People are Okay,Theoretically.

It’s not that I “hate” people.  I post “ironically” badly drawn comics on the internet and have a #relationshipgoals level affair with Netflix and red wine. I’m supposed to hate people, and instead form my bonds with sweatpants and pizza.

Though I do have romantic feelings for melty cheese, people and I are ok. I just find them very… what’s the nice way to put this? Draining? Exhausting. Y’all are a piece of work. A 20 minute stretch of casual small talk makes me feel like I’ve been trying to sneak through an alligator infested bayou camouflaged with nothing but a granny-style croc skin handbag upside down on my head. And just when I think I’ve managed to avoid the gators some redneck airboats up and mistakes my purse-hat for an alligator and yells “CHOOT ERRR!!!”.

baghead

I LOVE theoretical people. Internet people, like you. Statistical people, sociological masses with predictable, quantifiable behavior. The infamous “The People” whose general well being I’m concerned for in my political fervor for equality, justice, and stability. In person people, with their incessant demand for the correct amount of eye contact and relevant facial impression, wilt me like indelicately handled baby spinach. And it’s way too easy for them to touch you. Like, there’s nothing even stopping them.

Last week was St Patrick’s Day. This is not a day that would normally interest me. I’m the only Caucasian in America with zero claim to Irish-ness, and I’m a stickler for cultural authenticity. But since I hate to be touched (and plus also love whiskey and how pretty my eyes are when I wear green) I spend days trying to figure out the perfect green outfit. The one that toes balance of being enough green to avoid a repeat of the Turrible Tickling Incident of ’04, but no so green that my not-Irish self look like I’m just out for an excuse to day-drink Jameson.

pattyes

I mean, I am. I just don’t need to look like it.

I work at a job where I have to be constantly available to customers the most potentially awkward social situations imaginable for 40 hours a week. Sometimes I’m not going to have the energy to put together a post. I’m trying not to feel like a failure for that. Ironically, as I drafted some things for this post BETWEEN stressful social encounters today; a devilish coworker snuck right into my karate zone and “Boo!”ed me. I attacked her energy drink, and I think I absorbed some by osmosis because my heart rate is STILL up. But I managed to recover enough to post this so clearly that’s a victory. (Hey, Whitney!)

 

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International My Mom’s Birthday Day.

It’s my Mom’s birthday today. I won’t tell you how old she is because I’m not a big mouthed toddler anymore (wait…no. Not a toddler anymore). Plus, I give the gift of secrecy as a reward for aging slower than Pharell and a bribe for passing those genes on to me.

I come from a long line of incredible women with Martha Stewart level home making skills; made even more impressive because Martha draws her perfection from what I suspect is a Scrooge McDuck style greenhouse growing actual money on trees, and the only resources my Bama and Mom had were from actual trees. I. E. sticks. And Rocks. Mom’s a big fan of rocks. They can make absolutely anything with sheer willpower and one craft store coupon. Pinterest started as a sneaky way for their nosy house guests to plagiarize their genius. Their houses were immaculate and creative and immediate home for all who entered, and they did it with a budget even Mitch McConnell would approve.

Mom, more than Bama, however, is a level of OCD not yet quantified by research. She once tried to make a randomly patterned multi stripe quilt to match Target’s latest dorm decor for my little sister’s room. She “accidentally” laid the pieces out in a perfect pattern the entire distance of the queen quilt. Twice. Her maddening attention to detail has driven me to the other end of the craft spectrum where the rules are anarchy and rulers are poison.

Some traits we pick up from our parents to emulate, some to avoid. I have very few reasons to avoid being like my Mom. I have lots of things the world would be lucky if I’d picked up. It’s perfect that it’s also International Women’s day, too, a day to celebrate the women we come from and the world we hope to make. Incredible creative crackpots like my Mom paved a way for a neurotic weirdos like me*.

the girls

good hearts, great minds, and even better eyewear 

“Strong Women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” Kathryn Winnick.

 

 

*In the 15 minutes before bed last night I fixed a teacup, replaced the striking paper top of my mason jar match holder, and folded a cardboard drawer organizer to corral bobby pins, while feeling absolutely sure if I left these things undone I would be a failure as an adult.

