Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Created from scratch,
by yours truly


And how was your Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

That Nasty Post, Continued

And the answer to last week's Question Of The Week is:

C) You'd let a Very Boring Woman give a Very Boring Speech about a Very Boring Book she wrote, follow it with a psychedelic movie about a deer's butt and then let random people come up from the audience to show whatever the fuck they felt like showing, while they yelled into a microphone about how their dad's friend's brother was a taxidermist who preferred stuffing eagles he killed over all other creatures.


The contest started at nine and it did not begin with an introduction to the rogue taxidermists who's work would be on display, no it did not. Instead, it started with The World's Most Boring Woman giving The World's Most Boring Speech. Who was this Boring Woman? A taxidermist? No. She's an author trying to sell the book she just published about taxidermy. Maybe I'd buy the book, maybe if she had cared enough about her book to make a smart marketing decision and hire someone to play her, because the real and actual her was so boring that if I had to choose between having hot needles shoved under my fingernails or listening to that Boring Woman give another speech, you can bet I'd go for the hot needles.

Next, there was an art film. It's too bad I can't accurately type out the sarcasm with which I use the words art film. They played a psychadelic art film about an endangered creature known as the "rumpape". From what I gathered, a rumpape is a face made out of a deer's stomach and placed into his butt. It looks a little like a monkey, but not really. The most surprising thing about the movie was that it actually succeeded in offending me.

You read that right.

The rumpape movie offended me. Me. Me, the woman who has planned to have Valentine freeze-dried and posed as if she's humping a pillow, because that is how I will want to remember her after she dies. I was slightly offended by the rumpape.

It was then, in the after-sting of slight offendedness, that the contest finally began. At nine-thirty. A full two hours after the show was scheduled to start.

To Be Continued...

Friday, November 27, 2009

By now you think I'm lying

Taxidermy? What? (It's coming, I swear.)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had an absolutely lovely Thanksgiving. It was nearly ruined by a carton of half-and-half, but luckily for me Archie is a quick thinker.

As long as you came here looking for the second half of The Nastiest Post Ever and didn't find it, would you do me an enormous favor? Mike is working on a paper about the Healthcare Reform for his Critical Thinking class and he has to have as many people as possible take a survey. It's short and sweet and takes less than five minutes. Also? You'll win a free ice cream cone, which you will receive upon your next visit to New York City.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Phone Blogging - Not the same.

Hi friends! Blogging by phone cuz my internet is down. Next post is so great, too - all about a guy who taxidermys his own skin. Check back soon! xo

Monday, November 23, 2009

This may be the nastiest post I've written

the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals with lifelike effect.

Last week I was flipping through Time Out New York --

It just occurred to me that most of my readers are related to me, live in Southern California, and have no idea what Time Out New York (TONY) is.

It is my belief that at one time, TONY magazine was a great vehicle for finding interesting things to do in the city, great places to shop, the best places to eat, et cetera. Unfortunately, the TONY that I know is a giant wad of advertisements with four pages at the end detailing all of the places to go if you want to get spanked, poop on someone's face, find someone to watch you have sex with your stuffed panda and which porn shops specialize in celebrity look-alike movies with matching dolls.

Last week I was flipping through TONY because, I don't know, it was there and, ALL RIGHT I'LL ADMIT IT. I like reading about the people who think it's hot to wear butt-plugs shaped like horsey tails. It makes me laugh. So I'm flipping through TONY and I come across an ad for:

Drumroll, please.





I almost freaked out. My first thought was, Mike will never go. And it's in Brooklyn. That's like, eight hours away.


Do you know what rogue taxidermy is? I didn't either. But I started having these visions --visions of incredible, beautiful, enchanting, bizarre creatures, sculptures made of once living flesh, two-headed rats and four-nippled snakes. I did a quick little internet search for "rogue taxidermy" and read about these artists who use donated pets, roadkill, and other animals who've died of totally natural causes or met with accidental disasters, and they create these incredible works of art using dead flesh as their medium.

