Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reasons a playa might not post words on her blog for more than a week ...

1. Perhaps she has taken up creating a graphic journal, within which she records an event from the day with a  crudely-drawn representations of her world. Maybe part of her relishes being able to draw whatever she wants, including Jamie Lee Curtis holding a container of Activia, or a uterus encasing Jiminey  Cricket. A person, maybe especially this person, can get pretty something when no one is watching. In which case, a trip through her recent Google Image searches would be a real hoot and a half.

2. She could be sleeping off an epic 2 day hangover, sponsored by Patron, Grand Marnier, and, um ... Diet Coke? Or something. Who remembers such nonsense.  Whatever it was, it took more than a 20-hour single serving of sleep, DiGiorno's Stuffed Crust Pizza, Purple Gatorade, Ruffles and French Onion Dip. Another life lesson for the kiddies: Four PBRs are probably enough, and there is no reason an adult-aged person should go to an afterbar.

3. She could be busy starting an electronica/experimental band with her boyfriend. Starting with a MySpace presence and segueing into downloading iPhone apps with funky, fresh beats.

4. She probably forgot she has a blog. This is not out of the question, even after more than six years Dear Diary-ing all over the internet. She also seems to have forgotten that she reads book-books, without pictures, where the conversations are wrapped in quotation marks, not bubbles. 


 5. What if she is bereft over the loss of Leslie Nielsen? After all, the Naked Gun series is still the standard by which she judges all other humor.

6. Her boyfriend has potentially found a name for what ails her, and it is called "Acute fascination with the body horror genre." If it wasn't illegal in the tri-county area, she would probably watch "Hellraiser" at least three more times before reluctantly sending the DVD back to Netflix. (Hopefully by then "Black Swan" will be at a theater in her zip code).

7. I bet she's bored of words. And cooking. And running. And anything more than nightly episodes of "Entourage," and cookies that taste like orange and lemon zest. 

8. Some people can get awfully caught up in trying to eat as many orange-ish brown foods in one sitting is possible. Would the sir like a side of Tator Tots with these fake Chick'n Nuggies?

9. Other people get super busy growing out their hair. So they can be shirt optional. Like "Splash."*

*Repeat joke.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My fingers they are blisters and my eyes they are bullet holes ...


My game plan for the Cloud Cult show was to sit in the back row by myself and cry. Something about the chemical makeup of my body, when mixed with their music, results in this total wash of feeling like I'm actually melting. It's involuntary. It's very Tourettes. It's like a bloodletting, but with snot. It's not happy crying, and it's not sad crying. It's overwhelmed crying, pleasure crying, like a cello/violin/trombone/guitar/live painters/all those voices jangled the right combination of organs to activate every sense at the same time. It's like being able to touch smell.

I don't know how they do this to me. But the song "Trapeze Swinger" by Iron & Wine has a similar effect on me. "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay (Shut up. I don't pick the song, the song picks me.) gets close.

Whereas I believe that all bands should be Swedish pop duos, I also believe that if that is not possible -- say you aren't Swedish -- all bands should have a strong string section. I think the cello is my favorite instrument. Other things I love about Cloud Cult:

* They put on a show. Six musicians, two live painters who occasionally ditch the brushes to join these epic vocal moments. So many voices at the same time;

* They are these wholly good people. Recycled CD cases, planting trees to cancel out the carbon footprint of touring. Reminders that we are the keepers of Lake Superior and that it is our job to keep it clean.

* Their back story is one of huge tragedy, which is still at the core of their music, although now there is an added layer of celebration. Sometimes they lean to the group hug side of inspirational, but in an appealing way. If they were a church, I'd bake brownies and join the choir.

Anyway, usually the face gushing doesn't start until they play "Love You All"; Last night it started midway through their first song "Unexplainable Stories" -- a slowish, string heavy song that explodes in the center. That's when the two live painters spun their canvases and just started chucking colors and my chin and nose had a seizure and my eyes felt like they were filled with smoke.

So I finally lassoed the tremble. It returned a few times through the rest of the show. Specifically during the encore when they played "Exploding People," and all eight people on stage started beating on drums or drum-like things. In one case it was a bucket. Sticks flying all over the place during the apex of the song. 


