The Accidental Eulogy I Wrote for My Dad While Trolling a Troll!

So as a blogger and a person who has a reasonable grasp of common sense (I did not say I always employed said common sense) I rarely get bent out of shape about what people say (to me or anyone else) on the internet. I pretty much avoid comment sections because they are typically populated by the pond scum of humanity who STILL think that because they have a computer someone should give a shit about their opinion (says the blogger…ironically). But, when people comment on the shit I write, I totally read those because, DUH! And that is how I made my new bestest friend, Kelli! Kelli decided that it would be appropriate, nay, her duty to inform me that the way I chose to deal with the health complications and inevitable death of my Father was just not to her particular liking. Normally I would have just ignored it; see I don’t even delete negative or shitty comments or the people who write them because even that is paying them too much attention. But this was not a normal day, this was the day after my Dad died. So, when it became clear that Kelli had put up the force shields around her snotty comment making it so that me, as page manage could not reply, I decided to write her a personal message. But before we get into that below is a screenshot of her original comment:

 

Below is what I wrote to Kelli:

Hi Kelli,
I thought you and I could get to know one another since you seem to be so incredibly knowledgeable about all things, especially how other people should deal with the profound loss of a loved one. Now, I’ll admit, my Dad only died about *checks imaginary watch on wrist* 38 hours ago so it is possible that I have transitioned to the “anger” stage of grief, but I was wondering if you could tell me exactly HOW I should be dealing with my Dad’s death? He wasn’t elderly, you know. We weren’t expecting this. Oh, his name was Scott by the way, his friends that he grew up with called him Scooter. He was hilarious, generous, friendly, proud and the most non-judgmental person you could meet. He loved his children, his friends, his family, his two sister, his 94 year old mother, his ex-wife (the mother of his children) and his dogs with passion and fervor. He was a wonderful, flawed, giving, inappropriate, soulful, joyful human being and yesterday morning I held his dead body in my arms and cried into his neck and tried to say goodbye as best I knew how. If only you had been there to instruct me on how I should have been behaving more properly in that moment. Or, who knows, maybe you are fucking magical and simply knowing YOU protects those you love from death…that must be it since you have clearly never lost anyone important to you. Except maybe one of your 18 cats (I am just making an intuitive leap here because your Facebook page has a shit ton of pictures of cats, no humans oddly enough, and cats don’t live very long).

Sincerely,
Your Newest Bestest Friend Who Never Tires of Hearing Your Completely Baseless Opinions
Dacia Hanson
XOXO

I don’t know what I hoped to achieve, if anything, by reaching out to the pearl-clutching Kelli but I felt that the result was a very nice tribute to Dad so it is probably what I will end up reading at his memorial service. I was definitely not expecting a reply, mostly because when you message someone with whom you are not friends the likelihood that they will see your message is typically slim. But she, in her unrelenting and infinite wisdom, TOTALLY WROTE BACK TO ME!!!

conversations with kelli

Whaaaaa….?

confused Jackie Chan

Even Jackie Chan is confused….

jack

Call me crazy….But I think this bitch might be fucking stupid!

 

What the….? At this point I was kind of bummed because it was clear that I could not pursue my campaign against this person because she was obviously….how to put this delicately….a fucking retard (I am violently aware that is a hot button term and has been deemed politically incorrect and that enlightened humans should not use it in derision but I am not using it in derision I am genuinely making an assessment that this person is mentally deficient or at the very least cannot read). Yeah, I was a little bummed that I couldn’t really be mad at a person who had no idea what she was talking about because she couldn’t read but all in all it was a nice distraction on a day I could really use one.

I did, however, try to write back to Kelli, just to ask her if she was a robot but her messenger account informed me that “this user is not currently accepting messages from you at this time”. Okay, we’ve all done stupid shit on the internet that we regret (lord knows I have) but I believe there two kinds of people on this earth; the kind that do stupid shit on the internet but then realize they either should not have done that stupid shit or do not want to deal with the fallout of said stupid shit so they block and ban and delete and claim they were “hacked” (like anyone would bother hacking you, you fucking useless nobody) and move to India and change their name and join a holy house where the internet does not exist OR the people who do stupid shit on the internet then watch with amusement while the rest of the world gets bent out of shape about it. In my opinion (which we can all agree doesn’t much matter) you might as well just own your stupid shit because there really is no running from it…that’s why god invented screenshots.

So I was ready to walk away when I saw this!

“So Old Renton Book Exchange and The Biblio Diva are one in the same! How Narcissistic of you. Shall I publish your little post, remember we’re best friends now peanut. [sic]” (and no, I did not get a screenshot of this which sort of blows my previous point out of the water but who gives a shit).

Okay, first of all, I super love my new nickname! Secondly, excellent detective work, Sherlock! You totally get a gold star! Thirdly, of course I am a narcissist; I am a blogger which automatically means that I am blessed with the unique ability to overlook my own irrelevance! Fourthly (and I am fairly certain that’s not a real word), her threat to “publish” what I had written to her was hilarious because if I write it, I am not doing it for my goddamn health! OF COURSE I AM GOING TO PUBLISH THAT SHIT! I am lazy as fuck and that was like a good 300 words. You are stupider than I thought if you think I was just gonna waste those on you! Sheesh!

hello mcfly

HELLO! McFLY! ANYBODY HOME?!?!

So, any decent human being would have learned some sort of valuable lesson by now but I think we can all agree that I am nowhere near being a decent human being. I am thankful to Kelli for distracting me from my misery for a few hours and I hope she reads this so she knows that she was helpful, because, at the end of the day, I am pretty sure that’s all she really wants; to help people.

Hey, I love you guys. Thanks to everyone who read (all of) yesterday’s post (and comprehended it in its entirety) and thank you for just being here and making life seem a little less horrible and a lot less pointless (that was a double negative). Everyone who took time out of their day yesterday to send me their love or prayers or thoughts or offer their condolences I owe you an enormous “thank you”, an enormous hug and probably an enormous martini! XOXO

This was Supposed to Have a Happy Ending…But Alas

I was at work on Wednesday, in our usual Wednesday afternoon production meeting. When the meeting let out I sat down at my desk and, because I had no real work to do, started to write a post for my blog. I then checked my phone. I saw that I had two missed calls and 3 texts. The calls had come from my brother which could only mean one thing; my Dad was in the hospital again. The texts were from two of my Dad’s roommates and one from my brother. I picked up my phone and went into the hallway to call him back. I listened while he told me that Dad had passed out in Home Depot, that his heart had stopped and that his ICD (or implantable cardioverter defibrillator or, if you want to get technical, the “shock box” that lives in his chest) had not recovered him from the spell. His roommate/friend/special lady person (not going to get into that now because it could not be more irrelevant), Erica, was with him and luckily Erica is a nurse. She performed CPR on him for 15 minutes while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. I don’t know how many of you have ever performed CPR or even watched someone perform CPR but it is a monumentally difficult task, physically and emotionally, to sustain for even 5 minutes straight so to Erica I say thank you, thank Sweet Muscly Jesus for you and your being there.

