Today. . . 

Today I lost my dog.
Today I lost my dog. The heaviness of this sentence keeps echoing against the walls of my empty chest in utter disbelief. In the silent early hours of this morning, I lay on the hardwood floor of my entryway. She simply couldn’t get up. So I laid down beside her. I tucked my pillow up under her chin, cuddled us both into my favorite blanket and we watched each other breathe. We listened to the sounds of the world around us–a burbling water heater, a furnace kicking on, a car driving down the street–and we just soaked each other in.
Today I lost my dog. When a person is dying, there is talk of bucket lists and wishes lost or come true. Looking into her eyes, it occurred to me that, while my bucket list is the size of a Dicken’s novel, my dog had only ever wanted one thing in life–to be loved by me. To follow me, have my scraps–affection or edible, play with me, walk with me, share my space and time. I spend so much energy believing that fulfillment lies within a great world that I consume at warp speed. She found utter happiness in just being able to love me. Obey me. Catch snips of pie crust and bits of chopped onion that fell from my hands as I cooked. Ride with me in the car and sit by the bath supervising the shaving of my legs. I have eyes for the universe and she only had eyes for me.
Today I lost my dog. And I remembered at the last every word I wanted her to hear. I chanted to her all night about her goodness, her beauty, her lovely soft ears and her verve. I stroked all of her favorite spots until my hands were numb and her fur was wet with my tears and the sweat from my hands. I cooked for her. . . she wouldn’t eat, but I wanted her to know that I could serve her, too. I could comfort her, if she would let me.
Today I lost my dog. And I realized that all of it–even letting me comfort her as she lay dying. It was all for me. Even in dying, she was giving to me. Comforting me. Letting me lie with her and breathe my terrible morning breath on her when she really wanted to be alone. Letting me fawn over her when she felt terrible. Letting me stick her with needles and shove medicine droppers in her mouth.. . all for me. And it’s gone now. The comfort of her is gone. But the loss is only mine. She lived every day in exactly the way that she wanted. In bone chomping, grass rolling, toilet drinking, face licking joy.
Today I lost my dog. And in this life where people come and go and love is fleeting, where friendships end or fade away, the chronic nature of her incessant affection which felt suffocating at times while she lived has ripped a vacant chasm in the fabric of my life. Who will ever love me as well? Love all of my faults and be a silent sounding board for all of my ideas? Who will eat the food that I burn or shuffle in to watch me pee? Who will listen to my outlandish ideas and alternate eyebrow quirks to tell me how interesting I am without interrupting? Who will follow me to the ends of the earth now and remind me that grass is for frolicking and that the sun on your belly is almost heaven on earth?
Today I lost my dog.
Today I lost my dog.

P

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Disenfranchised or Shallow?

I can’t tell. Here’s a low down dirty truth about me–

This morning, The Ginger wanted to know whether the formation of PACs was a result of the original FEC laws from the seventies or the BCRA. This is NOT a typical banana pecan pancake breakfast conversation (I have to put bananas and pecans in them to cover the taste of the protein powder in the mix). He was doing some AP Government test corrections and wanted to use my brain in order to skirt looking up the answer in the textbook (he failed, rather, my brain failed, but I wouldn’t admit that to HIM).

While working an avoidance tactic that simultaneously rose colored my knowledge base on the subject (nonexistent) and gently encouraged him to seek the answer through the appropriate channels of NOT being a lazy ghit, I started to think about how much time I have spent thinking about the Presidential Elections that are about to happen–or rather, how much time I SHOULD be spending thinking about it–and it occurred to me that I have spent most of my idle brain energy in the last week thinking about the fact that I can FEEL a hair growing out of my chin but when I look in the bathroom mirror, I can’t FIND it with the tweezers.

What I want to know is this–If I have (honestly) squandered the portion of my intelligence that I should be investing in strong political decisions in this way, does that make me shallow or disenfranchised? Both? Should I put more effort into changing my life path? Am I the only woman on the planet who obsesses about one stray Billy Goats Gruff style chin protrusion? What is the meaning of it all?

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Nobody should fly but me.

