Monday, September 24, 2007

I am so smart, S-M-R-T

On Saturday morning, I woke up to rain tapping against my window. Ordinarily I love this sound, but at that time it was pretty much the last thing I wanted to hear, because my dining room table was set to be delivered between 11:30AM and 3:30PM.

Fuck, I thought grumpily as I stepped into the shower. They're gonna track dirt all over my freakin' carpet. As is true of pretty much every apartment dweller in America, I have that beige carpet that stains if you so much as burp, and the thought of scrubbing mud and ground-up snail shells out of it didn't particularly appeal to me.

So, after I'd dried off and gotten dressed, I decided to go to Sears and buy one of those "boot scraper" doormats. I figured that it wouldn't keep crud off my carpet entirely, but it would probably help immensely.

Anyway, I went to Sears, bought the doormat, and drove home. I unlocked my passenger door from the inside, and then I walked around and took out the doormat. It had a huge price tag on it, so I ripped it off and walked over to the dumpster, which was about ten feet away. I threw the tag in the dumpster and turned around just in time to see my passenger door close of its own accord.


So I walked back to my car, pulled on the handle, and lo and behold, it was locked. I patted my pockets for my keys, but they weren't there. I looked in the window, and my purse was sitting on the passenger seat.

My keys, somehow, had landed on the floor.

With rising dread, I rushed to the driver's side and pulled on the handle.



Let us recap, shall we?

Not only were my keys and my purse locked in my car, but my cell phone, containing the number for AAA, was locked in my car.

I ran upstairs to my nice, warm, dry, spare car key-holding apartment, flung that stupid fucking doormat down, and yanked on the knob on the supremely off chance that I, a notorious anal retentive, had left the door unlocked.

Of course not.

So I ran down to the manager's office. She's never there on weekends, but I figured I'd better at least try.


I had no idea what to do. I had no access to a phone, so I couldn't call AAA. And I didn't have a watch on, but I'd gotten home a little before 11AM, which meant that Furniture 'N' More could very well show up at any time.

Also, as previously mentioned, it was raining.


So I went back upstairs and knocked on Art Model's door. I was pretty sure she wasn't there, since her car was gone, but maybe I'd get lucky.


Finally, in complete desperation, I knocked on the door of the apartment directly below me. I'd never even seen or spoken to these people, but any port in a storm...literally.

And praise Jesus and Ganesh and all the saints, a little old woman answered the door. I quickly explained my situation, and even though I was on the verge of hysteria and my hair had frizzed out into a wild halo from the rain, this angel in a housecoat let me inside her home and gave me her cell phone, a phone book, a pen, a towel to dry off my hair, a cup of very weak tea, and a pad of paper. After hunting for what seemed like hours for AAA's number, I got hold of them and they said they'd send someone right out. I gave the woman her phone back and thanked her profusely. She offered to let me stay in her apartment, but I didn't want to impose on her any further, and I had to go outside and watch for AAA anyway.

To my absolute astonishment, a truck showed up about ten minutes later, and the huge, bald, tattooed driver unlocked my car in the same time it would take me to put on mascara in the morning. I thanked him, tipped him five bucks, and went upstairs, where I collapsed on the couch.

I'm getting my nipple pierced...and hanging my keys from it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

unless they announce a cure for cancer...

...before midnight, this will be the greatest news I've gotten all day.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Your eyes are not deceiving you; that's a BACON-STUDDED CHOCOLATE BAR.

Somewhere, Homer Simpson just pasted 'em; god knows I did when I first heard about this product.

I got a tip that they sell these at Whole Foods, but a frantic trip there turned up nothing but an employee whose face screwed up in a moue of disgust when I eagerly asked her if they sell a bacon-studded chocolate bar. When and if I manage to track one of these down, I'll let you know how it is. It's either going to be the greatest thing in the history of the world, or the most disgusting.

