Category Archives: friggin a

it’s time for summer to end in baltimore.

i am DONE with the sights, sounds, and particularly the smells of this city in the summer. i dared to take out our recycling this morning only to be assaulted with the pungent odor of something dead…somewhere. (a large rodent, probably.) and you know the heat just makes it worse.

i’m telling you, taking out the trash or recycling in our neighborhood, or maybe it’s just our block, is an act of sheer bravery. first of all, you never know what you’ll encounter in your backyard. a hissing rat. a dead rat. a feral cat ready to mark you as his or her territory. a large weed with berries on it that literally grew overnight. a child’s toy that’s suddenly appeared out of nowhere—a fluorescent My Little Pony, for example (yes: true story)—to freak your shit out before you’ve even had your morning coffee. even though you know a rat dragged it in, it’s still freaky as hell to see toys in your backyard when no children actually play out there. that’s poltergeist shit (and you know how i am with that.)

then you have to touch the garbage or recycling cans. oh that’s a treat! because 4 times out of 10, there’s 1 to 4 rats hiding in them waiting to give you a heart attack. so what you have to do is kick the can or cans before you touch them. and if there’s a rat or rats inside, they run out, then you scream and run back in the house while your partner who’s watching you from the comfort of the indoors tries not to pee her pants while laughing. then you have to resist the urge to punch her in the throat and start all over again.

once you actually get the damn cans and drag them to your gate, you have to open the gate, which, in some ways, is actually worse than kicking the trash cans. because you never know what’s waiting for you on the other side.

the worst is a dead, flattened rat. i probably don’t need to elaborate on the details of that. but mattresses are really bad, too, because it makes you concerned for so many reasons. for example, why are your neighbors throwing out 5 mattresses? how many people are LIVING there? and why are they throwing them out all at once? do they have bedbugs? these are the things you can’t allow yourself to think about when you live here. you will go crazy if you think too hard about your neighborhood and the people in it. it’s best to just let it be. unless there are people on the mattresses. then you run.

the most alarming thing that ever happened to me in our alley was years ago when a…prostitute? approached me and…propositioned me i guess? she was an awfully strange-looking prostitute if she was one. i don’t know. she didn’t make too much sense but at one point she asked if i was married and i said YES! and then i ran inside and told holly. if i ever encounter a zombie in our alley, we are moving immediately.

anyway, everything is roasting in this city right now and it’s disgusting. and everyone is acting like a loon. a man that may or may not know our neighbor carol—i guess she knew him but wouldn’t let him in her house?—spent two days digging the grass out of the sidewalk next to her house (and trust me, there wasn’t that much grass to begin with), then they found him sleeping in her boyfriend’s van? i have no idea. also: a really weird-looking bouquet of roses in an actual vase showed up on the sidewalk in front of the house next door to us and stayed there for days. if a My Little Pony suddenly shows up in front of our house, WE ARE OUT OF HERE. same goes for the guy digging up the grass. anyway, hand me a mug of hot cocoa, i’m ready for fall. the moment i see more than 15 leaves, i’m raking them in a pile and immediately jumping in it. unless the pile is moving. in which case there’s probably a rat at the bottom of it. then i will scream “RAT!” run inside and just look at the leaves from indoors. that works, too.

where do all my hairbands go?

one thing holly always gets on my case about is hairbands. not that i use them, but that i’m constantly restocking them. it’s very irritating because what she doesn’t understand is that i can’t find any of them, ever.

i could seriously have like one million hairbands—yes one million—and i wouldn’t be able to find a single one. not a single one. that would happen to me. it would.

like small no-show socks that get eaten in the dryer (actually, i bet it’s the washer), it’s a complete mystery to me where in the hell my hairbands go. true, if i clean out my purse at any given moment, i may find, say…5 to 10, depending on the size of my purse. however i never ever find any of them when i need them, so i go without in the car when holly has the windows down on the highway and we arrive at our destination with me looking like bridget jones does in the first movie when she and hugh grant check in at that hotel. you know the scene.

