Archive for February, 2008

365-94: wrecking crew


Day 94 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Adolescents, Wrecking Crew

This is Lili. Lili is a homewrecker.

She does something we call “prize patrol.” She goes from room to room, grabbing socks, shoes, gloves, underwear, toilet paper, toys, whatever she can grab in her teeth, and drags them into the living room. She even once tried to drag an entire blanket out of our bedroom. She piles everything up in front of the couch and then sits in front if it, guarding it like a king guards his kingdom. Every once in a while, she’ll choose one of her “prizes” to play with.

I cleaned up the prize patrol yesterday. This was taken today. She moves fast. Sure, it’s probably our fault for leaving socks and such where she can get them. But…I hate to say it…we’ve actually gotten into the habit of leaving socks on the floor on purpose so Lili has some prizes to catch.

When I was taking the photo, I was looking at her saying “Lili, you made such a mess!” And she just gave me a look that said “Guilty as charged!”

A note about the couch: We have this weird couch that pulls out on some kind of roller. Sometimes we pull it out just a few inches to give us more room to stretch out when we’re playing video games or watching tv. The space under there has become the cat’s only means of escape when Lili wants to play Pounce The Kitty. So we leave it open for her now.

I’m so glad we spent a crapload of money and countless, backbreaking hours redoing the living room last spring. It now belongs to the pets.


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365-93: thorn in my side

thorn in my side

Day 93 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Quicksand, Thorn in my Side

This was an accidental picture. I forgot what setting I had the camera on and the flash went off. I wrote off the shot. Later when I was going through the photos I took outside today (none of which I liked) I decided this was the only keeper. Go figure.

I’m not going to write about thorns in my side, though. That could take days.

I want to tell you how I am an idiot and almost killed myself today.

It was a miserable, cold, rainy, windy, disgusting New York day. It even thundered, in the middle of winter. The weather was treacherous at times; the rain would let up a bit and then all of a sudden come down in a windblown deluge for about ten minutes, immediately flooding the streets (my ridiculously high property taxes still do not afford me a proper drainage system, I guess).

I had made lunch plans with a dear friend I hadn’t seen since before my vacation and didn’t want to break them, so I ventured out of the office at noon and headed to the diner, despite the rational side of my brain telling me this wasn’t good driving weather. Who listens to their rational side, anyhow?

I was cruising along at a nice clip down a main street. When I say “a nice clip” I mean I was probably going too fast for the weather conditions. But there was no one else on the road. I was alone, thinking how the roads really weren’t as bad as everyone said they were. What wimps! Ype, just me, the rain, the Von Bondies on the stereo and………..holy shit, when did they put a lake in the middle of the road?? All of a sudden, my car felt like a giant, unseen hand had taken control of it. It lifted a little bit and pulled left and pulled right and my windshield was plastered with a huge wave of water so I couldn’t see and as the car was hydroplaning sideways through the enormous puddle, I looked out my side window to try to get my bearings and all I saw was the cement of an underpass and some guardrails and my life flash before my eyes.

Now, I’ve been in accidents before. I was in one not too long ago where I knew I was going to be hit from behind before it happened and all I could do was look in my rear view mirror and prepare myself for death (obviously, the death part never happened). I was doing much the same today. Just nonchalantly thinking to myself, as I was flying through air and water (allow me some hyperbole here, please) “Gee, I’m going to die now.” And then I thought “I hope someone remembers to feed the cat when I’m gone.” And just as I was about to renounce my agnosticism and repent for my plethora of sins, the car was back on solid ground and I was on my merry way to a cheeseburger and french fries.

It took about fifteen seconds for the whole thing to transpire. I think I missed two lines of the song that was playing while I was airborne. When the car settled down again, I played it real cool like and just started singing again without missing a beat. Just in case anyone was looking. And I’m sure if anyone was looking, they were saying “Wow, that asshole sure is lucky she didn’t kill herself.” What that person would not see was how bad my hands were shaking.

I drove about 20mph the rest of the way to the diner and took a different road back to work.

The moral of the story, kids? SPEED KILLS.

Well, it could.

And now, I must get Every Rose Has Its Thorn out of my head.

(By the way, the song used tonight is in my top 20 of favorite songs ever)

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the annual valentine’s day rant

the annual valentine's day rant

It’s February 1st, which means it’s time for my annual Valentine’s Day screed (I used to post this on my blog every year. I think the original version – since updated – was written in 2002).

Not that you need a reminder, what with all the storefronts decorated with sickening pink and red hearts and little cherubs with pointy weapons, but V Day approaches. I hate this holiday. People who do not have significant others do not corner the market on hating Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is not a day of amnesty. It is not a day where a guy or girl can say “Well, I’ve been shitty to my partner all year long, but if I buy them a huge bouquet of flowers on February 14th, I’m off the hook!” It doesn’t work that way.

