bridge arching I35 and then a zig-zag uphill to twin ponds -- where we'd ditched a car near one bikini'd hood rat and a horizontal couple mashing their pudgy bodies together within plain view of the parking lot. [when we returned to twin ponds at the end of our hike we will also find young people swimming and a suspicious mustached man in a trench coat leaning against something and watching them.]

i am enamored with chester creek. i love the idea that you can be seeped in wilderness, turning your crannies into a tick farm, and fantasizing about your yet-unrealized black lab named jake, and just above you -- at street level -- people are plugging their thoraxes with emperial chicken from burrito union.

on the other hand, i also liked that this segment of our trip was more of an urban prowl. where, when i had to pee, i could use a comparatively posh stall in the fitger's complex, rather than answering natures call in nature. a situation where distractions took the form of contemplating a speedy weinie from a man in a little cart in leif erickson park and/or a corndog from a vendor in canal park. in other words, a scenario where we're pulled off the beaten path by things that don't look as much like this:


*deer head stuck in a tree. photo taken by chuck, but dear head not planted satanically by chuck.

we were near the hotels when a chubby little roller blading novice tried to impale herself on the boardwalk. arms flailing, she stopped the suicide mission long enough to say in that garbled, lispy, uneducated way in which elementary students talk:

"the skateboarding crew is here again!"

down by the pier were about 100 people cheering on dozens of skateboarders who were finding creative ways to carom off the steps to the lighthouse. we approached at about the same time as a short security woman dressed in the adrogynous uniform of all security guards regardless of bust-size. the skaters saw her coming and quickly tried to get their final ollies and 360s and whatever the hell it is that skateboarders do before she officially kicked them off the premises.

she didn't say anything. she marched to the skaters' pivot point and stood there with her arms crossed in front of her. a skater whizzed past her undaunted, and attempted his trick. she expanded her wing span. another skater zipped toward her and she dodged left like she was going to give him a hug. he bailed before the act of intimacy was consumated.

a skater with a megaphone instructed the crowd to head to their next skating spot, the plaza, and a long line of people filed off the pier and wound around on the lake walk.

"skateboarders are people, too!" a kid on a bike said to the security guard.
"well they sure don't act like it," she said.
"hey, dakota," another skater said to one of the younger skaters. a kid resembling the youngest member of the band hanson. "go stand next to THE MAN. let me take your picture with THE MAN."

the kid on the bike told us that it was national skateboarding day and that this group was going from venue to venue to bring skater awareness and to demonstrate to duluth its need for a skate park.

[later, in front of the library, another friend told me that when the police showed up to kick the skateboarders off the property, a young kid pouted "we've been waiting 20 years for a skate park." to which his mom answered "honey, you're only six." or something like that. i like to think that kid was the aforementioned dakota.]

whatever. i love watching skateboarders. [insert tirade about loving and hating bam margera here]

the wilderness aspect of the hike was at about a 90 degree incline. moving up hill always brings out my dormant inner runner. when i run, which i don't, but if i did, i would prefer going uphill to flats or down hills. so i spent about an hour fantacizing about running, which is what i do instead of running. i also fantacize about owning a dog instead of getting one and being a sexy hitchhiker with a blown tire on her jeep wrangler instead of actually taking to the road in a wife beater and short-shorts. whatever. you have your bgtc, i'll have mine.

hours later, my muscles lapped up all the fluid i had sloshing around in various parts of my body. which was, essentially, busch lite from a carefully executed $5 beer night in which i once again beat the pioneer by consuming more than five dollars worth. when i woke, i had a belly-full of gas station burrito and my brain felt like it had been laid in the sun and dried to kippered jerkey.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

i see drunk people ...



the difference between going to bed at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. starts like this:

me: for some reason i can't stop thinking about el debarge. what did he sing?
chuck: who's johnny?
me: right! right! and rhythm of the night!"
chuck: [miming a sharpie drawing across his upper lip] he had one of those mustaches and a very thin tie ...
me: and a permed mullet
chuck: yeah.

which, somehow, within 15 minutes has segued into:

me: blah blah blah 'you can't do that on television.'
chuck: blah blah blah 'pinwheel'
me: blah blah blah blah 'double dare'
chuck: SWEET PICKLES IS GREAT!
me: degrassi junior high.

this goes on. and on. and on.

***

lately i've been trying to eat a lot of vegetables. i like vegetables because they are the healthiest equivilent to dumping doritos into my gaping mouth or just ordering a salt lick and spooning it as i sleep. so today i chopped some cucumbers, radishes, and jalapinos ... put them in a bowl and added a dash or two of peanut sauce. shake and anticipate the flavor explosion called dinner-time.

in the interim, i hopped into the shower. i cupped my hands with water and rubbed my eyes and ...

this half-hour of helen keller mimicry is brought to you by jalapino juice i forgot to wash off my hands.

for the rest of the shower i had to blindly reach for products and conduct my business with my eyes squinched shut. not only could i not get them open, it hurt to think about opening them.

this is the stupidest thing i've done in days.