Every time that I fly, I am struck by the very real possibility that, while I am a semi-professional flyer, this might just be the very first goddamned time that ANY OF THESE OTHER FUCKERS HAVE EVER GOTTEN ON AN AIRPLANE. As I sit in O’Hare (shout out for electrically changing plastic seat covers-whoop whoop), I would like to present to you the top ten reasons why everyone who is flying today except me SUCKS.

10.  To begin, if you are, I don’t know, a person who has more than one brain cell, you understand the concept of checking in online the day before the flight. Click. Click. Print. OR Click. Click. Download. WHY, oh why, are there 40 people in line at the ticket counter?! Don’t annoy those poor people at the counter with your inability to function and whiny special requests. Those counters are for people under 12 traveling alone, over 90 doing the same and those who have a physical impairment that prevents online check in. You can check your bag at the curb. You shouldn’t be checking a bag, anyway, which brings me to. . .

9.  Unless you are going downhill skiing or competing in the Miss America Contest, if you are checking a bag, you have packed too much. Waaaaaay too much. People who overpack are exactly what is wrong with the world today. You want everything, when you want it, which is five minutes ago. You can’t compromise, can’t do without, can’t clean as you go. You are always second guessing, consuming, and panicking. With the above two exceptions and a maybe for your own destination wedding, though if I’m catching you in time, let me make a case for skipping a gown–it’s a total waste of money, if you have a doctor’s note or military orders that say otherwise, DON’T CHECK A BAG. It’s dumb.

8.  Let’s talk about TSA –Something happened in 2001. I’m not sure if you heard about it, but some assholes hijacked two planes and changed everything we think about safety in air travel. In prior and subsequent episodes of jackassery, other miserable weenies have tried and failed to hijack, blow up, crash, and just create mayhem on airplanes. Yeah, I get it, TSA isn’t perfect. Not even close. But if you don’t want to participate in TSA screening, aren’t responsible enough to plan ahead and leave enough time for it, or are just plain too damned important to be bothered, DON’T FLY. No joke. Make a new plan, Stan. As far as I am concerned, your incessant whining to the poor line manipulator and blue suited hall monitor that you are going to miss your flight if he doesn’t put you at the front of the line is evidence that you are a terrorist. If you think that TSA is useless, come up with a better plan and propose it to the government. Until then, SHUT UP and take off your shoes. ALSO, the rules have been in place for FIFTEEN YEARS! FIF–TEEN YEEEEEEEARS, motherfuckers! Have your boarding pass and ID out by the time you are in the front of the line. Have your shoes off, belts off, pockets emptied and jewelry off BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE!! We’re not asking you to cure cancer. We’re asking you to take the items that could be mistaken for weapons of terrorism out for inspection. It is a wonder to me that a group of 100 people will stand in a queue like sheep for 35 minutes staring at their Facebook timelines (note, you–yeah you, the short guy whose shoulder I was gawking over all morning–you are boring and stupid and so are all of your friends) but when they get to the front of the line, they have forgotten what the hell they are even doing in an airport. “What? Who, me? Oh, my shoes? Weird, I never knew that was a thing.” Also, I have a thirty page single spaced paper with footnotes prepared about people who put their belongings in seven filthy, never sanitized plastic TSA totes. The Cliff’s Notes version is this–I hope you get Hepatitis C.

7.   To the terminal power pigs out there–if you have to plug in three devices in the airport, you have failed to plan, you are an idiot and everyone hates you. Were you running Microsoft Corporate Headquarters from the plane? No? Then put your shit away and buy a book. You are in dire need of a book. Then there’s the OTHER kind of power pig–come on, we all know this person. . . they are standing around the desk at the gate using a Starbucks Napkin to wipe some pretentious aioli stain off of their fake back-alley Louis Vuitton satchel and trying rudely to force the attendant at the desk to upgrade them to first class. Let me tell ya something, if you didn’t PAY for first class, you aren’t first class. Sit your low rent ass down, eat a Subway and baked chips with the rest of us plebes and wait for them to call your boarding group number, you entitled piece of Group 4 crap.

