Category Archives: fear

Would You Rather….Nope.

Everyone.  And I do mean everyone, has something that makes their stomach roll.

Something that really gets your goose.

Makes your stomach lurch.

Lord have mercy, I’ll do anything but that….

It’s your, “Would you rather….” kind of moment.

When people have this discussion, the talk can turn into the ridiculous and gross.  You know what I am talking about, we’ve all been in those drunken bar talks….”Would you rather eat shit or drink piss?”  or the typical “Would you rather bungee jump or play chicken with a train?”  or the oh so dull, “Would you rather eat a cricket or a roach?”

What I’m referring to are the oddities in our lives, that to others are absolutely normal.

Example number 1: Down the street from our house are two large Asian grocery stores.  We ventured through the first one and after wandering up and down the aisles purchased a large amount of fruits and veggies.  Next we went across the street to the competition, to check out their set up and see if they had anything different.

While we checked out the produce section, my better half motions for me to come over to the fresh fish counter to see something.  I head his direction and he points to something in a large basket.  I look down and there are about 7 enormous bull frogs sitting there looking up at me.

I don’t know.  There could have been 4 frogs.  There could have been 12 frogs.  There could have been one frog.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m terrified of frogs. All I know is they were huge, like the size of basketballs.  They were dark green.  And they were ready to jump.  Of course, I would too, if I was in a basket for sale in a market…

I ran away so fast, my feet didn’t touch the ground.   I ran straight across the produce department.  Down past the paper products.  Down past the noodles.  Stopping in hot sauce.

Frogs scare me.  Big frogs.  Little frogs.  Green frogs.  Yellow frogs.  All frogs.

I haven’t been back to the store since.

Example number 2:  Every day walking into the office I pull open the front door to the building and the handle is sticky.  Why?  I’m going to come down there with my Clorox wipe and clean off the handle, but in the meantime….how did the handle get sticky exactly?

And when did it become a public disgust to touch the public bathroom door handle to exit?  Did Ralph Nadar do a report on handle germs?  Now there’s usually a trash can immediately next to the bathroom door to capture the paper towels that may or may not make it to the can upon doing their final duty of being a door grip.

And if there isn’t a trash can, people just throw the towel on the floor anyway.

Here’s the thing though…how many people are using toilet paper to actually OPEN THE STALL DOOR?  You want to talk dirty handle?  There’s the dirty handle, people!

SIDE NOTE:  If you didn’t know already, women’s restrooms are disgusting. Filthy.  I’m not kidding.  Don’t let women fool you.

Example number 3:  Traveling or hanging around in packs of people leads to one thing.  Sharing things.  I’m not good with sharing things.  There’s a reason I opted to come into this world as an Only Child.  I don’t play well with others.  Unfortunately, sometimes things get shared whether you want to or not.  It starts at a young age and continues through life.

Two words.

Lice.

Scabies.

Count my lucky stars I’ve had neither.

Although, I am pretty certain if I had either, I’d be trying to figure out how to apply said banishing cream with wood spoons while administering vast amounts of Vodka.

When you’re a kid and someone gets lice, everyone puts their coats and book bags in trash bags at school before putting them into the coat closet.  Not sure if that how it works today.  But in the “olden” days that’s what we did.  Then you go home and have your parents check your head for the lice and pray to the heavens you don’t have any.

When you get older, you can get scabies.  So here’s the thing.  You can’t put your coat in a trash bag in the coat closet, cause you own the coat closet.  And the living room.  And the bedroom.  And the kitchen.  And the bathroom.  What the hell?  The only thing I can think is one of two things.

  1. Torch the place and start over.
  2. Seal it up and bomb it with a scabby bomb.

I mean really, what are your options?  I don’t know where you get scabies.  I don’t want to know but it sounds like an version of Aliens and well, that movie scared me.  When we went to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, that was the one haunted house that scared the hell out of me.  Damn aliens.

Another group shareable….pink eye.  I have had Pink Eye, in both eyes at the same time, and that was about one of the most disgusting things ever.  Crusty, slimy, yellow, oozing, sticky and blurry experiences ever.  Nasty.  Nasty.  Nasty.  Sick.  Not to mention, it was one of my “more un-cute” weeks at work.

I don’t like sharing.

Example number 4:  Moving ahead, there are definite things where it may not turn your stomach, but it does for others.  Like Mothers can wipe their baby’s butt no problem.

I have a 20 pound fat cat, who sometimes has fat flaps on her ass, if we don’t monitor her diet.  Yes.  She has these little peanut sized fat flaps on her ass, where shit accumulates.  Her ass needs to be cleaned.  I can clean her ass.  If I don’t, she gets cat diaper rash.  Some folks may have an issue with that.  Not me.  Time to wipe your butt, Wiggly.

Mucking out farm animal barn stalls….I got that.  Cow, pig, goat, sheep, chicken, turkey manure….check…got that covered.  No problem.  There are days when there is nothing I’d rather do more than shovel poop.

Bodily fluids aren’t fun. Even your own.  If you have ever had the Norwalk virus, AKA Norovirus you know what I mean.  Tends to hit large packs of people.  Schools get it, the traveling public get it.  I got it.  The problem with it is you can’t keep anything down – not a sip of water, for days.  One sip of water and you’re in the bathroom going in circles trying to decide if its coming out your ass or your throat first.  In the end you’re on the toilet holding the trash can on your lap.

Example number 5:  A friend of ours was house sitting, which is very common in Alaska.  The house came with a cat named Simon.  Apparently, while Simon loved his owner, he was not a fan of anyone else.  Simon, from the photos I had seen, was a lovely long haired ginger.  Just lovely except his eyes were glowing, but I chalked that up to the camera and reflection of the flash.

His house sitter thought otherwise as Simon had her cornered on the stairs on day and made her late for work, by several hours if I’m not mistaken.

Long story short….it was known Simon had a few matts of hair that needed to come out.

It was a challenge.  I accepted the challenge.

Enter….the Cat Whisperer.

With brush in hand.  I walked the house looking for Simon.  Everyone was certain I would be wearing an eye patch by the end of the evening, like Captain Sparrow, if not a peg leg to boot.

Upstairs under the bed – no Simon.