***

tonite i was driving and a woman wearing boxer shorts and a t'shirt was stumbling down fourth street and she was acting like she might fall off the sidewalk, weaving and bobbing on her little doe legs. i wouldn't have paid attention, but i was at a stoplight. then i realized that it was strange that i wouldn't have ordinarily even noticed it. then i realized that every. single. day of my life. i see at least one drunk person stumbling somewhere.

maybe i just see drunk people.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

unrest insurance ...

a year and some months ago i had a desperate and urgent need for car insurance. i wanted to deal with a physical entity -- a skin-wearing, face-filled, tie hanger -- as my dabblings in conducting my own insurance business online had served to only highlight the many ways in which i can sodomize my checking account by failing to read every word on the screen.

i cruised up central enterance and stopped at the first easily accessible sign of an insurance company. my agent was an older man with glasses and an impressive bomb-shelter quality and quantity of foodstuffs lining the shelves behind his messy desk. bill. he has grandchildren. he is a big fan of duluth central and now has a daughter living in rochester. we chatted. oh, lo, we chatted.

and when it came time for him to type my information into the computer, he did the bifocal bobbing peer at his screen and hunted and pecked his way through my first and last name, social security number and address. by this time we were good enough friends that i wanted to gently touch his upper arm and say softly and without judgement: "bill? do you want me to type that for you? you seem to struggle with the concept of home row?"
dozens of pecks and sighs and squints later i had car insurance, and an insurance agent with a proclivity for easy mac, pop tarts and instant coffee.

together, bill and i worked through my credit issues. as i went from the fbi watchlist to a person who can pay bills in a timely manner more often, unless i forget. and when it became possible for my insurance rate to go down, on account of my better banking behavior, he promised to rerun my numbers for me and e-mail me the new rates.

weeeee!

i spent an extra 20 minutes with my buddy discussing local issues, sharing a few smiles and laughs and ignored the impulse to hug, and left to wait for his email.

he did not email me.

when it came close to the for my monthly insurance chunk to be taken from my checking account, and he'd yet to visit my in-box, i called bill for an update.

"doh!" he said. "it's too late to give you the lower rate this month! come in before the end of next month and we can do it."

"okay," i sighed, knowing that the hapless little stinker had cost me extra money that i did not want to pay again this month. we both pretended it wasn't his fault. we both knew it was.

at the end of last month, i walked into his office and we switched my policy to metlife instead of progressive. the check to metlife went through. and a few days later, progressive withdrew from my account, too. a grand total of a lotta dollars in insurance because good old old home row forgot to cancel my progressive policy.

additionally, when the second policy went through, it caused my checking account to dip seductively into overdrawn. and because i'd not expected that check to go through, i'd continued my life as usual: a coffee at caribou, some groceries, this, that, facial cleanser that makes my face tingle ... so not only did i get one overdraft for the insurance, it came with four additional overdrafts at 34 dollars a shot. one of my favorite things about an overdraft, is paying 34 extra dollars for a cup of coffee that cost $1.96.

i called bill and left a terse message. hey, buddy. did you forget to cancel my progressive policy?
he didn't call me back.
i called him. finally trapped the sucker on the phone. he told me progressive would refund me. i told him about the overdrafts. he said he'd split the overdraft on the insurance payment with me. this meant: for the $136 dollars in overdrafts i accrued because he forgot to cancel the policy? he'd give me $17.

sweet.

yesterday i realized i'd not yet been reimbursed by progressive and it was the eve of my student loan payment, which comes directly from my checking account. the student loan people don't care if the money is there. they'll take it either way. it can either cost me the standard rate, or it can cost me the standard rate plus and overdraft if i can't cover it.

i called bill.
he wasn't in the office.
i screamed at his partner.
his partner stopped me mid-yelp and said:

"christal? let me stop you for a second. i'd never heard the name christal until today. and now i've had conversations with three in one day. can you believe that? it started when i called ... "

this story goes on.
finally i broke in.
"my name isn't christal," i told him. "it's christa. now. about this progressive thing..."

he explained that he couldn't help me. but he said he understood my venting, because as a salesman, sometimes it is his job to just listen. he told me that if he had 50 million dollars he would give me a million and pay my overdrafts for me. he told me he'd give my message to bill.

bill did not call me back today, either.
progressive did refund my payment, though. not that it helps. i'm already so overdrawn from paying overdrafts that i may have to bust into his office and pillage bill's canned goods. ravioli, saltines. lipton tea bags.

all this because i was trying to save some cash.
mother. effing. home. row.
stay tuned as i a) send bill my letter of recognition from our relationship; b) find a new insurance company. this time, typing ability is not optional.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the z-list celeb ...

never, since my days of absolutely dominating the long jump pits of southeastern minnesota in a pair of wacky outrageous tights and a dee-light soundtrack playing in my walkman, have i had a situation like this: i was recognized.

i was leaning against a wall when a stranger approached me and said "i used to read your blog."

i'm not even going to lie and pretend that my ego didn't inflate to dangerous levels. and that if he wasn't careful, he would walk away wearing shards of ego debris on his t'shirt.

he identified himself as cityboy -- a somewhat regular commentor on m former blog. a man from the twin cities who found my site after reading about it in the star tribune.

"i thought about emailing you when i knew i was coming to town to find out where the pio is. and which bars to go to in superior," he said.

the thing with people who i meet who have read my old blog -- they always refer to the pio as the "pee-oh." this cracks me up. it is, for the uninitiated, short for pioneer.

