Maui

Don’t Look at This, Mom

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Scene from my house circa 10:45 p.m. last night.
It’s trapped in my pantry via the weight of my Kitchen Aid mixer.
The plan kind of fizzles out there.

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I Think I Smell a Rat

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

For days now, I cannot get this song out of my head.

No, not because of my love of the White Stripes or my  ”mostly attracted to, but slightly repulsed by” Jack White crush, but because my house has rats.

(I’m sorry, Mom. I know this is pretty much your worst nightmare. I was hopeful the title might have scared you off.)

The good news is I wasn’t here for the worst of it – although living vicariously through the friend staying at my place’s mortified texts and PHOTOS once she forcibly (fought one

This image was associated with a story about "rat meat sold as lamb in China." So much for tastes like chicken. Or ever eating anything in China. Ever.

This image was associated with a story about “rat meat sold as lamb in China.” So much for tastes like chicken. Or ever eating anything in China. Ever.

on with one of my large kitchen spoons while it came at her and bit scratches into the other end of the spoon) caught two of them on sticky traps will provide excellent PTSD fodder for years to come – or was I?

See, I don’t know.

And I’m not sure what rats smell like, but I keep waking up at all hours and creeping around my house both hopeful (?) and terrified I will discover something and thinking I smell something “weird.”

Here are the facts as they stand:

1. They tore down two dilapidated houses next door. Three days later, I have rats.

2. Despite my $1600 a month plus utilities rent, my landlord is a total slumlord bastard. Nothing is fixed. Nothing gets repaired. The place is probably six months from falling in on itself. He’s also prone to threatening to evict me – or maybe worse. The notes say things like “you won’t like what I’ll do.” Maybe he means release a bunch of rats? – because he hallucinates that he hears the dog howling. At 3 a.m. When the dog is asleep. And I’m home. And the only creatures stirring are a bunch of rats.

3. One of the other renters here in Hell seems to function as a de facto maintenance man, but he is clearly terrified of the prospect of actually encountering one of these buggers. Not exactly confidence-boosting. He recommended I put out a bowl of Pine Sol.

Um, what?

4. My cat doesn’t give a sh*t. He was apparently sitting on the counter a few feet away from two of them (yes. They frequent my kitchen counter and knock stuff down. Which makes me want to firehose this place with bleach.) begging for his supper. Who can blame him? They’re practically his size. Or maybe he thinks I’ve added to the family. Welcome, Ratatouille, Squeaker, and Meningitis!

4. My dog wants to kill, but I don’t really want him developing a blood lust or have the experience of murdering smallish animals inside our 750-square foot house. See: 9-pound cat.

5. Same de facto maintenance guy “plugged all the holes” leading into this place and put some sticky traps under my stove. The rat(s) drug them both across the house, took some dumps on them, shook free (I found the traps face down in the middle of the room) and – presumably – are now trapped inside here somewhere.

6. Arson sounds nice.

 

 

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Best. Day. Ever.

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

So as the title perhaps implied, today was bombastic: SUCH an insanely fun time.
I went to Lanai with three of my friends, and I talked another friend who lives there into letting us use his “man’s man” no roof, no doors ’72 Jeep to kamikaze all over said island.

Let’s just say his Jeep is distinctive, Lanai has a population of 2000, we defiled that vehicle something fierce and (perhaps not surprisingly) he got 10 texts of “four women have stolen your Jeep and are acting like lunatics!” in just two hours.

It was a lady version of Jackass, the highlight of which was no doubt the moment we were barreling down the what-we-thought-was-the-Garden-of-the-Gods-Road, but which decidedly was not and the TIDAL WAVE OF MUD came over the top and did its worst.

Which is to say it was AWESOME.
And hilarious.

But also sucked.

Seriously, some of my favorite clothes and a backpack are defiled by Lanai red clay dirt mud nonsense.

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^^^hopefully my friends don’t mind me posting this post-mud wave shot.

For the record, they sell a product here called a “red dirt shirt.”
This is a t-shirt dyed red by the same clay dirt crap currently all over my belongings.
Beyond reason, I am hoping there is some kind of old wives’ tale solution (anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) to remove this stuff.
And once I discover it, I will not only heal some of my favorite belongings, but market this miracle cure and wow you all with the following ad: I use my stolen old wives’ tale formula to turn a Hawaii red dirt shirt sparkling, dazzlingly white.

