On Nightmares

You know those naked at school or work dreams you have sometimes that you wake up from in a cold sweat, kind of dying a little inside? Yeah, you work in a restaurant for long enough and those dreams keep the crowds but lose the naked bit and get replaced with lost checks or burnt steaks. And they're horrifying.

And it doesn't matter how long it's been since you've worked in a restaurant, because that shit will haunt you for the rest of your natural days. Perhaps more. I'm pretty sure the 6th layer of hell involves a buffet line and Mother's Day.

Last night, I had a 9 table section and it was full. Like, full full. There was one table I kept forgetting no matter how hard I tried to, and one table of two that were fairly regular customers who came in with a double pork chop and a chocolate cake made with garbanzo bean flour (shockingly good, I've learned. Thanks, Zoeyjane. I'm totally waiting for that recipe.) They wanted the pork chop cooked to medium and the chocolate cake served to them in 5-7 minute intervals, each at a different style. And they had an evaluation form. And they were filling it in as the night progressed.

I realized this was a dream when I didn't tell them to bite me.

So, it was 20 minutes before the kitchen closed and the dish racks were all full and lined up in front of the kitchen door so I had to go outside, enter through the alley, and cook my own food. The pork chop got thrown on the grill with two steaks that someone wanted stacked up like a double cheeseburger with a side of defibrillator and I got started on the chocolate cake.  I got round one plated up and ready to go, then had to run next door to the crack house to sit on the couch with the crack momma and her social worker. I wish I knew why. I was offered tea, and I can't say no to tea, and before i knew it, more than a half hour had past. I ran back, got the heart attack stack out, checked the pork and ran the first cake. And the people weren't at their table. So I took the cake back to the kitchen.

I wasted another thirty minutes looking for a hammer and chisel to open a coconut I was suddenly carrying around before I remembered the pork chop who's asian glaze I hadn't even begun to make. I ran back to the kitchen to find all of the lights out, every cooler locked and an empty grill. Romero (his name was Romero) (because I name imaginary dream people) threw the pork away when he left.

That's the point in the dream when you wake yourself up because you're about to hit the ground and if you fall that far in a dream and actually hit the ground, you'll die in your dream and in real life. If you've never worked in a restaurant, you'll hate me for wasting your time with this whole post but if you have, odds are you're puking right now, just like I wanted to when I woke up.

I'm Not Drunk Yet, I Swear

My husband and I have never been on an airplane together. Our version of a honeymoon was leaving the 5 month old human who looked like us with his grandmother and staying the night at The Oxford. And getting into the World's Biggest Fight. And me packing my bags and storming out the door. And him dragging me back into the room, packing his bags and storming out. And then a hangover the likes of which you couldn't imagine if you wanted to, which you don't. It wasn't even make up sex in the shower the next day; it was more Oh My God Get The Toxic Vodka Remants Out Of Every Orafice As Fast As Possible.

TMI. Good morning, folks.

He flew once with a child, 1of3 aged 1 year, without me but with, oh yes you guessed it, his mother. I was pregnant with 2of3, not really super hot on the idea of vacation with, oh yes you guessed it, his mother, and even if I'd wanted to go, I could not be spared from work for even one day because really, the world would collapse in on itself and the polar caps would melt and their would be hurricanes and pestilence and tsunamis of armageddonesque proportions if a bunch of ancient men and drunk doctors didn't get their corned beef hash and eggs by 7:30 am, stat.

I guess I should have just gone, huh?

I have flown internationally multiple times with three children. I have flown domestically with them more times than I can count. Today, I was going to secretly slide the ticketing dude a $50 and a nipple-flash to put me in first class so that The Donor would have to do the whole flight to LA by himself with the kids. The flight tomorrow to Mexico wouldn't work because his sister is coming and she's a Virgo. This whole thing will be orchestrated like the Boston Philharmonic.

And then I had to take a meeting. In LA. With my boss' boss. Like, the dude who writes the paycheck I am about to blow on fast woman and the drink crappy souveniers. So I left the house at 4 this morning to hit the airport and buy my way onto an earlier flight to LA for this meeting. And I wore a seriously low cut shirt. I could use a raise.

