Friday, May 30, 2008

But really, what are grandkids good for if they can't mix a proper drink?

I insisted they keep her. It will make Nannie happy, I said. And look, she’s so small- you couldn’t ask for a better boat sized dog. Pawpaw smiled at me then, and I was pretty sure he would keep her.
She’s some kind of mix between a rat terrier and a dachshund, I think. Small. Likes to burrow under blankets. Loves to hunt bed mice. (You know about bed mice, right? Otherwise known as MY GODDAMN FEET). Apparently she won’t eat the dog food if the grandparnts don’t cover it first in left-overs, usually chicken or steak… She’s a horrible, yappy, happy little dog and she woke me up at 5 in the fucking morning. And then again at 6, and then 7, then I gave in and got up at 8.
And where was my dog, in all of this? Amelia was trying to hide under the covers with me, occasionally looking at the little happy dog with what could only be described as polite disdain. I could almost hear Amelia thinking “I would eat you if it wasn’t so fucking early. Go away and let us sleep. I was dreaming about chickens”.

Pawpaw had a double hernia surgery yesterday. I sat with him at the hospital and spent the night at their house. They really are remarkable people. (I’ll leave the remarks to your imagination). In the recovery room I listened as Pawpaw chattered at me, trying not to feel like I was eavesdropping on his sub-conscious. He kept prefacing with “I’m probably still feeling the anesthesia, but…” What his sub-conscious had to say was funny though. And inspiring. And heartbreaking, all at the same time.

The grandparents have someone who cleans their house and cooks during the weekdays, but she’s kind of flakey. And she doesn’t, apparently, know how to fix a proper drink. I waited politely till she left the house and looked pointedly at the diet coke in a glass on the table. “Do you need your drink, Nannie?” I ask my grandma, already heading for the liquor cabinet.
“No,” she says quickly and with enthusiasm, “I need you to put something in it!”
“When did you last take a pain pill?”
“I didn’t. I’m not in pain” she lies. I shrug and fill her glass with bourbon, hand it over and watch as she politely stirs it before taking a long satisfied drink.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A maenad's eructation.

I’ve decided to come back to the real world. Or rather, I finished the non-enriching, completely pointless and overwhelmingly entertaining book I was reading. I devoured the Hogfather in a day or so. I only folded the corner of two pages- only had to look up two words, but ooooh, the words:

: 15th century; an act or instance of belching.

This word will be most helpful at work, where 1 of every 5 people feasts on poached venison nightly. “Your eructation is as impressive as your intestinal fortitude,” I can diplomatically state while mentally adding vitamin C and airborne to the grocery list internally screaming “AT LEAST COVER YOUR FUCKING MOUTH YOU DAMN HILLBILLY”.

Maenads 1 : Bacchante (a priestess or female follower of Bacchus) 2 : an unnaturally excited or distraught woman.

And I think we have the new blog title I was looking for…

Instead of mentally deriding the bridal party as fashionably retarded annoying-as-fuck drunken scenesters I can simply call them transparently vapid maenads whose wardrobe choices encompass their life goals and abilities.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!

I quote Alice in Wonderland on a regular basis. Maybe that's why I found myself dancing along to Nick Bertke's music created from clips of Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I like to party with octogenarians

I was going to New Orleans this weekend to celebrate the grandparent’s 60th anniversary.

I had so much fun at their 50th, carousing on expensive booze with all their friends, singing drinking songs all night while we all walked through the French Quarter… We were all looking forward to going back. The g-parents even offered to get me my own hotel room… (The last time I traveled with them they insisted a separate bed was good enough. They have a freaking YACHT and I couldn’t get my own damn room?! Or could I even pay for my own room?! Nooooo, that would be an unthinkable waste of money.)

But, in case you didn't figure it out from the past tense, we will not be drinking to 60 years of marriage in New Orleans this Friday.

