Tag Archives: can’t have nice things

An update on the carpet: breaking news

First, it is not so much a carpet as an area rug that was liberated from the Crate & Barrel outlet for $19.

Second, it is not so much bloodstained as adorned with a quarter-sized splotch of cat barf.

Third, rather than clean it, I am going to take it to be burned.

Fourth, the cat is going into regurgitation rehab if this keeps up. In Wyoming, or some other place that’s very far away.

Breakfast: what a fucking bitch

Man, I have been chewing for about an hour, and I am still not finished with this bowl of cereal. Kashi Crunch is the Bataan death march of cereal eating. Is that a rock in there? I think it’s an igneous rock.

Yesterday Mr. H and I put on hip waders and slogged upstream to check on our hovel. In theory, we can give the developer more money and start living in it (the loft, not the money, although I have always wanted a money bin) next month. But there are only about four feet left before the foundation floods, so it’s really anyone’s game. We met two dudes boosting each other to peer in the windows, and it turns out they will be our upstairs neighbors. Those grandiose maniacs have purchased two units and are planning to knock out the wall between them. The developer is still forcing them to accept installation of a kitchen in each unit, so they will have to rip one out. They offered us an extra fridge. I guess I could set it on its side and nap in it. We made fun of the color of the hallway and vowed to reconvene later to hate the drapery choices of others. Too bad this friendship will be all over once they see that we live like animal. I don’t even own a pastry marble!

On the walk back, I found a pair of washed up thong underwear and a Precious Moments change purse. If that’s not lucky, I don’t know what is.

i-ve been thinking mary—-dammit baltimore- you must always have the last word–

Try keeping some emergency bad ideas in your desk.

I am at a loss on several counts.

My sister and I are considering writing a book. I wonder if we should make an outline, or just attack with finger paints? I may start by making an actual visual map of everything I remember about early childhood. There’s the trailer, the addition to the trailer, the garage with the stash of St. Pauli girl bottles, the goat shed, the pile of red dirt I was not allowed to play in, the place where the cat got shot, the yellow jacket nest in the potato patch, my Sycamore tree. The yellow toyota with the Netherlands sticker, the old black truck with the running boards, the well, the Lady Slipper patch, the treehouse that was only 3 feet off the ground, the black tulips, the random sink sitting in the back yard, the root cellar. We had a dog briefly, named Barky or Bitey or something like that. He looked a bit like a beagle.

And there is more. Carpet in the trailer kitchen (ha!), lots of nudity, swimming, being allowed sips of beer, being hit with a shoe, books about proper British children, awful, awful food that once was part of the garden. Cherry trees, thick with worm nests. Drowning Japanese beetles from the grape vines in a bucket of water.

The Westvaco logging forest across the property line was filled with bulldozer piles. Sometimes you could find shards of china, with patterns. Exotic because we did not have decorative things. The ruts from the logging trucks filled with water and made bright red mud. We rolled in it and were hosed down before we could come inside.

The nearest town eight miles away. The shoe factory, the prison, the A&P, the library where I was forced to alphabetize at a young age. The nursing home, the railroad tracks, a snack bar in the gas station where I ate hamburgers with mayonnaise and once got food poisoning.


It’s more fun to commute

Yes, I have a new thing to bitch about. You must all be thrilled. But no one’s making you read this, bucko.

I don’t mind the length of the train ride to and from Lowell at all. I enjoy spacing out and staring at the industrial squalor out the window. Funny, there are no NICE houses along train tracks. Why is that?

But getting the train home in the evening is a bit of an ordeal, because it pits the regular “we don’t run enough trains because we are capricious and terrible” MBTA against the German precision of the Commuter Rail, which is apparently run by another concern that contracts with the MBTA. And they are fined when they are late. I missed a 5:45 train by 2 minutes last night, and that was with a mad dash from the Green Line. I think I hurdled over a twin stroller and kicked a seeing eye dog on my way, but my only reward was the painful squeezing of my still-recovering lungs and the sight of a train pulling away.

Now you’d think allowing 35 minutes to travel 5 stops would be more than enough time to get me to North Station from Arlington street, but not when there are sports fans involved. It aroused my ire still further to see that the same people who insisted on jamming in the doors at each stop so the train could not proceed were even too early to be let into the Fleet Center proper. The escalators weren’t even unlocked, but it was so important to be first in line for an event for which they hold ticketed seats that they could not cede their spot on the subway to someone who might be trying to just go home.

So I sat on a bench in the cold for an hour, under the monitor that details which train is at which track. It became a bit demoralizing because people would rush in and start swearing in my direction when they realized they were too late. Women tend to say “Jeez” or “Dammit!” but men really cut to the chase with “Shit” or “Fuck!”

Oh well. I am all for self-interest, except where it violates my self-interest. I try to remember “other people have lives too,” but surely their lives are not as shiny and valuable as mine! Then again, I don’t mind having the excuse to leave work any earlier. Today: 4:30, unless Alex goes ballistic as promised.