I can't fucking WAIT.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

all shook up

Bad things about my trip back to Minnesota:

  • I didn’t realize I had so much stuff left at Daddy-O’s house, and I had to buy an extra suitcase so I could bring it all back to California with me. Once it was stuffed with yearbooks and notebooks and cards and letters and photographs and a talking Pee-Wee Herman doll, my new suitcase weighed so much that I couldn’t even lift it. When I got to the airport, I enjoyed trying to wheel two suitcases and keep my purse and a tote bag balanced on my shoulder at the same time. I couldn’t wait to check that big mofo. (When I got home and unpacked the enormous bag, there was a card on top saying that it had been searched by Homeland Security. I guess the fact that it weighed 200 pounds and had a talking Pee-Wee Herman doll in it raised a few eyebrows when it went through the X-ray machine. I’m not mentioning this as a bad thing, just as a marginally entertaining side note.) Then, after an uneventful flight, I arrived at LAX, took a whiz, picked up my stuff at the baggage carousel...and got out to the curb just in time to see the Van Nuys flyaway bus pull away. I had to wait almost an hour for the next one, and then it took 45 minutes to get to the station, and then another half-hour to drive home.

  • Sammy, St. G’s boisterous goldendoodle , was so thrilled upon meeting me that he leaped upon me with his full weight. He’s about the size of a full-grown sheep, so there was quite a bit of force behind it. I woke up the next day covered with enormous bruises all over my thighs and stomach where his front paws had connected. Watch Fox News tonight for my shocking story: “Ravaged by a Goldendoodle”.

  • Going through all that stuff was emotionally and physically exhausting. I found a depressing number of letters I’d written to my mom apologizing for something I’d said or done, including one dated April 7, 1978 in which I entreated her to forgive me for being “crouel”.

  • Just being back in Minnesota was emotionally draining. In the ten years I lived there, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I had serious health problems, my mom died, Sprite died, I was in two car accidents, had several shitty jobs, and went through four breakups, two of which were completely unexpected. Granted, these things weren’t exactly Minnesota’s fault, but it’s hard not to make an association.

  • I missed G.

On the plus side:

  • It was good seeing Daddy-O and my brother again. Daddy-O looks amazing; he’s lost a lot of weight, and he’s obviously happier than he’s been in years. His retirement party was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing how highly regarded my father is by his friends and former coworkers.

  • As previously mentioned, I got my feed on hardcore. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to Culver’s for a Butterburger, fries, and frozen custard, but there’s always next time.

  • The organizing wasn’t all bad. I loved looking at old pictures of my parents just after they were married. In one, my mom is wearing a really cool red coat and flashing a peace sign under a sign that says “Beaver Island” (which is, no lie, where I was conceived). In another, I’m sitting in front of my dad on a carousel horse, and I’m sticking out my tongue in concentration. And in another, my brother is holding me afloat in a hotel pool, and we’re both laughing, our faces bathed in sunshine. Not that I’ve ever doubted it, but these pictures are tangible proof that I have been loved.

  • I went to the Como Zoo and cooed over tamarins and the new sloth.

  • And finally…

When I was going through boxes in the basement, I found something that actually made me gasp. I took it upstairs and asked my dad and brother about it, and neither one of them had any idea where it had come from. Not a single one of us had ever seen it before.

Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to believe this was a sign, but sadly I’m a bit too cynical to think that my mom would communicate from the great beyond using a Graceland souvenir plate. But you know what? I DO think it’s a sign that I have to go to Graceland for the both of us.

I’ll tell Elvis you said hi, Mom…and that first Fool’s Gold sandwich is for you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

food porn...and the real deal!

(Anal-retentive note: I actually wrote this yesterday, but couldn’t post it until today.)

Okay, I think we need to get something nice and steamy up in here after last entry's weepfest. Here are some of the things I've consumed since I've been here:

  • Blue moon ice cream, which is my absolute favorite and impossible to find outside of the Midwest.
  • We went to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse where waiters scurry around with different cuts of meat and carve it to your specifications at your table. They give you a little coaster that's green on one side, which means you're ready for more meat; when you're full or busy eating, you flip it over to the red side and they pass you by. I had an obscene amount of beef, including bacon-wrapped filet mignon that made me tear up with sheer gustatory joy. Dessert was a luscious piece of key lime pie.
  • Tonight, we went to Chino Latino, my favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities. I started off with a Flirtini (champagne, vodka, and pineapple juice). For my entree, I had genuine kobe beef served ishi-yaki style, which means that I cooked it myself over a hot river stone, and a side order of fluffy, aromatic jasmine rice. For dessert, R and I split the Fire Goddess Sacrificial S'mores Platter. The waitress brought us a flaming pot of sterno, and we cooked the marshmallows over the fire, put them on thin cinnamon cookies, and drizzled them to taste with chocolate, caramel, macadamia nuts, and coconut.

I'll be lucky if I crap again before September's over, thanks to all that red meat.

