Monday, May 30, 2005

Freezer Motor And Defroster: $395
ER Visit: $500
Being Able To Mention 'Butt Crack' At Least Once In Your Blog: Priceless

Saturday was a very expensive day.

It started off with a visit from the refrigerator repair man who was here to investigate why our freezer couldn't freeze ice cream and couldn't churn out more than one ice cube a day, which is about 4999 units less than is needed per hour in this household. There seems to be some sort of Amityville curse going on in our house, but instead of mutilated bodies turning up we are left with dead appliances strewn around. There's the thrice-returned coffee maker (more on that riveting topic later), the dryer that, unless the timer is turned to a specific point on the dial that must be mathematically calculated by the position of Saturn, keeps going and going, drying forever until your clothes are turned into brightly colored pieces of inedible beef jerky. Then there is the freezer, which is now working thanks to a new $395 motor and defroster installed by a morbid character named Boris who was wearing a shirt that was so dirty I was tempted to ask him if he could step into a big vat of Clorox before working on my appliance that, you know, held FOOD. We also had the pleasure of staring at his lovely butt-crack the entire time, which begs the question, "Why do they all have this universal talent?" I imagine a class in Butt Display, where the teacher coaches them through the precise art of Crack Revealing, "Now, bend over just a little bit more, while at the same time scooting forward on your knees. There ya go, buddy. More, more, more, just a little bit further over. We almost see it...Bingo! Hello, crack! Good job big fella!"

The day ended with Kiyomi having to be taken to the ER.

We were getting ready to go out to dinner and the girls begged to take a couple more spins around the backyard on their scooters. I was taking this opportunity to give the refrigerator another good WIPING DOWN just to make sure I had eliminated any last traces of live cultures that may have taken up residence on Boris' shirt and jumped ship into our food storage device, when I heard the sound of metal crashing onto cement, dead silence, and then screaming, I threw down my sponge (it was glowing now) and ran outside to assess the damage. Kiyomi had fallen and had a big raspberry on her arm but appeared to be fine, trying to explain the ill-fated scooter maneuver to me between big sobs and gasps. We went inside, cleaned her up and in a few minutes she was happily watching TV. A few seconds later, though, she started crying pretty hard, saying her arm hurt REAL BAD and she couldn't move it. Even though the whole time she was telling us this she was gesturing emphatically with that arm, we have learned not to trust our own judgment, because of what happened almost five years ago when she was two.

It was the second day of a three day stay in Monterey. We were in our hotel room and Kiyomi was doing her usual monkey theatrics, jumping on the bed and screaming, and Kira was on the other bed conjugating verbs. I was just turning to tell Kiyomi to stop jumping on the bed, acting like a monkey, when she slid off and landed on the carpeted floor, on top of a comforter. Well, she started howling like a banshee, since, well, that's just what she did all the time anyways, but this time she continued on for a bit longer than usual, but we assumed she was fine, since WHO GETS HURT FALLING ONTO A BIG FLUFFY CLOUD? Rigel and I took turns holding her and carrying her around, and finally she fell asleep. She woke up around a half an hour later, seemingly fine, so we decided to go to the aquarium as we had planned.

She was acting pretty normal when we got there, except for the fact that she didn't want to budge from her stroller and usually there was no way we'd be able to keep her in that thing without strapping her down with an entire roll of duct tape. As the day wore on, I also noticed she was pointing at everything with her left arm and not really using her right arm at all, but again, we were basically clueless and continued with the abuse, pushing her around in her stroller, expecting her to enjoy the marine life while her chances of becoming a concert violinist slowly diminished. Finally at the end of the day, the fact that everytime we'd try and pick her up would result in piercing screams convinced us to take her to the ER.

When we got there the doctor assured us her arm wasn't broken, as he said that a two-year old with even a slight fracture would be inconsolable and wouldn't allow anyone to move their arm, as he was doing at that moment, cranking it up and down like the handle on a slot machine. They took some x-rays and while we were waiting for the results they took us into separate rooms to ask us exactly what happened.

It finally dawned on me after a few seconds that they had separated us because they thought that maybe she hadn't fallen off the bed, onto a fluffy cloud after all. Omigod, they thought we were BAD PEOPLE. People who do THOSE BAD THINGS to children. I started to get a little warm under the collar, not because I felt guilty, but because I was praying with all my heart that Rigel didn't use this opportunity to answer any of the questions with his usual sarcastic humor (those of you who know Rigel KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.) I could only sweat bullets as I imagined him answering the question of how it happened with, "Well, hell no, I didn't see her fall off the bed, since I was too busy beatin' my woman, dangnabit!"

