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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I Am Alive, If Not All That Well

Thanks to all who enquired about my recent whereabouts. I assure you, I am fine. Now.

Here's the short version of the story: My sister took us to Chapel Hill to stay at the Carolina Inn the weekend of my birthday. That Saturday night, when I settled in to sleep, I couldn't because I kept waking up every 15 minutes (no exaggeration) because I would start choking on mucus in my throat. I wasn't sick prior to this, just a few sneezes and coughs that I thought were allergy-related, and had actually hiked 6 miles and played tennis on Friday and walked at least 6 miles on Saturday.

In the morning, I woke up from my latest 15-minute nap feeling very, very ill. I slept a little on the way home (in between choking on the mucus again). When I got home, I had a fever of 104.

By the time Tuesday rolled around, I knew this wasn't just something I was going to get over without some help, so I went to the doctor. I was still running a temp of 102 then. I had a virus, along with bronchitis and a bladder infection.

By Friday, almost a week later, I was having a horrible reaction to the antibiotics the doctor had placed me on, including but not limited to: A rash on my ankles, feet, toes, wrists, cheeks, hands and my lips were swollen. I wasn't feeling any better yet, either.

I took myself off of the antibiotics and now I am much, much better. I am still trying to get caught up on a week's worth of stuff I missed. So, be a little patient with me because I'm probably not going to be able to update everyday for a while.

I was so fucking bored while I was sick, but I did get to watch a lot of different things, both on pay channels and through Netflix. Here they are, the good, the bad and the ugly (I would have watched that again, too, if it'd been on. ): My Beautiful Laundrette, Radiohead: 7 Television Commercials, all the DVD's in the Bottom series, Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back, Lolita (the original), Shanghai Express (My fav Marlene Dietrich film), L'Atalante, Punch-Drunk Love (I love, love this movie), Last Tango In Paris (Brando was still sexy when he made this, thank God, although they did have to do some clever rearranging of furniture and the like to cover up his gut), Ziggy Stardust . . . The Motion Picture, Undercover Brother, About A Boy, Frida, The Quick And The Dead (as much as I despise Sharon Stone I love Sam Raimi).

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The Birthday Hug Monkey

In some parts of the country, there is a trio furry holiday icons: Santa, the Easter Bunny and, more rarely, the Birthday Hug Monkey.

From what I can remember, the story goes something like this: Many eons ago, in a land which no longer exists, lived a little blue monkey. In this land, when it was some monkey's birthday, the monkey was taken to the center of town and flogged once for each year he had lived. This made each birthday more of a slough of despondency than a celebration, but that was the way things were back then (just ask your parents). Many of the senior monkeys didn't even survive the yearly flogging, and their birthday also became their deathday, so to speak. It was really terrible, what with the blood and bits of flesh flying and, well, the death.

One year the little blue monkey's friend, the old wrinkled monkey, was coming upon his 70th birthday. That meant 70 lashes with a bulrush, switch, or whatever they had on hand. Sometimes they used belts, machetes, shrubs, bricks and, one time, even a small child tied to an extremely thorny rose bush.

Well, LBM didn't want to see his good friend hurt again this year, and he was afraid OWM might not survive the ritual, so he stood in the center of town with a sandwich board that read: This year, let's try something new . . . Hugs Not Slugs!

Word spread quickly throughout the land. Everyone in the town thought the LBM was off his proverbial rocker. They told him, "You only get beaten one day of the year, little blue one. The rest of the year you get to beat the bejesus out of others. For free, even!"

LBM decided to show them just how much better being hugged feels than being flogged. He hugged everyone in the land, once for each year they had lived, and the people went mad with joy and ecstasy. They thought the hugging business much nicer afterall and, besides, they still had weekends at the pub to beat on other monkeys.

They made our hero, the Little Blue Monkey, king of the land and officially changed his name to 'That Birthday Hug Monkey Guy Who Likes To Touch People -- Maybe We Should Be Afraid Of Him,' which was later shortened to -- you guessed it -- the Birthday Hug Monkey.

Aaron managed to find a Birthday Hug Monkey card for me this year and, as is traditional, he gave it to me a few days before my actual birthday, along with a hug, of course. Here is the card, which I wanted to share with you because it's just so rare. Notice the crown and the outstretched arms on the Hug Monkey. As far as what Aaron wrote on the inside of the card, I'm not quite sure what he means by "the other monkey," but I promise, I will resist no monkey. Not a one.










































Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Since The Subject Is Masturbation . . .