And as for the "real porn" part...well, remember when I read that book Mortified, which was a collection of embarrassing essays, letters, diary entries, and so on written by teenagers? In my media update, I said that somewhere in my dad's basement lurked a humiliating story I'd written as a teenager in which Daniel Ash of Bauhaus/Love and Rockets fame took me to my prom. I said, "If I ever find that thing, I may just foist it upon you."

Well, dear reader, I FOUND IT. And true to my word, even though it’s embarrassing as hell, I'm going to copy it here for lulz. I would like to remind you that I was young when I wrote this (not sure of the exact age, but probably anywhere from 12-14), so this is truly shitty.

Enjoy...and by "enjoy", I mean laugh your ass off at the sheer geekiness of my younger self. (I know, I'm geeky NOW, but at least I don't write Mary Sue fanfiction anymore!) Footnotes are at the end of the entry.

The chauffeur opened the door of the sleek black limo for me, and nervously I stepped out. I knew I looked stunning (1), and that Daniel looked dashing, but I was still afraid of everyone's reactions. No one but my family knew that I was going to be at the prom that night. I wanted to give everyone, epsecially Steve and Kitty (2), a surprise they'd never forget!

Unexpected anger swelled up in me. Never expected quiet little C to show up at the prom, did you? Well, I'm here!

"C?" A soft husky voice, flavored with a British accent, interrupted my thoughts. I looked at Daniel and it was like a cool balm being rubbed on a burn. My temper receded, and I smiled at him. He took my arm and we started toward the hotel where the prom was being held. We stopped just in front of the door, and he gazed at me with his gorgeous eyes, lined with eyeliner (3). My heart melted. "You look so beautiful standing there in the moonlight," he said, and I shivered with joy. "And your dress is magnificent, fit for the princess you are." (4)

It was true; my dress was incredible. My parents and I had split the cost of the expensive Betsey Johnson Doves in the Snow dress (5), and it had been worth every cent. The strapless bodice was accented by a sequinned bow, and the full skirt was lacy and accented my legs. I knew that no other dress at the prom, no matter how costly, would be half as beautiful as mine.

I had taken great care with the rest of my ensemble, too. I wore white lace gloves, bow-and-heart earrings, and white satin pumps. (6) On my wrist was the rose and baby's breath corsage Daniel had presented me with. My mom had spent an hour artfully applying my makeup and fixing my hair so that it fell to my shoulders in soft waves---a far cry from the usual tangled halo! Little Miss Mousy had been magically transformed into Little Miss Marvelous! (7)

Daniel looked fantastic as well in his crisp black tuxedo. I felt a pang of envy and thought jealously, guys have it so easy. All they have to do is rent a tux, brush their teeth, comb their hair, and they're ready! (8)

The doorman opened the doors to the plush lounge after taking our tickets. I had to smile as I recalled the trouble we had getting tickets. Daniel was older, and I was too young for senior prom. A discreetly slipped twenty had done the trick.

I could hear music traveling down the corridor as we stopped in front of the marble fountain in the center of the lounge. Daniel threw a coin in the sparkling water and said, "Make a wish, my love."

"It already came true," I murmured (9), and he gave me a soft passionate kiss that sent ripples of ecstasy throughout my entire being. Then we strolled down the corridor and walked into the ballroom. We were about a half-hour later, since we had enjoyed a leisurely dinner at the Velvet Turtle. (Because the prom committee was so pressed for money, they had decided not to serve dinner this year.) (10) People were already dancing. I noticed many familiar faces among the sea of people.

"C!" I heard someone yell, and I was encased in strong arms. When my attacker finally let me go, I realized in shock that it was Doug! (11)

"Doug!" I gasped. "It's been so long! How great to see you! How have you been?"

"I've been good," he replied. I made introductions, and Daniel and Doug seemed pleased to meet each other. Then Doug said, "Say, you look gorgeous. Save me a dance and we'll catch up, okay?"

I agreed happily and I hugged him before linking arms with Daniel. Then I saw who I'd been waiting for---Steve and Kitty, gaping shamelessly from across the room! Daniel noticed me looking back at them and said, "Let me guess, Kitty and Steve?" I was just about to reply when I noticed something sad in the depths of his eyes.

"Oh, Daniel! Steve is just a friend now. I don't love him anymore, I love YOU!"

Daniel laughed and twirled me around in the air until I was dizzy and begging for mercy. "That's all I needed to hear!"