When the paramedics arrived they took him to UW Valley Medical Center in Renton. He had hit his head when he went down…and now it occurs to me that I should probably explain why my Dad passes out all the times and ends up in the hospital all the time. About 10 years ago my Dad started passing out, no one knew why. He eventually had a spell that landed him in the hospital where they discovered that he had a golf-ball sized tumor ON his heart. The weird part is they had no idea how long it had been there. Some of the doctors thought it was possible that it had been there all his life and was just now starting to cause problems. After many pokings and proddings and tests it was determined that this enormous mass on his heart was not cancerous, not malignant and not really doing anything anyone could find fault with so he was released and told to go live his life. Which is exactly what he did, occasionally passing out along the way, until May of 2011. It was May 26th at about 8:45 in the morning and Dad was driving the service truck for his work when he passed out at the wheel.

kentpole-480x321

This is the actual picture of the actual remains of my Dad’s work truck taken from the Tacoma News Tribune.

After being taken to the hospital by paramedics and being cleared for any major life-threatening injuries, doctors began to examine why this was happening. It was determined that my Dad had Atrial Fibrillation (AF) which is the most common form of arrhythmia, a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. A-fib causes his heart to function at a significantly decreased efficiency than a normal, healthy heart. His A-fib is thought to be caused by or at least exacerbated by the mass on his heart and his A-fib has, ostensibly, caused him to develop congestive heart failure (his body, and chest in particular take on fluid at a rapid rate and because of his decreased heart function he is unable to move the fluid around and distribute it throughout his body causing enormous amounts of pressure to build up in his chest and on his lungs making it difficult for him to breathe) and the congestive heart failure causes him to pass out. After the accident in 2011 was when they installed the shock box in his chest. Since then he does not drive (legally anyhow) and was forced to quit working. His heart functions at about a level of 10% efficiency which, as you might imagine, is not too great.

When my Dad arrived at the hospital Wednesday afternoon he was going from bad to worse. He had to be intubated, he was unable to breathe on his own, his heart had stopped, completely, at least 6 times that the medical staff was able to determine from the cached data on his shock box, he had two heart attacks and had been defibrillated like 12 times. It was not looking good but his heart, we quickly learned, was to be least of our concerns.

After I spoke with my brother I decided to leave work. Something felt different about this time. I picked up Bo and headed down I-5. I was in downtown Seattle when I got another call from my brother, except when I answered it was his wife. She said “you’d better get down here” and proceeded to inform me that Dad was not breathing on his own and it was not looking good. I called Josh and asked him to meet me at the hospital; whatever was happening there I knew that I could not take Bo with me to see it. I got my visitor’s pass after handing Bo off to Josh and went into the ER. My sister-in-law was standing outside the room. She came up to me and delivered the broad strokes; he had hit his head, he had bleeding on his brain, they might have to do surgery, it would be tonight… I could barely stand up, everything around me went watery, nothing would hold still. I walked into the room, determined not to lose my shit, and promptly lost my shit. Dad was on a respirator, sedated, in a large room with every piece of intimidating medical equipment on the planet hooked up to him or shoved inside of him. It was not easy to see him underneath the confusing, twisted, labyrinth of medical technology.

Before I knew what was happening my brother and I were being swept out of the room by someone in neurosurgery who wanted to “speak with us about our options”, which sounded like a thinly veiled attempt at not being foreboding. It did not work. We were now in another room, a small room that had only one purpose; this is where they told you the bad news. An impossibly tall man with a gentle demeanor spoke to us about what we could expect from my father’s condition moving forward. It was all very vaguely worded and presented in hypotheticals. And then we were being lead back to the room of medical and technological marvels to be shown my father’s CT scan. The tall man pointed out the white, shadowy area that covered the better part of the left side of my Dad’s brain. The cardiologist joined us, admitting that the brain was not his area of expertise but his casual positivity seemed, if not encouraging, at least comforting.

I went out to the lobby and found Bo and Josh. I asked Josh to go grab me some cigarettes while I took Bo to the cafeteria to get something at least resembling dinner. I picked at a salad and Bo ignored everything in the way of food while he and another little boy at a nearby table struck up a lively conversation about the grossness of zombies. Josh called. We left the cafeteria and met him in the upper parking lot, presumably far enough away from the hospital proper where I could smoke without noticeably violating hospital rules. Just as I lit up my Mom and Aunt pulled up. We spoke briefly and I told them to go ahead and that I’d be in shortly. I got Bo’s things out of one car and put into the other, preparing him to go home with Josh. I got a call from my sister-in-law saying that the neurosurgeon was coming down and needed to talk to me and my brother.

I went back into the hospital after seeing off Josh and Bo. We went back into the tiny room where bad news is delivered. There were more of us in there now; me, my brother and sister-in-law, my mom and my aunt. The neurosurgeon was there with the tall man I now understood to be his surgical assistant. He had small, beady pig eyes like a dead shark or Tony Romo. He was wearing his surgery hat and had a faint air of dude-bro-ness about him. He started to explain that the bleeding on my father’s brain was quite severe. He said that surgery could relieve any pressure that might exist but it would also probably kill him; that with his heart and respiratory health he may not even survive anesthesia and that even if he survived surgery we would most like be a vegetable. Okay, so what happens if we don’t operate, doc? Well, if you don’t operate the swelling or pressure (if there is any) might go away on its own but your Dad will probably still be a vegetable. Don’t get me wrong, pig-eyes had a fine bedside manner and, frankly, getting him to give it to us straight did take a little cajoling.

The gist of what he was trying to say and only half succeeding was that brain injuries like the one my father had were typically traumatic and the likelihood that he would make anything close to a full recovery was not probable and, in his opinion not plausible. He basically said there was almost no chance that my father would be the same man he was before this ordeal. We were in a difficult spot. We had to decide between doing nothing and doing something but no matter what the results would not be good and would probably be the same. I, for one, could not see the point in having my Dad’s skull cut open to relieve pressure that might not exist in a procedure that would most probably kill him for the result of his definitely being on life support for the rest of forever…I mean, fiscally alone it did not make sense, let alone all those other really good reasons to not cut someone’s skull open. I was about to pass out and could not look at pig-eyes anymore so I left the room and went to my Dad. I sat by his bed and cried while holding his hand. I leaned into his ear and said, “Daddy? Can you hear me?” He opened his eyes and nodded. I said, “I love you.” and he mouthed around the respirator that he loved me too. I could simply not reconcile that he was a lost cause at that point, that he was as good as broccoli and we should all just save ourselves the trouble and pull the plug, which is pretty much what pig-eyes over in the other room was getting at.

