If not now, when?
I can never tell if I’m the mink or the bird.
When I was a child, I thought people sucked as a child. Yes, lots of people sucked. My parents sucked. My hillbilly neighbors sucked. My eventual schoolmates? They sucked too. Like Bartleby, I preferred not to. Just leave me alone. I have reading to do. OK, I finished that book, so why not lie in the snow way out back (yonder) and pray to freeze to death?
But when I became a woman, I really put childish things on the FAST TRACK! I still thought people sucked, but suddenly I also had the power to make that fact known and create consequences for them because of it. Sex, money, approval? Knocking people off chairs? I realized the power of giving and receiving. The Christian way, really.
Perhaps my heart froze in the back yard. Or perhaps I am just honest.
These days, I am feeling a bit unfocused in the application of my enmity due to a particular condition that’s come over me. I don’t know what to call it. Mindfulness? Empathy? Laziness?
I’m also suffering from a lack of reciprocal hate since I changed employment and failed to alienate a full 100% of my co-workers. I feel so…alone. I mentioned to Mr. H that it would so gratifying to see a list of all the people I’ve ever met who really hate me. I’d know they cared!
Like “Wow, that asshole from high school still carries a torch…of hatred!” or “Hey, that bitch got fat, AND she can’t stand me.” Life just gives and gives sometimes. If you only care enough to hate. First and last and always.
Gather round, my dumplings! It is time for a near-quarterly blog post. I would like to share a brief statement on Haus of Vomitola’s Q2 earnings. NONE! Not since we were banned from Google AdSense have we made a red cent on this thing. This is all about unconditional love and finally remembering a password.
A lot has happened since early March. I escaped the world of advertising for the world of I’m not quite sure yet. Last week, it happened to be a dog track in Iowa. You think I’m kidding.
Around May, my beloved ancient cat nearly perished from something indeterminate yet expensive. By virtue of filling out all the fields on many forms, I bamboozled a financial institution into giving me a country house. Perhaps you recall the existential void created by the last time we bought farm. But it’s all different now, because I understand the real value of alpacas as a tax shelter.
Flash forward: I am now the proud owner of a wood chipper and default commander of a small bulldozer.
I am also involved in various tedious shenanigans that mostly involve paying double for things. I have a few months of rent to pay on my old apartment by the methadone clinic due to my inability to read contracts. I also owe the child’s school a year of tuition, despite signing up for a refund option. Apparently I was 3 weeks late to exercise that option. See previous reading problem. Despite measured attempts at negotiation with the headmistress, I left it at “Fine, fuck you, I’m paying never to see you and your stupid “bring an entree if your last name starts with A-M potluck organizing school play having field trip chaperone requiring” tinhorn bullshit Montessori concern again!”
Oh, and somewhere in there, Mr. H got a case of what I diagnosed as flesh-eating bacteria, and a doctor diagnosed as “Oh, God, I’ve never seen that before.” He’s fine. But it was touch and go for a while, as I had to navigate making my own dinner, and I get hives when my blood sugar gets low. It’s a damn good thing I watch enough Discovery Channel to be a doctor, or he might have lost a leg. In the olden days, I would have had to amputate it myself, with only my chainsaw.
I haven’t seen Lambchop since early March either. When last I consulted her, she was shrieking something about “mannschaft,” and I thought it better not to inquire further after her personal needs. I’m sure she’ll get over it eventually.
But my pal and I are probably overdue for a rage-free vacation. We once spent at least 48 hours “in the moment,” not troubled by anything more than the occasional chicken traipsing across our path as we dashed into the surf. That weekend is my gold standard for vacations, if not life. Try as I might, I can’t maintain this sort of unstudied bliss. Normally I busy myself with math, imagined slights, muttering, and editing the “shitlist” stored in my iPad.
But this week, Mercury is out of retrograde, and the super moon has passed (though I forgot to take a photo of it and caption it “fate/ up against your will”). Things are looking up indeed. Those who typically vex me now positively enchant me. I have “Raspberry Beret” on an endless loop in my brain. Thanks to that, I don’t need to sleep anymore! Did I mention I have a chainsaw? It’s time I met some of my new neighbors. I’ll make a pie.
My dear seeing eye drones, I am reading a book about how everyone is not really as busy as they claim to be. Apparently we in America have something like 30 hours of leisure time available to us each week! I don’t know who these poor saps are who a) only have 30 hours of leisure time and b) don’t even know they have 30 hours of leisure time. This is unlike my life in every way. Just look, I have the time to read a book! Or have someone read it to me, but who has time to keep score? Not most us, apparently.
