Tuesday, July 31, 2007

can't touch this ...



i saw this just before jumping onto a trail across the street from burrito union today. nicely played, grafitti artist. and i do mean "artist."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

today on the munger trail ...

i was on about mile 4.5 of a planned 12-mile inline skate on the munger trail this afternoon, when just as i was trying to conduct a physics experiment involving wheels and rail road ties, a man on a cell phone waved me toward him and pointed to a tiny woman laying in the grass.

"ambulance," he was saying into the phone, trying to give instructions to the closest cross-road at this point of the trail.

he looked at me.

"can you sit with her?" he asked.
"of course," i said, spinning to a stop.

the woman in the grass was shivering and sweating and drooling and mumbling. the man was still on his phone when he started to pedal away without further instruction. i grabbed his t'shirt off the back of his bike and a water bottle from the holder. he didn't tell me what i was dealing with here -- he was still on the phone when he rode away -- and within 20 seconds i was dealing with a shivering and sweating and drooling and mumbling tiny woman in the grass by myself.

this is when i remembered that i have absolutely no medical background, save for a session with "annie, annie, are you okay" many, many years ago. frankly, i'd have more success doing this woman's taxes or knitting her matching potholders. but monitoring her while waiting for an ambulance ... yikes.

i assumed that she had heat exhaustion, because i, too, was inches from pushing her aside and laying in the grass.
but what if she was diabetic? epileptic?
she wasn't wearing any sort of bracelet ...
and frankly, it occured to me that maybe this whole thing was going to appear on a reality show.

a couple and a dog came along. the woman and dog -- i believe he was named blue and i really came to love him -- stayed with us, and her husband went for a truck. everytime the woman in the grass broke out into groaning, she and i cringed and looked at each other.

but the woman with the dog was funny and for 10 minutes she was my best friend in the world. another two minutes of this and i would have turned to her and said: "do you guys want to come to my boyfriend's house really late some week night and play wii?"

but the truck was backing down the narrow trail and by now more bikers without medical experience had come along. three men lifted the woman into the truck. i passed them the shirt and water. my new friend and her husband drove off, and left me charged with that excellent dog.

i could hear sirens coming as they left.

so, me: a pair of inline skates, a dog whose owners' names i don't even know, a nonresponsive woman's sun glasses, water bottle and bike. the couple's backpack water bottles. i skated slowly down the trail toward the nearest road. a straggler pushed the woman's bike.

at the intersection i realized i was going to have to take blue, on wheels, down a gravel road toward his owners. a man in a golf cart with a pizza hut delivery sign attached to the top drove up with the man who originally found the woman laying in the grass. [here i learned that he didn't know her, which made me stop thinking of him as 'that asshole who didn't tell me anything about the woman before he biked away.']

it turns out she had been stung by a bee and was in anaphylactic shock. she had no ID, no epi-pen or anything. [consider that a blah blah blahler public service announcement] as is, with these kind of things, we all went our own way. i have no idea what happened to the woman.

dirty diana ...

my friend pucci is moving from rochester to ohio very soon, and sent me a cd filled with photos she had taken from my 30th birthday party [nearly two years ago] and her recent visit to duluth.

in honor of keeping with my life mission to only post unflattering photos of myself, let me bombard you with my image. i want you to see my image in your sleep tonite. i want my image to haunt you in dark alleys.

having a friend who is a photographer has made certain events in my life make me feel A LOT like princess diana, and what makes our link even MORE uncanny is that princess diana died on my birthday.

effing paparazzi.

from my 30th birthday:

me and chavez


me and hank: a romantic montage. please hum "pope" by prince to yourself as you view this series.





and then here fannie seems to suggest, with her eyes, that hank is an online predator


while living in rochester, fannie and i frequented the smiling moose. so did these two guys. we called them, affectionately, "the nerd herd." they called us, affectionately, "frick and frack." when they got to my party, they accidentally gave my birthday card to fannie, thinking they'd driven 70 miles to celebrate her 30th. when the truth was revealed, they did not leave thankfully.



which brings us to pucci's trip to duluth
we hiked. it was funny.





then we hung out on chuck's deck









we ended up at quinlan's later in the night. here we are waiting for a cab to ferry us toward chuck's house, a frozen pizza and an episode of nip/tuck.





i believe, if i am not mistaken, pucci took two meals in four days at the crap factory. chuck and i joined her for one of those. you can tell by the look on my face that i'm hankering for a bean and rice burrito, hold the rice.



the next day pucci and i went to the beach:




doh! now i have the camera!

Friday, July 27, 2007

guess what wii got?

we are at target with equally disappointing lists: lightbulbs, flip flops, toothbrush ...

chuck is looking for a clearance deck umbrella, i'm lagging along. something catches his attention and we're both pulled to electronics and there, locked behind bullet-proof glass, is the wii.

these have been billed as hard to find. chuck had checked amazon and sought the anecdotes of wii owners. urban legend said a store like target would get, like, 16. and they would be gone in minutes. but here are two, one turn of the kii away from us.

we look at the wii.
we look at each other.

"should we get it?" chuck asks.
i nod.

a guy in a red shirt and khaki pants hands us a wii and an extra controller and rings it up.

"are you excited?" the target employee asks.
i nod.
"do you have one?" i ask.
"no ..." he says. "i could have gotten one when they first came out, but ... well, i don't really have time for it."
"really?" i say. "because i have all. the. time. in the world."

***

walking out of the store, i turn to chuck and say: we just rendered all of our other purchases pointless."what do you mean?" he says.
"well, like i'm going to need to ever brush my teeth again," i say.
he thinks.
"i'm going to need these flip flops for when the living room is covered with orange crush and cheese popcorn."

***

we create miis. we bowl and golf and play tennis. when i have to go to the bathroom, i tell him i have "to pii." when i come back in the room, hii is clutching the nunchucks, marinating in a layer of sweat.

"what happened?" i ask.
"wii boxing," he responds.

i can't figure out the tennis. i need to be more aggressive in my approach of the ball. he knocks a shot toward me and i jump into the air and go for the overhand smash and instead whack a lighting fixture with my controller.

buzz. kill.

no damage done, but it is obvious that i need to simmer down and remember that i'm not a round-headed anime character with blue eye shadow and a bob, i'm not on the wii tennis tour, and when i jump and try to do an overhand smash, my mii -- named christa! -- won't feel shards of broken glass embedded in her skull.

***

we go to the head of the lakes fair to decompress. spend about an hour trolling the midway when chuck confesses that he misses the wii. i do too. we liive.

***

"guess what we got?" i ask jcrew.
"a plant," she guesses.
"no, better," i say.
"a puppy?" she asks.
"no ... better, i think," i say. "a wiiiiiiiii!!!!
"that nintendo thing?" she asks.
"uh huh," i say.
"that's gay," she says. "you should have gotten a puppy."

***

wii play wii sports and wii play. hours pass. chuck does four consecutive boxing matches, struts cockily, sweats heavily and wins. he masters bowling, sometimes getting two turkies in a round. i throw 86 mile an hour pitches at his head and he figures out my screwball. i google "calories burned while playing wii" and check blockbuster online to see if i can rent games. chuck plays video footage of first-time wii'ers breaking tv sets and knocking a cat's tooth out. when i take my ortho-tryclin at midnight, chuck snorts. "you won't be needing that anymore," he says.

at some point a box fan falls out of the window.
around 3 a.m., police comb the neighborhood with search lights.
if you think we noticed, you are grossly underestimating our athlet-wiicism.

***

taking another break on the deck. it's 3:30 a.m. this time we've been com-wii-ting since 9 p.m. the breeze feels nice and my arms are stinging.