"and on the way into town i saw a taco john's and figured that is the one you always go to at the end of the night," he said.

then we played memory lane with the past two years of my online life:
"remember the video of your roommate taking the crap?" he said.
i sighed, laughed, nodded.
"oh that was hilarious," he said. "and then later you gave him the boot ...?"
"yeah, hee hee," i said.

then he introduced me to his friend and girlfriend:
"she's like melinda without a filter!" he said.
they nodded.
"i used to read her blog all the time!" he said.

"do you think this is creepy?" one of the women asked me.
"no," i said. "i've been waiting for this day my whole life."

a long time ago i thought that i'd have a really popular site. that it would get thousands of hits per day and that i'd get a book deal and that i'd never have to stand in line for a pitcher of long island ice teas on a wednesday night at grandma's sports garden. there would be shirts and interviews and someone would write a hip hop song about it.

then that went away.
now i realize there are about 20 gazillion blogs online and 18 gazillion of those bloggers are doing the dead man's float in that same pool of hubris. and about 17 gazillion of those bloggers are people who say "look at me! i'm edgy! i just wrote the word vagina!" -- kinda like i used to be.
so, i'm back to this sort of anonymity. less than a hundred hits a day, when i had figured i'd be well-over 100,000 by now.

in high school i had a friend named neva who would find subtle ways to brag about herself in a way that seemed to say "oh my gosh, it is a burden to be this great." she'd eye a group of hot public school boys and say "that one is totally staring at me. my gosh. seriously. he needs to stop staring at me." or "ugh. i'm getting too much playing time. its exhausting playing this much basketball."

this made the rest of us very self conscious about saying nice things about ourselves. and so, if we did, we'd preface it with an "i'm not trying to be neva, but ..."

so here it is: i'm not trying to be neva, but last night i felt like the lindsay lohan of blogging and it wasn't creepy. it was super cool.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

*a disk of cartilage between the articulating ends of the bones in a joint ...

i did not run. i probably should have since my entire being feels like frayed meniscus*.

meniscus is one of my favorite words. also big this week are:
puttanesca
kumquat

Friday, June 15, 2007

quasimoto's internal debate ...


if i do it, i'll be wearing this

one of my favorite things about being president and CEO of my own little life is this: 2:46 p.m. on a friday afternoon and i still haven't decided if i am going to run the half-marathon.

if i close my eyes i can picture both scenarios quite vividly. me running: a drooling, grunting, limping, frizzy-haired quasimoto immitation; me not running: asleep, tank top askew, drooling, grunting, limping, yawning sleeping quasimoto immitation, waking at 1 p.m. and wondering "hmmm coffee, camel lite?"

and honestly, i'm not leaning in either direction. i am completely 50-50 on this half-marathon question. i've also not set a deadline for my decision. i will proceed all day as though i'm running -- pick up my race packet, continue to assume that i am, until i have reason to decide otherwise. or not.

***

i have found myself saying these words a little too frequently:
"13.1 miles? really. that's not that far."
and the scary thing is that i truly believe that. maybe it's hubris or maybe it's the fact that i dropped a very expensive math class in college because i had earned, at midterm, a 7 percent.
or maybe it is because despite all the things i've done to my body to convince it otherwise -- the smoking, the five-dollar beer night, the lack of anything akin to training, the strict diet of tator tots and ketchup, i still consider myself a runner.

***

earlier this week a fellow camel litian approached me for some running advice.
"you still run?" camel litian asked.
i nodded. my head heavy with the feeling that this could, technically, be considered an untruth. i've not run since march. and that was on a treadmill. and there was enough walking sprinkled into the workout to deem it actually "a walk."
"do you still smoke?" he asked.
i nodded.
"how much?" he asked.
"hmmm. depends. pack and some change. unless i'm at a bar, and i can put away an entire pack in one sitting," i said.
"and does that affect your running?" he asked.
"well. not endurance-wise, but speed-wise," i told him.
and from when i have run regularly, i've found this to be true. i plod on and on and on, but i cannot plod on and on and on rapidly.

***

just now, my landlord called and said:
"are you still running the half?"
"i don't know yet," i said.
"i'm doing the 5k," he said.
"uh huh," i said.
"i'm having calf problems," he said. "been wearing three pairs of socks, trying to work in a new pair of shoes."
"yup."
"i wanted to finish under 20," he said.
"righto," i contributed.
"maybe next year," he said.

***

as i like to point out about once a week, needed or not, i ran twin cities marathon in -- what -- 2004? no training. sixth to last place. having this on my running resume makes running 13.1 miles without training seem as simple as ordering the entire dollar menu at the drive thru window at wendy's -- which i did on tuesday. in preparation for my big run.

i've used this "marathon" experience as justification that i can "run" this "thing" on saturday.

"i've never seen someone walk slower in my life," moccassins described the after effects to chuck, when my training regimine found me at the pioneer at last call wednesday night.

***

"i'd like to bet you 400 dollars that you don't run," jcrew said yesterday.
"that, little missy, is exactly the kind of talk that makes me want to run," i told her.

***

i have been physically active. two weeks ago chuck and i hiked a chunk of the superior trail. from martin road to chester bowl -- probably a little more than six miles through rain and mud. when i was huffing and puffing at the top of a hill behind UMD, chuck gave me a look.