In an awesome manipulation of fate, Chuck was able to go with me to Saturday night's show at St. Scholastica. I'd gotten two tickets on the off chance that he would wake up early enough to be able to be in public at 7:30 p.m. That made it the first time I've gone to a Cloud Cult show with another person, so I was able to grab his leg and squeeze it in delight throughout the whole show. Even better than sitting by myself in the back row, crying alone. I think this was my favorite Cloud Cult show of all time.

In other news, this Minneapolis duo For Wilson Riot opened the show. They are a guitar, levers and gadgets, and voice, and by the end of their 45-minute set I was totally enamored with them. At first it was iffy. But they looked like they were having fun. Dude playing guitar, girl's hair whipping in her face as she played keyboard and twisted and poked at buttons.

"I don't know about their music," Chuck said. "But I think we should do that when we get home."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Booked ...


Today I was gifted with an armload and a half of free books from longtime blog reader turned friend, FiFi. She's gone electronic with her lit, plus, she said her husband is worried about her piles upon piles of books toppling on her head.

And you thought you could only salivate over food. We stood at her kitchen table as she held up a mix of graphic novels, memoirs and fiction. I'd only read three from the haul. She frowned when I told her I already owned a copy of "Nocturnes." That frown seemed to say "Dammit, Pista. Now I have to put this back in my topple pile."

This was so truly awesome. I already zipped through one of the graphic novels in the late afternoon. I can't believe I spent 34 years not reading graphic novels. This has been the most exciting thing to happen to me, reading-wise, since Christopher Pike and his YA freak fests in the late 80s. Thanks, FiFi.The next three months are booked. Get it? Booked. Huh.

I should also note here that this comes on the heels of a rather large shipment of words from Jodes, who is also responsible for getting me into graphic novels. My reading life is ridiculously satisfying.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Welcome to the jungle ...

I got pulled over for driving with only one headlight last night. I was in the process of committing, or had recently committed, a handful of traffic crimes around the time I saw the cherries. He cranked a U-y. I muted my third-favorite local radio station, a one-stop classic rock shop that plays "Welcome to the Jungle" at least once every time I am in my car.

"You didn't know you only had one headlight?" the state trooper said incredulously when I expressed genuine wonder at his judgment call. Like he thought I was someone who pantsed a bus driver, then fleeced him for his super secret pre-route check list. Brake lights. Check. Blinkers. Check. Head lights. Oh. Snap. 

No, I didn't know my headlight was out. I don't spend a ton of time on or near the front of my car. I'm not, like, Tawny Kitaine.

Cop: Where are you going?
Me: Home.
Cop (Holding my drivers license): Where do you live?
Me: [Address]. It says right ... there. (Points to ID)
Cop: Is this your car?
Me: Yes.
Cop: Where are you coming from?
Me: Work.
Cop: Where do you work?
Me: Uh ...
Cop: I'm just curious.
Me: [Says place of employment. Add job description]
Cop: [Makes very strange joke about my job, and this vehicle heist]
Me: [Fake laughs uproariously]

Then I showed him a crumpled piece of paper with the name of my insurance company on it, he ran my ID and let me go with a warning.

I did not have time to go headlight shopping during the day, and found myself in a situation where I would be driving home in the dark. I solicited a little help from my former landlord.

Me: Do you know if there is an auto parts store downtown?
Former Landlord: There's one by your house.
[He misses the subtext here, which is "Hey. Why don't you go find me a headlight and insert it into my vehicle. Your hands are already dirty.]
Me: But I can't drive home with one headlight. Better if I can just change it before I drive anywhere.
FL: Hmm. Just drive with your brights on. That should work. It's not a permanent fix, but it'll do in a pinch.
Me: Huh. Thank you, Duct Tape Face.
[The subtext here is: "Thank goodness for a friend who uses a tin can and a garden hose to manipulate the windows of his car." 

So I got a new headlight. And when I asked the salesman about the difficulty level of changing it, he offered to do it for me. This made me pissy because I wanted to know how to change my own headlight. The whole give a man a fish versus teach a man to fish scene from Karate Kid or the bible or whatever.

But he seemed to want to change a headlight pretty bad, so I let him. Then, as he struggled with it, I started to get pissed off that I had to stand out in the cold offering gratitude and encouragement. And that is how, for 30 seconds today, I was a super huge bitch deep down.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dinosaur meat ...

Big week last week. I started my new series: Pop Culture Curiosities, wherein I investigate things I feel like I should know about but don't know about. So far it has been pretty week sauce -- lots of playing catch up with fast food menus, including the Double Down, the McRib, and energy drinks. I gotta couple doozies this week. Both promise to be so painful that I might just abandon the project.

