November 23, 2004

on thanksgiving and why i think peppermint patty is a big ol' bitch

I'm heading out to New Jersey tomorrow to spend the holiday with my family. I love Thanksgiving... even though I don't eat turkey or most things that cluck, oink or moo. However, my mother makes enough veggie side dishes to keep me good and bloated the entire weekend. [Note to self: Wear pants with an elastic waistband.]

Fortunately, my mother now lets me sleep late on Thanksgiving morning. She used to wake up the family and make us go to church, you see. This was always a bone of contention because all I wanted to do was lounge around in my PJs and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. But she won the battle (like I had a chance!) and off we went to church.

Truthfully, it was a nice service. During the Mass, each family received a small loaf of bread to be shared at the dinner table that evening. After the bread was distributed, the priest asked the congregation to hold it up so he could bless it. This took one family by surprise because when they sheepishly lifted up their loaf, there was already a big bite out of it. My younger sister pointed it out and we giggled until we got The Church Death Stare from the mother.

A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingIn other news, ABC will be running A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Thursday night. You know, out of all the Peanuts holiday specials I've seen, this is probably my least favorite. [Full disclosure: I've not seen the more recent Easter, Valentine's Day and New Year's specials.]

The reason I don't like this particular installment falls solely on the shoulders of one Ms. Peppermint Patty. She's a tiresome figure in this outing. Actually, she's dreadful in all of her appearances but this one is particularly cloying. And yes, I have seen Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) where she typifies the ugly American. But I maintain that her galling lack of etiquette on Thanksgiving, of all days, completely trumps her appalling behavior abroad. In fact, while I'm normally loathe to use this term, I'd go so far as to say that Peppermint Patty is a cunt.

Yeah, I said it.

Some background: Charlie Brown and Sally were all set to go to dinner at their grandmother's house. Then Peppermint Patty called and invited herself over for dinner. He tried telling her they wouldn't be home but she wasn't hearing it so being the sensitive and well-mannered young man that he is, Charlie Brown decided to host his own impromptu Thanksgiving dinner. He recruited Snoopy, Woodstock and Linus and together they assembled a feast of toast, pretzels, popcorn and jelly beans.

While the menu was rather unorthodox, you have to applaud their responsible and forward-thinking approach: There was no use of an oven without parental supervision nor was there risk of a salmonella outbreak caused by a bunch of rookies trying to cook poultry. Um, not sure how I feel about a dog and a bird preparing food but under the circumstances, I'll let it slide.

So Peppermint Patty arrived rocking her usual look -- shorts, a green-striped polo and Birkenstocks. The bitch could have at least dressed up a little. Oh and if her behavior thus far wasn't appalling enough, she had Marcie and Franklin in tow and not one of those assholes thought to bring the host a gift! And then when dinner was served, Peppermint Patty had the audacity to criticize the food and the table setting!! God, could she be any more callous and inappropriate? I want to punch her in that round, freckled face of hers.

Um, okay, I'm ending this now before I have aneurysm.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

November 21, 2004

cavorting with the coworkers

All week long I looked forward to Friday night. It was Girls Night Out, after all. Actually, this one was Girls (and Michael P) Night Out. He was the lone boy amongst a gaggle of acid-tongued dot-com chicks and he most definitely held his own. To adequately illustrate my adoration of this boy, let's just say the he played air keyboard right in my face and I didn't strangle him. I really detest when one pantomimes the playing of a guitar, drums, etc., you see...

Random tangent: I was on a date with a stupid girl once and she knew of my distaste of air instruments. Or at least she thought she did. We met up the night before St. Patrick's Day and the sound of bagpipes could be heard in the distance. My Scottish-Irish pride compels me to stand at attention and swoon when I hear that familiar, comforting wail. I expressed my pleasure at the sound and she said, "I'm surprised you like the bagpipes. You hate air instruments, remember?" Now I'm no musician but even I know the proper classifications. I was like, "The bagpipes are a WIND instrument. I have nothing against horns and tubas and stuff. But if someone was pretending to play one of these instruments by blowing into their thumb or something, it would annoy me." Dumbass.