"is this where you say something about me running the half-marathon?" i asked. "because, i'll have you know, the half-marathon is one an actual road. and there are people cheering on the sidewalk. and it is waaaaay easier to run than walk..."

***

"the hardest part," i told chuck a few days ago, "will be waking up that early."
"how early?" he asked.
"well. probably at like 4:30 a.m. or 5," i said. "the race starts at 6-ish or something."
"listen ..." he sighed. i could hear him giving me a sort of govenor's reprieve.
tis true. i've not seen the front-end of an hour this early since my mom decided to wage a passive-aggressive intervention on my status as "night person" with a 6 a.m. flight to vegas from minneapolis.

i just giggled.

***

yesterday i had an "i'm not going to run, screw that" hour. everything that could possibly be wrong with my body is wrong with my body: a UTI and cramps and the general malaise associated with PMS. my will to live had hit a record low and my will to stab people arbitrarily and violently had hit a record high.

but here is the thing: the t'shirt. i really want the t'shirt. i want to wear it once, then stow it in a bottom drawer and never think about it again because i'm sure it is an unflattering piece of cotton outlandishness. but i want it.

i've also never had the opportunity to actually run this race. and seeing this town overrun with fit people with toned calves and shiny skin and athletic ware has me a little ramped up in a way that nullifies the fact that i will not be able to find a place to park for the next two days.

i'm having an "i'm going to do it" moment right now. but who ever really knows what i'll do. not me.

***
UPDATE 5:30 p.m.


this concerns me: you must maintain a 14-minute mile pace ... blah blah blah ... or race officials will escort you to an official bus and transport you to the decc. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

parker, i hardly know her ....

[phone wakes me at 12:18 p.m.]
jcrew: CAN YOU GET A TICKET FOR EXPIRED TABS IF YOU'RE PARKED ON THE STREET?!
[jcrew's ... um, exhuberence in the morning always, um ... stuns me. i can't screech until at least 6 p.m., but it isn't even convincing until after 10 p.m. she manages to have her blood pressure measure on the richter scale before i've celebrated my first void of the morning.
me: yes. yes, you can get a ticket for expired tabs if you're parked on the street.
jcrew: SON OF A BITCH!
me: yeah. i gotta go.

***

chuck: she's from proctor. why doesn't she park on the lawn?
me: easy, west duluth ...

SCENE

* title taken from veronica mars

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

eternal sunshine of the spotless computer ...

this clunky craptastic 20 pounds of inadequate technology has left me without an option. it behaves like a petulant former captain of the proctor danceline. it turns itself off when it wants. i'm bombarded with error messages, like i walked through a patch of post-it notes barefoot.

cranking it up takes a host of tricks reminiscent of long car rides with your family when you were 11 and had to hold your walkman at a weird angle to catch casey kasem's top 40 countdown. and there you are, contorting yourself in the backseat with one hand cocked near the window and your other hand on your face, trying to use your braces as a conductor. i have to: turn it on. quickly press "enter," then wait 15 minutes for it to stop spinning and thinking.

the whole thing whirrs as loudly as a helicopter, and though i keep it plugged in overnight in an entirely different room, sometimes the sound keeps me awake.

"i thought someone was weed-whacking," chucks says. "but it was just your laptop."
"someone is weed-whacking," i say.
"oh," he says.

honest mistake.

a friend of mine is an IT sort. months ago, he had me log into his company's network to see if he could figure out what was wrong with my computer. 45 minutes later, he had laughed himself into an evil villianous coma and basically told me i'm screwed.

this laptop is more diseased than the bathroom doorknob in a kindergarten classroom.

a few months ago i subscribed to emusic.com. 30 downloads a month. unfortunately, i am unable to download anything.
a few days ago i wrote something as a word document. when i went to retrieve it later, the page contained a list from 2006 of things i'd eaten that week and miles i'd run.
i'm unable to move photos from my digital camera onto my computer.

and i guess, if you want to look at the positives, i can still get online and sometimes this computer does not eat my words before i've published. thank you, inspiron. you keep my glass half full.

my brother gave me an external drive for christmas and last week i tried to move files from my computer to that drive for safe keeping. my dell refused to acknowledge this extra appendage.

at some point in the next 24 hours, i'm going to wipe out everything on this laptop. i'm going to do something involving something called operating systems. i'm givin gthis laptop a radical form of treatment that will leave it less-than half the computer it used to be, but 100 percent better than the computer it is today.

and as long as i don't think about it too hard, i'm not concerned about losing 50-some bookmarks, dream journals, workout regimines, short stories, one and a half nanowrimo projects, or the 2000-some songs that came with this computer. i'm not exactly stoked that i'm losing two or three years of digital photos of 21-year-old boys sucking down beer bongs, and an array of unflattering self portraits, or the documentation of the time i wore a homemade t'shirt that said "i lost mine in the backseat of a camaro" and had a gross -- and very visible -- pucker of beer gut gushing pregnantly over my jeans.

i have been known to throw away garbage bags filled with my past without looking inside. there are journals upon journals upon journals in my parent's basement that i never need to see again. i'm not one of those pack-ratty sorts and i'm definitely not a scrapbooker or anything else that involves scissors, doilies and glitter pens.

i'm sure i'll miss some of the things i am about to erase. but really, the only thing i can think of at this time is the song "no ordinary love" by sade.