Once the decision was made (with no help from me) to NOT operate my Dad was able to be moved upstairs to the ICU. His fate, at this point still seemed murky. It was difficult to determine how much communication he was capable of between the heavy sedation and the roadblock of intubation. For the next few hours we just went in and out of his room, getting him settled, trying to gauge the severity of his brain injury. Trying to shake off our Sophie’s Choice ordeal that was still haunting all of us. We was a little more awake now; Erica and her husband Andy (I told you, not now) had shown up and we all went into his room in shifts, two at a time. It was quickly determined that not only was Dad awake, he was aware of what was going on, he knew everyone who had come in to visit. In short, he was the same man as he had been that morning before the fall! We did not know what, if any, effects to his motor function had been suffered but we could breathe a little bit easier knowing that Dad was, from what we could tell, still Dad.

The other visitors trickled out of the ICU, leaving me, my brother and his wife. We decided food and whiskey were in order….okay they decided food was in order, I decided whiskey was in order. After whiskey and poutine and fried pickles and buffalo wings and tater tots or as I like to call it, grief’s smorgasbord, we went back to the hospital. I fell asleep for a little while on the fold-out chair. I woke up around 1 am and decided there wasn’t anything else I could do. I went home.

The next day he was off the respirator and breathing on his own. He was fully awake and aware, all in all, himself, that is to say he was ornery, cussing at the nursing staff and bitching about not being able to pee (he a tube up his pee-hole so he was able to pee just not in the earthy and satisfying way he wanted to).

The next few days were strange. We were still coming down off the high of knowing that Dad was not, as predicted, going to be a vegetable, but the road ahead of him was still roughly cobbled and dimly lit. On Friday evening he was moved out of the ICU which we all viewed as an immensely positive turn of events. His Mother and Sisters had come up California on Thursday (alerted and alarmed since we were told he was most likely going to be a shell of his former self); we spent the better part of Thursday assuring them that we did not jump the gun in calling them and that the night before we were told that his brain injury was most likely going to kill him because by the time their flight had landed on Thursday morning his brain injury had been all but forgotten.

Despite his ability to shake off an enormous blood clot on his brain as if it were nothing more than a hangnail he still had his heart to worry about. He struggled to breathe normally, exacerbated by the fact that the chest compressions from all the CPR he had endured on Wednesday had left his ribs deeply bruised making it nearly impossible for him to draw a deep breath or cough.

He was moved back into the ICU on Saturday night/early Sunday morning because of trouble breathing. I went down to the hospital on Sunday before I had to work. He had not been intubated, thankfully, but he was wearing an oxygen mask or bi-pap but he was able to talk while wearing it and able to take it off at times. My brother, his wife and I sat in Dad’s room for hours, joking and laughing, sometimes with Dad and sometimes at him; Ian (my brother) worked on RC car body he was preparing to paint, Kayrn (his wife) played a puzzle game on her phone and joked with me while I sketched in one of my many books. At one point Dad suggested that a unicorn I had drawn on the whiteboard hanging up in his hospital room should “shove its horn up the nurse’s ass”. It was a beautiful day outside and the room had huge, south-facing windows and was flooded with light. I helped my Dad drink soda and told him what his oxygen saturation levels were when he obsessively asked every 74 seconds. When I had to leave for work around 4 in the afternoon I hugged him and kissed his forehead and told him that I loved him and that I would see him the next day.

hospital white board 1

*********************************************************************

I started writing this on Sunday night and it was supposed to be a story about how my Dad beat the odds, refusing to succumb to the grim predictions of the neurosurgeon who said he was going to be a vacant invalid for his remaining days, if, in fact he had any days remaining at all.

My Dad passed away yesterday morning just before 6 am.

Seasonal Affective Disaster

I am not a fan of Winter. I understand that Winter, in theory, has its charms; sparkling, bucolic snow-covered landscapes, glittering icicles hanging from eaves, the opportunity to wear lots of adorable scarves and hats with animal ears, sitting by the fireplace in fluffy socks, hot chocolate, hot chocolate with Bailey’s (mmmm, creamy), hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, hot buttered rum, hot toddies, whiskey. In practice, Winter in the Northwest in an exercise in how much misery the human soul can endure before it implodes and just goes all Michael Douglas a la “Falling Down”. It really is a wonder that more of us are not climbing atop bell towers with semi-automatic rifles, although this could simply be due to the distinct dearth of bell towers and not any lack of desire to just fucking snap on the part of the general public.

The real Northwest Winter, not the bright, crisp, evergreen Northwest Winter made up by tourism bureaus and pictured in chambers of commerce brochures, is an endless, dark, miserable, sodden, mold-covered pile of rancid bald eagle carcasses. And, yes, that IS how I really feel so you can totally refrain from sarcastically (stupidly) asking me to tell you how I really feel.

Lets start with the length of Winter. Everyone who has lived in Washington for any period of time has heard the adage that we get 9 months of rain and 3 weeks (yes, weeks) of sunshine. While the part about 9 straight months of rain is reasonably accurate, Northwest Summers are fucking magical and if you tell ANYONE I will cut you! Yes, Northwest Winters are long, longer than a lot of other places in the US? Not really but they seem longer because of the constant, merciless and unrelenting rain….and the darkness!!! Don’t get me fucking started on the darkness!!! Oh unh-unh, you done did it now! There is nothing more depressing, more defeating than waking up in the goddamn dark, driving to work in the goddamn dark, going to work all day where, you assume, there might be some light out but you don’t really know because the closest thing to natural light you will see that day is the soulless, white glow of your computer screen and then driving home in the goddamn dark just to do it all over again the next day. This is why the suicide rates in December and January far outweigh those in any other months. Also, it’s possible that I did not research that at all and totally just made up that statistic, but it’s probably true, right? I mean you totally believed it.

EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERY FUCKING THING IS WET!!! Your shoes are wet, your socks are wet, the cuffs of your pants are wet, your hair is wet, your floors are wet, your ceiling is wet. NOTHING EVER DRIES OFF FOR THE ENTIRE GODFORSAKEN SEASON!!!  And all this pervasive moisture results in mold, lots and lots of mold. As anyone who has lived in a house or apartment in Puget Sound that was built before 1990 can tell you mold is everywhere!!! You make tamales in your 1907 third story two by two one time and you have mold for the rest of your goddamn life. Mold in the window sills and mold on the bathroom ceiling, in every little far corner of your house it is hiding, waiting like the proverbial stalking butler to kill you, quietly, in your sleep. Why anyone would not update a 1923 house with a bathroom fan is beyond me! A bathroom fan is a necessity for a mold-free home and a happy marriage. There is always that period of time, in mid January, when you and your family have been sick for what feels like 3 solid months, that you start to look around your house and see the mold creeping out of every porous surface and you instantly become convinced that you all have black lung and the only thing to do is to get everyone hazmat suits and respirators and turn your home into final scene from E.T.. Either that or a controlled burn.