Mmmmm Hmmmmm…

How ya like me now?

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Birds are the Worst

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

I am not a bird person.
I would never have one as a pet. I can’t comprehend why people do.
Clearly they don’t want to be pets.
Case in point: you have to clip their wings or they’ll fly to get away from you as fast as they can.
Plus there’s all the damn squawking.
Case closed.

I obviously don’t have a pet bird, but my place is surrounded by zillions of squawking wild birds.
Birds so loud that when I’m on the phone people often ask, “is that BIRDS?”

This morning I was awoken at 5 by the cackling of those effing birds outside my place.
I fell back asleep and dreamed there was a Filipino restaurant in town that made a stew of some kind out of the same type of effing birds, and I was going to go there and order that dish specifically to get back at them.
I even had a line for the restaurant review planned: “They say revenge is a dish best served cold… but not in this case.”
AND I knew my editor wouldn’t like me writing myself into the story, but too bad. Even in my dreams I am the Charlie Kaufman of restaurant reviewers. :P

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Gah. Some People.

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

So the other night my friend implored me to go along as her wing woman.

Well, that’s not how she pitched it, but that was the bottom line.

Seems some guy had approached her at a Starbucks earlier that day because of her beautiful eyes and then wanted to buy her a drink later that night for business reasons. She initially told me she thought I’d find him interesting, but once I heard the sentence I typed right before this one and she said she wasn’t interested in him and was suinternet_fist_bumpre it was “just business,” my Spidey sense was more of the “are you sure this is a good idea?” variety.

In other words, I felt obliged to go and make sure she survived.

So after about 15 minutes one thing was clear:  there is nothing this guy hasn’t done… in his feverish imagination.

You couldn’t tell him anything – “I cooked professionally for a few years” – without him interrupting, insisting on a fist bump and screaming out, “No way! Me too!”

I should have  mentioned carrying triplets as a surrogate and having an affair with Bill Clinton, but sadly such a great idea struck late.

Anywho, dude put the “noxious” back in obnoxious.

He created all by his lonesome a new pet peeve for me: do not exclaim  “I like her already!” more than five times and over the span of nearly two hours. You can only say that once or twice before it loses its punch, son.

Meanwhile, if you care, among his seemingly endless list of achievements he (allegedly) has:

  • Written for the New York Times as a journalist for 15 years.
  • Hosted a show about the New York Yankees for 8 or 10 years (seems to be true).
  • Have filmed a documentary about Afghanistan for the History Channel (seems to be true).
  • Saved a local theater in New Jersey with the help of Stephen King.
  • Received scads of national  press for that ^^^ feat.
  • Wrote a play based on that Stephen King dealio (the plot of which shifted drastically in each retelling – a mere five minutes apart and during which he seemed to have no idea he’d already told the story until I interrupted and told him so).
  • If that’s not enough, said play was submitted to a playwright competition by friends behind his back which it – of course – won and then was performed at NYU and some other places. What are the odds!
  • Had someone in L.A. randomly find that play years later and now he has a series on USA Network in the work. He may also have a Lifetime movie based on his play “Stephen King’s Red Tape” but I kept spacing out and considering running for the door, so I’m not certain whether I heard that or imagined it.
  • Be working on an explosive documentary about Hawaii, which he also promised to give me all the details of so I could write about it (and I think I was offered a role in it at some point as well) because if HE wrote about this explosive government traitorous behavior stuff, that would bring a lot of attention him being a former NYT journalist and all. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
  • Has a book coming out soon about some nurse in the room when Kennedy died. I’m assuming it’s fiction. Clearly he’s a natural-born storyteller.
  • Been recruited for some kind of journalism career in Hawaii
  • Been recruited as a television writer in Hollywood, but turned it down to…
  • Produce a show for his dear friend Katie Couric. He was her right hand and maybe wrote the show and acted as her therapist and picked out her wardrobe and who even knows how pivotal he probably was. Why would he make something like that up?
  • Written (produced) film screenplays.
  • Started and runs a business making medical videos (this also seems to be true and the “business” he had with my friend, who is a nurse.)
  • Beaten the shit out of several Taliban – he was  a former professional wrestler or boxer or something… allegedly – with his bare hands to the degree that they staged a series of drive-by shootings to kill him in retaliation. What can he say? He’s Bruce Banner and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
  • Been arrested and done time upon landing back at JFK for said beating up of Taliban activities: 15 armed marshals were waiting and all cocked their guns as he came down the escalator with his movie-making posse. Imagine that.