bridget jones big hair

why, no, i actually couldn’t find a hairband in the car. and yes, the windows were open. why do you ask?

i actually find it pretty annoying that holly complains when we’re walking in target and i covertly grab a pack (SHE ALWAYS SEES ME. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH HAVING A SPOUSE THAT IS ROUGHLY ONE-TWELFTH NATIVE AMERICAN. SHE HAS SUPERSONIC SENSES AND SEES AND HEARS *EVERYTHING*) and she sighs and says BABE MORE HAIRBANDS? and i’m like YES BABE. MORE HAIRBANDS. i don’t care if people stare because i’m shrieking in target. she has short hair. she’ll never understand the plight of people that need an excessive amount of black hairbands because they can never find any. one day they’ll find the mysterious cause of missing hairbands and then she’ll apologize because it wasn’t actually my fault.

it’s annoying how she complains about things she’ll never understand. unless she grows her hair out, which she’ll never do, despite my pleading that she’d look soooo cute with a headband. (she has a beautiful forehead! an artfully selected headband would only highlight this fact.) but no. instead she takes me to home depot and lowes, which i hate. the moment we walk in i swear i feel like falling asleep. right where i am. in the plumbing aisle while she looks at metal pipes to build things with. on the concrete floor. right there. on my feet. or curled up in a ball on the floor.

we were in home depot last week, in that damn plumbing aisle, and i was like, doesn’t this place have any CHAIRS for people like ME who HATE IT HERE? they have chairs near dressing rooms for men and other people that loathe shopping but must endure a loved one trying on clothes. i mean, it doesn’t even need to be a cushioned chair. i’ll take a FOLDING CHAIR, for crying out loud. i know you sell them here! friggin put out a folding chair! damn!

at least in ikea i can escape into one of those make-pretend living rooms and sit on a futon. or hang out in the cafe and eat swedish delicacies or at least have a cone and a cup of decaf from the snack bar. but home depot and lowes, man, there’s just no escape. so i usually act out until holly sighs and says, “ok fine. let’s go.” once we get in the car, my entire body relaxes and i suddenly feel quite rejuvenated. but my rejuvenation is typically replaced by guilt because i know she wanted to stay. so instead i suggest we get some gelato so we both can feel better. and that’s what’s called emotional eating. the end.

I’M GOING TO PUNCH YOU IN THE THROAT (OUR CLEANSE: DAY 2)

i blogged yesterday about our friggin cleanse. here’s the rest of what happened. warning: this post may give you a rash.

DAY 2, CONTINUED

12:30pm had a small portion of quinoa, lentils & cubed sweet potatoes for lunch: MOST AMAZING THING I EVER ATE IN MY LIFE.
1:45pm weird tingly sensation in my forehead.
2pm OMG AM I GETTING A RASH? false alarm
3:45pm holly is extremely grumpy. obviously buckling under the pressure. leave me alone until you feel better or else i’m going to punch you in the throat, i tell her. she leaves for an appointment and comes back even grumpier. says she smelled pizza on the way home.
7pm we do a weird vegan, grainless, and everything else-less italian meal that fails miserably. i try my hand at eggplant for the first time and ruin it. holly eats a single stuffed mushroom. she tries to eat another but spits it out in the trash.
9:30pm-ish bad experience in the bathroom. don’t want to talk about it.
11:36pm in bed i think i smell fresh air-popped popcorn but there’s no popcorn. great, now i’m hallucinating.

do you have a rash now? i think i’m getting one again. also: the inside of my mouth felt itchy yesterday. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME.

if i don’t post again within two to three days, please call some kind of emergency responder.