"are you going to want to go to bed or play baseball?" he asks me.
"duh. baseball," i say.
chuck beams.
we make mii's representing various personal celebrities to play on our baseball teams. jcrew, my mom, my landlord ... and some too funny to tell you.

***

we shut things down at 5 a.m., after approximately 10 hours of wii over the course of the day. i wake at 2:15 p.m. and i groan when i try to get out of bed.

"i feel like i got beat up by a video game," i complain. "i need to sit in a bath tub filled with ben-gay."

my pitching arm hurts. i'll probably need tommy johns surgery.
my right leg and butt hurt from bowling.
my forearm hurts from tennis and golf.
my abs hurt from all of the above.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

stuck on you, got this feeling ...

last week i got a recycling bin -- read a rubbermade in a purposely ugly color so i wouldn't want to stash sweaters in it -- and finally got around to dismantling the "ode to wine and gatorade and vitamin water" exhibit in my apartment. dumping these little trophies into the bin made me feel like a wino. i'd not done anything about the bottles from my last wine party [two or three months ago] and at that party, my booze hound friends ripped through about seven bottles.

i buried these under the other, more healthy bottles. i didn't want to excite some hillsider desperate for shirazzy backwash who would come to find, instead, a shirazzy fruit fly death strip.

***

i absolutely love playing "a year ago today" which is what i was playing monday when i realized that it had been a year since i'd started working out again. so, on the hottest day of the year, i decided to do a 3-mile trek through my hood. the first half was fine. during the second half, i had to splay my body across the lawn of an apartment building a few feet from some construction workers, whom i assumed could revive me if need be. i probably looked like a sweaty snow angel.

i like working out when it is ridiculously hot outside because it takes half as much effort to make oneself look and feel like a track and field star.

later in the day i ran into a handful of friends who assumed that i was very, very sunburned. but really, i'm just a red faced capillary buster who is really glad she doesn't have a workout partner.

yesterday i rollerbladed instead on the munger and let the construction workers assume i was dead.

***

i got my hair trimmed yesterday for the first time since november. ever since i stopped trying to pull off some sort of swedish snowbunny routine with my head, i don't have roots to remind me that it's time to weed whack my head.

the haircutting woman started by squirting something blue into my partline, then massaging my head. then she massaged the back of my head. then she gave some half-assed squeezes to my shoulders and i thought: "if this turns into a lapdance, i'm going to complain to management ... maybe."

sometimes haircutting head massagers make me want to drink wine and make out to "the notebook" with them. it is a good thing i don't get my hair cut often, or i'd have to make chuck start wearing a bra.

whatever. when i left, my head was tingling. it was like god himself was blowing altoid breath into my scalp. so i bought the aveda shampoo and conditioner. sometimes you have to start living the life you want to lead, and that life involves rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner.

***

last nite jcrew and i met up with shellface. he was in town golfing, so i thought grandma's would be an appropriate place to take him. i wanted to sit on a deck and drink somewhere near water, and frankly baja billy's sounded like a burrito-and-margharita-flavored colonoscopy.

pedestrian would have to do.

no one waited on us.
finally i rudely interupted a waiter who was ignoring us by washing off a table.
"can i get a menu?" i asked.
"kitchen's closed," he said.
"really? at 8:30 p.m. the kitchen is closed?" i wondered. this place must cater to blue hairs. no wonder i never eat here.
"i'll take a margarita," i told him, sensing he wasn't going to ask.
"me too," jcrew chirped.
he sighed. this was taxing, this waiting on people.

this reminds me of the last time i ate at grandma's and the waitstaff acted like they'd break a nail if they took our order.

eventually we went inside and sat at the bar. i had to set off flares for the bartender to notice us.

"so this is who hangs out at grandma's," i said surveying the crowd of abercrappie boys and middle aged vikings fans.

when i realized a beer cost $2.88 i forgave them. no wonder its so hard to get them to sell you one.

i ate boneless chicken wings that were super good.

***

chuck and i had a tequila party last nite.
tequila, ice and strawberry juice.
then tequila, ice and V8 infusion: peach and mango.
the former was good. the latter was great.
we also had flavored michelob ultra: cactus lime, tuscan orange grapefruit and pomegranite flavors.

it all tasted like clearly canadian, which is good.
***

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

wet and wild ...



mrs. larson was renowned for being able to teach anyone to swim. she had a vast resume of success with paraplegics. but she couldn't teach me to swim. one iron-willed toddler who hated putting her head under water. i'd bump along in the back seat of a pontiac, down the gravel road to the private pool at her house in the woods building a stomach ache and hoping it was contageous via water particals.

she would have us sit on the top step of the pool, just our laps under water, and cup handfuls of water of our head.

"what color of shampoo do you want?" she'd ask each tot, then pretend like the water in her hands had actually turned red.
that may work on a pool full of paraplegics, but that shit didn't fool me.
i'd be up and out of the pool, pattering along the stones and away from mrs. larson. lather, rinse, repeat ... every day for two straight weeks.

eventually my parents stopped taking me to class. maybe they were embarrassed. my main recourse was to complain that i had to go to the bathroom -- the kind that cannot be anonymously spilled into chlorine. the kind that leaves a mark.

so. i didn't learn to swim.

when i was in junior high, my mom decided i was going to learn. that summer. i'd not be the bikini clad high school student with her fingernails dug into the cement, clinging to the side of the pool. i'd not be the urban legend: the woman who drowns in a cup of water.

as we didn't really have a word to describe my water proficiency when i was signed up, my mom stuck me in a class with the "beginners."

it was obvious i was not going to make friends here, next to my peers who were exhausted from treading in 3-feet of water next to me. i was a giantess compared to the beginners. i mean, i almost had boobs and concerns about the water ruining my hair. they all thought they were ariel from "the little mermaid."

it soon became obvious that i was not a beginner, i was an "advanced beginner." this meant a lot of things i didn't like: putting my face in the water, the complicated breathing involved with the crawl, the dead man's float or the parallel parking of the advanced beginners final exam: jumping into the water fully clothed and saving yourself by turning your flourecent pink t'shirt and jams into a life preserver. kicking off your keds. they're weighing you down.

i did not pass advanced beginner. this was fine with me. there was nothing i wanted to know in intermediates and between my pastey blue skin and the fact that it takes about an hour to coax myself shoulders deep even luke warm water, i suspected i'd never be a lifeguard.

i can swim. when my mom and i went to hayward, wis., two summers ago, i took to the pool nightly, swimming laps and competing in handstand contests with a resort employee. mostly i did this because after spending 24/7 with my mom, the middle of the pool was one place where i could not be bombarded with incessant cooing over knick knacks.

last summer i went to a bonfire on superior point and, as the sun came up, i ran toward lake superior stripping off clothes and plunged into the water. but last summer was an anomoly. last summer lake superior was as warm as gazpacho.

it has been hot here in duluth, minn. on monday chuck and i walked down to canal park well after midnight, under the guise of maybe potentially getting into the water. "are you going to stand on the edge and splash your palms in the water," he joked. "make sure not to get your wrists wet?"

"so?" i said.

he wore swim trunks. i wore little boy shorts underwear and a bra. i got in to about my ankles and chuckers did mini laps in front of me. it looked fun, so i went in up to my knees. it was a little foggy over the water. four men stumbled along.

"that doesn't look like a swim suit," chuck said of my attire.

i got in to about my lower thighs. i really wanted to go in. he looked like he was having so much fun. and i knew that when he got out of the water, he'd be all jacked up with cold water, wet head energy. 20 more minutes and 10 degrees warmer, i might have.

