Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm actually a really nice person, I swear!

So, yesterday I was sitting in the drive-through banking line, trying to cash some checks. Funny, they were really bummed that I just wanted to Cash My Fucking Checks. No, I don't want to deposit them. No, I don't care that I've been pre-approved for a credit card. Really - I'm good.

So, I'm sitting there, and I realize that the lady with no chin in the next lane is filling out her checkbook register. While she's pulled up to the little station thingy. Like, she'd done her banking and was going to sit there and record it all. Well, ok. There wasn't a line.

I continued to wait. And then I realized that the lady with no chin had completed her careful recordkeeping and was, in a move appropriate for What Chaps Me ... reading a catalog. In her car. Pulled up to the drive-through banking terminal thingy. And there was now a car waiting behind her.

My jaw dropped. And then I looked away. I try really hard to avoid things that are going to bring undue stress or ire to my life. But I could help it - she just sat there! With no chin! Reading a flippin' catalog! And she was obviously done with her banking transaction!

I finally got my cash, pulled out (promptly, thank you) and the car behind the lady with no chin backed up and pulled into my lane. And still, the lady just sat there.

I saw her about 20 minutes later at the Goodwill three miles down the road (yes, I like Goodwill. Who are you to judge?). She looked appropriately clueless. I stuck with my snap judgement and moved on with my snarky, critical self.

But today I wondered: was sitting in the drive-through banking lane her way of sticking it to The Man? Was she a fun and crazy woman who was just walking to her own beat? Or a menace to fine, upstanding citizens who just want to cash their damn checks?

I'm annoyed that this annoys me. Be quirky on your own time. Don't make me bask in your freakishness.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I like Monday.

This morning started out with a bang - The Project From Hell has yet another wrinkle. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say that this project is turning out to be even more painful than growing out a perm.

Yeah, you knew me in eighth grade. I had the trifecta of awkward - glasses, braces and a perm that wouldn't die. You know you think I'm hot.

Anyway, this morning started out with me crying. Over work. Yes. Because I am that big of an idiot. And when you're crying over something stupid and you realize it, it just makes you cry more because you know you're stupid. It's a vicious cycle.

So, I pulled my shit together and got ready to face the day.

And then?

And then Foxie Doxie performed his Dance of Destruction, in which he runs from bed to couch and back again, all at alarming Foxie Doxie speed. Those short little legs really go.

Except on the second lap of Dance of Destruction, he skipped the bed and instead landed on my lap. As I was sitting on the toilet.

He burrowed his silky little head into my armpit and I knew it was going to be a good day.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here. Try on my stinky socks.

So, Mr. eHarmony and I have been trying on families as of late. He met my parents a few weeks ago, and I met his yesterday. Everyone is lovely, and I think we each passed The Parental Test. At least he hasn't called to tell me that his mother forbids him to see me ever again. I mean, he hasn't called yet.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

He's accompanying me on a trip to the homeland next week to score some furniture. It's my grandparents' bedroom suite, and considering that I haven't had the luxury of a dresser for almost three years, I'm pretty much pumped. Think about the storage! I'm betting I'll no longer keep my lifetime supply of Target t-shirts in a pile on my closet floor. I'm going to be rich!

The catch is that the furniture is in a storage unit that's the center of a family, uh, scuffle. There's an estate and there are warring factions and it's rather embarrassing, considering that all those involved are supposedly adults.

So I've been trying to explain the situation to Mr. eHarmony, just as background. He jokingly called me white trash (yeah, and your point is?), but it got me to thinking. You always think it's your family that's normal, and everybody else's is whack.

Introducing a new significant other (there, I said it) to the mix grants you just a touch of momentary objectivity. But mostly, I feel sheepish about introducing him into situation that's flawed, even if it if rife with juicy gossip. It's sort of like giving someone your gym clothes right after class and expecting them to politely ignore the stench and sweat.

Conversely, it's your job to take the stinky clothes and say thanks, to pretend that everybody has an auntie who talks too much and a bipolar cousin. But the truth is, we all probably do. It's part of what makes us interesting and human and alive.

I guess that's part of the issue with a few of my family members: when you pretend that everything is perfect, the world sees right through your shit and calls you out. If you're just honest, people feel comfortable and love you.