 

Fish Farts

Are you having a good week? Do you sell red wine in Lincoln, Nebraska? Because if you do, I know you’re having a good week. I just paid your children’s entire orthodontia bill.

I’m not having a bad week, I’m just having a “hang-on-for-dear-life-the-weekend-is-out-there-somewhere” week. I’ve fallen behind in everything  because my cat, Otto,  decided to try and starve himself to actual death and the other, Gryf, was fine with that, because more food for him. Otto had 2 rounds of IV fluids, now, though, and is on the mend.

Plus my house is a wet cat food perfumed disaster, I’m trying to plan a Jon’s B Day weekend. OH! And was buried in patronizing, misspelled, and body-parts tweets exclusively from angry white men who outnumber my actual followers,  because I had both a vagina and a jokey tweet about some current events. Then they wrote a blog post calling me human excrement and sent it to me and I learned about blocking. I love learning new things. Plus, work.

Work

So you know what I like to do to relax on weeks like this? I mean, besides marinating the inside of my BIG wine glasses in cheap Pinot?

Close your eyes. Imagine you’re deep in the ocean, in the velvety, blue depths. For the purpose of this story, you have gills. You are not dying. Dying is not relaxing. If you think it is, let’s talk after class. I have a friend in a white coat with magic white candies and we’ll just get crazy.

Right. Velvety depths. Sharks are around. I like sharks. And as the sun starts to set and the rich darkness sets in, in the twinkling light of the deadly Angler Fish’s glow-in-the- dark murder danglers,  the sea fills with the gentle thrum of….

Gas being expelled from the swim bladders of billions of bait fish.

Yes. Fish Farts.

This week scientists identified a mysterious sound picked up by deep sea whale recording studios, I assume Ellen Degeneres funded those, during sunrise and sunset. Apparently is billions of fish manipulating gas to rise to the surface to feed, and then submerge for fish bed time. They believe this fart-propelled migration may be the largest group movement on the face of the earth.

Reporters asked whether the sound served as a dinner bell to whales and dolphins? To which the scientists stared blankly and said…”did you catch that part about the gas? and the billions?”

Fish Farts

Oh good. Now I need some smoked oysters.

 

 

I Wanted Better for This Post.

Last week I was too busy trying to decide what to wear to the Opera to post twice. Omaha has a top notch Opera (for real, Grammy-winning soprano Jennifer Rivera SLAYED as young Nero and it changed my life). It’s just really hard to dress for because there will be people there in formal dress, and there will be people there in camouflage. This time an usher had to ask a man to remove his cowboy hat. Finding a “look” that straddles that line, looks “valentine-y” and was suitable for zero degree temperatures was a challenge. I spent most of the week with my face burrowed in Modcloth reviews.

I have 2 great topics in current event to post on. Justice Scalia passed away and people were stupid. Other people were stupid and Taylor Swift beat one of my favorite bands for Album of the Year. I have strong opinions on these things.

But life happens, and sweet Otto, our old scraggly beast of a cat, is trying to burn some of the few lives he has left. We’re not even sure whats wrong yet, but he’s dropped more than 10% of  his body weight and is very weak. He needs a lot of care and prayers and vibes and well wishes. He’s only taking food or water hand delivered to his pillow, which given his every day diva-ness may be less out of need and more out of he can get away with this now. If we can’t get him better with meds, food, and water in the next few days, it’s likely serious and irreversible organ damage that is common in tough guys like Otto who’ve had serious injuries in the past.

His little buddy “Gryf” is sweet to him, but the sympathy ends at the food bowl. He’s relentless about stealing the food we’re trying to tempt Otto with and jealous of the attention, so he’s “redecorating” for attention. He knows how to remove pictures from the walls. He is a jerk.

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With all that going on, I don’t have the emotional energy to float what may be a controversial take on Taylor Swift and race at the Grammys and deal with the fallout. My sense of humor is a little out of balance, so my Scalia piece teetered from wickedly irreverent and downright mean, to too reverent. You might have actually thought I would prefer he were still on the bench. I do not.

Please bear with me as I balance taking care of sick Otto, my day job, and this site.

