So much time has passed…

It’s been too long since I posted.  I have many updates, but I am too lazy to go into all of them.  I’ll only post about the biggest one.  My grandmother on my mom’s side (who I have mentioned in other blog posts) passed away in July of last year.  My grandfather had already passed away (also mentioned in blog posts), so her passing meant both of them were gone.  Which was a significant blow.  And still hard to believe.

I am too tired right now to make the effort of linking to the other posts mentioned above.  Go look through my blog.  Be an active reader and put a little effort into it, why don’t ya’?

Things have been surreal.  I have moments of sadness, moments of forgetting they’re gone (the most surreal), and mostly I just regret all the things we regret when someone is gone and we did not cherish them every single second.  Which is everyone, everywhere.  We’re human.

Sadly, my grandmother’s passing has brought on family drama having to do with “the estate”.  I don’t even want to go into it right now, except to say that my mother’s brother is a giant hunk of shit covered in shit sauce served next to a shit sandwich inside a shit roll.  Enough said.

Rather than blather on, I am including a writing piece I’ve been working on.  I might continue it, I might not.  The point was the writing, rather than the result.  But I hope it gives you a sense of what I want to say.

__________________________

The House in Fryeburg

Both of my grandparents on my mom’s side are gone now.  Their absence renders a gaping hole in my life.  Not necessarily one in the present, nor the future.  But it is a hole in my past.  It is a void in my foundation.  It is difficult to reconcile who I am, or adequately describe who I am to anyone else who has not met them, now that they are gone.  They had larger than life roles in my world.  For this, I am lucky.

I could recount many stories about who they were: as grandparents, as people.  I could illustrate how my grandmother was unforgivingly judgmental, yet equally as firmly supportive to those she loved.  I could tell tales of my grandfather’s rampant prejudices, and just as many tales of his faith in humanity.  These are real characters; human, flawed, and whole.  These stories could easily be told.  And I might do that some day.

Lately, however, all I can think about is their house.  There were two that they lived in during my life, and I remember both well.  I focus mostly on the one that they were living in when they passed away (two years apart).  I believe these memories of their home stay with me, not because of my age or impressionable times, but because of how my grandparents inhabited it.  Imbued with their personas, this house felt like an extension of my relationship with them.  It was not just a place, but an experience.  Another character in the story.

After my grandmother died (two years after my grandfather), I went to the house.  It still had all of their things:  appliances, furniture, clothes, photo albums, books, magazines, tools, dishes, forks, knives, and so on.  But it felt empty.  So very empty.  Empty like it had never felt at any other time, because, when they died, so did that house.
Currently, the house is being fixed up to be sold.  I have been told it looks great.  Worn linoleum is gone.  Floorboards are polished.  Steps have been fixed.  Yet, I have no desire to see it.  I have such a clear and vivid memory of that house – their home – that I cannot bear to tarnish it with a new improved version of something that is already perfect to me.

Memories come in flashes sometimes.  I see flashes of the way the sunlight hit the wooden floor in the dining room – playing up the golden brown, while casting tiny shadows in the nicks.  Nicks that were caused by a dropped utensil or a scrambling dog claw.  I can recall the sound of oil sizzling in a pan.  It might be cooking bacon or it might be frying up green tomatoes, or smelt.  The tomatoes may have come from the garden in front of the house, where lazy buzzing bees do not scare my very allergic grandfather.

Also flashing in my mind are seasons.  I made iced tea from the canister of powdered sweetened tea on the counter, while marveling at the way my grandparents kept their house cool simply by timing the opening and closing of drapes to coincide perfectly with the sunlight and breezes.  I can picture my grandfather carefully picking his way across the snowy driveway to throw birdseed on the ground by the large tree at the top of their driveway.

We’d watch the birds eating that seed while sitting at the kitchen table – a table with years of wear, scratches, and marks from the positioning of a meat grinder clamp.  My grandmother would leave her toast on the top of the toaster to stay warm, only taking it down when it was time for my grandfather to make his own toast.  I can hear the scrape of his chair on that old worn linoleum as he got up to tend to eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, you name it.

There was a step roughly halfway up the stairway that creaked.  As a child, when I heard this step, I breathed a little easier because it meant someone else was coming upstairs to go to bed.  As a teenager, I remembered to avoid it when I finally went to bed.