Also: I finally dropped my iPhone into the toilet. I suspect my subconscious had a hand in it. I'd had that phone through two iPhone upgrades and mine was starting to taste like dinosaur meat.There wasn't even a video camera, yo. Now I can take a higher quality of shitty photographs. I can't stop staring at it. The screen is so pretty.

In other news, here is what I've been watching and reading. 


TV
Bored to Death: The Complete First Season: New favorite show. Now, like everyone else in the world, I'm addicted to Zach Galifianakis.



MOVIES
En La CamaThis is a naked foreign take on the "Before Sunrise" concept. These strangers meet at a party, and the movie opens with some Olympic caliber skin gymnastics. Then they slowly get to know each other, seemingly going through the entire stages of a relationship in less than 24 hours.It's a little dull and a lot hot.

BOOKS
Zeitoun (Vintage) by Dave Eggers: Over the course of the 300-plus pages of Dave Eggers’ journalistic narrative Zeitoun, the leading lad of one of my favorite self-indulgent, albeit delightful, memoirs became more than the guy who was almost on “The Real World: San Francisco.” Mind blown. Imagine having this ability to write, a mix of ambition plus passion, and an established name as a check to float while changing the entire world.


The Hellbound Heart: A Novel by Clive Barker: Where was my head? I spent the Halloween season searching for the ghostly and gruesome without ever once considering the work of Clive Barker. Then, one night, we landed on the Sy/Fy Channel in time to catch a wonderfully gross movie based on one of his short stories. Eyeballs popped out of heads. A meat hook blow was delivered to a crotch. Bodies were hung and bled like sides of beef. I cackled and gagged. Sometimes simultaneously. And then cracked into Barker’s The Hellbound Heart, the horror novella behind the Hellraiser series.

Full review for both here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nectar ...


Pop Culture Curiosity Chapter 3: The One Where I Get Addicted to Energy Drinks!

I've made no secret of the fact that I enjoy the neon green flush of urine that chemically occurs when I drink Sugar Free Rock Star. It's in the beeturia genre of fascinating biology. But it's more than a glowing toilet bowl that keeps me cruising back to the cooler at my local C-store.

I genuinely like the sweet and tinny taste. And I genuinely love the spazz-mitude inspired by this PBR tall boy-sized energy drink. It's not so much the stomach gnaw or the acute awareness that your hair is growing, like with coffee -- which I also love. It's more of an accelerated heart rate and involuntarily doing the Roger Rabbit. That feeling that IF I DON'T HEAR A SONG BY KATRINA AND THE WAVES RIGHT NOW MY ORGANS WILL IMPLODE!

And that's a wonderful feeling.

Chuck and I recently had a taste test: Sugar Free Rock Star versus Lo-Carb Monster. He mixed up the samples, then presented me with both options. I knew my Sugar Free Rock Star the way a mother knows her baby -- even though all babies look exactly alike. Monster was too thick and syrup-y. More like nectar from flowers watered with the urine of a thousand 12-year-olds with ADHD. I prefer the higher carbonation factor of Sugar Free Rock Star, and it's much more subtle sweetness. Perchance, nectar from flowers watered with the urine of just 500 12-year-olds with ADHD.

Chuck, by the way, chose the Monster in his blind taste test. 

So there it is. People like energy drinks. I tried enough energy drinks to have a favorite energy drink. And I've tried my favorite energy often enough to actually trick myself into thinking "Hm. 3 p.m. Time for my Sugar Free Rock Star. Do-do-do."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time out for Lydia ...


I had no place to be, so I stopped off for a beer on my way home. It was late, so I'd already missed Chuck before he left for work. One beer, maybe two, at a townie bar close to my house sounded good.

I ordered a Fat Tire, filled out my name, address and phone number on a slip of paper without questioning what sort of contest I was entering. If I know this place, it's a meat raffle. I began reading from a book of short stories that I keep in my purse. I call it purse-book.

I like reading in bars. It's a nice mix of being in public and in private at the same time. I usually have to explain this to at least one person who asks what I'm reading, then apologizes for bothering me. Reading in bars is confusing to people who have never tried reading in bars.

After the bartender asked what I was reading, I went out for a cigarette purposefully leaving the book next to my drink to a) save my chair and b) give her time to look at it if she was curious. I came back, diddled with my phone, and wondered if I should write a short story about a woman who secretly becomes an alcoholic and her boyfriend never finds out about it because he works nights.