Behind the couch – no Simon.

Curtains – no Simon.

Tension, filled the house as you could hear him growling from his mysterious hiding location.

I sat on the floor in the living room and ever so slowly….here came Simon from across the room.  Lured by the international cat sign for “come here kitty.”  He climbed into my lap and after a few moments, I brought out the brush.  Shocking to everyone, brushed out the two large mats around his neck and happily Simon continued on his way.

Same with our wild turkeys.  Many say, “they’ll kill you!”  And I simply say, “It’s all in how you present yourself.”  If you put out you’re terrified, they know.  We’ve have a group of 40 wild turkeys surround us and they’ve been nothing but gentle and kind.

However, put me next to a lama and I will go the other way!  Shifty eyes…and they’re taller than me.  Not to mention they seemingly like to follow me.

Example number 6: Thank god for doctors and nurses.  Now there’s a bunch of jobs I couldn’t do.  Maybe it’s because you have to be a touchy person and I’m not touchy.  Maybe it’s because you have to like body parts and well, I don’t need to be about your feet or your ya-ya or bend you into various shapes to fix your spine, or continue to ask if A is clearer or B?  One word – dentist.  Nope.

Being a doctor is a special breed of person.  Patience, lots of patience.  Apparently when I saw the line in heaven for patience, because I have bad eyesight, I thought it said PATENTS and didn’t get in line for any.  Therefore, I have none.  Hence, being a doctor or nurse was not an option for me.  But I’m very thankful for all of those folks who saw the sign and got in line.

So you see, everyone has something they think twice about and would rather not encounter.  Think about all the possibilities.  Here’s just a short list to get you started:

  • eating off of public utensils.
  • trying on bathing suits – really how many others have tried on that same one
  • rotten fruit
  • bird loose in your house
  • limp, lame, sweaty handshakes
  • pop a zit
  • greasy head prints on the subway windows
  • green snot
  • food spitters, and I’m not talking babies
  • hair in your food (pet hair, your hair, stranger hair, any hair)
  • spider on your toilet paper roll – surprise
  • someone sneezes into their hand then extends it for a handshake
  • a dentist with bad breath
  • the constant cougher next to you on the plane
  • when your better half asks, “does this make me look fat?”

Yet there are folks every day that go out and face our fears head on, challenge our stomach rolling, rather not do that moments and attack them with a gleeful smile.  To them, it’s normal.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s life.  Go forward brave souls, we all have our moments.

 

 

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“Hey! Are You Sleeping?” Said The Mother.

I have two business trips coming up, the first of which takes me to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Conviently, my Mother’s house is somewhat along the way. She lives in the hell fire deserts of Palm Desert, California.

See, it’s along the way, so I make a pit stop.

Fear not, trust me, there is a blog coming about my flights from Boston to the blazing hot, scorching deserts of California.  This however, is a quicker story for my internal body temperature will not allow much more than 5,000 words….as the external temperature of the sands rise, so does the temperature on my scalp.

In fact, as I write this, it is reaching 105 degrees today in Palm Desert.  That is hotter than two mice having sex in a wool sock, next to a wood stove, in January hot.  Just saying.

The day of my flight, I got up at 4:00AM.

Arrived to the airport at 7:30 AM.

Went through TSA Pre-check screening, had my shoulder bag x-rayed twice and then searched by 8:25 AM.

Took off on my first flight by 9:45 AM.

Took off on my second flight by 1:30 PM.

Arrived to the desert at 2:30 PM.

Mind you being on the west coast, makes my life three hours behind my regular program.  Everything is confusing to me.  I convince myself to stay awake until 8:00 PM.  Then I can go and take  shower and get ready for bed.  It will be 8:30 by the time my head hits the pillow and by God, that’s close enough.

Eureka!  8:00 arrives and I couldn’t be happier.  I am off and running.  Good night Mother.  Good night two chihuahua dogs..Buddy and Tina.  See you in the morning.

By 8:35 I am in bed, lights out.

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

Next thing I know, for some reason I am being woken up.  Don’t know by what.  Don’t know by whom.

I hear someone calling my name.  What the hell?  What?

I turn over and see my Mother standing by my bed.

??? Ok this is odd.

??? Why is my Mother standing next to my bed?

??? What???

??? Why is her head glowing?

??? Where the hell am I?

??? What the hell is she saying?

??? Who is dead?

??? What???

??? What the hell is she talking about?

??? Whose dead?

??? Where the hell am I and how did my Mother get here?

??? Who the hell is Tina?

??? What the hell?

At this point I figure, well if my Mother is here, I might as well follow her to see what the hell is going on.  All I can think is….who the hell is Tina?

I follow her out to the living room and my sleepy fog starts to lift…….

Ooooooohhhhh, I am at my Morher’s house.  Ok.

She’s upset. Ok.

She thinks the dog is dead.  TINA.

Ooooooooooohhhhh.

My Mother goes over to Tina’s bed and says, “TINA!  Come on! Time to get up!” And she claps her hands.

I am like, well…..the dog is deaf…..no wonder she isn’t responding….she can’t hear you.

Then my Mother grabs Tina’s head and it flops back on to the bed.

Lifeless.  No response.

Well. Shit.

Maybe, the dog is dead……not like I am an expert at these things.  So then I think, well now what?  We have a 12 pound porky Chihuahua dead in a bed.  Now what?  I ask the obvious….

“Do you have an emergency vet?”

As we stand there looking at the dog.

The Mother yells, “Wait!  Did she just breathe?”

I’m like…..lady, I barely know what state I’m in at the moment.  Could be Massachusetts or it could be California….

Mother yells, “No!  She definitely moved!  Look!”  And sure enough….Tina, the death defying, coma inducing, deep sleeping dog came rousing back to life.

With this, I bent over, put my forearms on my thighs and took some deep breaths.

SWEET JESUS!  I am going back to bed.

The Mother came and tucked me back into bed with a kiss on the forehead.  I took a look at my cell phone before going back to sleep…..it was a whopping 9:35PM.

Exhausted, I laughed….”who the hell is Tina?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relax – Can’t Do It!

Here’s the thing.  I know it’s Easter and this post should probably, if I were politically correct, to be about Jesus’ rising from the dead.

It’s not.