When I was 16, I took a job working in the kitchen for a local Seventh-Day Adventist rehabilitation hospital. I had a lot of friends who already worked there, and work tended to be almost as fun as not. We had two evening managers: Steve, a chronic womanizer and stoner with really bad facial psoriasis; and Ted. Well, that's what I'll call him, anyway, not to protect his identity -- I just can't remember what it was.

Ted looked like Barney Rubble. Ted was always in a bad mood when we started the shift at 4:00. He was always in a good mood after 5:30. One reason for this was we had trayed-up and delivered all of the patients' food by that time. The other reason I was, unfortunately, to find out later.

Ted had what was generally considered a 'nice piece' for a wife, and she was considerably younger than he was. One day Ted announced his wife was pregnant. In fact, he told us she was already showing, since we hadn't seen her for a while. There were 'congratulations' from every corner of the kitchen, as we knew they'd been trying for so long to conceive, but Ted looked like he wanted to vomit and never did get into a good mood that night.

Steve was also there that night, and after Ted walked away, I asked him what the problem was with Ted. I mean, I thought he was sick or something. That's when the gruesome story of self-love in the SDA hospital bathroom unfolded.

Steve asked me if I noticed that Ted always went to the bathroom every night right after we got all the patient trays out. I said I did and that he seemed to go like clockwork (I specifically remember saying that.) Steve then proceeded to tell me that Ted doesn't shit in there, he jerks off every night. If he's here all day, he pretends to shit about 5 more times. His locker was full of pornographic magazines and sex toys to help him on his endeavor. Because of this, Ted not capable of making love with his wife, and he knows his wife must have cheated on him to get pregnant. Their inability to conceive had nothing to do with infertility.

Okay, well, first I need to tell you that Steve was and is an ASS. I mean, imagine the biggest ass you know and multiply by five -- that's how big an ass Steve is. To prove my point, Steve left his wife for his first cousin and wanted to move down south because he knew first-cousin marriage is legal in the South (it's also legal in PA). So, this 35-year-old man started practicing his southern accent, for the day they would move down here, all the time, every day. He ended up in California in the end. But my point is: He wasn't to be trusted.

So being the curiously devious monkeys that we were, Eric and I devised a plan. We would get the keys from Ted, which contained the key to his lock on his locker, and have someone distract him while we went to prove Steve's story. Actually, Steve distracted him for us with the help of a bunch or others because, of course, I had told everyone who didn't already know, and now we all wanted to know the truth.

We ran into the bathroom, which had a foyer filled with lockers, and locked the door. We opened up the locker and, lo and behold, Steve was right! A huge pile of magazines was in there, including the only copy of Juggs I ever saw live and in-person, but no sex toys to speak of, except a huge bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care. This freaked me out. I mean, I was 16, and not a naive 16, but I just hoped this guy washed his hands really well before putting his arm around my shoulders as he was wont to do or serving food.

Both Ted and Steve were ex-SDA. Just further proof of what being raised in an over-the-top, cultish religion can do to one's body, mind and soul.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Oh, The Relevance

If I were going to make an over-the-top, pompous-ass movie full of pretentiousness, I would set in it Paris in 1968 and have it star the Rolling Stones, who would be cutting a new rock song. No, wait -- it's already been done! It's called The Rolling Stones -- Sympathy For The Devil, and it was directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, a man of unrivaled utter self-importance and pretension.

The cool thing about the movie is that, interspersed between the posing, one can witness what some, including myself, consider the epitome of a great rock song. To me, it is the best example of a rock song ever made. The song Sympathy For The Devil, in the beginning, actually sounded absolutely nothing like the final recording. It was slower, folksier, and had a Doors-inspired organ howling throughout.

The bad part of the movie is having to sit through Goddard's vision of hip -- everything from children buying pornography and black men reading from Malcolm X while kidnapping and fondling white women. Maybe this was cutting-edge and oh-so-relevant in the late '60s. Now, though, it's trite and would be laughable if it weren't so damn boring. I love my four-speed fast forward button on my DVD player. It's made for exactly this type of thing. The frame-by-frame fast forward and pause is also good, too, but not for this type of thing, for something else. We all know what I'm talking about, don't we boys?

