I picked up a local newspaper while I was visiting upstate New York this weekend. And on the cover page was a very interesting story about Bigfoot sightings in the area. A couple of local rednecks--er, residents-- are quite convinced they've been seeing what they believe to be a 7 foot Sasquatch chilling out on their properties. Of course it also might be a large naked homeless man rooting through their garbage and eating their pet food, but they are so certain it is the actual Bigfoot, they've even got the local company Searching for Bigfoot, Inc.. on the case.
As it happens, Searching For Bigfoot, Inc. is the only fully operational mobile Bigfoot hunter in upstate New York...abundantly appointed with tasers, night-vision goggles, thermal imagers, tranquilizer guns and a biopsy gun, which shoots a dart to collect skin, hair and blood from whatever it strikes.
From today's Kingston Freeman: Patty Williams said she first saw a bigfoot on her property about four months ago. She said she the creature was near the tree line and by her pigpen.
"It had a juvenile with it about my height," Williams said on Friday. She said the creatures went into the pen and ate her pig's food but did not bother any of her animals. Williams said she threw a rock near where she believed one of the creatures was and it threw the rock back. She said she also threw a football and that it came back.
Well. If I were to see a Bigfoot in my backyard, my first instinct would certainly be to throw a rock at him. Or better yet, I'd search my garage until I found a football to throw, in case he wanted to play catch. It definitely wouldn't occur to me to get my fucking camera phone or video camera. No way.
Today I was on the subway in the middle of the afternoon, and an elderly couple got on a few stops after me. There were plenty of seats available, but they decided instead to stand together near the doors.
Now, I have to admit, the elderly -- like, the super duper elderly -- kind of freak me out. It's not because of anything they do, and of course it's not their fault they are like that (wrinkled, like old rotten apples), but I think being in the presence of the very geriatric makes me nervous. I look at their liver-spotted, cadaver-like hands and the way they roll down their support hose until it's practically stuck inside their fat orthopedic shoes, and I develop a wicked tic and feel like a trapped rat in a cage. I see my future -- of mashed bananas and stool softeners and hearing aids and irritated younger relatives always having to repeat themselves -- and I am horrified by it. Truly horrified. I don't want to go out like that.
But. This couple was somehow different. I couldn't help but watch them.
If you put aside the teased, brown-dyed cotton swab of hair that sat upon her head, held up in a frizzled bun with a decorative antique comb, and the stained dentures that were fastened to his gums with what looked to be a painful bit of rusted wire, this couple was damned cute.
They stood face to face and and leaned into each other with that familiar, loving absentmindedness that you see in couples who have been together for so long. He had a protective arm around her waist, and he kept putting his cheek to hers in order to whisper things. She would look up at him and laugh. Like, a laugh that was honest and unabashed. I bet he'd been hearing that same laugh for 50 years and it still surprised and delighted him. She looked decades younger when she laughed.
You don't think of old folks as still having it for each other, right? But boy, these two did.
My deepest apologies for my hiatus from the blogger. I was on a lovely long weekend trip to Boston, where there was much debauching and such.
I'm on a one-month 'forced sabbatical' from work (long, boring ass story), so in the last weeks my days have consisted of playing board games on my shag carpet in front of the giant fan with a four-year old girl who refused to put on any clothes (note: don't let the kid be the banker in Monopoly. She will rob you blind. Also, she can't count). Other interesting activities included sitting on my ass at the park with my mamas and talking crap while the kids ran around like crazy people in the sprinklers, going out for pizza too much, visiting the library, watching terrible kids' DVDs, and cleaning my refrigerator.
Needless to say, it was so goddamned unspeakably glorious to spend a few days away from my dirt hole of an apartment, where I didn't have to wait on a little napoleon demanding OJ and Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (organic!) at 6 am. Also really nice to put on clean clothes that I know won't get anything spilled on them. And I didn't miss the cat's ass in my face in the morning if I wasn't upright pouring cat chow in a bowl before I got my fucking coffee. Oh, utter delight!
I miss Boston.
But, at least with Lily at her first day of camp today, I got to really do a through cleaning of aforementioned dirt hole.
Hi! I've missed you guys.
Oh! Note: Thinking about cheaping out the next time you are at the grocery and buying the 99 cent garbage bags instead of the name brand ones? Don't do it.
There is a reason they cost 99 cents. That is because they are about as thick as a lamb-skin condom. And would you pour 5 pounds of urine-soaked silica cat litter into a lambskin condom? I think not.
Do you know what the most depressing sound in the world is?
Well, I'll tell you. It's the sound of your next-door neighbor, a late-60s-ish, gay (He totally hit on Shawn when he used to live here), very very alone, very very messy (not uncommon to spy cockroaches crawling up his front door and sometimes even making their way to my apartment), but genuinely nice man sobbing.
I can hear him through the wall that separates our homes.
