Archive for September, 2009

Colossal, mutant, swollen ovaries

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Wha…?

You’re still here?

Even with that title?

And you honestly want to read whatever goes with a title like that?

(Weirdos.)

Man, what it is going to take to get rid of you people? Something extremely wrong and possibly illegal, it seems.

(Sickos.)

Nevertheless, as long as you’re here…

That's a quarter...for context.

That's a quarter...for context.

To be perfectly honest, I was going to call this post “The fine art of growing inedible vegetables,” but then I did a little research and learned that the alternative title was entirely appropriate in an inappropriate way.

So I decided to go with it instead.

There were, of course, the standard word choice dilemmas: Do I call the ovaries behemoth or monstrous or maybe just honking…but colossal spoke to me in a Colonel Sanders meets Coliseum kind of way.

Batter up!

Batter up!

So what the hell are you reading about, anyway?

As it turns out, nothing all that exciting.

Basically – as you probably know (unless you’re Jose) – I was gone for a couple weeks. And in that time, my garden produced not one, not two, but three sperm whales.

Okay, not whales so much as baseball bats.

Okay, not baseball bats so much as ridiculously oversized zucchini.

Which – by the way – I believe they call ‘courgettes’ in Great Britain (or else this oddball British guy in a hostel somewhere in Europe was screwing with me that he didn’t know what a ‘zucchini’ was just to seem interesting or compelling in an annoying way or whatever bad ideas go through the head of odd guys from Britain. Perhaps someone out there can illuminate???)

Twins. Twice the work. Twice the joy.

Twins. Twice the work. Twice the joy.

Anyway, in the interest of stretching this minor and only mildly entertaining incident into an entire blog, I looked up zucchinis on Wikipedia (I would think – and hope – by now you guys realize that my purpose in life was to wait around for the internet to be created, [Thanks, Al Gore!!!] and then look stupid stuff up. It’s not much of a calling, but it’s what I’ve got.)

So during the course of my always-compelling research, I learned some alarming and freaky facts that have caused me to relocate the offending vegetable body parts onto the back deck.

Read and learn:

“In a culinary context, zucchini is treated as a vegetable. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower.”

Ummm….what!? Gross! (That fact  right there was enough to compel me to take the monsters outside. I don’t need no competition from any other ovaries in my own home…)

“Zucchini, like all summer squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. While most summer squash were introduced to Europe during the time of European colonization of the Americas, zucchini is Italian in origin. It was the result of spontaneously occurring mutations (also called “sports”).”

Nice how the Italians call mutations “sports”. Do they also call freaks “funs” and monsters “entertainments”?

Way to be misleading, Italy.

“Mature zucchini can be as much as three feet long, but are often fibrous and not appetizing to eat.”

Tell me about it.

“Zucchini with the flowers attached are a sign of a truly fresh and immature fruit, and are especially sought by many people.”

What people? People, if you’re out there, can you call me? I can get you what you’re looking for. They ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it. Right???

“In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the zucchini (courgette???) to be the Britain’s 10th favorite culinary vegetable.”

Woo hoo!

Tenth place!

Let’s see…gold, silver, bronze… So tenth place is what? Aluminum? Tin? Cardboard?

That is a fact so boring and worthless, it is barely worth repeating. In fact, I urge you not to repeat it, lest you drive off an otherwise interested potential mate.

“One good way to control over-abundance is to harvest the flowers, which are an expensive delicacy in markets because of the difficulty in storing and transporting them.”

Again, would someone looking for this expensive zucchini crap please contact me? I can set you up…for a price.


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Arrr, this is more or less like e’ery other blog

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Aye, me parrot agrees.

Aye, except that tis’ International (that’s right – International. So don’t go getting all snooty on me non-Americans. You’re in this as deep as I am.) Talk Like a Pirate Day, so I’m puttin’ e’erythin’ through the pirate speak translator. A pence for an old man o’de sea?

scott_the_pirateAhoy, which is kind o’ an annoyin’ extra step, if you mightily must know. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum?