"What're you doing? Just playing with your phone?"

It was a super tall 20-something who had come in earlier with a woman who was noticeably older than him. He seemed like a regular. He called the bartender by her first name and had a slurry remorsefulness that suggested he understands that he sometimes annoys her.

"Reading," I said, wishing I had the book in my hand instead of splayed out on the counter.

"Well, now you're going to have fun!" he said.
"Right. Reading," I said.
He gave me a cockeyed look.
"I'm at the bar with my mom," he said, confirming the fan fiction I'd written about him in my head the second he walked in the door.

Down at the other end of the bar, the surly blonde was scowling at nothing.
"Now you can have fun with me and my mom!" he said.
"Hm. I think I'll just read," I said, nodding to my book.

He picked it up.
"The Collected Stories of. Lydia Davis," he read the cover.
I was moderately surprised. I had bet myself he'd call her "Linda," and lost.
He flipped through the book.
"What. Are you going to read to me?" I asked him.
He opened to the story I was on, and read the title aloud: "Meat, My Husband."
"That's funny," he said. "Because 'meat' is spelled like that."
And again I was moderately surprised.
So he began reading: 

"My husband's favorite food, in childhood, was corned beef. I found this out yesterday when some friends came over and we started talking about food. At some point, they asked what our favorite childhood foods had been. I couldn't think of any, but my husband didn't have to think before answering.

'Corned beef,' he said.
'Corned beef with an egg on it," one of our friends added. 

"Corned beef with an egg on it!" he slurred, clearly appalled. "Who would ever eat corned beef with an egg on it."

The bartender interjected. She would. For sure. Grew up on the stuff.
"With an egg on it?!" he asked.
"Sure," she said. "Haven't you ever had corned beef hash, with eggs?"
He made a face as she walked away.
"Must be a new thing," he said, and continued reading.

My husband often ate in diners before we met. He had two he liked, but he preferred the one where they did a particularly good hot roast beef sandwich. He still likes a good piece of roast beef, or steak, or hamburger mixed with sauce and spices and grilled outdoors with ..." 

He struggled with the next word, brochettes, and said instead "bruschetta."

"... of onions and peppers.
He put his thumb between the pages. "Does any of that sound good to you?" he asked me. Frankly, I'd already stopped listening. So I grappled for a memorable word.

"Bruschetta," I said. "Bruschetta sounds good."

"HEY MOM!" he yelled down the bar.
"Shhhh," said the bartender.
"What?!" squawked his mom.
"Do you want to cook bruschetta!" he yelled in a whisper yell.
"What?!" she said.
"Do you want to cook bruschetta?!" he yelled in a non-whisper yell.
"Tonight? No. I work all goddamn day and I want to go home," she growled.
(These are all direct quotes. I was texting them to myself at the time because I didn't want to forget a lick of it).

I'm not sure what he thought was going to happen. Were we all three going to bumble to the car, drive to Morgan Park, and sit around the table listening to him read "Meat, My Husband" while his mom chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic and placed them on a baguette. Ponder the meaning of the 800 word story while it baked at 425 degrees? Chuckle over that clever Lydia Davis as we finally ate the bruschetta? Maybe segue into some Cribbage. Whatever it was, she seemed to know what he was thinking.

"Your mom wants to go home," I told him.
He looked at her at the end of the bar. Got up. Walked away.
I ordered another Fat Tire, and finished the story.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wishing for a hangover where there is none ...


Pop Culture Curiosity Chapter 2: KFC's Double Down

The best place to eat a tired relic of pop culture, during daylight hours, is in the front seat of your car in a parking lot on a side of town you don't usually frequent.

Enter KFC's Double Down, item No. 2 on Project Catch Up With What The Hell People Are -- or in this case Were -- Talking About. (Unofficial title). This once-taboo introduction to a world that refused to accept that something called a "sandwich" would have the audacity to substitute chicken breasts for a bun caused a ruckus, and then that ruckus ended. It is, as plenty of internet people have pointed out, a chicken dinner gone vertical, rather than horizontal. So no one's talking about it anymore -- except Canadians. It just migrated north. I bet that audience will cycle through its outrage at the sodium content in a much cooler way.

