Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Monday, May 31, 2004


Ptrend: have spent my extremely long three days in's time for the angel's to comeandgetme
o2grok1: (sigh) Why don't you ever let me help you? It would give me such joy.
Ptrend: Do you really want to sit and hold me while I sob in naked humiliation like I did with my massage therapist yesterday?
o2grok1: Yes.
Ptrend: Believe me, it gets tiring... and I'm not even trying to wallow this time... I'm trying to move on. But I break down occasionally out of nowhere.
o2grok1: Psychologists call that: "Giving a Shit About Your Life, and How People Treat You, and Generally What Goes on in This World Syndrome." But they're thinking of shortening the title.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Pregnancy Scare

Scott and I are at lunch today. It's a beautiful day and we'd planned to take a picnic to the park before work. But, variables threw our plans out of whack and we went to the Chinese buffet instead. I eat a couple of pieces of teriyaki chicken and then feel immensely full. Uncomfortably full. I drink some more sweet tea. Yuck. It's been over a year since I had any. How do people drink this stuff? Scott is yapping on about his former bandmates - none of whom I would trust with even a $1 bill and... what is he saying? Oh, god, I feel like shit. Shut up. I don't care right now. And suddenly I need the bathroom very, very quickly.

Me (interrupting): Excuse me, I don't mean to me rude, but I think I'm going to throw up.

Scott looks worried. I walk towards the bathroom. I consider running, but I'm afraid to jiggle my insides. They might all decide to stage a jail break. Why is this fucking restaurant so huge? How many people really need to eat at a Chinese buffet, anyway? Good god, is the bathroom moving farther away? Come back! I mean, at one time, how many people do they think they're going to seat? Why is this counter in my way?!

I make it to the toilet with about 2 seconds to spare. I like this chicken not so much anymore. I'm heaving into the toilet when I glance to my left. The trash can must have been forgotten for weeks. There is a hugely, disgustingly bloody pad on top. I heave harder, close my eyes, and try to banish the image from my mind. Blech!

I finish, wash, go back to the table.

Scott: Are you all right, honey?
Me (smiling sarcastically): Oh, I'm much better now.

Oh, god. He's still eating. The chewing. I can't take it. I chant silently to myself: "Stop. Chewing. Stop. Chewing. Stop. (I hold back my gag reflex) Chewing.

Scott (eyes widening in mock terror): Ohhhhhh god.
I look at him. He's no longer chewing. Thank god. Then, I realize what he's joking about.
Me: No. Shut up.
Scott: You know, you can be pregnant and still have your period.
Me: I'm not pregnant.
There is a pause while he looks at me.
Me: I'm not.
Scott (Who has to be at work in 45 minutes): Let's go.

He puts his arm around me as we walk.

Scott: Do you have any other symptoms?
Me (grinning): Just a week-long Krispy Kreme craving.
Scott (rolling his eyes and grinning): Oohhhh, god. Maybe we need one of those tests.
Me: Maybe.
Scott: Ohhh, god.
Me (grinning): Stop it. I don't think you'd be too upset.
Scott (smiling back at me): Oh, I'd be ecstatic.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Meet the Parents

I met Scott's parents last night at the Mellow Mushroom for dinner. I was nervous enough to start crying before we left. Parents never like me. In fact, that was a huge reason why John - a guy I dated for 4 and 1/2 years - and I broke up. His parents didn't believe that I was "the right kind of person," no matter how hard I tried to please them. I've long since given up trying to be the "right kind of person," and I just put on my waitress face and muddle through as best I can, trying to be the best myself that I can be.

It worked. Scott's parents love me. Wow. I have them fooled. I think what worked was that I embarrassed their otherwise unflappable son.

Scott: Yeah, so we were hanging out downtown and we went to the Discotheque and -
Miss Patsy (his mother): You went to a strip bar?
Scott: It was on a lark, you know, and -
Me: "On a lark?" What are you - 210 years old?
Scott (sneering at me): It was just on a whim, and -
Me: Oh, please. You went to see naked people.
Scott (ears reddening): No, I -
Me: Someone said: "Naked people," you went, "Hrr?" (mimicking ears pricking up), and led the parade down Broad Street.

I hum the ubiquitous circus song and mime a band leader marching with a whats-that-pole-thing-called? in his hand. His parents crack up, and he lowers his head and smiles a little. His face is beet red. It's a cheap ploy, teasing their oldest beloved son in order to win their favor, and for a moment I feel... inauthentic. But then I realize that I would have teased him about it anyway, no matter the company, and I pat him on the back in what I hope is an affectionate, loving way. He's so good natured that it kills me.