Friday, April 09, 2004

Just Another Reason Men Really Do Have it Easier

I usually don't blog about personal things, things are happening right now, things going on in my personal life. This particular item is bothering me so much, I just have to get it out of my head. Maybe blogging about it will do the trick.

I am 34. I will be 35 next week. Recently, I've been waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, even though I sleep with the window open regardless of the temp, I'm wearing minimal clothing, and I have no covers on at all. This is just one of the horrific symptoms of what I am currently going through, and it's something I'm way too fucking young to be going through -- MENOPAUSE.

I should have known the shit was coming, as all the women in my family go through it way too early (my sister at 37 and my mom at 35), but I was just happily ovulating along, trying not to think about it. I shouldn't have to be going through this or even thinking about it for, say 10 or 15 more fucking years.

Yes, I've made an appointment to have blood tests done with my doctor. No, I will never take HRT because it's so damn bad for my body. I will seek out alternatives instead and pray like mad that they work. I will post when I find out more

The worst part of all of this is that my mother and my sister had children by the time they went through it. I am not a mother and, now, I probably never will be. Yes, as overly-dramatic as it sounds, I have shed tears for the children I'll never have. Sure, I could always adopt, but there's a sadness that goes along with losing one's fertility, even in those women who have children, from what I've been told.

Before, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have any, even though I love children, just because I'm a little selfish with my time and I wasn't sure if I wanted to bring a child into this world. But I'll tell you what, I liked when it was a decision I made, not one that was made for me by my mal-fucking-functioning body.

What's next? No sex drive? Once pert breasts becoming prune-y bags that hang from my chest? Forgetfulness? That soft, hanging skin from the backs of my arms? Blue hair? Watching Live! With Regis and reruns of Murder She Wrote? I mean, come on! I'm way too young to even have to think of such things. I mean, aren't I?

Damn.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

A Man Walks Into A Bar . . .

Humor is in the gut of the beholder. It's amazing how some people's ideas of what's hilarious can make me sit stone-faced in wonder. I'm sure some things that make me squirt tears of laughter absolutely pass right over, and may be even disgust, others. I have known a number of people that seem to have a tremendous sense of humor, but they didn't get my jokes and/or I didn't get theirs.

When people take a poll concerning what's important in finding a mate, invariably 'sense of humor' is number one or number two in the rankings. A sense of humor is great, but what if it's a completely different sense of humor than the one you own? I thoroughly believe that the more in-step a person's sense of humor is with their chosen mate's, the longer the union will last. Aaron and I agree on what's amusing 99% of the time. Actually, he just laughs more easily and quickly than I do; that's the main difference. Many times, if we've had an argument or something, it's humor that brings us back on track. That's how important it is.

Here's a list of things that people find funny and I don't (and I'll admit on some of them, I really wish I 'got it' but I just don't), and some things I think are downright hilarious that others may not.

Not Funny To Me:

Dilbert (No currently-run comic strip actually funny, but especially this one and Family Circus)
Frank Zappa
South Park (The mall's kinda funny, however the show is not.)
Are You Being Served?
Circus clowns
Martin Short
Redd Foxx
King Of The Hill
Andrew Dice Clay
Crank Yankers (I have laughed at this on occasion, but usually it just makes me very uncomfortable.)
Everybody Loves Raymond
Most of the stuff on the Simpsons in the last 5 years
Men getting hit in the nuts (Unless I'm doing the hitting, har)
Ali G
Dana Carvey
Mimes
My Big, Fat Greek Wedding (See Monsoon Wedding instead. Much, much better.)


Funny: (These are among many, many other things I think are funny)

John Leguizamo
Sandra Bernhard
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Eddie Izzard
Bottom
The Young Ones
Bloom County (Remember that?)
Jon Stewart
Groening's 'Hell' series
Anything featuring 'Moe' on the Simpsons
Al Franken
Absolutely Fabulous
Airplane and other stupid humor movies like Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
Wooster and Jeeves (The British show and Wodehouse's stories)
People falling down (Sometimes even if they're hurt, including myself)
David Sedaris
Howard Stern
Richard Brautigan
The Onion
Tom Robbins
Kid In The Hall
Steven Wright
Mike Myers (in most things)
The Office
Jack Black
That '70s Show

Monday, April 05, 2004

If My Sister Looks Like Simon, I Guess I Must Look Like John

Just got the Duran Duran DVD of all of their videos from Netflix, and of course I had to stop whatever it was I was doing just to get a glimpse of my past insanity.