I have terrible news, carrot-faces. Dr. Colonel Sanders found a hangover cure. I wasn't hung over when I ate mine, but as liquid fat pooled near my elbows, I wished I was hung over. This thing is delicious. First of all, it's fried chicken, which has never sucked. And it has slats of off-white cheese, that curiously did not melt nor bend. Some sort of salmon-colored sauce. Bacon. It's not pretty. It's food-itecture.

I ate about 75 percent of it before I got meated out. Then I tossed it into my backseat for part two of the experiment: How long would this sandwich last in the post-apocalyptic world that is my vehicle. 

I like to consider myself pop culture curious, but there are whole categories of things that go by unnoticed in a way that suggests I've never seen the internet. I'm dedicating this week -- give or take a week -- to introducing certain much-talked about things I've not experienced into my life. And then blogging about it.Not all of these posts will be about food. Chapter 1: The McRib is here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

McMermaids. Or McHair ...

I like to consider myself pop culture curious, but there are whole categories of things that go by unnoticed in a way that suggests I've never seen the internet. I'm dedicating this week -- give or take a week -- to introducing certain much-talked about things I've not experienced into my life. And then blogging about it.


Chapter One: The McRib

One of the greater things you can do with a Pla-Doh Fun Factory is take a salty mound of blue, and shoot squiggles of tasty clay out of the holes in a Pla-Doh Fun Factory character's head. This handful of colorful oozes can be squeezed with a helmet-like mold to create the representation of 1970's housewife hair 'du. It's a blast.

This is what I'm reminded of when I open up a coffin-shaped fast food box filled with the oft-talked about McRib. The decorative xylophone of lines that represents an animal's upper torso seems to be a facade. An aesthetics thing. There are no bones. At least not born of a mammal. You would be more likely to choke on a fish bone in this thing. You want ribs? I'll give you a hamburger covered in BBQ sauce, pressed into a set of ribs. With this in mind, McDonald's could also make the McMermaid or even the McHair.

This on-again, off-again delicacy is a wild stallion. That bad boy lead from a romantic comedy. It crops up on menus, disappears. There are whispers: It's back. Limited time only. Then it's gone again. It's Jude Law leaving half-dressed messy-haired 20-somethings weeping in his wake; It's Matthew McConaughey's drawling his refusal to even commit to wearing shoes throughout an entire movie.



This sandwich looks messy. It smells like a concentration of food stands at the county fair, yet manages to not have that classic McDonald's smell. That fleshy stench of wet Doritos that clings to hair long after the extra value meal has been voided.


It's slathered with a sauce that stains the box like the endometrium artwork of a clever old hippie making a statement about womanhood. A period muralist. Raw onions and about three pickles. A soft bun that completely matches the size and shape of the pork patty, as if they were born to lie together in this perfect union.

The McRib is neither bad, nor good. And I'm no snob. McDonald's cheeseburgers are good. It's the lint-sizes slivers of onion. The Filet O'Fish is something else. There it is the combination of cheese-product and Tartar sauce. I'd do some pretty wretched things for a Shamrock Shake, including ordering something I am going to consume from a drive-thru window. The McRib will simply make you less hungry than you were before you ate it. But you could drink 14 mustard packets, and that would coat your stomach for awhile, too.

The McRib seems to have pretty good PR, and its identity is wholly wrapped up in the fact that it is The McRib, rather than the fact that a bunch of pork, smooshed into the shape of ribs, and slathered in a thin hickory-flavored liquid is the perfect melding of tastes.


It could stand for some cheese. Barring that, something yellowish pressed into the shape of cheese. And when it comes to special sauces, the Big Mac has it beat with that Thousand Island tang, and the In-N-Out Burger would kick it in the nuts, and then make it apologize for having left its nuts in a kick-able position.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shitstorm of media consumption ...

On this episode of Weakly Reviewed, I hit an unprecedented level of laziness that has me simply making lists and linking when I feel like it without explanation. (All of the book links to go Minnesota Reads, where full reviews of this shitstorm of media I've been consuming can be read in 500-plus word detail). In a strange twist of literary fate, I'd actually recommend any of these books to anyone. Not sure how I managed to fall into a six-book win streak, but it shows no sign of abating. I'm currently reading another winner. My inner bitcher is totally pissed off. It might be time for me to pick up the next installment in the Twilight series so I have something to complain about.   

As for the movies, I feel into a horror fest during the Halloween season, which was helped along by AMC's willingness to feed my insatiable need for gore. Our TiVo looked like it was being operated by a very macabre teen-aged boy. As for the random French film, blame Marcy Dermansky's book "Bad Marie." So. I included like sentence thoughts on everything I saw. No time or effort was harmed in the making of that list.