Monday, June 11, 2007

why, i seem to have not blogged since wednesday, and even that was just a cut and paste youtube link ...

thursday
i want to believe, in my heart of hearts, that it was a fluke. that the last time i visited the pioneer/hero's/zero's five dollar all-you-can-drink grainbelt premium night and found my beer of impetus substituted for busch lite -- that it was a one-time thing and that the pioneer/hero's/zero's keg keepers have returned to the regularly scheduled beer.

this does not prove to be true. i consume five dollar all-you-can-drink busch lite like a common high school sophomore. and jello shots, like a common college sophomore. i try not to think about who actually baked these jello shots and the quality of their hand sanitizer. raspberry is my favorite.

in the cab on the way home, i am telling chuck a story "...blah blah blah he totally reminds me of [landlord's] brother."
"landlord?" the cab driver interupts. "i know landlord."
"oh yeah?" i say.
"sure. i drove him home last nite," she says. "his girlfriend is a bit of a handful."
"i'll say," i say.
"she jumped out of the cab and threatened to walk home," the cab driver spills.
"that sounds about right," i tell her.

only in duluth. only in a cab-a-ray cab.

friday
i spend two hours in my bathroom willing tinkle to exit nearly as soon as it is formed. to pass the time, i play canal control -- one of two games on my cell phone. i'm wildly unsuccessful at this game, and think that anyone who walks the city streets should be glad to know that i'm not allowed to be an engineering sort.

while i'm tired of this game, everytime i take a time out, i continue to see structures and pipes in my head and it lures me back to the game. i see that i can no longer use a sarcastic tone to discuss some people's willingness to whittle away their life in front of computer solitare. this is worse. this has a catchy soundtrack that i refuse to mute.

finally, when i'm able to walk again, i go to walgreens and discover cystex -- a new form of UTI pain medication that costs twice as much, but promises to stave off the infection as well has numb your piping. why i never ... i pop these suckers like they are jalapino flavored jelly bellys and begin the arduous process of trying to cure my own infection through gross quantities of water and by injecting cystex into my veins.

saturday
we are going to have fun! and i'm going to simulate fun by drinking vats of bar pour agua and wearing a perma grin. 'tis not often, these days, that a whole mess of us can be at the same bar and the same time. jcrew is in town and moptop-less. the rockstar calls looking for some action. even my landlord wants in.

we go to keyport to sing karoake. by the time we cross the bridge i've decided that since sunday i am going to have my uti professionally repaired anyway, i may as well bring the pain tonight.

"since i'm going to urgent care anyway," i tell chuck.

when we get to keyport, the karoake seating is empty and the dj is on stage covering the new kids on the block's "step by step" for absolutely no one.

eventually our table fills and other tables fill and the rockstar, who is actually a rockstar, sings some blondie. jcrew is rapt. she surveys the crowd.

"do these people even realize what they're hearing?" she screeches. "they should have to pay her 20 bucks to hear her sing. they're getting this for free!"

"hey!" jcrew announces to those within earshot. "listen! you're lucky you get to hear this!"

when two buxom women perform a duet, chuck says to me: there are a lot of boobs on stage.
then he repeats the comment to sea-dawg, who studies the stage and adds: "there are at least five."

chuck performs a sort of gritty satanic version of "hit me baby one more time" and jcrew and bubbles provide background girl-on-girl grinding. chuck is killing the song, and seadawg says: "is that weird that i'd rather watch chuck sing this than bubbles and jcrew grind on each other?"

i sing "goodbye my lover" with the intent of using james blunt's voice and i'm predicting that it is going to be hilarious. in my head. about three words in i realize a) i don't sound like james blunt; b) there is nothing funny about this song; c) i need to try to forget a and b for the next two and a half minutes.

we'd all, on thursday night, been invited to a garage party in proctor called "bacon fest," my former roommate said. "in honor of my favorite food."

it is his birthday party, and when the karoake stops, beer fest is still ... um, crunchy? nah. sizzling. we take a jeep cherokee full of fun to the garage. there is music, there is bacon, there are enough 20-somethings to rival stargate on new year's eve and there is ...

beer pong.

chuck and i challenge the winners. a girl whose name i forget, and my former roommate's new girlfriend. in the time since my former roommate and i have shared a duplex, the rules of the game have become bastardized. now, suddenly, it is okay for the defending champions to lean lean or make waving motions over the cups i'm aiming for. this is the stupidest game i've ever played. don't get me wrong, it was stupid before, but this is completely obnoxious. i bring in a referee who explains the changed rule.