Depression, at least mine, is always worse in the Winter. I could sleep for 14 hours a day in the Winter time and still be tired, miserable, cranky and constantly on the verge of stepping off the subway platform onto the tracks….although this whole subway scenario is metaphorical in this case because this is Seattle and we have an embarrassingly bad public transit system. Let’s just say that in the Winter, the string that holds me here, to this earth, is even more taut than usual. Every Winter is bad but for some reason, this one has been a bear. Not the sweet, furry, cuddly kind of bear either. It has been a rabid bear, with irritable bowel syndrome and a nasty hangnail and all he really wants in the world is to crush his enemies, see them driven before him and to hear the lamentations of their women (kudos to those of you who caught the “Conan the Barbarian” reference as it was not even thinly veiled. Hahahaha! Conan the Bar-Bear-ian!!! Good God, I need a hobby or some tequila, either of those would be good). Winter basically just causes me to go batshit (see above), like even more than usual.

One last thing (only because I am writing time is quickly running into my drinking time) that I hate about Winter is that it’s fucking COLD! I hate doing anything when it’s cold. The effort it takes to drag my tired corpse out of bed is Herculean enough when it is not nineteen fucking degrees out! Add to that the fact that there is typically a warm, snuggly and obscenely sexy man in my bed….yes, Josh, I am talking about you (he’s totally scratching his head right now going “what man does she have in her bed and why have I not seen any videos?”). I fucking HATE taking a shower when it is cold almost as much as I hate getting out of bed and seeings as how, in the natural progression of things, one directly follows the other….well, you get what I mean. In fact there are very few things that can compel me to take off my clothes at all when it is cold, actually, I can only think of one, maybe two but we don’t have a hot tub so let’s just call it one thing. And, fortuitously, that one thing will totally help warm you up!

So I guess that’s it kids. Winter sucks. We all endure it. Lots of whiskey, lots of sex and fluffy socks make it all bearable…and speaking of bears… (I can hear the collective groan from all the way over here behind my computer screen)

I give you Conan the Bar-Bear-ian!!!! This guy definitely knows what is best in life, and it’s homemade marshmallows and the utter destruction of your foes!

conan-the-barbearian_bg

 

This is what happens when graphic designers have too much time on their hands. XOXO

Not All Stepmothers Are Wicked but Mine Was

I recently read the Facebook post of a friend’s son who was having some trouble with a step-parent. It seemed like it went well beyond the normal teenage, “you’re not my real dad” bullshit. It sounded like the step-parent in question was really, truly awful. In any case I just wanted to reassure this young person that what they are feeling is valid and that others have been there before. I wanted to share my story with him…maybe it will help, maybe it will help me.

My parents split up when I was 10. To be painfully accurate they told my brother and I they were getting a divorce exactly one week before my 10th birthday. To be fair they had their reasons for the timing; I was born on their 3rd wedding anniversary and who can really blame them for not wanting to suffer through another celebration of their love for one another that no longer existed. I remember my 10th birthday party; it was perfect, a beach party on Lake Sammamish at Idlewood Park on a gorgeous August afternoon. I got the “Lil’ Swimmer” Cabbage Patch doll after which I had been pining. Everything should have been wonderful but I could not feel anything. I knew I was supposed to be happy, but I just could not find it inside myself.

But time marches on as it is wont to do. Less than a year after the divorce my Dad remarried, choosing for his second wife, in his infinite wisdom, Gail Deering. A former high school…girlfriend is the wrong word but you kind of get what I mean…of his who had recently appeared back in his life…as if by MAGIC! In any case she would have had you believe that in all the interim years she had done nothing but pine away for my father. What she was really doing in those interim years was getting pregnant at 17. She married the father of her twins (yes twins, a boy and a girl), Joe. Joe died when the babies were about 2, I think it was a car accident or motorcycle accident and I am fairly certain that alcohol and/or (most probably “and”) drugs were involved. At that point Gail decided that raising two babies on her own was too hard so she left the twins with her mother (who had obviously done a stellar job with her) in favor of biker gangs and heroin.

It was a good life but one can only make a respectable living off the money they earn hustling pool and arm wresting for so long before they start to yearn for life’s simpler pleasures; settling down, making a permanent home somewhere, reconnecting with your abandoned children and their social security checks, etc. And that was Gail in a nutshell; she was always trying to run a hustle. She never worked while I knew her and she was almost always in the process of litigation with former employers over an on-the-job injury or an L&I claim or a disability claim. She worked very hard to not have to work. Which was good because her lifestyle of drinking all day didn’t really jibe with full-time employment anyhow.

Gail was an alcoholic (at first). Not to say that my Dad is not an alcoholic but to this day I could count on one hand and have fingers left over the amount of times I have actually seen my Dad “drunk”. Gail was drunk every night. She was a large, brutish woman and a mean drunk. I always marveled at my Dad’s ability to maintain a blind spot for what a mean-spirited human being she was. I had never met anyone prior to Gail in whom I could find absolutely no redeeming qualities. And I did not want to feel that way about her. I did not want to play out some ridiculous, archetypal, fairytale horror show starring none other than THE WICKED STEPMOTHER! But that was what I got.

Once when I was twelve, and spending the weekend at my Dad’s, Gail and Dad had been drinking all day which led to Gail and Dad fighting all evening. I watched my father get so angry with her that he put his fist through the laundry room door. Her response to this was to hit my father over the head with a dining room chair. She literally broke a solid-wood dining chair over his goddamn head. In the midst of the chaos and the screaming I demanded to be taken out of that house immediately. I gathered up my things while Gail flung a litany of curses at me and my father. I was a “spoiled little bitch” and “a wimp” and “a little fucking princess” for not wanting to watch my father endure another blow to head with whatever piece furniture was next on her hit list. My Dad agreed to take me to his mom’s house. I don’t know why I did not ask to be taken home, to my Mom, but I think there was an unspoken agreement that that was a humiliation my Dad was simply unable to bear after all the other indignities he had suffered. I stood on the side of Highway 9 in the driving rain while my Dad called his mother’s house from a pay phone. There was blood running down the side of his head and out of his ear when he turned to me, while waiting for someone on the other end of the phone to pick up, and said “I think I made a mistake.” That was 1992. Fifteen years later he finally left her.

For fifteen years I was mostly estranged from my father because my stepmother made it too difficult to have a relationship with him. For fifteen years I wondered how he could be so blind, how could he not see what she was doing to us? For fifteen years I genuinely and earnestly wished my stepmother dead. For fifteen years of I was afraid to visit or call my Dad because I would have to go through her. 