Nannie broke something in her back (Nannie is what I call my grandmother. Honestly, how many times do we have to go over this?) Again. And it was totally preventable- I was standing less than 15 feet away when she tried to move a 100 pound potted plumeria and heard something pop. I’m trying not to feel guilty.
“Why on earth would you feel guilty” yelled my aunt (did I mention we’re all disappointed and worried and crabby?). I know why Nannie would idiotically try to move something as big and twice as heavy as she is, and if I had been thinking I could have prevented it.
We had just been talking about the plumeria and how it doesn’t like to have wet feet- I’ll translate that if you really need me to- and I know she walked over to it- well, shuffled over to it -saw its saucer was full of water and just had to get rid of that water so the stupid-fucking-plant could have dry feet. And I’m sure she was thinking it would be so much easier if she just did it herself rather than ask me. Urrgg.

And now there is a new, beautiful Japanese Red Maple planted in my yard. Which also came briefly with my crabby, disappointed family who would much rather be drinking in New Orleans.

Just in case you didn’t already feel sorry for me or figure out this is a post where I do nothing but bitch, today I also treated myself to the yearly pleasure of a pap exam. Too much? Soooo sorry. And if you are wondering why you would ever feel bad for a gal whose grandparents have a yacht I will be forced to tell you about how I was once made to wax the damn thing for 20. measly. dollars. Not impressed? Think about waxing your car. Now think about the size of your house. Now think about waxing a car as big as your house for 20. freaking. bucks.
yeeeessss, I can see you now understand my grandparents better.

And now, the word I had to look up this week:

Ersatz: German; substitute or imitation- usually artificial and inferior.

So instead of saying
"What is this shit you're trying to get me to eat?! I know it isn't food."

I can exclaim
"This is diet cream cheese?! No wonder it tastes like ersatz paste".

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

He does make a killer raspberry tort.

I'm tired. Not like actually, physically tired- more emotionally burned out. I don't like living alone. I miss the background noise of other people.

My longtime friend, Jason, lives with his mom out in the boonies. He's been working for her on the house for the past year or so. Their property is gorgeous- acres and acres of lush wildness-every time I visit I tour around to see and photo whatever is blooming (something is always blooming).

I met up with Jason this weekend at his house to go birding (btw, I saw a blue grosbeak, a scarlet tanager and a dickcissel, to name a few!) and I waited a half hour while he and his mom bickered at each other over who would take what car. You can tell people have spent a lot of time together when they argue like that. It’s annoying and safe at the same time- a comfortable, familiar argument. Home.
I miss hearing the annoying whines, the safe arguments, the busy chatter of loved ones.

So I get why he lives out there, I do. It's beautiful, and it's home.

But he is never going to get a real girlfriend. Not from the USA anyway. Truth. At least for me. Would you ever date a man who lived with his mom?

Uh huh, that’s what I thought. If you would, let me know and I’ll pass along your number. For the record, he does make a killer raspberry tort.

And so it was with horror

(Asimina triloba or Paw Paw Tree.)

I’ve been having trouble writing lately. And so it was with horror that I read I’ve been tagged by fellow southern Illinois blogger Laura from Quirkology. Maybe this will snap me out of it. or back into it.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago today I was 15, fighting with my parents and about to meet Iggy Pop in New Orleans. I had turquoise hair.

What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
1) work [You stopped reading here].
2) re-write motherfucking paper
3) walk the dog
4) check garden
5) mail stuff

Snacks I enjoy:
your heart. thatswhatshesaid. There’s no way to make this interesting or funny. But I’ll tell you this-I’m sick of snacking. I want a real, multi-dish meal, damn it. (But I’m sure not going to cook it for just me and the dog. We'll just keep having cheese sandwiches and dogfood, thank you.)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
My fantasies usually alternate between living in a tree mansion and living on a tricked-out floating house.
I would also have an accountant, an investor, a masseuse, and dog-washer.

Places I have lived before:
denial. anger. bargaining. depression.
Oh, wait- you’re looking for the actual names. Illinois, Tennessee, and your head.

5 people I want to know more about:

1) Farmers.
2) Long Lost Rich Relatives.
3) Eeva-Leena, ‘cause she’s my pen pal and has some new found time on her hands.
4) ‘The Vivacious Viv’. She marries TS Elliot but screws Bertrand Russell? That's my kind of crazy…
5) Uhhh… you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

brought to you by the letter f

Write something, and now.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good; just write.

I can’t think of anything to write.

Jesus. There are people watching. Throw it at the wall and see what sticks.


