Category Archives: Humor

So I’m Not Dying, It’s Decided, And Other Good News

Standard

Random token for the day: I quit smoking (!!!) a couple of weeks ago and finally stuck with it. Go me. 🙂

It was a long time coming. A pack and a half a day, of cigars. Cherry clove cigars, which are nowhere near as nasty or unattractive as they sound.

But I quit, so high five.

I’m still on these God-awful IV antibiotics (the side effects of which are a lot like Influenza on steroids), after a total of three surgeries for this flesh-eating nonsense (MRSA Cellulitis, and can you believe that that’s what it took for me to finally quit smoking?).

Three surgeries in two months. The kind of surgery where you go home with a ferocious open wound and have brutal daily home health visits to pack the wound –like a Thanksgiving turkey– with some sort of miracle gauze that costs as much as the boob job I never got. Almost.

I should be a tourist attraction, a guest star on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not or a featured act in Barnum and Bailey’s Side Show of Circus Freaks.

The whole thing sucks balls.

Totally off topic (sort of): have you heard about the mermaids? Actual mermaids. Barnum & Bailey’s claimed to have one in the 1920’s but the NYC warehouse in which it was stored burnt down in a terrific fire, three days prior to the mermaid’s grand debut– so no one believed it. There’s new scientific evidence (sound recordings and deep sea film footage too) suggesting that mermaids might well be an undocumented species. Honestly, look it up.

Anyway, I’m healing (which is wonderful) and finding encouragement in the most unexpected places. Prior to this infectious disease nonsense I planted fifty-eight random packages of flower seeds. You should see around my house now. A huge variety of flowers all standing at attention like some sort of triumphant reckoning with all the bad luck I’ve had. Hollyhocks and bright red sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias and peonies and nasturtum and hundreds of others all defiantly sprouting up like a pat on the back, as if to say “Hey mama, it’s all good.”

The honeysuckle too. It’s taken upon itself to spread out like a dog in heat across the perimeter of our property. The boys LOVE this.

You can’t imagine how wonderful it smells here, sitting on the front porch drinking sweet tea and not smoking for a change, resisting the awareness of what horrific pain I’m in and simply feeling grateful to be alive.

It really is the little things in life that become the big things.

Now go check out the mermaids for yourself. 😉

Conversations With a Crazy Person

Standard

Have you ever had one of those moments when it suddenly dawns on you that your brain is having a conversation with itself without any conscious effort on your part?

It happens to me every time I stop and pay attention to what my mind is doing.

My thoughts think for themselves. If I don’t have something demanding my undivided attention, my attention divides itself into a million pieces and gives each piece a full inspection. I know, it sounds crazy. See what I mean though? My brain can barely finish processing one idea before it flies into an over-analyzation autopilot.

I’ve always been this way. You know the type. I’m the girl who can barely get past “How’s it going?” without a fifteen minute pontification of the potential significance of the abstract patterns the syrup made on the waffles at breakfast. I think too much about too many things entirely too deeply and it matters a lot more than it should.

As a child I would hold mock trials in my front yard. My friends never objected. You think I’m being ridiculous and I won’t argue, but yes. It really happened. Regularly, and often.

It hasn’t changed much with age, either.

I married a lunatic, which wouldn’t say much about the point I’m trying to make except that his lunacy is deeply tied to his obsessive-compulsive need for structure. Predictability. Order. Patterns. His world falls apart if he’s not at least an hour and a half early to wherever he’s going. You think I’m exaggerating; I’m not. His job requires him to be on site by eight o’clock each morning; he’s there by 6:45am every day. In all the years he’s been employed, he has never been later than 6:45am. Not once.

He isn’t paid hourly.

We’re as opposite as two human beings can possibly get. I traveled like a hippie in the gypsy-freedom of my 20’s. I stayed awake until the sun rose regardless of the day of week, sleeping the mornings away in a tent (or simply on a blanket when I didn’t plan ahead and bring the tent, which was more typical) in some various mountainous terrain, where I had intentionally gotten lost the night before, learning the basics of another language or reading an autobiography or working on a term paper or studying for a final or swimming alone all the way across the lake, drinking coffee with dinner and dancing to the silence until I had to return to work or school. Even while working full time to put myself through college, double majoring at that, I never sacrificed the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

Him? He built his credit and trained himself to become the best he could be in his trade. Made sure he kept his lawn obsessively manicured and his vehicle ludicrously detailed, spotless.

Boring.

My philosophical mind drives him batshit crazy. The more curious I am about the why of things, the more OCD he gets about the how of them. My wonder is gasoline to the furious flame of his irritated ambivalence. It might be hilarious if it weren’t so totally crazy to live out in first person.