Holidays always felt right in their home.  The house kept the warmth and smells from holiday cooking and wrapped them around me.  I can picture the table set with good linens, and the good dishes, and my grandparents moving through all of this as expert travelers in their own realm.

When I look at their photos now, I still feel a sense of loss.  It is an ache that will not ever go away.  Nor should it.  But I also feel a rush of those images, and flashes of memories.  They don’t fill the hole, but they do color it in and decorate it and allow me to walk across the void now and then.

Rock & Shock ’em

Yesterday I went to Rock & Shock.  I am not sure how to describe it, but it is geared towards horror fans.  It consists of vendors with goods to sell, celebrity guests signing autographs, plus panels and discussions.  I went with Shalisha and Corey – probably my only friends who watch horror movies.

.

*Note: I can thank my mom for my love of horror movies AND my imperviousness to being scared.  And probably a few neuroses.

.

I had so much fun!

First of all, when we walked in there was a huge booth dedicated to Troma merchandise.  Hallelujah, Redneck Zombies!!

It was so exciting that I found myself acting oddly cheerful.  For example, I saw a 3 3/4″ figurine and started squealing, “Look at the tiny Leatherface!  Look at him!  Who’s the tiny Leatherface, who is?” – as if I was talking to a toddler.

And not 5 minutes later, I beckoned to Corey to come look at the Extreme Horror booth’s featured movie “Fetus” and exclaimed, “Look!  It was banned in Germany!  You know how much you love movies banned in Germany!”

extreme is right

We were told Germans don’t take kindly to movies featuring decapitated fetuses.

.

Other items seen at vendor booths:

a birdeater tarantula (fuck no)

legless lizards (why is that not just called a snake?  no idea)

tiny zombie gnomes (hell yes, I got one)

a giant tortoise (I don’t get it either)

a vintage figure of the Zuni fetish doll from “Trilogy of Terror” (and all I could do was keep screaming, “it’s life sized!  it’s life sized!”)

my name is "He Who Kills"

He may be small but he will ruin your night.

.

The highlight for me was getting autographs!

The first one we got was Laurence Harvey – he of Human Centipede 2.  One of the most graphically disturbing movies I’ve ever seen.  It makes the first Human Centipede look like a Disney movie.  (I said that to Laurence Harvey and he looked at me and said, “Oh yes”.  Creepy?  Oh, yes.)  Shalisha almost cried because he scared her so much.  She took my picture with him, and, unbeknownst to me, he whipped out a stapler for the photo (see the movie to get the significance – if you dare).  This caused Shalisha to shake in fright and all the pics to be slightly blurry.

He was very nice, however.  At least, I think he was.  Here’s how he signed my movie:

what.  the.  fuck.

“I’ll be thinking of you (with barbed wire in my hand!)” – CREEPY
The heart was a nice touch, tho.

.

I was the most tongue tied when I spoke with David Naughton.  This is most likely because I kept vaguely insulting him.

I love David Naughton – of “American Werewolf in London“, Dr. Pepper commercials, and a hardly watched 70’s TV show called “Makin’ It”.  In an attempt to express this love, I started off with, “I know I don’t look this old, but I watched your TV show Makin It.”  This old.  He gently said, “I don’t look that old to have made that show.”  Me: “No, YOU DON’T.”  Shalisha told him I made her watch the video of him singing the theme song (of the same name) so then I said, “You were a Renaissance man!” (were?  were??)  “You ARE one.  You are one NOW.”

Jesus.  Just shoot me now.

David Naughton, if you read this, I AM SO SORRY.

what a douche I am

David Naughton – very nice, and talented, and willing to pose with a douchebag

.

I was equally as excited to meet Danny Trejo!  Who is so cute you could put him in your pocket!  Until Shalisha reminded me he might cut me.

He was very gracious.  He even insisted we get a group photo!  And I would not budge one inch from him when we did it.  I was gonna have me some Danny action.

squeeeeeeeeee!!

looks nice, kicks ass

.

The last autograph I got was….are you ready?… ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL.

YES.  IT WAS.

Holy hell.  I was not prepared for him to seem so…. tall.  And soft spoken.  And genuine.