Finally we met back in the examination room and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw he wasn't in handcuffs. My joy was short lived, though, since the doctor was now staring at Kiyomi's x-rays on the light box and motioning like a madman for the nurses to come and take a look cause holy shit SHE HAD BROKEN HER ARM IN TWO PLACES. None of us could believe it, especially Rigel and I since now we were starting to feel the hugest heavy pile of guilt starting to build up on top of us and imagined the years of therapy she would have to undergo in her adult life in order to reconcile the fact that her parents had put off taking her to the ER for a broken arm (in two places!) all because they had to see some FISH.

Needless to say, THAT is why Rigel drove her to the ER at ten o'clock on Saturday night, which caused him to call Kiyomi's injury 'the most x-rayed, over-sterilized, heavily-gauzed, expensive arm-scrape in history.'

But at least I had some ICE to put on it when she got home.

Archive File: Offspring | Family | This Life

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fried, Dyed And Slicked To The Side

Last week I got my hair cut and colored for the first time in almost six months. It hasn't been for a lack of trying - I've made and cancelled a few appointments in the past few months, but it's usually a three hour chunk out of my day, and I don't have the time to commit, what with all the field trips I'm going on and all.

I've been going to the same guy for over ten years, and he's sympathetic to my plight since he has two kids of his own, and usually keeps any disparaging comments about the condition of my locks to himself. This time however, he said my hair looked "kind of dried out" and maybe I should start using some "better shampoo." Well, I don't know what kind of crazy talk that is, mister, because I can tell you the stuff I buy in the 10-gallon drum for $2.95 at Costco says right here on the label, 'Good Fer Yer Hair."

Anyways, just to humor him I decided to splurge and buy some decent product (that's what he calls it, "Product") at Target and spent a whole $10 on some shampoo and conditioner. It must be good because it comes in two separate bottles and they have them fancy-pants dispensing caps instead of a pull-top.

Well, I think it's definitely helped, and, not to brag, but my recent salon visit along with all the expensive goop has my hair looking pretty damn foxy! Here it is.

Archive File: Random | This Life

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

If I Was A Man I Would Have .00001 Balls

Yesterday I went on a field trip with Kiyomi's first grade class. To do this I had to miss one of my writing classes I just started last week. Since there are only six sessions, I hated to miss even one, but as usual I was BENT TO KIYOMI'S WILL. I had volunteered to be a parent chaperone weeks ago, but completely forgot about my class being on the same day. I approached my sweet loving child about my dilemma and hinted that mommy was TRYING TO GET A LIFE and would not be able to come along on the field trip and her answer was, "So, is your writing class more important than me?"

This was followed by her famous Doe-Eyes Filled With Despair stare segueing into the Eyes Cast Downward Hurt Feelings look and topped off by the I Thought You Were My Mother But I Guess You're Satan glare.

Okay okay! I'm going already! Personal growth is so overrated, anyways.

She's good, this Kiyomi she-devil. Able to manipulate wimpy adults with a single glance, bring vulnerable parents to their wobbly knees with a gut-wrenching remark and God knows what other powers she holds in that little six-year-old body of hers. We're almost certain we've seen her bend spoons by boring down on them with her beady little eyes, and we're not sure, but we suspect she may be responsible for those exploding toads over in Germany.

And now after hearing that, in case you have a shred of respect left for me, kiss its lonely ass goodbye because I have another story that will officially crown me Ms. Wussified Wussiest Wussy Wuss 2005:

This Thursday Kira's class is also going on a field trip, but I was trying to bail on that one as well, since that morning is the brunch at the school for parents who have volunteered during the year. I figured I should take advantage of it, seeing as I spend about three-quarters of my waking hours over there, and HEY FREE FOOD. So, once again I searched high and low, inside couch cushions and under the beds, found some fragments of my spine and approached my other sweet loving child to tell her that I WOULD NOT BE COMING ON HER FIELD TRIP NO WAY NO SIREE ABSOLUTO NEGATIVO I'M SERIOUS DON'T TRY AND BEND ME LIKE KIYOMI ON THIS ONE.

