Thursday, January 26, 2017

Scars and haircuts

One month ago right now I'd just completed my signature black-out-and-fall-Timber!-and-crack-the-tile-floor-with-my-head-and-lacerate-my-face-with-my-shattered-glasses-and-bite-mostly-through-my-lip-and-get-a-concussion-that-hurt-like-hell trick and I was finally back awake and reasonably coherent as the emergency room doctor sewed up my face with anesthesia that totally didn't work. But I was a big boy and I whimpered only 37 times. Before I lost count.
Anyway! I sure can prattle on and on and never get to the point sometimes. OK, all the time. Like right now. I mean really. How tedious.
Anyway again! I've had stitches and protective stitches glue and scabs and oozy gross stuff all over my face and in my beard since my visit to the anesthesia-resistant emergency room sewing circle and since I looked like a moldy desiccated cat anyway I kinda stopped caring that my gooey beard was scraggling down over my neck and my hair was blossoming into a luxurious, full-bodied thneed.
But! As of this week my beard goo has finally disappeared and nearby children have stopped spraying me with Zombie-B-Gone and since it's actually been one month to the day I finally went and got a haircut and a beard trim and five new shirts at Target but don't tell my mom that last part because she keeps saying I'm finally handsome again and if she found out I'd gone recreational shopping it would totally harsh her buzz as the kids say. Or the drug addicts. Whatever.
Whew! So I finally got to the point and I feel human again and my mom says I look handsome and I'm kinda hoping when everything is totally healed I still end up with a badass scar on my cheek so when I'm in the nursing home and little schoolchildren come visit me through their scary-old-people-need-love-and-poorly-drawn-crayon-art program and they ask me about my battle scar I can regale them with the epic tale of that one time I passed out from standing up too fast to change the laundry.

Pointless Poetry

Shoes so pretty
Bitchy kitty

Copper bin
Knickknacks in

Cabinet red
Near my bed

Basement cool
Cat's a tool

Frame and click
Facebook pic!

Gym ablutions

From the left: my gym bag, my Dopp kit, my toothbrush holder, my toothbrush.
Not pictured: the back seat of my car, which is the outer shell of the Russian nesting dolls that are the essential elements of my post-workout ablutions.
(Russian nesting dolls. That's sure a random metaphor. I wonder how in the dickens something like that popped into my head.)
Anyway, my point is nobody ever touches or needs to touch -- or even really has access to -- this stuff. Not my parents. Not my sister. Not our neighbors. Not our cat.
And let's be serious here: Everyone knows a cat can't drive a stick shift. She has no opposable thumb strength to pull the stick into reverse -- which is hard for me even when I'm not holding a Diet Coke and texting -- and her clutch foot is always in the air in case she needs to lick her butt. So she has no readily available access to the inside of my car, which she's terrified of anyway because the inside of my car to her is the sole gateway to the fiery pits of hell at the V. E. T.
Which begins me to the root of this very unsettling mystery I'm about to gross you out with: In the last few days, my toothbrush and my toothbrush holder -- the very ones pictured here, which have been Russian-nesting-dolled (there's that out-of-nowhere metaphor again) in the back seat of my car since time immemorial (which, come to think of it, might have something to do with the problem) -- have started to smell the same way my formerly favorite shoes did when Bitch Kitty (allegedly, which I say here solely to preclude any tedious defamation lawsuits) peed in them. Which is a feat even Houdini couldn't accomplish, and he had opposable thumbs. And plenty of motive now that I've implied he may have tried to or possibly did pee on my fully nested toothbrush.
Let me take a very important moment here to be uncompromisingly clear about something: I noticed this pee smell well before my defiled toothbrush came anywhere near my toothpaste or my mouth. My only regretful act was putting it (in my similarly defiled toothbrush holder) back in my Dopp kit with the errant belief that these actions would remind me to buy new oral-hygiene implements to replace them. Which took me three unfortunate attempts at brushing my teeth to accomplish. And thank goodness I have a lot of sugar-free mints at work. Which is an unsettling confession for an entirely different post.
Anyway! The toothbrush and toothbrush holder have now been discarded and replaced, the Dopp kit (which still just smelled like soap and trepidation) has been scrubbed, the cat is on lockdown, but the mystery of the peefiled toothbrush remains unsolved to this day.
And that, my friends, is why you should use toothpaste with whitening powers. Just in case.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I think I'm holding pie in this picture

