Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!!

40 years ago today a young woman, probably alone and scared, pushed me into this world and did the most unselfish thing possible and gave me away in the knowledge that I'd be better taken care of. Or else she didn't have room in her VW bug for a baby and her bongo drums, but whatever. In any case, September 19th was my debut and I've taking extra bows ever since.

The big birthdays always give me some growing pains. I remember turning 10 and a friend of my mother's making a big deal about being "2 digits! You're 2 digits now! You'll never be anything else but 2 digits!" and I thought nervously to myself, well shit, maybe 2 digits is too much to handle, jeez lady, get a grip and shut up you're freaking me out!! Then I ate cake. Of course looking back now it was silly but my sensitive cheese-brain got a little stressed out over it.

Photographic evidence: Home haircut and 2 giant front teeth swallowing my whole face.

Then there was 13. The intro age into teenagerdome. The time when I was straddling between being a little kid and being a little lady. Barbies in one hand and lip gloss in the other. I clearly recall loving that age because for a short time I could bounce between those 2 worlds with ease. Until the zits and periods showed up that same year (on the school sanctioned 4 day ski trip thank you very fucking much.)

Photographic evidence: High waisted pants and feathered hair.

Then there was sweet 16. People really make a big stink about that one. In my day it was left-overs from the 50's when 16 meant you were about a minute from being engaged so your family could marry you off the day after graduation with corresponding songs by bouffant haired blonds crowding the airwaves. Now it's the second or third? MTV generation with the spoiled rich bitches sobbing onto their Escalade dashboards when mommy won't let them wear nothing but duct tape to their party. Mean mommy!

I was really excited about my 16th birthday and started planning my party a couple of months in advance. For some reason my mother felt a party that year was unnecessary. I think it was because she turned 16 in that golden age I mentioned above but her family didn't have the money or inclination to celebrate beyond a family mention and maybe a cake, so she put the stop on that. It was horrible a the time but I get it now. I was allowed to invite 1 special friend to a fancy restaurant and had an OK time.

Photographic evidence: Very liberally applied gray eye shadow. Oi.

Then there was 18. I think I had a big party. I can't really remember but I do recollect being a slight bit worried that I was now "legal" and could get arrested for statutory rape so I needed to be careful. Christ on a crutch, the things that go through my dumb brain. Like that would ever happen, not-to-mention I was still a virgin. Tard.

Photographic evidence: ??

21 had it's pressure to be perfect with the perfect amount of debauchery and hope that I'd finally get to whip out my ID and the bar would have to serve me because HA HA! I'm legal now boyee. I've always looked younger than I am and the ID scramble lost its magic a few years later and now I just laugh HA HA HA and thank them.

I turned the magic age of drinking on a Monday night. Not the best part of the week for partying. I went out with my then boyfriend and best girlfriend and we bar hopped from one empty establishment to the next pouring booze down my throat until I was literally blind. Of course the next day I was sick as a dog but I supposed I reached my goal.

Photographic evidence: The universe's largest shoulder pads holding up my giant head of hair.

When I turned 30 I was in a weird place in my life. I'd filed for divorce, finally got my asshole husband out of the house and wasn't feeling like a penis magnet. At the last minute I decided, screw it, I'm throwing myself a fucking party and that's just what I did. I rented out a private loft at my favorite bar, invited a plethora of friends and acquaintances, got properly hammered and made out with a 24 year old stranger I met on the dance floor. It changed my way of thinking forever.

Photographic evidence: Me and the stud bleary eyed with pink rings of my lipstick smeared around our mouths. Excellent.

Today I turn 40. Life has gone in a zillion different directions in the last 10 years. Some good, some bad, some I never dreamed of for all varieties of reasons. Big birthdays like this always make your life score-card pop up in front of your face. Accomplishments, goals, obstacles overcome. What's the score?

I've been having a hard time with this one but I did with all the others too. And with age hopefully comes wisdom and I know it's just a stupid number and I can't let that panicky voice in my head take over telling me I can't do stuff now because it's never too late and one of the perks of getting old is not giving a fuck what other people think. So there. And of course there have been triumphs and if I want more it's up to me to do it.

I'm so grateful for what I have. A few years ago I was afraid I'd never make it to this age and I'm so glad to be here. Looking beyond the number, because GAH! 40! How the fuck did that happen? I choose to celebrate the awesome stuff about myself and focus on the good things in my life.

I'm so fortunate to be with the love of my life. As lame as it may sound, I didn't know it could be like this. Even when he leaves the oven on and he's snoring and I want to smother him a wee bit with a pillow, I'm still blown away by the love I feel for him and from him.