In reality, I wasn't very impressed with the pictures of dead-things art that I saw online. They were all right, but the stuff I was seeing in my head was so much cooler. I just knew that those photos weren't even important. The photos were barely the tip of the ice berg. This rogue taxidermy contest? It was going to be the zenith of my fantasies. It was going to be the end all be all answer to my questions about life and who I am and what I should be doing and what my secret dreams are. This contest was going to change me, forever.

Do you remember when I wrote about how big my expectations get? I'm just saying.

*Weird coincidence: I talk about roadkill in that post too.*

So I get all these ideas in my head. And before I know it, I am more excited about this rogue taxidermy contest than I can remember being about anything in ages, except maybe when I booked that Life On Mars episode. (But I won't mention how that was almost a year ago, because I wouldn't want to make myself feel bad or anything.)

By last Friday I was more excited about a rogue taxidermy contest than I had been about anything in a really long time. Saturday felt like the longest day of my life. Sunday I was practically hysterical. I was showered, dressed, had walked the dogs, had my shoes on, my purse packed, ready to walk out the door by ten o'clock in the morning, a full six-and-a-half hours before it was actually time to go.

I trust you understand the weight of that small detail.

We arrived at the venue at seven-thirty on the dot, and proceeded to wait around for an hour-and-a-half because although the contest was scheduled to begin at seven-thirty sharp, it did not begin until nine. NINE. Nine. They were running an hour-and-a-half behind schedule. They might as well have ripped out my heart.

Question: If you were hosting a rogue taxidermy contest, what would be the first order of business after making your excited audience members wait an hour-and-a-half for your contest to begin?

A) You'd introduce the evening's contestants to the audience.
B) You'd give a short talk about rogue taxidermy and then introduce the contestants.
C) You'd let a Very Boring Woman give a Very Boring Speech about a Very Boring Book she wrote, follow it with a psychedelic movie about a deer's butt and then let random people come up from the audience to show whatever the fuck they felt like showing, while they yelled into a microphone about how their dad's friend's brother was a taxidermist who preferred stuffing eagles he killed over all other creatures?

To be continued...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Like a pretty little weed

Whoooeee. It's been, what? A week since I posted? Yeah... I've been putting it off. Avoiding it. Procrastinating. Deliberately delaying.

It's because I'm afraid y'all are going to hold me accountable for the fact that you gave me such fabulous advice recently (see here and here), and while I've tried out your suggestions, I'm still engaging in naughty behaviors.

I really did try your suggestions though. I want you to know that. They were excellent suggestions and I am eternally grateful for your advice. In fact, it is because I reached out to you and because you answered that I was able to finally come to the realization that I really just enjoy taking my sweet-ass time to get ready in the morning. I like the ritual in brewing my morning coffee and then sipping it while I wander around the apartment, imagining what kind of floor lamp I'd want to put there and how nice a little table lamp will look once Mike builds that custom dog crate he's been talking about building. And oh! (sips coffee) Look at what Mike did with the shadows on that mountain landscape! The mountain actually looks different in the morning light than it did last night. (sip) I think I'll just curl up on the sofa for a minute and rub Amelia's belly. Oh yes, (sip) this is lovely.

Do you see?

Last week there was a morning where I was forced to get ready to go in an hour and IT WAS AWFUL. I felt weird and disconnected and my scalp itched all day.

The mornings are when I want to stretch out, practice yoga, write, and dream. It's when I think I can't afford the luxury of spending my mornings how I want that I end up spending four hours wandering aimlessly, not doing anything at all.

This is a problem. Luckily, it's a problem I think I can fix.

I think it's time for me to start setting aside an hour or two every morning to do whatever I want to do before I have to get ready to go. As it is, I'm spending two hours every morning fucking off and feeling bad about myself, I might as well use that time to do something I enjoy. Maybe some people can wait all day to have their special hour of relaxing or poetry writing or exerciseing, but I need mine first thing in the morning.

I just realized I don't know how to spell the word "excersizeing". Excerisixeing. Excerising. Esxerciing. Exercising.

As for lateness? You guys would be so proud. I've now been five to fifteen minutes EARLY for three consecutive appointments. THREE TIMES IN A ROW.