And this was followed by Kira's famous Rapid Blinking Of Eyes To Hold Back Tears Of Sorrow flutter segueing into the Gentle Sniffling Of The Nose To Indicate Imminent Crying episode topped off by the I Hope You Enjoy Stuffing Your Face While I Suffer Alone shrug.

And so I will be going on my SECOND field trip of the week, but just to show her WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE I'll be going to the brunch first and then meeting the class at the museum. Yes, rushing through brunch, driving my own car across town to meet up with them for the last hour of the field trip - THAT'LL SHOW HER WHO'S THE BOSS.

Archive File: Offspring | This Life

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

I Just Had To Share This

Kiyomi is sick and stayed home from school today, and I would like to blame the following on the Children's Tylenol for fueling her wacky thoughts, but those of you who know Kiyomi will recognize that she says stuff like this ALL THE TIME.

I was making her lunch when she came up to me and said she had "something to tell me." I braced myself for a revealing of a schoolyard crush, or perhaps (and, again, for good reason for those of you who know Kiyomi) the confession of a midnight liquor store theft with an outlaw girl gang while Rigel and I slept unsuspecting in our beds.

Instead she said "Mommy, you know, after I eat Chinese Food For Dinner? And the next morning, when I fart, it smells like rotten Chinese food."

This family, we're a bunch of thinkers.

Archive File: Offspring

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If You Look Closely, You'll See That I've Cleaned The Grout With A Q-Tip

The scarcity of my posts lately is mainly due to the specter of the large event looming on the horizon, one that has me paralyzed with fear and unable to write because of the overloading of my cerebral cortex by thoughts of said event.

I am talking about, of course, the family get-together I'm hosting on Sunday.

This meeting of several familial tribes (23 people - and that's with only part of the usual gang showing up) is to celebrate the birthdays of Rigel, my sister Eileen and Kira. What? You thought we'd already celebrated Kira's 9th birthday last month, you say? How many times can a child's entrance into her ninth year of life be celebrated? The answer is FOUR, people, and as I answer that I ensure my entry into the club known as Parents Who Celebrate Too Much And Their Children Who Expect It.

Let's see, there was the day of her actual birthday, when I descended upon Kira's classroom with cupcakes and juice to celebrate with her classmates, then there was the night of her birthday when we were joined by Grandma for a birthday dinner, cake and presents, two weeks later followed the Slumber Partypalooza which nearly resulted in the hospitalization of aforementioned parents, and now The Birthday That Would Not End is capped off with the 'Family Party' as it is know around these parts. The girls have always had both a 'Friends Party,' and a 'Family Party,' the former being recognizable by the presence of the girls' classmates, playmates and their parents and usually a mammoth inflatable bouncer, puppet show or other overpriced entertaining diversion device. Me, I like the 'Family Party' the best because it contains the element of potluck and the doting on our girls by older cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents thereby enabling Rigel and I to actually have an uninterrupted thought or to go at least five minutes without having to fetch a juice box or tie a shoe.

Uh, let's see, where was I?

Oh yes Sunday.

I've spent the past week on a caffeine-fueled cleaning binge, trying to get the house presentable for the viewing by other humans. It's been a Herculean effort, as I've spent the past few months sitting on my ass writing on my blog, contemplating the many ways I can avoid cleaning my house and as a result the place looks like a freshman dorm. So I've stayed up late the past few nights cleaning off counters and scrubbing walls in an effort to give our anticipated guests the impression that our house always looks this way, NO REALLY, and all we've done is a little straightening up.

Pre-party hysteria (a phrase coined by Rigel, and not in a pleasant way) is usually accompanied by the proliferation of small home-improvement projects, also done with the intended deception of the well-groomed home. I've made so many trips to Ikea in the past couple of weeks they have a sign that says, "Welcome Marsha" above the door and there's serious talk of designating one of the checkout lanes just for me, to accommodate all my 'Norden,' 'Björkudeen' and 'Trolfast' purchases. Rigel has become accustomed to coming home to our living room littered with cardboard boxes, and me furiously trying to assemble my 'Gorm' storage system before dinner. I get startled when my dark-haired children walk by - I could have sworn I was living in Sweden, near a fjord with my strapping husband Sven and my two lovely children Dagmar and Gerda.