So, it's that mindset that I'm attempting to hold on to as Mr. eHarmony steps into the family fire with me. See? It's flawed! Isn't it perfect?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In which my brain is fried.

A year ago, I was working for The Evil Editor at Corporate Behemoth.

The Evil Editor was a micromanager who responded to all of my work with "Uh, yeah, NO" and several quick, painful strikes of her red pen. Unless she did it herself, it wasn't good enough, and she would argue with anyone who got in her way. She was a bully.

Lo and behold, a year later, I have both my gig and The Evil Editor's gig. She has moved on to greener pastures - pastures where style guides grow on trees and red ink flows like wine. Good for her.

But bully for me. I understand now why she was so uptight. I am completely overwhelmed.

Right now, I'm struggling between "If I just work allll night, I'll be sort of caught up" and "Fuck that shit, I've already worked eight hours today and this is supposed to be the slow time of the year. I'm having a beer, you bitches."

So, there's that. And then there are the freelance projects I've picked up in a vain attempt to put a dent in the debt I owe my parents. Like they care, but still.

And the real trouble with Mr. eHarmony? I mean, besides his being all kind and smart and funny and cute and generally wonderful?

He makes me want to do stuff besides work. I now see the value in having a personal life that's more than paying dues by attending social events so that I can still claim some friends.

I see the value in having a life.

Again, bully for me. But now I have to figure out if I can reconcile my intense job with having the life for which the job is supposed to be the means to the end. And reconciling it so that I'm never, ever thought of as The Evil Editor. That's not how I roll.

I think I need a housekeeper and a personal assistant. I don't ask for much.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I like Monday.

Shh! I've been very quiet as of late. I've been busy harboring a fugitive. Now that Foxie Doxie's a killah, do you think he'll get a record contract or just be stuck playing in the NFL?

I've also been delightfully busy harboring my college roommates, who came for our annual girls' weekend. Four former sorority house roommates + nothing really to do or talk about = super fantastic fun weekend.

For reals.

We ate fried chicken. We revisited gossip of ages past (did whats-her-name reallllllly get caught getting it on with another woman in the sorority house?). We grilled each other on 80s trivia. And, if it will make your Monday better, I'll say we had topless pillow fights, just like in the old days (although that one isn't at all true).

I have a one-bedroom, one-office house, so the two ladies visiting from out of town got my room and I slept on an air mattress in the office. I should be ecstatic that they left this morning and I get my room back.

But I'm not. I almost cried at the airport.

It's so good for the soul to have friends who knew you when and who love you anyway. And it's good for the soul to laugh until you think you're going to wet yourself over something that happened 15 years ago.

I'm so thankful for these ladies' love and friendship, and I'm so proud of the strong women that they've become. We persevered over the bad perms and over sized t-shirts of our youth and become deep, true friends. And that makes me like Monday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I like Monday.

Hurray for summer! And hurray for the fact that it’s socially acceptable – and jealousy-inducing – to go out for ice cream.

Think about it. It’s perfectly normal to leave your house, after dark even, to go get ice cream. And not even a large vat of ice cream – we’re talking an individual serving. It’s perfectly acceptable for an individual or individuals to travel from their home at night to get a single serving of ice cream.

And it’s ok if it’s a bit of a trek, too.

Think about it. If a friend left her house on a regular basis to go fetch an individual serving of cheesecake – and then ate it in her car or sitting on a sidewalk – well, you’d schedule an intervention.

But if it was ice cream? Rock on with your bad self!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I'm in love with a killah.

So, a few months ago, Foxie Doxie found a bunny nest in the backyard. From said nest, he extracted the coolest, most funnest squeaky toy evah.

And I was the meanest mommy ever, because I chased Foxie Doxie around the backyard, swatting him with a J. Jill catalogue and screaming, "DROP it! Drop IT!"

He finally complied and the little bunny ran off to start what was sure to be years and years of counseling.

Everybody lived happily ever after. Until today.

We slept in freakishly late, and then the boys loitered in the backyard. Geriatric Poodle finally came in, and he and I watched half an hour of While You Were Sleeping (Dear TBS: Thank you for all the shitty movies you play on weekends. Seriously. Thank you.). Finally, I decided to investigate Foxie Doxie's doings in the yard.