LORD HELP US WE’RE DOING A CLEANSE (DAY 1: OMG)

so holly finally got the go-ahead from our acupuncturist to do this food-based cleanse she’s been bugging her about for, like, the past year and a half. as in: holly’s been bugging our acupuncturist, not the other way around, to do the cleanse. who even does that?

and of course i have to go down with the ship and do it, too, because we’re married, blah blah blah. i have to support her, etc. etc. etc. plus i know it will be good for me.

here’s the basics of the cleanse:

it’s food-based, not that weird-ass one people were doing a while ago where you drink, like, maple syrup lemon water with cayenne pepper for however many days. (what the hell was that all about anyway? ew.) so yeah, it’s organic vegetables and fruits only (not even beans even. i know. WTF.) (though, randomly, we can have very limited amounts of lentils, sweet potato, and quinoa; don’t ask me, i have no idea) for the first seven days, supplemented by smoothies featuring an organic powder that has protein and various organic green veggies, roots, and who the hell knows what else. mine is non-dairy. holly’s has whey in it. there are weird fiber pills to take, too. these are details you probably don’t care about so i’ll stop.

for weeks 2 and 3 you can add proteins one at a time. chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs. then grains and i guess dairy? i don’t know. holly read the book. i’m too hungry to read it.

here’s why we’re doing the cleanse:

-to rid our bodies of toxins, which hello, we live in baltimore and i found out that the iconic smokestack next to I-95 is actually a giant garbage incinerator.
-maybe find a food-related trigger for my ongoing migraines.
-get my blood-sugar evened out/jewish pancreas a break so i don’t wind up with diabetes.
-lose weight, i.e. i’d like to see the real shape of my face again, especially my chin, because i’m tired of making selfie faces in the mirror so i can see my cheekbones.
-change our eating patterns/habits.
-other reasons i can’t remember.

anyway, i’ve decided i’m going to chronicle how i’m feeling every day. as a record for future generations. or, you know, a last will & testament.

i was too weak and angry to write yesterday so this is actually day 2. however, i did take some notes yesterday about how i was feeling. but then i started feeling so bad i couldn’t take notes anymore. here they are in no particular order:

DAY 1
head hurts.
very hungry, feeling angry and emotional. can’t concentrate.
peeing a lot.
probably shouldn’t have driven to safeway.
if i got stranded on a desert island, i’d definitely die from low blood-sugar or some kind of organ failure.
hate all people.
omg pain behind my right eyeball.
don’t talk to me.
don’t look at me.

DAY 2
i don’t want any more portobella mushrooms ever.
eyeballs feel sore.
unable to focus on what holly’s saying. oh wait she’s telling me that’s me every day anyway. whatever, it’s worse than usual.
the pills (10 total, 3 times a day) taste like black licorice and i almost threw all of them up.
had a salad at 10am. omg who are we???? i don’t even know who i am anymore.

jamie g. did the cleanse and she just texted that “if we can make it through the next couple days” we’re going to “feel a beautiful light energetic happiness high.” this is hopeful though i hope i don’t get divorced by then. if you don’t hear from me in two days send the police.

there’s a hole in the ozone above where i do my hair

so now that it’s may in baltimore, two things are certain:

1) i will be sweating until early to mid october. possibly til halloween, depending on weather patterns.

2) my hair is now huge, only to get huger, unless i press no less than 400-425 degrees of searing heat directly against it, taking down baltimore’s power grid in the process and creating a hole in the ozone directly above our house.

this is compounded by the fact that i’ve started to go to the gym again, to “lose weight for the summer,” (LOL) seeing how it’s may 15th and i like to plan in advance and all. 10 minutes on the damn stairmaster this morning and my DIY blowout is shot to hell. totally going to have to do it again now. totally going to get carpal tunnel, which, whatever. you know i’m going to get it anyway because i’m a writer. might as well have nice hair while i’m sitting here in my home office where no one can see me (except holly, who somehow loves me no matter what my hair looks like, even on exceptionally large hair days that make her eyes wide with alarm as she whispers babe, your hair is really big today. bless her).

in other news: holly’s semester’s almost over and OMG THANK GOODNESS I’M SO HUNGRY I’VE BEEN HUNGRY SINCE THE FALL OMG BABY PLEASE START COOKING FOR ME AGAIIIIIN. no but seriously: this year’s been an emotional roller coaster! now i see why getting your mba is such a friggin big deal. it’s hard. it’s hard on spouses, too!