 

 

What the Sam Hill Happened in New Hampshire

GUUUUGHGHGHGHHHHHH*. Is this freaking really happening, New Hampshire? Is this just our world now?

This primary season has been a race to the bottom of our collective better nature. Setting aside the deflating gold plated whoopee cushion in the flaxen toupee, the remaining candidates are one hapless Bush following the lead of the lowest polling President of the modern age despite growing up the victim of his fart pranks and a terrifying duo of Sarah Palin’s Tea Party test tube Senators. Ted Cruz is a viciously unlikable simpering human pout who, in the most perfect irony imaginable, is an Obama birther not actually born in the US himself (though is eligible to become President unless we take a red pen to the Constitution in the next 9 months**). The other misses work so often the senate has erected a Pillow Rubio with a voice recorder that just says “I vote whatever Paul Ryan votes” to represent Florida, and can’t memorize enough words to get through his latte order let alone a debate.

The Boys

But next to Trump, these Jenga towers of idiocy look like actual pillars of the community. And while we’re all disracted by whatever the Sam Hill Republicans are doing to the campaign trail, the ones who’ve already been elected are up to some strait up nonsense.

Kansas State Senator Mitch Holmes submitted a females only dress code because the men, and I quote, “don’t need instructions to look professional”. Which I think is patently untrue because in any given situation, there’s a white boy wearing shorts and not a single one of the Republican Presidential Candidates know how to have a jacket tailored. Dress codes are working so well at making Kansas’s underfunded education system for boys only (girls can stand in the back if they stay quiet like kids allowed to tag along to mommy’s coffee date) that Holmes figured it might work for the frightening number of distractingly not men people he’s seeing at work.

And then, in a STUNNING display of “Preventative Democracy”, Congressional Republicans rejected a budget proposal BEFORE THE THING WAS EVEN DELIVERED TO BE READ IN ITS ENTIRETY. I really appreciate them letting me know they’re ok with not even hearing out the opposition because that’s completely how I now plan to deal with Marco Rubio speeches. (Though, let’s face it, if you’ve heard a quarter of one, you’ve heard them all. Poor man. So many sentences.)

The State of Michigan, in attempt to prevent people from falling in love with the wrong other people, outlawed Oral and Anal Sex. Blowjobs are punishable in Michigan by up to 15 years in prison, which seems counter intuitive on some level. The residents of Flint have been bent over for so long, Rick Snyder’s doing life.

I’m convinced this political climate is the fallout of one of the craftiest lobbying tricks in the history of America. Clearly, “Big Wine” funded the campaigns anticipating huge cash returns as people like me flock to Trader Joes for affordable Pinot.

Wine

*the sound of me screaming through a forceful stream of red wine poured directly into my gargler.

**this is call “The High Road”, birthers.

Otto

I got a grey striped kitten for my 5th birthday. She, as all hateful animals do, lived basically forever. Eventually, she went on a hunger strike and evaporated into another plane of meanness altogether. At least I like to believe happens in the back room of vet’s offices to beloved, if not belove-ING, suffering pets. Victoria left me with one last parting hiss and scratch though. Charmer. This being my experience with cats, my relationship with the species in general is the same as my relationship with babies. They’re cute as long as they go home to their own people when it’s poopy-time. I don’t want one living with me. They poop where they live. So, somewhere else preferably, for all of that.

Then 2014 happened. I was homesick, weak from dog-starvation (dogs are my jam, my childhood dogs always loved me back). My coworkers, who seemed happy, were all cat people with convincingly chill cats. My little guy, Vlad (the Impaler), was inching dangerously close to the end of his little Hedghog life span and was never much for unconditional love. I had pet fever, and they make no antibiotics for furry cuteness. Once you catch it, it’s in your blood forever. Like Herpes.

You know that moment in horror movies? Where the sexy girl next door who lost all her chill when her boyfriend appeared is sneaking down the hall of the spooky house? And the ghost/demon/vampire/furby is right behind her, but she can’t hear it over her obnoxiously loud breathing and you yell at the deaf screen for her to run away, but your sound advice is ignored and she dies screaming suspiciously orgasmicaly? That’s how you should feel when I tell you that in that vulnerable state, I went to visit the shelter just to donate some treats and pet some cats.