I swear it will be different the next time I host a party here. I promise not to play into the falsehood of the perfectly kept home, and will instead defy society and it's pressures and proudly display my imperfect domicile for all the world to see. "Haven't you ever seen a three-day-old bowl of Cocoa Puffs before?" I'll scold my nit-picking guests. Or, to the others who would look down upon my slovenly ways I'll forthrightly confess "If you smell something funny, please check underneath your seat cushion. It could be that piece of sausage we've been looking for." Yes, it will be different next time, but old habits die hard. Now, I need to run. The garage needs a second coat of paint.

Archive File: This Life | Family

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Count The Times I Mention Lamb Chops

Recently we went to an industry awards show called the Key Arts, which recognizes the best in movie advertising - posters, trailers, displays, etc – the whole shebang is hosted by The Hollywood Reporter and held at the Kodak Theater, which is where they have the Academy Awards. I guess there must have been some celebrities there, because they had a red carpet with some paparazzi hovering around, but they made us walk around it, behind a partition. Huh! Imagine that! I mean, hello it's not like anyone can even PROVE that I was ever really stalking Oprah. Afterwards followed a big party with a huge, gluttonous buffet (whose highlight for me was a pan piled high with steaming grilled lamb chops and a monstrous vat of creamy risotto) and lots of beverages of the alcoholic variety. Not that I only went to stuff my maw, but sakes alive they had HUGE PANS OF GRILLED LAMB CHOPS! If this doesn't excite you I don't even want to know your name.

I used to hate going to this soiree since I inevitably would run into one of my loathsome former bosses/clients/co-workers that I had been avoiding like a bad rash, and who I never liked when we were working together, and who I liked even less at a social event once they had been pumped full of martinis. Even more repugnant is all the schmoozing and ass-kissing taking place, these being the two most popular activities at these events besides pumping yourself full of martinis and gorging on yummy hot lamb chops. A few years ago Rigel was in the unfortunate position of having to engage in mindless banter with one such dork in need of ass-kissing client-type, a crumb of a man who was widely disdained. They chatted for awhile, and as Rigel was walking away he perfunctorily offered him his business card, and the asshat said, "I don't take anything that isn't a purchase order." Oh, okay! The last we heard he was washing Tony Danza's cars.

I bucked up and gave in a couple of years ago, after Rigel won an award and I wasn't there. People were calling me the next morning telling me what a funny acceptance speech he had given, and why wasn't I there, and what a unsupportive, selfish wife I was. I am a stand-by-your-man type of gal so I started going after that.

Unfortunately Rigel didn't win this year, but at least I was there this time to stroke his arm and tell him, "Honey, it's an honor just to be nominated" but he was yelling "DIE you fucking judges, DIE!" so I'm not sure he heard me. After he calmed down we spent the rest of the show booing and hissing at all his competitors and I even tried to trip one chick on her way down to accept her award - we were trying to be good sports but she just looked so smug and all.

The thing I love most about being in the Kodak Theater is the thrill I get every time I go to the restroom, step onto that expensive tile, stare at the rows of shiny stainless steel doors and think, "Halle Berry was IN THE HOUSE." Yes, that's right - and J-Lo parked her booty in one of these stalls and DID HER BUSINESS. And Nicole Kidman - she was here, but did she go? It's hard to imagine her uptight self plunking her pale hiney down to make wee. And don't get me started on Oprah! To think that she may have held court upon the very same throne which I now found myself on gave me pause. So many stars! So few stalls! The scenarios are endless, and I pondered them as I sat and reflected on the rich history embedded in the cool white porcelain beneath me.

Archive File: Married | This Life | Eating

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Dear God When Is Your Father Getting Home??!!

Get ready for more CRANK! Do not say you haven't been warned!!

Sure they look cute and harmless, but my two girls, they can wreak havoc on a sane person's soul, and occasionally bring up the urge to put one's head in the oven. Nothing serious - I'm just sharing.

Today was not a good day. It started off with a crazy morning, as not only did we have to get the girls up and to school on time and not our usual five minutes late (the State is inflicting their State-mandated testing, those Nazis) but I promised Kira's teacher I would help out in the classroom for an hour or so. It was pleasant enough until Kira discovered that - OMIGOD BAD MOMMIE - I forgot to make her lunch and she gave me the silent pout and growl and shot burning stares of displeasure my way to voice her extreme disapproval at my ineptness. Friday is the only day she doesn't like to eat in the cafeteria because they have pizza that is SQUARE, and well, you don't want to know the rest of the argument.