In other news at the McChuckerstein/Pista residence: We do indeed have mice. They went Old Country Buffet over some rat poison. Now we wait for the house to start reeking to gauge our success. In related news: our bedroom and kitchen have never been cleaner.

And personally: I've come to discover that I am powerless against Target's Converse collection. Also: I still have glue stuck in my eyelashes from the falsies I wore on Halloween. I got some of the chunks out by ripping out a handful of eyelashes. So now I have bald spots and clumps. I'm adorable.

FOOD

Mexican lasagna: So this is like lasagna, cept with tortillas and built in a springform pan. It was decent. I'd make it again. All the yum of lasagna without the mess of working with wet noodles. Ole!



Sun Dried Tomato and Arugula Tartines: My only complaint about this is that it was flavor overload. But, damn. Delicious. These little sandwiches got the sun-dried tomato, tofu, olives, arugula, and fancy Swiss cheese treatment with favorable results. I could only eat about one before I almost had to have a stomach-ectomy.

BOOKS
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Dave Eggers 

The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins

Rat Girl: Kristin Hersch

Cruddy: Lynda Barry

Handling the Undead: John Avjist Lindqvist

Bad Marie: Marcy Dermansky


MOVIES 
Leprechaun: Turning Shamrock Shakes into laughable horror
Tropic Thunder: Laughed a lot, then had best nap ever.
Friday the 13th 2: Inspiring.

The Shining: Never gets old.

Halloween 2: Keep getting it mixed up with Friday the 13th 2.

Sherlock Holmes: Funny. Fell asleep.

Creature from the Black Lagoon: Love.

Midnight Meat Train: Perfectly disgusting.

Funny Games: Uncomfortable.

The Omen: Too long.
Rois et reine (Kings and Queen): Huh. Interesting.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Skittering ...

We either have mice or ghosts, I realized when the invisible skittering in the bedroom woke me up at about 5:12 a.m. Friday. You would have to be a pretty big asshole to not know that I'd prefer the latter like nine hundred fold. I've been super conscious of every noise in this house since Rodent Security floated off to the great big bag of Iams' Weight Control in the sky.

I had a false alarm less than a week ago when I woke up to a similar noise coming from the foot of the bed. This constant rustling. I tuned into my CSI-whatever and realized that a Benetton receipt was being pushed across the floor by the force of air from a vent. That got a pretty hearty internal laugh.Silly rodent-phobe, I thought. This is what you get for buying an argyle sweater.

Just because it wasn't a mouse that time didn't mean it wouldn't be a mouse in the future.This place is almost 100 years old. There must be at least one dime-sized hole with a blinking cartoon-ish Vacancy sign somewhere on the premises.

I do not like small things that wiggle.I'm not going to hold a frog/worm/gerbil. And I don't want to see a mess of them squiggling around either. Mini punctuation-shaped beings in motion. Peach fuzzed bodies. Pink eyes. Tails.

I texted Chuck about the skittering, and I believe he spent his work break investigating mouse karate. Horror stories about mouse nests and dryer fires and elimination tactics. He's had mice before. They licked his peanut butter jar clean a few years ago, so he used something he generically referred to at the time as "Rat Poison." Then one time we woke to find a mess of them had gone loco-diabetes on Candy Corn we'd left in a bowl on the table.Still more Rat Poison.

Despite my lentil lean and unwillingness to do things like, oh say, ram my hand into a chicken cavity, take the skin off salmon, or readjust a slab of pork tenderloin once I've squirted it out of a bag, I have no problem with dead animals. I'm not going to chain myself to McDonalds, in less it is in support of, say, Year Round Shamrock Shakes! A dead mouse, in my opinion, is better than a live mouse. Best of all, if it dies having never made eye contact with me. Alone, mummified, little claws making a mini-rawr in sign language.

A cat would fix this. Chuck's allergic to cats, and this non-cat era of our relationship has done tremendous things for his lung capacity and mucous moderation. I don't want another cat. Cats weasel their way into your cold heart, and leave you in a bubbling pool of snot when they spin themselves senile and die in your arms on a crappy old couch in the back room of the vet's office. Plus, I hate thinking of bringing a furry being into this house that would likely still be skulking around the baseboards when we are 50.