6.  Let’s chat about getting on a plane. Airlines aren’t dumb. They load first class passengers first–the extra cost of the ticket is NOT for reheated rubberized chicken bits and a little more leg room, they are tickets to the comedy show of watching the rest of us stand around while, one by one, one hundred people learn how to walk in a line and put their bag away. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?! People don’t know their seat numbers! Did I accidentally step into the line for a parade celebrating colossal stupidity? These bastards ogle every seat for malingering moments on their slow stuttering walk to their row. Stop seat shopping and get to your own row, lollygaggers! Once they get to their row, instead of sitting down and letting everyone else get past, passengers slowly begin the “Please Punch Me Repeatedly in the Face” dance of, hmmm. . . which one of these is mine? Shall I slowly take my coat off here in the aisle? Should I negotiate with the flight attendant for a blanket right now while I’m holding up the loading of the plane? I wonder if, since I’m in the aisle seat, I should definitely sit down, buckle my seatbelt, and take out some complicated macrame project that I’m working on so that as the subsequent inside passengers on my row arrive, I will have to slowly pretend that letting people into a row where I am sitting is a magically delicious first and take five minutes re-folding my Hogwart’s banner or whatever and then forget how to remove the seatbelt.

5.   I would like to discuss for a minute my airplane real estate. My little plot of land at 9A is small, but I paid the rent in full. I have a certificate that proves my temporary ownership of this spot. Let me say this, as I am now sharing row 9 with some smelly neckless void–he’s big, like linebacker big and he’s sitting with his thighs spread as wide as the Starbucks merslut (look again at the whole logo, not just the circle and you’ll get it)–if you need to put the armrest up because it’s “Bugging you?” I don’t give a hamster’s ass if you are ‘buggin.’ This 2.5 inch metal divider is the personal space barrier that I pretend prevents me from catching your cooties! The armrest isn’t optional unless we’re lovers. And I don’t mean casual lovers. I mean, I’ve slept with you without shaving my legs, you know what I say in my sleep, lovers. This means NOT YOU. Get your torso out of my personal space. I get that some people are giant. It happens. I’m rude, you’re big. I’ll write down what I want to say instead of screaming it in your face. You buy two seats. There. Life is good.

Where am I? Oh right, 4.  Let’s talk about your in flight meal. Last month, I boarded a plane in Hartford, Connecticut with a woman who was carrying an apocalypse prep sized serving of lobster rolls in a greasy cardboard box with no lid. Her snack for the one hour flight was three pounds of cooked lobster chunks tossed in garlicky butter and shoved into wonder bread. I’ve ridden with oniony hamburger eaters, hard boiled egg salad tossers, pepperoni pizza munchers, granola bar crunchers, coffee slurpers, alcoholic binge drinkers. . . you name it, I’ve seen it. Here’s the food/plane gist–if it is stinky, messy or ridiculous, it is not airplane food. If it is loud, sticky or makes you burp or fart, it is NOT airplane food. Before you buy an item to masticate in my steel tube of annoyance presence, ask yourself this question, “Does this food impinge on other peoples’ comfort?” If the answer, on a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 means “I couldn’t even tell that my row mate was breathing” and 10 means “Geez officer, I can’t figure out either how I turned a boarding pass into a shiv, repeatedly stabbed him and managed to keep from getting blood splatter on my tray table once he started steaming mussels with a camp stove he pulled from his carryon bag,” any food that rates higher than a 2 IS NOT AIRPLANE FOOD.

3.  Manners. Yes. Manners. What happened to manners? What happened to saying excuse me when you bump my elbow with your handbag as you traipse down the aisle? Why do people not turn slightly to the side while retrieving items from the overhead bin? Let me tell you, looking up from my crossword puzzle to find your comfort pants clad crotch in my face is always a bad surprise. Why don’t people use please and thank you while ordering beverages from the flight attendant? Their service level is not tip motivated. That they can manage a smile at all when dealing with large quantities of traveling morons is a miracle. Why can’t people in airplanes pick up on social cues? When I have a book open on my lap, the crossword under that, I’m not making eye contact and I am wearing headphones, I am not currently accepting applications for the Please Tell Me Your Life Story Club. Seriously. We are not speed dating. There might come a time when we can choose our seat assignments by looking around at other passengers and choosing to sit with the most interesting ones. Today is not that day. Also, when that day comes, I’m sitting next to the mute ones.