Whew!

How unfair that life has bestowed upon one man such talent! And endless amounts of time to get all this done considering he was probably in his early 50′s.

Oops. Can’t forget my favorite…

  • He (allegedly) went to a reading by Mary Higgins Clark and waited in line for her to sign a book for him. She asked what he wanted her to write and he (allegedly) said, “Something good. PLEASE something good.”

She (allegedly) asked what he meant and he (allegedly) claimed to have said, “Well, you’re an okay writer and all, but your stuff could be soooooooo much better with a good editor.”

Apparently no one loves to be insulted by a delusional asshole quite like Mary Higgins Clark, so she naturally hired him to write  a series of sex scenes in a book with “Halo” in the title (he couldn’t quite remember the name) and edited a couple others for her to the tune of $137,000… and then told me I’m wasting my time and that’s what I should be doing.

I mentioned that would be lovely, but I don’t know Mary Higgins Clark, which is how I got the “go to a book reading and humiliate the person” advice.

That’s ninja level, bromoney.

I’m not sure I’m ready.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that he felt I was wasting my time with a lot of things.
I should be writing screenplays (that’s where the money is! Do it! Now! You’ll be rich!) and for TV (that’s also where the money is! It’s easy! Get out of print and journalism! It’s all about TV!) and maybe even plays. I definitely should have my completed books all over bestseller lists. I should quit any and all other writing I’m doing (that at least keeps me alive and my pets in kibble) because it’s all about my vanity of seeing my name/byline (I snorted out loud at that one. Puh-leaze) and how it’s not even my style (not true in the least, at least not with my restaurant reviews which I care terribly about and pour tremendous love, energy and effort into and are every square inch “me”) and I need to believe in myself and it’s that easy and if I write a screenplay I just need to believe and do what I love and the money will come and I need to BELIEVE and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as long as I BELIEVE and blah blah blah cocaine is awesome.

Did I mention he’s married and here on Maui to renew his vows after 10 years?

And it was going on 11 p.m. on a school night at this point and his wife was nowhere in sight?

Yep.

So why am I telling you about this boob?

Well, first off, because he thought I was 26 and when I balked, he assumed that meant I was 30 and kept saying I “didn’t look a day over 22.” (Note to self: park self in that restaurant when feeling low.)

Also, because he inspired me to get up this morning and commence rewriting a book I’d made a new year’s resolution to redo but hadn’t yet started.

How did he manage that?

Well, because one thing is clear: if a psychopath like that can make a documentary about Afghanistan and be a on-air broadcaster and somehow run even a marginally successful medical video production company and be married for ten years and somehow even get that person to want to renew their vows to his egomaniacal ass, then I’m crazy to think I don’t have a really great chance of either pulling this off with my own work/novels and finding a good relationship or at least lambasting an elderly but successful writer into letting me write sex scenes for her for outrageous sums of money.

Hell, it’s a no-brainer.

Sure, I kind of want my hour and a half back, but at least it has got some other wheels turning in my head.

I do not believe for one instant he has the millions of connections at Harper Collins (Esther! You gotta talk to Esther!) and whatever he claimed – next to nothing he asserted can be substantiated via the Interweb -  and I would never give any of my work to him out of fear he’d plagiarize it, but I am in some weird way provoked to try a little harder.

Clearly this guy has made *some* traction with his life and he’s balls-out crazy and possibly a pathological liar. I have no excuse not to at least get a documentary and Katie Couric under my belt.

So there you go.

Lemonade From Lemons 101.

p.s.

Despite bragging for an hour and a half about his wealth, mansion, Mercedes so rare there are no others on earth, he didn’t pay for my friend’s drink…let alone mine.

But you probably saw that coming.

Gah. Some people.

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