Our house, was our castle and our keep

So, not an hour after I am assured we can move into the new place on Monday, the human blowdryer at the real estate corral calls MY HUSBAND to say “um, you can’t after all.” I guess Verizon was right, the building is imaginary. It’s a good thing he decided to go over my head, because I would have taken his call, kicked my heels up on my desk, and had a voiceover segment. There would have been some spangly dream sequence music, and a perky voice would ask “What would Anna Wintour do?”

And then I would have REAMED HIM WITHIN AN INCH OF HIS LIFE. His office is a few blocks from mine. I still might. Throw a cellphone at his head and key his Grand Cherokee.

Point of clarification: I am not really a douche bag when I deal with people. This is a fantasy, designed to detract from how totally crushed and helpless I feel. We’ve scheduled a shut off for the utilities, scheduled them for the new place, given our landlord notice that we’ll be out, and hired movers. Even my new haircut, which looks amazing, thanks for asking, isn’t helping. I am so calling Hank Phillipi Ryan. And, as Aaron suggested, I’ll be booking rooms at the Ritz and deducting the bill from our new rent. One for me, one for the cat, one for all my stuff.

What would Martha do?

Ugh. I’ve got a hangover, and I only just started drinking. No, not *that* kind of hangover, a wedding hangover. That’s right, we’re still not done with our thank you notes. So if you didn’t get one yet, that means we dislike you intensely, and we found your gift terribly unimaginative and downright insulting. Oh, I keeeeeed. The list is in fact alphabetical (we are somewhere in the R-S range, we can’t help being popular), and I was foolish enough to think Mr. H might actually help with birthing them.

But then again, I married someone with a limited vocabulary. Hey, I’m not being mean, it’s just the truth. If I were with a man as verbose as I am naturally, we’d never get anything done because we’d be too busy trying to out-conversate the other. Why, it would be like being married to Lambchop. We ruled out same-sex marriage as a possibility years ago. A) she wouldn’t get the donkey dingle graft, and my hips are far too slinky to carry it off, and B) we’d never have sex anyway because we’d each be too busy trying to put on more makeup than the other. So Mr. H and I, we compromise. I explain the big words, like “abutters” and “that other one from the other day he didn’t know,” and he makes dinner. But he does know enough to say “You’d better not be making fun of me on your stupid website.”

Now, Kitty Winn says that the secret to a good thank you note is to create your own custom attractive letterpressed notes, and also to lie, lie, lie. For instance, the truth is not always suitable for print:

“Dear Aunt Hilda,

thank you for remembering us on our special day. I’m sorry to hear that what you purchased to commemorate it is “too heavy to mail,” but I eagerly await the day you drop it off at my mom’s house several states away from me. I am sure it will make a lovely addition to her hall closet, be it a solid block of obsidian or a mastadon femur. I really hope it’s breakable! We’ll see you at Christmas.


-Helen & Mr. Helen”

No, no, that simply won’t do. What am I going to say? I have no idea. But Mr. Man also knows enough to open a second bottle of wine, so I’m sure it will sort itself out. If you are in the lucky R-Z last name category, you can look forward to a sloppy, drooled-upon note in a few days time. But we ran out of the nice letterpressed ones, so T.S.. Note to self: next career — purchase letterpress!


Please welcome…a Tarantula

We have a family of spiders living in some ambiguous part of the car. Sometimes they crawl out from behind a visor or across the dashboard. Then we freak out and wave our hands in the air, while yelling “Ahhhh! Ahhh Ahhh!” This does make driving more difficult. Finally, the non-driver scrounges up a piece of paper or an atlas page from a less popular state (like Alabama or Arkansas) and squooshes the brute. This is no small undertaking because these are big fleshy gangly white spiders. They bear a passing resemblance to Dr. Phil.

Today I was wondering how cold it has to get before they die of exposure. I said “I’m going to ask a spiderologist.” Mr. H said “I’M BRIAN FELLOWS.”

So I turned to my old friend the internet. It seems that the organs of spiders just swim around in hemolymph, which is their sorry excuse for blood. They survive during the winter by burrowing for warmth and lowering their metabolic rate. That’s what I’m doing right now. Except my strategy involves a bottle of wine and a plate of pasta and a duvet rather than leaf mold.

We had one more parasitic encounter before we even made it into the house. The downstairs neighbors waylaid us and asked us to look at their computah because they took it to Best Buy after they got it from their brotha, and they put the bits and the bytes in it, but they can’t get on the internet because Comcast says they don’t have enough bits, but they left them a CD, and then they had to call Microsoft, and that cost thuhty dollahs, can you believe it, but they still aren’t on the internet, not the high speed one, and they need a Windows 98 disc because they can’t download the explorer, and their friend Sheryl had a look, and she is so good with computahs, but she couldn’t figure it out eitha, and could we just take a look?

