Friday, September 30, 2005

"Where am I?"

The Pit of Despair! Don't even think... (hacks phlem) don't even think about trying to escape. The chains are far too thick. Don't dream of being rescued, either; the only way in is secret. Only the Prince, the Count, and I know how to get in and out.

My friend Gail invited me out to her lawyer’s 40th birthday party. Now, in her defense, she did warn me that it might be a bunch of middle aged rednecks, but I thought, hey, come on, this is Seattle, we’re pretty low on red neck lawyers….
We arrive in West Seattle (which I’ve been to twice prior to this) and as we pull up to the bar I could tell right away that my night was going to be very different than usual.
I was dressed in jeans, heals, and a satin tank top. Or maybe I should say over-dressed. The people there were wearing un-ironically intended trucker caps, free t-shirts and fake nails. Gail walked up and hugged a normal looking middle aged fellow. He immediately spotted me and said, “Gail, you didn’t have to bring me a present. Well, Present, what’s your name?” I thought better of calling myself “KiKi” my family name which is easy to remember and spell for morons, and went with my full name. He then shook my hand in what I can only describe as a sleazy manner.
The table where the birthday boy was sitting was full so Gail and I decided to belly up to the bar for a drink. The bartender gave Gail a beer and then eyed me and said, “Sweetheart, are you old enough to be in here?” I couldn’t decide if she was asking me if I was 21 or if I really intended to loiter about in a disgusting dive bar with a bunch of over-paid, over-sexed, middle-aged ass-clowns. I gave her the eyebrow and handed over my ID. She studied it for an unnecessarily lengthy amount of time before asking me what I’d like. I gave her a huge smile and said “Sprite, please.” She gave me the stink eye and I carefully observed her pouring my Sprite. (Might I add as a parenthetical side, that Washington State specifically makes easily recognizable IDs, where the under 21 ID is vertical and the over 21 ID is the traditional horizontal.) When we turned back around to face the abysmally terrible trio ruining the songs of marginally decent bands we saw that Gail’s Lawyer had cleared space for us across from him at the table. Goody.
We sat down and Gail’s Lawyer introduced us to what seemed to be every redneck cop and lawyer on this side of the mountains. “Bob, this is my good friend Gail and this is my Birthday Present.” I was feeling uncomfortable on more than one front, first off, he kept mentioning unwrapping this present; worse yet, I was feeling a little bit like the One Ring as he seemed eerily like Gollum.
Eventually, we got around to a couple further down the table. The husband looked like someone had inflated the brother-in-law from Arrested Development, Dr. Funke, with cheesecake. He had this mustache. I asked him if he was a cop. He said no. I wanted to ask him if he was Hitler. Gail wouldn’t let me. “Bu..bu..bu.. but Gail, he needs to know that mustaches are for cops and Hitler.” Next came his wife. As Gail’s Lawyer introduced her I was so startled by this woman’s appearance that I didn’t hear anything said for quite some time. This is what she looked like:

No serious, she looked like that. But Fatter. White frizzy hair. White blotchy skin. Scarey swollen lips. And to top it off… she had fey eyes and sharp, unnaturally long, overly pale French tipped acrylic nails.
I was afraid that I was staring. I looked down. I wasn’t staring… she was. She looked at Gail and me with predatory intensity. In my nervousness tradition, I shot her a double plus extra smile. She made a completely incomprehensible facial expression back at me. It was some form of showing her teeth. And those were some chompers; solitary dwellers, none touching their neighbors, inhumanly uneven and jaggedly sharp, clearly designed to rend raw flesh from bone. I didn’t know if that was a smile or not. I decided to look the other way. The fat middle aged man way, YIPES.
After being propositioned with the following:
“Hey my buddy thinks you’re hot, so let’s make it happen.”
“Make what happen?”
“How many drinks would it take?”
“I’m on the wagon.”
“Can I borrow your present when you’re done?”
“You can’t afford this present.”
“Ever been with an older man?”
“You remind me so much of my father.”
Eventually, we made our escape having no phone number or bodily fluid exchanges. Gail’s Lawyer seemed to think that I would actually go home with him. I should mention that his wife is 27. 25 is not much of an upgrade, though to be fair, she outweighed me by at least 75 pounds….

