Tag Archives: WTF

Trouble Loves Me

I woke up on election day wide awake, thinking “I get to vote!” Normally I laze about as long as possible, cramming a pillow over my head to drown out the little creatures and their pesky whining for food. Learn to work a can opener. Bootstraps and all. But damn, do I love voting. All the ballot questions even went my way for a change. I love paying taxes, love pot, and hate people with jobs. My sister hates the schools, but her question lost. Have fun with the slaaaaaahts.

Yesterday, I woke up, and my first thought was “Barack Obama is going to be the president.” What an amazing feeling. Whenever something went wrong, and many things did go wrong yesterday, I thought of that.

I took the whinier of the two little creatures out to buy newspapers, and there was not a single Times to be found in my town. They don’t hold with fancy walking around here. These sidewalks are for regular walking. I got one Boston Globe, the local rag, and a Boston Herald (headline: “O baby”). Keep it classy, world.

Then I was struck down with a pestilence. Either that or my body is purging the last eight years like one of those “as seen on TV” cleanses. I got verklempt during the speeches on election night, of course, but everything did not really hit me until I found myself bawling in the shower yesterday morning. This arresting image popped into my head, and all was lost. Maybe it’s only arresting if you have a small human of the same age, but surely you can project a bit.

I ended up with a full-blown migraine, even making good on the vomitola. I lurch and spew for you! I spent the rest of the day and night draped over various soft surfaces, moaning and swatting away the child trying to climb on me. There was sitcom-style drama with Mr. H attempting to bring an ex-girlfriend home for dinner. Nothing against her, I’d just prefer not to be encrusted in my own filth when I host! Called a friend in Virginia to hear tales of “I thought it was called the WHITE house, hur hur hur,” from her co-workers. Some say the best way to diffuse a racist joke is to play dumb, so I don’t get it. What does that mean? Can you be more specific? I’m sorry, I still don’t understand. Why is that funny?

Anyway, my head still hurts today, and I seem to have blown through all the expired vicodin. Maybe the pain is something to do with those 55 million folks who thought it would be OK to have Sarah Palin next in line to run the country. Maybe I am channeling the angst of people thrown in jail indefinitely without a trial. I nunno!

Also: WTF, California, Arkansas, Arizona, and Florida. Especially Arkansas, actually. We get to hear all this pap about how gay couples can enjoy all the same legal rights as a married couple with a little finagling, but now they can’t adopt children?
At least Connecticut gets a pat on the back for dissing Question 1, plus chasing the last Republican in Congress out of New England. Lotta work to do out there. I’ll be the one in dark glasses, whimpering softly.

Busting out all over

It was the first really nice day of Spring yesterday, and ybab and I ventured out for a cup of batshit crazy. We passed by a local bank right after it got robbed. I wouldn’t have stopped there anyway because their ATM charges $2. Can you imagine! I go to the one two blocks away. We were just in time for every cop in town converging on the scene and throwing the guy on the ground, as depicted by Norman Rockwell. Ybab tried tripping him first, but he was just too fast.

We watched the prodding for a minute, and then we strolled to the coffee shop, where we ran into one of the cops who helped with the slamming on the ground. His throat was hoarse from running, so he changed up his regular drink and got an iced mocha. Again, can you imagine! He regaled everyone with cop stories, but we had to leave because someone had opinions.

Opinions are a condition shared by the residents of the neighborhood we walked through to get to the playground. They are a giving lot: rolling down their car windows so you can hear their music, fancy free with favorable input on one’s physiognomy. I still test well with certain demographics, it seems. Ybab still tests well with drunks, one of whom chucked her under the chin at a stoplight. She bit him, no doubt feeling like she had something to prove after letting a marginally armed robber get away.

At the playground, we made the acquaintance of a woman with two jailhouse tear drop tattoos under her eye. And cell phone dad was there, blissfully unaware that I pulled his toddler out of the street several times while he was busy chirping people. Father who throws a ball at his own son’s head on purpose was there too. Father had either poor or exceptional aim and also managed to hit Vomits truly in the temple, knocking my sunglasses askew! At this point, I called Officer Mocha, and he settled the whole thing on the ground. You go to the playground with the army you have.

The moral of this story is that we live in a very good town. You should move here too. I have a condo to sell you.

March madness

It’s a good thing I am in good with the powers of the universe because the last few weeks have been bumpy. Emotionally, March is like landing a duct-taped regional jet with a wicked crosswind on the twelve feet of runway Logan Airport can afford. At the end of the twelve feet is the harbor and an LNG tanker, so you see how the stakes are high. November of course stabs me, but March sees me hanging by my feet twitching as the last drops of blood drain away from my head. And then something wondrous occurs from all that oxygen deprivation, and god starts talking to me.

