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A sad and not very funny at all blog post which is also long

This will be a surprise to no one, but one of my defenses is to make jokes. It’s also one of my hobbies and oftentimes part of my job and something which brings me joy. But it’s definitely a defense, too. Recently Marvin and I were at a support group for people with parakeets and they were talking about portacaths. For those who don’t know, a portacath is a catheter implanted under the skin for people who need to be given IV drugs frequently or whose veins need to be accessed often (as in chemo or apparently hemodialysis, thank you wikipedia) and it saves unnecesary wear and tear on the veins and skin and instead puts it in the chest. See, I just made a joke and it wasn’t even funny. The point is everyone recommends these portacath things even though Marvin was resisting but more on that later. So there’s also something called (or referred to) as a “power port” which is like a portacath but has two areas that needles can be inserted into, or something. There was some discussion in the group about the differences. “What else can you do with a power port?” asked someone. “You can plug a hair dryer into it!” I wanted to yell, time and time again. I’m pretty sure everyone appreciated my biting the inside of my cheek instead. Then later a woman was talking about how she’d had a whole bunch of stuff removed and if she needed surgery again she wasn’t sure what was left to take. “Your money!” I wanted to yell. I’m pretty sure that one would have been met with laughter and applause and quite possibly the entire support group (“for patients, caregives welcome”) would have fallen at my feet and asked if I’m a professional. Then they would have told Marvin how lucky he/she is to have me around since my effervescent outlook surely keeps the dread at bay. I tell myself and Marvin this all the time. But I didn’t say it on the off chance that instead of making me queen of the support group they might turn on me and wonder who let this person who doesn’t even have The Marvins speak.

Anyway, Marvin availed him/herself of the portacath mostly because he/she was being pressured into it and it turns out that it was not the big nothing kind of outpatient procedure we’d been hoping for but instead the doctor was right when he said it would feel like someone punched you in the chest. I mean, it was outpatient and on the scale of procedures at the hospital not a major one, but Marvin was in pain after and was also kind of angry and just not having any of it.

So then the day after, Marvin and I went to a meditation class a the hospital not because Marvin wanted to but because he/she though it would probably be a good idea since the class is to reduce stress and learn to manage anxiety.

Though I don’t regularly meditate I’m fairly open to all that airy hippie shit and read self-help books and have had my head shrunk on numerous occasions and think it’s important and so it wasn’t hard for me to get into the groove. To grok it. To dig it. To vibe with it. To feel it. I’m noticing that apparently the only phrases that are coming to me are ones I’d never use because I’m not an asshole. Or rather I’m not that kind of asshole. Language has turned on me! Anyway, you get my point. Marvin on the other hand is trying to be open to meditation but I’m pretty sure fell asleep and slept through the class. I meanwhile imagined myself in a tiny canoe made out of a peapod, like the kind a mouse would ride in a Disney storybook, and I was bobbing along peacefully in the gentle waters in my peapod boat, listening to myself breathe in and out. The sky was reddish and I’m pretty sure my friends, The Rescuers, were nearby.

But then the woman leading the class told us to imagine we were standing on a beach, either in the sun or in the moonlight, and I chuckled a little to myself because couldn’t she tell I was in a boat? I was really enjoying the boat, too, and I didn’t want to have to come in to shore. Bitch kept talking though and before long I had to drop anchor ¬†and stand on the beach, which is not a euphemism in this case.

Then I started thinking about little Marvin and how I’d walked in on Marvin wearing an old, faded oversized pajama top that buttons in a way that doesn’t irritate the portacath, eyes red and rimmed with tears beneath his/her glasses with a bereft look on his/her face that said, “I’m breaking, I don’t know how to do this anymore,” the daily bullshit suddenly stretching out into a path of discomfort so total it obliterated the ability to hold out hope, to cling to small pleasures, to imagine a time the calendar won’t hold a series of frightening and possibly painful appointments, to feel safe in his/her body again.

And suddenly I ached to hug Marvin, to protect Marvin with my own body. And I began crying, thinking about how I wished I could just pick Marvin up on my own back and carry him/her until he/she was strong again. I imagine this is how a parent feels when their child is in pain. And the fusing of me with Marvin was so complete it simply became a situation where I’m in pain because Marvin is in pain. And then I wasn’t really meditating anymore, I was just sobbing.