This photo appeared with no context in my Facebook memories this morning and I've been thinking about it all day. And not just because I was what looks to be more or less successfully doing that transparently vain hold-something-in-your-hand-and-turn-slightly-to-show-off-your-guns gay photo-posing thing. It's actually -- and admittedly --because I think this is a really good picture of my sister and me, but more importantly it's because this picture nicely captures the happiness -- the true, grateful-to-have happiness -- we share both as siblings and as members of our larger family. I love my sister. I love all of us. I love the experiences and the milestones and the journeys and the conversations and the jokes and the secrets and the traditions and even the struggles -- actually, especially the struggles because they tend to be more memorable and clearly more defining -- we've shared and are sharing and will continue to share as we grow and evolve and shape what makes our family our family.
I'm in awe of my sister as a mother, as a volunteer, as a community pillar, as a family anchor and sometimes as a secret shopper for a clueless uncle who never knows what to get the kids for Christmas. I'm in awe of my brother-in-law as father, as a clear-headed impartial observer, as an unsentimental and excessively handy neat freak, as an intellect, as an organic member of our family, and as a friend. I'm in awe of my parents as providers, as survivors, as historians, as sentimentalists, as I-still-don't-have-a-full-comprehension-of-how-widely-influential-they-are role models, and as fierce, loving protectors of all of us no matter what. And I'm especially in awe of my niece and nephew as they continue to emerge as kind, decent, studied, aware, intelligent, interesting, truly funny young adults.
I know I am mountaintop fortunate to belong to such a close, loving, awe-inspiring family. I know that the good and the bad and even the very bad will -- because they already have -- keep drawing us closer. I know my niece and nephew and I can spend a whole evening repeating the same Stewie quote well past the point of exasperating tedium and still laugh and still totally get each other.
I know I am in a good place.
And I know we are happy.


That heartbreaking moment when you finally, reluctantly admit to yourself that your longtime Facebook crush -- who has never in your memory initiated a conversation with you and who barely acknowledges your attempts to chat with him and who has demonstrated pretty much less than zero interest in ever maybe even noticing you and who furthermore posts the most perfunctory, derivative, borderline pointless messages on Facebook -- uses way too many exclamation points.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's called a lie

No, this isn't a gratuitous political attack. No, it isn't an overgeneralized, unresearched meme being blindly and irresponsibly passed along in an uncontrollable chain of self-righteous repostings. If you've never seen it before, it's actually an endlessly ubiquitous and years-old fill-in-the-dialogue cartoon that's been used quite regularly to illustrate and/or affectionately mock everything from Super Bowl rivalries to conversations with grammar purists ... admittedly along with much uglier topics.
The dialogue in this cartoon changes from topic to topic, month to month, year to year, but the image never does. Yes, it's a violent image. Yes, that violent image accompanies messages encapsulating what can be intensely heated and violently provocative disputes on any number of volatile topics. But even the most extreme outlier knows that the violence in this image is between two fictional cartoon characters who live in a fictional cartoon universe that's perpetually embroiled in a disproportionately overwhelming climate of physical violence ... and that that universe is depicted in comic books and movies and practically every facet of popular culture readily available to consumers of practically every age. So even the most desperate argument that the cartoon violence in this image is in any way special or inflammatory or irresponsible is ridiculous and ineffectively distracting and categorically unworthy of consideration.
So. On to the message.
Sean Spicer, the Trump administration's press secretary, held his first press conference last Saturday, a little more than 24 hours after Trump assumed the presidency. The press conference lasted an alarmingly -- and uselessly -- short five minutes, where instead of taking questions from the press, he parroted Trump's ponderous whining about the "dishonest" media and disturbingly spent the majority of his five minutes defensively obsessing about the size of the crowd at the inauguration the day before. He cited as "facts" his estimations of the crowd sizes on select platforms and areas of the Mall and the number of riders on the D.C. Metro, a figure that the transit authority promptly disputed. He dismissed the photo of the half-populated Mall printed in the New York Times as a "misrepresentation" without providing any proof or citing any quantifiable, representational population numbers.
And he provided this gem: "Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers, because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out."
Let me suss this out for you: He clearly stated -- with supporting evidence -- that "no one had numbers." Yet he prefaced that by declaring that those non-existent numbers were "inaccurate."
This rambling, uninformed, factually illiterate man who is demonstrably incapable of linear thought is the morally, financially and Constitutionally suspect Trump administration's most visible conduit to the entire Fourth Estate. And that is terrifying.
The next day, Kellyanne Conway, the Trump administration's senior advisor, went on record on NBC's "Meet the Press" in defense of Spicer's vague declarations, unquantifiable refutations and disputed statements about the inauguration crowd sizes. Which by this point were nothing more than a transparently calculated distraction from issues of real substance regarding the new administration.
But Conway was adamant about reframing the language -- the facts, if you will -- about this runaway narrative, and in the space of a minute she TWICE introduced to the American lexicon an instantly viral phrase:
"Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts."
And then:
"We feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there."
Put alternative facts out there. PUT ALTERNATIVE FACTS OUT THERE.
Why is this important?
These are two highly senior, high-profile Trump surrogates who, before Trump even started his first official day in office, have clouded and obfuscated and obstructed the newly imperative national political dialogue with distractions, generalities, unquantifiabilities and demonstrable lies they're instantly reframing with even more distractingly ridiculous euphemisms. And there's no telling how far they'll go from here to obstruct Trump's much-heralded transparency when it becomes politically or suspiciously expedient to do so.
Donald Trump has a thoroughly documented history of lying and -- when challenged -- lying about his lies since the dawn of his presidential campaign. The moment he was inaugurated, his two most high-profile surrogates carried on his ignominious behavior and then concocted a euphemistic lie to cover their tracks.
This cartoon is arguably puerile and oversimplistic, but it all but literally smacks down the outer shell of the Trump administration's expanding nesting dolls of lies. It quickly captures attention, succinctly makes its point and provides an effective way to spread its message quickly.
It's a message people need to know. It's a message people need to understand. It's a message that offers people a vital understanding of the way the Trump administration behaves toward -- and about -- its citizens.
It's an administration that is already hiding its questionable behavior behind desperate, intellectually insulting euphemisms.
Because all it does is lie.