So I'm here till I die?
Until they kill you, yeah.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Welcome to the Seattle Umbrella Conspiracy

That’s right, I’m smiling at you. Here we are jogging or walking around the lake. It’s sunny or raining or gray. And I am smiling at you. You think I’m nuts, or hitting on you and you look down. And you looked down yesterday. That’s fine because I don’t have to share my secret smile with you. It’s a secret that only a few of us know. I’ll share it right now though, since you might miss it otherwise.

That sunset. That one there, over the lake and the trees and the joggers and strollers and the puppies. That one. Today’s sunset. It is the most beautiful sunset that I have ever seen in all of my life. And I am amazed to be happy, healthy and alive to see it. Every day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Revenge of the Herks


So last Saturday, as I lay in bed trying to forget my weekend (updates on that gem forthcoming) I was startled to hear the sounds of really loud herking. You may recall the freaky warning that I received from Peculiar Neighbor regarding noisy vomiting, I certainly did at the time.

Here is the basic scenario:

God my night blew. Could it actually have blown more? Not likely. Poor me. Boo hoo.


What the fuck was that?

Bleh... bleh... herk.

Mother of God! Jabba was right, he sounds like he's right outside my window.


What the fuck???

herk. splat. heeeerrrrrrk. spllllaaaaaat. HEEEEERRRRRRRK!!!!!! SPLATTTTTTT!!! sploosh sploosh.

Fuck. And I peep out my window. Double Fuck. That better not be a huge puddle of puke two feet from my window.

But alas, in the morning the Lake Superior and Lake Eerie of vomit had been lovingly placed before my window.

Before I continue, I think that it is important that I mention that I have had problems in the past with public herking. I used to live in a quite nice apartment a few years ago and there were several exciting tenants such as Ginormously Fat Loud Sex Guy. He lived with Skeezy Guy From My Gym and Surprisingly Nice Guy From The Loud Party Apartment. One Friday I returned from clubbing or whatnot quite late at night/early in the morning to find that someone (probably Ginormously Fat Loud Sex Guy) had nicely vomited out their slider. The vomit fell through their grated porch creating a two foot wide chunk/slime trail down my balcony window and splattering onto and through my porch and down the windows and porches of the three floors below me.

The next day I went to the office and politely related what had happened. They said "thanks for notifying us." I stared at them in disbelief.
"Is there anything else?"
"Yes, Actually. I want that vomit washed off of my window."
"Oh. Well, I guess we can have someone go out there or something."
"Ok, that sounds great. How about my porch and windows are cleaned, oh say... TODAY."
After that they were never friendly and were somehow shocked that the vomit incident and the multiple parties held across the courtyard where I was cat-called/ living on the same block as a project/ having my newspaper stolen every damn day/ the beer cans everywhere were reasons that I might not want to renew my lease....

Anyway, to avoid a repeat of that situation, I wrote a note to my manager that basically went thusly:


I'm sorry to bother you, but last night VERY late I was awakened by the noise of a man on a porch above vomiting onto the patio a foot from my window.

I desire two things:

1. I would like the vomit removed expeditiously.
2. I would like the vommitters discovered and notified of the inappropriateness of vomiting off their porch.

My apologies again, and thanks in advance.

I delivered the note and went to lunch with Monica. By the time Monica and I had arrived back at my house, post-lunch, the vomit was gone.

I left a nice note for the manager to thank him for his efficiency.

But keep this in mind, Mystery Puking Neighbor, the next time I hear herking outside my window I am going to run out in the courtyard and take a picture of you and post it on Craigslist.

PS- My high school mascot was Herky The Hawk.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Smart People on Ice!

I’ve been listening to the John Roberts senate judiciary hearings that NPR has been podcasting. Yes, I am a HUGE geek. This is not the point.

The point is that Roberts is my absolute hero. He is incredibly quick and flat out just too damn smart. In fact smarter than our legislators, who have been assigned to grill him on issues such as right to life, legal torture, prisoner of war rights.

He has been notoriously picky about which questions he will answer, and while his inquisitors seem to be upset about this, none of them can force, persuade, or trick him into it. Everyone knows that he is perfectly qualified and he is clean as a whistle, so this is just an opportunity of partisan posturing. Here is an actual transcript chunk from when Schumer, loses it:

Charles Schumer (D-NY): May I just say, in all due respect sir and I respect your intelligence, and your career, and your family, this process is getting a little more absurd the further we move. You agree we should be finding out your philosophy and method of legal reasoning, modesty, stability, but when we try to figure out what your modesty and stability means, we don’t get any answers. It’s as if I asked you what kind of movies you liked, tell me two or three good movies, and you say “I like movies with good acting, I like movies with good directing, I like movies with good cinematography”, and I ask you to give me an example of a good movie and you don’t name one. And I ask you to give me an example of a bad movie, you won’t name one. And I ask you if you like Casablanca and you respond by saying lots of people like Casablanca. You tell me it’s widely settled that Casablanca is one of the great movies.