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Yes, fine, I won ANOTHER award.


Cookie party prize winners (L to R: Natali, honorable mention for her snickerdoodles; Jill, best looking for her ice cream cookie sandwiches; Seven, most creative for her cookie hamburgers; Ann, best tasting for her peanut butter cookies; me, tackiest for my sugar cookie disasters)

Over the weekend I won another award. I swear to God you guys, the accolades are coming fast and furious which is just the risk you take when you’re extraordinarily gifted, I suppose. (more…)

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Wear yourself out by listening to me go on and on about furniture

Earlier today I had a whole temper tantrum inside my own head and decided that when I got home I would write a blog post entitled “I don’t know how I feel about my couch. P.S. I’m neurotic and going to die alone.”

Then I found out that title had already been taken so I had to go with the one above.

See, I’ve been going back and forth on this couch. Not literally. On the upside, it’s comfortable. On the downside, sometimes I look at it and think “it looks like barf.”

But considering how goddamn long I took to decide and how annoying I was about it shouldn’t I just love it? Love it to pieces?

Because I don’t. But I think I like it. Maybe? I don’t know. I like it better now that I bought throw pillows for it (I haven’t decided which ones I like, hence the three different pillows.) Earlier tonight I decided I’d go with a silver, gold and white theme which is neato and, um, yeah. Neato’s all I got on that one. Fancy? Neato and fancy? I could do neato and fancy. And secretly Christmasy.

But then sometimes I look at the couch and think “it looks like a giant gum eraser.” I also think it looks like liver and I also think it looks like steak that’s been chewed up and spit out. Also: gristle.

But then I see it in photos and I think maybe it’s ok.

See, complicating matters is the fact that the delivery men nicked it in a couple spots so C&B offered to replace it. I explained that it was kind of difficult to get it into the space so they’re sending someone out to look at it here to see if he can patch it up in situ. What does in situ mean? Hold please.

God I’m smart.

Um, yeah, so anyway, if I act fast I could get this big gray menace out of my apartment and my life forever and then I could invite something else into my living room that I will go nuts about. Seriously, I’m sick and tired of myself.

But it’s not like I never like anything ever. When I look at my bed, my white duvet covered bed, I feel calm and good. I don’t have this crazy ping ponging meat-comparison making reaction happening.

Yet I’m not at peace with the decision to just return the fucker either. That makes me anxious too.

Let’s talk about my last apartment, shall we? I moved into it under duress. I wanted to stay in the apartment I was in before that, my first real apartment in New York, but it’s a long story and that wasn’t feasible so there my sister and I were, needing to find an apartment or break up and she had a friend who was vacating this great apartment in the village and we went and looked at it and because I couldn’t find anything else I said yeah, that’s fine. But then before we pulled the trigger I began doubting the decision and was freaking out and begged a friend from work who was later my boyfriend, unless he was already my boyfriend at the time, to go look at the place with me. We did and he reassured me that it was a great place and I would be happy there.

Sadly it was a terrible place and I was miserable there.

Or rather, it was a pretty decent place but I wasn’t happy there anyway. I never liked that apartment or that neighborhood. Also, there were mice. Oh my God, my couch looks like a big sheet of mice.

So I was thinking about all this this morning and thinking that if I’m having doubts about the couch, instead of letting myself be talked into it, I should just honor those doubts and not keep the damn thing and just wait until I find one I really feel good about.

But then sometimes I look at it and I like it.

And it’s comfortable. It’s really comfortable.

So then why not just get it in a different color?

Because that will take 12 weeks. And plus I’m trying to avoid having people remove it and bring in another one but I’m not sure why I’m trying so hard to avoid that. I mean, just because my idea of hell is moving furniture doesn’t mean that someone whose job it is to move furniture feels the same way.

But still, I just feel like I’m doing it. That thing I do. I don’t know what that thing I do is which makes it hard to know whether I’m really doing it, but I suspect I am. I mean, this feels very me in the extreme. I hate extreme me.