"can we come back so i can try again?" i asked.

then we went to papa dons in superior for breakfast food. i had an omelet. chuck sureveyed a drunk group in the smoking section and said: in about 20 minuts, that is going to break out into a very ugly orge.

Monday, July 23, 2007

wherein i lazily make lists ...

saturday:
went to chuck's.
watch one of the six-eight afi top 100 movies currently crowding his tivo, or go to the roar by the shore?
red lion, it is.
me: i kinda hafta go to the bathroom before we go.
chuck: definitely go here.
me: but there i can go ANYWHERE!
chuck: anywhere is probably preferable to those bathrooms.

first a gin and squirt on his deck.

we walk.
"ugh," chuck says. "for some reason i thought we were going to fitger's."
"oh," i say.
"but we're going much further," he says.

i'm not sure what band we are watching.
doesn't matter anyway. we only hear one song.
"hey," i say. "isn't that the girl from 'low'?"
and for some reason that seems like a funny thing to say.
we both laugh.
"i'm going to start writing down everything i say," i tell myself. "obviously i'm being hilarious today."

i think they say "last call."
[they really said "last song."]
we walk to quinlin's.

quinlin's is okay.
i watch a table of young 20-somethings sing along to a tenacious d song.
i don't mind tenacious d.
but it seems like a cliche to sing it in a bar.
you wouldn't sing, like, "like a surgeon," if it played while you were at the bar. would you?

a girl near the atm has a copy of "portnoy's complaint" hanging out of her purse.
it seems like she maybe did this on purpose.
it seems like maybe it works.
an older man gyrates in front of her.
other men engage her in conversation.

someone has scrawled on the bar's board: how can [qt] be so skinny, but live so fat?"
this cracks me up.
but i guess it is just some beastie boys lyrics.

a man i've not seen in nearly a year asks me something inappropriate.
i say no.
i tell him i need to get back to my boyfriend.
he says "[eff] your boyfriend!"
i'll probably wait another year before i chat with him again.

we walk back to chuck's place.
it takes a long time.
i'm hot. tired. sweaty.
we have a nightcap.
i finish a blog post.
chuck's mac, chanelling a french woman, reads it aloud.
it sounds much better read aloud by a french woman, than read in my head.

sunday:
i wake quite a bit later than the late hour at which i usually wake.
i eat two orders of chicken nuggets from the dollar menu at wendy's. and a small fry.

i read the final page of the final harry potter book.
it doesn't make sense to me, as i've read no more than 20 pages of any harry potter book.
jcat says: i heard that its all a dream and that harry wakes up beneath the staircase.
fng says: and he's still 11 years old?
jcat says: no. he's 31.
i say: i heard that harry renounces wizardry in favor of catholicism.
a woman to my left has her ears plugged.
she thinks we're going to reveal a spoiler.

i got to chuck's.
we watch 28 days later.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

the chaise longue ...



i was still spooning a pillow and marinating in a gin-flavored sweat friday afternoon when chuck, who was on his way out the door for work, said the single greatest sentence i've ever dared to imagine: if you want, you can hang out here today and watch the food network.

here, readers, i confess i feigned more fatigue, more ache than i felt when i groggily thanked him. smiled wanly as if to say "that sounds nice ... but who knows if i'll even be able to get out of bed." think hungover eyore. but honestly, i'd be damned if i'd let this opportunity be bastardized by any damage that final tall glass of gin and squirt could do to my body.

because chuck's apartment is great when chuck is in it. but it is a different kind of great when he's not. for instance, he doesn't like to watch the hills. he saw half an episode and deleted it, i repeat, DELETED it from tivo. he actually gave it a thumbs down.

if we ever get in a fight, don't think i won't mention that oversight, his tivo or not. it will go like this: ... yeah, well, you gave the hills a thumbs down ...

i waited a discrete amount of time -- probably 7-9 seconds -- from when i heard the door close, before i sprang out of bed and boogied into his living room. no pants. wifebeater. a 32 ouncer of fruit punch gatorade, a cozy couch, the whole world wide web within reach. i was probably already eyeballs deep in the cable guide before he reached the highway.

then the conundrum:

an america's next top model marathon from 2005 on mtv?
goodfellows on amc
the food network
further browsing

additionally, i had a new book to read, it was nice outside and chuck has an amazing deck with an amazing chair.

this conessueur of leisure was having a bit of fun-factor overload. i did what you'd do. i panicked.

i didn't want to spend all of my time on one fun and miss the other funs. i surveyed the cable guide. decided on mtv, where you can never NEVER go wrong. but i had goodfellas on the "last channel" button. sometimes i'd get caught up in one, sometimes the ohter. and sporadically i'd burst off the couch and run outside and read a paragraph.

it was. exhausting.

i ordered pizza and sent chuck serial texties. i couldn't lay off the exclamation point, no matter how much i tried. i just ordered a pizza! to your house!!! i'm watching goodfellas! it's your favorite part!!! then i'm on the deck. READING!!!!!

finally it was so fun that it was almost boringly fun. i didn't want to leave because i knew it would be weird to come back. you know. leave his apartment. do something in the world. unlock his door. come back inside. but, to be honest, i reaked. i needed a shower. my hair sucked and smelled like the pioneer. but i kind of liked the idea of using chuck's axe hangover shower gel and degree for men. but his shower takes a certain element of skill to navigate the temperature and i can't reach his shampoo and ...

there was pizza. cheese bread and a deck. and america's next top model.

my fucking head was going to explode. in a good way.

i wanted to read! i wanted to eat! i wanted to watch moving pictures on non local programming! i wanted to send texties with exclamation points!!!!

seriously. if i'd found the food network, i wouldn't even be able to write this blogpost. food shows. food magazines. i may not cook. it's still my porn.

eventually chuck called. during the america's next top model season finale. he was on his way home. early. i was a little embarrassed that i was still there. he didn't seem to care. but mostly i was excited.

so i wikipedia'd the winner. nicole. thank god.

"if you weren't here, and she won, i'd have cried," i confessed to chuck. "and if she'd lost, i'd probably have cried harder. ... i'm just glad she won."

he gave me a pitying look. he, afterall, as everyday access to things like america's next top model. not that he'd watch it. he fucking deleted "the hills."

anyway. whatever. we walked down to watch ferris bueller's day off at leif erikson park. the word "charming" kept coming to mind when i surveyed the scene. so many people. i watched 12 year old boys and wondered if they got the funny. when sloane and ferris kiss, they gave each other an uncomfortable look. they laughed at the word "fucker" though.

chuck and i laughed our asses off. i wanted a corn dog. speedie weinie didn't have one.

it was a good day.

thanks, internet ...

chuck: i'm going to wikipedia otto titsling.