Suddenly Steve and Kitty were looming in front of us. I smiled and said "Hi! You guys look great! Daniel, these are my friends Steve and Kitty. Steve and Kitty, this is my boyfriend, Daniel Ash."

"How do you do?" Kitty murmured politely, looking at me jealously.

Steve shook hands with Daniel. "Pleasure to meet you," he mumbled.

"Save me a dance, Steve. Well, if Kitty and Daniel don't mind."

"No..." Kitty whispered.

"Of course not," Daniel said, eyes twinkling merrily.

"Then it's settled!" I said happily. "Well---"

My words were interrupted by a loud screeching and then total silence. A hassled, older man stepped onto the platform. I assumed he owned or managed Embassy Suites.

"I apologize for the interruption," he said, "but something's wrong with our sound system." He silenced the dismayed groans with an upraised hand. "I assure you that we will remedy the situation as soon as possible. In the meantime, please help yourself to some complimentary punch."

Disgruntled couples headed for the tables. Daniel and I took some punch and I said, "I hope they get the sound system fixed soon."

"Oh, I don't know," Daniel teased. "I'd be just as content to stare into your angel eyes for all eternity."

"You poet, you," I teased back. He kissed me once, then buried his face in my neck and his hands in my hair. I breathed in his cologne and wished that the night would never end.

Suddenly, the sound came on, and the song that was playing was Daniel's hit "All in My Mind". "I think that's our cue," Daniel said, and led me to the dance floor, where we danced cheek to cheek. When the song ended, I said, "Daniel, I think I'm ready to go. I want to be with you tonight."

He pulled away and looked deep in my eyes. "Are you sure?"

"I've never been so sure of anything in my life," I whispered.

He smiled and led me out to the limo. "Just keep driving," he ordered the chaffeur.

"Yes sir," the chauffeur said, and favoring us with a wink, he put up the partition.

Daniel and I kissed passionately, deeply. His arms went around me and clutched my trembling body close to him. His hot wet tongue made its way into my mouth, and I shuddered with ecstasy. (12) Suddenly, he pulled away from me and stared deep in my eyes. I loved looking at him, soaking in every beloved detail of the man I adored.

"C," he whispered huskily. "Oh, gorgeous..." Momentarily at a loss for words, he kissed my hand. "If you only knew how much I---how much I love you. How much I want to make love to you," he blurted.

"Oh, Daniel, I want you too," I said.

"I'm sorry," he said sheepishly. "I always promised myself that I'd never pressure you into anything, especially sex. But I just want you so badly right now."

I was torn. I hadn't been about to discourage Daniel---just the opposite! Every time we were together, he lavished me with praise, spent loads of money on me, and made me so happy to be alive. Also, I wanted him sexually too. I had had boyfriends before, but never like Daniel. Every day I fantasized about the time we would finally do it. That time was now.


"I'm sorry, I was way out of line. I---"

"Please let me have my say," I said gently. "You've got nothing to apologize for. We all have these---these needs." Somehow this struck us as funny, and we giggled. Then I grew serious again and said, "I'm no exception to the rule. Believe me, I get horny a lot! But before now, there was never any love behind the desire. I do love you, very much, and I'm glad you asked me because I never would have had the courage to ask you myself."

"Do you mean---"

I laughed giddily. "Yes, Daniel, yes! I want you to make love to me until the sun rises!"

He gently pushed me down on the seat and reached behind me to unzip my dress. Then he deftly unhooked my bra, and my naked chest was exposed to his view.

"You're so beautiful," he murmured as his hands glided over my aching, erect breasts. Using light strokes, he caressed me until I writhed with joy. I felt like I would burst. He let go of them and ran his skilled hands over my heaving sides. He hooked his fingers under the elastic of my panties and slipped them down around my legs. He devoured me with his eyes for a brief, intense moment, then he bent over me. I groaned and shivered as his pliant mouth met my tender pink flesh. His tongue circled my sizzling womanhood (13) and eagerly lapped at me.

Then he rose abruptly, just as I was about to enjoy my first interpersonal orgasm. He divested himself of his clothes and flung them on the floor on top of mine. He wasn't wearing any underwear, and I gasped at his endowment. (14)

"What's wrong?" he asked worriedly.

"You're just so huge!" I stammered.

He grinned. "I'll take that as a compliment, my love," he said tenderly, running his hands through my hair.