I know I mentioned this insanity here before, and it's surprising that I'm willing to mention it again, but here it goes -- I was one of those insipid 14-year-old girls who was in love with Duran Duran. I wore the same clothes. I had similar hair. I wore the band's pins all over my hot pink vest that had all those zippers. I bawled like a baby at the concert, especially after I screamed "NICK" so loudly I swore he looked right up at me. Tell me you wouldn't cry if the same thing happened to you. Well, maybe not for the same reason, but . . .

My God, are they lousy musicians. My God, could they write inane pop music. My God, were they good-looking. I mean, really good-looking. Okay, except for Andy Taylor, and well, Nick Rhodes could be a little too feminine.

You have to remember that I was listening to Bowie, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Led Zepplin and many other classic artists during this period. How I could have gotten involved with such talentless hooligans was beyond me, until I watched the DVD today.

They were so damn cute, it had to be a hormonal response, I'm sure. They were sexy and showed lots of sexy subject matter (Just look at the unexpurgated 'Girls On Film' and 'The Chauffer' if you don't believe me. Lots of naked T & A contained therein.) They were young and horny, and those vibes seeped out of our tv's and radios and oozed all over our young teen bodies, and we loved it. We screamed and cried out of pure, unadulterated sexual frustration, I believe.

That is, until the whole Seven and the Ragged Tiger phase of scary mullet-tudeiness. There is definitely a whole other genre of mullet -- the Duran Duran mullet, which is highly shaped, feathered, dyed, and just a little girly.

One funny afterthought: My friend Lynn once told me that Simon Le Bon and my sister look alike. Lynn then told my sister that, too. Said sister did not appreciate that at all, even though I tried to explain to her that it's not that she looks manly, it's that Simon looks feminine. I recently emailed her this pic (Simon's on the far left), which shows an uncanny resemblance. She didn't email me back. I wonder why.
Two Thoughts (No, Not At Once, I Couldn't Handle That)

#1 -- Thanks to Big Ed for what I consider the definitive piece on that new Jesus movie, a movie which I refuse to type out the title to because I don't want hits concerning it.

#2 -- What's up with the ads at the top of my blog? This morning they read "Suicide Thoughts? Take this test" and some thing about "Click Here to have Joseph Show you 'The Way'." I always thought that these things were somehow blog-related. I didn't click on either link, although now I wish I would have clicked the Joseph link because it's gone now, and exactly what the hell did Joseph have to do with showing anyone 'The Way,' unless he just held out his adopted son, Jesus, and said, "Here's The Way, since you're so bloody curious."

Friday, April 02, 2004

Tea For Two

Had tea today with Big Ed at Tea Rex, one of the coolest tea shops I've ever been to. Yes, they have the regular old porcelain tea pots and cups and saucers and stuff, but they also have a lot of healthy food and health & beauty items, too. In addition, they have music, naturally scented candles, and lots of tea-based knowledge.

For instance, when brewing a lighter tea like green tea or white tea or oolong (my personal favorite), as long as the tea leaves stay moist, you can reuse the tea for a few brewings. I'd been throwing mine away. The sales clerk told me that Chinese royalty never used to drink the first brewing of any tea -- that was for the servants because it has almost all of the caffeine, so they would work longer and harder. It's the second and even the third brewings that were/are prized. Think of how much cash I've been dumping down the waste disposal time and time again. He was right, too, that second brewing of my oolong was much better than the first. It was lighter, fruitier -- just like the owner and the staff (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

Big Ed also burned me a copy of the Primus show I missed seeing along with him because I went to the UK. I can't wait to listen to it. Thanks Big Ed.

Tonight Tiny Tom (well, if there's Big Ed ... not that I would know anything about it, I swear) comes into town so we can hit the Big One at Metrolina Expo. Well, Tom can hit the Big One whilst I just gaze at all the things I would by if I could.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Bonus

Please disregard the last post. I like my hair. In fact, I really love it. It just took some getting used to. The unsolicited "It's cute" from the husband helped a little, too. I am not a Charlotte android after all. Yay.

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