Now, don’t get too ruffled. My god is a pretty lowercase kind of ultimate love, a safety net of interconnected interests rather than a personification. I call it god because I simply do not have a better word. This year, god is telling me we’re in for a flood, but it will be OK. I kind of preferred three years ago when god told me to take up learning Chinese and buy tickets to Spain, but apparently god is not a fan of the exchange rate now.

Last night, Mr. H took it up on himself to show me many links about horrible things happening to dogs. An artist in Honduras, or possibly Guatemala (all those countries look alike), tied up a manky stray dog in a gallery and instructed gallery patrons not to feed the dog. The dog starved to death over several days. The internet responded to the news with all-caps comments about castration, and the pictures were quite sad. Horrible point about how human are sheep and horrible point about how we walk by starving animals and people in the street on a daily basis and also do nothing. I like to think I would have fed the dog and called the damn police, but I am not sure if the Honduran P.D. would have been all that moved.

Then ol’ Mr. H showed me a video of a Marine holding a puppy, and whaddya know, he throws that little fuzzball off a cliff! I live under a rock, and I had not heard of that one. Apparently some people are making the point that the average YouTube looky loo cares not for actual people dying in Iraq (brown or otherwise), but puppies? Do NOT fuck with puppies! I was going to a candle-lit vigil for ending the Iraq war yesterday, but it was sleeting, and I decided not to take a ybab out in that. Oh. ALL-CAPS COMMENT ABOUT PUBLIC FLOGGING.

I was so pissed that now I have to pray for all of these assholes, including Mr. H, who could have kept these things to himself. In fact, I have to pray for the whole damn internet. This is going to take a while. If you need me, I’ll be in my grotto.

People still think they are me

Or am I actually the wrong person? I am not sure anymore. My secret disposable Gmail account keeps getting appropriated by others with similar names, and it’s like having a window into arcane and hideous secrets of existence. I live in my own head, first and foremost, and some of my scariest moments as a child involved seeing myself in a mirror and realizing “I am a person! I am three-dimensional! I am ME!” But in my old age, I have realized that it is far worse to be other people.

January 29
Heidi to Alan, Nina, Lisa, me, Eric, Maggie
not sure if you guys have seen this..but i love this audition. I’ve seen the video many times. haha…
the beginning part made me laugh so hard because Nick does that a lot also.


January 29
Y. Lisa to Heidi, Alan, Nina, me, Eric, Maggie
Hehe, Alan and I saw that last week on American Idol. They were awesome!

Which part exactly does Nick do all of the time? I’m curious….

January 29
Heidi to Lisa, Alan, Nina, me, Eric, Maggie
the “chicka bow wow” part.

It’s from axe deodorant comerical. Of course Nick doesn’t do it with such skill.

January 30
Y. Lisa to Heidi, Alan, Nina, me, Eric
Oh, haha…do you chime in with your “ow wow”? Hehe! A duet!

November 14, 2007
Hello [my first name],

I was talking with Louise the other day and she mentioned that you were curious about me and what I looked like.

Jody and I have a Wedding website you are more then welcome to check out. You probably haven’t seen Jody in a while either. We have our engagement photo on the site.


If you can’t get it to work just let me know and I can email the photograph.

Take care,

Kate C–

P.S. Louise said she had told you I was of a German background. Actually, my Dad was in the military and I was born in Germany because he was posted there. My family name is actually Old English, the first part Cowper ( should be Cooper, the ancestors couldn’t spell) means a barrel maker and Waite means a clearing. We have done some genealogy and we can trace back 14 generations in England, which is kind of cool, though, both sides of my family have been in Canada for several generations.

September 26, 2007
Someone in Australia named Marena requested that someone named Janet forward this along to me!
FW: no 83 [I am itching to read numbers 1 through 82, let me assure you]

While all this was happening Gordon was in South Africa. We always give him a list of stuff to buy there, and he is very good about it. So on 26 July he arrived back, armed with a suitcase filled with drugs: Sudafed, Codis, Bezerol, Rohypnol (stuff we can’t buy here), his own medication, and lots more. As he approached Quarantine he noticed a big sign: “Channel 7 is filming ‘Border Patrol’ today”. He almost had a heart attack – what if they find all those pills and he is filmed on national television for the whole world to see him as a drug dealer! Fortunately he seemed small fry and he shot through without a hitch.
We joined John and Carol for an evening of Peruvian singing by one of that country’s famous singers. Not my cup of tea. It was a long evening, everything in Spanish (she did not have one word of English) and the music was pretty much the same – uninteresting and loud. Pity to waste so much time and money and not enjoy the evening.
The Ski Saga