Monday, January 23, 2017

For Future Reference:

The expanded 75-acre Super Target enveloping the west side of Cedar Rapids at 8:00 - 8:30 pm on a chilly January Monday is the exact opposite of where you should look to find:
• White shower heads unencumbered by stupid droopy hand-holdable hoses that just leak anyway
• Blank recordable CDs
• Vintage-looking Donald Duck T-shirts on clearance in my size
• Unheathered fabrics anywhere in the whole damn men's department
• Seriously - heathered shirts are the fashion equivalent of Bitch Kitty in a marching band uniform
• Affordable knockoffs of Kellyanne Conway's inauguration marching band dress
• All the bulk bar soap in the same aisle or even within 10 aisles of each other
• Cat perms
• Packages of fun-size share-with-the-office chocolates on the front shelves by the groceries where they've been reliably located in every Target in the known universe and beyond since the second Roosevelt administration
• Age-appropriate handsome potential boyfriends who aren't suddenly draped in clingy wives or girlfriends as soon as you both reach the end of the aisle
• Sassy pants
• In-focus photos of the new all-white expanded 75-acre Super Target logo from right by your car, which is parked really not that far away because the parking lot is practically empty which is why there are no age-appropriate handsome potential boyfriends wandering the aisles looking for scabby gay guys who sit in their cars listening to Billy Joel while furtively whining on Facebook
• Any fucking left-turn access to Edgewood Road
• Cherry-vanilla yogurt

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I'm bipolar.

Before the Affordable Care Act, I was completely uninsurable -- no special considerations, no gray areas -- if I was unemployed, which I was for over a year before the ACA was enacted ... though I did qualify for relatively expensive COBRA coverage through my former employer that very fortunately filled that time gap.

But COBRA eligibility expires after a fixed time, and without the ACA -- and until I could get stabilized enough to hold a job -- my expanding schedule of doctor visits and my compounding and perpetually evolving psychotropic prescriptions and my surprise hospital visits would rapidly drain me to bankruptcy and eventually relegate me to living on expensive federal disability coverage.

I now have a job but I'm staying with my ACA-sanctioned plan because it specifically covers the entire network of doctors and specialists and pharmacies and hospitals I've managed to assemble and sign release forms for and ensure are thoroughly and reciprocally sharing my complete medical history. Plus I'm not 100% stable and I'm still -- and definitely not without precedent -- spooked about becoming unemployed again, and my ACA-sanctioned plan gives me tremendous peace of mind about maintaining a reliable continuation of coverage.