"Some 50 year olds have cats, you know," Chuck said.
That's not the point.

Maybe if we could get a cat that understood its role as work horse. If we could just maintain a professional relationship. Debrief when necessary. Shake hands. Walk away. Maybe then.

ADDENDUM: There is a third option. That skittering noise might be coming from a drafting bedroom window and some scratchy blinds.This option came to me at about 5 a.m. this morning, my sleep again broken by that noise. I spent a sleepless hour imagining mice nipping at my toes, and weaseling into crooks of my body for warmth. I played some Cloud Cult to distract me. I turned on the light. I stared at the offending corner. I readjusted the blinds, and didn't hear another peep.

We might still have mice, though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Internetrovert ...

Somehow I have gotten out of the habit of recording the inane things that happen in my day through a sassafrass filter. I can't decide if this is because I don't drink 4 nights a week anymore, nights that really didn't get off the ground until I'd wrestled an entire fistful of JCrew's hair out of her head. Nights that ended when I'd licked clean a plate of gas station burrito.

Maybe it was all pure hubris, believing that people needed to read about what happened to me every day. Or maybe it was all just a big writing assignment slash amusement park.

Fact: I used to tell the same story, honing it, tweaking the punchline pauses, over and over and over again. When I started blogging, I stopped doing that. I'd start to tell a story about something that happened. Stop. Say: "Well. Did you read my blog?" And eventually I just stopped making more than small talk with almost everyone.

I used to be really proud that I could extract the blog-able moment out of every day. A few days ago, maybe even last week, a guy who works at the gas station was singing, I mean really singing that "Constant Sorrow" song from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou." He came in from outside, moved along the perimeter of the store, back to the refrigerators and his voice was just gigantic. It felt like an epic moment. We'd find out later that he was famous. Or maybe he'd get famous after this. It would be his story. "... Used to sing while I stocked Dr. Pepper ..." The guy who was working the register rolled his eyes, if not every roll-able part of his body.

"Does he always do that?" I asked the kid.
Kid nodded.
"Is it so annoying?" Imagine working with that vibrating half of a harmonization.
Kid nodded.

I cackled. That story would have been worth 500 words, after I figured out what the song was called and what movie it was from.

Fact: When you take one thing, a conversation or a scene or an event, and record it, the entire collection becomes this filtered chapter book of your life. You can be pretty manipulative with that, if you do it right. It can get ugly if you do it wrong. Few have perfected the art of identical twin this-is-me and this-is-me-on-the-internet.

I feel like I'm writing all the time. And if not writing, reading something I'll write about. Yet none of those words seem to be ending up here. Sometimes I don't even notice that they aren't making it onto a screen.

First I disconnected my Twitter feed from Facebook.
Then I stopped having Facebook open every time I was online.
Then I ran out of things to Tweet.
Now Facebook is a place to post links to Goodreads and occasional photos.
I still can't think of anything to Tweet.
Maybe I'm become an internetrovert.

Fact: When I was in Los Angeles in May and surrounded by 20-plus strangers, I had a really hard time figuring out what to say to them. Especially in the beginning. Bus rides required seat partners required conversations. Like, conversations. At that time, I was barely thinking thoughts that lasted more than 140 characters. Let alone conversations. How pre-2006.

I wonder what this all means. Will I eventually just be completely without words? Conversation was killed by blogging was killed by Facebook was killed by Twitter was killed by sudden internetroversion. Soon Chuck will be the only person who ever witnesses a word come out of me. And considering our telepathic communication skills, those words will probably be limited to just "soup's on, bitches."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today I wonder ...

... if our next door neighbor, the West Duluth OG, put up curtains in his dining room because sometimes I don't wear pants when I'm on our deck. Or is it just because he has a draft in his dining room, and I'm a self-centered person who thinks an 80-year-old man would give a shit if I wore pants on the deck.
*My shirts are always long.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hallowinkie ...



I went as Kat Von D for Halloween. Artwork by Chuckers McChuckerstein. In other news: I was so hung over that I missed all 200 plus trick or treaters who wandered past our dark house. Around 8 p.m. I ran outside with a bucket of goods and said to some teens: 

"Hey! Do you guys want some candy?!" 
They did.

About an hour later I barfed Gatorade all over the front yard. Lemon Lime flavor. 

Today I had to try to wash off all my prison tats, including a very inappropriate "flower" drawn by JCrew. The neck one is still half there, as is the one on my forearm.