Friday, July 20, 2007

kudos, pretty dentist ...

my molar-fixing appointment was at this wicked thing called 8 a.m., an hour i wasn't sure existed until yesterday morning. i mean, there had been evidence that things happened at this time: trucks driving backward in the central hillside with that inane beeping; construction on the fourth-street condos; old central ticking off the seconds of my life in 15 minute increments.

me? i'd been awake until 3:30 a.m., lazily watching depeche mode: 101 -- a documentary of a late-80s tour and some funky depeche mode fans who won a ticket to follow the band in their own tour bus for two weeks. i watched this movie so many times in high school that, sitting there wednesday night, i was able to catch certain cues and know: david gahan is going to do something sexy, right .... NOW! and sure enough he does this leg kick, and spins himself silly while singing "master and servent." or he busts out the lyrics to "love is the drug" by brian ferry and roxy music while playing pinball during some down time. martin gore wanders around shirtless, wearing leather shorts and carrying a guitar.

now, 13 years removed from high school, i see things i didn't see before:
david gahan is a prima dona? and i think he's lying about the time he beat up a cab driver.
and martin gore? oh. he's gay!
who knew?

i'd also been caught up in one of those semi-chick-litty pieces of fiction that fill me with self-loathing when i finish them in two sittings. but when i'd left off, there had been a suicide attempt and so i had to forge ahead. ...

the important thing: sweet jesus! i finished a book! that hasn't happened in a year. i mean, despite fantastic regularity, i probably won't finish "endless love" until 2012 at this rate.

whatever.

my dentist was pretty, and first i found this unsettling. then i found it unsettling that i found it unsettling. i think it is because i'd rather have some sort of ogre digging around in my mouth. i didn't want to subject my nonflossed, coffee stained potty mouth to someone attractive and, i believe, younger than me.

when she told me that she was from southwestern minnesota i felt better. i've seen southwestern minnesota, since it butts up against southeastern minnesota. southwestern minnesota is corn fields, street dances, barn parties and letter jackets. i'll let that look in my mouth. even recreationally.

she made me a fantastic new tooth that doesn't feel like someone plopped a hard wad of hubba bubba in the back of my mouth. i like that in a tooth. last time i had that tooth rebuilt, my doctor damn near poured a concrete slab back there and eating anything more than strained carrots felt awkward.

kudos, pretty dentist!

my tongue, on the other hand, felt like it had been injected with saline. when i left, i wanted coffee, but sensed that instead of drinking it, i'd be drooling it. so i took a nap instead.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

he's an easy rider [he'll get a hold on you, believe it] ...

setting: opening scenes of "easy rider" last night

chuck: i'm cultivating my peter fonda look.
me: which one's peter fonda?
[pause]
me: oh!



me: you're doing a bang-up job.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

now entering my puree appreciation period ...



i was face-first in a snack-sized side dish of cheez-its tonight at dinner when i noticed a hard, non-salt kernal rolling around in my mouth. as a habitual tooth-breaker, i immediately recognized that my cheddar pleasure had been disrupted by my own problem molar.

you know the one: right side, second to back.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MY PROBLEM MOLAR
this was, originally, a cool ranch dorito incident. a few years ago i bit into my favorite treat, sucking the horse connective tissued gelatin speckles off a mouthful of crunch, and cracked my tooth. this was a little painful, if i recall. but i'm a toughie. i mean, i ran college track and i've worked retail and hell, once i ran a marathon.

i thought the best way to fix this crack in my tooth would be to ignore it. let it heal itself, like my liver. or a mealworm.

months later i was eating one of those clunky sourdough pretzel bites, i believe parmesean and garlic flavored, and half of my tooth fell out of my face.

i had a root canal that i thought would render me delirious and swollen, unable to do anything more taxing than roll my eyes while watching "passions," drool into a mound of gauze. but, hours later, i was able to take my mom to the new scenic for a tempeh rueben, then frankie's where i yodeled "borderline" in front of a crowd of two, prop her into my bed with a copy of david sedaris' "naked" and catch a pretty pleasant buzz during dollar beer night at the buena vista.

dental technology has come a long way since i had my wisdom teeth removed. back then it was days before i could eat anything with more texture than a blue raspberry mr. misty freeze.

i never got that tooth capped. it seemed extraneous. the behavior of some sort of high falooting, white toothed, whole molared aristocrat.

BACK TO THE PRESENT
i spit my tooth into my hand and felt a little woozy. nauseated and dizzy. i thought i was going to faint. one would think that since i frequently have that dream where i am spewing globs of teeth the consistancy of vomit into my open hands, that just hawking one tiny nugget into my palm would be a relief. but in the dream i always know it is a dream. and this? this was real life.

i threw the tooth bit in my garbage can. then i dug it out.



so now i need a dentist.

PS: i finished the rest of the cheez-its with my fully functional left side of my mouth. taking handfuls and packing them into my cheek. saturating them with my own saliva until they were the consistancy of gerber's peas. then, carefully, chewing slowly and swallowing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

my prince and the revolutionary theory ...

during last week's whole "prince" phenomenon in the twin cities, i got a little prince pensive. i've always loved prince in the way that anyone likes a nice blouse, a good beat you can dance to, and jokes about being purified in the waters of lake minnetonka. amid all the hulabaloo, ross raihala of the pioneer press did this great thing on his website "the ross who knew too much," where he asked twin citian celebs or those with ties -- including chuck klosterman -- their favorite prince song and why.

i really wanted someone to say:
my favorite song is "little red corvette. the gear daddies version."

i first loved prince in a very clandestine way. much like i was not allowed to watch "the dukes of hazard" or own madonna's "like a virgin," i was not allowed to own "purple rain" or see the movie. i did not understand why, but one day my friends and i climbed the stairs to the bedroom stephanie flynn shared with her older sister and we listened to "darling nikki" with the understanding that this was the song that i was not supposed to hear. i'm not sure i understood why or what prince meant by grind. and i'm pretty sure that i had no what nikki was four-syllable verbing about with a magazine.

in the 20-something years that have passed, i still like prince despite losing track of stephanie flynn. [not before she could introduce me to the violent femmes, though].

when i'm not being vain and trying to sound pretty, i'll karoake "i wanna be your lover." i'd slow dance with even the sporey-est maggot to the song "purple rain." the song "pope" always reminds me of my friend hank making sweet love to the pool table at the pioneer. sometimes, on a sunny day, i'll crank open my sun roof and sing "little red honda civic" as i cruise the parking lot at the miller hill mall.

prince is good, which brings us to the godfather.

chuck and i watched the godfather on saturday night. i've seen it a trillion times, since my fascination with all things mafia is scary in its similarity to a 3-year-old's love for dinosaurs and doplar radars. i couldn't rip my face away from the screen -- even knowing each nuance of the film. and when it was over i was satisfied and i was all goose bumpy and happy and i couldn't stop thinking about the godfather on sunday.

the godfather, like prince, is good.

so here is my pop culture theory: i do not believe that anyone who has seen the godfather does not like the godfather. i do not believe that anyone who has heard a song by prince does not like prince. at least i've never met anyone who doesn't like both on some level, or at least certainly does not hate either one.

people like prince. people like the godfather.

there are few things in the world that hold such a collective appeal. "everyone likes ice cream," chuck hypothesized while we were eating fried ice cream at mexican lindo on sunday. "i bet more people like ice cream than prince."

"nuh uh," i said. "what about the lactose intollerant?"
"well, they probably still like ice cream," he said.

i'm not sure ice cream can be included on the list of things that are universally loved.

there are things that i like that i realize at least half the people in the world do not like: super potato oles, buffy the vampire slayer, the smell of gasoline. this american life, the writings of chuck palahniuk, tank tops. roller coasters, suave shampoo, the smooth stylings of robert smith.

but two things i like -- the godfather and prince -- are things that everyone likes. and i'm wondering what else exists that everyone likes. and i'm wondering if i'm wrong. that somewhere someone doesn't like prince or doesn't like the godfather and has a valid reason for not like these things.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

making an effort for full disclosure ...



on thursday i drank one of these because some advertising genius had included the word "salt" on the label. frankly, you could sell me a snack-sized bag filled with scabs if i saw the word salt anywhere on the packaging. i'd be picking the debris out of my molars 2 minutes later, licking my fingers and poking in the corners for more! more! more!

so, yes. i let a table tent pick my drink. you'd think i would have learned my lesson the time i let my table tent pick my drink and my table tent picked a mike-arita.

"you'll have to tell me how it tastes," some bitchy blonde bartender from aces asked after ignoring me for 15 minutes in favor of strolling back and forth boredly without making eyecontact. this would have been fine, but some chris and johnny [storyhill] derivative was celebrating sidewalk days in the corner via guitar and john mayer hair.