Before Gordon knew that he had to go to Chicago, we had planned a trip to the snow fields. (We haven’t been for a few years, due to knee ops and such.) We booked our usual Adaminaby cottage and to make it a bit more reasonable, we invited several people to join us. One after another they fell by the wayside, and then Gordon got summoned to Chicago. I was willing to cancel the whole trip but he insisted that I still went. In the end only John (40, unmarried) was still able and keen to go, and then I managed to cajole and bribe Maria and Eric to join us for the weekend. John and I were leaving on the Thursday and coming back the Monday. Then, the day before departure, the owners of the cottage phoned to say the sudden warm weather had the snow melting and did we still want to do it. I consulted John and my children and all of them said they’d still like to go, whether they ski or not. So the trip went ahead. I bought the food, packed the car, made the padkos, locked up the house and when John arrived we were on the road within five minutes. We had a few hitches along the road with wrong directions and ended up driving the last hour in the dark through a kangaroo infested national park on a dirt road. But we got there in the end, had our liquid refreshments and psyched ourselves up for the morrow.

We woke to a rather miserable day, with rain hovering on the mountains tops. John had never ski-ed before and booked in for a lesson straight away. I tried out my ski legs on my own and found that the few years of absence and the increasing years have not been kind to me. In addition, by the time we got to the slopes, it was raining quite hard, also sleeting and snowing at intervals. We were sopping, dripping wet, but determined to persevere. I had about an hour of braving the elements when I decided to take a brief break. I took off my skis, put them in the ski racks that are all over the place and went to the loo. By the time I got back, about 2 minutes later, some low life had nicked my skis!! I was devastated, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. My lift pass, a whopping $70 for the half day, was useless and a waste of all that money. I was not happy. Not at all. After John’s lesson (by then he was a wreck – he is not very fit) we went home, calling in at the ski hire place. They were very kind and I only had to pay TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS instead of $600+ for new skis, and then I had to hire more for the rest of the time. There was a bit of ranting and raving that night, and I still get viciously angry when I think about it.

Maria et al arrived that night, but well after midnight. We had a brief visit together in the morning but John had booked another lesson, so off he and I went, leaving the young ones to amuse themselves. In the end they didn’t even attempt to ski and just had a lazy weekend, showing Becky the farm animals and chilling out together.

That night we had a lovely braai outside around a big fire with the Murrumbidgee River flowing a few metres away. By then it had turned cold again and every morning we woke to heavy frost.

Sunday morning we left for the ski fields again, and Maria and family went home. John was getting on quite nicely, but unfortunately my enthusiasm had disappeared and I found it quite a struggle to go to the toilet and everywhere else with my skis glued to my body. There was no way I was leaving them anywhere again. So I had a few runs, a few hard falls, and started wondering if I was not getting too old for the game.

Monday morning we left for home. What a to-do about almost nothing, as far as I’m concerned.

Well, the rest of my letter contains just a few incidental snippets, like

Eventually getting the cleaners in again every fortnight (Gordon: “So I don’t have to feel guilty about not helping”.)
…. [and then the incidental snippets continued for another 2 pages]

Life is a miracle. What a to-do about almost nothing.

The murderer next door

I was out kicking cans around the parking lot the other day when I noticed the serial killer who lives across the hall had a new accessory for his brown serial killer car. I mean, come on, who drives a brown car? No one but a serial killer, right? Dead giveaway, pun intended. So on top of his brown Ford Focus hatchback he had balanced a small personal watercraft. A rowboat. This is a departure from the random pieces of lumber that he usually keeps on his roof rack. He is a perpetual putterer, always working on his makeshift chamber of horrors (MCOH) and no doubt assorted holding shanties in the woods.

Now, it’s December. And cold. Water tends to freeze in the cold. But I guess with great fortitude, one could hack a hole in the ice at the edge of a lake and shove off into deeper water. One is already used to hacking things up! The name of the boat is “Wait a Bit,” which is a perfect analogy for all that time-biding he must do in selecting his next victim. Or maybe it’s a clever nod to dropping weighted bits of a body into the inscrutable deep.