Rather, it’s about my massage.

A few weeks ago, I set up a make shift standing desk at work, to help eliminate some of my back pain as I can’t sit all day long.  Complete with empty boxes, reams of copier paper and old ship awards….it dawned on me.  I need a massage.

My back had been driving me crazy.  Like a third arm was trying to make it’s way out of the right side of my lower back.  It’s that damn spinal erector set muscle. Of course, if I grew an arm out of my back…literally having an arm behind your back, might be beneficial.  I don’t know of anyone who does, but it’s hard to say.  It would be good for back scratching I suppose.  And washing the back.  And maybe a back rub.  I’d rather have eyes behind my head.

The usual practice for me was to use a gadget from Brookstone called the iNeed pillow.  Four little balls go round and round.  I lean into that thing like a buffalo during a dust storm on the high plains.   Complete with the knot in my back passing over the balls like a buffalo stomping his foot to maintain an upright position.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

Ahhhhh relief.  Sweet creator of the iNeed, I have relief.  Lord have mercy.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

The problem doesn’t show up until the next morning when I get out of bed, stretch and think….WHAT THE HELL!  WHY IS MY BACK BRUISED? Ouch.  Ouch.  What did I do?  Then it dawns on me….I over did the iNeed.

But I really NEEDED it and NEEDED it.

Damn.

So I take a couple of weeks off from the iNeed and think to myself, I’ll go for a massage now that I can sanely touch my back without wincing from the over enthusiastic relief received from the iNeed.

One of the guys at work was talking about the massage plan at a local place and it sounded pretty good.  So I made an appointment and signed up for a massage on Saturday – let’s see what they’ve got.

My therapist was…..let’s go with Julie.  We talk about my pain, yatta, yatta and she explains how she has all these certifications and licenses in different areas and her focus is to  “work the connective tissues.”  I am keeping my fingers crossed this isn’t going to be a Rolfing session, which I’ve experienced and the Rolfing series nearly killed me.

She tells me to lay face up as she starts with reflexology first.  THAT sends me over the moon, as I love having my feet rubbed.  This is going to be great I think.  I can’t wait to fall asleep on the table.

I quickly undressed and climb under the covers where the heating pad was already warming up the bed.  She comes back in and we begin.

Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin.  Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin. Digging into my calve, along the shin bone.  Digging in around my ankles.  Focusing on the ankles.  Rubbing the calve.  Digging into the left side of the calve.  Digging into the right side.  This goes on for a good 7 minutes.  I’m mentally sending into the Universe; “Foot please.  Massage the foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.”  Suddenly she thumps the bottom of my foot and proceeds to the other leg.

Same routine.

I’m laying there thinking, “when does reflexology mean shins and calves?  It’s feet.”

It didn’t matter cause it still felt really good and I fell asleep for a minute.  I drifted off and started to dream about our cat Monkey.  Imagine my surprise when I jerked awake and for a brief second couldn’t remember where the hell I was.

Dark room with amber colored light and asian music playing.  WTF?

Of course, the other thing I’ve come to realize about going for a massage is, they need to make these rooms bigger.  You’re there to relax, destress, get your connective tissue back in line – and being jostled by the therapist moving the stool around doesn’t work.

You’re in the zen zone and then bump, shake, shake, scuffle, screech.  Don’t worry, just the therapist moving the stool around to work on your head.  Awesome.

The other part of my personality is I’m not a touchy feel person.  Never have been and don’t anticipate I ever will be.  Nothing against anyone.  I’m not a toucher.   Even public transportation is difficult for me due to limited personal space.  It’s just me.

I like wearing an imaginary hula-hoop.  Please stay outside that hoop unless I invite you into the trusted ring of space.  Very few people get an invitation.  Those of you that have, know who you are and don’t press their luck with the personal space thing.  I thank you for that.

Julie begins to work on my neck and shoulders, while I’m still face up.  Deep breath in….and OOOOOOUUUUUUUUUTTTTTT.  Okay.  Then she is breathing with me.  OUUUUT.  Breathing on me.  On my face.  OUUUT.

Oh lord.  This doesn’t work for me.

OOUUTT.

Going to my happy place.  Small fuzzy animals.  Snuggly little critters.  Happy.  Happy. Happy.

OOOUUUUT.

Well, at least she had minty breath.  Could have been worse.

Next it’s time to flip over to my stomach.  Safe zone!  Thank you!

Fine.  Here we go with the back.  Finally.

Then what’s that sound?  Rumble, rumble.  Rattle.  It continues.  It’s metal and something moving around.  Not a laundry machine.  No a cart going down the hallway.

Rumble.  Slide.  Shake.

Sounds like the air duct.  It’s just the air duct vent.  I’m sure of it.  I forget about it for a while.  Then it’s back.

Sounds now like something scraping against metal.  Whirling against metal.  Scampering against metal.

Dear heavens above, so help me if an animal comes shooting out of the air duct like some act on America’s Got Talent where they’re shot out of a cannon.  Now, as Julie massages the connective tissue in my back, with her elbow….all I can imagine is what the hell that noise is that is actually competing with the gentle spa music.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be workers upstairs.

Could be Mission Impossible Agent taking photos of Julie cause she’s wanted by the CIA.

Could be the air vent.

Could be someone in the hall doing something with a metal bookcase – like dancing with it.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be an artist studio upstairs and they’re working with a buzz saw.

Could be an animal in the duct….pretending to be a Mission Impossible Agent.

.

.

.

.

I don’t ask and I don’t want to know.  Julie doesn’t seem concerned, so neither am I, except I am pretty sure there could be an animal trapped up there in the duct.

FLASH BACK:  Years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I knew a bird managed to fall into our bathroom vent.  You know, the one you turn on when taking a shower, so it makes noise like it’s removing steam…but it doesn’t really?

Nobody believed me.  Finally.  I had to get maintenance to come in and look – as I was certain.  Yep.  There was a bird.  Told you it smelled like chicken

RETURN:

By the end of the massage the Secret Agent Critter in the air duct has gone away and I’m unable to ask about the noise.   Darn it.  However,  I did sign up for the massage plan.   I’ll see her again in two weeks….reflexology here I come….cue the Mission Impossible music.