"i'll tell you NOTHING!" i said to myself.

the first one was fine. like most variations on beer-beer that have cropped up since the early 1990s, it seemed to have been funneled through a sweating bottle of zima.
"how is that?" asked the waitress when i moved to the table. by now i was enjoying it, but i wanted to stick with my zima comparison so i had to pretend i hated it.

"it's like zi---" i started to say. then backtracked. "it's a little like this drink called 'zima' that some people liked to drink while you were still getting weepy over zach morse and kelly kapowski."
"hmm," she said. "i think i've maybe heard of zima ..."

eventually i graduated to blueberry stoli and a diet coke. if, like franzia, this drink came in a box, the box would look like this:



OH, SNAP

jcrew: chuck, do you think i'm a bitch?
chuck: well. ... yeah.

MAULED IN TIJUNANA

afterward we went to taco john's. i inadvertantly spent an extra six dollars when i was duped into paying for a medium-sized meal and a handful of 75 cent condiments. to taco john's i say: nicely played, tj. but gas station burritos it is, for me, from now on.

then we watched an episode of 21 jump street and went to bed.

THE ICK
i'm not that easily grossed out. i mean, i can like watch almost an entire episode of nip/tuck without barfing. but yesterday i was encountered with three things that made my bile churn:

1. little wormy creatures living in my apartment. [this has turned a simple closet reorganization task into a full-fledge scouring, sanitizing of my space. even now, i feel like i have bugs crawling on me.]
2. the line was long at the ghetto spur. the man in front of me was wearing a boot cast. i accidentally looked down at his foot and saw long brown curled toenails. i gagged and left without making a purchase.
3. a skeevy man left the unisex, one stall bathroom at the laundrymat. i vowed to not void until i was safely home at my worm-infested apartment. but i had to go and my clothes weren't dry. so ... he hadn't flushed. while it was just yellow doing the mellow, it still was yucko. i flushed for him. then i sat down to go and my entire heinie got wet.

i raced home and took a bath in bleach.


WEEKEND FOOTWARE UPDATE
i'm now accosting your sensibilities with these gems, which i bought in a moment of high-heeled blister and four hours to go at the mall of america and then ikea angst. i'm celebrating life in these cheapos.



DUAL CITIZENSHIP
doh! sometimes i become interested in doing something that happens before noon. for instance, last weekend i thought it would be fun to, this weekend, go to kinney, minn., for the town's celebration and parade.

i totally forgot about it. just like i totally forgot there is a greek festival going on. my friend blitz, however, made the trip to this small town and brought me back a souvenir:

a kinney, minn. passport! sweet.

Friday, July 13, 2007

a werthers original tale ...

in the late 1980s, i ate werther's originals by the pocket-load. aside from a stash of carefully counted thin mints in my parent's closet, this was the closest thing to junk food in our house, this jar of werther's on top of the stereo.

everyday before school, i'd cram a handful into the tiny pocket of my school uniform before i walked to the bus stop. and i'd suck on them all day long. this sort of oral fixation, i'm sure, was foreshadowing for my life as a camel litist. in fact i actually chain-ate these little butterscotch candies.

i left trails of werther's wrappers and wafted werther's breath. i would suck on them until they were tiny and sharp and i'd impaled the flesh on the roof of my mouth.

once, throughout the course of the day, i became very uncomfortable. something was not sitting right. frankly, i wasn't sitting right. i felt that something was disrupting my nethers. i went to the bathroom, nothing seemed amiss, and proceeded as normal. werther after werther after werther.

i had band practice that day in junior high. musicians from the three private schools gathered in the band room at lourdes on mondays to prepare for bi-yearly band concerts. but seriously. something was wrong and i shifted in my plastic seat while trying to play "stars and stripes forever" on my alto saxophone.

finally, i went back to the bathroom. and there, baked into the folds of my underwear, was a werther's original candy. it must have fallen out of my pocket in the laundry, then attached itself to my drawers while in the drier.

i threw it away and haven't had one since.

adventures in babysitting ...

to the surprise of anyone who has ever been in my presense, i agreed to babysit tonite for t's 16-month-old child. actually, i volunteered. i overheard her asking people if they knew any responsible 12-year-olds and decided i fit the bill. you may wonder what was in it for me: this, being pro bono and all. it went like this.

me: i'll do it.
t: um. i've heard about your cat.
me: meh. a cats a cat. a person's a person.
t: hmm.
me: do you have wireless internet?
t: yes.
me: can i use your washing machine?
t: yes, i guess.
me: do you have cable?
t: yes. and a big tv.
me: okay. as long as you're home by 11:30 p.m. i can't stay later than that.
t: okay.
me: oh. wait. one more thing. i need to be able to document this on my blog. i will change the name of the innocent.
t: sighs.

so t and her husband are at pirates of the carribean and i am here. i left my laundry at home, though. thankfully, they didn't check my references:

MY BABYSITTING RESUME IN A NUTSHELL
ryan was an asshole. if you had told me when he was three that he would grow up to be a decent high school soccer player, i'd have snorted yeah, right and wondered if his mom was going to have to also tryout for the team, because there is no way this whiney runt was going to ever disengage from her leg long enough to contribute to the game. and no one wants a midfielder spewing snot and tears. during his toddler-hood he was only happy in a moving stroller and so i happily moved his stroller directly to my mom's house, where she could be held responsible for his tears.

his parents were cheap. years later, i ran into his father at a bar. he had the creepy ogle of a man who wants to play "i'm the dad, you're the babysitter, let me drive you home, my wife doesn't understand me, my you're blossoming into womanhood. nicely."

callie, as a five-year-old, enjoyed lounging in a beanbag and suntanning. her favorite videos on mtv included: janey's got a gun, talk dirty to me and jeremy by pearl jam. when i tried to treat her like a five-year-old, drink boxes and crayons, she rolled her eyes and seemed to be saying "please, woman. don't insult me." one day she wore to school long underware beneath a two-piece swim suit. she intimidated the crap out of me.

sometimes her dad was home and sleeping as i babysat. i always hated that. when the kids were napping, he would come into the basement and watch "yo mtv jams" with me, but never say a word.

michelle, michael and jonathon loved nothing more than jesus. their entire world was filtered through a very christian-centric filter. it wasn't that they did not want to fight, jesus didn't want them to fight. their favorite songs were hymns, which they performed together in a creepy cultlike singalong. soonafter they accused me of french-kissing my boyfriend, i was no longer asked to babysit. i can only assume they wanted no part of where my handbasket was headed.

while sean and michael were hockey players who championed mullets and liked to wrestle and swear, it was their three-year-old sister kristin who locked me in the family's laundry room. i stood inside the room, yanking on the doorknob. it wouldn't turn and she stood on the other side giggling manically like a freakish chucky doll. as i prepared in my head what i would tell their parents, i felt ... pathetic. not to mention weak. on a similar note, the fischer kids knocked the sliding door between the kitchen and living room off its roller. they were on the fun side. i was in the kitchen. through their back window i could see my boyfriend's parent's house. i watched them watch tv and ate potato chips and let the fischer kids do whatever the hell they wanted.

once while babysitting my cousin, i told him that if he didn't go to sleep something bad would happen. i also told him that if he took one of these pills [a cheerio] his knee would stop hurting. it didn't occur to me that these are both pretty terrible things to say to a kid. thank god his mom didn't get into a car accident that night. and thank god he didn't become a drug addict. yet.

my only positive babysitting experience was little matt. he wasn't that much younger than me. in fact, he did most of the actual monitoring of his siblings and i flirted with him and thought: i can't wait until we're both in high school and it won't be creepy if we date.

the last time i was charged with the care of a child, my neice mel was about three. i played the song "just like heaven" in the car, hoping she'd stun her parents pista with some "show me show me show me" lyrics before bedtime. we zipped through the burnsville mall doing wheelies with her stroller. i let her lay on the floor in the shoe department and dismantle a display. when we left the mall, i realized that parking lots are giant death traps for people under 3-feet tall. i put her on my shoulders and sprinted to the car and decided to never take a toddler in public ever again.