Arlen Specter (chair) calls for a break, but there is an interuption...

Judge John Roberts: First, Dr. Zhivago and North by Northwest.

It is hilarious that this guy is slipping free of the most powerful democrats in the nation (and some republicans too) without breaking a sweat. Too bad my new personal hero will probably remove my right to control my uterus.

If you missed the exciting Senate Judiciary Hearings: Roberts Trial, you can still get the podcasts on NPR.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oooooh does'ums kitty have a tummy-ache?

Dear Steve and Addy,

I hope you will understand why I am giving you your keys back. Your cats just didn’t want anything to do with me. After unsuccessfully trying to coax them from their hiding spots, I decided to pour them some of their scientifically formulated dirt-chunk style food, in order to lure them into the open. This was completely ineffective.

I had just set my non-dirt-chunk style lunch on your table when my phone rang. It was you Steve. I swear to God that your cat is seriously fast. I turned my back for literally 8 seconds and when I turned back I found my self on the crappy end of a rather sloppy hostage situation. You see one of your cats, the tiny one, was on the table with its face in my lunch. I was frozen for a moment and then I said, “No kitty, that’s my lunch.” I slowly approached and in a panicked coup de grace she grabbed the remainder of the fajita and ran under your bed. I could not coax her out from under there without risking severe blood loss. She seemed a little bit grouchy, possibly because she was enduring a bout severe gastro-intestinal distress. I think this quite adequately explains the strange odor you noticed.

Good luck finding a new cat-sitter… and carpet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

patriot games

I made the lamentable mistake of going to the Mariners game on Sunday. No, it wasn’t a mistake because they suck. Suck to the point that even with 6 players in trouble over their use of performance enhancing drugs, we still lost over half our games so far. It was a mistake because I had not remembered that Sunday was THE day. Sunday, as everyone else in America knew, was September 11. I have usually hidden somewhere far from tributes, TV movies, or memorials. I don’t feel ownership of that tragedy. I don’t think that the pain and fear of that event should be tied up in a bow and delivered to everyone in America every year like a reward for being a citizen. I think that this glorification somehow sullies the truth of the event. I guess I want to rave from the clock tower- “this isn’t about you!” And while I don’t want us to forget September 11, we have made NO policy changes to try to keep it from happening again, so what I want people to remember is WHY September 11 happened.

When the adorable autistic child at the outfield entrance tried to give me a flag I said with a large smile, “No thank you!” I know that sounds bad, but I do not want to keep the tiny plastic flag forever and have no proper means of respectfully disposing of it. I also think that what the flag is supposed to say is not what the people handing out flags are trying to say. And I don’t want to feel that I have been misusing the symbol of our hard-won freedom to support troubling foreign policies. We arrived at our seats just in time for the tear-jerking tribute to 9/11. They pulled some returned service men from Iraq, some of our fireman who flew out to NYC to relieve theirs for funerals and continuing to deal with rubble, and all the players onto the field. We were treated to a lovely view of a huge American flag, while serenaded with several patriotic songs and a POETRY reading. All around me people were sniffling as someone spoke of the buildings falling. Then a cheer and applause went up for our service men and women, protecting America at home and abroad.

Of course, because I am a terrible person, I couldn’t get choked up about thinking of all the men and women who died on September 11, because I was too busy ruminating on Cuba. “Protecting America… abroad?” I stood there pondering the statement. All the while growling, “They better be referring to Afghanistan.” Come on guys, don’t you remember? Afghanistan was harboring our terrorist enemies (not like Syria), we simply “liberated” Iraq. I bet all the Cuban and Puerto Rican players on the field, hats off and gazing at the giant flag were feeling very liberated too.

Hey guys, remember that one time we liberated Puerto Rico, then we realized that Puerto Rico was so cool that we just decided, “What the hell, let’s keep it! But we better restrict their privileges, like electing high level officials. You know to protect them and some shit.” Or that one time we liberated Cuba. That went super great! Hey, what’s the name of the guy we put in power… starts with a C and rhymes with Astro? Awesome, we rock at this!