Seriously, his handshake was friendly.  His eye contact was unwavering.  Sincere.

Perhaps this is why, after he shook my hand and sat down, I blurted “I love you!”.  And I did it in a tone that said, “let’s just get this out in the open…I love you”.  He smiled graciously.

But.  I.  Kept.  Going.

Because.  Because I remembered how he was the iconic geek boy and then one day – BAM! – he was not.  I think it was when I saw “Edward Scissorhands” that I first noticed AMH had filled outIn a good way.

So, I said, “you know, as you got older, you got better and better looking”.

He replied, “that’s very nice of you to say”.  I insisted that I could not possibly be the only person who said this to him, but he still thanked me as if it was the first time he’d ever heard it.  Maybe it was.  I don’t know.  I cannot even think because I was talking to ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL.

And you guys?  His eyes are the most incredible blue.  Like, I may have visited heaven when I looked into them.

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL!

What’s important here is that ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL IS TOUCHING ME.

.

All in all, I’d say it was a great day!  Can’t wait until next year!

.

.

7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 5

Wow.  I really suck at this posting daily thing.  I need to post for days 5 and 6.

.

Day 5 Positive Thought:  Rainy days are perfect for relaxing.

.

I love rainy days.  Yes, I love them for the wistfully romantic overtones of rain on the window while someone stares pensively into the cloudy sky.

.

But I love them more because they give me the chance to putter around my house in fuzzy socks and lounge about reading a book without feeling any guilt for not being outside (which I distinctly feel when the weather is sunny and brisk).

The Carpenters were crazy to let rainy days get them down.  Eddie Rabbitt had it right when he said he loved a rainy night.  Go figure.

.

O Chocolat (or…why I am no longer allowed to eat Lindt balls)

Last week, I went to Kittery, ME with a friend.  I mainly wanted to go to Crate & Barrel.  And I wanted to go there for, of all things, dish towels and pet food bowls.

I know, right?  It’s amazing what being bored will spur you to do.

.

We made a stop at the Lindt chocolate store. (YUMMY.)

I was restrained. I picked out a few single pieces and paid for them.  While I waited for my friend to make her purchase, I thought…and then said out loud, “hey, mine are paid for, which means I can eat one RIGHT NOW”.  So, I did.

Remember Augustus Gloop in the original movie when his mother is all “slow down Augustus!”?  That may or may not have been me.

.

And as is frequently the case when you have a piece of chocolate with a hard shell (and a yummy creamy center…creeeeeeamy……..) bits of the shell flew off when I bit into it.  And as is frequently the case when you have a large rack, a piece of chocolate landed between my boobs.

I am accustomed to this and basically have no shame, so I fished it out and flicked it on the floor.  I had a tank top on under another shirt so I tried to look down my shirt for any other stray pieces without looking too sleazy.  (Mission accomplished!  I think.  The guy shopping in the store may have thought otherwise.)

.

After a little bit we went to a seafood place for dinner.  I hit the ladies room (had to pee, my friends!).  And when I lifted up my tank top to button my pants after I was done, there was a big brown smear on my belly.  A LARGE BROWN SMEAR ACROSS MY BELLY.

I kid you not…I swear on my life…as God is my witness…THIS is how the next .05 seconds went inside my head (bear in mind that thoughts are heavily influenced by situation and MY situation was a stall and a toilet):

“How did I get poop on my belly?????….Wait, I didn’t poop…..I KNEW more chocolate fell down my tank top!!!”

.

Once I figured out what really happened, I had to scrape it off (twas in a stall, remember?).  But, really?  POOP??  What.  The.  Hell.

.

Believe me when I say there is no sight more sad than a middle aged woman in a bathroom stall at Weathervane scraping chocolate that had melted (and then dried) off her belly.

Well, maybe one that’s more sad –   that same woman sitting down to tell the world about how she at first thought it was poop.

.

NEWS…and some more evidence of my douchebaggery

I got laid off one week ago today.

I was at my company 12 years.

So, that’s that.

.

On a lighter note, I found another long lost journal!  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

.

Mar. 21, 1984 (I was 13 yrs old)

I broke up with that ninth grader.  What  a jerk!  He got all mad and upset (tough, ain’t it?).

I still like that other kid a lot.  He’s very nice.