 

 

 

 

 

Moving…There’s Not Enough Vodka for This. Vol. 1

It all started with what I thought was a dog’s bellowing.
You know that sound.
Something between a howl and a growl.
Or it was a terrible bagpipe performance….performed by a ostrich.

In reality, it was our cat….. Monkey.
In her carrier.
Being taken out to the car.

By the time we got everyone into the backseat, the cats were carrying on a conversation that clearly they thought life, as they knew it was over. Well, buy those felines a king size bag of nip….they were correct!

We were on the way to get kitty health certificates because in two short days….they were  flying with Momma from Miami to Boston!  Are we excited? Oh yeah.

They were about as excited as cats going to the vet’s office, in cat carriers, in the back seat of the car….screaming the whole way.  We’re going to need some drugs.  Either the cats are going to need drugs for the flight or I’m going to need drugs for the flight.

Someone WILL be medicated.

Fast forward and let the chaos unfold.

Day of the flight…I am packed and ready to go.  The house is fairly boxed up and sorted out.

Eric will be driving up in the Honda, so I have a pile of “must go in the car” and a pile of “would be nice to go in the car” and a “can wait for the movers” pile.  Knowing how the day is going to progress, I begin the day with a hearty breakfast – a Whipped Cream Vodka shot.  Perfect.

I download a movie.  Get dressed.  Throw things in my two giant suitcases,  one under the seat suitcase, which will be checked as luggage and one carry on.

One cat, will be a carry on.  Two cats will be checked as luggage.

There is a word for this traveling style:  Circus.

The only saving grace for today is it’s a non-stop flight.

Time to get dressed.  Boston.  It’s freezing, literally.

Attire: jeans, long sleeve shirt, jacket, Xtra Tuff boots.

UGH.  Time for another shot….Rootbeer Vodka Shot.

Alright, we are close to leaving, time to pack up the small pets.  I calmly say to Eric.  I’m getting a cat.  I pick up Taku, the youngest and stuff her into a pink, hard sided carrier.

He grabs Liggy, the eldest at 15 years, and we back her into her soft sided case.  She is the one traveling under the seat.

Next up is Monkey.

It becomes a three ring circus.  Monkey is under the couch, over the chair, up the stairs.  Her tail is as fat as my arm.  She is NOT happy.  She is hissing.  Growling.  Under the couch.  Over the chair.  Under the couch.  Through the kitchen.  Behind the boxes.

We are now 10 minutes into trying to catch Monkey.

What.

Is.

That.

Stench?

Great.  She has released her anal glands.  Think musky, dirty, poopy, dank, odor from the swampy depths of cat butt.  Awesome.

Scratches on Eric’s legs as we try and grab her as she dashes past on her way round boxes, under the couch, under the coffee table, over the chair….knocking over trash cans, empty suitcases and other roadblocks.

Finally, we catch her and she is literally sweating.  Her fur is wet.

The Monkey.  Is.  Pissed.

A blood curling yowl escapes from her little furry black body.

Into the pink carrier she goes.

I need another shot…..

Now, we’re late, of course.  Damn it Monkey!  We get into the car and the felines are silent.  I think someone said two words and that was about the end of it.  They knew.

We race up to Ft. Lauderdale airport and decide to drop me, the luggage and the circus at the sidewalk.  There are hundreds of people in line for curbside check in.  You have got to be kidding me.  We don’t have time for this.  I can’t lug three suitcases and three cats by myself while Eric parks the car.  So I decide to crouch next to the felines and talk calmly to them.  There isn’t a porter in sight.

I’m sweating through my Xtra Tuffs and jeans.

Is that a whiff of Monkey ass?

Christ, please.  I don’t want to smell like cat butt.

Next thing I know I hear this man say, “Mommy, you need help?”

I look up and low and behold….A PORTER!  A PORTER ALL FOR ME!  Yes, I will be anyone’s mommy if you can help me!

Yes, yes, yes! I need help!  Checking in…with three cats!  Please!  (Get me into the air conditioning before my crotch soaks through these jeans in this heat…that would be a fantastic feat!)

Within minutes, he had me in the line and we were zipping to the check in counter.

Next thing I know we get to the counter.  My little agent guy has a helper.  The helper lady seems to be doing a lot of the work.  Uh-oh.  My little agent guy….is new.  Buddy, I don’t have time for new.  Not today.

Look, you fill out the form, you slap it on the kennel. It already has a Live Animals sticker on there.  You put the label with the arrow going UP.  You want the kennel to stay in the UPRIGHT position.  Are you kidding me?

I don’t want to tell you how to do you job – but damn – I don’t have time for this.

Then they tell me we have to take the two kennels going under the plane over to TSA and they need to inspect the kennels and we have to take the cats out.  I look at Eric.  One word comes to mind.

M O N K E Y

We tell the TSA guy, “well, let’s do the easy one first.”  Taku, who never says a word, comes out…blinks at us while I hold her…. and goes back in.  Time for the stinky, pain in the ass, but really she’s just scared to death,  one.  I open the door, reach in and grab her by the neck ruff.

WE will not be playing any games in this airport missy.  You may think you’re all that and a bag of cat nip…but I AM the momma cat and YOU WILL not be fucking around.

Fine, back in she goes.

Next, time for me to go through the security gate and I look at Eric.   What time is it? Plane boards in 10 minutes.  GREAT.  I have to give Liggy her medicine 30 – 60 minutes before the flight.

Wait!  Where is my iPad?  Momentarily I panic.  It’s in the car.  I debate, leave it or should Eric go and get it?  I downloaded a movie to watch just for this flight!  I have my book, but I really wanted to watch the movie.  He runs and gets the iPad….in the meanwhile….

I throw everything on the floor.  I grab the pill and try to shove it down Liggy’s throat while she is sitting in her little bag.

Once, twice, three times.  Not happening.

I open the bag.  Jerk her out and hold her in my lap.

You.  Will. Eat.  This.  Pill.

Liggy, however, has other ideas.

Such as…..there will be no pill going down her throat today.

EAT THE PILL!

By this time, sweat, is pouring down my face.  I am literally, a hot mess.

Eric is back and he’s telling me, “you have to go.”

Okay, well.  Here’s hoping she ate the pill.