"men can't block the cups, but the girls can."
this is why i don't frequent proctor garage parties or any other sort of bacon festival.

my former downstairs neighbors serenade me with the song "cold as ice" like they used to before they knew me, when they partied in the apartment below mine until the sun came up and went back down.
i'm oddly flattered and think "this must be how lindsay lohan feels."
my former roommate plays "since you've been gone" and us ladies belt out the words.
my landlord puts duct tape over his ears, calling the move: white trash ear plugs.
"i could use a white trash blind fold," chuck muses.
"it's called beer," my landlord says.

sunday
yes, today is the day i'll finally make the trip to urgent care. i spend two hours involved in some unflattering situations.

we tour mount royal fine foods. i decide to move there, as it is an exact replica of what i want my life to look like.
bulldog pizza.
sopranos.
ice cream.
cystex.
veronica mars.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

like a volcano ...

this is my new favorite old song and i'm not going to listen to anything else until i am wearing a cast on my eardrum.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

myspace, yourspace ... dot com ...

last year, on this day, my former roommate planned to celebrate his birthday satanically. his cousin, the athiest, a perfect circle screaming, self-loathing, reptile seducing, walking graffiti board, death messenger and woman intreguer, had been pimping my former roommate for this day for years: 6/6/06 -- his 22nd birthday.

two of his friends arts and crafted a beer pong table, while chanelling top gun. goose and maverick versus the ice man and hollywood or something. christmas lights celebrating "out of bounds." a glass casing to deflect beer spillage.

the night unfolded without apocolyptic incident, lest you consider my former roommate passing out in a pool of his own sweaty drool at 6 p.m. something worthy of marilyn manson lyric. as for everyone else:

two people threw up in the backyard.
one person couldn't make it because of a mother-daughter threesome.
we ran out of beer.
one enraged man tried to walk from central hillside to two harbors.
i doused his face in grain belt before he left.
he fell out of a lawn chair before i doused him.

like many pedophiles, 14 year old girls, crappy hair metal bands and irrelevant actors, i had recently been introduced to myspace.com. i spent many a drunken night browsing this horrific site. i went through four lourdes high school yearbooks and my lists upon lists of former boyfriends and people i hated in college.

after i tired of that, i developed an interested that hadn't been picqued since i stopped browsing match.com without actually buying a membership: i would search the site for men with photos between the ages of 28-36 who were within a 20 mile radius. i was not looking for a boyfriend. i was looking for evidence that, within this sleepy town, men my age ... attractive men my age ... single men my age ... single attractive men my age who weren't scary in their ATV obsessions ... existed.

on june 6, 2006, i proceeded as usual.

one photo killed me browse after browse. his name was familiar; i recognized it from a local bimonthly publication i apprciated. greatly. my friend hank, also a fan of said publication, would read his stuff and say: christa, i can't believe you aren't sleeping with him. you need to sleep with him. sleep with him! but that had been five years earlier. while i didn't necessarily latch on to his specific genre, he had the kind of name that sticks with any f. scott fitzgerald fan or person with just an ear. and so i looked at his photo often. black and white. a coffee pot. flannel shirt. hot. sexy.

on this day, a year ago, i sent him a message. drunk. after celebrating a satanic holiday, dousing a reveler with grain belt and finally cozying into my comfort zone. it said: "i want to meet you."

he wrote back the next day. something like: "2:34 a.m.! were you drunk?"

what he didn't know: i'm always up at 2:34 a.m., drunk or sober as a drunk driver.
what i didn't know: that, upon receiving a myspace message from a stranger, he'd google the fuck out of her and find a) her blog; b) st. thomas track and field results; c) short stories writen as a sophomore in a college fiction writing course. he would go encyclopedia brown all over her flickr.com account. survey the landscape and decide if he wanted to get involved with a person with a magnetic poetry kit stuck to her fridge.

we corresponded a bit after that. i had, what i like to call, a blog crush. this based solely on things i found out about him online. [i, too, know the powers of investigation. i'm like veronica mars. sassy.]

a month later, i was quoted in a star tribune front-page story on blogging. you know, back when i had a blog that didn't smell like church basement bingo? he, too, was quoted in reference to his site. i sent him an email: "what are the odds that we both turn up in the same star tribune story?"

a month after that i had one of those peppermint schnapps, internet access, pensive nights, "this keyboard feels nice, dear online diary" nights. after i wrote that i was listening to "thunder road" by bruce springsteen on repeat, he sent me the version by bonnie "prince" billy. "why [myspace boyfriend]," i wrote. "i never realized you were reading my blog."

i emailed him.
he emailed me.
i emailed him.
he didn't email me.

this went on. i told fannie, my best friend about him. she'd actually heard of him. when his messages popped up in my inbox i was excited. i began, backwardly, looking for him everywhere i went. bars, target, grocery stores.

on august 21st, 2006, i went to the subway at 27th avenue west. i was wearing target variety gaucho pants, a sweatshirt i found at the pioneer. a pony tail, ballet-styled slippers and a crappy ass pony tail. a longish tank top. i walked into the sandwich shop and immediately thought his name.

he may have been the guy in front of me.
i shifted myself to get a closer look.
maybe too short. ... ?
i looked away. turned around. and there, behind me, was him. walking from the pop machine to a table.

he looked at me.
i looked at him.
i looked at him. a lot.
he looked at me.

i laughed. i held out my hand.
"i knew i'd finally meet you," i said. "i'm christa."
"i'm [chuck]," he said.
"strange," i said, "to recognize someone from their flickr photos."
"join me?" i thought he asked. and apparently he did.

i lost concentration and forgot the name of the bread i wanted. i looked at him to share my idiotic moment, but he was busy eating a subway club. he was nervous. and i only say that to deflect from the fact that I WAS NERVOUS. SHE WHO DOES NOT GET NERVOUS OR EMBARRASSED OR FEEL SHAME felt nervous. it was an awkward meal. i won't lie. he was on a dinner break. i was unaccustomed to meeting people i like.