2.  I would like to have a short conference with you about flying with children. If at all possible, don’t do it. There. I said it. Your kids are irritating. They’re irritating in restaurants, they’re irritating in the grocery store and they have no business in an art museum. A plane is worse than all of those things because I can’t stare openly at you with my best “bitch, please” face then sneer and leave. I am trapped with your bad parenting choices. And I bought a ticket to it. Let me assure you that NOBODY is into that kind of masochism. Now, some of you know that I’m not talking about YOUR children. The ones that are bathed, that don’t have a burbly lava low of neon green snot pouring out of their faces, the ones who play quietly in their seat and sleep in adorably contorted lumps over the armrest. I’m talking about the filthy, boogered, screaming, yelling, seat kicking, needy leeches that some of you have spawned. Those kids belong in one place and one place only–your home–okay, maybe reform school. This isn’t rocket science, either. As the mother of two grown humans, I can make you this promise. And I mean PROMISE. If your kid isn’t old enough to understand how to behave on an airplane, wherever you are taking him is a stupid waste of your time and money. They won’t remember it, it won’t impact their lives in any positive or meaningful way, and you are an irritating ghit for forcing us to endure their ear piercing screams while you drag them 1000 miles to sweat and whine all day in a rental stroller and eat a $20 Mickey Mouse shaped warm pretzel. Within two hours of landing, you will definitely say the following words to your spouse, “Why do we even bother? They would be having more fun in a $20 plastic back yard pool right now. And there’d be booze there for us.”

1.  Last, but certainly not least to make the top ten reasons that everyone else who is flying sucks. . . disembarking. I love it when a plane lands. I mean, honestly, I am on a voyage however you slice it so plane rides are pretty awesome, but after the whole taking off part, there is really just a lot of boring sitting around. The landing not only means that adventure is afoot (or completed) but it’s also kind of fun in a “WHEEEEEEE” sort of way. So, it is not landing that bothers me. What bothers me is that, as soon as the airplane lands, every dipshit on the plane is in some frantic race to be the first person off the plane. Once and for all, I’m going to clarify the social construct that is the one and only appropriate way to get off of a plane following a successful landing. If we’re crashing, you suckers better fight for your life because I have a black belt in carpet hot lava and I will jump OVER you to the exit row before you can say, “Just got elbowed in the face.” A. DO NOT stand up until the plane has stopped moving. Pack up your stuff–or don’t–if you want to hang out in the plane all day, that’s fine, too, and wait until the people about two rows up from you are standing to exit. Not standing to loiter in the aisle because the door isn’t open yet. Standing to exit, as in, all of the rows in front of them are already vacated. B. I don’t care when your connection is. At all. Don’t even bring it up. You’re not cutting in line. If your connection was tight, you should have paid for first class, they get off first. If you try to squeeze by everyone usurping your rightful position in the egress cycle, I will push you, shame you, talk loudly about how you kick puppies and generally make you sorry. C. When it is your turn and you finally grab your bag and walk the plank to the terminal, KEEP WALKING. Every time you people walk into the terminal, you hard stop cartoon style as if you were being forced to walk down a giant accordion folded Habitrail and you had no idea what would be at the end of your journey and the rest of us pile up on your heels while you gawk around at the new terminal. What?! Did you think that the new terminal would look just like the other terminal? Were you expecting that the airplane would land in the lobby of your hotel and we were walking you to your room? Are you waiting for Hula girls to give you leis? WALK dummy. Walk. To the bus station to buy your ticket home because I don’t want to share another plane ride with you!

Well, that’s all for now. Tune in next flight for an in-depth analysis of why I drop arsenic into the coca colas of passengers who wear pajamas to travel–because they had to get up so early.

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My REAL Resume

I am updating my resume. I’m not looking for a job, it’s just that sometimes, I like to sit down and put my accomplishments in writing. For me. Also, I am equally forgetful and prone to embellishment so I think that it is important to state, “just the facts, ma’am” while I remember them.

That being said, I feel like my professional resume is a very poor reflection of who I ACTUALLY am. It’s a contrived concatenation of colloquial conquests that paradoxically tells the reader exactly what they THINK they want to know about me while not actually informing them of all of the things that they SHOULD know about me (like how brilliantly I alliterate). I kind of hate it. So I have decided to write a different kind of resume. One that is meaningful, honest, and would land me the kind of career where I could happily spend time earning money. . .if you can’t see the photo, there is a hyperlink below.  Resume.jpg

Resume

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Facewash – A Parenting Play in Two Acts

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Last evening, while unpacking a bag of toiletries from the store. . . .