In the last 10 years of their marriage Gail’s behavior grew more erratic as her alcohol and drug abuse grew more inclusive and indiscriminate. She abused prescription pain killers to the point that she had gone into cardiac arrest twice in as many months and she wasn’t even 40 years old. She began to traffic drugs, selling pain killers that she would get from her croaker of a doctor and using the money to buy meth or other street drugs. All the while my Dad remained either in denial or complacent due to the income brought in by the selling of drugs.

Towards the end she was painfully thin (having always been on the heavy side before), covered in sores, withered well beyond her years and always high on one thing or the other. But it wasn’t until she got a gun that my dad decided that whatever he might have to give up, it was not worth risking his life. He took off in the middle of night and left her, his house, all his belongings, every photograph, every possession and he had never been a richer man, for he was free.

I remember when I found out that he had left Gail; it was as if I became 50 pounds lighter. I was thrilled for my Dad, thrilled for us, thrilled at the possibility of a real relationship with him! And I was so angry that he hadn’t done it sooner. I don’t know if I will ever fully forgive him for the years we lost.

About 3 or 4 years after my Dad and Gail had split up he called me. I was at work; I remember it was just after Bo was born and I was sitting in the slipper chair at the shop nursing him when my cell phone rang. It was my Dad, telling me that Gail had (finally) died (of a drug overdose because DUH!). Into the phone said the first thing that came to my mind, “Well,” I sighed, “Ding-Dong!”. I had wished for it for so long, so many times but I knew that when it actually happened I would feel a little bit bad, but you know what? I totally didn’t, that bitch can rot in hell for all I care and I am glad she is gone. She was a fucking cancer and she corroded everything she touched.

I know this story doesn’t offer any salient advice or some great moral or lesson…other than if you wait long enough, all the people you hate will eventually die. I just wanted to let my young friend know that I understand what he is going through and if he ever needs to talk….well, you know where I am.

Also, sorry this isn’t funny. I promise to be less depressing very soon! XOXO

FUCK CANCER!

Alan Rickman and David Bowie died this week which sort of makes me think that god has something against 69 year old British Dudes who are awesome. I don’t have anything funny to say about the loss of these two beautiful, uniquely talented, stunning man-creatures. I just wanted to mention them, mourn them and take a moment to say FUCK CANCER! Fuck you for striking both these men down, fuck you for taking so many lives every day that don’t get media attention, the lives that go unnoticed, fuck you for defying medical and scientific odds and technology, fuck you for tearing our loved ones away from us far too soon, fuck you for the children who are left motherless and the mothers who are forced to mourn their children, fuck you for the families you leave broken and the scars that will never heal, fuck you for all the detritus you leave in your wake but fuck you most of all for the little ones. The completely innocent lives that you take are the most damning, the most enraging, the most confounding and the most tragic. We may never understand your motives but we will never cease working to stop you in your stupid, fucking tracks! FUCK YOU!!!!! FUCK YOU, CANCER, FUCK YOU!!!!!

Enjoy these neoclassical style paintings of Mr. Bowie and Mr. Rickman (no, neither of them held the Queen’s title of “Sir” however BOTH men were offered a knighthood and both, for various reasons, turned it down).

4-David-Bowie1alan-rickman-army-general-painting

Getting Sick is Childish Just Not in the Way you Think

I wrote this yesterday….as anyone who uses Google can tell you, yesterday was Charles Perrault’s birthday, not today and none of this makes any sense to you yet.

 

It was a fun weekend; I got Strep Throat so…points. Does anyone else feel like Strep Throat is a really juvenile disease? Like it would be weird if I came to you and said “Yeah, I have the Chicken Pox” particularly since they vaccinate for that shit now. Or if I told you that I had croup or measles or Recreational Water Illness (RWI and yes, that’s a real thing. Google that shit!) or mumps or diaper rash; you would think that was weird…right? God, I fucking hope so! Or if I told you I had Tourette’s….actually, never mind, that totally tracks.

I just feel like I can’t even get a proper, grown-up ailment. Like even my diseases are refusing to grow up and be mature upstanding diseases, like arthritis or hypertension or cancer. I couldn’t have one of those fancy, grown-up illnesses like that. Nope! I got Strep Throat.

I was pretty sure, by the third day that it was Strep. I had looked at my throat with a flashlight and my tonsils were swollen roughly to the size of the average male goat’s testicles and they had all kinds of white blotches on them. That night when I went to work I (of course) looked up my symptoms on the internet and for once the internet was kind to me and told me I had Strep Throat, not Cancer of the Sudden Painful Death. Despite my raging fever and opulently grotesque and sore throat, I toughed it out through the Sunday night shift and went home.

The next morning, against all odds, it was even worse. My glands were swollen to the point they were causing me to have earaches and headaches, not to mention the fact that it kind of looked like I had a fleshy doughnut lodged beneath my chin. I had planned on going to the doctor as soon as I could drag my sagging corpse out of bed.

At the doctor’s office, the best part was the man-nurse who was getting me all checked in and checked out before the doctor could come in. He said, “So, you think you have Strep?” and I replied in the affirmative, listing off my various symptoms; swollen glands, earaches, swollen tonsils, white spots on the tonsils, fever etc. He then proceeds to tell me that “most of the time it’s not Strep” citing that Strep is most often accompanied with swelling of the glands, fever, swollen tonsils, headaches or earaches etc. Now, is it just me or was his list of example symptoms practically identical to those that I had just listed? Yeah, that’s what I thought! It’s like he resented me for having the audacity to self-diagnose and therefore wanted me to be wrong.

The moment I opened my mouth so that he could swab my throat for the culture test he was met with the grim reality that he could no longer deny. The reality that…I was right! Suck it, man-nurse! It’s not my fault you’re insecure with your career choices!!! He hastily, and if you ask me a bit ham-handedly, swabbed my throat and left the room. The doctor came in not 2 minutes later, before the culture test could be completed, and asked me the same goddamn questions but at least she wasn’t an asshole about it. She looked at my throat and my ears with her fancy doctor flashlights and then popped her head out the door and someone on the other side of nurses’ station yelled, “Yep!” at her. Apparently my test had come back positive for Strep…imagine that.

In short order I was dispatched with my prescriptions and Bo and I made our way home where, for the better part of the afternoon, we snuggled, listened to music, and watched “Pirates of the Caribbean” on Netflix because that’s how we roll.

So far Bo has managed to avoid getting it but when I dropped him off at school this morning there was a big sign on the classroom door reading:
“ATTENTION PARENTS! We have had an outbreak of Strep Throat….blah, blah, etc.”
Which pretty much just cemented my belief that I cannot even get sick like an adult. There’s probably no hope for me.