And then he was hovering over me, lips covering mine. It felt so good to have his muscular sweaty body against mine! I unabashedly parted my legs and felt him graze the core of my being. (15) He teased me with it and then drove inside.

I moaned with a strange mixture of pain and pleasure. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. It was beginning to feel better every second. I hugged his bucking back as beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. I reveled in exquisite ripples of ecstasy.

My cries intensified as my climax grew imminent. The noise seemed to incite him and he pounded harder against me. I came in waves that seemed like they would never stop! Seeing my excitement lit a fire in him and he shot inside of me and withdrew from me.

"Oh Jesus," he moaned, ensnaring me in his grasp. "Oh, that was so fantastic, baby!"

I was sore but it felt good. I curled up closer to him and we fell asleep in each other's arms.

The next thing we knew, we were blinking as daylight hit our faces. The chauffeur was leaning into the door, smirking at us. "Sorry to disturb you, sir and madam, but if you want to keep riding, you'll have to pay for another hour."

Daniel reached into his wallet and threw a hundred dollar bill at him. "Keep the change, and keep bloody driving."


1. I did mention this was a fantasy, yes?

2. Steve was a genially goofy guy, two years older, that I used to hang out with. I had a massive crush on him, and I was hoping he would take me to the prom, but he took someone else instead. And yes, her real name was Kitty.

3. Daniel Ash rocked the guyliner way before guyliner was cool.

4. Urp, here comes that kobe beef!

5. I saw this dress in Seventeen; obviously it made a big impression on me.

6. It was the eighties!

7. Seriously gonna puke now.

8. I still feel this way.

9. Hi, ripoff of Sixteen Candles much?

10. This is quite possibly the most pointless explanation ever.

11. Doug was really hot, had a Mustang, AND told a boy who was bullying me to leave me alone or else he'd kick his ass after school. Needless to say, massive crushage ensued.

12. I sure thought sex involved a lot of trembling and shivering and shuddering.

13. Maybe I should have gotten that looked at by a doctor. Also, My Sizzling Womanhood would be an awesome band name.



Sunday, September 16, 2007

the mug

Daddy-O moved in with G, his fiancee, a couple of months ago, and he's planning on putting his house on the market soon. They're not going to move out of state for at least two years, but with the housing market as shitty as it is, he figured that he might as well get it ready as soon as possible. (G lives in a highly coveted area of Minneapolis---Josh Hartnett used to be her neighbor until his fans found out where he lived---and, since there will probably be no problem whatsoever selling her house, there's not as much of a rush.) Anyway, Daddy-O asked if I could come back to Minnesota for his retirement party and to go through the basement and retrieve anything I wanted and put everything else in piles for sale, donation, or trash.

On Thursday, at the obscene hour of 3AM, I dragged myself out of bed, showered, scarfed down breakfast, and drove myself to the Van Nuys airport shuttle. I parked my car, rode the bus, waited in the terminal for about an hour, and then boarded my flight. I sat in the very last row of the plane, next to an elderly woman and her son, a loud man in his forties who thought it was hysterical to yell "We're all gonna die!" whenever we hit turbulence.

Oh, how I wished that an air marshal was on board to smash his face into the floor and handcuff him, and that the flight would end with him being dragged away for a cavity search and extensive questioning.

Other than that dick, the flight wasn't too bad. I wasn't able to sleep because of the turbulence and ensuing comments from Prickass McDickerson, but I had my DS with me, and the time went by quickly.

My brother R picked me up at the airport, and we stopped for lunch before heading back to the house. The walls had been repainted, and the light fixtures had been replaced with gorgeous bronze and glass chandeliers. There are still a few more improvements to be made, but overall the house looks much better than it did the last time I was here.

Daddy-O came over around 4, and we went to Famous Dave's for dinner and then back to the house to talk. He asked me to keep an eye out for certain things when I'm organizing, especially any of the books my grandfather wrote...which, to our astonishment, sell for over $250 on Ebay. (Not, of course, that we WOULD sell them.)

I had the house to myself on Friday; Daddy-O was helping get things organized for the party, and R wasn't able to get the day off work. To my delight, I got to sleep in THE bed last night. I obviously haven't slept in every bed in the world, but I cannot imagine that there's one more comfortable than this one. It's like having the best orgasm of your life and then falling asleep on a mattress filled with kitten fur, marshmallows, and clouds.