Arrr, do the Somali pirates talk like this? Aye, I didn’t think so. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!

(They called it booty?)

Aye, me am growin’ weary o’ this pirate nonsense. A pence for an old man o’de sea?

Ahoy, and, in slightly annoyed conclusion, I’m goin’ t’ unleash a Tourette’s-like torrent o’ piratish sayin’s. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum?

Walk the plank!

Shiver me timbers!

Drink up, me hearties!

Well, blow me down!

Gar, you’re nothing but a land lubber!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Any string of words utilizing ‘grog’ or ‘bilge rat’!

Buy a beer for an old lass o’de sea?

Avast, I’ve crushed seventeen men’s skulls between me thighs!

(That last one may or may not be true. You’ll have to wait until I’m arrested, and the contents of my yard excavated before I’ll confirm or deny.)

Tomorrow?

Why, it’s International Blog Like You’re Baby Talking Your Giant Dog Day, of course!

Here’s a sample: Whaddaya doin’ Dohey wohey wohey? Is yous sweepin’ by the front door? Yes? Yous is sweepin’? Who’s a good boy!? Who’s a good boy!? I wuvs you, Donut!!! I wuvs you!

(And, yes, you can go ahead and throw up a little in your mouth now, if so inclined.)

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Disgruntled pilots of the world, unite!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

And let me know what airline you’re all flying for so that I can avoid it.

I am in the process of going home.


While waiting in line today to find out what the odds were that I’d get off the waiting list and into first class (zero), I was standing behind one of the pilots. After lingering a while, I happened to glance down and notice that his luggage was decorated with bitter bumper stickers like:

  • “Is there a future for me here?” and a pair of dice. (I assume this has to do with the NWA/Delta merger.)
  • “I’ve had enough of the uncertainty” (ditto)

and – just so I didn’t think he was only angry with his employer

  • “You trust us in the air, why not in the security line? Special clearance passes for crew.”

Ummmm, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Johnny Depp character in Blow get started by having his flight attendant girlfriend run the cocaine back to Boston in her bags?

That’s why no special line, buddy.

Should I die before I wake, here's a little memento for you.

Should I die before I wake, here's a little memento for you.

Go to more movies on your day off, and maybe cool your heels on announcing to the passengers at your mercy (and paying your wages, thank you very much) how miserable you are with your career. Let’s consider that on a ‘need to know’ basis.

I don’t need to know.

Meanwhile, I came very close to dry drowning on the very same flight. Those of you who did not spend their teens working as a lifeguard may not know that dry drowning is the phenomenon wherein someone can drown in a puddle of water. All it takes is a few tablespoons of water directly in the lungs and – sorry Charlie – you’re a goner.

In fact, I shouldn’t rush to use the phrase ‘came very close.’ I could still extinguish my own flame tonight seeing as dry drownings often occur a few hours after the original incident.

All the more reason to get this blog recorded now – while I’m still wedged into seat 12C – for posterity’s sake.

And here's a less squinty one from the really bad weather day. My brother was trying to capture how much the wind was whipping my hair around, which also caused about three cups of sand to blow into my eyes.

And here's a less squinty one from the really bad weather day. My brother was trying to capture how much the wind was whipping my hair around, which also caused about three cups of sand to blow into my eyes.

Anyway, I bought this rather huge bottle of water at the airport, and when I opened it, the plane jerked every so slightly and a giant geyser came shooting out of the bottle. A notable portion of it landed on me – although most of it went down my cleavage and my shirt only had one little tiny drop of wetness, which I guess is a good thing – whereas a significant portion went up my nose.

Yeah, you read that right (unfortunately): My bottled water went up my nose.

And no small amount. Enough that I started coughing and sputtering and felt the burn in my sinuses.

Now, if I had read the bottle beforehand, I would have learned that it is a special Poland Springs “Eco-Shape Bottle” designed with 30% less plastic which makes it, more or less, a water gun. It has no form. Truly, it borders on being a balloon.