My opening the storm door spooked the now adolescent bunny, and started a horrifying chain of events. The bunny had been hiding under the deck, and when he got spooked, he ran back into the yard. Foxie Doxie then chased him back to the deck, and then the bunny ran towards the neighbor's yard, only to be greeted by their beagles.

And I stood on my deck in my pajamas (I just had dental surgery: who are you to judge?) and screamed at Foxie Doxie. And he ignored me. Because I am an effective parent.

Finally, Foxie Doxie chased the bunny under the deck. Note that my deck is approximately one foot off the ground, and there's tacky little fencing all around it to prevent such Foxie Doxie entry.

The dog finally came out from under the deck, and I grabbed his punk ass carcass and threw him in his kennel. He was just dirty - no bunny parts in his mouth or anything. I figured the bunny would now need to step up his counseling and that in-patient care would probably be a good idea.

Tonight, I figured I should double check to make sure that there wasn't anything under the deck. I grabbed a flashlight and stepped into the backyard to find the mama bunny standing next to the deck.

There's a bunny carcass under the deck, rotting away right under my back door. You know, right next to the grieving mama.

Fuck. And could the mama break my heart just a little bit more?

I need to pry some of the tacky fencing off the deck, crawl around on my belly with a rake and fish the body out. And then, what am I supposed to do with a dead bunny? Is this an acceptable item for the trash? Won't it make my garage smell? Trash day is on Friday, which is about 17 years from now.

When I got a dog, I so didn't sign up for this. Same with when I got a house. Same for being a grown-up. Dude, I am just here for the beer. I don't do dead bunny removal.

And how am I supposed to let this super affectionate, 12-pound dog lick my face and sleep on my pillow? Granted, I gave him a bath to end all baths, but Foxie Doxie is a cold, hard killer. He killed someone. And that isn't cool. First it's a bunny, then it's a Girl Scout. I could be next.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cha Cha and the City

I always fancied myself a Carrie. I’m a writer, right? And I have outrageous jewelry and carry vintage handbags. Totally a Carrie.

And then? And then I went out with the guy who peeled callouses off his hands and ate them.

It was then that I realized that although I like to fancy myself a Carrie, really, deep down, my little Episcopalian self is a Charlotte. I’m finicky and precise and would never, ever date a married man. Totally a Charlotte.

In my drug-induced stupor the other night, however, I had a much larger epiphany. Save your “The SATC girls are caricatures of aspects of every woman’s personality” comments – dude, I know. This theme has been picked to death, but I am slow. Gimme a break.

I’m Miranda.

And Mr. eHarmony is Steve.

I was flipping channels and caught Miranda’s “I use canned spaghetti sauce. And sometimes I don’t do laundry for, like, two weeks. And my sponges smell” diatribe.

And my little brain began to scream through the painkillers. “Yes! Yes! She is our people’s spokesmodel!”

And then Steve just hugged her anyway.

Mr. eHarmony is, like, way nice to me. Like, all the time. Even when I’m grouchy. Even when I’m grouchy and all CadaverMouth. Even when I’m grouchy and it’s morning and I’m really grouchy and wondering why god invented other people.

I’m not really sure why. Sometimes it annoys me. Why is he so nice? Why does he appear to like me all the time, especially when I really don’t like him before 9 a.m. ever?

I never wondered why Steve liked Miranda. So maybe I should just go with this, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Night of the Living Gums

So, Saturday I had round two of Cha Cha's Periodontal Extravaganza.

Four years ago, I had some of my gums patched - a totally disgusting and completely painful surgery that should ensure that my teeth don't just randomly fall out. Dr. Periodontist, a kind man who is barely taller than my statuesque 5'2", told me that I needed to have the rest of my problem teeth addressed in about six months.

I don't know if it was the psychotic devotion to flossing or the shameless flirting with Dr. Periodontist, but I managed to stretch that six months to four years. I had dental insurance. I lost it. And then I got it again. And so, this weekend, I had more tissue from the roof of my mouth grafted over my receding gums.

Because I'm sexy like that.