But back to Friday's festivities -- some of us have since moved on from the job and some are still hanging in there. We still meet up every couple of months because our past and present job-related misery was such a powerful bonding agent. Our wit, sarcasm, empathy, sympathy and all other coping mechanisms served as the grout in our disgruntled mosaic. Actually, The Lovely Jess and the equally lovely Sheila are two of my most prized possessions from that otherwise-awful stint. Unfortunately for us, Sheila couldn't make it to our latest bash but fortunately for her and certain counties in Ireland, she's in her ancestral land tearing it up. Go read her gorgeous account.

So we drank margaritas and Hoegaarden at Cowgirl. Okay, I drank Hoegaarden and everyone else enjoyed the establishment's highly-regarded margaritas that come served in wee Mason jars. We ate lots of things smothered in cheese and talked lots of smack. Oh, how I adore these outings.

Some of our group hails from Long Island and New Jersey and had to leave early because of their unforgiving train schedules. I remember the days of hauling ass and sweating bullets in the hopes that the subway or PATH train would miraculously defy the rules of the universe and slow down time to get me to my connecting train. Sometimes it worked but most times I found myself cursing at the conductor of the departing train at the Hoboken station. Apparently, they have to "stay on schedule." Bureaucratic bastards that they are.

Eventually our numbers dwindled until only Jess and I remained. Our conversation went a little something like this:
"Um, do you wanna go home now?"

"I dunno, do you?"

"I mean, I could go somewhere else and have like one drink or something."

"Okay, let's go."
So off we two enablers went and had way more than one drink. Just for shits and giggles, we walked up the block to Rubyfruit. I had never been there before but I knew of its old lesbo granny bar reputation. And the reputation was well-earned. It was a karaoke-singing softball coach convention in there. There was a lot of bad fashion on display including a woman with pre-Doc Billy Ray Cyrus hair. Come to think of it, there were several Doc-era Billy Ray Cyrus hairstyles too. And lots of high-waisted jeans and vests. The girls hit the clothing department at Sears before going to Rubyfruit apparently.

Elsewhere on the dance floor, a geriatric with nary an ounce of rhythm was shaking her polyester-encased rump with two very young chippies. And she kept trying to sing along to the song but clearly didn't know the words. I give her a 1 for accuracy but an 8 for effort.

Jess and I were visibly shaken by the sight but what was most upsetting was the bony lady wearing an oversized red Tweety bird t-shirt. My back was to her but Jess tipped me off to her alarming choreography. I turned around to take a gander and was NOT prepared for what I saw. Admittedly, my dancing will never get me invited on Soul Train but Jesus, this was bad. It was like she was doing The African Anteater Ritual while having a seizure in between occasional bouts of finger snapping.

Discarded Car Door on Hudson StreetAnd then we got distracted when an androgynous figure walked past us. So we spent the next few minutes playing Guess the Gender. This individual looked like The Amazing Jonathan but without the facial hair. It remains the night's unsolved mystery. Well, it's actually a toss-up between that and a discarded car door wedged in between some trash on Hudson Street. However, I definitely think the unidentifiable gender was the more perplexing of the two.

Next up: Cubbyhole. For those of you not in the NYC area, this bar is nestled in the labyrinth otherwise known as the West Village. I've been to this place a dozen times and can get there from the subway, no problem. Trying to get there from points north or south when slightly inebriated is another story. So we tramped around a bit until we got our bearings and found our destination.

Jess managed to snag a seat at the bar and within minutes, a woman was talking to her. I thought I would have to step in and play girlfriend to discourage the prowling lesbo but it turns out, it was just a very drunk girl pleading with Jess to watch her seat while she went outside to smoke. She promised to buy her a drink in exchange for the favor. However, she never made good on it. Bitch.

