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

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Press 1 to press 1 again

Multitasking is a big part of my job. I have a desk full of equipment with cords that sometimes tangle together like a big pot of noodles: a telephone, fax machine, printer, laptop, and dictaphone. Today, I was trying to leave a message for a client...

“To leave a message, press 1,” said the voice on the mail.
I pressed 1 and waited. Nothing.
“To leave a message, press 1,” said the voice again.
I press 1 again, and waited. Nothing!
“To leave a message, press 1,” said the voice, with a just hint of smugness.
“I did,” I muttered under my breath, and pressed 1 for a third time.
“To leave a message-” Gah! I jabbed the 1 button with a ridiculous amount of force.
“To leave a mess-” “What the-” I pressed 1. Then 1,1,1,1,1 and, for good measure, 1.
“To leave a message...” I took the receiver from my ear and looked at it, seething, for some explanation, and reached forward to press 1...

...on my laptop

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Musical Fruit

I made dinner tonight: ham with prailene sauce, black-eyed peas, butternut squash. Tasty! But there’s a recurring problem with my cooking...

Scott: Okay, I never criticize your cooking, but every time you make beans...

I double over laughing.
Me: I know! They’re pretty bad!

Scott: (grinning) Okay, I word of advice: They’re already cooked.
I laugh harder. They’re pretty scary looking.

Me: What? You didn’t know I was making hummus tonight?
Scott: It’s not like hummus. It’s like porridge.

I clutch the couch for support while laughing.
Scott: We’re not bears.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today's dilemma

So here's my dilemma for the day. First, please remember that I am about 10 years older than you are so my anti-aging concerns are a little more pressing. So, my dilemma... If I use:

  • a facial cleanser with 2% salicylic acid
  • and a blemish reducer (aka pimple maker-go-awayer) with 2% salicylic acid
  • and a facial scrub with apricot shells and 2% salicylic acid
  • and a moisturizer with alpha hydroxy and some other acidic kinds of things I don’t understand
  • and a peel-off mask with fruit acids
  • and a chemical peel kit that includes a 10% acid solution...

I have the following questions
  1. Will my face eventually just melt off, leaving behind only my specialty-lipstick-collagen-enhanced lips?
  2. Will it matter after my husband kills me for spending $40 on all this crap?
  3. Before he kills me, will he notice my smooth skin and plump lips?
  4. Will Emerson inherit my mental disorder?
For extra credit, explain the similarities between Gloria Steinem and Pamela Anderson.
For more extra credit, explain why I think Tommy Lee is so freakin’ hot.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

City of Neighborly Love

(loud booming noise from below us)

Scott: The neighbors are watching that movie again.

We have a standing agreement that our neighbors downstairs either have one movie where things blow up that they watch repeatedly, or they have every movie in the world where stuff blows up. But an idea crosses my mind.

Me: I think maybe they’re watching al-Qaeda training videos.
Scott looks up, thoughtful.
Scott: But they don’t look Arab.
Me: (shrewdly) You don’t have to be Arab to be Muslim.
Scott: Ahhh-HAaaaaa....

Monday, October 03, 2005

As I Am Dying

The whoosh of rushing wind fills my head as the cargo bay door opens.

“I don’t want to die.” I beg the man standing in front of me.

“You’re not going to die,” he says – and pushes me out of the plane.

I am 10,000 feet over a bright green field, strapped to a man I do not know, hurtling toward a brutal, painful death. I am skydiving on a bet, a stupid bet that is going to kill me.

I never apologized to my little brother. My sister and I used to dress him in our old party clothes and call him “Susie.” He is scarred for life. This is why I am going to die.

“You are not going to die,” shouts the man strapped to my back. “We have a parachute.”

The parachute is made of silk and it will not save us. Our bodies will shatter upon the earth. Will they be able to tell us apart, or will they think that one huge person exploded in the field - perhaps while wearing a lovely silk dress? This is not the way I want to die.

“You are not going to die.”

I started a rumor in fourth grade that Kristen Gandy was really a boy. I was mad at her and I had just learned about sex-change operations. It followed her all year. This is why I am going to die.

I can almost hear him roll his eyes.

“We’re not going to die.”

My neck snaps forward. I am wrenched upward so hard that I can hear my vertebrae fracture, and suddenly I waft through the air. The sky is lit with a heavenly glow. I am dead.

“You are not dead. I pulled the ripcord. Enjoy the ride.”

I am making absurd doggie-paddling motions with my arms and legs. I will myself to cut it out and assess the situation. We are still falling, but will not die instantly. Now we will suffer.

In ninth grade, I ditched Greta Haug, a smart and sweet girl, for “cooler” friends who wore gothic clothes and listened to The Cure and Joy Division. For loving these bands alone I am going to suffer – and die.

“No one is going to die,” he shouts, and stops because shouting is no longer necessary. “Try to relax.”

“Relax,” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I bought that album. I deserve to suffer and die.

A truck waits at the edge of the field. Tiny people shade their eyes, studying our descent. Are they prepared for our mangled bodies, for the gurgling and gasping as we suffer and die? I am concerned children might be watching.

“No! It doesn’t matter, because we’re not going to die.”

The summer after high school, I scored press passes to Lollapalooza. Eddie Veddar climbed the back wall of the amphitheatre and dove off into the waiting crowd. I found myself crushed against him and kissed him, with tongue. For this assault, I deserve to suffer and die.

“Okay, get ready.”

The ground spirals up at us. I am not ready. I never returned “The Bell Jar” to that nice neighbor woman in Athens who had Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t remember I borrowed it. For sometimes thinking that’s kind of funny, I deserve to suffer and die.

The tiny people are now people-sized people running to meet us. Oh, God, they will be covered in entrails. They will never recover from the trauma. I try to wave them away. They wave back. Fools!

“Bend your knees.”

I curl into the fetal position. I dropped all of my classes one semester and used my loan money to party. I cheated on most of my boyfriends. I lied about cheating on them. They all believed me.

“Remember to go with the momentum of the landing.”

I never go to church. I don’t recycle. Sometimes I don’t walk the dog for days.

“Here we go!”

We are mere feet from the ground. I kick wildly. He shouts at me to stop. I wish my family long happy lives and brace for impact. My toes brush the ground and we are standing, back on terra firma.

“See?” he says. “We’re perfectly safe.”

A gust of wind grabs the unsettled parachute and jerks us back several yards. We land hard on our backs, me on top of him, like two stacked turtles.

“That was kind of fun,” I gasp, and gasp again, because I can. I am still breathing.

He groans. “I think you killed me.”

(c) originally published in Sass Magazine, 2005