Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Tabernacle of the Lord and my Upset Stomach

I'm not necessarily (I hope I spelled this word right. It always bothers me. I have trouble with double consonants.) a religious person. I consider myself a moderately spiritual person and if I was polled on the street I'd align myself as a believer. There are a lot of tenets of religion that I can get behind and a few that I have difficulty with, but the purpose of this post is not to promulgate my religious opinions.

I've always been prone to puking. Ever since I was little. I regularly gag on my toothbrush, so I go through a lot of toothbrushes. As a consequence I can pretty much puke and move along rather quickly. I don't especially require a lot of time to get it together afterwards. It's kind of like when your dog tosses her cookies and then looks all relieved and ready to play before she realizes what she's done and tries to eat it again. But without the eating of the regurgitate. That's just gross. Mostly the relieved part.

Anyways, due to my prevalence for puking I can all but think about alcohol and vomit. I have more than a beer or two and I'm up the next morning puking my brains out. It's a fact I've come to live with and the majority of my friends have learned to deal with it. But here's the kicker.

For some reason I tend to puke in church parking lots. Drive me down a road when I'm hungover or even just full (I get carsick too.) and I'll find a church that has a need to have the parking lot splattered with my lunch. I've pretty much yaked in almost every church between here and Charlotte. Baptist? Check. Moravian? Check. Non-denominational? Those are my favorite because I feel they're less judge-y than the others. Being that they're essentially spectral urchins, doomed to wander Protestantism without a place to call home or whatnot.

I've never puked in a Catholic parking lot. I don't know many of them and plus there isn't one of those on every corner down here. It's not like the Baptist and Moravian churches. You can't go 3 blocks in this area of the South without getting your hot-cross bun soggy from being submerged in the baptismal pool while being serenaded by an entire full band as accompaniment. Not that there is anything wrong that. In fact I imagine it's the guilt I feel from being hungover on the Sabbath that drives me to retching. I also have a tendency to feel guilty a lot which drives me to drink and repeats the whole saga. Or if I just happen to be carsick then I just feel sheepish for puking for no reason. For just having a weak stomach. I feel as if I'm being judged for being puny pitiful. Think about all of your great religious icons: Jesus Christ, Samson, King Solomon, those boys in the fire, Buddha, Ghandi (Do we count Ghandi? I think he may be more political than religious. But he didn't ever eat so I figured I'd include him here.), Moses. I doubt Moses was ever struck down with a weak stomach. He survived a trip down the river in a reed basket. I so much as look at an paper boat in a bathtub before I turn green. These heros are all strong willed and pious and righteous and had the constitution of an ox. I've got the constitution of a goldfish. Put me in a bag and shake me up and I'll upchuck instantly.

Needless to say I spend a lot of time asking forgiveness, but I'm not really sure what to ask absolution for? I don't think there is a commandment that says:

'Thou shalt not regurgitate in my parking lot.'

'And if thoust hath regurgitated in my parking lot, at least make sure it's while no one is there. Otherwise it's just downright shameful.'

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Bus Station is Way Creepier in the Dark

I can tell I'm morphing into one of those psychos that normal people look at and wonder what the hell is wrong with them. One of those people that run for fun or get bored and do wind sprints. I can tell this for two reasons.

Number one being that I just sprinted across the entire bus station trying to get on the bus I needed to get on and still I missed it. But that's only because it gained ground on me because I had to run around 4 buses. The point here that I kept up with it for a good part of the bus station and after I stopped I felt sad. And mad because I missed the bus but damn the running part was fun.

Secondly because I'm going to be late for spin and I'm pissed about that too. Not because I hate being late but because I'll miss a third of spin class. And I'll be late.

The point is that I'm stuck at the bus station after dark. Let me just say that old adage about the looneys coming out after dark, there's something to that. For serious. It makes me wish I had a shotgun.

I figure a shotgun will serve multiple purposes in the zombie apocalypse. Killing zombies and blasting dumb ass fools with cartridges filled with rock salt who don't know better.

Then again that second part could be applied in multiple circumstances. Like sitting at the bus station after dark.

The Advantage of Being Single in the Bedroom

You married and committed people are really missing out on one important factor that us single people have access to.

Because there are two of you.

Single folks can slide the bed right up against the wall because, well, only one person needs to get it in and they can do that from one side. And when the bed is slid up against the wall you get the always amazing experience of the cold wall.

You know what I'm talking about, right?