Let me clarify for the sake of precluding any tedious welfare-state arguments that might arise that I am paying the full premiums and co-pays and deductibles for my coverage and am receiving no federal subsidies. U.S. households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive federal subsidies for policies purchased through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, as they should be. For me, the ACA simply allows me to purchase coverage through a broker or directly from an insurer just like anyone else, with no restrictions or refusals for having a pre-existing condition.

Four weeks ago, I started taking a powerful psychotropic that within a day caused me to black out, slam my head into a tile floor, shred my face with my shattered glasses, bite deep into my upper lip, suffer a concussion and not fully come to until I was holding the side of my face together with a bloody cloth in my sister's car on the way to the emergency room.

We just got the bill for that little adventure, which if I'd still been uninsurable would have struck an immense financial blow. And it doesn't even include the cost of an ambulance since my sister drove me to the hospital. But as this photo shows, my ACA-sanctioned insurance helped save my face, my brain and my finances.

The Affordable Care Act is a vital, grossly overdue federal program that provides medical care and financial protection for millions of citizens in a spectrum of medically and economically challenging situations. Our new president and our newly Republican-controlled congress continue to work noisily and patronizingly and almost belligerently to repeal or dismantle or destroy -- or whatever the spin-certified verb du jour is -- the Affordable Care Act without providing a consistent or sometimes even plausible justification for their efforts and after months and years of chain-rattling still failing to provide even a shadow of a shred of a consensus -- much less a foundational set of proposals over which to negotiate -- on what to enact or not to enact in its absence.

The whole exercise stinks of political theater and desperate partisan grandstanding and manipulative demagoguery that cruelly continues to waste time and resources and patience while the health and solvency and even dignity of millions of sometimes desperate citizens and their families and dependents hang in the balance.

And I can personally attest that it's costing our country immeasurably more than just money.

Meet my new husband!


Friday, January 20, 2017

"Selma to Stonewall"

For nearly a decade and all of an era, my President -- my conscientious, intelligent, egalitarian, accomplished, diplomatic, relentlessly inspiring and unapologetically yes-we-can-ing President -- has brought our nation a mountaintop eight years of dignity and clarity and principled leadership and national apotheosis and -- yes, as promised, as expected, as delivered, as savored day after day after day for two consecutive, exemplary, triumphant administrations -- hope. Calming hope. Inspiring hope. Enduring hope. Presidential hope.

And for the first time in the history of our noble, beautiful, glorious, always-full-of-wonderful-life-changing-promise country, he made me a part of it. A part of the dialogue. A part of the people. A part of the staggeringly hard-fought, always-on-the-front-lines-of-vital-importance equality.

And I am so grateful, Mr. President. So exhilarated. So proud to be a part of your vision. Your promise. Your world.

You have indeed brought us -- all of us, across the country, around the globe -- change we can believe in. So I thank you. We thank you. You have made us immeasurably, profoundly, everlastingly better.

And though we knew this day would come and you and your family would step down with the grace and respect and dignity that have been the hallmarks of your leadership, it's still overwhelmingly difficult to say goodbye.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flashback Friday: Bleach and Pee Edition

Any Bleach will Do. No, wait! One Blond Angel in Heaven. No, wait! Bleach Every Hair on Me. No, wait! Girl, Girl, Girl, Blond Guy. No, wait! Those Flaxen Days. No, wait! Jake's a Megablond.
Rats. I mean goats.
I just wish there were a clever way I could encapsulate my 20-year-old bleach experiment and my concurrent transcendent experience playing the oldest brother (because I was the oldest guy playing a brother) in Theatre Cedar Rapids' transcendent 1999 production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technical Dreamcoat" with these three lovely, talented ladies and a cast of about 750 other lovely, talented people. And one technicolor coat. And one dead bloody goat. And one promotional photo of the dancing brothers that spent a lengthy amount of time holding court in one of those temporarily-captive-audience advertising signs above a urinal at a restaurant across the street from the theater.
Because apparently you have to close every door to pee because any pee will do when you're inspired to go, go, go and then buy tickets to Joseph at Theatre Cedar Rapids in 1999.
But apparently there's just no concise way to tell you that.