He just finished dragging the boat down the hall to his apartment, which I know because I made Mr. H watch through the peephole. I am afraid to get too close to the murderer, limiting my interactions to passing him in the hall. He’s always carrying power tools or bags of orange soda. He eyes my ybab, saying “Oh…what a cute…little girl…” in a hollow tone. I hear loud sawing noises coming from his apartment, and sometimes a tuneless attempt at the scales being played on a recorder, as if a child were just learning. I can only assume he is carefully immuring school children or prostitutes dressed as school children in a corner of his apartment and then dismembering them post-mortem.

From the outside of the building, I have carefully noted that his windows are blacked out with garbage bags, flouting the “white window coverings only” rule of the condo association. I guess they are too scared of him to enforce it! Why wouldn’t you decorate with garbage bags if you already have a bulk pack sitting around from wrapping bodies for storage in your chest freezer? It makes economical sense, and it adds a nice panache to your MCOH.

I would like to ask my other neighbors, the ones who dress as Klingons, what they think about all these shenanigans, but come to think of it, I haven’t seen them in two months. Not since their “Romulans Suck” dress-up World Series party. You don’t think….

The 7 habits of really useful engines

Someone in my household has an affinity for a certain telenovela about trains with ghastly faces. These trains are bossed around by a man wearing spats and a top hat no matter the time of day, and the trains are quite concerned with his approval. In the episode we watched the other day, a train named Henry insists he simply will not work in the rain. So Sir Topham Hatt bricks the motherf*cker up in the tunnel where he stopped, all Cask of Amontillado style. And the train is all “Whatever, it’s Britney, bitch,” but Sir Hatt really means it. He disrupts an entire railway line out of pure cold spite, and eventually Henry gets all rusty and infested with spiders. If only they taught such techniques in the business school of today.

Hello, goodbye

Will I ever finish the September Vogue? I have sprained my page turning hand. I couldn’t finish it during an entire double process color appointment. Will the feed from this blog stop BREAKING and dumping crap everywhere? Sry Kthx. I would upgrade everything, to Word Press and something reasonable like Feed Burner, but I got as far as making a Feed Burner account, and then it tells me to do an installation step that is NOT THERE in the Blogger console. Hmm. I guess I should migrate to WP first. But this is something like work, and I have enough damn work. And I don’t care anymore, or rather I have not cared for many anymores. [N.B.: In 37 more months, this post will migrate to WordPress or south for the winter.]

This past weekend, I ate an excellent sandwich. I am about to launch a new site about what to eat in Lowell. It will be called What To Eat in Lowell. This is funny to me because I have Asperger’s. OMG so I ate a sandwich. It was so good! It was so good the cops came. Well, a cop came to the establishment where I had the sandwich, and he got his own sandwich. Or maybe it was a bagel. I can’t keep up with law enforcement and their ample square bottoms. But the real deal is that before the sandwich, we saw a red tailed hawk hold a pigeon down on a street corner and step on its neck until it was dead. Or I guess it died when the hawk ripped its head half off. Then the hawk carried the pigeon down the main street and perched on a traffic light. So that’s one thing to eat in Lowell right there.

What does one do when confronted with the majesty of nature like that? Camera phone! That’s behind the paywall only. Ybab has learned to flap her arms and say “Flap flap RAWRRRR.” Of course that’s what the bird says. Birds here in Rand McNally are giant metal robots that decapitate smaller birds.

They’re American planes; made in America

There are numerous perks to living next to a minor league baseball park. I can hug the Canalligator any time I want. Sometimes I’ll be relaxing in the afternoon haze when, lo, the melodious Windows start up chime thunders as the sound system boots. Every game night, I can open my windows at 7:22 PM and hear “Sweet Caroline” if I am so inclined. I like to go out and take a deep breath, savoring the scent of pure sugar and roasting sausage. One day, the sound person played an entire David Bowie album while testing and setting up the system. Sometimes he plays Queen. Life should come with surround sound, even if it sometimes plays the “Hamster Dance.” Some people would not want to live next to a baseball park, but crazy crap is kind of my thing.

I also enjoy have people trying to park in our parking lot towed. Simple pleasures, all around. As American as apple pie. I am still not totally sure if I should stand up during the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Last night ybab and Mr. H and I were out walking in the park. We noticed some fighter planes making lazy loops in the general vicinity of our house, and that always makes one nervous. We figured it must be a routine patrol, but we entertained ourselves for a while thinking that maybe a plane was off the radar and about to get shot down in our front yard. Wouldn’t surprise us, given our real estate track record. Underwater or smoking hole? Which holds resale value best?