I have some of the most spectacular friends a person could hope to have. They are funny and kind and tough when they need to be and aren't scared away by my shit. My famdamily is like every other, a bunch of weirdo's with baggage but I've had a good life and have always been taken care of and I love them. Even my jerky brother.

Today I salute the woman who gave birth to me and the parents who did the rest of the very hard work. I thank my lovely friends and send kisses to my family. Virtual hugs for my online friends for being so kick freaking ass. Love and all that shit for you all! And for my baby, I cherish you for taking such good care of my heart. You've kept your promise and I love you more than my luggage.

I took the day off today to lounge and relax and eat chocolate until I go into a sugar coma. I'll put the final plans into place for my party this weekend, which happens to be at the same bar from 10 years ago, and eat my favorite junk food. I will take a nice long nap. I will be nice to myself. I'd like it if you would do the same.

Photographic evidence: You'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


While flipping channels today I zoomed past a war movie I had the misfortune of seeing as a young girl in the summer of 1976. I recognized it right away, which is funny since that was about a million years ago and after looking up the year it came out was surprised at the date and the age I was when I got to witness 2 hours of WWII carnage that left me slightly scarred with the image of Charlton Heston, or whoever, burning alive in his crashing Corsair.

I remember being dropped off by my mother with my bff and her younger brother at the only movie theater within 15 miles. A small hole of a room with exceptionally sticky floors and a questionable staff of be-fro'd burnouts. I think Gene Simmons worked the soda machine.

It was a very hot July day and no doubt my mother could have done without me under her feet whining about the temperature, my unending boredom and begging for sugary treats. So, my little ass was deposited at the theater for a double feature. Forget the fact that were 9 and 8 respectively (good gawd) we were seeing unrated (?) movies never meant for people our age but no one gave that a thought.

After the intermission, peeling our keds off the floor, pee break, and popcorn refill, we took our seat again for the second feature. This one would prove even worse than the first and would haunt me for weeks to come. Bigfoot. That big damn hairy scary fucking Bigfoot. Nevermind the fact that we were alone at that age, but we shouldn't have seen either of those movies!

That effing monster movie Messed. Me. Up. I couldn't sleep for weeks without my parents both being in my room trying to convince me that there was no Bigfoot looming in the doorway or scary things under the bed or in the closet or monsters waiting to eat my face when the lights went out. Although we all know differently, don't we. Just ask Stephen King.

Another movie that jacked me up for half of my life was some B creature feature where some guy tries to save his wife by keeping only her head alive in a fucking pan of juices after she's decapitated in a car accident. I saw this when I was 5 years old after a day of kindergarten happily eating paste and showing my panties to the boys. I was never the same again.

I've had a strange relationship with all things creepy. In junior high I would regularly check out fiction and nonfiction accounts of ghost stories and look at freak show and circus people pictures that seemed to be oddly abundant in our small library. Lobster men, parasitic twins, conjoined heads floating in pickle jars. I was a tad obsessed.

At the same time I couldn't handle more than a few minutes in a campfire round of scare the shit out of the kids. I'd start to shake and cry and through my chattering teeth beg to be anywhere but in the middle of a tale involving a beating heart under the floorboards or Lizzy Borden coming to get me with a sharpened axe.

Things didn't improve when my 6th grade teacher showed our class some bizarre film about a farmer from the 1800's tending to his freshly dead wife on the kitchen table, cleaning her skin and dressing her in a fresh bonnet when all the time she was really alive or zombified or something horrible and when he's out on the farm she gets into a brawl with a mountain lion who fucks her up and kills her for real and he finds the aftermath which is shown in a series of strobe-light bursts.

WTF, teacher? WTF late 70's? WTF?

By my junior year in high school things began to change. Watching scary movies with a group of friends was a fun thing to do and my intense reaction was starting to wear off. Somehow a tradition started between my best friend Matty and I and every Sunday we'd rent a few slasher flicks, get a can of nacho cheese and some chips and spend the afternoon squealing and laughing and overdosing on junk food. It's one of my fondest memories.

Now, I can't get enough. We go out of our way to see as many scary movies as we can that are worth a look and I am a religious King follower. I've always loved Halloween and look forward to the season more and more every year. Decorating the house with spooky stuff and planning out a month of horror movies to watch. The dark skies and ghost stories shared on the radio. I love it all.

I still get scared sometimes and can work myself up in instant, seeing things out of the corner of my eye, not wanting to reach for that lightswitch in the pitch dark, just knowing something is reaching for me at the same time, and I don't like it when the cat jerks her head up at the ceiling looking at nothing. But a good scare gets the blood flowing. Well placed words that bring the hair up on the back of your neck is a thrill. Watching Paris Hilton cut into tiny pieces is delicious.