Of course someone at work already basically asked me that same question today, so I was able to answer in no uncertain terms “Find where it says ‘Attachment’ in the menu bar of your email program, then choose ‘Save.'”

Here’s some pictures of spider bites. There are more vile pictures in the lower left nav if you are so inclined.


Go East, Young Strumpet

Ohmigod. Ohmigod. Best. Wedding. Ever. Followed closely by Worst. Honeymoon. Ever. Fair enough I suppose. Everything went off without a hitch at the dog n’ pony show, from the lavender-strewn aisle to the free, accidental fireworks display at the reception. The timing ended up being perfect; they went off right after the Best Man’s toast, and someone else across the harbor at another wedding paid for them. Everyone looked suave and mostly behaved. The relations didn’t even fuss about the total lack of Jesus in the ceremony. An open bar wounds all heels.

People were also excited by the beautiful 75-degree sunny weather after a week of nagging rain. Little do they know that Todd Gross and I killed a hog that morning and festooned the Channel 7 studio with the offal. Sure, you might think that weasel Kevin Lemanowicz is far more evil, but Todd Gross is truly the Lord Voldemort of meteorologists. It’s called Planning and Connections, people. Don’t try an outdoor wedding without a sacrifice. Full disclosure: I got the black magic idea from an old installment of Martha’s Calendar.

Anyway, to the schadenfreude-mobile! Once I finally snapped last Thursday morning, and desperately 411’d United reservations to extricate us from what we came to call The Arizona Situation, I made the connection that everyone loves a horror story. It was just a few clams to change our tickets, not at all what I’d feared. And we got cushy seats on the flight, and an upgraded room at the hotel we stayed at in Phoenix before our flight (once we explained we were fleeing our marital bliss like a band of scorned Israelites).  Flying on September 11 was a far more appealing prospect than remaining one more second in Arizona.

What, exactly were we fleeing? Long story short: Mr. H’s parents wanted us to use a time share week as a wedding present. So for the dates we wanted, we had our pick of Colonial Williamsburg, the Poconos, or a spa in Sedona, AZ. They’d been to Sedona before and swore up and down that it was “so sexy.” We feared the worst, but they were so positive. “Free is good,” we rationalized. “We like spa treatments, thanks to the Fab Five.”

Try spending a week with elderly German swingers in teeny Speedos. Sedona is one giant strip mall, lousy with kachina dolls and Indian jewelry and those horrid Guatemalan ponchos. We experienced rental car failure, abysmal coffee, painful massages, and dehydration/altitude sickness. I ruptured an ear drum, got my thigh sucked into a Jacuzzi vent, and lost my favorite sunglasses. Oh, and it turns out that Mr. H is terrified of heights. Good to know in advance that all the roads are basically hair pin curves along vast gorges with no guard rails. Space fucking madness.

Then there was the Spirituality and ubiquitous piped in new age music. My aura is as black as an Amex Centurion card. I could have told you that. Mr. H’s is a nice shade of blue though. At least we had the good sense to manifest our destiny right back to pleasant sea level Boston. Sure, we could have stuck it out and complained in Arizona for a few more days. But complaining from the comfort of one’s own couch is far sweeter. Mr. H’s barely year-old titanium powerbook literally exploded right after he’d downloaded all the pictures from the camera and wiped the card, so no photographic record of this “vacation” exists. Fitting.

The moral is: do not anger the powers of the universe by having the world’s most perfect wedding. Look what happened to Martha, after all. Wabi-sabi. Also: do not listen to Mr. H’s parents. I don’t even LIKE nature, what was I thinking?


Dateline: Bok Bok Bok!

Wherein I fire my colorist and press charges

“You call those highlights? Try GRILL MARKS! FIX THEM!”

A chunk-a-chunk here, a chunk-a-chunk there. Three hours later, I leave, shaking with rage. The hair is moderately fixed. A brief sojourn in the trailer park is humorous, oui, but try doing that 4 fucking days before the most photographed day of your life. Imagine if you were giving birth on The Discovery Channel and your waxer gave you a fucking shamrock instead of the requested star or heart or Gucci logo. Ugh. Just wrong. I consulted with Kitty Winn, and she was properly livid too.

Kitty and I also discussed wedding night lingerie. I said “Tell me, Kitty, what’s a sexy direction? Crotchless maybe?” And she rolled her eyes and yawned, “Oh, honey, he’s already bought that cow at that point. Give it up. You might as well be comfortable.”

So there you are. Oh, and we got married by a JP in lower Allston. The witness was a giant orange cat named Mr. Fluffy. So pop a cork for me and Mr. H. We could have held out til Saturday, but the paperwork for the gay Venezuelan Jew who was supposed to marry us didn’t go through. Imagine Mitt Romney denying such an application. I never. Now we just have to have an anticlimactic dog and pony show, huzzah!