Thus, exerting little to no pressure, one can easily maneuver the squishy decanter in order to fire a powerful torpedo of water right up your very own nose!

It’s cheaper than a Neti pot AND it’s good for the environment.

Hurrah!

(And if you look up Neti pot on Google to find out how to spell it [as I did] or to find out what it is, and end up watching that YouTube video with the hairy wildebeest guy, don’t come crying to me. You’ve been warned.)

p.s.

Speaking of noses, some stupid stowaway fly on the plane keeps landing on mine.

Hope he’s got relatives he can bunk with in Minneapolis…

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All edit and no play make Vanessa go crazy

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I’m losing it.

I’m starting to think that I am the caretaker. I’ve always been the caretaker. Grady ought to know. He’s always been here.

Okay. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.

Early in the day. Not happy, but not yet crazy.

Early in the day. Not happy, but not yet crazy.

I’m tired, and I’m sick of editing, but I can see now that it is soooo necessary (seriously. The delete key is wearing out in some instances) and thus (hopefully) worth it.

In other words, now I know why I was avoiding this: It’s hard friggin’ work, and not particularly fun.

Meanwhile, since it feels like pretty much all I do is read my own writing and tweak and hone and re-craft every paragraph, sentence, word, and syllable, my brain has decided to use the much-needed downtime otherwise known as ‘sleep’ to torture me with wacko dreams.

Maybe it’s trying to entertain me or something?

I may have told you this already, but I actually had this idea to start a blog where I recorded my dreams so that other like-minded dorks could come and comment or do the same, and I even bought the domain name…but then I remembered I’m too dumb to figure out how to host that blog on the same server this one is on (even though my service contract clearly states I can host up to ten. They just don’t tell me how.) So, seeing as I’m clueless, I suppose you’re just going to have to put up with my dreams here.

And if you don’t like that, then too bad.

I’ve been editing all day, and I’m in no mood for your guff. I eat three of you for breakfast. So put a sock in it…and enjoy!

I call this one “A lot of stuff flying overhead, and none of it is good.”

So I was in this really nice, large, modern house, and it had a section that was like a high-end atrium. The entire wall was windows, as well as a significant portion of the ceiling, and it was attached to the main part of the house. I was standing between the kitchen and the atrium area when a hawk came flying down the stairs and toward the windows.

There were some other people there and we were all kind of alarmed by this, and I ended up running to one of the wall windows and cranking the top of it open so that the bird could wriggle out. It made it outside, and I quickly closed the window back up.

I turned around to marvel at what had just happened with the other people, when there was a terrible racket. I looked up and at least a dozen huge birds of different varieties were banging on the ceiling glass. There was another hawk – a huge one this time – and something that looked like a vulture, as well as a pelican and god knows what else, all banging on and swooping toward the glass.

It startled me, and I ran from the room. Then, just as quickly as they arrived, the birds flew away. I went to my computer and Googled a few inquiries like “Hawks in house” and “Why hawks in house” and “House swarmed with birds.” I found some stuff about birds getting in the house, and also a bunch of links to the military and different operations and things like that. I ignored those.

A few minutes later, there was a loud roar, and I looked out the overhead windows to see hundreds of planes flying together and in an extremely close formation and quite low. It looked like they were only a few hundred feet over the house.

When's the last time you saw a gold-plated TIE fighter overhead? That's what I thought.

When's the last time you saw a gold-plated TIE fighter overhead? That's what I thought.

In addition to your standard fighter planes and some larger jets, there were six or seven stealth bombers and at least a dozen gold-colored  Star Wars starfighters (I know, stupid right?).

It was completely crazy, and I yelled for everyone to come and see this. The planes just kept coming and coming and I got my camera and took several pictures, particularly of the starfighters.

A little while later, we all went to bed. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep when there was a disturbance in the hall. I came out into the hallway and seven or eight military officers were standing there. Two men came and cornered me into a hall bathroom and pulled out a weird gadget that they placed over my eyes.