I maintain an assuredly robust list of projects and obligations, plus a calendar of personal appearances and disappearances, but what is the point of living a single day on Earth if you can’t chuck most of it on a whim and roll around on the floor listening to a record as loud as you please? Go on, wiggle your toes. You want to be adoooooooooooooooored!
A recent look at just a segment of my to-do list, for your perusal:
Now, I have no idea what most of that means. This is from maybe 2 months ago. No matter, I am sure it was all very important at the time, or I wouldn’t have written it down, right?
Is the world a worse place because I failed to launch a Snapchat suicide hotline staffed by the remaining members of TLC at Sea World? Or because I failed to write a self-help book about how building materials and quiet contemplation lead to enlightenment? Maybe you’re all just gagging for my panda porn script treatment! I think further down that list I was supposed to go to CVS. Did I go? Who knows.
And this isn’t even my work to-don’t list, which goes more like “File the files, I guess. Write a deck, or not. Get around to that email, or wait until it is no longer relevant. Put that wine bottle in the recycling bin, unless you were going to make a lamp or something.”
Time-pressed masses, the first step to opting out of busyness is recognizing the value of complete absurdity. The second step is inventing time travel. The third step is
On New Year’s Day, I texted “Come over, we’re making Vision Boards!” I don’t know why I woke up and conjured that one up, because that is stupid magical thinking Oprah/hippie crap, but it seemed like cutting little pieces out of magazines while drinking mimosas might be a reasonable way to pass a slightly cotton-fluff-wrapped day.
To my shock, no one protested, and everyone showed up with bags of magazines and booze. We snipped and shredded a collection that ranged from the Amex Travel mag that always reminds how unrich I am to the Harvard Business Review to High Times to American Bungalow. We were lost in a flurry of diamonds and safaris, sticky rainbow buds and tasteful woodwork, plus pithy quotes like “To really motivate someone, shut up already.” American Bungalow also started to sound dirty if you said it enough times.
The kids finished up first, but the adults know how to really fill a page. Negative space has no place in a vision board! That would be so…negative. And we sniffed the glue sticks, I admit. Hours later, we moved on to pasta, and the course of the year was set in stone.
Everything started falling into place almost immediately: 11:11 on the clock at least twice a day, patterns in license plates, old friends coming out of the woodwork, full moons, black cats, and dead birds. If you can auger with it, it showed up.
As of now, everything I put on my board as an abstract hope has already come true for the year. I guess I should have used a bigger board or dreamed a bit bigger. It’s always sad to be confronted with the limitations of one’s creativity.
What if I had pasted in a picture of Buzzfeed and juxtaposed it with a mushroom cloud? Then Lambchop could stop being plagued by quizzes that help you find out what kind of hummus you are based on your favorite Dr. Who character, or those 93 sloths that are perpetually unable to handle anything in their lives right now.
Still, it’s good to know magical thinking really works! Next year I’m going to make my board all about swimming in a money bin, and I’m going to take care of that North Korea thing, AIDS, cancer, people who talk about the paleo diet and/or Ayn Rand, and the practice of not finishing sentences because Lambchop can’t even. I mean THIS. For days. Because whatever.
Times have been trying of late. We have had weather. Our hairdos and our hauteur have suffered the indignities of moisture and outfits comprised mainly of padding. Despite this chaos, people desire appointments and apostrophes continue to be errant. Is this to be borne?!? Not without some casual, festive raging. Our favorite cartoon cat knew what it was all about.
Yes, it’s Fuck You Friday. So, no, I will not send out an email when I want to use the bathroom, to ensure that phones are answered. And ho, man who slammed me in the shins with a heavy parcel as you tore through the underground passage, not bothered to cast a glance when you struck me: your time is valuable! I have one message for you, and that is Fuck You.
A very, very special Fuck You to US Airways, on behalf of my Mary. You know what you did.
It feels good to Fuck You. My heart grows light as a feather! Who else deserves a rich helping of Fuck You?
1. Anyone who says, “ok, this is going to feel cold.”
2. Clocks. Always running too slow or too fast, never just right.
3. People who advise you to do things they would never, ever do themselves. Oh, hell no!
4. The crick in my neck, courtesy of the Newark Hilton.
5. Lima Beans, constant loiterers on my plate throughout my childhood, bringing only misery. I will never forgive you for tasting like that.