Do you know what the secret it?

(Yes, I know you do, considering you helped me figure it out, but let me tell you anyway so that I can gloat over myself for a second.)

It's in the planning.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Save Booger

Booger is a friend's dog. She's heartbroken, as you can imagine. If you can't make a donation, can you take a minute to forward this video? Twitter it? Send some positive energy?

Imagine if Booger was your dog... What would you do?

Valley Upbringing: Cons

Me: John Quincy Davis is on the new gold dollar.
Him: Who's John Quincy Davis?
Me: (Scoffing loudly.) Um, the sixth president of the United States.
Him: ...
Me: Wait. Did I say Davis? I meant Adams.
Him: I'm sure you did.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An ugly, hypocritical little bird

All of your comments on that last post have been incredibly insightful and helpful and, um, the crazy thing? You helped me learn some stuff about myself. Some stuff I didn't want to know, and some stuff that is incredibly enlightening. I'm even working on a post about it, but in the mean time, how about another situation I could use some advice on?

How do you like that? Y'all are my personal team of Dear Abby's and Anne Landers!!

Dear Internet Friends:

I am always late. I am embarrassed to admit it, though if you've ever had occasion to spend time with me, you already know that I am one of those people who is ALWAYS late. My norm is about fifteen minutes, but on a bad day I can be anywhere from twenty to thirty minutes late. A really good day has me arriving only five minutes late, which as far as I am concerned is absolutely the same thing as being on time. I have friends who routinely lie to me, telling me something starts at six if it really starts at six-thirty, just so that I will be on time. It works. I have other friends who just plan ahead and arrive fifteen minutes later than we agreed, so that they aren't waiting around for me. That works too.

Though I may be someone who is religiously late, I cannot stand other late comers. It drives me crazy. I think it's rude and disrespectful and irritating. Clearly, I am a chronically late hypocrite. Why? I don't know. What I do know is that being late everywhere gives me such anxiety that I end up with stomach pains and headaches and itchy rashes. But does that make me more understanding of others who are habitually late? Nope. Does that make me a big fat asshole? I suppose so.

But it gets worse.

Not only am I chronically late, and not only do I find other late people irritating, but I also do not like those people who are always three minutes early. Or always on time. Because I am always late, if you show up three minutes early or right on time, you are simply highlighting my deficiency and reminding me of my shortcomings.

So here we have it, folks. I take four hours to get ready in the morning. I'm always at least fifteen minutes late. I am a hypocrite who resents other latecomers and I cannot be made happy by those people who have the courtesy to be on time.

What to do?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Like an ugly little bird

I have a confession.

It takes me four hours to get ready to go in the morning. Even when I wake up at 6 a.m., I'm still not ready to leave for work until ten.

I've recently considered starting my days at 4 a.m. so I can be ready to go by eight, which is when I'm supposed to leave, instead of two full hours later at ten when I usually leave. (My boss doesn't read my blog, so he'll never know.) (Famous last words.)

The thing is, it's this four hour block of .... primping? that is causing a lot of the major time-suckage I've been complaining talking about lately. I thought maybe if I wrote about this phenomenon here, we could, together, as a team, help me find new strategies to becoming a person who can wake, eat, shower and leave in a more reasonable amount of time, like, say, one hour. One hour is reasonable. Four hours? What, am I being tied into my corset by my nursemaid every morning? Seriously.

So. What am I doing with four hours every morning: I spend about thirty minutes preparing my coffee and breakfast, then eating. I spend another thirty minutes doing yoga (or reading mommy blogs, depending on the day.) (OK, usually I'm reading mommy blogs.) It takes me fifteen minutes to shower and condition my hair, then thirty minutes to apply the various moisturizers, creams and lotions I use, another fifteen to twenty minutes fixing my hair and ... that's it. That's everything.

But that's only two hours and five minutes, tops. Where are the other two hours? Where? What do I do with them?

Yes, I realize that two hours and five minutes is a really long time to get out of the house, I know. You don't have to make me feel bad about that. I am perfectly willing to work on narrowing that down, AS SOON AS WE FIGURE OUT WHAT ON EARTH I AM DOING FOR THAT EXTRA HOUR AND FIFTY-FIVE MINUTES.