                                                                                                                                                                            

On to a completely different topic; today is the 338th birthday of French author, storyteller, mythmaker, the legendary Charles Perrault. He is responsible for nearly every title we think of as “Classic Fairy Tales” and he was doing it over a century before the Brothers Grimm. He is the progenitor of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss n’ Boots, Bluebeard and many others. He is also thought to be the creator of Mother Goose, having first published “Les Contes de Ma Merè L’Oye” or “Tales from my Mother Goose” in 1697. Needless to say Disney would not even exist if it were not for Charles Perrault.

I just wanted to give Chuck a shout-out on his birthday and use this opportunity to share some of the incredible illustrations that his works have inspired for the last 3 centuries! I hope y’all enjoys these as much as I do! XOXO

RUDOLF KOIVU 1942

Rudolf Koivu 1942 Sleeping Beauty

CHARLES BOWATER

Charles Bowater 2012 Sleeping Beauty

FELIX LIROUX 1921

Felix Liroux 1921 Puss N’ Boots

FELIX LIROUX CIND

Felix Liroux 1926 Cinderella

ABIGAIL LARSEN SB

Abigail Larson 2010 Sleeping Beauty

ADRIENNE SEGUR 1951

Adrienne Segur 1951 Little Red Riding Hood

FELIX LORIOUX 1926

Felix Liroux 1926 Cinderella

crane_sleepingbeauty

Walter Crane 1876 Sleeping Beauty

ADASA SKLIUTAUSKAITE_1973

Adasa Skliutauskaite 1973 Cinderella (STUNNING!)

ADRIENNE SEGUR 1967

Adrienne Segur 1967 Puss N’ Boots

WALTER CRANE 1876

Walter Crane 1876

KY KRAFT 1992

K. Y. Kraft 2000 Cinderella

KY KRAFT 92

K. Y. Kraft 2000 Cinderella

ARTHUR RACKHAM SB

Arthur Rackham 1911 Sleeping Beauty

ARTHUR RACKHAM 1902

Arthur Rackham 1902 Little Red Riding Hood

HARRY CLARKE 1922

Harry Clarke 1922 Little Red Riding Hood

GUSTAVE DORE 1862

Gustave Dore 1862 Puss N’ Boots

KAY NIELSEN 1913

Kay Nielsen 1913 Sleeping Beauty

KAY NIELSEN BLUEBEARD

Kay Nielsen 1909 Bluebeard

IMG_0555

Mary Blair 1952 Cinderella

HARRY CLARKE 1922_SLEEPING BEAUTY

Harry Clarke 1922 Sleeping Beauty

MARY BLAIR SLEEPING BEAUTY

Mary Blair Ca. 1960 Sleeping Beauty

GUSTAVE DORE 1862_1

Gustav Dore 1862 Little Red Riding Hood

EDMUND DULAC 1910

Edmund Dulac 1910 Cinderella

TRINA SCHART HYMAN 1983

Trina Schart Hyman (not making that up) 1983 Little Red Riding Hood

LUCY LEVENSON QUILT

Lucy Levenson 2014 Sleeping Beauty quilt….YEAH! That’s a goddamn quilt, y’all!!!

 

Into the Mouth of Hell

I am sorry this is so long….it’s like 2,000 words. I wouldn’t even read it but I sort of had to because I wrote it. It’s actually probably full of typos because I am way too lazy to edit that many words……

So, last weekend Bo and I needed to get out of the house (read: if I didn’t take him to do something I was gonna put him in a burlap sack full of rocks and throw him in the Cedar River). The weather was not great; we had gone to park the day before and my toes had nearly fallen off by the time we made it back home because my stupid ass decided to wear chucks in 29 degree weather. Needless to say I wanted to do something where being outside was….optional or not at all. I decided we should go to the Crossroads Mall!!! I always imagine an old timey postcard where the font gets larger as it stretches across the card when I say things that I am really excited about! In an effort to illustrate, literally, what I mean, I made this old timey postcard:

crossroads mall

I put in the Carousels because they have one at Crossroads Mall! They also have a coin-operated elephant ride, cars, speedboat, rocket ship, helicopter, train, bucking bronco, and ferris wheel…and they are all just one quarter…ONE FUCKING QUARTER….TWENTY-FIVE GODDAMN CENTS!!!! I suspect you are beginning to grok my enthusiasm for this place. They also have a Half Price Books, an independently owned toy store, a game store, one of those gigantic chess boards made of floor tiles where the pieces are almost knee-height, and don’t even get me started on the food court (it’s really more of a food piazza or food pavilion but I digress…no really, I do). With all its coin-operated toys and family-friendly stores to browse it is a great place to take a kid for a few hours or a whole day.

As if that were not enough to cement Crossroad’s as a haven for children and their desperate, bedraggled handlers, it also has a WiggleWorks. What is a WiggleWorks you ask? WiggleWorks is somewhere between the 4th and 5th circles of hell, as in it is definitely worse than pushing rocks around with a bunch of cheapskates while Plutus watches you because that’s basically like a day of doing cross-fit (at least I think it is unless I completely misunderstand what cross-fit is, which is most likely the case). But it’s not quite as bad as being forced into mortal combat with people who flunked out of anger management class, while on the surface of the river Styx, watching the sullen gargle below you….I honestly think the sullen are just there to distract you from Fillipo Argenti’s brutal right cross. That being said WiggleWorks is a candy-colored den of self imposed bedlam with sparkly, padded motorized toys, the overwhelming din of toddlers shrieking, and the vague odor of sock-feet and stale goldfish crackers. It’s also kind of awesome and it would probably be even more awesome if it weren’t in Bellevue or at least full of children being raised by people in Bellevue.

A little back story, Bellevue has another mall, a fancy mall where all the fancy people shop, but that mall kind of sucks; there are no toys (save one of those giant, foam boat thingys that can only be found in mall play areas), no cool shops, NO BOOKSTORE, AND (most outrage-inducing) NO FUCKING FOOD COURT/PAVILION/PIAZZA!!!! How dare you even call yourself a mall at that point? It’s like they think they’re too good for a Wetzel’s Pretzels and decided to just put a Palomino and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse right next to the mall…tastefully distant as it is across the street…but you can totally take the skybridge there.

So in the lofty shadow of Bellevue’s other mall, Crossroads was often cast off (by most Eastsiders) as Bel Square’s declassé, white-trash cousin that no one wanted to admit they slept with whenever they came to town. But times change and while Crossroads is still the lesser mall it has developed it’s own atmosphere and charms specific only to it and  plus, all those rich, obnoxious yuppies had kids and have to bring them somewhere, right?

