Archive for May, 2005

leave of absence

I will be leaving all of you wonderful and faithful readers for a few days while I depart for Austin for a short fun-packed vacation. I will be visiting my oldest and dearest friend, Tracy, her husband Dave, their 2 teenagers, one teenage neice and two dogs. Add Karen and, you guessed it, INSTANT PARTY. It’s such a treat to drink some wine, crank up the Doug Sahm albums and show those teens how we did it in 1978! They are always most impressed and grateful when we impart to them the sacred knowledge of our shared youths.

I will be taking The Box and hopefully exchanging it for The Box that lives at Tracy’s house. Being the lazy, spoiled children we are, Tracy & I long ago abandoned any pretext of social decorum and, instead of sending each other birthday and Christmas presents & cards, we would just buy them and put them in a Box until which time we actually got to see each other. I hope this explains why I have not sent any of you a birthday or Chrismas card. It’s not that I’m not thinking of each and every one of you during special seasons – I am – it’s just that I’m lazy and spoiled.

For your reading enjoyment, I have thoroughly researched some appropriate substitutes for this blog:
Stuck in Rehab With Pat O’Brien
Intellectualize *this one is from Texas. Let us pray.


Letter to Oprah #2

Dear Oprah,
Monday’s show with Tom Cruise was sooo awesome! And his new girlfriend Katie Holmes – ohmygod!!!!! She’s just as cute as a little button! But really, don’t you kind of worry about Tom dating a girl 16 years younger than himself? Even if she was on Dawson’s Creek – I mean, really. What could they possibly have in common? She wasn’t even BORN when Mission Impossible was on TV.

Did you hear that Tom told Brooke Shields she shouldn’t have taken those nasty antidepressants to treat her postpartum depression? I guess Scientologists don’t believe in taking medicine, only vitamins. What if Tom and Katie have kids and she gets postpartum depression and he only lets her take VITAMINS for it? What if she like drowns her kids in the bathtub like that lady in Houston who was also real religious? I bet he’d be changing his happy cult-religion tune then, don’t you?

Anyway, is it me or was Tom TOTALLY hitting on you? I swear I was catching a vibe there.

Yours truly,


quotes of the day

Ken: Isn’t today the day you have your appointment at that place, what’s it called – Friendly Hands?

Me: What??

Ken: You know, your gynecologist.

Me: I’m bored today

Ken: You could always go down to the truck stop and watch the big rigs come in.

deep thoughts

Printed on the 5″ x 5″ plastic bag containing a plastic fork, knife and salad dressing packet I received with my fast food salad today, was a warning to keep the bag away from babies and children to avoid danger of suffocation. Since the bag is only large enough to fit over a newborn’s head, wouldn’t this warning logically be directed at the parent contemplating infanticide? Just wondering.

letter to oprah

Dear Oprah,

I just want to start out by saying I love you! I’ve been watching your show for years, and as someone with a weight problem myself I just have to say You Go Girlfriend!!! But isn’t it depressing that no matter how much weight we lose, we’re bound to gain it all back? I’ll bet you’re not looking forward to being fat again, especially when you have to be on TV every single day! People can be SO mean. There are a couple of 7th graders who live on my block that make fun of me, and I’m telling you Oprah sometimes it’s all I can do to keep my dignity and just ignore them. Some days when they’re yelling “Hey fatty” or “Watch out, it’s 2-Ton Tillie”, a black feeling of hatred just washes over me and I get this urge to march up to them and strangle the life out of their little, scrawny, half-developed bodies! But then I just ask myself “what would Oprah do?” and it makes me feel all calm again. I know YOU wouldn’t let a couple of stupid 13 year old boys screw with YOUR head. Even stupid 13 year old boys who wear god-awful pants that show most of their underpants and look sooo stupid you just want to shove red-hot sticks into their eyeballs. You, Oprah, would keep your cool because that’s the kind of person you are.

Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you on your truly inspired “Wildest Dreams” season. Maybe you don’t remember, but I sent you five letters asking you to grant MY wildest dream of having stomach stapling surgery, which you ignored. I guess it was more important to grant the wildest dreams of people who wanted to meet Usher and Mariah Carey than to address MY urgent pleas to be released from my prison of fat. It’s OK, really, I’m over it.

Anyway, good luck next season, Oprah, and I hope you have a really nice summer!

Your pal,


cemetary flowers

Last week, while attending the burial of my aunts, I noticed that it was May in the Midwest, which means that the peonies are blooming. Next to lilacs, peonies are my favorite flower. They are huge and lush and smell like a million different kinds of sweet. They are a nearly perfect thing. Cemeteries around here are just chock full of peonies because they bloom right around Memorial Day, making them a ready-made grave decoration, and I made a mental note to take Coco, my little dog, for a walk in my local cemetery soon – not because The Puffball loves to take walks, but because I was planning on scoring me a major peony bouquet for the house. Before you recoil in horror, let me explain: My own peony plants had to be moved to make way for the new fence, and they didn’t set any blooms. I don’t have my own peonies this year, therefore, I am relying on the generosity of the dead. I know people think that picking flowers in a cemetary is questionable behavior, but let me be clear: I am not taking flower arrangements off of graves; I am picking the flowers off of plants that happen to be on graves.