Where, exactly, does my money go? I have my suspicions, but I try reeeeeeally hard not to investigate them too closely. Always seem to spend more than I can make, and I never have anything to show for it. I have high-speed wireless, and the bill as well, but goddamnit, there are just some standards of living that have to be met. (Mental image of someone clutching desperately at wi-fi signals... was that in some cartoon recently?)

I’m trying to think of a compromise for the devils on either of my shoulder (and I mean devils in the most loving way possible, you two) about cursing on the blog. One shrugs as she flips the other off and says, “fuck it Lea, what the fuck do I care? I figured your internal monolog has more curses than real words and thought since it was all about self-expression, well, I guess I thought you’d have a damn spine and type like you think”. The other, calmer devil covers the ears of a small child in the room and cries a single, guilt-wrenching tear. She says nothing, but gives me a look that makes me want to alternately hug her and curl under a table crying in shame. “I understand your anger, it’s certainly justified”, she says softly after a minute “It hurts me to see you hurt. Do you understand me? I love you but you can show a little respect when I’m in the room.”

Oh little devils. I love you both so much. There is a part of me that can curse like a teamster. And there is part that hides it well. Since I can’t apparently listen to you both, and I know realistically I'm going to curse, I’ll try to think of a way to make up for it.

How about if I put a quarter in a cup for every curse on this blog and then give the sum to a charity?

No, you’re right, I wouldn’t trust me to do that either. I already told you I cashed in my change.

What if I did something involving other words?
What if I wrote a post on the linguistic history of curses?
What if I limit myself to 10 curses a post? No, that would never work. Some days are 178 curse word days.
I’m going to write a word of the week, I think. Some word I have to look up during the week. This week I had to look up… hang on, I circled it somewhere…


flanuer: an idle man-about-town.

So I suppose, instead of saying

“Oh you know Jim, he’s that lazy bastard always drinking coffee at the local café talking about Heidegger and how it impacted his blossoming music career and new found vegetarianism”,

I can say

“Oh, Jim is that flaneur with the vintage shirt in the sixth year of his MFA 'degree'. You know, the one with the pink bicycle? Likes to drink? No?"

How was that?

That was OK. Now edit the crap out of it and take out that money part. And don’t forget the spell check again, you twit.

No, you do it, I’m going to go smoke a cigarette and eat some reese’s pieces. I don’t respond well to name calling.

Monday, May 12, 2008

andre jordan rocks my socks

I spotted this stunning encapsulation of why I do what I do and why I read what I read- instantly I headed to the site. And wow. Andre Jordon is awesome, awesome, awesome (only one less awesome than The Almost Royal).

The art is fantastic, the blog flippin' brilliant, the shop threatening to deplete my already depleted bank account, and something called BBC ouch demanding my whole day off to peruse the site and all its links.

Makes me wish my own doodles were more like art and less like doo.

you may end up in my thesis

I'm in a much better mood now. Funny how cheesecake, cartoons, and a bottle of wine (yeah, we'll call it wine...) will do that.

I'm glad I didn't post the post I posted about not posting last post.


It was more rant and less brilliant than I probably think anyway. And it was definitely angsty and self pitying and those are two personality traits I'd rather keep hidden, yes even from you and especially from me.

On to other things:

Jackie over at Smoothpebble and I are reading Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals". Order it and discuss it with us, I'm sure it will show up in my thesis somehow and if you mention something brilliant about you may end up in my thesis too. And wouldn't that be a thrill for you.

And furthermore, what the hell is a Guy Kawasaki and what has it been told about me?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm getting an anonymous blog.

I have all this shit to vent about, and its so raw it just has to be brilliant. I've just typed it out, but I can't post it. It's driving me insane. This is going to eat at me until I take out the two or three lines that can't be posted, which are also the same goddamn lines that make the whole thing interesting and juicy and raw and fucking good.

But I don't WANT an anonymous blog.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

We can un-cook it!


