I just thoughtlessly ate a whole bunch of chocolate covered espresso beans while my mind was otherwise occupied.
This probably explains the sensation that I’m in whirling vortex through time.
This – in an abstract way, although that kind of thought is more challenging than it might usually be seeing as I’m all amped up on caffeine and chocolate and whatnot - also seems to support my burgeoning theory that I don’t seem to know how to do anything in a casual or non-committed manner.
“Just try it for a while and don’t take it seriously!”
“Keep it casual.”
I don’t know what these words mean, at least when strung together into those particular sentences.
This has been proven to me in spades by my recent return to working out.
I’ve been out of the exercise loop in a SERIOUS way and that needs to stop. My muffin top told me so.
Thus, for about two weeks now I’ve been in a daily rotation of free weights and “pyramid” workouts and doing things to my abs to the degree that they spontaneously cramp while I’m innocently sitting at my desk writing.
As for my go big or go home ways, the truest measure of this is every third day (lower body day): I exercise until my legs tremble and my eyes roll back into my head. Then for hours afterward I’m adorably knock-kneed and shaky-legged like a newborn deer.
Today is lower body day. I’ve got about one more hour as Bambi until tomorrow, when I won’t be able to lift anything any higher than my own cleavage.
Again, if there are other approaches – and I realize, at least intellectually, there are – they seem to be out of my grasp.
“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.”
As you have likely observed, I have a long history of getting discouraged and then suddenly becoming optimistic again. I’m not sure why this is. It’s my own opinion that I have a quick bounce. Bounce – or at least my definition, for what it’s worth – is the time between emotionally hitting the ground and springing back up. Even with extremely tragic or outrageously unfair circumstances, I tend to bounce within a few hours. This is why, despite my arguable host of mental problems and questionable sanity from time to time, anti-depressants don’t really seem to be a prescription I need. Anti-psychotics on the other hand? Perhaps.
Not this kind of sign.
Nonetheless and as I’ve mentioned, the last few weeks I have felt kind of panicked. In the simplest of terms, it’s a feeling of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!!” and it’s a really lame and anxiety-causing sensation, especially because there’s no clear answer. On certain terms, I could argue with the Voice of Urgency that I’m doing the best I can – I’m working on a new book (thinking and planning more than writing at the moment, but that will come), I’m living my life, I’m thinking deep thoughts, I have clever ideas at least once a week, I’m mostly in a good mood, I use very few aerosol products anymore, and, by and large, I’m not hurting anybody (as far as I know). On the other hand – and recognizing that the Voice of Urgency comes from my head and, thus, is me in some fashion – I completely agree with it. Somehow, in ways I can’t quite pinpoint, I am wasting time and, by extension, my life.
That more than hurts. That f*cking sucks.
And then enter – stage right – the bounce.
Not this kind either. If this kind is even real. I'm not sure. Somehow I doubt it.
I have long had (and recently had reinforced) the feeling that if I just keep pushing and writing and working that I will eventually hit upon the idea and the plot and the “it”, and then the magical, mystical force that makes stuff turn out happily ever after will kick in and things will go my way forevermore. Just as suddenly, all the work I’ve done up to that point will become useful and relevant, if not sought after. I like this idea. I am buoyed by the hope that I have the talent and the tenacity, all I need is the bright idea and a little bit of star alignment.
This is probably why I was overly excited when my two – count ‘em, not just one but two – fortune cookie fortunes the other day were so optimistic. The first read “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” Not too shabby. If fortune cookies were guarantees, this beats the hell out of “You find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability” or “Don’t forget, you are always on our minds.” That second one freaked me out. What? Who? Who’s “our”? A collective hive mind or all of your minds individually? And who are you again? And when you’re thinking about me, do you think good things or wish me well or are you have subtle urges to do me bodily harm? In other words, is this a benign threat of some kind? Seriously, who’s “our”?
I'm trying, I'm trying. The signs are harder to recognize - let alone know - than one might presume.
But not the other night. Those predictions were all good. That night I got two fortuitous predictions: “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” and “Your dearest wish will come true within the month!” Sweet.
True, there were only a few days eft in the month, and my dearest wish didn’t quite come to obvious fruition during that time, but maybe the seeds were sown? Or maybe they meant 30 days more than the literal month-end? I’m willing to keep an open mind and a hopeful heart. You never know, I suppose.
Meanwhile, if the fortunes weren’t enough, get this: I found a pearl in an oyster I was eating! I did. A Washington state Sunset Beach oyster grown in the Hood Canal. That has to be some kind of omen of impending amazing luck, right?
Well, I say so anyway, and in trying to prove it, I came across the following statistics:
The odds of finding a pearl in an oyster are 10,000 to 1
Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
Odds of an American speaking Cherokee: 15,000 to 1
Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
Odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1
Odds of being considered possessed by Satan: 7,000 to 1
Odds of being on plane with a drunken pilot: 117 to 1
Odds of writing a New York Times best seller: 220 to 1
Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 22,000 to 1
Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on first try: 10,000 to 1
Odds of winning an Academy Award: 11,500 to 1
Chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000
Chance of dying in such a collision: 1 in 20,000
I don't think this is real either. If it were, wouldn't they just ask for dollar bills and small bottles of liquor?