Me: Hey, boys. Put this in your shower and use it on your face.

The Ginger: Um, I don’t think so. It’s kind of inappropriate looking.

Me: There’s nothing inappropriate about face wash. It’s great for blackheads and I bought the mens’ version so it doesn’t smell like a “Chick Product.” Use it.

The Giant: Nah. It looks insensitive.

Me: I’m not trying to be insensitive. There are blackheads on your nose. Use the wash. I love you regardless of the status of your pores.  Female society at large might not share my unconditional approval.

The Giant: No. It is black. I’m not using a black face wash.

Me: Nobody is going to SEE you in the SHOWER, you jackass.  You rinse it off.

The Giant: Blackface is inappropriate and insensitive even in private, Mom.

The Ginger: Yeah. Just so you know, this is definitely turning into one of those stories that I will tell my grandchildren–the time my mom made me put on blackface every day in the shower.

Me: Put. It. In. Your. Shower.

The Giant: This “Yes, Ma’am” is brought to you by a conscientious objector.

The Ginger: Yeah, I’ll feel so dirty about getting clean.

This morning, as I’m pouring myself a cup of coffee, the Giant enters the kitchen looking serious. . .

The Giant: I feel TERRIBLE.

Me: <panic> How?! Where?! Did you barf?

The Giant: It’s just. It’s just that I feel like. . . like I’ve seriously wronged a significant group of people. My face. My face just feels. . . . racist.

The Ginger, slowly coming down the stairs, acting like he’s melting into the floor.

The Ginger: I’m soooooorry Democratic paaaartyyyyyy. . . .

Me:  You DO understand that inferring that a racial sensitivity is specific to a political party is ridiculous, right?

The Giant: You DO understand that the ridiculous fruit is landing right underneath the ridiculous tree, right?

I slid their ommeletes on their plates, grabbed my coffee mug and left the kitchen and heard. . . 

The Giant:  I’m thinking we should let up or she’s going to make us eat cereal for dinner.

Then. . . Loud fork clink.

 

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Sorry, (Whatever is Italian for Charlie)

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Dear Italian People I Have Known,

I regret to inform you that you may be required by nationality to disown me after this post, but it must be said. . . I know that this pasta shape has a name. It was printed on the package. There were a lot of letters. Italian seems to be a language for a person whose tongue is very talented (if you married an Italian guy, go you). But as the leader of the world, I hereby declare that this shape shall heretofore be called “ADORABLE LITTLE JELLYFISH” pasta. I am writing an email to the Pope. It’s a done deal. Don’t fight the inevitable. Jellyfish is a new pasta shape. And it holds soooo much sauce. Perfetto! (see what I did there?)

With love and fond memories of our past exploits and a hope for forgiveness for renaming your national food heritage with terminology from Little Golden Books,

Pam

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What Brings the Boys to the Yard?

Let’s be clear about something. Shakes should be made of ice cream. Only of ice cream. Not of protein, not of yogurt, not of fruit. Ice. Cream.

I don’t want to see the nutrition information on a liquid that you are calling a “shake.” Not the protein to carb ratio, the amount of calcium, or any other detail that convinces me to consume your melted warm powdery oyster textured sweety goo instead of a cheeseburger for lunch! The best thing about a shake is its ability to combine calorie rich foods into a happiness substrate. With a straw.

Why do you drink your meals? Do you hate your teeth? Are your bowels lazy? What did real food ever do to you?

I only drink shakes made with ice cream and I only drink juice that can be mixed with vodka. Really. If vodka is your juice’s friend, we’re a go. For the record, vodka loves cranberry, orange, grapefruit, pomegranate, and even tomato juice. Vodka hates all semi liquid concoctions masquerading as “juice.” If it has a vegetable in it, it’s SAUCE. This is food 101. Fruit blood=juice. Vegetable blood=sauce/consommé/purée. Mammal blood=blood. Fish blood=shit, that’s blood too. But somehow it’s grosser because it can’t be made into delicious sausages.

If you drink your meals in the form of a reconstituted powder, you should refer to the concoction as a “Liquid Meal Replacement Substrate (from concentrate).” That is all.

 

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