Flashback Friday: Confidential Message to my Niece and Nephew Edition

You know that eternally burning question about how if man evolved from apes why are there still apes that accomplishes nothing more than exposing a lazy intellectual belligerence and a staggering lack of science education on the part of the questioner? Well, I lead with that question from the disorienting fog of a groggy morning belligerence on my part inspired by a probably never-to-be-understood fathomless chasm of a referential leap that is the dangerous byproduct of checking Facebook before you crack open your breakfast Diet Coke and being accosted by this photo in that ugly orange Memories frame as it leers hauntingly at you from the top of your news feed. But it nonetheless establishes a sturdy evolution-related platform from which I feel compelled to shout to you this dire warning:
Evolution is real and THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FROM and you and the generations that follow are cursed with an ancestry forged by the unholy alliance between the houses of Montgomery Ward the Musical and Quilted Maxidress on the Prairie and if you don't marry into a healthy gene pool you and all your progeny will eventually find yourselves clad in matching flammable polyester houndstooth sportcoats and coordinating eyelet-detailed blouses attached to patchwork dresses parsimoniously crafted from every scrap of hoarded leftover toaster-cozy fabric in your sewing room.
And no matter how adorable you all are -- and just look at how adorable we all are! -- there will always be a gay uncle who will verbosely dissect your wardrobe choices and gently mock his younger self for being so button-bursting proud to wear a flammable polyester houndstooth sportcoat just like his idolized dad's and post his rambling, incoherent manifesto on social media before he's cracked open his breakfast Diet Coke.
Don't say you haven't been warned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Look! Small adorable animals really DO love me!

It turns out that Bitch Kitty is just an unpleasant poop drop of an outlier on the Every Small Adorable Animal Totally Freaking Loves Jake bell curve -- which isn't even a bell curve at all; it's an enormous universe of purring head scritches and snuggly dogpile naps. With one distant life-sucking black hole known as the Bitch Kitty Belt.

Anyway, I just enjoyed a beyond-delightful evening with superfriend Susan, a freakishly -- FREAKISHLY! -- enormous red bell pepper cut protectively into non-threatening bite-size strips, her four endlessly delightful and Mary Poppins-polite children, and two small adorable dogs that -- I'm sorry -- simply could NOT get enough of my pet-magnet charisma. I tried to take a selfie with both of them, but we all know that the moment you switch a camera to selfie mode, every dog in a four-ZIP-code radius becomes a newborn kitten in a room full of coke-fueled butterflies. So I was able to capture only one dog and the selfless, devoted, undying, instant-soulmate love we share for each other. I think his name is Barney. Or Chester. Whatever. I suck at dog names. The important thing is we've found each other, he's healed my cavernous emotional Bitch Kitty scars and it's far more important that we focus on me than on remembering his name. Which might be Amos. Or Zebulon. Whatever.

Bonding Bonus! Darby here and I are on the same thyroid medication! Except his is the delicious peanut-butter-flavored dog version and mine is the throat-closing earwax-and-corrosion-flavored person version. But the important thing is we've found each other and we share our undying adorable-pet bond. Me and good ol' Dexter. Or Herman. Whatever.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Medical shit