I didn’t even have a chance.

And then, the pound visit equivalent of leaving the spooky house to hide alone in the mysterious tool shed, I went in the door marked “Discount Cats”*

Some aggressive suitors tried to clean my glasses with their foreheads; and from my blindspot a huge, limping, scruffy beast crept up behind me, sniffed my elbow, and promptly resumed his snooze near my thigh.

The bio on the wall told me he was 6 years old, and he’d been at the pound for three of them. He had been hit by a car, and someone turned him in. He was banged up, but functional, huge, scruffy and already been disarmed, er, declawed. By cruel trick of fate or morbid sense of humor, he was named “Otto”. After some shady dealings to circumvent the letter, but not the spirit, of Human Society and our apartment building’s law, Otto came home with us.

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He took a victory lap around our plce, bad hip clicking, tail crooked but swishing. The sight of a sink sparked a memory. He expressed this by making an assortment of not dainty noises at us and darting into the bathroom. He must have thought we were total idiots. “MWUUUURRR (sink)  MWOWER (on), BROWWWWWM (cat) BRRRUUUURRR (drink). I’m pointing right at it. Get it together Humans or this is never going to work.”

Two years Otto has me completely sink trained.

hold it

Every. Single. Day. I wake up, potty dance my way to the loo. When I reach the door, Otto bursts past and sits on the toilet. Always on the toilet. He looks at the sink, and I make it dribble. He doesn’t move. He looks at the tub. I make THAT dribble. He doesn’t move some more, while my eyeballs float deeper into my cranium. He considers both dribbles while I attempt to meld my knees into one single leak proof mer-limb. Eventually he chooses. If you put him in front of a dribble he yowls like his whiskers got caught in my mer-limb. Then he picks the other dribble.

Who rescued who indeed.

 

 

*The door did not say “Discount Cats” it said “The adoption fees these cats has been reduced from $100 to $25. They are spayed/neutered, and current on shots like any other adoptable animal.” For Real.

Caucuses

I remember being politically opinionated from an unusually young age. In elementary school, I knew I wanted to be the first female president of the United States. The first. Not “a” female President. The ground breaker.

Annoyingly coordinated Christine liked to say SHE would beat me to it because she was prettier; but I knew Senator Hillary Clinton was my real competition. What did Christine know? Christine thought the President was getting fired for kissing a girl. I had to host a playground lecture about the impeachment process and congressional hearings to bring my class up to speed.

little lauren

I took mock elections in 2000 VERY seriously. The faux voting booths they set up in the library were disgustingly inaccurate. Slips of paper and shoe boxes are NOT hanging chads, OK. My exit poll revealed that a.) my class had basically invented writing in candidates and b.) most were voting for Christine or Jesus. Or the cool teacher who didn’t skip over the swear words in Shakespeare.

In high school I redirected my nerd-hood into Punk Rock, an infinitely more badass outlet for CSPAN fans than debate club. Which I also did. But as a badass. One of the biggest positives I take from Bush 2’s dark ages is this: PUNK ROCK WAS FREAKING AWESOME WHILE HE WAS IN OFFICE. I’m still playing Fat Wreck Chord’s “Rock against Bush” Compilations on important election days, like the Iowa Caucuses.

The Iowa Caucuses are the first Primary event of a Presidential Election cycle and interesting because Iowans are a microcosm of general election voters, containing most of the social strata that make up the public. Polls have been predicting slobbering whoopee cushion Donald Trump leading Sarah Palin’s political test tube babies Cruz and Rubio; and a neck and neck race between Democrats.

BECAUSE THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN, who loves each of us, even my Facebook acquaintances, and wanted them to live into Tuesday; the whoopee cushion did not win. I mean, I really would have loved to hear Anti-Flag’s Trump material: but its better overall if the country doesn’t descend into a crass cesspit of all the absolute worst things from America’s white people,surgically altered, gilded, draped in red velvet, streaming into global living rooms as reality TV, prompting our allies to carpet bomb us rather than have our lunacy spread.

But you know who did win? Hillary Clinton did. Because 9 year old Lauren could see into the future but was not old enough to buy herself lottery tickets.

Child Hitler

Tell me that’s not the wave of a future Dictator.