it’s like holly’s school stress travels into me through osmosis or something. i’m not taking econ BUT I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING ECON. please! i don’t want to know about econ! like all good journalists/ex-journalists/copywriters, i pride myself in becoming an expert in confusing fields completely foreign/uninteresting to me, writing an article or website about said field(s), then promptly forgetting everything like it never even happened. don’t tell me about your econ class, holly, unless i’m writing web content/email marketing copy/a script/etc. on the life of an mba grad student with a partner who’s needed a home-cooked meal since august. (trust me, you don’t want me to write that.)

no. i’ve been cooking. i cook sometimes! i’m actually a pretty decent cook. i’ve made butternut squash puree, like from an actual butternut squash. (holly had to cut it down the middle for me because i’m scared of knives and, you know, blood.) i excel at grilling chicken. oh one time i made like…a chicken piccata-type thing! you know, with capers? i also excel at roasting any and all vegetables. i’ve made some vegetarian soups featuring trendy greens like kale and chick peas (the humble chick pea: always on trend, never out of style). i made a beef stew with red wine in it. (fancy!) i made my old friend diane‘s excellent sweet & sour gummy gelatin snacks because we’re hippies now and don’t eat anything artificial and everything in our cupboards is some kind of dried thing or seed sealed in an airtight container.

i started each semester out strong saying to holly i got you, babe! i’ll do the cooking! but then quickly petered out after three days, telling her on her way out the door to please go to starbucks during your break, honey, and get a latte and some kind of egg sandwich for dinner while i ate low glycemic foods such as green apples and various tree nuts at my desk. then i’d work on my e-book for five minutes, go downstairs and binge watch gay man shows like will & grace and the golden girls, spitting out pumpkin seeds as i laughed, thinking oh i should go do the dishes now but i probably won’t! oh that karen walker! oh blanche! oh sophia! i think i need an organic cheese stick! …but there was no one to get it for me because holly was in class. and then i’d feel sad i didn’t try harder to cook for my spouse. but then millionaire matchmaker was on and…what was i talking about again?

still. i would give up the chance to binge watch my favorite reruns for some home cookin that i don’t have to actually cook.

in conclusion, i started out talking about my hair and i have no idea how i got onto this topic. anyway, here’s a picture of the hole in the ozone above our house, three hours before i shut down the power grid.

Image

psych! it’s totally not. but wait: is that even real?? see, this is what happens when you google images. i have no idea if this is even legit. but it’s scary.

ok let’s stop talking about it now.

in conclusion (i love it when i try to “conclude” my blog posts). IN CONCLUSION: i have no conclusion. i was going to say something about hair to wrap up this post, but instead i’m going to tell you that while i was writing this (i wrote the majority of this post yesterday, about half of it alone in the house), the tv kept going on and off downstairs. it was really freaking me the hell out. i should have gone downstairs to investigate it, but there was a small part of me that thought it might be a poltergeist. (and we all know how well i handle spooky poltergeist movies.) i was trying to convince myself that some weird thing was going on with some kind of recording holly had set up but yeah, mostly i was thinking poltergeist.

i finally decided enough was enough, that i’d confront this invisible beast once and for all. i kind of expected to be sucked into the tv like that little girl in the movie (MOMMY HELP I’M STUCK IN THE TEEVEE! MOMMY MOMMY HELP! *shudder*). instead i found a box sitting on top of the on/off switch of the remote. i was flooded with the sweet nectar of relief one only feels after a close encounter with another dimension. (very few people have ever felt this.) i’m really glad this story had a happy ending or else holly would be really busy right now trying to get me out of our damn tv.

poltergeist hand comes out of the tv to get the little girl in the hit 80s horror movie, poltergeist.

COULD HAVE BEEN ME. WASN’T. ANOTHER CLOSE CALL.

EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO STOP RIGHT NOW.

i’ve been short on time lately. so in lieu of an actual coherent post, i’ve simply compiled a list of annoyances to share with you. i started writing it in a barnes & noble, shortly after a day trip to philadelphia. then i developed a new desk injury. now i’m sitting in a starbucks in towson watching flat butts go by.

here we go:

the heavy breathing behind me at the barnes & noble. just stop. stop sighing! your laptop screen is not large enough to shield me from your breathing. this is why i stay home and write. cause of people like you. go outside and sigh and breathe heavy. that’s what outside air is for.

the uncovered coughing behind me on the bus in philadelphia. HEY DUDE: DOES MY HAIR LOOK LIKE A RECEPTACLE FOR GERMS. IT’S NOT. COVER YOUR DAMN MOUTH OR I WILL SPRAY YOU IN THE FACE WITH MY BRAND-NEW MACE I JUST BOUGHT AT ACE HARDWARE.

the hookers. once the temperature rises five freakin degrees in this city, every loudass, raspy-voiced hooker in the neighborhood appears out of nowhere and starts shouting with her thousand-year-old smoker’s voice. STOP DISRUPTING MY WRITING. STOP DISRUPTING MY SLEEP. go inside! it’s not even warm out yet! why do you have to yell anyway? just talk! like a normal person! there are quiet hookers out there. haven’t you ever even seen pretty woman?!

the desk injuries. so now i have ulnar neuropathy? in addition to my desk-sitting-induced occipital neuralgia? in addition to the ganglion cyst from mouse overuse or somesuch that i used to have or still have? i don’t even know if i still have it. but i had to sleep with a brace on for a couple months back in ’05. it was…it was pretty nerdy. i’m glad i wasn’t wearing my nighttime mouthguard to prevent clenching back then or else i’d be divorced by now.

the slow people. oh and i’m slow so this is really saying something.

the people that don’t know how to drive. and i’m not even that good of a driver! USE YOUR BLINKER. STOP AT THE STOP SIGN. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM. GET OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE.

the grumpy people working in public places. look, despite how this blog may or may not portray me, i pride myself on being an exceptionally nice to strangers, and that includes people that work with the public, on the phone and in person. don’t assume i’m going to be rude to you. don’t be grumpy to me because some asshat was just a jerk to you. if you hate your job working with, you know, actual people, go get a job doing data entry. i did it once. worst two days of my life but you’d probably friggin love it.

the high waistlines! c’mon. COME ON. it wasn’t ok in 1992. it’s not ok now. we were all ok seeing chandler, monica & joey’s collective camel toes back then because. well. i guess we weren’t ok with it. but we didn’t have a choice. that’s all that was available. it’s 2014 now. we have more choices. choose to wear pants that keep your genitals a secret. choose to wear pants that don’t make your butt look like one giant slice of BACK.
Two models wearing stylish, high-waisted pants next to an image of Jessica Simpson wearing high-waisted "mom jeans."

The female comedians of Saturday Night Live wearing "mom jeans" in their mom jeans skit

we don’t have to settle for mom jeans anymore! WE’RE BETTER THAN THAT.

remember that time we got in a fight before downton abbey and i made you watch it by yourself?

A photo of the cast from the hit HBO series Girls.

I MISSED GIRLS, TOO. NOT HAPPY.

i barely remember what happened in the last episode of downton abbey (season 4, episode 4) because it’s been so long since i watched it. actually. actually no. it hasn’t been that long, i guess, because i watched it monday, not sunday, because holly and i got in a fight sunday night and i made her watch it by herself, which pretty much killed me because i desperately wanted to watch it, just not next to her because i couldn’t stand to be around her because i was so irritated.

doesn’t that suck? when you get in a fight with your spouse/mate/significant other right before your TWO FAVORITE DAMN SHOWS, WHICH RUN BACK TO BACK, AND THEY’RE NOT NORMAL SHOWS EITHER. NO, YOU HAVE TO WAIT A DAMN YEAR FOR A NEW DAMN SEASON AND EVERY EPISODE IS LIKE A LITTLE POT OF GOLD (sunday night is a twofer: downton abbey, then Girls on hbo, which hello. best show ever.) and then you’re so mad you want to punch them in the throat, not only because they’ve wronged you but because they’ve ruined everything. the night is ruined. the shows are ruined. and the only way you can avoid said punch is to walk away, which means you have to walk away from the tv also. don’t you hate that?

anyway, i guess this post needs to address the last episode at least a little. so here’s some commentary based on what i can remember, which, admittedly, is not that much.