When they turned it on, I could see all this bizarre and haphazard stuff like military plans and charts and all sorts of haphazard words, and then behind that was a scene of a man walking down the suburban street with lots of green grassy yards. Across the bottom of the screen was a bar that had started out orange and was getting redder and redder.

I realized I needed to calm down, and forced myself to open my eyes wider, relax, and breathe deeply. Slowly, the bar descended back to yellow and then became greener and greener. One of the men said something about “You did that just in time.”

It suddenly occurred to me that failing that test would be a bad thing. At the same time I realized I wasn’t wearing any pants…or underwear, just a tank top. I was slightly horrified and excused myself, and they allowed me to run and grab some shorts.

When I came back out, they led me to the couch where they were questioning all of us. I kept turning to the other people and whispering, “Did you do something? Why is this happening!?”

Although I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong (intentionally), I had an instinct that the Google searches I had done had somehow triggered all those planes. I asked one of the military men if that had been them flying overhead, and he said it had. I could only figure it had something to do with the word ‘hawk.’

They quizzed us for a while, and then took every electronic device we had – including my cell phone, camera (there went my gold TIE fighter shots. Darn it!), and my computer. I was pretty stressed about that, especially when they headed out the door with all of it and informed me it could be months before I got any of it back.

On the upside…no more editing!!!  ;)

Thoughts? Insights? Alarm and concern for my mental health?

In conclusion, and in unrelated news, I think I might be Facebook friends with a Catholic priest.

After six or seven grueling hours..

After six or seven grueling hours..

He’s actually an old childhood friend and my first big crush (in second grade at Catholic school. I was ready to maim anyone on the playground who even thought about holding his hand or any such thing. He was the best drawer in the class – besides me – AND he had a newborn baby sister. That’s attractive stuff. What can I say?)

Anyway, every day he posts status updates like the following (copy/pasted):

Jesus, You’ve captured my heart, and Im not letting go

Jesus, help me to take a stand against temptation

Jesus, pour out your mercy over our hearts

Jesus, there is freedom in your name

Today – without thinking it through – my status update (via Twitter) was:

Saw this headline: “KoRn Guitarist Gets Jesus Tattoo To Stop Himself From Masturbating.” Good luck, pal. My Moses tattoo did not work at all.

I figure it’s a matter of hours before I’m ‘unfriended.’


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In the hopes that you might learn from my mistakes…

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

In the continued interest of improving the quality of your life (because that’s the kind of altruistic give-back soul I am), allow me to share a few of the hard-won lessons of the summer, in no particular order or urgency.

As always, if you find them useful or life-altering (particularly if you find them life-altering), feel free to thank me with a beer and/or the beverage of your choice. Mazal tov!

Don't even think about it.

Don't even think about it.

1. First and foremost, and without hesitation, do not get up and eat a half-dozen cold Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing for breakfast no matter how delicious that might sound. Sure, it seems harmless enough as they’re sliding over the lips and past the tongue but- as you damn well know – now it’s ‘look out stomach, here they come’ time.

And that ain’t good.

What am I trying to tell you?

I’m saying that two hours later when the vinegar, butter, and cayenne-based hot sauce is eating a hole through your stomach lining, you’ll have only yourself to blame.

I would know. I speak from experience…today’s breakfast.

2. When offering to ride along with a friend through unmarked roads in rural Mexico for the sole purpose of preventing her from being maimed or raped or murdered, inquire first as to whether or not there is a map. Or at least some kind of half-baked directions culled from the internet. Or hieroglyphics. Or smoke signals. Or if she has ‘the shining’. Or ANYTHING.

In other words, inquire as to whether or not there is any hope in hell that you will actually get there without being maimed, raped, or murdered yourself.

3. Whenever humanly possible, do not use a port-a-potty/Johnny on the spot/Honey Bucket/*Insert name of portable plastic public restroom brand here* in the complete dark.

The sight of all these human waste receptacles gives me the heebie jeebies.

The sight of all these human waste receptacles gives me the heebie jeebies.