At least we can always go back to Rebecca Black, to remember that it IS Friday, at least. And that it is very important to deliberate carefully on choice of seating.
A celebrity died this week, of natural celebrity causes. You probably heard all about it. No, it wasn’t Puck from the Real World, although that guy really had it comin’. Anyway, a few days have passed and I feel it is safe to once again resume talking about myself. I know, I know, there is NOTHING you can’t make about YOU, if you really put your mind to it. I could have talked about how the guy who used to ring me up at Campus Convenience resembled the dead actor. I could wistfully recall how many times in the past I had thought that. And how I won’t find myself thinking it any more, not without a sense of something having been taken from me. That’s so tragic!
At least his memorial contained some crudite, by the look of it. Being deceased is no reason to neglect your health.
What else can I make about “me”? Let’s look into social media, shall we? Food pictures ehhhhhh….baby flinging….some complaining. That’s too easy. Whenever anyone complains, there is always someone right there to tell them that *their* troubles are far worse. That reminds me, I need to update my pity spreadsheet. It pays to keep track of who has the most “woe is me.” I would not want to exhaust my compassion with overexertion. I might have to go to a spa.
The news of the day is not any more helpful. I click open the NYT and I am confronted with scores of worldly developments, not a one of them mentions me! In the crushing absence of any kind of validation, how can I be sure I even exist?!? Why should I read this damn thing at all? Oh, there is that Mr. Hoffman again, right above the fold. Still dead, apparently. Poor fucker. If I have learned anything binging on countless episodes of Intervention, it’s that you need to accept the amazing gift being given to you today.
I love intervention, the screechy, scabby people plodding along toward their acoustic guitar 90 day wellness. I love the interventionists with their lined faces, droopy moustaches and catch phrases. “If feeling bad solved anything, it would already be solved.” After watching 20 episodes in a row, I start to feel I could *be* an interventionist. “Will you accept this gift today? No, it’s not a METHOVER. You already had one of those. As much as we love a pop eyed, knife cheeked weirdo, it is not working for you, hon. And you need to wear something besides sweatpants.”
I looked into the qualifications of an interventionist. UGH, cucumber masks won’t cut it. You have to “go to school” and then be “poorly paid.” I am already doing that!
Imagine that, free to resume talking about myself, and I found I didn’t really have anything to say! Nothing left to do but turn off the mind, and enjoy the fine, relaxing musics of the type my granny would have liked.
I had a moment of Spotify serendipity this morning as I descended a long staircase into the bowels of the train station. Stephin Merritt sweetly crooned
down and down we’d go
how low no one would know
sometimes the good life wears thin
I wish I had an evil twin
In our daily scrum, I mentioned this to Lambchop. Now, for back story on how this actually relates to public indecent exposure, you’ll need to read this post from 2004, The hopeless romantic. I will wait.
OK. What follows is an actual transcript of our conversation:
Lamchop: if only a man had popped out with his floppy in hand!
like a wilted rose for you
Licketysplit: it would have bloomed under the heat of my scornful glare
yeah, we should definitely talk about public masturbation today
that’s what the internet wants!
and we have so very much experience
I have seen so many casually proffered dicks in my day.
in the subway, in the Boston Commons and other parks of note, in the office!
it’s amazing we aren’t followed by a parade of giant disembodied papier-mâché dicks
like a day in Ptown
Lambchop: yes! [redacted] flashed his flaccid at me just a couple weeks ago
Licketysplit: we are always all…yawn. ok.
why does no one ever flash us boobs?
we should put out A Call for Boobs
tired of wieners thx
Lambchop: I have been thinking about it, and even apart from public flashing, it is amazing to me how many times in my life someone has unzipped in my presence without laying any groundwork. The appearance of cock was the sole invitation or instigation to tomfoolery. Women do not do this!
On none of those ocassions was I happy to see it!
I am back!
Lambchop: did you see any wiener while you were gone?
And for that particular 38-minute period of the day, I did not see any wieners. There was an offer, but it was a polite verbal one from a trusted source. More of a directional suggestion, really. And my graceful decline was enough.
What kind of world do we live in where so many feel so comfortable waggling around their jumblies at complete strangers? There must be a certain percentage of occasions when this actually works and leads to alley sexual congress. That is the only logical conclusion.