-the cooking teacher. the french guy? did anyone understand what the hell he was saying? because i sure the hell didn’t.

-“her ladyship’s” new “lady’s maid”–obviously another freakazoid weirdo! cora is so…i don’t even know. i’m beginning to think her and her asshat husband deserve each other. i remember going to a farm as a little kid for a school trip and there were turkeys there. i looked at a turkey, at its eyes, and it was like, there was just…nothing there. and i wondered: what’s behind those eyes? do they even have a brain? that’s what i’m starting to feel about cora. also: does she suck helium? oh well. at least she likes orange juice. at least there’s that.

-mary’s really swinging some zingers at edith these days, isn’t she? geesh. (WHY’D EDITH GO TO THE DOCTOR? WHY? OMG WHY.)

-poor daisy. why’s she always pickin the wrong men?? the first one’s a homo. the second one dies. the third one doesn’t like her back. she’s really not all that bad. daisy needs a man. so does thomas. i stand by my earlier statement that thomas would be a whole lot nicer if he had a man. i’m sure he’d have better coloring, too.

-why’s lord grantham being all nice and whatnot to that farmer? give him time. i’m sure he’ll screw everything up.

-mr. bates is going to do something bad. we all know this.

-the new gardener. the letter opener. i have no idea. these ladies need more to do.

-molesley: still an idiot. i called that one last season.

when downton abbey was over, holly called up to me and asked if i wanted to watch Girls with her down there or did i want to watch it upstairs with her in bed. i told her i was too tired to watch it, which was a lie. what i really was saying was: DON’T EVEN ASK ME. COME UP HERE AND CUDDLE UP NEXT TO ME AND LET’S WATCH IT TOGETHER WHILE YOU APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A JERK. THEN EVERYTHING WILL BE BETTER AND THE NIGHT WILL NOT BE COMPLETELY RUINED AFTER ALL.

instead of reading between the lines she was like “you sure? okay.” and she watched it downstairs without me.

OH MY GOSH DID THAT MAKE ME MAD. sometimes i wonder: why did i even bother marrying a woman? why did i struggle coming out of the closet the way i did? why am i even gay? she thinks like a man. she acts like a man. she doesn’t understand that when i say something i actually mean something else. 

anyway, i was so mad i couldn’t even watch Girls upstairs in bed. instead i turned on the grammy’s and stewed and listened to holly watching Girls downstairs by herself. then i got madder. it was a vicious cycle. i tried breathing out the bad feelings down to my feet the way my acupuncturist says do so but it was no use.

when she came upstairs, i shut my eyes and pretended i was asleep. i made sure i was way the hell on the other side of the bed, too, so she couldn’t put her doggone cold feet on my legs. OHHHH NO. YOU GONNA USE ME AS YOUR PERSONAL HEATING STATION YOU BEST NOT BE WATCHING GIRLS WITHOUT ME, UH-UH NOT HAPPENING. WARM UP YOUR OWN DAMN FEET DAMMIT.

so yeah, we made up the next day. of course we made up, we always do. part of making up was, of course, making her watch both downton abbey and Girls again, which was all about death and kind of upsetting. the fact that holly watched these again with me means that she loves me. even though she was on facebook on her phone or her ipad or whatever. she loves me. this is what marriages are made of people. compromise.

sidenote: please make GIRLS an hour an episode, lena! PLEASE. WE WAIT ALL YEAR FOR THIS. WE WAIT ALL YEAR.