Sunday, May 23, 2004


I am trying to type a letter on the new laptop they've given me to use at the gardens, but the keyboard is so tiny! I keep hitting three or four keys at the same time, and I'm beginning to feel like Animal from the Muppets - or like I have only one Giant Finger to type with. I might as well be typing with my forehead. I growl in frustration and begin backspacing for the 425th time when the Executive Director walks up.

ED: You should learn to type.
Me: I type 55 words a minute. That's not that bad.
ED (as he walks away): In my day, every woman had to know how to type.
Me (under my breath): Yeah, well, now we have the vote.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Quick Service

Duane's film has something to do with - but does not actually include - gay porn. He and Scott are sitting on the couch talking about what he needs before he completes it.

Duane: Yeah, so if you and Stacey could record yourselves the next time you're having sex, that would be really helpful.
I whirl around from the desk I'd been cleaning and look at him. He can't be serious.
Duane: And if you could say things like: "Yeah, that's the good shit!" I'd really appreciate it.
I put my hand over my mouth and run out of the room in embarassment. I hear Scott and Duane laughing in the living room.
Duane: We're kidding!
Scott: Baby, come back!
I'm gathering beer cans from the bedroom. I come in with four or five in my arms.
Me: Jackasses.
Duane: Anyway, if you could just make a lot of noise, that would be great.
Scott is laughing his ass off.
Me: Well, I have a couple minutes right now. That's all it takes, right, honey?

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Last of the Mohicans

My boyfriend decided to get a mohawk. I considered pitching a fit, because, as a rule, I think mohawks are sad attempts to get people to pay attention to the wearer. Also, because I like his hair the way he had it. But off he went. An hour later, the phone rang.

Me: Hello?
Duane: Heeeey. Is Scott there?
Me: Oh, hey, Duane. He went to get a haircut.
There is a pause.
Duane (tensely): What?
Me: Um...
Duane: Did he say how short?
Me: He said he was getting a mohawk.
Duane (with disbelief): No, he didn't.
Me: Yeah.
Suddenly, I realize why Duane's tense. His movie. Oh, shit. Scott's in his movie, and they've already shot a full day's worth.
Duane: Where. Is. He. Going.

We spend a few frantic minutes looking through the phone book, divide up some numbers, and start calling. Two phone calls later, I hear a car door slam. Scott comes prancing in, grinning, with his haircut. I hold back a grimace.

Me: Um, Duane called.
He goes pale.
Scott: Oh. My. God.

There is much cursing. When he gets Duane on the phone, there is much more.
I try to think of solutions.

Me: You can always wear a hat.
Scott: There has to be a better way.
Me: You could shave Scooby's hair off and glue it to your head.
He grins.
Me: You could wrap your head in a bandage like you have a head injury.
Scott looks at me with what I think is disbelief.
Me: What?
Scott: That's actually not a bad idea.
It's a stupid idea, meant to be a joke, but whatever.
Me: Hey, I'll even provide a real head injury, if it will help.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Rude Awakening

Scott: You have to get me up in the morning.
Me: Okay.
Scott: No, I have to get up. I have got to work on that damn paper.
Me: Okay. Don't worry.

The next morning, the alarm goes off.

Me: Scott, time to get up.
Scott: Mmmhmm.
I shake him.
Me: Come on, sweetie. It's time to get up.
Scott: Mmmhmm.
I shake him again.
Me: I'm going to steamroller you.
Scott: What's a steamroller?
Laying down, I roll over him, pause on top and wiggle, and roll off the other side. He barely moves.
Me: I think it's time for cat therapy.
Scott: Sure.

I run out of the room, grab my water bottle from the ironing stand, and turn it to "stream." I creep back to the room and stand in the doorway. Scott hasn't moved, and it is obvious that he has no plans to do so. Is this going to piss him off? Hmm. Too much fun to care. I aim for his head and shoot.


Scott (frantically grabbing the blanket to cover his head): Gaaagh!
I laugh maniacally and aim for his uncovered legs. Squirtsquirtsquirt!
Scott (laughing): Aaaagh! Okayokay!
I stop and give him a chance to relax. He uncovers his head. Fool! Squirtsquirt!
Scott: Agh! Stop it! I'm up!
Me: Told you.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Meet the Grandparents

Scott and I went to his grandparents' house for his grandfather's 80-something-eth birthday. They are adorable. His grandmother is hell on wheels. I think they are super cool.

Scott: I have to warn you - before you decide to spend the rest of your life with me - that this (points to his grandfather) is what I'm going to look like when I'm in my 80s.
Me: Really?
Grandfather: I'm looking good.
Me: I know! (To Grandmother:) You'd better watch out! (To Scott:) You might want to hold me back!

