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.
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.
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!
I heard on Facebook that the Mayan apocalypse was supposed to happen at 6:12 a.m., but stilllll waiting. You know what did happen at 6:12? The cat threw up on the iPad. That’s it?
We live in a world where eagles can’t even properly carry off babies. Children don’t know enough to rush a gunman. People know how to comment on the Internet, despite incomplete second grade educations and missing chunks of their cerebral cortex. Matt Lauer still exists.
I, for one, am ready for the end of the world. But we got burned on the Rapture of ’11, so I don’t know. It’s like you just can’t trust prophets of doom anymore. At least we made a killing on Rapture Insurance back then. But I’ll be the first to admit we have not properly monetized this apocalypse.
Since the world did not end, it looks like I will have to go to the gym after all. Dismal.
I started a draft for a post with this title last week. And what do you know, it is still timely, a week and a few mass shootings later. Morrissey gets us through.
Let’s chat, America. Some of you have strong opinions, and you are making sure people know. What’s been making the rounds among the dullards I am blessed to associate with in some way?
1. No one is entitled to share feelings about a tragedy if you are not directly involved. See also: stop posting depressing stuff, can’t we post positive things for a change? Yes, it is tedious to witness endless expressions of shock and horror. Think how I feel after noticing the changes to the Instagram TOS first, only to have to see it rehashed for a full 24 hours after the fact!
2. This tragedy is an opportunity to experience the true meaning of Christmas – Matt Lauer, noted ghoul.
3. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! Well, maybe. It does take the magic of the human hand to squeeze a trigger. Issue guns only to the handless! I don’t know, friends, what else are guns good for besides injuring or killing a living creature? Is there a way to use them to scare leaves off your lawn that I am unaware of? Can they be used to hang pictures in a pinch? The only use I could come up with for a gun that did not involve shooting was pistol whipping, but I am a tad creatively blocked.
4. You wouldn’t regulate cars! Oh right.
5. Why is there no armed police detail in front of my child’s school today? Because they are fetching coffee and donuts for the snipers on the guard towers surrounding the soccer field.
6. Teachers should be armed. Ah, but who will protect the students from the tyranny of an armed teacher? The students should also be armed.
7. It’s the crazy people, stupid. Yes, possibly. And we as a nation do not want to give anyone health care that they did not EARN.
8. Laws are useless because people might break them! People are also sheep who occasionally decide it is in their best interest to do things like obey traffic lights. Let’s at least give it a go?
9. Let’s approach this issue rationally. Actually, I did not hear that one.
10. If you can think of a Tumblr title, it’s already been made:
Darlings, don’t you hate it when you are assaulted with accolades just for your amazing talent at being you? It is trying: the endless composing of acceptance speeches, the constant attention to one’s hair, and never being able to take a bathroom break in case you are called to the stage.
I found myself in just such a situation the other night, at a local industry awards show (I am a hobby industrialist), replete with a resigned 3-piece cover band, an ersatz Seacrest emcee, and hoards of other people actually taking the whole thing seriously. Did they forget about how they entered their work themselves? And how nearly everyone in Boston is on the judging panel? Only to end up surprised, like “Who, me? Nominated? What an honor!”
I tuned out after I found but a single drink ticket shoved in my badge. Then what do you know, my faction won the first award of the night. Then most of the rest of them. Ryan Notcrest began to make fun of us. I guess if you’re going to rig it, at least make it look believable. Right, Obama?? I had second-hand embarrassment at various points seeing how excited people were to win these things. It’s not that the work was not snazzy, but isn’t it existentially troubling to get a charge out of something that is Not a Big Deal?
Apparently everyone with an ironic mustache and all the rest of America disagrees, so who are we to argue! We are pleased to announce we’ll be hosting The Clammies, the first ever annual or whenever Vomitola awards show. I have a turkey to brine, however one does that, or I’d go ahead and Photoshop up a cute icon. We aren’t sure what we’ll be evaluating for excellence, or what the judging criteria might be, so do sling some suggestions our way. Best Use of Stolen Cell Phone Footage in a Blackmail Situation? Most Undeserved Success Story? Most Astonishing Photobomb by a Sandwich?
Does it really matter? Just know that we are tastemakers to the last. Deep down, no one wants to be but a background player.