I have a book report due in less than a week, and I haven’t even read the book!  I probably won’t be able to get it done and I’ll get an F.  I think I’ll get it done, though.

My friend has been acting like a real jerk lately!  She ignores me and is very insolent.  (And ignorant.)

Speaking of ignorant, that ninth grader I was going with can’t spell or even make complete sentences!

.

Wow.  I was an elitist bitch.

.

Awesome.

.

I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud…

Holy cow.  I just read this passage in Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked.

It’s fucking uncanny.

.

The fifteen years were gone, anyway.  And what had gone with them?  Children, almost certainly, and if she ever did take Duncan to court, that’s what she would sue him for.  But what else?  What hadn’t she done because she’d spent too much time with a boring, faithless nerd, apart from live the kind of life she’d wanted when she was twenty-five?

.

It always amazes me to no end when I read something that feels like it was plucked right out of my thoughts.  I suppose that’s the sign of an excellent writer.

.

Crazy is as crazy does.

I am going to preface this post with this:  I love my mother.  She is the best.  She sacrificed a lot for me.  I’d die for her.

Okay.  You needed to read that so that when I tell you I almost punched her in the face you won’t think I am an awful person.

.

Last year, for my 40th (yes, I’m that old) birthday, I had planned to get another tattoo.  Since I have my favorite flower on my right ankle, I asked my mom what her favorite flower was so that I could put that on my other ankle.  In honor of her.

She said it was an African Violet.

Uh…

I immediately said, “What’s your second favorite?”  I mean, what the hell?  Bo-ring.

See for yourself:

Look at me, I am dull.

.

But…I gave it some thought and I figured if that was it, that was it.  I knew a girl who was an artist and I asked her if she could design something.  So, she did.  I showed it to my mom, asked this girl to make an adjustment, and then paid her for the design.

Then, as is the way sometimes, shit happened.  Bills to pay.  Blah blah.  And I did not get the tattoo done.

GOOD THING.

.

So, this year I decided to finally get it done and I called my mom to tell her I was making the appointment.

Here’s the conversation that ensued:

Me: “So, I am going to get that tattoo finally!  Of your favorite flower!  African Violet.”

Mom: “No, my favorite flowers are pansies.”

Me: “What?  I thought it was African Violet.”

Mom: “No, it’s pansies.”

Me: “Well, that’s very different than an African Violet, and when I asked you over a year ago that’s what you told me it was.”

Mom: “I never would have said that.  Because it’s not.  It’s pansies.”

Me: “Mother.  That is what you told me a year ago.”

Mom: “Whatever.”

.

I.  Will.  Choke.  A.  Bitch.

.

I got my tattoo done and I love it.  It’s very bright and colorful PANSIES.  I am glad.

And I may not have actually wanted to punch my mother if it was not for this…

I went up to see her over Thanksgiving (and showed her my new tattoo of her FAVORITE flower).  I started to explain this tale to her boyfriend and when I got to the part where I stated she had originally told me “African Violet”, she bent over me where I was seated as if I was 6 years old, put her hands on her hips and loudly said, “I DID NOT”.

Punchpunchpunch (in my mind – lest you think I actually started pummeling her).

.

At this point, her boyfriend started jumping up and down saying, “she does this to me all the time!”

.

Only after I said I had proof (in an email where I told the artist girl who did the useless African Violet tattoo design that “my mother would like it to be darker”) did my mother finally calm down and say, “ok, I sort of recall that”.

.

But JESUS.  I get that she may have genuinely forgot.  But why would she think I’d make that up????

Nevertheless, she is now immortalized on my body.  Christ almighty.

Not a motherfucking African Violet.

I’ll take “pretentious asses” for $500, Alex.

I am a member of meetup.com.  I think this is a great site.  It’s NOT a dating site (unless you join that kind of group).  It’s just a site where people can start clubs, etc. and others can join.  I have started both a reading group (which I eventually turned over to other organizers) and a camping group.  Plus, I belong to several other outdoor and book club groups.  The best part of this site is that it’s free to join.  You have to pay to start a group, and some groups charge dues, but it’s one of the best ways I have seen social networking used.

That said, it appears that ANYONE can start a group.  And anyone does.