***

these days i don't see kids very often. and whether i like them or not is really case-by-case. for instance, the seven-year-old ninny who lives across the street from chuck sucks. not just because she did the universal and judgemental "pewy" waft when i walked past her with a cigarette. no. i loathed her the first time i heard her riding her bike up and down the street in 12 foot increments, singing some song with ridiculous and repetitious lyrics. clearly someone at some point told her she is cute and she continues to believe it. on the other hand, i like the three-year-old boy who lives about three doors down from chuck. i often stop at the window to watch his little mind whirl with busyness: i want to be in my pool. look, there's the dog! i need to get to the sandbox! hey! where'd i put my wheelbarrow? i'm going to put my dumptruck in the pool. is that an airplane? it's an airplane! HI AIRPLANE!

so. this has been a pretty seamless night. t's tot likes to be thrown in the air and she likes to hang upside down. she likes to mush crackers in her hand and then try to feed them to you. she can say "puppy" "kitty" "table" "baby" and "no." and really, i'm not sure anyone needs to know more than that.

i read her the same book 50 times and she laughed at all of my jokes. at one point, i got her drool in my eye. i also changed a diaper that was actually not yet dirty, and then realized that i'm not sure if i put this one on backward or forward.

i've eaten about six pieces of salt water taffy, nine pringles and one of their chicken kiev's. i'm hoping the fact that i've gone into t's tot's room every 10 minutes to make sure she is still breathing will make up for my gluttony in their eyes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

how i spend my time alone ...


brie, baguette, prescutto


season four, disk five of felicity on my very barbie-dreamhouse dvd player: you know, i don't hate this concept as much as the rest of the world did. i like that felicity gets a do-over.


not the most comfy couch i've ever sat on, but it'll do in a pinch.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

gin and toxic ...

the next time i see gin i'm going to punch it in its smug little face.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

amnicon skywalker (subtitled: amnicon follies) ...



these are obviously not my favorite shoes. they aren't even my favorite pair of flip flops. aesthetically, they are the equivilent of an obese woman wearing a funny hat to distract people from the way her white swimsuit is obliterating itself. [metaphor=i have gangly feet. i should be able to eat szechuan chicken with chopsticks between my toes.]

i bought these flip flops years ago from the gap. no one else wanted them. i had three dollars, little judgement, and a wardrobe lacking flora.

on the other hand, they are as comfortable as walking through clouds made of puppy fur, baby flesh, cotton candy and d-cups. they made their way into my rotation once this summer after years of being bottom-closet dwellers. then i removed them from my feet, accidentally, in a location where they became convenient to wear again. and again. and again. now i wear them every day, pretty much.

today we went to amnicon falls, a national park in wisconsin, which looks like the movie set of what a wilderness should look like. there is where you should impale yourself on a jutting branch; here is where your lifeless body will be flung from a cliff; this is the tree from behind which the apeish man-child will stalk you as you frolick in the moderately temperatured, gnat-riddled stream.

"why, where there is so much pretty, does there have to be so much ugly?" chuck asked, eyeing our fellow amniconers.

i was crossing the water when my gaudy left flip flop got sucked up in the very-slow-moving rapids and dropped three rock levels before my cat-like reflexes responded. i stood with my bare foot on a rock, my flip flopped foot on another rock, and thought: well. there goes a dollar fifty.

i turned to go back in the other direction, and the other gaudy mess of flip flop was ripped from my foot and went tumbling after its partner.

"oh boy," i said.

this meant returning to the pine needled and rocky path and chasing after my footware all huck finn-style. shimmying the slippery banks, catching crappies and eating them raw, mud-caked dredlocks and the seering red glow of a sunburned irish girl.

"i'll help by taking photos," chuck said.

it took me lots of stabbing rock pain to get to them. first i had to reinact about four scenes from "raiders of the lost ark" and one from "goonies." eventually i was involved in the denounment of "poltregeist" when i found them bobbing together, ugly and unfashionable, in a small pool at the bottom of a fall.

it was a bittersweet reunion.

i slipped back into them. they still were not my favored hiking footware. but puppy fur, baby skin, cotton candy and d-cups beat the alternative. i took one step and the right flip flop broke. the strap yanked right through the hole, rendering it useless.

i sat on a rock to fix it.
i grew bored and frustrated at my lack of nimble-fingeredness.
i took both shoes off and went back the way i'd come. rocks. mud. the stream. ouch. ouch. ouch. aliens.

i handed chuck the shoe and asked if he could fix it. he found a stick, which he used to try to pry the strap back into the shoe.

"hmm ..." i said. "i bet that is just how the little chinese child originally made this shoe."

then he used his car keys, which i'm sure they haven't thought of yet.

we sat on a rock quietly watching the visitors. particularly two women across the water who were picking up pieces of nature and keeping them.

"you gonna make one of those pine cone wreaths?" chuck asked me.
"uh huh. that's what i'm giving everyone for christmas this year," i said.
"are you going to use all different kinds of pine cones or a bunch of the same?" he asked.
"hmmm ..." i said. "probably all the same. i may spray paint some of the cones, like, hot pink. you know, for the younger kids. they'd get a kick out of that."
"yeah," he said.
"except for my mom," i continued. "i gave her a pine cone wreath last year, so this year i'm knitting her a cozy for her kleenix box."
"wow," chuck said. "do you need a pattern for that, or do you just make it?"
"huh! yeah right," i said. "like i can knit a BOX! no. i use a pattern."
"oh." he said.
"and my dad is getting a jar filled with different rocks. you know, like grey ones and stuff," i said.
"you know what would be neat?" he asked. "if you took a photo of lake superior and used a glue stick to stick it to the inside of the jar."
"that would be neat," i agreed.

***
and from the photo archive:
WHAT I FOUND ON THE BACK OF MY HAND THE DAY AFTER FLAG DAY

Saturday, July 7, 2007

when life imitates the sims ...

the big-boned rat-faced circus freak didn't greet me at the door when i got home on thursday afternoon. "this is it," i thought. "i've finally accidentally killed my illegitimate cat with dart glares and the pure power of hatred."

then i realized that sometime between the hours of 7 p.m. wednesday and 2 p.m. thursday, the door to my spare bedroom/library/glorified tent had blown shut, trapping the little sucker in a room with less electricity than laura ingalls wilder's treehouse.

i felt a little bad. but only in that way that you feel a twinge of sympathy when something bad happens to a bad person. i wouldn't want to be trapped in that room, so i can see how it sucked for toonses. on the other hand, once i realized he didn't eat anything nonedible, nor whiz on anything that doesn't clump, i decided it served him right.

if my life where a go-round of the game the sims, i'd have maybe pulled such a stunt on purpose.

that night, as i explained toonses' camping trip, i had my cell phone trapped between my ear and my shoulder. he walked across my lap, leaving a paw print in my cover girl age defying makeup. i guess we're even.