So, Bo and I embarked on a day at the mall, starting first, as we always do, at the bookstore where we leisurely and thoroughly pored over the children’s section, taking things off the shelf, sitting on the floor, reading entire books to one another, getting giddy together over the possibilities of what might make the journey home with us that day. We must have spent about two hours just in the bookstore that day…and for those of you who have 4 and/or 5 year olds at home you understand that a small miracle that has occurred here. We then went walking around, rode the carousel, (which was out of order so the parents just had to push it in circles which was actually pretty cool because you could get it going much faster than it would otherwise allow itself to go and the horses still went up and down), browsed the toy store (FOREVER but it was cool because they had Breyer Horses so I was totally occupied), game store, comic book shop (OH YES! There is a comic book shop…did I forget to mention that), rode the Tusko Jr. the elephant, and ambled through the food pavilion talking about what we might want to eat. All the while I would occasionally toss a furtive glance in the direction of WiggleWorks to see if the enormous line had died down.

We (read: I) had completely lost track of time. All I knew was that I was hungry when I suddenly saw that there was no line at WiggleWorks and dragged Bo down there with me to be put on the list. As soon as he peered into the huge storefront windows and saw all the sock-footed little people darting around the sparkly, mechanicals he was mesmerized. I was then informed by the woman at the desk who was the guardian all this chaos that there was no longer a wait-list, but they would be closing at 6 pm because it was a holiday (New Year’s Day). I quickly asked her the time. We had one hour and 22 minutes to take full advantage of our WiggleWorks entry fee and we were going to do it, empty stomachs be damned!!!

Bo shed his boots and ran headlong into the padded play area. Now, when I say things are sparkly, I am not kidding. Everything in WiggleWorks is covered with padding which is then covered in high-shine, glitter vinyl in one of four colors; white, lime-green, hot-pink, and sky-blue. It sort of looks like a My Little Pony barfed all over the rubber room of an insane asylum. There is an elevated bouncy house with an inflatable slide and this one netted area called the Balloon Room where huge balloons crash about in a constant whirlwind created by a fan in the bouncy floor. It’s basically magic and, when full of braying children, a little like Thunderdome. This was, of course, Bo’s favorite part and he spent the majority of his time in the balloon room despite repeated misfortunes.

At one point Bo and a girl, slightly older than he, were warring over the purple balloon. Bo had the balloon and the little girl wanted it. Bo handed it over and she began to taunt him with it. He grabbed it back in a good-natured effort to create some kind of game wherein they could both enjoy the balloon. She was having none of it…and decided her best course of action was to bite him, HARD, on his arm. I had looked down and missed the offense but the guy next to me said “Holy shit, that little girl just bit your son!” At that moment I saw Bo’s face fall and the tears began to stream down his hot, red cheeks, as he exited the balloon room in a hail of sobs. He came to me, holding his injured arm and could barely make out the words between heaving sobs, “She, she bit me!!!” He was equal parts hurt physically and completely stunned. I told him that some people don’t like to play the same games as him. His wailing subsided and he allowed me to pull up his sleeve and, where I was expecting to see nothing, there was a huge, purple welt in the two half-moon shapes where the little girl’s upper and lower jaws had clamped around my son’s flesh and it was FUCKING BLEEDING! At which point I was like, “OH UH-UH!!!”I tugged Bo over to where I thought the little girl’s mother was standing, pointed at the girl and said, “is that your daughter?” with barely concealed rage. The woman looked up at me confused. I repeated “The little girl in the purple dress with the hearts on it, is that your daughter?” when the woman sitting next to her looked up and said, “That my daughter….” She trailed off in such a way that let you know this was not the first time she had been confronted in this manner and that she knew what was coming next. I thrust Bo’s wounded arm under her nose and spat, “Your little girl  BIT MY SON!” She applied the appropriate expression of horror and remorse. It was then that we realized neither of us had any idea what to do next. She knew she had no control over what her daughter did, for if she had the little monster probably wouldn’t be biting people in the first place. I was so angry but I also understood the shame and humiliation on the face of the woman across from me. As parents, we have all had moments when we are embarrassed and ashamed about the lack of control we have over our child. There was nothing for me to do but suggest that she teach her daughter a more effective way of expressing her displeasure with a situation and stalk off in an indignant huff.

Later on, in the balloon room another child, a little boy, punched Bo, closed-fisted, right in the face….THE FUCK?  Seriously people?!?! I understand that kids roughhouse and can lose their grip sometimes but this shit was just out of fucking control! You can tell, by looking at a child, if they have never been told “no” in their life and as I wheeled around, taking in the gnawing, clamoring rugrats that surrounded me, I could see that look everywhere as their parents hovered over them snapping picture after picture with their iPhones, stopping occasionally to post the photos to Instagram and Facebook, blissfully unaware or at least in denial about the horrible little people their precious babies were becoming, had become or would eventually become. Thankfully WiggleWorks was getting ready to close by then. We had survived our hour and 22 minutes among the miserly and wrathful with most of our person and a little of our dignity intact.

The mall was closing and we did not get to avail ourselves of the wonders of the food pavilion, a fact for which I have still not forgiven Bo. We stumbled, bleary-eyed, dehydrated and starved to the nearest door after exiting the mall. Thankfully it was a Tutta Bella, where we shared a cheese pizza in silence and mommy got to order a Negroni because, GODDAMN, I needed a motherfucking cocktail after that shit!

I mean FLUFF Piece

This week an hilarious Buzzfeed “article” has been circulating wherein the author took quotes from Harry Potter and replaced the word “wand” with the word “penis”. The results were fantastically giggle-inducing. I thought “What fun! I could totally do this and I wouldn’t have to actually write anything!” So, because I am incredible lazy and not very creative I give you….Classic Literature quotes with vaginas….I know I could have thought of a clever name for this activity but see above regarding laziness and lack of creativity.

I did adhere to a few rules; I did not add or take away any words just replaced on word with the word “vagina” and if that word appeared more than once in the quote it had to also be changed to “vagina”.

“There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of vagina.” – Victor Hugo

“Shoot all the Blue-Jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember, it’s a sin to kill a vagina.” – Harper Lee

“I see vagina everywhere, in the stars, in the river; to me vaginas are everything that exists…” – Virginia Woolf (because, DUH!)

“Whatever our vaginas are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Bronte

“I love vagina and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (I always thought it was Faulkner that was the real poon-hound)

“Vaginas are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling (truebiz right there Rudy!)

“For she had vaginas and chose me.” – William Shakespeare

“And if you gaze for long into a vagina, the vagina gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

““Wilbur never forgot vagina. Although he loved vagina’s children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new vaginas ever quite took her place in his heart.” – E.B. White

“If he loved vagina with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn’t love vagina as much as I do in a single day.” – Emily Bronte

“When today fails to offer the justification for vagina, tomorrow is the only grail worth pursuing.” – Arthur Miller

““The vagina you love and the vagina who loves you are never, ever the same vagina.” – Chuck Palahniuk

““There is no sound more annoying than the chatter of a vagina, and none more sad than the silence they leave when they are gone.” – Mark Lawrence

AND I decided to give Jane Austen her own sections because there were too many good ones to leave any out:

“She was sensible and clever, but eager in vagina.” – Jane Austen (I heard THAT!)