1. I like lists
2. I don’t have a TV
3. That hasn’t stopped me from watching TV online via my macbook
4. Orange is my favorite
5. To-do lists are my main form of organization
6. If I was, for some unexplainable reason, forced to pick one of my senses to loose, it would be my hearing; were I allowed but one to keep it would be my sight.
7. I smoke, and usually hate myself for it. That is, between drags.
8. I find nothing wrong with a little self-depreciating humor once in a while. While I like cute and joyful I also like dark, snarky, and cruel. (Because honesty is just more interesting).
9. I didn’t like being a teenager and would never go back, even if I could time travel.
10. I’m engaged and my fiancé lives far across the country. It sucks to be so far away. We have no dates planned only softly whispered plans to live in the same state again.
11. I have an orange canary and an orange dog, a younger sister and a great guy. I consider these creatures my immediate kin.
12. I’m an anthropologist, so when I use the word kin you don’t get to giggle and call me rural.
13. I probably am rural. And I like it when you giggle.
14. I don’t fit well in boxes.
15. My saddest story is so sad you’ll regret asking.
16. Dry Red, if you have it. Something Italian and so bitter my cheeks pucker, thanks.
17. My dad doesn’t know I moved back to my hometown 5 months ago.
18. I have an overly expressive face.
19. I’m only as self-obsessed as you are.
20. I have far, far more male friends than female. I feel like some women don’t like me because I’m smart, cute, and thin. Or maybe they don’t like me cause I’m arrogant.
20. I would really prefer for everyone to like me.
21. I love to grow things. I’m usually pretty good at it. I try and try until I succeed. Broccoli is hard to grow- but I did it. Lithops are almost impossible- I’m on my fifth year of killing them.
22. I’m already kind of tired of this list.
23. I remember wishing as a kid that adults wouldn’t talk to me as if I were simple-minded. Consequently, I speak to all children as if they were short adults. This is probably why my cousins love me and also why I have heard and become paralyzed by the sentence “Lea, what does humping mean?”
24. I hate going to bed and I hate waking up.
25. I can’t ever figure out what it is I want to eat.
26. Sometimes I’m an amazing cook.
27. Sometimes I can burn water.
28. I’m financially retarded.
29. I can never decide if I hate humans or love them.
30. I love your comments.
31. If you make me laugh I’ll love you forever.
32. I’m a damn good friend, and I don’t understand why so many of mine have moved away.
33. If you leave me a comment I promise I’ll help you move.
34. Life is not worth living without coffee.
35. If you want a postcard, email me your address.
36. If you want a birthday card, make sure I know your birthday.
37. I used to study philosophy but I think all it ever really did for me is make me sound smarter than I really am.
38. My birthday is the last day of the year. And yes, I feel slighted by the holiday season.
39. Yes, I would like a glass of champagne.
40. I made my first new years resolution this year, and it was to stop chewing my nails.
41. Thanks in large part to a new addiction to nail polish; I have largely succeeded in achieving that resolution. (Eds note: this is no longer true).
42. I work at a propane company but I swear to god if you make one more reference to Hank Hill I will quote dead French philosophers and German iconoclasts at you until your eyes bleed.
43. I developed a fun little anxiety disorder in the past year. I’m learning to deal.
44. There is no one music genre I can claim to listen to. I listen to them all. I used to think I didn’t like boy bands or hair metal, but really there is a special place in the annals of music for them too. Why? Well, it’s the same reason Chinese crested hairless dogs are allowed to breed.
45. My super power is procrastination.
46. I love to throw a good tantrum every once in a while.
47. My six word autobiography is “Won most battles with her self”.
48. For some reason my guy thinks that is a pessimistic autobiography. I don’t really see it that way, but we’ve agreed to disagree (and silently agreed never to bring it up again).
49. I hate the word fiancé, and will probably always refer to mine as my guy. I don’t see that changing as ‘husband’ sounds odd to me too. It occurs to me though, the safest word in the world might be ‘us’. Or maybe ‘we’.

In case you’re wondering why you’ve been treated to this fun little list, I wrote it a couple weeks ago and didn’t feel brave or bored enough to post it then. Now the busy is slowing, but my brain is cooked and my creativity zapped. So the filter that stops me from posting highly personal, embarrassing, probably illegal drivel (that no one reads or needs to know about anyway) is not working at its normal capacity. Thus, the list. and the publish button.

Now I'm afraid you will stop reading this, and stop coming back to my little page of crazy and I don’t want you to stop reading. Come back, I promise the brain won’t stay cooked! We can un-cook it! We have the technology!