WITNESSED ON A 2-MILE WALK AT BAR CLOSE
-- one college boy knocking on another college boys door and giving him the universal sign for "dude? what gives? let me in." [this is a shrug-like gesture]
-- a kid playing electric guitar on the stone stage at leif erikson park. three or four of his friends watching. three of his friends carrying bags of beer down the path to join him.
-- a couple standing in the weeds near the fitger's parking ramp, seemingly searching each other's hair for ticks. this looked suspiciously like a sexual encounter of the faux wilderness kind.
-- a pretty friendly young 20-something stumbling down the street.
"hello!" he chirped.
he had more than just a weinie dollop wetting the front of his khakis. no, this was a full-fledged pee incident.
-- a grand mass of young people standing outside of dubh linn and one middle-aged pervert in the midst of the pack not-so-subtly ogling the oglable.
-- three men on a street corner. one still holding a glass filled with the drink. i asked one for a light. in the time it took him to reach into his pocket, he forgot my request and instead pulled out his cell phone. "noooo," i reminded him. "lighter."


HOGAN'S HERO
i'd like to publicly thank brother pista for sending a photo of their new dog, hogan, without at any point in the email referring to him as my nephew or to me as "an auntie again." nicely played, brother pista.



DEEP GOLDEN TAN
today i was smoking on chuck's back deck when i heard his neighbor's hammock creaking, so i poked my eyes around the side of the house and was blessed with this visual of summery goodness.

Friday, July 6, 2007

white asparagus ...

the fourth of july, i've decided, is scarier than halloween.

this week's life lesson: i'm not a fan of recreational fireworks. in fact, as chuck's whole block was glowing like a war zone, i expected the old man next door's thumb to land in my mojito and for the air to become thick with the smell of the burning hair of college boys. the whole thing kind of freaked me out. all that whizzing from different directions and the yahoos singing "proud to be an american." sensory overload, i tell you. i eventually had to curl up in the fetal position and rock myself toward a semblence of normality that never came.

my next door neighbors like to sit on the roof with their pitbull and cheap beer. they begin lighting firecrackers in late april and finally close up shop sometime around thanksgiving. it starts around noon and lasts until 3-4 a.m. i hate them passionately. it seems impossible to me that people with hardly a full set of non meth infested teeth between them have not fallen off the roof yet. sometimes i expect to see the pitbull hanging like a pinata from his leash. i think they've inspired my fear of fireworks.

last year, around 3:45 a.m. in mid-summer, i asked them to please lay off for the rest of the night. these things don't usually bother me. from then on, everytime i walked in or out of my house, the underaged and overweight girlfriend would slur drunken insults at me with words summoned from some sort of fifth-grade, school bus archive.

on the fourth of july, i had to take a time out at burrito union. left pucci to pick up our quesadilla's while i took a mental health break on fourth street. a handful of boys walked down the street with spiked 2 liter pop bottles. stumbling and liberally using the word "cock block" until the term no longer sounded like it was being spoken in english.

i was still regrouping at the red lion.
but the tap room sort of made me regress.
by quinlan's i was starting to feel better and had gotten over the image of charred bodies shrieking and running down the street; the civic catching an amateur's stray flame and combusting like a back zit.
in the cab on the way home, the driver and his friend were watching "the family guy" on a dvd in the front seat. every time i snuggle my keister into the backseat of a cab, some new quirk sets this ride home apart from the others.

"are you guys dating?" i asked the driver.
"nah," he chortled. "we're just best friends. ... as soon as we're done tonite we're going to go to my house and sing karoake. i have five cases of beer."

nice.

i couldn't find my fourth of july happy place. we'd hiked five miles through hot swampy air. un and down hills behind the zoo. in my heart of hearts, i wished that on this day we would meet an escaped kangeroo bouncing along on the path. the best part was a steep set of wooden stairs that led down a hill near spirit mountain. by the time we were done, i did not have an ounce of liquid left in my body. i thought maybe i'd celebrate the fourth of july in the dark, in my underwear, listening to felicity's annoying whisper. ben. noel. ben. noel. adam. ben.

i ate four stuffed olives for dinner and drank two mojitos.
"you can have your mo-Hee-to," i told my friends. "me? i'm going to drink a mo-jit-o."

it seemed harder to catch a buzz than to catch a sunburn from a roman candle.

the night ended with a frozen pizza and nip/tuck. pucci snoring on the floor, then waking and lifting her head like a curious doberman when a firecracker exploded outside the window at about 3 a.m. the look of disappointment on her face when she realized there was just one piece of pizza left.

priceless.

***

yesterday pucci and i went to the beach. i swadled myself in the spf equivilent of a leather body suit. the underwire on my bikini top threatened to deflate my right breast and black flies made tapas out of my ankle bones. pucci twice peed in the world's largest freshwater urinal, doing her part to make it warm enough to swim in by august.

that is the measure of a respectful out of town guest.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

eight is enough ...

i've been tagged again by someone in the big bad blogger girl posse. eight things about me. i'm going to try not to mention the words "urinary tract" or "toonses" or "chef yee's."

1. Post the rules, then list eight things about yourself.
2. At the end of the post, tag and link to eight other people.
3. Leave a comment at those sites, letting them know they've been tagged, and asking them to come read the post so they know what to do.

CROSSING GUARD
when i was in whatever grade that is that you do such things, i became a crossing guard to ensure a safe trip to and home from school for my schoolmates who lived within walking distance of st. piux x grade school. favorite activities included: helping cute boys cross the street; hanging up and yanking down the american flag. on more than one occasion, i hung the flag upside down.

i joined the crossing guards later in the school year, after there had been some defectors. this did not impress my mean and bossy friend allison, who thought that crossing guards were nerds. i joined because i wanted to go to the end-of-the-year twins game. at that twins game, i sat next to a boy named eric who went to public school. hoover elementary, i believe. he had very dark eyebrows and we definitely hit it off. sometimes, after that, we would talk on the phone. but we never ever saw each other again. i miss you, eric.

COMPACT COOLNESS
one of my favorite questions to answer about myself is this: what is the first cd you ever bought? because my answer is really cool. the smiths greatest hits vol. 2. reel around the fountain. bigmouth strikes again. last night i dreamt that somebody loved me. i could go on. i believe this answer says a lot of really good things about me.

BREAKFAST FAST
i generally cannot stomach any food until about 4 p.m. this is not as unhealthy and radical as it sounds because i don't usually wake until noon or noon thirty.

NIGHT NIGHTIE
i recently purchased my first piece of victoria's secret sleepware. this is why: one night i fell asleep in this pretty-pretty flowing tank top from express. it is made of fabric that makes me want to walk around rubbing my own back. chaz said the word "nightie" which really is a hilarious moment in the english dictionary. soonafter, we began watching mary hartman, mary hartman on dvd and in the first three episodes, the loretta character bounces around in a red nightie singing into a fake microphone.

so, readers, i bought myself a seafoam puddle of nightie.
i believe that this garment itself has more estrogen than me. it is quite girlie.

ITS A SMALL WORLD
my friend pucci is in town for a few days. this means that last night i spent eight hours at pizza luce and ended up spending about 67 dollars before tipping my waiter. some of this was pizza. some was cigarettes. some was beer. at one point in the night, pucci said: is it a small world, or am i just a slut? this was the funniest thing i'd heard in days. [answer: it's a small world.] in the meantime, i ran into about 100 people i know, effectively convincing pucci that since i left rochester, i've become quite popular. trickery is good.

SCOOTER
chuck and i had lunch with my parents at gordie's high hat yesterday afternoon. i had a bacon cheeseburger that was kind of gross-ish and rued the fact that i didn't order cheese curds. the parents pista were returning from a weekend at a friend's cabin on lake vermillion. while shopping in ely, my mom was talking to my brother on the phone and he told her that they had just bought a pug dog.

so my mom bought him a special magnent: a lifesized pug magnent.

this has me in hysterics. because if i know my mom, brother pista is now going to receive all sorts of pug-related gifts from places like ely. he will never get a nonpug related gift for the rest of the dog's life. my neice will probably be treated in a similar manner.

at lunch my dad made up a joke: what do you call a woodtick without legs?
no answer.
"scooter," he said and collapsed into giggle convulsions for about 10 minutes, which was way funnier than the answer scooter.
turns out he made this joke up.