I’m also trying to see if it’s possible to get slipcovers for this couch. I mean, I know you can order them from C&B for about a thousand dollars but for that much, I may as well just get a different couch.

Still reading? I’m sorry to put you through this. On the upside… um…. well okay technically there is no upside. Oh wait, I know! Today I saw a woman pushing two black poodles in a stroller!

Also, I’m aware there’s a world that exists outside me and this couch. I find that annoying, too.

And then I see this photo and I like it again.

I also like ducklings.

Here I am not thinking about couches.

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rat gas

There is a disgusting smell in my parents’ dryer. At the time of this writing the smell has actually come out of the dryer and is funking up the hall. I would describe it as a pile of bile but my dad thinks it’s “just rotten smelling.” I’d also allow “a bile pile.” Anyway, it’s probably a mouse or rat in the piping. I wondered if it would be better if it were a bird or kitten. I can’t decide. Anyway though, this conversation just happened:

ME: So wait, does that mean rat gas is getting blown all over my clothes?
MY DAD: no, it’s going the other way
MY MOM: yeah, other way.


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The technical term is musophobia

Caters to the modern mouse.

If you’re looking for a delightful place to go with ample seating, delicious food and mice scurrying around the patio, I recommend The Maritime Hotel. I was just there and while those in my party were of a more “Hey, it’s New York, they’re everywhere” kind of mindset, I’m of a more “holy crap, there’s mice here they’re going to crawl up my leg and then attack me even though that doesn’t make sense in any way, hence the term ‘phobia'” mindset. Incidentally, one of the guys in my party recently moved here from Chicago, so what does he really know when it comes to this city and our rodents? He knows about wind and pizza. And the White Sox. (Just kidding, Chicago! I’m sure you’re a lovely city!)

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I don’t yet have a youtube link to the recent Red Eye appearance because Brent Walquist The YouTube Guru is on vacation but the clips are on Fox’s Red Eye site. Scroll down to the little pictures right under “Red Eye On Demand” and you’ll see a not particularly flattering one of me, next to the one of Owen Wilson. You’ll be able to tell us apart because he has blonde hair and is troubled whereas I have black hair and am free of worry. I think I’m in three of the clips which play consecutively. I’m also in the “Post Game Wrap Up” under Red Eye Regulars. Note: this might change tomorrow when the site is updated. Also: I’m still imagining that I’m seeing mice! I jumped at a broom earlier.

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Goodbye mouse

So I’m too lazy to recount this whole story but I feel an urgency in posting it because I know you’re hanging on every twist and turn so I’m just going to reprint an email I sent to someone about it.

Dear [Redacted],

(note: I actually have a friend whose name is “[redacted]”. I thought it was weird too, especially the brackets.)

This morning I found the mouse in my shower! I grabbed a trash can and trapped it in the overturned can. Then I put a bunch of shampoo bottles and anything else I could find nearby on top of the trash can for fear the mouse would somehow get out. Then I worried those bottles weren’t heavy enough so I put stacks of books on top of it along with a box of bills and crap. Then I called the super. He came and wet the mouse with water by filling the tub and then he flushed the little guy down the toilet. The image of the little thing swimming as fast as it could while circling the bowl is haunting me. I have mouse blood on my hands. And mouse poo in my shower.

So, yeah. Anyone know how to remove a tiny chalk outline of a mouse from their shower?

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I love my exterminator

Is this what Eva Braun felt? I’m sorry, that was a terrible joke and I should probably take it down but the heady rush of the exterminator having swept through my apartment has clouded my judgment. I love him! He even smells good, which is probably the smell of rodent poison or something to mask the rodent poison. Anyway, while I’m not entirely confident the problem is solved because I won’t believe it until I don’t see it, I feel substantially better than I did a couple hours ago. I kind of wanted to take a picture of him for the blog, but then something stopped me. Strangely it was the urge to eat through rotten wood, crap in the linen closet and then scurry, squeaking, through a hole one eighth my size while possibly carrying pestilence though I think that’s more folklore than anything. Strange.

And while we’re talking about this I have something unrelated to say. I think it’s funny when people pile on the host of that late night show I do for being so twisted. They’d probably be surprised to know a sweet looking girl in love with her exterminator spawns some of the more twisted material.

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