Posts Tagged ‘humorous’

The Signs They Are a-Changin’

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

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.

Beach Status Signs

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 hurts.

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
Change for Homeless sign

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.

I’m ready already.

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Greetings from Mexico

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

I didn´t tell you about this, because I didn´t want you to worry.

And also because I thought perhaps they´d have heard of a little thing called wifi. Or at least a cord with a line to the internets in the room. Turns out, not so much.

So Im here in the fancy resort ´cyber cafe´using their impossibly slow and wildly overpriced computer access (and I can´t even find a place to put a USB drive to load the funny blog I wrote for you yesterday during my TWELVE HOUR ride from Morelia to Acapulco. Don´t even get me started on that.) and feeling a little irritated.

There. I said it.

I´m annoyed.

It´s almost 2010. Unless you´re African Bushmen or living in a grass hut along the Amazon, I expect you to provide me with some freaking wifi somewhere in your building. I´ll sit in a lobby. I´ll pay $10 or even $15 for a day´s privilege…but can you at least let me use my own computer!?!?

In other news, it´s lush and green and hot as Hades (I went on a seven mile run this morning that damn near killed me), and there´s not much I like better than lying around in the sun by the ocean or a pool or even a stagnant pool of fetid water and reading  a book. And maybe slugging the occasional cerveza.

So, minus the fact that I have no way to keep in touch with my friends and loved ones (and that includes you. If you´re reading this blog, I automatically love you.) all is well.

So hold tight and as soon as I can find some other way to get my computer online, I will get back to the business of amusing and delighting you )or whatever it is I´m doing that´s enough for you to be reading this blog at this very moment.

Gracias and Hasta luego!

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I’ve got no love for water snake things

Monday, June 8th, 2009



Apologies for the short disappearance.



I was at a friend’s cabin retreat for the weekend, fighting for my very life against deadly water vipers. Technically, that’s an extreme exaggeration, but it didn’t feel that way when we first spotted the thing winding across the surface of the lake a mere five feet from where we sat.

In a word, ew.





The day got off to a late start, the way late nights often cause. My friend first tried to wake me at 10am, but I was in one of those thick, hazy sleeps that are hard to shake off.


So rather than get up, I DREAMT I got up and continued sleeping.  During that time, I had a dream that I was lying on my stomach in the bed eating really messy corn on the cob slathered in BBQ sauce when she walked in the room and caught me. Thus, considering the options, it’s probably better I stayed asleep.

Anyway, it took some time and a trip to the grocery store, but we eventually got to the lake. Right away, things were unnecessarily outdoorsy.

Giant flies kept landing on me, and at first I thought I might have been transformed into some kind of ninja because I was able to swat and kill them with my bare hands (essentially impossible with regular houseflies), but it turned out that they were biting horseflies that LOOK like giant versions of regular flies, but are actually evil bloodsucking relatives. So, for simplicities sake, I killed them with prejudice. Land on me? Die.

Simple rules of the jungle.

Anyway, first came the biting flies and then came the red ants and the creepy-looking spiders (one of which is running across the leg of my dad’s outdoor table right now. It looks like a mini-tarantula, mini only in the sense that it’s more like 3/4″ across rather than 3″. It’s still big and horrifying in its own right).

Then, there was some mysterious liquid that kept landing on me, which at first I decided was the dog’s slobber, but then later had to admit to myself was not coming from the dog when the dog went back to the car with my friend and the liquid kept landing on me.

However, all that paled in comparison to the water snake, who glided by all slinky and evil-like, and then raised his head out of the water to look directly at us, and then continued this pattern every 30 minutes as if on some kind of patrol or quest for a juicy thigh.

Did I mention the original plan had been to put rafts into Lake Snake and float around as veritable bait? And I had the saggy raft that rendered all but my head a foot underwater so basically I was in a non-relaxing and completely submerged and panicked snake watch the whole time I was in?

At some point the ranger came by (on the hunt for apparently illegal rope swings), and I asked him

“Do the snake things bite?”


“Do the snake things bite?”

“Snake things?”

“The WATER SNAKES? The snakes in the water? Do they bite?”

“They shouldn’t.”


They shouldn’t!? 

Damn straight, they SHOULDN’T…but do they? Will they?

I didn’t even ask if they were poisonous (I assumed not), just will they bite period?