MEMORIES
for six weeks in the spring i taught a memoir-writing class to a group of people who were mostly retired. i absolutely looooooved it and want to do it again someday but do it better. i always drove back to duluth afterward on a little life high.

ABUSE
things that i'm really into lately:
1. power c vitamin water
2. avacados
3. season four of felicity
4. the swedish band camera obscura
5. gas station string cheese
6. fruit flies

i'm tagging: some guy, oh roo, those who dig,

and nonbloggers who will be forced to respond in my comments:
f. scottie
fannie
magE
debby

Sunday, July 1, 2007

a weekend in three parts ...

A MONONUCLEOSIS LEVEL OF LAZINESS
how lazy does a person have to be to become completely irritated when she realizes that she has to physically unbutton this particular pair of pants before she can use the bathroom?

typically, i wear pants that are just a wee bit too big around the waist. i take great pleasure in never having to unbutton, nor unzip. i just yank. yesterday i wore a pair that fit-fit me and had silent rage in a public restroom when i realized i was going to have to untie the little belt, unbutton two buttons and unzip. the whole experience made me wonder if i should maybe just continue to sit on the toilet until i built up another bladder-ful so i wouldn't have to go through this madness again.

watch your local independent books store for my memoir: christa and the sisterhood of the elastic pants.

SAME JOKES, DIFFERENT DAY
seadawg had a deck party on saturday night and there were about a dozen people on hand, including my friend dude, who lives in two harbors.

"such a menopausal city," i lamented to him. this is, afterall, my favorite thing to say about two harbors.
"that's why it never snows there," he said. "the hot flashes."
"the warm front coming in from the bingo game," chuck added.
"from the yarn store," i said.

i ate about three pounds of summer sausage and the equivilent of an isthmus of cheese.

jcrew and i were building a pile of cigarettes in the back yard when she confessed that losing her dog spanky, which is imminent, is going to be horrific for her to overcome. "he's like a brother to me," she said. "seriously."

the conversation went on. my little friend had been bothered for three consecutive weeks with morning-puking and after ruling out the obvious reasons for the purge she decided that it was stress related.

"you know, carrying the weight of spanky's death on my back before it even happens. my body was preparing for the grief," she said approximately. then shrugged. "turns out it was just women's one a day."

by the end of the night, jcrew had raided the medicine cabinent, deemed our host a metrosexual and decided that she wanted to punch me in the face.

"by the time she gets out of the bathroom, she won't even remember why she wants to punch me in the face," i predicted. sure enough, when she came down the steps she told bubbles that she was going to punch her in the face.

i was cozied into the couch, absentmindedly picking dead skin off my feet and politely placing the slivers in my pocket when my entire toe started to bleed. i cupped the gushing wound in my hand until we could beat a retreat. now my toe looks like a shark attack.

POTTY HUMOR FROM SENIORS
we were driving in canal park today, under the false assumption that hell's kitchen had finally opened and hopefully eliminate another assumption, which is: most meals should be, and subsequently are, taken at burrito union. i love burrito union, but a girl can only read so much of "endless love" in a given day -- if you know what i mean.

chuck seethed as he looked for a place to park and once said a little extra loudly and with great emphasis: apparently you have to be staying at a hotel if you want to get a parking spot down here!

he finally found a spot. we walked to the restaurant, he yanked on the door, and it was closed. we looked in the windows and hell's kitchen looked more like hell's storrage room. since i was about to make a meal of concrete, cigarette butts and globs of old gum, we quickly headed to pizza luce. but first we almost got run over by, i'm assuming, a tourist.

we pulled up next to the fountain in canal park. various animal-people spring fountains of water into a small pool. a woman was taking a photo of her husband standing in front of it and i noticed he was not facing her. no, he was facing sideways, with his hands in a position to suggest that in this vacation photo he wanted it to look like he was emitting one very grand stream from his waist-level stream-emitter.

brilliant. potty humor from the retiree sector. my favorite.

one of those pantless days ...

when we last travelled the superior hiking trail, we had cut out at twin ponds, where, earlier in the day we had been visually accosted by an unattractive man and unattractive woman rubbing their bodies together in a way that suggested a certain level of attraction. on thursday we would encounter something similar, although this time it was in the form of butterflies, which was more visually appealing.

thursday, a sort of outline:

I. TWIN PONDS TO SKYLINE PARKWAY AT HIGHLAND/GETCHELL (approx. 7.5 miles)
coffee creek
forgotten park
very tall grass



... where i suspect i picked up the tick i later found going all old country buffet on my ankle. chuck removes the leaping little soul sucker and lights it on fire with a bic i fortuitiously brought along for our hike.

"is it dead?" i ask.
"i don't know," he says. "but it doesn't have legs anymore."

a small homestead: treehouse complete with a no parking sign nailed to the tree, a lounge chair and a wind guard. hidden very, very far in the wilderness.

i stub 40 percent of my toes. repeatedly. to the point where at about 5.5 miles in, i decide that i will wear wooden dutch clogs for further hiking ventures. i wonder when i became prepubescent in my inability to control my own freakish limbs. and why i didn't use it to score a basketball scholarship.

an empty 40-ouncer of busch light is laying on a rock in a way that suggests that someone climbed a big hill to drink it with a view of the city. this makes me jealous and nervous. remind me not to be drunk in high places, even though it sounds kick ass.

an abandoned brick structure decorated with an animal skull on the edge of a stream. someone has spray painted "jailhouse love" on the side. i think that if, say, you found this structure when you were nine years old, it would become the place where all the big things happened to you for the rest of your life.

i. first you'd play in, on and around it.
ii. then you'd bring people there to make out.
iii. begin drinking.
iv. drink and make out.
v. other rites of passage.

graffiti. bright blue graffiti. balloon words and etching and flourecent colors beneath a bridge. it is completely amazing. and scary. because if i learned one thing living in rochester it was this: where there is graffiti, there is a satanic ritual every 15 minutes. this is why you should always run when you see graffiti. you could have seven minutes until someone is drinking your blood and wearing your organs as accessories while they listen to judas priest. backward.

II. HUNGER
forkfuls of black olives crammed into my face.

III. ANCHOR
SWEET BABY JESUS THIS IS THE BEST FRIGGIN' OLIVE BURGER I'VE EVER EATEN!
COINCIDENTALLY! THIS SUMMIT PALE ALE IS THE BEST LIQUID TO EVER PASS MY PARCHED HIKER-ASS LIPS!

"what now?" asks chuck, who was accidentally given my french fries with his order but i don't even care because SWEET BABY JESUS THIS OLIVE BURGER IS GOOD!
"hmmm," i say. "why don't we wait and see where this pitcher takes us."

IV. THIS PITCHER TAKES US TO THE RUSTIC
which goes down without incident.

V. THE NORTH POLE
we walk almost a mile to our next destination. this evening's drinking brings that pleasant buzz where it seems like a good idea to:

i. play el paso on the juke box, to the pleasure of our elderly drinking mates.
ii. play welcome to the jungle, to the pleasure of me
III. play why can't this be love to the displeasure of chuckers.

VI. LESSON
i. from west duluth to the hillside is approximately 20 dollars, if your cab driver leaves the meter running at the ghetto spur while you're buying burritos.

VII. SLEEPING
i am that very special kind of buzzed like you see in disney movies. i kick over a glass of water, wipe it up with mesh shorts and collapse into bed giggling.