Part of me wants to go over to his house, wade through the piles of stacked-up old newspapers and Chinese take-out containers littering his apartment, and give him a friendly hug, even though we've said maybe 10 words to each other in the 5 years I've lived here. The other part of me wants to run into the bedroom and put on my noise-cancelling headphones and rock myself to sleep like a savant, because the sound is so utterly heartbreaking and is driving me kind of insane.
So Lily and I are sitting on the couch. She's sitting on my lap, facing me, holding a package of circular shaped stickers with animal faces on them, and she's systematically placing the stickers all over my face. Then she puts two on my chest. She points and says, "Mama, are those your testicles?"
Taken slightly aback, I say, "Um, no, honey. No, those are not my testicles."
I decide not to ask where she picked up the word. I assume she picks this stuff up on the street anyway. (Plus, I'm wicked proud that she used the proper terminology, instead of asking if those were my balls or my nads or my 'junk', so I'm kind of reveling in that...so cool, right?!).
I explain that women don't have testicles. Then I ask if she actually knows what they are.
"No. What are they?"
So, we go to the computer and I google "images of testicles".
Then before I hit go, I'm like, wait, what the fuck am I thinking?
So I change the search to 'male anatomy'. This wonderful page comes up, courtesy Dr. Wiki.
I point to the different parts of the male body and the female body, and attempt to explain the purpose of each set of genitalia, as gently and simply as possible. Then I tell her that the man and the woman can actually use these organs if they want to make a baby, and isn't that cool?
"EW!" She said. "Can we PLEASE go to Barbie Dressup.com now?"
And mother's attempt at imparting valuable reproductive information is thwarted once again.
I was hanging out with my family today in a public park. While walking to take my nephew to the swing set, we saw an asian person with Down's Syndrome. I said, "Well, that's not something you see very often." My sister said, "What?" I replied, "A person of color with Down's Syndrome. Generally isn't it white people who develop it?" Then I thought about it some more and said, "Do you know what you see even less? A black person with Down's. In fact, I don't believe I've ever seen that." I then turned to my sister and her boyfriend, and I said, "Why is that?" My sister slurped some caffeine-free diet coke and said, "I don't know." I said, "But is it, like, because it's a chromosomal thing? Like only white people get it? You guys should know this shit, you teach Special Ed." And my sister looked at me and she said, "Look, Kris. Just because we teach Special Ed doesn't mean we know the intricacies of medical science. What we do know is what to do if a kid calls us a 'cunt'".
So I spent the rest of the day feeling really itchy with curiosity, because nobody seemed to be able to answer my question. It's not a huge deal, but sometimes I wish I just had someone in my family who was smart.
Just kidding, guys! Oh, and you'll still watch Lil for me next week, right? Cool.
Later on we were driving home, and since I was in the passenger seat (I can't sit in the back, see, because I get carsick. Blegh), I spotted a stupid SUV in front of us with a sticker on the window of two stick figure kids, and the words, "Got Twins?"
Which has got to be the most inane thing I've ever seen. Got Twins? Like, if not, you should? Is that an endorsement for fertility drugs? Just what is the purpose of a sticker like that?
So I piped up with, "Well, I'll tell you what you do have if you've got twins. Twice as much money if you decide to sell your child on the black market."
I then started to laugh heartily at my own clever joke.
But nobody else laughed.
So, today really wasn't a great day for me overall.
As promised, you filthy animals, here's a post about my breasts. Stop licking your chops. You look disgusting.
Well, as some of you know, if you've visited my other blog, I've been complaining a lot about the current weather in New York. In fact, it's all I've been talking about for the last three days. It's hot. scorchingly, punishingly hot, man. Sweatier and more foultastic than the space under a homeless guy's balls. For real, yo. It's fucking nasty.
And every time another June rolls around and I find that I'm still residing here in Queens, I cock my eyebrow skyward and wonder to the (good?) lord above how the fuck I've managed not to escape in time for another sweltering New York summer. (That is, after I finish giving my own ass a brutal whipping with an electrical cord). I mean, summertime in NYC is the ninth circle of hell. It's horrid. Dig?
But enough about that. Let's talk about my tits.
I was thinking about them today because, when it's this hot outside, I cannot possibly stand to wear a bra. A brassiere on me in the summertime reminds me of those bits they used to make the talking horses wear in old movies and TV shows. I think they were made of razor wire and itching powder. Or something like that. Anyway, you get my point. Think Hannibal Lechter and that thing they put on his face. Come on, keep up. I'm getting to the boobs part.
So, yeah. I don't wear a bra in the summer, most of the time. And this really doesn't matter much at all, because I have very small breasts. They are fabulous, mind you. Ask anyone. But, still. Small. Small as hell.
A male friend of mine just started dating a small-breasted woman and remarked the other day, with a generous amount of disbelief, "They are even smaller than yours!"
Yes. Well. Thanks.
I remember when I first discovered I was growing breasts, at the tender age of 12 or so. I looked down and noticed that the area that was previously indistinguishable from my stomach (both were soft and kind of mushy ...I wasn't an athletic child) was suddenly budding out in the most pleasing and adorable way. I was thrilled. Every day I woke up and checked to see if they'd gotten any bigger. My mom and I bought my first little bra at Sears. And I waited and waited for the big, fleshy knockers to come.