Pack up the 15 pound cat, roller suitcase and my handbag.  Off we go through security.

I get to the X-ray machine and tell them I have a cat.  “Please take her out of the bag.”  Okay.  Liggy and I then stand there for 5 minutes while they discuss with the persons in front of me which machine they should use.  The walk through X-ray or the stand there with your hands above your head machine.

Okay, I’m standing here with a 15 pound feline, who isn’t really happy with her situation.  Could we move this along?  Is she doesn’t start hissing, I might.  We both might.

We get through the machine and don’t you know her carrier bag get stopped on the conveyor belt…..just short of arm’s reach.  There’s that sign that says, “don’t reach in to grab your bag.”  Come on.

COME ON!!!!

I get all the stuff…cat in the bag.  Luckily, for once, I was the FIRST GATE!  Eureka.  They were already boarding First Class when I arrived, so I dashed to the restroom.  Why?

Well, yes, to use the restroom, but also, because unlike most people.  My quart size bag….is filled with airplane bottles of…vodka.  Yep.  So I had a shot of chocolate vodka before jumping on my flight.

(No.  Contrary to popular belief, the only thing TSA has ever said to me was, “Finally someone actually gets the idea of what they should be using the quart size bags for on these flights!”  I can get about 8 little bottles in there.)

Liggy and I get to the gate and I hop in line.  I look around and smile.

Finally.

This is the first time in two years.

I have found my people.

Carhartts.

Flannel.

Boots.

North Face.

Fleece.

English is the first language.

It’s good.

As I get on the plane I advise the crew I had two other felines joining me below, they were like, “YOU’RE the CAT LADY!!!!”  Yes.  Yes.  I am.  They were delighted.  They had the slips showing Taku and Monkey were already boarded.

Liggy and I get on board and the middle seat remains empty.  I’m thrilled.  I’m thinking, this is great!  I will enjoy my movie “Chef” and order a seltzer water for my Vodka….after the last four hours, I need another Vodka.  Liggy, I’m pretty sure, hasn’t taken her pill as she keeps changing positions and mewing.

Then it happens.

I get a middle seat person.

Which under normal circumstances, would be fine.  But this, of course, isn’t normal circumstances.

Guess who sits next to me?

Nope.  A pilot.  Of course!  There goes my Vodka.  (Plan B:  have to use the restroom and take my purse, which had my quart size bag anyway after security.)

So, definitely, Liggy had not taken her pill.  Luckily the noise of the aircraft mostly drowned out her meows but she definitely could not sit still.  Well sister we have three hours to go, suck it up.

We finally land Boston and we hop off the plane.  Liggy and I meet our pick up party in baggage claim.  All the luggage arrives and we wait patiently for the two pink cat carriers to come through “special baggage”.  Apparently, animals are last off the plane.

As soon as I saw those two carriers I said, “There’s my little girls.”

Then SHE LET ME HAVE IT.

It was one big yyyyyeeeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwlllllll….followed by…..

A where in the hell are we?

And a who the hell do you think you are?

And a what the hell was that?

And never again!

And a fuck you lady and the horse you flew in on!

Monkey.  Was.  Pissed.

By the time we got out to the car, she was exhausted and had no further words.

Now, if we could just get her to come out from under the bed….we’d be doing good!  She does laps, to make sure we’re still here.  Then back she goes.

 

Maybe if I Said it in Pig Latin, You’d Understand

There is one particular word in every language that drives people crazy.

They can’t comprehend it’s meaning.

It confuses the hell out of them.

Baffles them.

When uttered, it sends normal people into a rage in 2.49 seconds.

It can send children into bawling tantrums in less time.

It’s a small.  Simple. Word.

A word that apparently, people didn’t grasp it’s true definition in school

That word is:

No.

.

.

.

.

Such a small little word.  NO.

NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

no.

There is the letter, “N” and the letter “O.”  So simple.  NO.

The world’s languages are filled with NO, it’s not just the English version:

Non, née, nein, nahi, nem, nai, ne, nu, niet, nyet, nej,não…..but wait… look….there’s more….ez, hindi, ohee, tidak, aniyo, hapana, không, a’ole, waka….and the list goes on and on and on.  (Please consider this your lesson for the day on:  How to say NO in 20 languages.  You’re welcome.)

Never has a word evoked such anger, frustration, denial and dumbfounded moments and also throwing caution to the wind and trying something new.  I’m not going to speak to the anger and frustration.  But the other emotions that come out of being told WAKA (Manchu) are ridiculous.

For example, many moons ago, and by many moons ago, I am literally referring to the passing of time by watching many moons come and go.  (If you need a timestamp, as your moon clock is off, then this would be decades ago when I was married.) I was told NAHI (Hindi) by my computer.  It went something like this:  Do not download this file.  It has malicious content attached and could be a virus.  Red lights started flashing, sirens went off, my index finger went stiff so I couldn’t click the mouse and the malicious content police came to the front door.

Well.  What.  Could.  Really.  Happen?

Here’s the problem with being told:  Do not download this file.

I might need that file.  How do I know I need that file if I can’t see the file?

In my mind, the computer gets a virus and we’ll just clean it with the virus software.  They have programs for that.  

This is exactly what I was thinking.

I’m curious.  I can’t help myself.  You tell me not to do something, I am going to do the opposite.

Click.

RESULT:  Computer got a virus.  Husband was not pleased.  I didn’t need the file.

 

Last weekend I stopped at the mall by our house.  Which, this mall is a blog.  Good grief, the people.  The mobs.  The outfits.  The lack of outfits.  OMG.  The parking.  It’s insane.  But I had to go to the Apple store, which the iPad is still not right and I still can’t get my books, it’s never good when a reader doesn’t have her books.  HINDI (Filipinio), LO (Hebrew), NEM (Hungarian)!

At any rate, I’m making my way through the maze of bodies and this large woman is yelling and I mean yelling at her little boy.  He is all of about 3.  They’re standing outside the children’s “occupy time while a parent is shopping in the hallows of shopping hell arena” area.  I don’t know what he did, but I felt bad for him.

First of all, she was a beast.  She was towering over his little self.  Yelling.  It was quite obvious he had done something she didn’t like.  By god, he better not be doing that any time ever again in his life…..whatever IT was.  IT was not good.