he asked me why i was at that subway.
"i come here because it takes me one cigarette to get here," i told him. "and the subway in the holiday center always, like, runs out of bread."
he laughed. he laughed really big. i didn't realize then that he is prone to such things.

me? i wanted to hear that sound again and again and again. his laugh is an explosion of giggles that could give you a heart attack. fucking kill you dead with happiness that you made a funny. i've met men who think i'm cutish. i've met men who think i'm smartish. i've met men who don't necessarily think i'm funny. but i am. and that is the first thing you need to know. and he got that. there was a lot of stuff i didn't understand until i met him. now it seems funny to picture when we were strangers.

we began dating about 10 days later. our first event was my 31st birthday, and i'll get to that story later.

but the important thing for you to know is this:
i fucking met my boyfriend on myspace.
and i couldn't be happier. literally.
and it was a year ago today.

Monday, June 4, 2007

if that's just borderline ...

i had two voicemail messages. the first:
"hey christa. this is ron. give me a call back."
the second:
"hey christa. i'm not trying to bother you, but give me a call back."

ron, who?

i return the phone call. he's on the other line, but quickly ditches the other caller.

"this is ron," he says.
"um. this is christa. you called me?"
"yeah. so," he says.
"what do you want?" i ask.
"this is ron," he says.
"do i know you?" i ask.
"yeah," he says.
"how?" i ask.
"um. you gave me your number," he says.
"i doubt that," i say. "and if i did, it was years ago."
"years ago," he snorts. "hardly."
"where did we meet?" i ask.
"um. i don't know. we probably danced together or something," he says.
"i doubt that very much," i say.
"hm," he says.
"so. what do you want?" i ask.
"are you single?" he asks.
"no," i say.
"you aren't single?" he asks.
"no," i say. "can we be done here?"

later i called my landlord to ask him who ron is. i told him the whole story, ending with the "are you single."

"he didn't even know how he knew you and he wanted to know if you were single?" landlord asked.
"uh huh," i said.
"well that's ... that's borderline pathetic," he said.

not taking the lord's name in vain ...

chuck and i have both been tagged. and we're drunk enough -- wine night, luce, empty carmody -- that we're doing a joint response to FMG. but we aren't tagging anyone else because of hubris. and we aren't differntiating from our responses because we are troublemakers.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
* working at barnes and noble and mama b's in rochester. i learned to hate art garfunkle and love pasta with sausage, chicken, three cheese and red sauce. and i was dating fannie's exboyfriend.
* i had worms.


What were you doing 1 year ago?
* executing some fratastic games of beer pong and stalking people on myspace.
* drinking jim beam straight from the bottle and listening to bonnie "prince" billy.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) cool ranch doritos
2) brie
3) tobassco flavored slim jims
4) super potato oles
5) stars and lightning chicken nuggets from burger king

1) cashews
2) cheddar flavored chex mix
3) strawberries
4) amy's chik'n nuggets
5) 7-up flavored jelly bellys


Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
(my karoke repretoire)
1) denise williams -- let's hear it for the boy
2) madonna -- borderline
3) fleetwood mac -- dreams
4) belinda carlisle -- complete collection
5) cure -- just like heaven

1) snoop -- gin and juice
2) eminem -- soldier
3) van halen -- panama
4) guns & roses -- patience
5) the clash -- rock the casbah

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) go to spain for three months and tour around eating beans and watching bulls race and drinking wine out of skins.
2) a new laptop
3) a jeep wrangler and a black dog named jake, denim shorts, bandizo, yow!
4) buy property with reckless abandon
5) make leisure jealous

1) buy a house
2) get drunk
3) sleep
4) watch tv
5) read


Five bad habits:
1) saying the eff word in front of children
2) self-dating
3) tardiness
4) caring too much
5) starving my cat

1) working too many hours
2) taking three hours to get out of bed
3) allowing my refrigerator to smell like saurkraut
4) letting my car fix itself
5) farting


Five things you like doing:
1) writing about myself
2) drinking tequila
3) getting to third base
4) reading addiction memoirs
5) smoking myself into a coma

1) honoring my father and mother
2) not taking the lord's name in vain
3) not coveting my neighbor's wife
4) not stealing
5) not honoring idols who are not my lord

Five things you would never wear again:
"i've worn the same thing since sixth grade."
"i'm not ruling anything out."

Five favorite toys:
1) christa
2) tivo
3) dream of owning wii
4) the reality tv that is my neighbors
5) camera

1) laptop
2) "imagination"
3) tequila
4) michael graves' monopoly
5) sunroof

Saturday, June 2, 2007

satanic eyes and pubescent whiskers ...

under ordinary circumstances, a spray bottle of 409 and a "psss psss" immitation of the squirting sound is enough to keep toonses out of my face when i'm doing something where the experience is not enhanced by having a 30 pound cat draped lazily across my lap. usually, toonses fears nozzles. they suggeste an interference with his lifelong dream to never getting wet.

last night he sat a respectible distance from me for most of the night, but each time i stood up: to pee, check the crunch factor of my tator tots, get water, watch crimes unfold out my front window, he danced through my feet happily. giddy that we were going somewhere together and especially pleased when it meant a trip to the bathroom -- since it is home to the his grand and regal porceline water dish, the only throne the primadona deems worthy of his pursed little cat lips. when i sit on it, he puts his pudgy cat paws on my knees as if to say: no no no. thats not how you drink out of it...