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of vagina.” – Jane Austen (If you say so but I tend to prefer mine stalwart.)

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own vagina she must seek them abroad.” – Jane Austen

“Pictures of vagina make me sick and wicked.” – Jane Austen (Sheesh!)

“Know your own vagina. Want for nothing but patience or give it a more fascinating name: call it cunt!” – Jane Austen (she’s really working blue now.)

“How often is happiness destroyed by vagina, foolish vagina.” – Jane Austen (I thought she was supposed to be a feminist…)

Okay, I won’t take up any more of your time because, honestly, Jane Austen and I could do this all damn day. Thanks for wasting a few minutes with me today! XOXO

 

Undignified Shit I Did This Week

I started this last year…on Dec. 29th, when a yearly wrap-up would have made sense but then I wandered off…I probably just got drunk and forgot. But lets say I was doing something really cool. I was totally trapped in a mine shaft with nothing but a Zippo lighter, a pack of chewing gum, my pet lemur and one of those giant plastic eggs that you get panty hose in, the panty hose, however, were long since gone. I will tell you the story of my daring escape sometime very soon (crosses fingers behind back). Enjoy!

I think this is when everyone is doing their yearly wrap-up; events occurred, lessons learned (HA!), milestones reached, goals achieved, but when I looked back on this year and thought about all the cool/dazzling/surprising/terrifying things that have happened to me I, in my limited wisdom, decided that remembering all that shit was too hard. So I am just gonna give you the broad strokes for the year and then move along to the more recent events….that I have yet to blackout.

Broad Strokes for 2015 = went to loony bin, got engaged, got a real job that pays me money (albeit not much) for doing something I enjoy, moved into a great house with my beautiful little family, am now sitting at computer writing this.

That being said, it was not a year without its merits. It’s just that I have already written about most of them (except for having my first square job, but believe me, we’ll get there…soon). So instead of a lengthy and all together useless reflection I give you, “Undignified Shit I Did This Week”. Okay, I know what you’re thinking; that should just be the title of every one of my posts. But sometimes I write about my abhorrent behavior from more than a week ago…SO THERE! So lets stop arguing semantics and get down to the proverbial brass tacks.

  1. Pulled a Hershey’s Kiss wrapper out of my bra. I have no idea how long it had been in there.
  2. Made a White Russian but had no cream so I just used Bailey’s which basically resulted in a giant glass of booze, which I then drank….two of….and totally would have gone back for a third had I not been swept deftly away from family Christmas by my sober better half. Thanks Honey!!!
  3. Drank 30 year old scotch….from the bottle. Frankly, there was just a nip left and it didn’t seem worth dirtying a glass for that much scotch. Plus, there were no clean glasses.
  4. Ate Pop Tarts (in the interest of full disclosure they were generic “Pop Tarts” from Grocery Outlet called “America’s Choice Toaster Pastries” and I feel very patriotic whilst eating them) for every meal of the day…for 3 days. Frankly it’s a wonder I don’t have diabetes…or scurvy. I think I have mange though, can humans get mange?
  5. Decided the line was too long at Fred Meyer. Stole groceries instead of waiting in line. This was really the best option as it saved me from having to write them a bad check anyway. Win win!
  6. Did not have tissue in the car, found an old sweater in the back seat, used that as tissue. It’s still in the car too. I haven’t removed it to have it washed like a normal, undisturbed human being.
  7. Decided that the best part of being an adult is that I can do all of those things, and while I remain profoundly unsuitable for decent society, at the end of the day, and each and every day, I am the only one who is responsible for my happiness. And if I can be happy being who I am then I guess I am doing an okay job.

Hey guys! Happy New Year, again! Love yourselves (not what I mean, you there in the back, get your hand out of your pants, this is not that kind of party), be awesome, make someone happy today even if it’s you! XOXO

 

 

I *AM* Ashamed of Myself So Will Everyone Stop Telling Me That I Should Be!

A letter I included in a recently returned pile of library books…yes, they were overdue. I am a horrible person. I think that is well-established public knowledge. Some of this might even be true. I can’t remember.

 

“Dear  Library People,

I borrowed this book and unfortunately it had a bit of a mishap. My water bottle came open in my bag of library books and “Green Eggs and Ham” appears to have gotten the worst of it. I know what you’re thinking; “What kind of idiot puts a water bottle in a bag of books?” and I am here to assure you that I am just that kind of idiot. I have my moments….where I make “good decisions” (I am making sarcastic air quotes with my hand right now but you can’t see that because this is just a letter and not a video message or a hologram message like they have in Star Wars) or “do the right thing” but I’ll be honest, those moments are few and far between. Most of the time I make poor choices, usually motivated by my magnificent laziness. That’s probably how the water bottle ended up in the book bag. I was probably just sick of carrying it and thought “What the heck, I’ll just throw it in this bag. It’ll totally be fine”. Well, it was not fine and now “Green Eggs and Ham” as all soggy and has started to mold. Yes, mold. It went unnoticed for several days because I am also the kind of person who would not notice a mess like that because I am surrounded by  messes. I am the person who could probably survive for 3 weeks with the food that is currently on the floor of my car. I regularly use the underside of my skirt or the inside of my sleeve to clean off my eyelash curler. I once found a bunch of grapes under the passenger seat of my car that had been there so long they, through some miracle of forced dehydration from the footsie heater, had become actual honest-to-god raisins…not just rotten grapes, but raisins! I ate them. They tasted like the inside of a a jelly sandal. That being said I think it stands to reason that a little spilled water would fly under the radar, so to speak, for a few days.

Once I discovered the that the book had been utterly saturated I decided that I would try to dry it off. This was a fool’s errand….which is exactly the kind of errand on which I will, apparently, go eagerly and willingly. First I set the book on the coffee table, turned the gas fireplace on and fanned out the pages as best I could but even as best I could was not enough in this particular case because the pages were mostly stuck together in 3 or 4 sodden clumps. I then tried all my best tricks to remove the mold from the pages (i.e. bleach, rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid [this is a real thing! I swear! I used lighter fluid all the time to clean books at the shop….just not in front of the fireplace] etc.). As I alluded to in my parenthetical citation just now, it turns out that lighter fluid, paper and fireplaces do strange bedfellows make and by “strange” I mean one giant fireball engulfing the better part of my forearm so, if the book has a little light singing and smells peculiarly of burnt human hair…well, that’s my bad.

The upshot of all this is that rubber-banded to the plastic bag which held this letter as well as the vanquished “Green Eggs and Ham” is a brand new copy of “Green Eggs and Ham”. With that I was hoping we could consider this matter closed and, without further censure, move on with our book borrowing/lending relationship.

Warmest Regards,
Dacia L. Hanson
http://www.thebibliodiva.com

P.S. PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY LIBRARY CARD AWAY!!!!!”