Or perhaps society has been ruined by the fact that anyone can interrupt anyone at any time. Hi! I texted you! Ooh, a Facebook message from someone I haven’t seen in 20 years! I have a hair appointment tomorrow? Thanks for calling, I didn’t know how to use a calendar. You like my picture of a cat eating a sandwich! Did you tweet me, bro? No, I don’t want to order your kid’s Girl Scout cookies. Wow, thanks for emailing me with that list of great deals or ultimate Superbowl Mancaves! Someone repinned my pin! A push notification? For moi? Someone has a ridiculous question on Jelly, the app that simulates carrying a bunch of 4-year-olds around in your pocket?
Jelly. Pockets. Yes, everything comes back to masturbation.
2013 was a vacuum, sucked into the oblivion of mind numbing cold. Are we in space? I see girls bare legged in their crotch skimming skirts against the bone biting winds of 8th Avenue. It’s a Polar Whoretex!
I have not taken the G train in over a year. Ridership has plainly doubled. The neighborhood is POPULAR. Thanks, Dunham, thanks to your flobby knobs I can suffer hands in my creases for two stops. A sea of bodies in Manhattan as well. Do people live in Queens now, too? As I stepped back to allow a person seated in front of me to stand and exit the train, an appalling human pried her way past me to slither into the seat. My seat. Everyone was staring at her, so she hid behind her giant neon-pink telephone. As I daydreamed about slapping her jaundiced face with my open book, the 90 year old lady seated next to her whispered to me, “you should have shoved her back.” Then she said, “don’t get old. I’m 90, it sucks.” Goodness, I gasped! “Goodness had nothing to do with it.” she said. Did I just meet myself on a subway ride from the future? I looked back. She smiled at me, lipstick unevenly applied. It WAS me! I asked me where I was off to. A bookshop downtown. I told me I would not mind living in the West Village and she said, “It’s horrible, everything is too old.” There were so many more things I wanted to ask me. Can I remember anything for more than a few seconds? How’s the painting going? Do I have any dogs? But I had arrived at my stop. It was getting a little embarrassing having to speak so loudly on the train, anyway. I was definitely a little hard of hearing. I gave me my card and told me to have a lovely day. She said “well, it has definitely gotten interesting!” I agree with myself!
So, to answer your questions, Mary:
1. No, we are never going to feel like a grownup and not a total imposter, but the real you is out there somewhere, cackling and thrusting out a cartoon leg to trip someone horrible.
2. I will lose ten pounds for you, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I heard there would be piiiiiiiizza.
3. If people stop publishing screenshots of weather apps on social media, how will I update my spreadsheet on those most deserving of pity?
4. I am a poor, freezingly cold soul, so far from where I intended to go.
EDIT: I have been getting a lot of emails to congratulate me for my appearance in Louis c.k.’s new little indie film. Not only do I have a time traveler, I also have a doppelganger. This latter Heather Morgan is most known for a film called “Bark” in which she stars opposite Vincent D’Onofrio, as a woman who thinks she is a dog. This is a film I actually rented at a video store in Berlin, took home and watched. Life abroad is surreal, as you know. You might discover someone who shares your name, playing a dog. I *just* vanquished my double in the google search results and now THIS. Thanks to Louis Cock Krammer I will probably drop down below the country singer and the dominatrix. Again. Life can be so unfair.
Whoa, we’ve had lost weekends before, weeks even, but Lambchop and I have never slept through an entire year. What happened to 2013? Did anything important take place at all? Can you honestly recall a single event of note from 2013? I can’t. It’s like it never even happened.
The reason for our absence is a combination of cloak and dagger cyber intrigue and sheer laziness. Some astute Spanish guy took over our WordPress installation, and the hosting company took the site down. That was nice of them. I guess that went to my junk folder. Then it seemed like a lot of work to fix it. And I spent 25% of the year in California, and I had other things to do like Instagram pictures of dogs who are allowed to sit next to me in first class. And my fake Twitter account kept me up nights.
But as luck would have it, I am mid-existential crisis, and Mr. H rightly determined that having this site back up would be a nice distraction from me telling him about my angst.
Questions swirl: Am I ever going to feel like a grownup and not a total imposter? Who is going to fix my manicure and lose this ten pounds for me? Will people stop publishing screenshots of weather apps on social media? Is it possible to cobble together a résumé using only Smiths lyrics?
Over to you, Lambchop!