Remember back to when you were a kid, going to bed at dusk in the summer when it was still just a little bit light outside and your mom left the window open to let in the breeze; it was still a touch warm and as you lay in your little twin bed looking out the window wishing you were still outside playing. You realize you're a little warm.
So what do you do? You put your little bare feet right up against the wall. Because in the realm of things that you as a six year old can control, sticking your feet on the wall is about the only thing. You most certainly cannot fight the oncoming sleep or prevent the sun from setting and your parents have already put you to bed. So as you lay there stubbornly staving off sleep because at the grand old age of 6 you're convinced that the really exciting things happen at night whilst you're sleeping the unemcumbered sleep of innocents, where the dreams are images of fun and gaiety, you try and stay awake by pressing your warm little body against the wall. But you never win.
Sleep always comes and whisks you away.

It's the cold wall that makes me realize that I could be happy being single for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get the Fuck on the Bus!

The following is a list of a few pointers for boarding the bus in a timely manner:

1. Learn about the bus and where it is going before you get on. That is why they waste all that paper on brochures that only end up littering the ground at the bus station. I'm sure they have some inside; it has to be where they come from. The time to inquire is not when there are 14 people behind you in line. If you must ask a question, ask 1 question. Not 37! Shut up, and get the Fuck on the bus.

2. Consequently, don't argue with the bus driver. He knows where the bus is going as he is one DRIVING THE BUS TO WHEREVER IT IS GOING.

3. If the bus costs $2. Please don't pay in nickels. That's 40 coins. I'm not kidding, the man in front of me today on the bus paid in nickels. Trade ten of them for 2 quarters or something. Shit. We don't have that kind of time. Do you know how long it takes to put 40 nickels in the change thing on the bus? 1 minute and 12 seconds. (Yes, I timed him and yes, he dropped 3 of them and had to bend over and pick them up.) Just hurry up and get on the bus.

4. Do not holler at your homeboy across the bus station from in line. Because then you hold up the line yelling 'Huh?' and 'What you said bro?' Call him on your cellular telephone. I know you have one because you put the person on the other end of the phone call you're currently having on hold so you could speak to your other friend, across the bus station. Shut up and get on the bus!

5. Finally please just shut up and get the fuck on the bus! We're on a time schedule here. Some of us have to get home and tie one on early so we can deal with the tragedy of our holiday get togethers!

Thank you and thanks for riding.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nothing Ruins a Friday Like a Call from The Health Department

You've spent an entire day at work. You've avoided inoculating yourself with various pathogens. You haven't even sprouted a 3rd arm from hanging out in the radiation waste closet. But you're walking out of the building and Voila! your phone buzzes and you've got a voicemail. And who is it?

None other than the county Health Department.

Damn, look what a few beers and the odd glass of wine on a Friday night will get you. It didn't even taste raunchy but alas it was. You'll know better next time.

I'm making it a policy to interview everything going in my mouth from this point forward. At least this way I'll be informed when I call the nurse at the Health Department back. They always want so much information.

But then again it's not as if the real live living entity will parade out to answer my questions about being disease free. That would be awkward.

Me: Do you have a last name?

Him: McDonald

Me: Are you clean and disease free?

Him: Cluck cluck ba-cock cluck

Me: Will you make sure that the kitchen personnel cook you thoroughly?

Him: Cluck!?! Ba-COCK! CLUCK ClUCK!!!

Me: Oh yeah. Sorry about that. It's just that I just got hurt the last time I did this and I don't want to feel that pain again. I have to be wary.

Him: Cluck?

Me: Oh I got Salmonella from your brother Ted. Old man McDonald needs to keep his chickens clean.

My Best Friend

My best friend just died. My best friend Special.

Special, who loved me when I knew no one else did. When no one else found me fit for consumption Special was there. Waiting on me, happy to see me.

Special, who sat by my bed and barked when neccessary to warn me of things that went bump in the night. Who wagged his tail when I got home to remind me that he loved me.

My best friend who protected me from all the evil in the world, even the evil exes. My best friend who used to run at night just because he wanted to be free for just a few moments of his life. Who loved his family without abandon. Who knew that they loved him. Who deserved all the love the world could ever offer and hopefully knew that the people that loved him tried to fill him up with love. Over and over again.

Special Dog, I love you. I'm glad you're free of your pain. May your soul wander the neighborhood of happy neighbors with full bowls of ramen noodles and lonely female dogs. May your soul lay in the sunshine and scrub your face on the freshly mown grass to scratch that one irresistible itch. May your sould be serenaded constantly by redheads who sing your praises in multiple languages. May your soul find that aggravating cat who was your brother and who also secretly loved you. May you find him in the great afterlife and may you two wait your wait for the rest of your family together. Tell Chocolate to take it easy on you. You deserve it.

But know this:

I'd still kick anyone out who was blaspheming you, again. You may not have been my dog from the get go but by damn, you were my dog at one point. You slept in the floor of my bedroom and snored. No one will speak ill of you. Not then and especially not now.