No judging here.  Well, no, there’s judging – which is why I removed my blog link from my profile on meetup.  I mean, I don’t need to get knifed, yo.

Some of these groups are somewhat specific – lots of mom groups, dog lover groups, sports groups…

Some are highly specific – I saw a group listed for lesbians in NH and VT who are sick and/or disabled.  (Not saying these people don’t need a group for support, but this is very specific membership criteria.)

.

My favorite by far, however, is the recent group created for 10 business owners who make $100,000 or more.

10 people only.

$100,000 or more annual income.

And you have to apply, and there’s a fee to apply.

.

*pause for that to sink in*

.

I am not listing the name of the group (tho it mentions New England).  But I am genuinely confused about the purpose.  If you’re a business owner and you are taking home $100,000, then you must be doing well.  So, this can’t be a “help” group.  There’s no mention of anything other than meeting for coffee.

So….

.

I can only assume the purpose of this meetup is to sit around and congratulate each other on how AWESOME they are.  Maybe even eat some money sandwiches.

Who the fuck knows.

.

I toyed with the idea of faking an application and showing up to ruin the arrogance party but then I saw the $10 fee.  Hello?  I am not made of money like some other people who form groups about money.

.

And because I am nothing if not kind of douchey…

.

The other group that caught my eye was one for single people.  And it sounds great.  Low key.  Get to meet other single people.  However, this group was originally called “are you lonely?” or something like that (the name has, wisely, been changed).

Well, yes, I’ve been lonely, but…do I want to put this on that site?  (Clearly I have no problem announcing it on my blog).  Really, I don’t need any MORE people thinking I am pathetic and sad.

.

Anywho…the name was changed but the obligatory profile questions to join the group were NOT changed.  So, to join, I would have to provide responses to:  Why are you lonely?  and What steps have you taken so you’re not lonely?

.

Why are you lonely?

I told a friend that I was going to say “I am a mean person and I spit on people when I meet them”.  But this is not terribly far from the truth, actually.  So, perhaps I better come up with something less snarky.  Maybe “I wasn’t lonely until 17 of my cats died…and now there’s only 5 left”?

.

What steps have you taken so you’re not lonely?

My answer: “A small investment in some rags and chloroform has given me the tools I need to bring friends home.”

I think it is succinct and expresses both my need for companionship and my ingenuity.

.

I also think I won’t be allowed to join this group.

.

just checkin’

just checkin

maybe why people don't text me that much?


And the potty mouth continues…

I have wicked potty mouth, as evidenced by my recent camping trip.

I also have friends with wicked potty mouth.  And sometimes we wickedly spew nasty words at each other.  I love my friends.

Today’s email conversation between me and my two friends (let’s call them M and H)….

.

Me (referring to my new glasses):  What you can’t see is the sides.  And they are pink inside!
 
H:  I could say something raunchy here…
 
Me:  Something raunchy?  Like something about my vag?  The pink?  What?
 
H:  Yep.  But I didn’t.  You said vag.  Haha haha haha
 
M:  oh dear…
 
Me:  Dude, the word “pink” made you think of a vag?
That’s effed up.
 
M:  LMAO
 
H:  Your face is f’d up
 
M:  LMAO…again
 
Me:  My face might be f’d up, but your face looks like a vag.
 
M:  LMAO!!!!!!  again and again!!
 
H:  I’m going to pass out into my keyboard.  Wouldn’t that be funny if I actually did… and then slept like that for a half-hour or so and woke up with keyboard imprints on my face??!!
 
H:  Must be my voluptuous lips that remind you of the vulva.  Euwww… that even grossed me out.
 
M:  OMG
 
Me:  Lips are the LABIA.  Idiot.
 
Me:  You’re not really an idiot…………………………………………………………Except when it comes to vag’s.
 
M:  I am going to pee my pants
 
(Long Pause)
 
Me:  Uh oh.  H is gone.
Maybe she did fall asleep on her keyboard.  People will walk by and be like, “why is there a big ole vag on that keyboard?”
 
M:  OMG……wheezing laugh (because I am trying to be quiet)
omg, omg, omg……LOL
 
(Really Long Pause)
 
H:  So. Could today drag on any more slowly?
 
Me
:  I bet it could, Vag-Face.
 
 
M:  LOL
.