I got my start in flower thievery a long, long time ago, when I was living in Austin. For a few months one year I roomed with another woman in a small, roach-infested duplex. For some strange reason, our shitbox little house was located right in the middle of old Austin opulence, in the Pease Park mansion district. This duplex was so badly infested with roaches we called it the Roach Motel, and in order to cook anything you first had to light the oven and get it hot enough to make the roaches run out. Sleeping was an exercise in bravery and more than once I woke up to find a cockroach scurrying across my leg, or neck or some other body part.

In Central Texas, there is a short window of time when the weather is absolutely beautiful and the flowers bloom like crazy. After that, the average daily temperature spikes up to about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and all plant life shrivels up and appears dead, much like the desert. Our own yard was perpetually void of much plant life year round – the yard contained a few patches of St. Augustine grass and that was about it. Nothing would grow at our house and it’s likely that the ever-increasing population of cockroaches just simply consumed all of our outdoor plants in their day-to-day forays out of the stove to look for more food. My roommate and I, in an effort to distract ourselves from the roaches and bring some beauty into our squalid little hovel, took to sneaking out at night to pick the neighbor’s flowers. Our rich neighbors had plenty of great flowers, so we figured why not? We would sneak out into the night with scissors in hand, running from house to house, snipping off tulip blooms, gladiolas, daffodils or whatever we could find. Then we’d come back and turn those flowers into pretty floral arrangements and place them all over the house. It certainly perked up our lives and I personally don’t think the homeowners even noticed that anything was missing – we were careful to steal equally from everyone.

I resumed my life of flower theivery a few years later after moving back to the Midwest. One day, as I was driving over to my mother’s, I passed by a cemetery that had just scads of lilac bushes that were in FULL BLOOM. Not having a lilac bush of my own at the time, and knowing that mom’s lilacs had been badly frostbitten, I stopped and picked a whole shitload of lilacs for the both of us. Much to my surprise, when I told my family members where I found these great lilacs, they were shocked and horrified.
“You mean you TOOK them from the CEMETARY?”
“Well, it’s not like I stole somebody’s flower arrangement. They were still on the bush. I PICKED THEM OFF THE BUSH!”I said, wanting to be clear about that.
“But still… the cemetery? How could you?”
I get the picture – you don’t approve.

Even though I now know most people find it perverse to pick flowers in a cemetery, my desire to have a large peony arrangement in my house was much stronger than the social stigma associated with my method of procurement. So today I hooked little Coco up to his leash, put a pair of scissors in my pocket, and set off on my mission. I parked my car in a place close to a lot of peony bushes so I could gather my bounty quickly, and after walking the dog, I snipped flowers. I got white ones and red ones and pink ones – all the different colors that peonies come in – two great fistfuls of the sweetest smelling flower on the planet. The trick is to just take a few from each bush so you can’t really tell any are missing. I worked real quick, just in case anyone happened to come by and wanted to know just what the hell I was doing and I would have to make up some lame excuse like “oh my dog peed on these so I’m picking them off.”

You may be asking “Why not just wait until dark to steal flowers if you’re so worried about what other people might think??” Actually there are two very good reasons: First – that would mean I’d have to change my nightly routine, which would really screw with my OCD tendencies. Second – fear of zombies. It would just be my luck that picking flowers in a cemetery at night would piss off the undead, and they would come lurching after me, tearing the flesh from my bones and leaving nothing but a pair of scissors and a bunch of torn-up peonies. I’d like to see Without A Trace explain THAT one. “Well folks, it looks like we’ve got us another zombie killing. Boy, those cemetary flower thieves really seem to piss off the living dead…”

Anyway, now I’ve got my peonies, and they smell and look fabulous. I don’t think Hank Johnson: born 1887, died 1942, or Twila Rupp: born 1927, died 1975 really care that I picked a few of their damn flowers. They had plenty to spare and most importantly, it brought joy to MY life. Next year, after my own peonies are rejuenated, I’m hoping to be able to retire completely from the flower theivery business . I’m getting too old for a life of crime and my nerves are shot. I fear the wrath of the undead and am tired of people shooing me away from their flower beds – it’s embarrassing. In the meantime I will enjoy this last stolen bouquet, and remember the good old days.

lease agreement

Lease agreement for the rental house across the street from me:

Renter agrees to own at least one car with a defective muffler at all times
Renter must have variety of unstable personal relationships, and
Renter must periodically get into loud drunken arguments in the front yard, in the middle of the night. Renter will get one free month’s rent if police are called.
Renter must display one or more of the following items on the front porch:
1. BBQ Grill
2. Dead plants
3. Broken chairs or other broken furniture
4. Refrigerator and/or freezer
5. Bags of trash

Renter agrees to not own a lawnmower or to mow the lawn more often than once a month
Renter agrees not to use garbage cans. All trash bags should be placed on front porch until trash day.
Renter agrees to park all vehicles on the street, and not in the driveway
Renter must only use driveway for stacking excess bags of trash and old tires.
Renter agrees to own at least one dog that has a barking and/or attacking and/or intestinal problem.

Do not get friendly with the neighbors. Your landlords haven’t and you don’t want to start a trend.
Note: Neighbor across the street is a light sleeper. When she asks you to please be quiet at 2am, the correct response is to yell “Hey, fuck you, lady.”

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