So there you have it: I am almost as likely to win an Academy Award or could be considered possessed by Satan one and a half times before I’d find a matching, misshapen pearl in another oyster, and I’d have better luck hitting TWO holes in one as the same occurring. Thus, I rest my case. I think the math makes it plain: this is a harbinger of imminent good fortune if ever there was.
So bring it on, lucky stars: unload a giant truck of the best and make my dearest dreams come true.
So what’s this thing about again?
Oh yeah. That’s right. Four calling birds.
That sounds like a bad gift right there: Four noisy-ass birds.
Do you have birds? Or know anyone with birds? They are loud. LOUD. LOUD.
It’s the universe punishing us for (sort of) domesticating birds and clipping their wings and throwing table cloths over their cages at night.
Break it down.
So anyway, speaking of ‘calling birds’, I don’t know about four, but I do have a story. You see, once upon a time, I went into my high school Graphic Arts II class and the substitute teacher was my dad’s ex-girlfriend.
And she was a really lovely and charming and delightful person…but she had a truly awful son.
No. Don’t judge. I’m dead serious. Even as youth, my brother and I couldn’t stand the kid (exactly one year in between us in age). He was – and pardon my French – a punk ass bitch.
Nonetheless, it had been a few years and I was excited and happy to reunite with her, and she sensed my weakness and that’s why – through a complex and unfortunate mix of guilt and pity and ‘reuinted and it feels so good’ and pity – she convinced me to go to her son’s prom with him.
Because no other female human would.
And the few chimps they knew were busy.
So along comes the big night – fabulous and magical (or not. All I remember is that he spent most of it outside smoking as he had been a foreign exchange student in France for most of the year and picked up the vile habit and imported it in the hopes of seeming cool) – and I went over to have dinner at their house.
And they had some kind of really smart black bird (a Macaw?) in a cage, and it was a pistol. I’d never really given birds much thought, and this thing blew my mind. In addition to singing songs and reciting poetry and calling the dog over to tease it, the bird would make the EXACT sound of the telephone ringing, and then do this dead-on impression of the mother (my dad’s ex).
“Hello? Oh, hiiiiiiii!”
And in addition to being strange and spooky and kind of unnerving, It was actually one of the more hilarious things I’ve ever seen in my life.
But in case you have short term memory issues or don’t really care enough to remember the little incidentals about me or simply show up to look at the pretty pictures and don’t actually read anything…I am easily amused.
And I will proceed to prove that fact to you again in a moment.
But before I do, let me take you back to a time in the not-so-distant past. A time we thought the world was going to end because of some faulty computer programming written thirty-five years earlier.
A time when we all learned the word ‘hanging chads,’ something we now know to be a little scrap of paper that destroyed Al Gore’s soul, but left him an environmental guru (as well as inventor of the internet).
An era when a little boy named Elian showed up off the Miami coast clinging to an inner tube and captured America’s attention…shortly before being deported back to Cuba and spending the rest of his life bad-mouthing us, joining the Young Communist Union of Cuba, and currently training in Cuban military school. Remember Disneyworld, Elian? Do they have anything like that in Cuba? Mickey Mouse? Goofy? Space Mountain? Didn’t think so.
The era when O magazine first hit the stands, Katie Lee Gifford quit Regis and Kathie Lee, and AOL bought Time Warner, thus sealing both of their fates.
It was also, as you may recall or may just now be learning, a time when Jack Black did not suck.
In fact, he was pretty damn funny then, culminated by his somewhat ridiculous band (and related HBO show) Tenacious D. And there was an episode of Tenacious D that year where they meet their ‘biggest fan’ who has set up a website about them and seems rather obsessed – kind of like Mel on Flight of the Conchords (another great HBO show about a ridiculous band that you should be watching if you’re not already watching it.)
So anyway – and yes, I still remember the original point of this post and am slowly plodding toward it – this is the clip containing a character named Lee. To fill you in and spare you the lengthy version: They’ve met Lee the night before, checked out the website he set up dedicated to them, and become obsessed with him. Way to turn the tables on your stalker! Watch it and learn.
And that is relevant because of this rather hilarious ‘Muscle Milk’ ad (I’m not immediately familiar with Muscle Milk, but I have seen it for sale at the gym. I imagine it’s for babies who want to be really buff.) sent to me late last night, that is highly relevant because of its earnest celebration of the impending holiday known as Thanksgiving.
And because that guy is obviously Lee.
And because he vaguely reminds me of my friend’s boyfriend (kind of like how Bret of Flight of the Conchords reminds me of my other friend’s boyfriend.)
And because this is my first year of appreciating that Thanksgiving can be funny.