Acknowledging that was a lengthy rule, let me highlight the two most important nuances: public and pitch black dark of night.

Whether or not this actually happened to me, let me just say that it’s entirely possible to be at a Michelle Shocked show, wait in a lengthy line to use the portable public bathroom unit, and finally get inside…only to realize that you cannot see a damn thing.

And since it’s a handicapped portable bathroom unit, it’s very large and roomy in there, and thrashing your feet about does not allow you to locate the actual toilet part of the room, you must resort to using your hands to braille your way around. That’s right. Feeling your way around a portable public bathroom in the dark, folks. It’s not for wimps, and if it isn’t cringe-inducing, I don’t know what it.

But then it gets worse.

How’s that?

Well, because you can’t see anything you’re afraid to sit on the seat, so you do your best to crouch over what you suspect is the toilet itself, and when you’re done with your business and come back outside, you realize that your entire left pant leg is wet.

In short: stay out of port-a-potties in the dark.

Enough said.

I know what I said, but I think if this thing was parked outside, I would go inside it. And I may or may not be sober when I did so.

I know what I said, but I think if this thing was parked outside, I would go inside it. And I may or may not be sober when I did so.

4.  Don’t run with scissors.

Don’t run with scissors while drunk.

Don’t run with scissors while drunk and in a carnival fun house.

Stay out of carnival fun houses even while sober and scissorless, because if you’re old enough to be reading this far, you’re too old for carnival fun houses.

5. When potentially vacationing with a group of women that you don’t particularly know, inquire ahead as to how closely their idea of fun resembles Senior Week Daytona Beach 1991 and approximately how many hours per day they plan to spend buck naked and discussing their (ahem) personal landscaping preferences.

As before, enough said.

6. Editing sucks!!!

If you can, write everything perfectly the first time around, because EDITING SUCKS BALLS!!!

7. Do not date a double-amputee rock star, especially Bret Michaels (should he be involved in a freak accident that causes him to lose both arms and thus become a double-amputee. Not that I’m wishing anything like that on him.)

Once again, I know from experience.

He makes one hell of a pissy amputee.

He makes one hell of a pissy amputee, but at least if he didn't have arms maybe somebody could do something about that hair?

Okay, it was a dream, but it happened to me (in a manner of speaking), and thus I choose to count it as an experience.

So in short, Bret Michaels was a double-amputee, and I was dating him (and whether or not I’d been dating him before the accident/incident/whatever was unclear), and he was a seriously difficult chip-on-his shoulder grouchy bear to deal with.

For instance, I would offer to help him with things that seemed like they would be exceptionally challenging without any arms (and I’m not talking condescending things either, like feeding him with a spoon, although if I should ever become a double-amputee, do not hesitate to offer to feed me with a spoon. Odds are good that I will cheerfully take you up on it.) Okay, so I offered to do something that I felt was truly useful, like button up his shirt, and he WENT OFF on me about patronizing him and don’t try to do things for him that he can do himself, and it was really unnecessary and rather uncalled for to overreact on me like that.

I thought.

Because I really was just trying to help.

You can talk to me in a normal tone of voice, you know. And maybe after you calm down.

And note to self, if I ever really do find myself in this situation, remember to watch My Left Foot in order to bone up on what one can and cannot manage without arms.

Regardless, like I said in the opening sentence, watch out for romantic entanglements with washed-up hair band rock stars who are now missing limbs as they can be rather prickly and even a touch mean and how can anyone be all that good in bed without any hands anyway?

(And I have to add this because it’s just too stupid, but I all of the sudden remembered at one point I felt kind of bummed out that if I stayed in the relationship I’d never be hugged again [because he had no arms, as you know, but perhaps have forgotten, which is why I’m explaining it yet again. Perhaps you have arms, but your brain isn’t all that functional for reasons I won’t begin to speculate on?], and that I really could go for a good hug, and I thought about asking him if he’d figured out how to hug with his legs.

But then I decided not to because I reasoned that would just piss him off and make him yell at me some more. Figures a rock star would be a prick.)

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