I woke up feeling completely relaxed and more than a little hedonistic, so I ate breakfast in bed while reading the new issue of People. When I was done, I reluctantly got out of bed, showered, and then headed down to the basement storage room to get to work.

It took about two minutes for me to be engulfed in tears.

A tin of Christmas ornaments, including the only one left from the set my parents bought for their first Christmas together.

The blue rhinestone-studded collar that my beloved Sprite wore from the time he was a kitten up until the day he died.

Yearbooks filled with the faces of people who hated me for no reason, who called me things that haunt me to this day, who would wait for me outside the bathroom and blindside me with a fist to the head...and yes, there are kind people in there too, and people I loved in secret, and my precious Spock.

A photo of me in fifth grade, wearing a blue velour dress and a gap-toothed smile, my unruly hair bound up in blue ribboned ponytails.

Most of all, so many memories of my mom.

In the corner of the storage room, the cane she used after she learned to walk again. She decoupaged it with butterflies because, as she put it, "They're a symbol of new beginnings...and besides, I have a lot of free time now!" I closed my fingers around the handle and thought, This is something she touched.

Bedpans, a walker, bags of gauze and surgical tape. A box of latex gloves. Pamphlets about post-paralysis sex that we used to giggle over like schoolgirls.

A crate full of albums. I take Led Zeppelin out and remember the time I was sitting behind a boy named Jesse in 9th grade biology who was bitching about his mom throwing his Led Zeppelin albums in the trash. He turned around and demanded, "Would your parents do that to you?"

"My parents have a lot of Led Zeppelin albums," I said, and for one class at least, I was cool.

And here's my 12" single of Soft Cell's song "It's A Mug's Game". Mom really liked this one, thought it was funny, especially the part where he sings about "throwing up like it was Christmas".

This picture hurts my heart. It's Mom dressed up in a Minnesota Twins uniform, and she looks so cute and happy. We went to Glamour Shots at the Mall of America because I wanted to get a picture taken for M1, and since they had a special going on, she decided to get one too. I look like a country singer, with my too-dark lipstick and my thumbs hooked cornily under the lapels of a sequinned jacket; she looks adorable.

She wasn't sick yet.

And in the next box, something that makes me suck in my breath in recognition.

It looks harmless enough, but this is the thing that hurts me the most, proof of an ugly heart and an unworthy daughter. It is one of many reasons I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive myself.

I was in junior high, and I was miserable. My one friend was two years ahead of me and at a different school, so I ate my lunch sitting in a bathroom stall and then I'd head to the library to read. People were at the height of their cruelty, fueled by junk food and raging hormones and the general unpleasantness that comes with being on the brink of adolescence, and more often than not, I was their target. My dad and I did not get along at all. The only things that made me truly happy were video games, reading, spending time with my mom, and daydreaming about eloping with John Taylor of Duran Duran.

Anyway, I was taking an art class, and one of our assignments was to make a coffee mug out of clay. I've never had any artistic talent whatsoever---I like to say that I can't even draw a straight line with a ruler---and my mug came out of the kiln misshapen, to the collective schadenfreudian delight of my classmates. I glumly slopped poisonous green paint over it, and after it was graded (I seem to recall that the teacher took pity on me and gave it a C), I took it home to Mom.

"I love it!" she cried, turning it around in her hands, and her smile was genuine. "Thank you so much!"

It may have been ugly, but at least the sentiment was true: I had written "I LOVE YOU NUMBER ONE MOM!!!!!!" on the side.

I don't remember when this next anecdote took place, exactly. I wish I couldn't remember it at all.

I was excited because Mom had promised to take me to the bowling alley after school so I could play Ladybug, a Pac-Man ripoff that was one of my favorite video games. But when I got home, she said she wasn't feeling well, and asked if she could take me another day.

I whined and pleaded, and when she showed no signs of budging, I picked up that ugly fucking coffee mug and I looked her right in her tired eyes and I said, "I'll break this stupid mug!"

She sat there for a moment, her hands in her lap, and she shook her head slowly and said, "Oh, C." Then she got up, picked up her purse, and took me to the bowling alley, where I played Ladybug, my stomach roiling with acid. I knew I had done a horrible thing, and I wished I could take it back, but I kept playing until my quarters were gone. I kept playing even though I could see her out of the corner of my eye, and she was obviously so tired, and I kept playing.

And we rode home in silence. I did not apologize. I don't know that I even felt all that bad at the time; my biggest worry was that she would tell my dad, and this was back when he still had a temper, and it would not have gone unpunished.