at bedtime, i have to act quickly and not do anything to tip toonses off to my plans. my options are limited:

a) i can let him into my bedroom. despite the size of my bed and an abundance of pillows, he will want his entire body to rest on the same pillow i am using. i'm lucky if his creepy satanic eyes are just boring into the back of my head. it beats having his scratchy pubescent whiskers brushing my cheeks. if i push him to the floor, he'll do a lap around the foot of the bed, hop up on the other side and land in the exact same place. ... to say nothing of the way he takes his little paw and pets the back of my head like a creepy virginal internet boyfriend you meet up with at a truck stop.

b) if i lock him out of my bedroom, he will stand outside my door and alternatively paw at the knob and try to scratch his way under the barrier. when i moved from duluth, toonses meowed approximately 47 times per minute for the 3 1/2 hour trip, so i know that he has the lung capacity of angelina jolie. he can break this record on a saturday night, meowing outside my door in six hour increments.

he may be going insane, but i'm riding in the side car. the best i can do is leave the door open and arm myself with the 409 bottle. and even that is not enough.

last night i started with the door open until his smooth seduction scene proved overwhelming. then i locked him out. then i popped a benadryl, so i would hopefully get knocked out before he began cooing REO speedwagon's greatest hits. no. such. luck.

at 5:30 a.m., i woke to his incessant pawing and singing.

and i know that since i can hear my downstairs neighbors hacking up toe jam below me, i know that they can hear me screaming at toonses. and it probably makes things sound like he is my deadbeat husband and i am menopause.

i stared at my apartment door and considered, for five minutes, just letting him leave. taking his castorated, declawed, overweight self into the central hillside to see how long he survives. maybe then he'd appreciate the food i put on the table, the shelter i provide, the toilet i let him drink from. but he would probably just become a paint huffer and start asking me for money.

i never meant to be a cat owner, let alone a cat blogger.

Friday, June 1, 2007

this coffee tastes like pms ...

on wednesday afternoon i was sitting upstairs at the caribou coffee. to my right was a woman studying; to my left two women looking at scrapbooking samples and wedding photos. across from me, cozied into the couch: two women catching up on the past few years of each other's lives. things like "are you still with [boys name]" and such testements as: "all of this dating has taught me a lot. i learn something from each of them. for instance, i don't want to date someone who is into the pot."

the pot.

they weren't using their inside voices, which made it seem perfectly acceptible for me to stare at them and feel involved in their conversation. i am a gawker, and i'm not polite about it and i couldn't change it if i wanted to. when i was about five, two teenaged girls were walking down the street and i vividly recall them saying to me:

"stare a hole."
and the other added:
"buggah, buggah."

in high school, fannie and princess linda referred to me as "the rubber necker."

meanwhile, back at caribou, my head was a freakshow, spinning with unabashed eavesdropping rudeness.

to my left, more wedding photos and cooing.
to my right, more silent studying.
across from me: "i don't really like drinks mixed with red bull."
to my left, doily patterns.
to my right, a pen scribbling glitter-colored ink.
in front of me, "... and then you remember ben, right ... oh boy. we were dating, well, not really dating, but ..."
french twists and 3/4 inch barrelled curling irons.
cozy wind pants.
"... we'll see what happens when he gets back from europe."


and i thought, this is a gooey glob of estrogen. this scene is one crank call, two french braids, and a home manicure kit from a slumber party. which means it is one braided brown jc penny belt, a sturdy 11-foot basement beam and a few hastily scribbled line of bleak poetry from my own eye bulging, neck vein popping grand denouement. or at least me growing a cup size and involuntarily weeping when strollers roll past me on the lakewalk.

it became necessary for me to scoop up my laptop and flee, lest i fall into some sort of swirling estrogenic whirlpool of nail color, ovary ailments and sentences ending in "oh, for cute."

i blame this nonsense on what happened last night: i went to the movie "waitress."

fact: i'm not really into chick flicks or chick lit or anything else that resembles souped up jimmy choo, manhattan living, flirtini drinking, bad-boy versus good-boy in the world series of love. [i will occassionally read something like this when i need a refresher course in what words look like in book form. and in the days before i shed my cold, hard, black ectoskeleton, i would watch "the notebook" purely for medicinal reasons. something akin to checking your brake lights, but for the tear ducts.]

sources i trust had said this was a good movie. and for the most part, i didn't hate felicity that much. i ignored the pregnant woman holding a pie pan in the ads and decided to take my girlie overdose from caribou and give it an outlet. the proverbial pointer finger down my throat that would allow all that excess girl-time to wretch and cajole out of me in the least horrifying way.

unfortunately, it. sucked.

1. the entire premise would have been more believeable if two of the characters were robots, one was a fairy and they could all fly.
2. the painful cliche of a southern waitress in the equivilent of a 1952 nursing uniform and her wads of cash horded beneath the couch. i'd be offended if i a) was a waitress; b) was southern; c) baked pies; d) had a couch.
3. i liked felicity's husband much, much more when he was trying to whittle the tattoo off the small of brenda's back in season one -- i believe -- of six feet under.
4. each cursory chuckle felt like a lie!