That was 22 years ago.
Those goddamned boobs never, ever came.
My sister got all the mammary endowment in the family. I remember hating her for that...she woke up one day and looked like a goddamned porn star. She was blessed with the golden, enviable traits of our Italian heritage: tanned skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, and boobs. I was prone to sunburns, loved pasta, didn't need a bra and probably could have started shaving my legs at the age of 6.
But I digress. This cloud does have a silver lining, my friends. I promise you.
So here I am today. I'm walking to the Rite Aid to buy some sunscreen and feminine hygiene products, and I catch my reflection in the window of a bank as I'm dragging my hot ass across the street (and boy, is it a hot ass. My sister might've gotten the boobs, but I got the butt. Yay, god!). I am wearing a tank top made of the flimsiest cotton imaginable. Any other woman would get hauled into the clink for indecent exposure if she dared venture outdoors in that shirt braless. But not me. See, I've got these magical, fairy-sized boobs, y'all. I can get away with anything.
After 35 years on this tired planet, after birthing a child and giving her unbridaled access to my breasts as feedbags for over two consecutive years, these boobs of mine are still kick ass. Small, yes. But not saggy or wrinkly or covered in stretch marks. No way, man. Not even. They are still bouncy. I'd even call them pristine.
So, as I write this, the first New York heat wave of 2008 is about to break with the approach of what looks to be a violent thunderstorm. I'd better publish this before a bolt of lightning comes in through my window and kills me. It would be a waste not to share this story of triumph over adversity with you all.
I am a survivor. And if I can't inspire you all with tales of what I've overcome, then what good am I?
Toaster waffles are yummy. I make them every morning for Lily. I just got the blueberry multigrain variety from Trader Joe's. The toaster is kind of a integral part of my morning ritual. I am just not a mommy who gets up on weekday mornings and flips home made pancakes. If I tried that, in my blind pre-coffee stupor, I'd end up in the burn unit because I'd accidentally set my hands on fire trying to accomplish the task. So, toaster waffles it is.
So the other morning, I pop a waffle into the toaster and go hang in the living room with Lil, clutching my cup of hot caffeinated magic between the knees as I embrace Lily in a couch-cuddle. Ah, calm, quiet morning.
Then there is a smell.
An acrid, chemical, evil smell. Like burning wires. A smell that is just very, very wrong. I run into the kitchen and unplug the toaster. Oh, the horror of what is before me:
Exhibit A: My toaster. Seemingly newish, not broken, not on fire.
Exhibit B: A simple Commerce Bank pen. My house is littered with these, because they are free, and I like free things. So every time I go to the bank, I end up with one.
Exhibit C: Commerce Bank pen in toaster. Still not sure how that happened. But oh, the smell. The awful, awful, smell.
Exhibit D: Offending Commerce Bank Pen after being pried out of toaster with steak knife. (Pen was later put to death in garbage chute...after, of course, enduring lengthy photo session with my new digital camera)
So, the moral of this little tale? Keep the ceramic pen cup away from the toaster. You never know what might happen.
Lily is, as I would suspect most four year olds are, obsessed with bodily functions. Peeing, barfing, bloodletting, coughing up phlegm, you name it. She had some blood drawn the other day for kindergarten (SHE GOT INTO THE CHARTER SCHOOL!!! YAY!!!), and she was fascinated with the way the needle went into her arm and sucked the blood up into the vial. She wanted to watch the whole procedure. (Let's hope this interest in biology will lead to a brilliant career in medicine. You know, nursing homes and adult diapers and liver transplants are gonna be expensive in a few decades).
But for now, do you know what four year olds really like to talk about?
The more time I spend with young children, the more I realize how truly hilarious fecal matter can be.
I'm also amazed by the numerous ways in which the word "poop" can be used to season just about any phrase a child utters. It really just adds that little extra something. AND, generally, its use is followed by an eruption of raucous laughter that can only be matched (and appreciated) by other nearby four-year-olds (and maybe the occasional five-year-old). Which also really adds something special. It's like being at a really unfunny comedy show.
Here it is used in a song: "Twinkle, Twinkle, little Poop, How I wonder what you Poop!"
At the dinner table, during grace: "Thank you, god, for the food on the table, and for Jesus and the Poopies."
At Breakfast: Mom: "Lil, what do you want to eat?" Lily: "How about...Poopies with syrup?"
At Bedtime: Mom: "What should we read tonight?" Lily: "How about that book about the poop?" Mom: (eyes rolling, throat clearing, sighing, silently trying to calculate if there is enough tequila in the freezer for a margarita): "We don't have any books about poops." Lily: "Oh, well. I guess we'll just have to read a poop."
Somebody posted this on their blog and I thought it was a fun, silly way to keep my eyelids open at 1 AM while I pour Clear Eyes into them and blink at the screen, which is starting to resemble something out of Fear And Loathing.