Because I have no idea.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Animalia Chordata Amphibia Driedoutada

"She was, in a word, weird."
-- Robert McCammon

When I was a little girl, my parents took me to Kauai, Hawaii for a week. I wasn't sure whether or not to be excited about it, because all of the cool kids were going to Maui or Honolulu or Palm Springs. Kauai? None of my friends had ever even heard of Kauai. But then I realized that they had also never heard of Molokai, the Isle of Lepers, or Kaho'olawe, the Isle of U.S. Military Practice Bombing, so I decided to reserve judgment.

Kauai was incredible. A tropical paradise dreamed up for a hungry suburban child, thanks to the total lack of tourism. We visited a ranch where ducks and geese and chickens ran free and where I spent the whole day trying to catch a duckling I planned to smuggle home. We went to a luau, ate kalua pig, watched dancers swallow fire and learned how to put a chicken to sleep by twisting its neck. We snorkeled and hiked, we drank coconut milk from the actual coconut and slurped freezing shaved ice. The week was idyllic, but the very best part wasn't any activity or attraction. It was the frogs. They were everywhere. Beautiful fat brown frogs with slick, cool bellies. Their croaks were a chorus that lulled me to sleep then guided me from dreams in the morning. I could step off any road into jungle, and at my feet would be a carpet of wet, belching frogs. At night when we walked to dinner I chased frogs along the road, and in the morning as we walked to breakfast I used a long stick to pop their flattened bodies off the road. Lord, if the roads weren't paved with hundreds of their pancaked bodies. I'd never seen anything like it in my entire nine years of life.

When it came time to pick a souvenir, I wanted one thing.

"But WHY?"
"Do I really need to spell it out?"
"Because it's dead and rotting and filthy. No."

A couple of years later my parents sent me to horse camp for a week. It was heaven. In addition to riding and jumping, I learned all about taking care of a horse. I learned how to braid the mane and tail for shows. I learned how to feed them and muck out their stalls, something I actually thought was fun. One day, a farrier came and let us watch as he removed the horse's old shoes, trimmed his hooves and hammered new shoes on. While the other little girls ran around collecting discarded horseshoes to hang in their bedrooms for good luck, I ran around collecting hoof clippings for my own little collection.

I hadn't even been home from camp for a day when my mother came sniffing around my room.

"What is that?"
"That smell."
"I don't smell anything."
"I do. It smells like something in here is rotting."
"No it's not."
"Where's your suitcase?"
"I haven't unpacked it yet."
"Open it."
That was when I flung my body across my suitcase and cried, "But it's for my collection!" Then I pointed to the shelf where I displayed my deer jaw, the mouse vertebrae I found in coyote scat and the leg bones whose previous owner I hadn't yet identified.
"We agreed. Nothing that rots. Open your suitcase."

I thought the hoof clippings smelled wonderfully gamey, but Mama said no, they were rotting, they had to go.

A few years ago my parents went back to Kauai. They called me after their trip and we had a nice visit. They asked if I'd gotten the gift they'd sent. I hadn't, but I'd definitely keep a lookout for it! They told me all about how the island had changed, how tourism had exploded; there were more hotels, more paved roads, more mosquitoes, and they only saw one frog the entire time they were there.

The next day I checked my mail and found a small padded envelope addressed to me in my father's neat hand. Along the bottom of the envelope my mother had scrawled, "This was your father's idea. I give him all the credit."

I carefully tore open the end of the envelope and right away got a good whiff of something fishy. The smell wasn't unpleasant, just surprising. "I think they sent us some fish jerky!" I called out to Mike, who was in the next room. I shook the contents of the envelope out onto my kitchen table, wondering why the jerky wasn't in some sort of packaging. And then I realized it wasn't fish jerky. It was a frog. A perfect, beautiful, flat Kauai frog.