Anyways, after completing my volunteer stint in the presence of The Unhappy Luncher I had to rush out to try and make it to my Writer's Group that meets every three weeks at a cafe on the other side of town. I was running late and by the time I got there I had missed the breakfast menu, infuriating since I was anticipating a nice hot plate of scrambled eggs and I had to eat a grilled panini with salad at eleven in the morning - who the hell eats salad before noon? - and now I was starting to feel like Kira when she is forced to eat Square Pizza.

The babysitter had picked the girls up at school and by the time I got home they had stored up hours of demands and whines that they proceeded to dump on me as soon as I walked in the door. Of course Kira started in with the whole forgotten lunch thing, and how I promised I would make her a sandwich AS SOON AS SHE GOT HOME, and now she was starving and not only that but her nose was runny, and her throat kind of felt weird, too, and CAN YOU MAKE ME A SANDWICH MOM CAUSE YOU KNOW YOU FORGOT TO MAKE MY LUNCH TODAY SO CAN YOU REDEEM YOURSELF AND MAKE IT UP TO ME? HUH? (Repeat 5x)

And Kiyomi followed suit, wanting snacks (the amount of food these little things consume - it's just plain freaky) and someone to play outside with her, and can I have some chocolate milk, and now I want a bagel with cream cheese, but like, NOW, and I changed my mind not chocolate milk but juice, but not the kind in a cup, but a juice box, but not the kind I put in her lunch yesterday, it tasted kind of icky and HEY WHERE IS THAT BAGEL WOMAN?

I rest my case.

Archive File: Cranky | Offspring

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I'm Not Making This Up

Following my bio-hazard scare the other day, I found this ad in a magazine:

I'm betting this was invented by a woman after being handed a pen pulled from behind someone's ear (or from some other strange crevice, which I don't even want to think of.)

Archive File: Random | This Life

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Good To The Last Drop

Saturday morning we awoke to discover that our coffee maker had broken. In our house this is tantamount to a full-scale disaster, on par with a space capsule running out of oxygen or tequila being denied to Tara Reid and was met with the same reaction; gut-piercing screams and the rolling of bodies on the floor in agony. I left Rigel on the couch, hollow-eyed and lifeless and crawled the two blocks to Linens and Things to procure a new lifesaving device.

Our only requirement was that the coffee maker come with a stainless-steel thermal carafe so this narrowed the choices down to two models, and I was able to tackle one of the nearly-extinct helpers in the store and ask him for his opinion. Once I made my choice I needed a clarification on the price - the shelf sign said $119 but the price tag on the box said $129. He made a quick trip to the register and confirmed that it was $119 so I grabbed the box and spent a few minutes shopping around, so excited that my mission had taken a mere ten minutes. I picked up a pack of placemats (it was the day before Mother's Day, after all) for the unbelievably low, low price of $4.99 and headed off to the checkout.

The checkout clerk was a surly broad, and she made no secret of the fact that she was not happy being here on a Saturday, her former job as Ambassador to the United Nations having fallen through and now she was stuck here scanning housewares for the likes of me. She brandished her scanner mightily and tossed my purchases hastily across the counter as she scanned, proclaiming "I am Sheena, Queen of the Checkout. I don't like being here on Saturday for the likes of you." I meekly interrupted her to point out that the coffee maker should be $119 and not $129 as it said on the price tag.

"Ma'am, didn't you see this label? It scanned at $129, and the price tag says $129" she pointed out as she nudged the box with her snout.

"Yes, I KNOW what the label says, but I asked a salesperson and they verified that the price is actually $119."

"Well, can you go find that person?" She was getting less pleasant by the minute.

I started to point out that that was actually her job, and maybe she should move her lazy ass from behind that counter and start earning her money, but she was wielding her scanner like a scythe and I saw her discreetly move the switch from 'scan' to 'annihilate' so I went off to find the salesperson who had helped me. I spotted him outside the window gathering carts and I motioned for him to come in. As we were waiting I noticed that there were now 500 angry people behind me in line, and some of them were carrying torches and hatchets. And Sheena once again asked me, "Did you see this tag? It says $129." She kept pointing at the price tag with her hairy paw. She was getting me angry, and I pulled back the leathery flaps covering her pointy ears and yelled, "$119!! $119!!" My voice was high and shrill now. Luckily the clerk showed up and saved her from certain death. He confirmed that he had verified the price on another register as $119, but this still didn't satisfy Sheena, Indignant Queen of Checkout and she called for a manager.