1. I just saw my dad's heart! It was all bloody and veiny and still beating in the triumphantly raised hand of the Mayan priest who savagely ripped it out of his cruelly non-anesthetized thorax in a centuries-old ritual to ban staggeringly repulsive hypocrisy and men with melted-candle faces, first practiced by Mitch McConnell at the dawn of the vampire age. (HA! I kid! Using the art of sarcasm! In reality, Mitch McConnell has a whole melted-candle head. Plus he puts the Hi! in Hypocrite.) But I digress. I actually saw dye flood the veins in my dad's heart on a grainy computer screen as his surgeon told my mom and me that his exploratory cath surgery showed no heart blockages so everything about him heart-wise is fine. And -- I kid you not about this because it would never in a million cat years occur to me to make this up -- the nurse actually and with an authoritative, straight face told my 77-year-old blind father with an established history of heart problems and COPD in the middle of an Iowa winter that he's not allowed to go skateboarding for a week. A whole week. Who comes up with this bullshit? A whole fucking week.
2. So it turns out you lose all your radio presets when you put a new $160 (including labor) battery in your car. Which I know technically isn't medical shit but the hot mechanic at Sears -- which, incidentally, is probably hemorrhaging money and closing stores because it's selling all of its merchandise at 75% off right now -- did have to excise -- which is often used as a medical euphemism for "hack out amid pools of squirty blood and, depending on where on the body we are, maybe the occasional accidental poop" -- my old dying car battery. All of which I'm bringing up just so I can say "excise." And "accidental poop." And "hot mechanic." And, of course, so I can complain that I lost all my radio presets and now I have to retrace my steps and figure out what they were so I can reprogram them all. And who in this world has that kind of time?
3. Speaking of my dad's heart, it seems that on top of all my other this-is-getting-beyond-ridiculous fucking medical issues, I've perhaps also inherited his proclivity for heart problems as well. Because it turns out I I have an enlarged heart quadrant thingamajig, which is a condition that I believe is commonly called cardio-bipolardepressionisn'tenough-thecopayswillkillyou-pulmonary-thenursewilltalkyourearoffandeventellyoushehasenormousfeet-atleastMYfeetarepretty-itis. But I'm not a doctor so I might have misspelled that. Anyway, i had to leave in the middle of Dad's post-stickahugelongthingupyourgrointoyourheart recovery to go get an echo-my-eggo (or something like that; again, I'm not a doctor), which is basically a four-location ultrasound for your heart, only with those sticky pads that rip off all your chest hair and (hopefully) no surprise baby. And a chatty nurse who eventually tells you she has enormous feet. Anyway, I'm now encased in slimy gel residue and I'm missing key patches of chest hair but I did make it back to my dad's hospital in time to jam his Mayan-snatched heart back into his bloody, open thorax, get him all dressed and cleaned up, and help my mom get him back home in time for a cozy, restorative nap.
4. Remember the part up there about my this-is-getting-beyond-ridiculous fucking medical issues? Well, in the last few months I've lost most of the strength, dexterity, fine motor skills and feeling in my right hand, which makes it almost impossible for me to hold a pen, cut pancakes with a fork, start my car, open the toothpaste, squeeze my nail clippers, clip on my CZ chandelier earrings and do pretty much anything else any non-medical-catastrophe-circus-freak can do without even imagining to imagine a world where simple everyday tasks like these are even remotely difficult to impossible. Anyway, it all apparently stems from a compromised nerve in my elbow and it's so severe my doctor sent me to a surgeon yesterday who -- holyshit thankfully -- recommended that I wear a custom arm splint to bed for four weeks first and see if that fixes it. That's right: I went from temporary disabling surgery to a simple sleepytime arm splint -- that, along with my CPAP nose pillows (and Ishitnounot that's the industry term for the rubber air sirens you stuff up your nostrils) and CPAP ultra-secure two-strap headgear and socks because my pretty feet get cold, makes me irresistibly irresistibly irresistibly mega-ultra-come-ravish-me-now sexy-kitty unfairly genetically-superior-lust-objecty in bed -- in one two-minute conversation with the surgeon. And after a lengthy, ponderous, obsessive, life-defining discussion by the the custom-sleepytime-arm-splint-making lady about my choice of Velcro-strap colors that nobody would ever see because I sleep alone in my parents' basement in the endless winter darkness (and I steadfastly kept saying blue every time she tried to confirm with absolute certainty that I was selecting the color that was truly truly truly right for me), I chose blue. And now I get to sleep every night for four weeks encased in a custom sleepytime arm splint (with blue Velcro straps!) to maybe hopefully eventually make it possible for me to reclaim my long-dormant ability to clip my toenails again. Which to me is eminently worth it because a right-handed person who can't use his right hand is nothing more than a filthy syphilitic baby-kicking bipolar claw-hand with an enlarged heart quadrant thingamajig who doesn't deserve to eat reasonably bite-size forkfuls of pancake.
5. Bonus list item! My custom sleepytime arm splint (with blue Velcro straps!) was engineered with an as-advertised 30-degree bend at the elbow. So it looks kind of like a massive concave banana (with blue Velcro straps!) when I'm not sexily sleeping in it. Once I'm all healed and my fine motor skills are restored, I'm thinking I might use it as a handsome table centerpiece or a merrily unconventional hors d'oeuvre tray. But I'm currently a filthy syphilitic baby-kicking bipolar claw-hand with an enlarged heart quadrant thingamajig who doesn't deserve to eat reasonably bite-size forkfuls of pancake at the moment so I welcome your suggestions. As long as they go with blue Velcro straps. And they don't involve skateboarding for at least a week.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

You'd think someone with a high I.Q. would know better than to use a comma splice

Jake and the Night Visitors

We sure have some creepy ornaments. And some breathtakingly-adorable-child-picture ornaments. And, curiously but still admittedly Christmasy, a saucy tasseled velvety dress beveling possibly tangoing but more probably mistletoeing lady ornament. And, for reasons known only to the tooth fairy, a wooden bunny ornament. A wooden Christmas bunny ornament.