This particular wavelength I’m riding all started after a knee-jerk reaction I had to a flippant comment he made, the last time our polarities collided in a fury of spontaneous combustion. I told him he’s miserable because he takes himself way too seriously. He told me I make him miserable because I think too much and I take my thoughts too seriously.

His ‘crazy’ has a way of rubbing off on me; I digress.

I take my thoughts too seriously? Oh please. I take them as they come: all at once, all the time, all over the place and that’s that.

But as I continued to mind-screw his mouth-garbage, processing what was actually being said, an epiphany hit me. This is why I think too much (too deeply, too constantly, about too many things): my brain is searching for patterns in a patternless insanity.

I could’ve peed my pants with a “YES!”-type “aha” feeling when I stumbled upon this video; it hits the nail on the crazy man’s head: …Madness! WATCH IT THROUGH TO THE END.

What makes us who we are? Do you see a pattern?

The Top Ten Reasons The United States is The United States

Standard

…Drumroll, please!…

10. WalMart! McDonald’s! Starbucks!
…oh. Wait. I forgot we took over the planet with our supersized mindlessness. Moving on…

9. We might be technically owned (and maybe even operated) by China, but they ain’t got nothin’ on our Chinese food!

8. You can carry a gun, kill an intruder in your home and even end the life of a fetus using taxpayer’s money; but even if you purchase a bulletproof vest or a health insurance plan, the premiums and efficiency of either can’t protect you from the statistical likehood of your death occurring almost a decade before the majority of other “first world” countries.

7. The metric system. Huh?

6. Inner cities, rural counties, and especially these good ol’ suburbs. Nobody gets excluded from the excitement of the local shopping mall!

5. John Denver, the Rocky Mountains, bluegrass music, the Appalachian Mountains, Blue Oyster Cult and religious freedom. No sarcasm here, folks. This is the substance of all things good and worth our while.

4. Jesus. You know, despite the blinding darknesses of our increasingly shallow society, the light of God shines brightest in the most unexpected places. The local diner off route 66, the elementary schools, and even the scenic drives here all bear a certain presence of inexplicable grace and beauty.

3. The Fourth of July. Barbequed ribs, fried okra, explosive glory in prisms of neon, splashing across the horizon over rivers and skyscrapers with kids laughing and music playing. These things make me proud to be an American.

2. There is always somebody knocking on our door. Asking if we are afraid of going to hell, soliciting support for the local T-Ball Tournaments through candy bar gluttony, delivering our Amazon purchases and occasionally relieving us of our children for a few hours with outdoor play. But sometimes the doorbell rings because our neighbors cooked us some love and dropped by to share it. That’s as American as it gets.

1. Women vote, give birth, make a living, and occasionally even marry each other. Men allow this to happen. (As opposed to… You know, trying to stop us and discovering we somehow became smarter than they are somewhere along the way.) Although… I won’t say what I think of Sarah Palin holding the microphone in representation of We The People…

We work as though our life depends on it, because life in America sort of does depend on it. However…

Some kind of strange.

Standard

You can be having one of those days
When sunlight hurts the eyes
And sleep is all you think you need

But enduring past the sharp feelings
Finds you sudden surprise
One after another

I just went to the store.
Coffee coffee
I pull in, switch the car off
And then.
Wow.

Out of a pastel blue minivan
With trucker hats in the windshield
(Portable shelf of countrified treasures)
Steps this lady
Four whole feet of woah
Tall, in all. Not much.
Fully adorned in biker gear
I’m talking black leather chaps
Over jeans with holes worn through the knees
A brightest orange bandana
Pulling her temples too tightly together

A minivan.
With leather knuckle gloves
And Harley Davidson
Steel toed boots

Four whole feet
Oh yes
I am awake now

Thanks, absurdist universe
I really needed a
Reality break

Oh, but wait!

Get back in my car with
Coffee, coffee
And then walks this person
…gangster dude
Corn rolls with
sagging-est britches I ever saw, too
Reebok hightops
And shiny gold teeth

He sure was wearing lots of green

Is there a new gang I haven’t heard of?
Eastside leprechauns?
Irish homey crew
With no shred of modesty
Or slightest clue

Digress.

Approaching me?!
No. Need this coffee, no no no…
Yep. And it’s too late now to roll up my window
“What it do, hottie? I be
Rollin with bank
Spend it all up on ya
You know, you know!
Yo name be Rachel
Ya member me boo? Ya member the way we roll wich you
You know, you know
You be axin me fo
My numba agin?”

Oh no wrong person day and week
At least my coffee isn’t out to surprise me
Today

Tastes so perfectly sweet