I finally found the right display case for him. Isn't he lovely?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

If these dogs could talk

I have been very busy lately. Very busy and very tired. As a result, I've been cutting a few corners here and there. Not major corners, just like -- ok, here's an example: Dinner for the dogs. Normally, dinner for the dogs is raw chicken on the bone, which is great for them, but a holy mess to clean up for me. The other night I was just too, too tired. I mean, my own dinner that night came out of a cereal box, so if those dogs really thought I was going to do anything special for them, they had another think coming. They were going to eat kibble, and they were going to like it.

"Valentine! Theo!"
Two little dogs came running into the kitchen, tails and tongues wagging.
Two little dog bottoms hit the floor. I scooped kibble into each little bowl.
Theo dove right in, chomping happily. Valentine didn't move. She looked at her bowl. She looked up at me. She thumped her tail on the linoleum. She looked at her bowl, up at me, thump, thump, thump. Down at her bowl, up at me ...

"Fine! Jeez." I opened the fridge and grabbed a tub of cottage cheese. Theo paused mid-chomp. His tail twitched. Valentine did a little happy dance and then sat nicely in front of her bowl. I opened the cottage cheese tub. Theo's nostrils flinched and he huffed. I reached for a spoon. He took a long step away from his dish and sat down, a perfect little dog, waiting patiently for his supper to be served, just like I taught him. I dipped the spoon into the tub and dropped a teaspoonful of cheese into Valentine's bowl as both little tails began a rhythmic thump, thump, thumping. I swirled the spoon in Valentine's bowl, kibble rattling loudly as it rolled, sweet cheese coating each crunchy morsel. I rapped the spoon on the edge of the dish, knocking off the last bits of cheese, and stood. Theo's eyes widened and Valentine's tail froze.


Valentine leapt for the feast and dove in. I slapped the lid back on the tub, flung it into the fridge and shut the door. I washed the spoon, dried my hands and dragged myself back to the living room where I crumpled onto the couch in a heap of exhausted limbs.

If you belong to the school of thought wherein dogs are stupid creatures who act soley on instinct, I would like you to tell me why, after finishing the last of his cheese-less meal, Theo lifted his leg and urinated in his bowl. Was that just instinct? Because it seems like a pretty well thought out statement to me.

Monday, November 02, 2009


I'm really tired, you guys. I'm really really really tired. All of the time. No, Mom, don't worry, I'm not pregnant. That's not even an option on the scan-tron.

It's kind of an adjustment to go from working eleven hours a week to a gagillion hours a week. I don't mean to exaggerate here, but it really feels like I work a gagillion hours a week. And as a result, I don't get to do anything BUT work.

I mean, there are other hours in the day, sure. But after my 8 hour day, I reeeally don't have the energy to do anything other than slosh onto the couch and sit there drooling until about 10 p.m. when it's time for bed.

This is horrible.

I am not complaining. It sounds like complaint, but actually it's sharing. I'm sharing. Things would be just fine if I could just be awake enough in the evening to do something other than watch TV. That's the thing. I'm just so tired. I could be happy if I weren't a vegetable at the end of every day. Maybe if I worked only five days a week instead of six, maybe if I could spend two days in a row recharging my little Ish Battery I could plow forth on Monday morning and be a super-star of productivity. But that hasn't been the deal lately. And there are just SO MANY THINGS I love, that I am ignoring.

Let's make a list, shall we? In no particular order:

1. Yoga/Exercise
2. Photography
3. Writing
4. Doing Married Things With My Husband (Because We Are Married And It's Allowed) (Side note: Have you ever noticed that on Trojan condom ads, the couple is ALWAYS wearing wedding bands? Simple, barely-noticeable gold wedding bands. Very interesting, no?)
5. Playing With My Dogs
6. Spending Time With Friends
7. Laundry
8. Balancing my checkbook
9. Data Entry

Sad face, Dopey!

And look. How weird has my writing gotten since I stopped? It's all jiggedly-glop all over the screen. It's not even writing. It's just words piled upon words piled upon words that barely make any sense at all. Is this even cohesive? Does anyone understand me? HOW DO I FIND BALANCE IN THIS ONE LIFE OF MINE?

That is the question for the day.