(And lastly, just in case you’re not already watching Flight of the Conchords, here’s one of their songs to get you started…)
Oh hell, it’s the holidays. It’s the season of giving. So in that spirit, here’s another one of my most favorite Flight of the Conchords bits:
You know when I’m down to my socks it’s time for business, that’s why they call it business socks…
Jermaine should have been on my list of freaky-looking dudes I have crushes on. If the show is accurate, he’s part Maori (because there’s an episode where they set up “New Zealand Town” in New York City and force him to play the Maori.)
The entire time I’ve been compiling this for you, Fu Manchu has been nursing (and there really is no other word for it. There’s a strange, loud, and consistently-timed sucking noise emanating from his head) on my bathrobe. Now I’ve got to wash my bathrobe, Fu.
Thanks for nothing. Weirdo.
So as to prove my point, there are little bits of bathrobe material caught under his nails.
Don’t commit any crimes, Fu, because those claws of yours are evidence magnets.
Has somebody invented a ‘time speeder upper’ machine and neglected to tell me?
Regardless, Thanksgiving (American Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t normally know this, but I recently learned that Canadians also have Thanksgiving and that it already happened. Do you guys have a similar story with Native Americans saving your starving colonists’ bacon one winter by showing up with a feast of corn and turkeys and grain or ???) is just around the corner.
In honor of the impending day, I saw a link to an article entitled, “25 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Memorable” and although I didn’t read it, I’m onto it. At least I think I am.
I’m currently without internet access to confirm my suspicions, but I’m expecting things like traced handprint turkey place markers and posting written lists of gratitude and other sentimental ‘awwwww’ ideas – and who needs that? I’m about as thankful as they come, but I still hate it when I’m forced to publicly declare gratitude because the maker of the dinner has decreed it so.
I have problems with authority.
Wanna make something of it?
Anyway, realizing that you need schmalzy feel-good ideas like I need a hole in the head, I decided to come up with a list of 25 untried and in no way true nor guaranteed nor foolproof nor advisable ways to make Thanksgiving 2009 memorable.
Maybe not in a good way.
But it will be memorable.
Burn everything – even things that aren’t cooked. Burn up extras and toss them into the Jello mold and store-bought cranberry sauce. Be creative! Burned up paper is edible in small amounts. Probably.
Serve nothing but fudge formed into the shape of traditional Thanksgiving items. White fudge for mashed potatoes. Peanut butter fudge formed into a turkey. Chocolate fudge can be…the fudge? Regardless, you get the idea…
Dishing out grub at a food kitchen is so last year. Bring home street people for Thanksgiving dinner. Real homeless! Reeking of urine and booze! In your mother-in-laws’ upholstered dining room chairs! Imagine that…
Make drinking mandatory – even for children.
Require that everyone dress as their favorite Pilgrim. Don’t have a favorite? That’s what Wikipedia is for.
Refuse to call your guests anything but “Kimosabe” and “white man”
Instead of turkey, serve ‘the most dangerous game’ – man
Rather than going around listing what you’re thankful for, list off the people you’re glad aren’t there.
Stage a reenactment of the Roanoke disaster (or your best guess as to what that may have looked like.)
Go foraging for berries and make your cranberry sauce out of that. Have someone old or already infirm sample it first.
After dinner suggest a rousing game of “What can I get in exchange for these beads and some small pox infested blankets?”
Pumpkin pie is so obvious. Carrot pie is not.
Instead of giving thanks, give advice. Don’t like the way your niece is living her life? Tell her about it! Everybody loves unsolicited advice! Right? Right???
Take the whole crew out to the nearest Top of China buffet restaurant. That’ll teach them to simply ‘assume’ you’ll happily prepare a meal for six hours.
Wait for everyone to fill their plates and then continually point to particular items and ask, ‘Are you gonna eat that?”
Midway through the meal, emerge with a razor and announce that the person with the longest hair will be subjected to a traditional Indian-style “scalping” (No need to truly remove their skin. Just shave the hair. That’ll be plenty memorable.)
Nothing like playing truth or dare with the family! Make the dares impossible, so that there’s nothing left but the truth, “So who is my real father, Mom?”
Instead of bread, make your stuffing with ‘whatever.’ Anything goes! Potato chips, frozen peas, fruitcake and cat food. You’re the chef. You call the shots.
To really spice up #18, have people submit guesses as to what, exactly, is in this years ‘stuffing.’ The closest guess wins a prize. You can decide how good or lame said prize is.
Instead of a ‘children’s table’ have an ‘asshole’s table’ and treat it like musical chairs. “One false move, Mary, and you bump Uncle Bob up to the grown-ups table…”
Continually pipe up with “God bless us, everyone!” until someone employs physical force to make you stop.
Sure, it’s been done to death, but don’t underestimate the memorability of deep frying a turkey and ‘accidentally’ burning your house down. Plus, it gets you out of making Christmas dinner.
Suggest that everyone go around the table and share one brutally honest thought with the others, children included. “Cindy, I’ve been watching you play with the other children, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to grow up to be a stripper.”
Sure, turkey is traditional, but koala will give them a story to tell.
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