I was expecting her giant head of cornrows to come swiveling off and explode like a firecracker as I went past.  Hurry up and walk faster.  I don’t want to loose my eye to one of those whippets.

Secondly, I could just tell from the look on his face he had OHEE (Greek) idea what he had done wrong.  He was simply at a loss.  Clueless.

True.  He could have been in trouble for anything from punching another little kid to dropping a napkin on the ground to stepping on her foot.  I will never know.  The look on his little face, looking up at her, completely lost as to why she was screaming at him….it was sad.  Sad.  Sad.   His AHAA (Nepali) experience was dumbfoundedness.  Bless his little cotton socks.  Or here in Florida, his flip flops.

Another type of NON (French) moment experience is when you want something so badly and you just simply can not and will not have it not matter what you try.

It

Is

NOT

Going

To

Happen.

PERIOD.

I am dealing with a situation currently, that has been going on for OVER A MONTH.  About two weeks ago I finally had to say out loud to a business partner, “I don’t know how many other ways to tell this person NO.”  To give you an example, walk with me and let me tell you a story:

Imagine you ran a restaurant and every Tuesday you host a murder mystery dinner with 100 seats available.  It sells out every Tuesday, so people buy tickets in advance.  It’s a very popular local event.

One day you get a call and the person says they have 100 people for the show next month.  Unfortunately, you have already sold some seats for the night they are interested in and can only give them 75 tickets.  They can’t change their date, so they decide to take the 75 seats and ask if you can get more seats.

No.  There are no more seats.  There is a limit for how many can fit in the restaurant.

Every day they call.

Them:  Can you bring in more actors and do the show in the parking lot?

Me:  No.  The health department will not allow us to operate in the parking lot.  Please   stop selling tickets to this event.

THEM:  Did you find any more seats?  Did anyone cancel?

ME:  No.  What we can do is a private affair at a later time in the day for 130 of your guests.

THEM:  That’s not acceptable, we don’t want the private function.  Can you rent out the restaurant down the street and move everything there so there is more space?

ME:  No.  We are not moving our restaurant.

THEM:  Our numbers have increased.  We are now at 150 people.  Can you rent tents and add on to the back of your property to hold our event?

ME:  No.  There is only an alley in the back.  There are no additional seats available.

THEM:  We found another company that is willing to help out with the show.  Can you work with them?

ME:  No.  We do not have a contract with them for services.

Other people from various departments within their company start to call you and ask you the same thing.  The answer is the same thing over and over.  We have tried everything, there are no more seats.  Had you planned in advance, we could have reserved the entire dinner event for you.  I’m sorry but NO, there are NO more seats.  (Please attach me to the Vodka IV drip….thank you.)

Lastly, one of the most interesting kinds of ELLA (Zuni) is when you say, “JEN (Danish).  I haven’t done that.  Let’s give it a go!”  Haven’t tried it – let’s go for it.  You might actually enjoy it.

Of course, there are things I definitely wouldn’t do if offered the chance.  Stick my head in a lion’s mouth.  Well, actually, let me think about that….I might….depending on the circumstance, so that’s not a great example.

I don’t think I’d jump at the chance to eat a grasshopper.  Too big.  Cricket – yes – if deep fried and with hot sauce.  Why not.  Crunchy little buggers.  HA!

Not going to get me to jump out of a plane.  Not happening.  NYET (Russian).

But there are plenty of things I have yet to experience that if someone said, “hey have you….” and I haven’t….I bet I’d give it a shot.  Actually, let’s be realistic….I’d at least ponder the possibility of giving it a shot.   You know, like pedicures.  If you haven’t tried them you should!   They’re relaxing and will put your feet, whether they’re like Hobbit feet or horses’ hoofs, into a better state of appeal for all to enjoy.  The best part about a pedicure is they don’t even charge extra in those cases when you have an extra toe – which is fantastic!

Just saying.

 

 

 

Silence Was Not an Option

The one thing I enjoyed about living in Alaska was everything was bigger….especially the wildlife.  If something was going to get you, it was going to be something  B I G.

King Salmon.

Moose.

Bears.

Deer.

Sheep.

Lynx.

Fox.

Whales.

Seals.

Eagles.

Please note: we don’t have penguins contrary to popular belief.

We have BIG animals in Alaska.  None of this namby pamby shit that leap out from behind crap to get you.  Animals in Alaska are in your face tough.  They let you know up front, without any confusion, whose land it belongs to…….this is my land, you want it, you are going to have to come through me to get it.  Enough said and there usually aren’t any questions.

The rest of the United States, there’s some gray areas.  There’s total confusion as to where property lines are drawn and  humans and critters are having to fight for their rights on a daily basis.

Case in point:  the poor turtle I hit by accident on the highway.  Sorry buddy, stay on the greenway, avoid the hard top areas.  Hence, this is why he’s given a protective shell.  He bounced, tucked and rolled.  I’m pretty sure he’s fine once he got his hearing back and his tunnel vision sorted out.

Assorted water fowl on the fairway.  You know they’re all sorts of confused when they’re out there and they spot those golfers coming by on the carts.  It’s all they can do to hop on and go for a joy ride.  Gives new meaning to the Hop On and Hop Off Trolley Tour.  Hey Marge!  Let’s hop on over hole 14….I heard they just re-filled the sand trap – it’s extra cushy!  Oh Harold and the mid-mow on the fairway is so nice this time of year for nibbles.

The one thing I have no tolerance for are the rude creatures that cross into our habitat uninvited.  Get out.  There is no tiny door that says hard shelled creatures with more legs than an origami octopus – step right this way – I’m now serving number 24.  With a world so large, go find your own dark corner and stay far, far, away from all of my areas.

Go.

Now.

Poof.

Be gone.

On Sundays one of the last chores I do are the sheets.  I wash them.  Put the fabric softener on them and make the bed.  This happens not long before I actually climb into bed.  Once I get into bed, I plan to spend time playing Words with Friends or reading.  It’s relaxing and enjoyable.  Then it’s off to la la land…..

This particular Sunday was no different.

I am in bed.  I sleep on the left side.  Always.