As the tear jerker ended I kept feeling like a failure. I try my best to be a good and patriotic citizen, but I guess maybe being a patriot means something different to me.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I remember

When I was tiny I used to get cards from my dad for every single holiday. His checks were on time. And I always thought that my dad loved me, because my mother said so and his cards said so. Dad had beautiful cursive handwriting.

And one day the checks started coming late or not at all. And they were different. Not animals, just plain. And they came without cards. I thought my dad had stopped loving me. But he hadn’t. He had never loved me. It’s a funny thing though. His wife, who had never seen me, barely spoken with me, never held me as a baby and cooed over my tiny little feet, loved me. But I guess, like my mother, she realized dad would never love her right, because I guess he can’t. And she was gone.

All my life I wondered about her. I think it is amazing to love someone so much that you want them to look like the kind of man you wish they could be. A doting father. A generous giver. To care so much about a man that you can pour out love in gifts and letters to some child that didn’t even occupy his thoughts. I’m glad that she escaped. I’d gladly trade all the gifts, cards, and affection for the hope that she is off somewhere being loved by a genuine soul.

Love is an amazing thing.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gobo may jobo, Solo.

Yesterday as I was slinking out of my apartment to go on my daily jog I was intercepted by my next door neighbor. In fact this neighbor is why I slink out of my apartment as it is.

The day I met her I was carrying boxes into my shiny new apartment, hoping for a sexy young stud/librarian as a neighbor. I was very bummed when a quite middle aged rotund (we’re talking ‘Violet you’re turning violet, Violet’ on her way to the juicing room rotund) lady leapt out of the doorway.

“Uhm, hi. You must be new.”
“Yeah, I’m just moving in.”
“Yeah, about that. You know you shouldn’t leave your door open. I’ve been watching it for you, ‘cause Green Lake isn’t a safe neighborhood you know.”
“Well, I’m just moving here from Lake City, so it’s a major improvement. Ha, ha, ha.”
“Well, we had a rape here last year.”
“In this building?”
“Well no, over on Aurora (notorious for prostitution etc. also not near my house at all).”
“Oh, I see. Uhm. Well. I’m just unloading these boxes, so the door will be shut when I’m done.”
“Yeah, well, you should make sure you keep your door locked at all times. And your windows. I don’t even open them all the way. Only as far as the low setting on the lock. You know a lady living alone can’t be too careful.”
“Of course.”
“Being on the ground floor as well.”
“A girl simply must protect her virtue.”
“You’re absolutely right.”

2 thoughts:
1. Darling, I’m plum out of virtue.
2. You have got nothing to worry about because unless the mad rapist you fear specifically has a thing for fat/old chicks (to the point that he absolutely prefers them to young thin girls i.e. the other inhabitants of the building) your virtue will be intact when they put you in the ground.

So since then I’ve been avoiding her craziness. Until she got me yesterday- she must have been waiting with her ear to the door.

“Uhm, wait, uhm, Quiana, uhm, did you hear er… noises last night?” I shrank back inside the happy spot in my brain fearing that this woman was out there threatening the world by procreating. “Uhm, what noises?” She leaned in and whispered “Vomiting noises.” “Uhm, no,” I responded inching towards the hall door. “Oh. Well good. Because it wasn’t me. It was my upstairs neighbor. He must be sick. I just didn’t want you to think it is me.” “Of course not, I would never… anyway, I must er… run. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ahem.” What I wanted to say was: look honey buns, something tells me I’d be able to tell if you were bulimic.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I’m bad, but I’m not that bad.

Ok, look buddy. You called me from Kansas while I was at work to ask me the following question:

“So if you were Ebaying 8 Quantum Leap comics, what would you start them at?”

I protested that I had no idea. You said guess. I told you to look online. You asked where. I facetiously said, “I don’t know search for an online comic emporium.” I know that when popped up on your screen, it didn’t do much for my “street cred.”

I admit I like comics and I admit I am a nerd; in fact, at the bumbershoot festival, while my friends were cruising to the toons of popular bands I was attending lectures by Dave Eggers, Sarah Vowell, Mike Doughty, and Nancy Pearl. But let me make it abundantly clear that I am a NPR binging, documentary film obsessing, polictics arguing, x-box playing, indie music listening, bookworm type nerd who happens to read comics. I am not an elvish reading, quiddich playing, wing wearing, Klingon speaking, anime jerking off while denying that it is porning, kind of nerd.

I swear to God I’ve never said/thought/moaned: Scott Bakula in a tutu? Comedic genius.