But, of course, the only reason I'm making this post -- aside from finally exposing the Christmas terrors of my haunted, haunted childhood wrought by our creepy pantsless flat-handed pantyhose-head child-eating demon elf ornaments -- is to report that I have completely denuded our Christmas tree.

Dude. I totally just said denuded.

Just because

The tree was supposed to come down today but it got a last-minute stay of execution due to a complex legal technicality I'll try to sum up as succinctly and understandably as possible by saying that everyone in the house was exhausted and took a lot of naps. But I'm a sucker for dark houses lit by tiny lights on cold winter nights, so even though it's staggeringly past my bedtime I'm still sitting here in the post-midnight silence under the constellation of tiny tree lights just because I have one more chance to do it and it makes me happy.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Flashback Friday: Totally Not Flexing Edition

My ex and I used to have cats named Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Don't laugh. I SAID STOP LAUGHING. Anyway, the cats didn't seem too terribly pleased with their names -- and for some reason they always had murderous, pie-making scowls -- and it was a rare occurrence that one of them would actually deign to sit on my lap. It was also a rare occurrence -- ahem -- that I would put my hand awkwardly behind my head and gratuitously flex my bent arm like I honestly thought people would believe I always took selfies of myself doing crunches on the couch with a murderous, pie-making cat on my lap.
So the important takeaways here are 1) That couch is actually blue, 2) My tattoo is a Sondheim quote that neither proves nor disproves that I'm gay and just happens to be on an arm that I just happen to look like thanks to unintentionally flattering camera angles I'm flexing as I do crunches on the (blue) couch with a murderous, pie-making cat on my lap, 3) OK, I think I might be gay but I'd never admit it on Facebook, 4) Oops, 5) The cats now live with our delightful and internationally savvy friends Brian and Tim, who have cleverly renamed them Tigris and Euphrates, 6) They (the boys and the cats) looked neither murderous, pie-making nor scowly the last time I saw them, 7) I wonder if I can get this list to go all the way up to 10, 8) Probably not, 9) Well, maybe, 10) Bingo!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

So. Yeah. La La Land.

One glorious four-act symphony of jazz riffs rendered in music, choreography, plot, cinematography, character development, set decoration, visual composition, movie-musical quotes, leitmotifs and relentless, thoughtful, loving attention to detail. It flatters its audience by trusting us to connect the dots, celebrates the unbridled joy of spontaneously breaking into song, and winks self-awarely at the adorably implausible plot holes that make personal finances fluid and Doris Day parking plentiful and tap shoes and story arcs and even gravity appear and disappear without regard for any scripted accountability. And though there are some wispy singing voices and some not-quite-synchronized soundtrack-to-visual issues and poor Emma Stone seems to walk miles and miles and miles in unforgiving stilettos, La La Land is hands-down one of the most glorious movies I've ever seen.


If we're exchanging chatty pleasantries in, say, a work cafeteria or a similar-to-not-similar setting and you casually and correctly toss out the word "fungible" -- which ranks among my favorite obscure, admittedly pretentious, and actually quite specific and useful ten-dollar words -- you must marry me before sundown.

FINE PRINT: You must be male, gay, occasionally employed, reasonably tall, show-tune equipped, non-shoe-volume-judging, bitchy-cat-enchanting, less embarrassing than anyone named Donald, and enamored of guys who can without warning completely black out and open gruesome disfiguring wounds from crashing to the floor and chipping the ceramic tile with their faces.This offer is null and void to any hypothetical female woman to whom I hypothetically proposed for casually and correctly saying "fungible" in a work cafeteria or a similar-to-not-similar setting on or around the January 4, 2017, conventional lunch-eating timeframe. DUDES ONLY.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

• Read at least one of the books I bought last year
• If I can't accomplish that, at least take two minutes to alphabetize them by author
• After grouping them by genre
• But they're probably all about musical theater anyway so that step is pretty much done
• Gloat online that I got them all on sale except for the one I heard them talk about on NPR and I went right to B&N to buy it and it was on the wrong shelf and the poor guy helping me worked so hard to find it for me that when he finally did I felt like I'd be a jerk if I didn't buy it so I did even though it was over $30
• Oh, and eat better, go to the gym more often, fold my laundry sooner so it doesn't pile up and get wrinkly, get the cat to like me, and stop saying fuck