His grandparents crack up. I hope I haven't offended his grandmother - that she's not just laughing along trying to be polite. But later, as we're leaving, they invite me back.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Mental Penis

Scott's beautiful painting fell off the wall and smashed the thermostat. Crap. Well, I might as well do repairs that I've been putting off forever. Like, I haven't had a key to my own doorknob for over a year. Actually, it might be two years.

Two days later, I strap on my mental penis and march over to Home Depot... and then end up going to Lowe's because I'm too afraid to make a left across Bobby Jones. Maybe the penis needs new batteries (ha ha...oh, nevermind).

Sales Associate: So, what can I do you for?
Me (To begin with, you can stop using that phrase): My thermostat broke and I need to replace it.
Sales Associate: Sure. We offer installation services. Let me get -
Me (interrupting politely): Oh, no, I'm going to do it myself.
Sales Associate (pausing, as though about to broach a delicate subject): Do you know how?
Consulting my mental penis...
Me: Yes.
I don't think I convinced him. Probably because I lied.
Sales Associate: Well, if you're sure...
Me: (with a confidence I do not feel): i'm just looking for a recommendation on a specific model.

There is a brief discussion on what kind of system I have. He asks a few questions and I make up answers that I hope are right. I think he's just feeling me out to see how much I know. It begins to irritate me. I KNOW that I'm an idiot. He doesn't need to prove it to me.

Really, it's just a normal electrical system with gas heat. Four wires. Two hands. One thermostat.
Yeah, touch my penis.
Sales Associate: Cool. Well, I think you can take your pick, then, as long as you don't get a heat pump system. I suggest a digital one. They offer a lot more control.
Me ($60! I only need that much control in my pantyhose); Well, the $8 twisty-knob one (twisty knob? Why did you even bring the penis?!) is looking pretty good.

I skip home to put it in. The old one pops right off. I open the new box.

What the fuck is this?

Three telephone calls and a day later, the thermostat is in a bag going back to the store. (sigh) I think I need a real penis.

I return to Lowe's. I need a thermostat, but the mental penis didn't work. I decide to pull out the big guns: the twins. Thank god I'm wearing a vee-neck t-shirt.

Me (after returning the first model): So, the last sales associate sold me a thermostat for a baseboard system, but I have a standard floor system with gas heat.
Sales Associate: Do you have a heat pump?
Heat pump? Oh, god. Lean forward! That always works! Look contemplative. No, smile! Uh...
Me: What do you think? Do I have a heat pump?
What. The fuck. Are you doing. You are an affront to all women.
Sales Associate (thinking hard about the wall of thermostats in front of us): Um, well, probably not. They're used more often up north.
Hey! Over here! Boobies!
Me (nodding like I even know what states are up north): Mmmm.
Sales Associate (reaching for two models - but not mine): I'd recommend a digital thermometer.
Good god, these are pricey. I could get breast implants for this - oh, wait, I don't need them.
Me: I don't need digital. I like something I can put my hands on.
Good christ. How did you even graduate college?
Sales Associate (leaving): Oh, well, just try this one. Should be great. Good luck!
He'd better be gay.

I go home (to a man always willing to look at my breasts). Open the box. Looking good. Wires and places to put wires. I have four wires. It has four - hey, why are there six places to put wires?!


Two electrocutions and a near-decapitation later, I'm out of ideas. The places where I think the wires are supposed to go already have wires. The number of wires outnumber the remaining places to put wires. I am struggling to screw a part of it to the wall when, for no discernable reason, the thermastat snaps into three pieces in my hands.

I fume. It must be Lowe's fault. Sexist Lowe's. Sexist and gay Lowe's.

I return the thermostat. And go to Home Depot. I make the left across Bobby Jones without the penis.

I find a female sales associate and we look at thermostats together. I hate them all. She agrees that men designed them, we joke about our collective ignorance, and then she points to a digital one. What's the obsession with these overpriced pieces of - ooh, $23? I'll take it.

My tools lain out before me at home, I open the instructions. They're entirely in Spanish, except for the last two pages on each of which is printed in English: "THIS PAGE IS BLANK." Scott and I laugh like crazy and he insists we frame it.

I connect all the wires but the red one. There's nowhere to put it! AARGH! I need it! I don't know exactly why, but when I touch the old red and green wires together, the fan comes on. It's the only reason we haven't died of heat exhaustion the last three days.

I decide to shove the old red wire in beside the other, inexplicably-already-attached red wire. There is a sputter, a clang, and then the fan begins to whir. I flip the switch. It stops.

I look at Scott. He smiles, shakes his head, and goes back to his research paper. I leap off the step stool, do a victory dance, and sing, "I have to celebrate the thermostat. I have to praise me like I shooooooooooouuulld!"