That girl was a sloppy drunken mess with a really unfortunate hairdo. Out of nowhere, she of the burnt perm and crunchy bangs started arguing with a bunch of unsuspecting women to her left. The exchange of slurred words culminated with her hurling a GO NYC magazine at her rivals. I feared drinks being thrown and a fist fight so I dusted off my diplomacy skills and distracted the messy drunk with a request to clink glasses and just enjoy herself. It worked. She stopped trash talking and flinging reading material... and then set her sights on befriending me and Jess. Oy.

Oh, but she was frightening! She had a crazed look in her eyes and sounded like Coalminer's Daughter. I resumed chatting with Jess and another friend but Coalminer's Daughter kept poking her nose into the conversation. Literally. She didn't say anything necessarily but she repeatedly jutted her face into our little circle and stared at us all creepy-like. She'd then lose interest, walk away and wander back. At one point she asked me who I was and I answered, "Oh, nobody." She stuck out her hand and said, "Well, Nobody, it's nice to meet you." And then she declared her love for me, asked me to save her seat and staggered away. She swung by a few more times trying to remember where her seat was. She'd point at us, begin to say something, stop, then shake her head in confusion before resuming her patrol. Perhaps it was wrong of us, but Jess and I never tipped her off to her seat's location. Truthfully, it was a rather enjoyable floor show.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go apply a soothing balm as the flames of Hell are licking at my feet.

November 16, 2004

dingleberries by definition

I was just looking through some pictures from my sister's wedding and I came across one of a childhood friend who lived in our old neighborhood. We'll call her Tilly to make things easier on both reader and author. So years ago when Tilly was best pals with my recently-betrothed sister, I often hung out with Tilly's younger brother (let's call him Arnold).

Arnold and I could almost always be found playing with Star Wars action figures and Matchbox cars. Lest you think I was a total tomboy lesbo in-the-making, I'll have you know that I was playing with Barbies on alternate days. And for the record, the dolls were always impeccably dressed and not one of them ever played golf or worked for a non-profit. Oh, and when I did play with Matchbox cars, I always selected a Le Car (mustard yellow with an open-and-close hatchback) or a ragtop red Lincoln Continental. Make of that what you will, armchair psychologists.

ANYhoo, the mother of these neighbors was a stay-at-home mom who often passed the time with various crafty projects. One day we entered their backyard to find signs hung on the privacy fence around the pool. Because many neighborhood kids used to swim there and because she had the time to do it, the mother made her own signs similar to "Welcome to our ool. Notice there's no P in it. Let's keep it that way." Her homemade signs were neatly printed in blue ink on beveled wooden boards and were suspended from the fence by blue-and-white waxy clothesline rope. A few of her ground rules:
:: No running

:: No P'ing (I remember she made the "P" really big and thick)

:: Please don't pee in our pool. We don't swim in your toilet. (She obviously felt strongly about this)

:: No diving

:: No dingleberries
On the latter sign, the neighbor's mother drew three little circles in a triangular formation right next to the lettering. I remember questioning the meaning of the word dingleberry and was told by Arnold that it was another word for fart. So I gave the sign a closer look and surmised that the three little circles represented tell-tale air bubbles. I was on board with the whole no diving thing but I didn't think that farting in a pool warranted a whole rule devoted to it. It's not like it tore the lining, clogged the filter or caused permanent paralysis or anything like that. I felt it to be frivolous. Regardless, I was delighted with the new word I had learned and called everyone a dingleberry for months afterward.

Fast forward several years later to me in a car listening to The Howard Stern Show. As frequent listeners know, Howard often regales the audience with tales of his battles with post-pooping clean-up. In short, the man is the King of All Skidmarks. So in the course of the broadcast, the term dingleberry came up often and not in the context to which I was accustomed. I became confused and voiced my befuddlement to a friend. Luckily, she was able to fill me in on its actual meaning. Imagine my surprise in a later conversation when my 70-year-old uncle used the term properly. Well, he called it a "dangleberry" truth be told but at least he knew that it was a wee ball of poop in question and not a toot, if you will. Don't even ask why this was being discussed.