Thus, if somehow Mr. Lake Ranger you’re out there and run across this blog, let me respectfully inform you that YES. Yes, they shouldn’t, but they DO bite.

In fact, take a look at this excerpt borrowed verbatim from ‘Bogs of the Northeast’ by Charles W. Johnson and Ian A. Worley: Unlike the small and placid redbelly or the gentle garter snake, the northern water snake has a generally deserved reputation for being big (2 to 3 1/2 feet long) and aggressive. Although lacking venom, they defend themselves by delivering a series of authoritative rapid bites while smearing feces and musk onto anyone attempting to catch them.

Holy hell.

I had no desire to capture one, but I’m also not confident that something with an entire cranium the size of my big toe knows the difference between ‘friendly and harmless water invader’ and ‘human trying to capture me that must be passionately and aggressively stopped.’ And I’m not about to find out.



This is not the right kind, unless it was lost. Or raised by a Silence of the Lambs-type guy in a basement.

This is not the right kind, unless it was lost. Or raised by a Silence of the Lambs-type guy in a basement.

Naturally, the day wouldn’t have been complete without an unwarranted and bizarre interaction with some kind of Grass Skipper (Hesperiinae) that I have been unable to exactly identify. It looks like a Taxiles Skipper, but apparently those are only west of the Rockies, so I guess not.


Anyway, as I am now a junior entymologist, allow me to catch you up a bit: Grass Skippers are considered butterflies, but are actually looked at as some kind of ‘missing link’ between butterflies and moths. The violator in question was a bright yellow fellow with four wings and a furry body.

He landed on me, and I informed him that unlike the bugs before him, he was welcome…UNLESS he started to act weird.

What do you know?
He promptly began to push my limits.

After spending no less than three minutes examining my thigh with his proboscis (I couldn’t feel it, but I was watching), he squatted down and squirted some kind of clear liquid onto my leg and began rubbing it in with his proboscis.


So I give him verbal warning #2…and he did it again.

After the third time, I flicked him off, checked for the presence of vipers, and washed my leg off in the lake.

What the hell was that?

I wasted a solid two hours searching on Google and have determined that he was either

a) Trying to get nectar out of me

b) Hoping to lay eggs on me

c) Hoping to mate with me utilizing some kind of insect form of Astroglide. 

Then I got back in the water and lost my sunglasses in a weedy creepy section I dubbed “Snake Hollow”, so there was no way I was diving under to look for them. I was hoping these three dorky guys in a rowboat (isn’t there a nursery rhyme about that or something like that? The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker?) would come back, and I could convince one of them to go looking…but no such luck.

So onward and upward and next time I’m going to submit a ‘suitability questionnaire’ (“Should I bring a anti-venom kit? Is it necessary that I know how to outsmart a grizzly bear? How many people are drowned by the mysterious monster living in the bottom of the lake each year? Are you certified in CPR? Is it the floaty kind of salt lake where if I accidentally drop something in, it won’t immediately sink?”) before agreeing to participate in outdoor fun involving unfamiliar large bodies of water and creepy crawlies.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to outsmart or outwait my dad’s previously wild but now tame cat. I’m not supposed to let it out, but all it wants is to go out, and in order to get back in, I (who am out) must open the door. Thus, I’m stuck out and he’s stuck in, and everyone loses.

Nature is a bitch.

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If you’re as old as you feel…

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

then I’m somewhere in my early seventies. Or whatever age it is that you are officially way too old for amusement parks.

I spent the day today at HersheyPark for the first time in at least fifteen and perhaps even twenty years. 

Once upon a time, my dad, brother, and I had season passes (which my dad still has and even produced yesterday. Sadly for you, it was during my awkward protracted Jody Foster ugly duckling adolescence period, so I will not be posting it for you here). Anyway, back in the day we went regularly, and even once famously opened and closed the joint (10am-10pm).

Thus, I wanted to go there today.

I was excited to relive the glory.

Even though the weather was complete and total crap, I was pysched.

Bundled up in my warmest available clothes (I hadn’t really packed for rain and 50-something weather), we started with a well-known fixture of the HersheyPark of my youth, The Comet. It’s a traditional rollercoaster with a giant drop and several smaller drops and a whole lot of sharp turns, and as we slowly cranked up to the top, the familiar anticipation kicked in.