Happily, I am reading a book on my iPad.  Out of no where, I see something out of the corner of my left eye.

Moving.

On.

The.

Floor.

Very slowly I turn my head.

C

R

A

P

^%$)) !

Along the jewelry boxes on the floor, there goes a bug.  Not any kind of bug.

A big bug.

Not any kind of big bug.

A Florida bug.

What kind of Florida bug?  A roach.

More specifically?

A Palmetto Bug.

What do you ask is special about a Palmetto Bug you wonder?

Think:  a giant flying roach.

In about two seconds I realize exactly what I’m seeing and calmly (for me) I leap up out of bed – the opposite side from where the bug is at and run towards the kitchen.

My first thought is, “PALMETTO BUG!”  I have to catch this thing.  I can’t kill it…it could have eggs….and BLAH.    When Eric was here, he had to catch a roach and did so with a plastic cup.  I run to the kitchen look for the plastic cups.  Then it dawns on me…..

How am I going to catch a flying roach with a plastic cup?  Forget the cups.  Get the Dyson!

I race to get the Dyson and run back to the bedroom.

By now, I see the giant roach is lumbering towards the closet.  When I say lumbering, I truly mean lumbering.  This bug had the worse case of jock itch I’ve ever seen.  Either that or it’s feet hurt so bad it just wanted to sit down.  Now I got a good look at the size of the thing and it’s as long as my index finger.

OMG!

If it goes into the closet, I’ll never find it and that will be the end of it!  I won’t be able to sleep with this thing in the house!

I start trying to get the extension hose and extension tubing pulled apart on the Dyson.  Damn the Swedish or German or whatever the hell engineering this machine is made with.  Pointless!  Obviously, the ball vacuum is not made for the common folk.

Release the hose!  RELEASE THE HOSE!  Extend the hose!!

It became very apparent you need to understand rocket science to figure out how to release the tubing then to attach the pole to the tubing to get the full extension.

By the time I get this whole process worked out, the roach has had three families and they have all disappeared into my closet and are now actively pursuing Amway distribution channels.  I stood with the Dyson wand, fully extended 12 feet in my hand, with the vacuum running…..for a good three minutes….without success.  I leave the Dyson plugged in and figure I will see the beast come out of the closest, as it is so big, it could set off car alarms simply by walking past cars.

I find the cat, who was in the living room sleeping.  Pick her up and put her in front of the closet.  “Get the roach”  I tell her.  She just looks at me.  Thought she’d be my alarm if it came back out.

I climb back into bed and call Eric to tell him the situation.

Not five minutes into the conversation, with Eric still on the phone.

Complete and utter pandamonium ensues and goes something like this:

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH   AWWWWWHHHHHHHH   UUUUUUUUUUUUhhhhhhhgggGGGGGGGGGGGGGG   WWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA     AAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL

WWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK   SSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTT

The flying cockroach was suddenly on the bed and on me and on the bed and on me and I think on the bed and on me and the bed and on me.  All I know is I saw it on the left side of me.  And I took off screaming and running and screaming and running in the opposite direction….the cat right behind me.

I didn’t stop running and screaming until I got to the far end of the house when I couldn’t run any further.  That was only because there was a wall

Then the real problem set in:

How am I going to track down a flying cockroach?

It’s in here somewhere.  I ponder my options.  Really – two options.  Barricading myself in the bathroom overnight.  So what… then in the morning having it attack me when I open the door?  I think not.  It has to be found.  I could check myself into a hotel.  Over what a flying bug?  Come on.  I can’t live in a hotel until Eric gets here.  Well, I could. But seriously.  It’s a bug!

Liggy was hiding under the kitchen table.  I took one look at her, “You were supposed to warn me it was coming so I could get the Dyson ready.”

After about 15 minutes I got up enough nerve to get back into the bedroom.  I turn on the Dyson and with the wand in hand, I slowly start to navigate through the bedroom.  I was definitely not cut out for this nonsense.  Why are we afraid of these things?  We’re 1000 times bigger than these things, yet they scare the pants off us!  I would rather live with ghosts than bugs.  Honestly.

After about ten minutes and a good surface check – nothing.  I back out of the room.

Check the hallway.  Nothing.

Check the bathroom.  Nothing.

Through the dining room.  Nothing.

I start to go into the kitchen.

EUREKA!

It’s playing dead on the floor – just like the one the other day outside.

“Hasta la vista, baby!”   I lean forward with my Dyson wand and think, come on baby….suck this up…..come on….come on…..don’t fail me now.

ssssslllllluuuuurrrrrr…….hestiation…..hesitation…..hestitation….POP!

I let it whirl around for good measure before I turned it off and then dashed outside with the canister to jettison it’s sorry ass into the bushes.

Of course, now I have PTSD from the entire event.  Four times since I’ve been writing this, out of the corner of my eye, I see this black thing at the foot of the bed and I jump.  It’s the stupid tag on the blanket.  I’m going to cut it off right now before I give myself heart failure.

Beware of the Undead – Halloween Countdown!

This is my favorite time of year.

Fall.

Cooler weather.  Great movie releases.  Baked apples, cinnamon sticks, carving pumpkins, hot buttered rum and freakishly scary shit for 30 days straight!

Halloween is my favorite holiday.

My bucket list includes working at a haunted house.

Dressed up.

Scaring the shit out of people.

I’m not fussy.  I’ll hide in boxes, behind doors, leap out of trash cans,  grab your leg from under the bed or drop from the top of the fridge…just let me scare the pants off you.

I dress up as the same thing every year.  Wanna guess what it is?

Princess?

No.

Wood nymph with wings?

No.

Sexy Bond Girl?

No.

Naughty French Maid?

No.

Bad cop?

No.

Vampire? Flapper? Nurse?  Cave girl?  Marilyn Monroe?

No.  No. No. No.  No.

I always dress up as the same thing:  a dead person.

Dirty, grungy clothing, pale and bloody face.  Matted hair — sometimes long and sometimes short.  Vacant stare.  I love playing the creepy dead girl with bleeding wounds and oozing flesh.  LOVE IT!

When I moved to Florida, honestly, one of the first things I did was search about a job at a haunted house.  Granted people I spoke to were like….the local ones aren’t REALLY good haunted houses….you need to go to Orlando for those.  That’s okay, compared to what we had back in Juneau, Alaska – the local houses here are going to be AWESOME!