By now it was nightfall, and I had been in the store for days. I imagined Rigel at home, laying prone on the couch with a vacant stare, the girls trying to revive him by rubbing coffee grounds under his nose and prodding him with their plastic fairy wands. Most of the people behind me in line were dead now, either from exhaustion or a lack of food and water and I was horrified to see the skeletal remains of the last person in line being feasted upon by rabid shoppers using wire whisks and wooden spoons.

Finally the manager showed up and pulled out an even bigger scanner and waved it majestically over the coffee maker. It sputtered and smoked and flashed the numbers '1-1-9' and he proclaimed the price in a loud booming voice for all the land to hear, "One Hundred Nineteen Dollars." Once again the goat-headed Sheena insisted, "The tag says $129 and it scanned $129." She dared to defy The Manager and he moved toward the register, tearing the printout from it and, upon reading the tape he bellowed at her, "It says right here on the receipt '$119." Those of us that were still alive clapped and cheered for we all knew her ass would soon be fired. She sullenly finished my purchase with not even a 'sorry' or 'thank you' but I felt vindicated nonetheless.

Once at home I revived Rigel by injecting 10cc's of French Roast directly into his main artery and began telling him my story of The Triumph Of Good Over Evil. He feigned interest but I knew he was bemoaning the fact that he was married to a woman that would allow her husband to slip into a caffeine-withdrawal coma by haggling over ten dollars. As I talked I opened up my new placemats and was shocked to discover that my 'pack' of placemats were actually intended to be sold separately, each one tagged with a $4.99 price tag, and I considered for a moment returning to the store to pay for the rest of them as any honest, forthright person would do, but reconsidered when I realized I didn't have an extra twenty-four hours to spare in their checkout line. I felt guilty for a few seconds but then thought of Sheena and her menacing, all-powerful scanner and I didn't feel so bad after all.

Archive File: This Life

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Am Left To Ponder The Importance Of Hand Sanitizer

I made my weekly pilgrimage to Trader Joe's yesterday. I find that even though I start off intending to buy only a few things, I end up buying a whole cartful, since I'll buy anything from Trader Joes, seduced by all the pretty labels on their products proclaiming 'organic' and 'hormone-free.' I think that if they offered up a severed human foot, vacuum-packed in formaldehyde jelly, not only would I buy it and serve it up to my family, I'd buy an extra one, too, and invite my closest friends over for a dinner party. They would shrink back in horror when I announced they were eating "Severed Foot In Formaldehyde Jelly" but when I added, "From Trader Joes!" their faces would light up and relax in approval and they would ask for seconds, maybe even thirds, until all that was left on the platter was a toenail or two and a few dabs of toxic sauce. Like I said, everyone loves Trader Joes.

Something happened there yesterday, though, that nearly burst my bubble, shattered the image I have of a healthy, shiny grocery oasis. I had taken my cart filled with free-range ground turkey, organic mushrooms and other genetically superior product up to the checkout. After the cheery clerk, decked out in his official Trader Joe's uniform, the Hawaiian shirt, finished ringing up my purchases I asked to borrow a pen to write out my check.

Then he took one. From BEHIND HIS EAR.

Now, a more evolved, decisive person would have refused the pen, pointing out the obvious faux pas this feckless clerk had committed and asking for a new, fresh writing instrument that hadn't been held captive in a dark, moist space. But I, NOT WANTING TO HURT THIS STRANGER'S FEELINGS for some unexplainable and psychotic reason, took the pen with my feeble, willing hand, and noticed, not surprisingly, that it had a slightly slippery feel to it.

And thus began a few moments of silent panic. Many thoughts raced through my mind; should I cry out, drop the pen and begin yelling for a bucket of hot water and some iodine to soak my hand in and then a complete amputation there on the spot? Do I take the pen out of the equation altogether and do the sensible thing by using my ATM card instead? Or do I just take that pen, obviously coated with some gross mixture of sweat, hair product and God knows what else was growing in the petri dish behind his ear, and use it to write out my check as quickly as possible?