And the first drop was exhilarating.

And by about the second sharp turn and drop number three, I realized I was no longer cut out for this kind of thing. I was a little nauseated, and I’m pretty sure I had felt my brain whack up against the wall of my skull at least twice.

This was a bummer realization – too old for the coaster – but the pounding in my head was hard to ignore.

Then I started to muse about how if I ever did have a kid, I’d be one of the killjoy moms who stood at the entrance of the Sooper Dooper Looper and said, “That’s okay, honey. You go ahead and have a good time. I’ll wait for you here.”

And, if I barfed after riding on the baby water flume with the twelve foot drop, I’d be my own mom.

Anyway, next it was the bumper cars where a fourteen year old boy with a gleam in his eye gave me whiplash. Twice.

I honestly heard something crack during the second impact, and I wished they’d handed me a neck brace at the door. When you find yourself WISHING for a large foam rubber neck brace, you know you’re at least 72 years old on the inside.

Thus, you can understand my elderly apprehension at the sight of the Pirate Ship. Basically, I had an immediate and terrifying flashback to my harrowing experience on the catamaran in Hawaii. In fact, after watching it for a minute in line, I announced that I would be watching from the ground (see: Killjoy Mom, above). 

Did I mention there was a middle schooler convention going on? Oh yes, and oh joy.

Hundreds if not thousands of 14-year old girls and boys. SHRIEKING girls and boys. SHRIEKING IN MY EAR when I caved and went on the Pirate Ship. So what the motion of the ocean didn’t do to my head, the screaming children did.

To quote my dad, “Teenagers are so annoying.”


Now in my dad’s defense, he hung in like a trooper and probably would have gone on some of the more nauseating (looking) attractions that my cousin and I eschewed. Moreover, it’s important to note that during the famous 12-hour occasion, he was older than I am now. In other words, I am a lot lamer than my dad. Or, if you prefer, my dad is a lot less lame than me.

Case in point: I feel a little bit whipped, like I suffered a blunt force trauma, got into a car accident, and spent some time on a Pirate Ship.

The upside? 

This may finally send me to bed at an hour conducive to converting me to something like east coast time.

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The more things change

Monday, May 25th, 2009

the more they stay the same.

I actually have no idea what that means.

I’ve always just assumed it was someone being impossibly clever, and everyone else just went along with it rather than appear dumb. That’s my plan, anyway. I figured the rest of you were in on it, too. You were…right?

We’re all just pretending we understand that. Right?

Total emperor’s new clothes pact: He’s nude, he’s acting like he’s not nude, and he looks AWESOME. Just smile and nod. That’s right. Show some teeth and go with the flow…

So anyway, without actually getting the deep meaning behind that saying, let me just summarize and say NOTHING IS GOING ON.

It’s sunny, and it remains sunny.

This makes me happy.

It’s hot and it remains hot.

This takes my sunny happiness and ratchets it up to overjoyed. If I lived where it was warm and sunny all the time (Haiti? Ethiopia?) I’d be the most cheerful person on earth. Most likely. 

If not, it would at least minimize any sadness about whatever else situation I had to manage (malaria, starvation, severe hurricane damage to my hut, etc.) 

Today was Memorial Day which is in memory of something that either has to do with the military or war or both. I did not opt to bust out the stars and stripes bathing suit. Maybe for the Fourth of July.

I may however – for the right ‘buy me a beer’ contribution – post a photo of said bikini circa last summer could be published. 

Meanwhile, in honor of Memorial Day, the SciFi channel is running a ‘Land of the Lost’ marathon which allows me to 

a) prove my point that it was not two grown men and a girl, but rather a father and his two (old teen and tween) children, a.k.a. Marshall, Will, and Holly. And,of course, the adolescent missing link critter, Chaka. 

b) reignite my irritation that they keep remaking all my childhood favorites and turning them into schmalzy crap. I didn’t see Escape to Witch Mountain, but the goofed out laugh track-esque ads with ‘The Rock’ (Dwayne whoeverthehellheis) really pissed me off.  And now ‘Land of the Lost’ with Will Ferrell and two other adults. Sight unseen, I’m not impressed.

Otherwise, I got nothing.

Write, eat, write, cook, write, workout, write, sleep, write, internet…repeat.

And with that, here’s hoping I can be more interesting tomorrow.

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