I might be turning 40 in a few days but I'll never stop enjoying a good old-fashioned fright.
Even if I have do to occasionally watch through my fingers.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Is it fall yet?

Picture me gritting my teeth. Please envision me making a fist, pursing my pouty lips and flaring my nostrils. Then imagine I'm breathing heavy and turning red and reaching for a very large hammer. Now run away.

I'm having system issues. Both at work AND at home. Problems that make my computers freeze, lock, hang, swoon, hiccup, block, weep, gossip, binge, purge, write bad checks, and in all general terms of intense annoyance NOT FUCKING WORK RIGHT.

My work puter acts like a surly teenager sunk deep into the couch and barely lifts their half-lidded eyes when you ask it to do something. Now, please. Right now. Please do it now. NOW! RIGHT NOW. FOR FUCKSSAKE GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO IT NOW! But they still don't move a slack muscle and in fact fall into a deep and comatose sleep while you wait and wait and stomp your feet and have a stroke and get very pissed, not accomplishing what you want to do.

Half the sites I try to open simply won't, half the links on this blog are now blocked, and random pics are missing then show up then go missing again. In a word. It sucks. Right in the middle of trying to post this entry Blogger was blocked for not being a "work related" site. RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. They're so on to me. Assholes.

And now my system at home has apparently been bogged down by the 20,000 photos I've (accidentally many, many times) uploaded and (accidentally) shared between 4 different editing programs and/or it's haunted since my keyboard decides not to work whenever it damn well feels like it.

This all leads to much rebooting, frustration, hair pulling, screaming, tantrums, and threats of throwing heavy equipment onto the ground in hopes it will implode in a fiery mass of shitty non-working wires and motherboards. Not to mention the massive cramp that's been put into my time-wasting at my retarded job and creative-outlet avoiding at home because gawd knows I have the patience of a short statured flea and cannot wait 60 seconds for a page to load.

Christ. Almighty.

Hopefully I can at least get things running better at home because I'm close to going crazy and I don't think whitey can handle one more of my whining fits while I pound my hands on a dead keyboard growling like a drunk monkey. It's not attractive, is what I'm saying.


We've finally gotten a weather break and the temps have gone from uninhabitable to I think I'll keep my skin after all. It was hotter than Satan's balls in a broiler pan the entire Labor Day weekend and any hint of a possible plan to venture out of the house was scrapped when I heard a warning on the radio to be careful while driving since the heat could cause hot tires to explode. What is this, Phoenix for crapsake?

I didn't step outside but about 4 times from Saturday afternoon until Tuesday morning. Although I was desperate to take a photo of something other than the cat and the one flower that's still alive on my patio so I took an early morning walk around my neighborhood on Monday.

It wasn't even 9:00 a.m. yet and within 100 yards of my front door I had sweat rolling down my back and steam fogging my sunglasses. The shorts I was wearing were made of cotton and defective lycra and have a tendency to lose their shape a little bit and while I walked around they began to slip down to a level lower than appropriate. And because I was so sticky with sweat when I crouched down to shoot a rose I plumber-cracked my entire neighborhood and those damn shorts got stuck like that. I pulled and tugged and balanced camera equipment with holding my pants up and finally said fuck it and went home, took a cold shower and stayed the fuck inside.

Summer really belongs to kids anyway. No school. All play all the time. Swimming. Games. Hide-n-seek until the street lights came on then running home for a bar-b-que'd dinner. Sugary, cold popsicles for dessert. It was non-stop good times. Well, most of it.
Like 90% of the houses on our street we had a pool, which was a blast, but swimming on the day the pool man came meant chemical poisoning and squinty eyes for the night. How the hell we didn't all grow an extra head I don't know.

All of us kids would watch whatever cute high school boy was working his summer job throw a handful of this and a cup of that then a thingamajig into the deep end where bubbles would rise and fizz and a soup of caustic substances would be deposited into our wet playland to keep it fresh and blue. We'd barely make it the requisite hour waiting time then happily jump in, swimming and splashing for hours, getting out smelling like a fresh jug of bleach and unable to see. It was great.

And I don't think our parents ever let us in the house. We were ordered outside all damn day no matter how effing hot it was. Although I really can't blame them. We were dirty rats getting into all kinds of trouble and I wouldn't want 5 unruly hooligans dripping otter pops all over my light colored carpet. (Didn't those things rip the shit out of your mouth? It was worth it but damn.)

Now I associate summer with blinding sun, migraines, chafed tits, and a searing hot steering wheel. Ah well. At least now I don't smell like chlorine, I can spend the whole weekend in bed if I want to and my AC unit could put frost on your ovaries. And that, my friends, is what I call a good time.