I love you Special. My eyes burn as I write this because I've cried so much. Mostly because I didn't say goodbye. Because I had the best laid plans to come and see you and once again I've let you down. Now I beg your pardon. Now I rely on your forgiving, unapologetically kind nature and know you'll forgive me as you always did.

You truly lived up to your name Special. You truly were a Special dog. And I miss you. And I love you. Please wait for me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anna Gray Feels Sorry for Boys

The transition from teenager to adult is a rough time for everybody. Some of us are lucky enough to ease gradually into adulthood and transition well. Those of us with vaginas.

Girls are groomed to be adults our entire lives. We play with dolls and in miniature versions of vinyl-sided houses complete with shutters. We watch our Mom with admiration and strut around in her clothes in a hurry to grow up. Even those of us that were awkward and wore skater jeans and t-shirts fell into the woman mold easily enough.

Boys on the other hand, not so much. Granted I guess you could argue that they never really grow up. Motorcycles, speed boats, and giant tv's become the play things of grown men but they're still very much toys. 'Big Boy Toys' and all.

Think about a boy you know, or knew, when he was 20. How he was so confident in his manhood but still sat on the bus talking about video games. Some of them grow out of it, thankfully. These men become sex symbols and send women into apoplectic fits. Thank you Don Draper. But those that don't, still they're awkward. Women spend their entire adult lives searching for an adult and rarely if ever do we find one. We find boys in men's bodies that still play video games and are just awkward. There really is no other way to describe it. Awkward. So much so sometimes you just stand and watch. It's like a train wreck. There's so much carnage but you just can't look away. They flounder and fall and tumble and teeter their way into adulthood. Even the ones that are successful are often socially inept and backward. They stand around in dad jeans and windbreakers and guffaw at their friend's tawdry jokes that haven't been funny since 1992.

I can't begin to imagine why there are so many of them like this. I'm not a man; I don't know. I imagine it has something to do with not maintaining a self-questioning, self-doubting, self-critical constant dialogue with yourself that has been drilled into who you are since you were able to toddle about on two feet.

Don't take this the wrong way. Men, you're what you are for a reason. I doubt it's going to change anytime soon. I'm just saying that after spending the last 8 years on college campuses I've noticed a trend. I'm sorry you don't transition better than you do. And I feel a little bit sorry for you in that regard.

The Test Results Are In

For the last several days I've been a bit ill. Rather than regale you with the details let's everyone assume that I've been in severe distress of the gastrointestinal kind. Yesterday I went to the doctor and had a day full of 'Gee. I've never done that before.' and other general inappropriateness. It's kind of like being on your period except for the fact that if you get tired of your period you can remove your uterus. It's much more difficult to remove your intestines. And if you're wondering they won't remove your uterus without cause. I asked last year and they got surprisingly ill about it.

Anyways, long story short, the doctor's office calls me today to tell me that my blood work was normal and that my white blood count is good. Which means I don't have an infection. Which means it's probably cancer. Or someone has poured salt on me and I'm turning inside out like a slug. But most likely, it's cancer.
Now I'll have to have chemotherapy and my hair will fall out. And the only men I'll ever get then are the sickos that have bald-chick fetishes and are psychologically and emotionally stunted because they spent their formative years scraping calluses off of grandpa's gnarly feet and now are compelled to find someone to take care of. Not to mention that my hair is really the only thing I've got going for me. Well that and my skin. I do have great skin. I also have a melon for a head, which doesn't lend itself well to baldness.

So I say to the nurse on the phone: 'So we (I like to say 'We' so that they feel involved in my decision making process. I feel it makes them more dedicated to my wellness.) still don't know why I'm sick?' She then says 'Are we doing other cultures?' 'Yes. You are doing cultures.' (I said 'You' there because I'm not doing anything but dying, obviously.) 'Oh. We don't have those results yet.' 'So everything is not normal then is it?' 'Your bloodwork is.'

Great. I'm giving birth to Sigourney Weaver's Alien; it is literally crawling around in my abdominal cavity kicking the shit out of my spleen and using my stomach for a trampoline while swinging from my small intestines like a chandelier, but my blood is normal. So much so that the doctor's office felt compelled to call and tell me. Aren't I the lucky one?

I just wanted to inform you, blog readers that I'll probably be dead soon. And if I don't die, I think I can save my eggs but they'll have a better chance of being viable if they're fertilized. So if any of you have an in with George Clooney or any other super-successful and/or talented, attractive, (they must be attractive) men that are interested in being a father please have them email me. I figure we can practice the old school way until my chemo so my ovaries get the idea and start making eggs. But please let them (the applicants for future fathers) know they may end up as a single parent.

I figure my chances of getting hit by a bus have exponentially increased due to my proximity. Plus I'm clumsy. It doesn't bode well for survival of the fittest any way you frame it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Stupidification of the Middle Class

I think I read somewhere or heard somewhere that America is slowly polarizing. Economically speaking of course. The middle class is apparently dissolving and people are either moving up or down, whichever the case may be.