I will keep the Christmas ornaments and Sprite's collar and the yearbooks and the photos.

The medical supplies will be donated.

The records will be listed on Ebay.

And as much as I want to throw the mug away, this symbol of a child's cruelty and selfishness, I must bring it back with me so I will not be tempted to forget.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

the next thing on my list.

Last year, I posted a list of ten things I want to do before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Well, I figured it was time for some updating. I’ve added 15 items, done some minor editing, and crossed off the one thing I’ve done since then. I want to revisit this list every year to see my progress.

1. I want to recreate the trip that Miles and Jack take in Sideways, from the wine tastings to a stay at the Windmill Inn. I’ll skip the golf, since I’d rather watch paint dry, and I’d prefer that no enraged truckers press their meat and veg against my car window.

2. I want to stay at an authentic Japanese love hotel, where they have bizarre theme rooms and vibrators in the mini-bars. Failing that, I want to stay at the Madonna Inn, the unbelievably cheesy theme hotel in San Luis Obispo.

3. I really, really want to touch a monkey. Done!

4. I want to go to Costa Rica and hold a three-toed sloth.

5. Climb Mt. Fuji. Yeah, I know, I’m not the most physically active person, but come on, old people do it!

6. Originally, I said that I wanted to stay at every major hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, but considering that they’re constantly building new ones, and that I only get to Vegas every couple of years, this might be impossible. I’m changing this one to “stay at 10 major hotels on the Las Vegas Strip”. I’ve stayed at Circus Circus, Caesar’s Palace, Treasure Island, and the Flamingo, so I've got six to go. (Or, if I take some liberties with Las Vegas geography and count the Rio, five. )

7. Eat a genuine kobe steak. I’ve had kobe beef before, but only tiny strips in an appetizer. I want an actual slab of beef, goddammit.

8. Go to Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese-styled hot springs resort in New Mexico. They have a Sailor Moon room, for god's sake! Or, for the more budget-minded, you can stay in a pimped-out Airstream trailer. Whatever it takes, man, I am so there. I'll be passing on the nightingale droppings facial, though. (Nope, not kidding.)

9. Attend a New York Giants game with G. True, I’m not a big football fan, but the pleasure in it for me is watching how excited G gets during Giants games.

10. I want to have old-fashioned sugar cream pie again. Whenever I’m in Indiana---which isn’t often---I always have to have this incredible treat, and you would not believe the noises that emanate from me as I shovel forkful after forkful (seriously, I’ve been known to polish off a whole pie by myself) into my mouth; I sound like I’m having the orgasm of my life. And frankly, yes, this pie is so damn good that it will make you believe in God.

11. I want to forgive my grandmother. And not just say I forgive her, but actually mean it.

12. Nancy Reagan would be horrified, but I want to smoke some excellent weed. I’ve only tried pot twice, and both times it was really subpar stuff. (Not that I would have known, but the more experienced people I was with at the time said it was bad, so I’ll defer to their authority.) I don’t need to make a habit out of pot smoking; I just want to know what a really good buzz feels like. And if I can follow this item with #10, oh my god.

13. I want to treat the people I love most in the world to something extravagant that they’d never buy for themselves.

14. I want to go to Graceland, lay some flowers on Elvis’ grave on behalf of my mom, and have a Fool’s Gold sandwich. It was one of Elvis’ favorites: a loaf of French bread hollowed out and filled with peanut butter and a pound of bacon. (I’m assuming the restaurants around there serve a more, shall we say, conservative portion.)

15. I want to go skydiving. True, I’d be scared utterly shitless, but I figure if I can willingly throw myself out of a moving plane, I can do just about anything.

16. I want to go someplace tropical and do nothing but laze on the beach, read, and drink frosty cocktails.

17. I want to go to Medieval Times to watch the jousting and eat a big greasy turkey drumstick with my bare hands. I don’t care if it’s corny as hell!

18. I want to see Kevin the motherfuckin’ Thai Elvis.

19. I want to give Ron Jeremy a hug.

20. G, please see me regarding this item.

21. I want to go to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

22. G, please see me regarding this item.

23. I want to see Xanadu on Broadway.

24. I want to take something up---a martial art, bellydancing, watercolors, learning a foreign language---and actually stick with it long enough to be good at it.

25. I want to forgive myself for not being a better daughter to my mom.