Confession. I used to hate Valentine’s Day. Well, I told myself I hated Valentine’s Day in much the same way I told myself I hate diamond rings and romantic proposals and long walks in the park and pina coladas in the rain. See, it’s easy to get over the knowledge that you’ll never have that stuff if you pretend to hate it. Candy and flowers? Meh. Who needs them? A nice card? A romantic dinner? A sweet gesture? That stuff is for sissies!

That’s what I told myself anyhow. Sometimes it’s just easier to pretend.

Truth is, I am a romantic. And I love Valentine’s Day. And I love getting flowers even if they do make me sneeze. And I love cute greeting cards and romantic dinners and holding hands and small, thoughtful gestures of love.

Still, even after acknowledging my inner romantic and even after having spent the last year or so in a state of romantic bliss, I have to find some fault with this holiday and its false pretenses and its way of making single, lonely people feel like buying a bottle of gin and a large bottle of sleeping pills and maybe stabbing a few people to death at a Lover’s Lane before offing themselves in their ex wife’s garage.

Honestly, this day has a way of even making people in stable relationships feel awkward. All the commercials for diamonds and gold and restaurants where an appetizer costs more than a heart transplant are enough to drive even the most hardcore romantic away from Cupid’s bow and arrow. How much is enough? Why do all the commercials make me feel that no matter how much I spend I have to spend even more if I want to prove my undying love and affection? Why do all these advice columnists on tv and the internet imply that while my loved one can get away with plunking down some cold cash on flowers or jewelry, I have to dress like a five dollar stripper and suck him dry in order to please him? And after that make him dinner and serve it in a French Maid’s outfit while the soundtrack to some porn movie plays in the background. It’s kind of unfair. Why can’t I buy him flowers or why can’t he dress like a two dollar whore for me?

Do I sound bitter? Maybe I am. Have you ever been that kid in class who got one valentine (from the teacher) while everyone else got 20? Have you ever sat home on Valentine’s night crying in your beer and eating a pint of chocolate chip mint ice cream because you bought your special someone a really thoughtful gift and all you got in return was a look that said “this better not mean that you think you can get away with cooking for me tonight”? Then you know. You know how Valentine’s Day only causes pain. Even for the guys who have a girlfriend, because they feel they can’t live up to the expectations that the media has set for them as far as presents go. Diamonds are a man’s best friend apparently, and the only way to truly show her you love her is to spend the equivalent of three months salary on some raw material that Dopey and Sneezy dug out a South African mine.

For the girls who have a special someone, it sucks if they have been watching a morning television show where some guy pops out of the audience in a tuxedo and gets down on his knee and begs his girlfriend, who is a grip or stagehand or something, to marry him. And then Katie Couric or one of those hags on The View sends them on a trip around Manhattan in a horse drawn carriage and the snow falls gently on their heads as he puts a diamond ring on her finger and….well, that’s not reality for everyone, folks. So don’t think it’s yours. Valentine’s Day only serves to get your hopes up and then have them crashed down on top of you by the end of the night when all you got was a half-hearted kiss and an offer to let you watch while he plays Grand Theft Auto.

Anyhow. For the men out there who are still contemplating what to buy your wife/girlfriend/mistress/companion/dog/RealDoll(c), a word or two of advice:

Chocolate is not a good gift. Chocolate says “I would like you to gain a few pounds so then I can say to you in a week or so that you look like you could lose a few pounds.”

Flowers are not good. Flowers say “Here are some beautiful works of nature that will wilt or dry out and lose their beauty in a relatively short time. Like you. Which is when I will leave you for a younger woman.”

Sexy lingerie is not good, because that just says “I really hate the way you look naked. Do you think you could dress like a stripper when we have sex so I can pretend that you are Shana from The Raven’s Nest?”

So what is a good gift? I’ll tell you. And this applies to men and women. But not RealDolls.

A really good gift would be to just be thoughtful and sweet every day of the year. To make your relationship a romantic one all the time, not just one day. To say “i love you” every single day and look in their eyes while you say it. To turn off the tv once in a while and just sit and cuddle and remind each other why you fell in love. To not take each other for granted, or take the time you have together for granted. To make your partner smile each day, whether by a word or a gesture or the way you touch them. Be spontaneous. Be romantic. Enjoy each other all the time. Don’t wait for a Hallmark holiday to remind the person you love that they mean something special to you.

You don’t know unless you have lived thousand of miles away from the person you are deeply in love with how lucky you are to be able to hold and kiss and look at that person every single day. Take a little time every day to remind that person that they are your Valentine all the time, not just on February 14th. That’s a perfect gift.

Unless you have just started dating the person. Then it would seem kind of stalkerish. I suggest a nice sushi dinner and a movie then.

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