I could see this as actually happening. But the purpose of this post is not to discuss the obfuscating economics of the country. The only way I ever understand what the Federal Reserve Board has to say is when I use that translating tool thing on Slate.com. For serious, check it out.

I want to discuss the melding of the American intelligence into a quagmire of general idiocy and stupidity. I'm not talking about politics.

I'm speaking of the honest-to-goodness stupidity that is invading our general lives. No one can spell anymore. For example, a sign on the bus under a picture of a guy who clearly has caused some trouble on the bus says this, exactly:

This man is band from riding.

Yes. You've read correctly. This man obviously has a pair of cymbals, a harmonica, two different drums and a bicycle horn hidden somewhere under his windbreaker.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'll need you to answer your phone and bring bail money.

So at the bus station there is this weaselly little guy who sells drugs and thinks he's a bad-ass. He's clearly not a big-time drug dealer because he doesn't dress nice enough to be a big-time drug pusher. Also, he has exactly zero friends.

Oh, he knows everyone. It's not that he lacks acquaintances. They all grimace when he comes over to talk to them. They see him coming and casually, and sometimes not so casually, turn and go the other way.

For some reason, homeboy has decided that we need to be friends, He and I. This will not happen.

One day a while ago he walked over to me and just stood there. Like a lump on a fucking log. Walks over and just stands there. He's too cool to walk over and say 'Hello' or something else cordial and interrogative. No, he's got panache. He thinks he can just invade my personal space and I'll be besotted with adoration. Don't think so. I say, 'Can I help you?' (Because I wanted it to be obvious that he and I were never going to work. And I wanted it to be clear that I would like him to back out of my personal space so I went with a hypothetical question.)

Not only is he rude but he's also stupid. He says 'Yeah, I want a cheeseburger with pickles, ketchup and some fries.'

I roll my eyes and turn away.

Then there was today.

Dude walks over and starts talking to me. I didn't even make eye contact or pause the iPod, so I have no clue what he said. But it began with, 'We find ourselves together again.' Yes, obviously I came here to see you. It couldn't be that I take the same bus at the same time every weekday and you've seen me here at this spot at this time for going on 3 months now. But you clearly have no life so you just hang out at the bus station and sell drugs. He finally meanders away and tries this game on someone else. Then the bus rolls up.

Do you know that this fool has the gall to come back and fucking touch me? He wanders over while I'm in line for the bus and starts smacking my hand with the back of his.

We do not touch people we do not know.

If this was someone else I might just let it slide but you know, I think I could actually take this fool. He's not that much taller than me and you can look at him and know that he's a punk bia-tch. The kind that'd be prime ass-bait in prison. He's part of the tribe of people that act hard and buck up against everybody but then get their ass handed to them once the guy they've pissed off finishes pommeling them with one hand tied behind his back. Bad news bears I tell you. Bad news bears.

Needless to say that causing a fight at the bus station maybe wasn't the smartest thing for me to do. But the cops have told me that if you come and get me they won't press charges. They'll just let me walk with a reprimand and their sincere thanks for handling this situation.

Man, I'm going to be a hit at the bus station in the morning.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm a mess. Just let me be.

Today, at work, I sobbed in my office for a solid two hours.

I won't regale you with the details of why I sobbed in my office for a solid two hours but let's just say I'm having a rough day.

A really rough, rough day.

(But I did stick to my diet and eat my good, healthy lunch. Only because there were green beans involved. Without the green beans I'm pretty sure I would have lost my shit completely.)

I find that I'm the kind of person that walks the line kind of shoddily while still managing to get it done. For the most part I'm a semi-functioning adult type person with some serious emotional issues. But then somedays, I just fall the fuck off the tight-rope. Then comes the nose-dive into the moat of muck that surrounds my emotional stability. While I'm down there I usually take a couple of days to wallow around in it. Get myself good and covered. Just to convince myself that indeed, I do want to be out of the muck. There is no good that comes out of muckraking. Especially when you're the one in the muck being a rake.

I don't know why I don't cop to it. If I would come to terms with my eventual lapses of sanity I would be much happier. Hell, if I could see them coming I could just prepare for them and at least warn people.

'I'm sorry Anna cannot come out to play today. She's going to blow a gasket in about 3 hours.'

Knowing about your shit and doing something about it are two completely different things. I heard that in an episode of Grey's Anatomy and I swear to God I'd tack it up on my bathroom mirror if it didn't make me look like a total loony tune. But it's true.

I'm grateful to everyone in my life who realizes this about me and loves me anyway. It's rough sometimes and I realize that. And for what it's worth, I'm sorry.

You'll have to excuse me. I must go. I have an appointment for my mud muck wrap.