As you may have guessed, still NOT WANTING TO HURT HIS FEELINGS, I chose the last, nebbish choice. I took that slimy pen, which by now, aided by my overactive imagination was a teaming, poison reed of Ebola, West Nile and a host of other viruses, and wrote out my check, using only the very tips of my thumb and forefinger to hold the pen. The result is that it came out looking like it was written by a liquored-up blind monkey holding the pen between his lips while swinging from a vine. After I finished writing the check I was overcome with the urge to ball it up and roll it around in my armpit for a few seconds before handing it over to the oblivious clerk, just to prove my point but I restrained myself.

He took my check, took the skanky stick and slid it right back into it's comfy little home behind his ear. So my advice to all you Trader Joe's shoppers is, the Severed Foot In Formaldehyde Jelly is actually quite yummy with a nice side of sautéed organic mushrooms, but when you go there just remember, don't be like me - be strong and refuse the poison pen, or better yet, bring your own.

Archive File: This Life | Eating

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Kidnapped, My Ass

If you're like me, you just can't get enough of the whole 'runaway bride' story. I think her rich southern belle ass needs a whuppin! Whatever happens, she owes everyone an explanation, especially those of us who aren't going to be satisfied with the five page spread she is sure to get in this week's People magazine. She's asked me to help her write a speech. It will go something like this:

Family, Friends, and Fiancé,

I know y'all are wonderin' what was goin' on in my bird brain when I took off and left you all thinkin' I was dead. Really, I didn't think anyone would come lookin' for me and as I've come to find out some of you even said, "Why the hell are we lookin' for her?" Just so you know, I didn't think that was funny.

Now, if you been listenin' to the news at all you know that I don't think I did nuthin wrong, so this ain't no apology. Please note that you will not hear the word 'sorry' anywhere in this statement, except when referring to my ass, as in '"lots of people wastin' their time lookin' for my sorry ass" or "people say I shoulda just kept my sorry ass on that bus."

First off, momma and daddy, I feel so bad to have made you worry, but please try and understand what I was up against - if it was a choice between makin' you think your little girl was dead, and having to tell fourteen bridesmaids that not only did they have to pay for them ugly dresses but they was not gonna be wearin' 'em to my wedding, why, wouldn't you just rather disappear too? You know, Mandy Sue and Heather Ann, they got them big arms and they woulda just about pounded my narrow ass into the ground and stuffed all that taffeta in my big ol' maw.

And let me talk about all the hooha over me sayin' at first that it was a Hispanic man and a white woman who kidnapped me. I mean, hello? Wake up and smell the mint juleps, people, do you think anyone would have believed me if I had said two white dudes had kidnapped me? Like, that ever happens! Y'all should just be thankin me for not up and sayin' it was two black rappers or somethin' crazy like that! Really, I do have some sense, now!

Now let's look at who the real victim is here. If you read any of the press that's been yappin' around, you would know that I took off on my journey on a Greyhound bus. A Greyhound Bus! I don't know about you, but just sayin' them words makes a shiver run up my worthless spine. I knew as soon as my Kenneth Cole-clad ass hit that slimy vinyl seat I not only had made a pact with Satan himself, but was sittin' damn right in the middle of his living room. And oh, don't get me started on the bathroom on that thing, sweet mother of God, there wasn't a minute that went by when I was straddlin' that toilet that I didn't just pray to have that big, swirlin' funnel of crap filled water come and take me right there so I wouldn't have to endure that hell hole no longer. Y'all just be thankful and hug the ones you love sittin' with you right now that you don't ever have to take a ride into purgatory on no Greyhound bus.

To my fiancé, I hope you understand that I didn't mean to hurt you by leavin' my ring, runnin' off five days before our wedding and then humiliating you in the public eye by admitting that I had faked my own kidnapping just so I could avoid becoming your wife. Really. You need to stop thinkin' only about yourself you big ol' lug!

As for all y'all hollerin' for your gifts back, I guess you missed my statement that said the wedding is 'postponed' and not 'cancelled' so you can put your greedy fat hands back in your overalls and stop askin' already! I mean, stop bein' so shallow!

Finally, to law enforcement and the hundreds of volunteers who spent many long hours and dedicated manpower to search for my pathetic, un-kidnapped, narcissistic butt, if I told you once I told you a hunnerd times, Talk To The Hand! I ain't broke no law, is what my daddy says and he's got the money to shut you up if you keep leavin' them nasty messages on my cell phone.

I hope this helps to calm y'all down a bit, to see things from my perspective and to feel a little bit sorry for me. Gotta go - I got some invitations I need to change the date on!

Jennifer (Jen to all my pals!)

Archive File: Cranky

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