Lucky for me, there is a haunted house right up the road from our house.  However, unlike the weekend run in Juneau for the haunted house, this one operates for over a month – multiple nights during the week.  Not to mention it stays open long enough for the Vampires to get in a full 8 hours of frightening work before turning in for the morning.  True.  These hours didn’t work for me and my serious adult job.

Not to worry – I will get to work in a haunted mansion at some point in my career.  I simply must.  How do I know this?  No is not an option.

Eric and I spent the most amazing Halloween in Salem, MA a few years back.

With 60,000 of our closest friends.

It was unreal and oddly enough, even though I hate crowds, we can’t wait to go back.  It starts first thing in the morning and goes until late at night.   The costumes are astonishing.  WOW.  Live bands out on the streets, haunted houses, ghost walks and so much more.   Helicopters overhead and police everywhere: on horses, bikes, feet and those two-wheeler things…

That same year we also stayed at the Lizzie Borden house – and sat on the couch where she gave her dad 41 whacks with the ax.  Twisted.  Haunted walks and ghost adventures – sign me up!

Historically, we decorate our house and our garage to scare the neighborhood kids on Halloween.  Nothing makes us happier than to hear someone say, “You guys have the best house!”  Rock on – turn up the fog machine and que the clanging chains and moaning beasts.

This is my favorite time of year.

However, some frightful things, which shouldn’t necessarily be so frightful scare the living bejeezits out of me.

Every morning is routine for me.  You know the main character on the show: The Big Bang Theory?  Sheldon Cooper?  Yeah, well guess what?  I have Sheldon moments.  No, I am not going to bore you with the details about the latest research on how Matrix mechanics are being called the first conceptually autonomous and logically consistent formulation of quantum mechanics. Did you know it extended the Bohr Model by describing how the quantum jumps occur?  Seriously, I’m not kidding.  It’s hard to believe but, it did so by interpreting the physical properties of particles as matrices that evolve in time.   Think of it, as being equivalent to the Schrödinger wave formulation of quantum mechanics as well as being the basis of Dirac’s bra-ket notation for the wave function.

Are you kidding, me?  I have no idea what the hell any of that means.  How many of you just read that twice?  I’m more like Penny – duh.  Blah, blah, blah chicken.

However, every morning it’s the same.

Prior to the front door being painted a lovely shade of river mud brown, it wasn’t uncommon for me to open the front door and have a lizard stuck to it or the molding – waiting to dash inside.  Okay, whatever just don’t harass the cat!

Every morning I open the door and check the door.

Nothing.

Check the welcome mat for creepy crawlers a.k.a. “beetles” which in regular non-dreamer terms means ROACH.

I scan the first landing and if all looks clear, I proceed outside.  Lock the door and scan the second landing and two steps.  If all clear, proceed to car.

Very simple.

Very reliable.

Today I open the door to depart for work at 7:15AM.

Scan.

Clear.

I approach the top of the first of two steps and look down to the next landing.  There’s a “beetle” on it’s back.  Dead.

That’s right you MOFO – you better be on your back!  Dead.  Legs curled in and dead like a crispy little leaf off a tree.  That’s why we exterminate your ass.

D. E. A. D.

Regardless, I still give it a wide berth – respect for the newly departed and all.  I make a giant left bank to avoid the carcass.  Suddenly as I am passing by the high noon mark on the lifeless shell it suddenly flips over and starts to run.

Run.

At.

Me.

FUCKER!!!

My heart rate goes from a calm 60 bpm to nearly 175 bpm as I nearly climb the 100 foot palm tree in an effort to get out of this thing’s way.  I’m slightly dumbfounded at what is happening. It was dead.  On it’s back.  Maybe I’m imagining this.  I didn’t sleep well and I didn’t get to juice my fresh fruits and veggies.  Maybe it’s a hallucination.  I pause and turn around.

This beetle, I kid you not, is as big as my thumb.

In length and width.

It’s antenna where so big, they were only good for two things:

1.  Being used as a car jack.  Need to change your tire?  No troubles, let me get my thumb size roach out one moment please.  Just call him Arnold:  “I’ll be baacck.”

2.  Bringing in Radio Tokyo with perfect clarity.

And it’s running!  With 12 pairs of the latest Nike Air shoes on – I swear.

I’ve never seen a beetle this enormous except for those you see in Natural History Museums to explain about the prehistoric creatures and what scientists unearthed in long forgotten caves under the earth’s crusty surface.

Not only was it wearing the latest Nikes but it had a matching head band to keep the sweat out of it’s eyes and an iPod tucked into it’s right wing shield.

That’s right.

WING shield.

Not only do they play dead.   They fly.  When I realized this I nearly broke the windshield trying to get into Norman as I was certain it was making it’s way towards me.

Buzzzzzzz  Buzzzzzzz.

I feel faint.  Turn the air on.  Put the seat back.  Head between my knees.  OMG it nearly killed me.

………………8 hours later……………

I arrive back to the scene of the crime.

No pools of blood and gore on the landing, no half eaten chickens in the yard.  The beast must have gotten away.

I get out of the car and immediately start stomping my feet.  There I am in my dress and end of day ballet flats (yeah, well you try wearing heels for 8 hours and see what your feet tell you.)  Anyone looking out their windows would have thought I was doing some sort of Indian Rain Dance minus the ornate Shaman staff and speaking in tongues.

I walk back to the trunk and then it happens.  Noises.  I hear a noise in the shrubs.

Sweet Jesus it’s back!

What do I do?

Stomp harder, hopping one foot to the other, all the while muttering: fuck, fuck, fuck.

I slam the trunk shut and stomp and dance my way up to the front door, eyeballing every dead leaf to make sure it’s actually a dead leaf and not a beetle playing dead.

This is ridiculous, however when you’re dealing with a beetle that is big enough to feed a starving family for 2 days, and comes with it’s own saddle, spurs and lasso, you have to take precautions.

I get inside the house, slam the door and peer out the peep hole.

Only then do I realize the rustling in the shrubbery was nothing other than a stupid ass squirrel.

I thought it had me.