I've been drugged up for the last several days and haven't exactly, well, left my house or gotten dressed. Who are you to judge?

I'm starting to feel like I might conceivably eat something besides yogurt again in this lifetime. And I'm weening myself off the Vicodin, therefore avoiding pesky rehab. But I was thrown for a loop this morning.

The nurse called to check on me and to make sure that I wouldn't be skipping out on my follow-up appointment. No problem - I'm still in pain and I'll be there on Friday. Check.

Then she said, "Dr. Periodontist also wanted you to know that he didn't want to take two strips of tissue from the roof of your mouth, so he used some a;lfj;asdlfj;s tissue."

And I'm all, "Gee, what's a;lfj;asdlfj;s tissue?"

Dude. It's cadaver tissue.

The nurse was careful to explain that it's completely safe, it's freeze-dried and they rehydrate it right in the office (like chicken bouillon?), blah blah blah. And then she mentions that it costs an additional $100.

I had a really hard time not laughing. Ok, so let me get this straight - I have a dead person in my mouth, you didn't tell me about it until now, and the privilege is costing me an additional $100 beyond what my insurance will cover?

Cool. I'm on Vicodin. I so don't give a shit.

I told Mr. eHarmony about it and now he totally wants to french kiss me. Turns out he's really into necrophilia. We are such a great match.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day.

In honor of this Fourth of July, I'm pleased to exercise a few basic freedoms.

Last night, I exercised my freedom to rock.

Dear Def Leppard,

Pour some sugar on me, indeed.

Love, Cha Cha

Today, I exercise my freedom of speech.

Dear President Bush,

You're a puppet in the hands of evil overlords Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. As a team, I think you are despicable and ought to be ashamed for all the innocent kids you're sending to die in Iraq, of the sick people you're allowing to die right here for lack of decent health care, and of the frickin' Scooter Libby deal - among other things.

I'm glad I live in a country where I'm free to voice my extreme displeasure of your regime, and I just hope we get you and your cronies out of office before you take away that freedom too.

Eat shit and die, Cha Cha

And today I also exercise my freedom to love cheesy, sequin-encrusted performers and their sweet, sweet patriotic rock.

Monday, July 2, 2007

I like Monday.

Today, I like other people's family members. And the fact that they aren't my family members.

L begged me to go to dinner with her and her sister-in-law. She even said she'd buy, and at a fancypants restaurant, too.

Actually, her exact words were, "It's going to be awful and I'd rather die. Puhleez go with me! I'll buy you dinner!"

Because I have no groceries and I like a good car wreck, I agreed.

L's sister-in-law was nice enough - but hot damn, she thinks she is damn interesting. We heard all about how her financial advisor said she could get $2K a month just from interest on her investments. And all about how she just sold her house. And her company. And the office building she bought for $480K but was happy to unload for only $400K.

L and I are both from small towns in the Midwest. We do not talk numbers. Ever. It's unneighborly.

And so when, after two glasses of wine, her sister-in-law started in on how the builder had to buy her house back due to faulty construction and how her former neighbors report to her on a daily basis about the Mexican day laborers who come in and work to repair the foundation, well, I had an epiphany.

Two, actually.

1. There are relatives worse than my Aunt TalBot.

2. I should be thankful that the unending and very detailed descriptions flowing from the sister-in-law's mouth were about real estate and not, oh, say, gynecological problems.

So much to be thankful for. I'm living the American dream, people.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

It's just not a party without Tom Jones.

So, I'm fighting a cold and using this as an excuse for still being in my bathrobe at 1:12 on a Sunday afternoon. And although I'm being productive doing some freelance work and conquering the massive avalanche of laundry that's threatening my very way of life, I'm still finding a little time to sit on the couch.

I watched a DVRed Grey's Anatomy. And then I checked the channels, where I came upon the Concert for Diana.

Hmm. I hit info.

This event is LIVE. Like, taking place today.

The DVR gods note that the featured performers are Nelly Furtado and Tom Jones. And, as is his custom, Joe Perry of Aerosmith is in the band.

This dude evidently will get out of bed for anyone or anything. (See also: Embarrassing Cameos on American Idol, specifically those involving Sanjaya.)