It then occurred to me that the put-down I used for years was a far more wicked and diabolical insult than I had realized. The looks of shock and hurt it registered now made much more sense. Some of those kids really deserved to be called a piece of shit dangling from one's ass. But not all of them did. In that moment, I felt victorious and remorseful in one fell swoop.

Now here's where it gets slightly Telephone Game-like -- was the neighbor's mother mistaken when she made the sign or did her son interpret it wrong? Because of Arnold, I taught other kids that dingleberry=fart. A wealth of misinformation sprung from that boy. But that's not to say that his mother was in the wrong. Maybe she knew the real meaning and those three little balls she drew didn't signify air bubbles at all. Perhaps she grew tired of skimming mini turds out of the pool and decided to lay down the law. What I do know is that between this incident and his insistence that we watch the likes of No Retreat, No Surrender and Raw Deal, Arnold gave me many a bum steer during our friendship. Bum. Hee hee hee.

November 12, 2004

friday afternoon slack

As you can see, The Lovely Jess and I are once again hard at work...
Jess: I am making the fattiest fatty dinner ever on Sunday. The Roommate and I have been conspiring

Yours Truly: Ha ha ha. Conspiring. I just had the funniest visual of you two holding clandestine meetings with blueprints and rubbing your hands together all evil-like

Jess: I'm making individual chicken pot pies in a puff pastry and baked apples with butter and brown sugar for dessert

Jess: "How to make our dinner guests have heart attacks"

YT: Are you plotting the course of the cholesterol that will clog up the arteries? "If I add an extra 1/2 cup of butter, it will ensure rapid arterialsclerosis (sp?) beginning HERE!" [points dramatically at map]

Jess: HA!

YT: "However, if I go easy on the butter and increase the amount of sugar, we're looking at a good chance of diabetes. That might take longer to kick in though and at best, we might only get an amputated limb or some cataracts."

YT: I'm sick. Sick, I tell you. Sick

Jess: That's why I love you

YT: My mother would hang her head in shame if she only knew. You know, I think she'd be more upset about my irreverence than my lesbionic ways
Jess: Did you watch The Apprentice last night?

YT: Yup!

Jess: I cannot believe how horribly Apex did. It was mind-boggling

YT: I could not figure out why they were at Penn Station handing out ads

Jess: It was really dumb

YT: That's not targeted marketing at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid

YT: I wish the show wouldn't end. I like it far too much

Jess: Me too

YT: Ewwwwwwwwwwwww! Guess what?

Jess: What?

YT: My friend's in-laws somehow indirectly know Raj and they gave Raj her cell phone number!!!! She hasn't watched the show this season so she asked me about him...

Jess: Oh my god

YT: She will HATE him. She is a fiercely independent woman who will kick a man in the balls if he even looks at her funny. I mean, she wishes airborne viruses on people for fuck's sake

Jess: Oh dear

YT: I hate him so much. We were walking around DSW last weekend and I trash-talked him all the way from boots to sneakers

Jess: That's a great line

YT: Why thank you

Jess: You could start a novel with that line

YT: Yup. It's right up there with "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Jess continues this theme on her blog with another of our deep and probing discussions...

November 05, 2004

a letter to my menstrual cycle

Dear Ms. Menses,

Do you mind if I call you Flo? I hope you don't find it too presumptuous but we have, after all, been together for about 18 years now so I don't think it's entirely inappropriate for us to be on a first-name basis. If you'd prefer to keep it formal, I admit that you have just cause.

I realize I may have made you feel unwelcome in the past what with the damning you to hell business and the research on hysterectomies I performed from time to time. That was rather rash and I apologize for any hurt feelings.

And please don't take it too personally that at the first sign of you, I always slipped into a week-long-Advil-fueled coma. I hope that this behavior didn't come off as standoffish or anti-social as it was not my intent.