We were in the courtyard right across the street from the ballpark kind of not paying attention while a ybab ate rocks when we heard something something about Air Force appreciation over the ballpark loudspeaker, and then we realized “OH FUCK.” There was nowhere to quickly run for cover, and next thing we knew, we were looking up at a guy in a cockpit. I should have covered ybab’s ears; sorry kid. However, when one is a few hundred feet directly below two jets, one’s instinct is to drop to the ground and flatten out one’s skull, like a cat trying to squeeze under a bathroom door. To hell with the children. They regrow ear drums anyway, right?

It took ten minutes to calm her down as she pointed up and jabbered “BIRD? BIRD?” No sweetie, that was ten seconds of what it’s like to live in Iraq! Consider yourself a world traveller now. Remind me to add “runway” as a feature to our sales listing.

Now where’s that Klingon woman I’m supposed to fight?

On Caturday, I taked a baybee outside. In the hall, we ran into our neighbor. She was wearing a Klingon outfit and letting in a guest. A baybee stared up at her. “Oh, she’s getting so big,” my neighbor said. I assume she felt fleeting shame at this moment. “Yes, sure is! Oh well, another dull Saturday,” I opined, and ran for my life. Her guest was not wearing a Klingon outfit, but maybe his was in the car.

Mr. H missed the outfit, but I told him about it with great joy in my heart.

“The forehead thingy?” he asked eagerly.

“Like she worked at Kings Dominion.”

“The hair?”


“The boots?” he asked in disbelief.

“And a cape.”

Now, we waited around outside an awfully long time with camera phones ready, but no luck. Still, knowing there was a Klingon across the hall left me on pins and needles. Might as well dangle a squirming toddler in front of a pit bull. “I’ll be right there,” I’d say, “I just have to hang up my cape.” Some things are just too good to drop.

I can only hope that next weekend brings more of the same. I wonder what her husband was wearing? Bless the people who think to dress up as Klingons, bless them every one. Perhaps it sounds as if I am making fun, but I enjoyed this deep in my soul.

We Take Mystery (to Bed)

What if they replicated?
(from left: Pete Doherty’s makeup artist + Scott Stapp’s beautimous woman hair + Valentino’s haunted turban = Mystery, master of the Venusian Arts)

I missed the first fifteen minutes of the first episode of VH1’s execrable new reality series “The Pick Up Artist.” I can only imagine that this means I missed fifteen more minutes of a be-hatted Svengali named Mystery unfurling his ponytail.

The show’s premise is that Mystery, a former Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast (NO, REALLY, I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED) and self-made seduction expert, will teach seven or eight awkward but probably fairly decent human beings to pick up women with a variety of canned strategies. Fair enough. Pop behavioral science is way fun. As much as we try to pretend we aren’t apes, there are ingrained social routines to which we all no doubt respond. Perhaps it is possible to analytically fake personal magnetism if your target is drunk enough or dumb enough. Woman don’t usually have to put forth that kind of effort. Having boobs is generally enough.

I expected to laugh myself silly watching the rest of the episode, but my jaw quickly slackened as I slipped into the existential tar pits. The contestant with the Larry Birkhead hair claims he’s frequently mistaken for a gay man, and then the producers try to tastefully underscore this with a shot of him bending over at the edge of the pool, waggling his chubby bottom in a baboon-red Speedo. They wedged the overweight “teddy bear” contestant into a black number, and posed him on exercise equipment. There’s a sprinkling of garden variety nerds, the awkward Asian kid, the undeservedly narcissistic Pradeep, and Alvaro, who rocks a New Kids on the Block fro and actually almost made me weep openly for him. During the scene where the contestants must demonstrate their “skills” via hidden camera at a nightclub, Alvaro just about cracks from the pressure of having to cold approach a victim. He says in a voiceover “I felt like crying, I felt like breaking a bottle over my head.” Oh, poor baby. In a teaser for future episodes, we see that he is made over with highlights and football eye black under one eye.

After the contestants have miserably failed to make reasonable human conversation, Mystery and his two sidekicks swoop in and show them how it’s done, preening and showing off his “avatar” and pre-emptively rejecting women to ostensibly create more interest (the “neg”). If any Mystery-seducee is willing to come forward, I’d love to ask what the hell you were thinking? Perhaps he and his flocked velvet maxi coat and aviator goggles are in a band? Why, this reminds me of the time I saw Marilyn Manson shopping at Barnes and Noble in Florida Before They Were Famous. It was surely all I could do to not jump on him and buy him Starbucks.

Mystery is living proof that his advice to “just be your self,” your awful, awful self is actually pretty good. Unbridled confidence will get you reasonably far, at least to cable television. Now I can’t unsee all that man hair flipping, and it’s my own damn fault for watching.

(with apologies to Gary Numan)