I appreciate that when your colleagues pay their monthly visits, some women fall to their knees thanking a higher power. I myself have never had a pregnancy scare and well, since an exposed penis hasn't been in my vicinity in quite some time (save for the occasional bit of porn or Vincent Gallo film), it's safe to say that no baby will be occupying any womb of mine.

In other words, there's no upside for me.

With that said, I see no reason to continue your employment within my body. As you know, I'm gay and won't be having children so the very thorough monthly clean-out you perform is just a waste of your time and my energy.

I wouldn't mind keeping you on as part of a contingency plan but, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, you really don't make for very good company. The bloating, swelling, frequent urination, headaches, joint paint and fatigue are most unwelcome attributes. Furthermore, you're extremely messy and you constantly fiddle with my internal thermostat. Not cool, Flo.

Frankly, I'm not too keen on the crying and emotional upheaval you cause. It makes me look very undignified. But in your defense, I appreciate the accompanying bout of grumpiness you bring to the table. I tend to be a very laid-back, non-confrontational person three out of the four weeks in a month so that one week of crabbiness keeps friends, family and coworkers on their toes. We mustn't let people become too complacent, you see.

In summary, the work you do is very admirable despite your off-putting side effects. If circumstances were different, I would be forced to keep you on board. But we must face certain truths and well, there's just no valid reason for me to make my uterus hospitable for anyone or anything. I mean, I guess I could use the extra storage but, no, I'm standing firm in my decision.

Thank you for your dedication and valiant efforts, Flo. In your time with me, your attendance has been near perfect. And after a few erratic arrival dates, you really buckled down and improved your punctuality 100 percent. Naturally, I will enthusiastically vouch for your consistency and reliability should you require a reference.

I am confident your conscientious work ethic and plumbing skills will be put to good use in a more deserving host. Now kindly leave the premises.


Curly McDimple

November 01, 2004

is that your hip out of place or are you just happy to see me?

As frequent readers of this here blog know, my dating life of late has sucked some serious ass. If I wasn't so tired at the moment, I'd try to make some witty quip suggesting that the ass sucking was a viable substitute for actual ass (and other body part) sucking but the fatigue is preventing me from getting it together. You have the pieces so consider it a do-it-yourself-er. It's tres Ikea, no? Mmm... Ikea.

But back to my sad love life. So I went on a date last week with yet another new chick. She came recommended by an ex I'm still friendly with so I thought the outlook was good. Yeah, not so much. I arrived fashionably late and left freakishly early. I think the whole fiasco lasted about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Tops. I think that's a record for me. We just did not hit it off. But no bigs, I didn't hinge my happiness on the outcome. If it worked out, gravy. If not, onward.

I mostly embrace my fierce independence but every now and then (usually in time with the monthly hormonal fluctuations), the need for companionship and all that jazz starts creeping in. I fell off the wagon today and did some online shopping on PlanetOut and Nerve but found nothing worth mentioning. I just checked another upstart dating site where I keep a profile and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a message was waiting for me. Until I opened it.

Mark this down, ladies and germs, November 1, 2004 was the day a senior citizen with balls like brass (and horrid spelling) made contact with yours truly. I've had some creepy old gray hairs give me the wink and the nod before but never via the Internet. At the risk of pissing off some AARP types, I can't help but be surprised when someone over 60 not only owns a computer but is competent enough to use it beyond playing solitaire and making clip art-heavy greeting cards. Who knew they could tap into the potential to possibly get some? Plaudits, old people. Plaudits. Um, except when it's my ass in the crosshairs. Ew.

Seriously though, I just turned 31. What ON EARTH would I talk about with a 69-year-old? "Did they say this round was a regular BINGO or full-board?" She's older than my mother for fuck's sake. I'm beyond grossed out.

I will be out and about tomorrow night watching the election returns amongst fellow lesbos and, of course, The Lovely Jess. If this latest development with online dating doesn't snap me out of my public shyness, I don't know what will. Cheesecake, let's commence with the wine drinking early and often. The rest of you... wish me luck.