That means that my husband's first flight alone with children, ever, will be today. On our way to Mexico. Neener Neener. Of course, I currently have in my possession everyone's luggage, all the presents we have to bring, 18 mini bottles of Axe body spray and Axe shampoo and Axe deodorant and you can judge me all you want, but Axe sells because it is slightly more pleasing in fragrance than a pubescent boy, and it's the only thing strong enough to drown that unholy smell out. Well, except Mexican tequila, but we'll get to that later.

I've also left him with nice neat piles of passports and permits and consent letters and flight schedules, the kids clothes for today laid out, and all of the instructions everyone will need in my absence written out and signed with a heart and a little slice of love. Because I like to overestimate my importance in the household, that's why. I'm like a dominatrix, only in fleece with a Dyson.

The Dyson gets less us than the whip would, for the record. But fuck me, it's dead sexy.

Anyway, this plane is getting ready to take off and I've only had three hours of sleep, like you couldn't have guessed that already, so I leave you with this in case you want to pretend you're my kid or my housesitter today, because I like to overestimate my importance in the internetowebosphere, that's why, and bid you all a fond farewell. I'm going to go drink all the tequila now.

The really, truly despise me.

He'll never look me in the eye again

An Open Letter To Asparagus

Dear Asparagus,

Who exactly do you think you're fooling? Do you think there is not any way I'm not on to you? Because I am, I most certainly assure you.

I first met you in the summer of 1986. I was at my regular Saturday night babysitting gig, and the family I sat for invited me over early that night for dinner. I glanced around the table, eyed the roast, oogled the potatoes, and then my eyes wandered to a large white serving platter containing something the likes of which I'd never seen before.

You sat in a bowl, long and pointy, the shade of green that strikes terror in the heart of anyone under 5' tall. The father of the family asked, "Wanna try some?" I, not yet quick-witted enough to weave a tale desperate or agonizing enough to escape such horrors, politely obliged. I took one small, calculated bite.

"Well, it appears we should call it asperGAGus, huh?", he chuckled. I countered his chuckle with one hearty chuck. The "le" alluded me that night.

I never saw you after that fateful day of my twelfth year (my family's poverty did have its upside) until nearly 20 years later. I was employed at a dark, smoky, posh little bar in downtown Denver that thought way too highly of itself, and on the Saturday night of the fall menu roll-out, our paths again crossed. On the new menu, which consisted solely of over-ingrediented (is TOO a word) tapas, you smuggly sat, glaring at me with a thick air of superiority surrounding your pointy little green head.

Asparagus. Wrapped in prosciutto. Drizzled with strawberry compote. Oh, how you mocked me as you defiled all those fine, innocent young ingredients. How you smirked as you rubbed up against a perfectly good slice of almost-bacon, as you soaked in the sweet juices of the most sensual berry. I turned my gaze away from you that night; why feed the fire? No one would order you, and you would sit cold, alone, and slowly growing flaccid in a stale downtown refrigerator.

How foolish I was.

Table after table oooh'd and ahhhh'd over your pretentiousness. Customer after customer indulged themselves in your vitamin-laded, urine-toxifying stalks. I was brought, nightly, to your putrid alter, but I was stronger than you thought me to be. I never did succumb to your mind games, whiskey shots and drunk-munchies be damned.

I began seeing you rear your ugly head around town. On tapas, in soup, mixed with pasta, you had no shame or discretion. You even dared to appear one morning in the middle of my beloved Eggs Benedict, as if you thought I wouldn't notice you under a sea of hollandaise. Your worst offense, however, happened only days ago when you spied me nearing the refrigerated section at Safeway, pushing a full cart and simultaneously carrying a dead asleep, 5,000 pound almost three year old. As I came closer to you, sweat pouring from my furrowed brow, distracted by two pre-teens desperately seeking cookies, you wiggled your way up to the front of the ravioli section, cleverly hidden amongst cheese raviolis. Knowing there was no way for me to actually read what package I batted into the back of my cart, you made certain you were front and center, the easiest choice.

You made it all the way into my home, sat comfortably in the back of my fridge, and almost saw your scheme to fruition as I boiled water and tossed a salad that one night, only days ago. However, your evil plans were thwarted at the last minute; even though I have no glasses and can barely see, I saw YOU. You underestimate me, and that is a sad mistake to make, my friend. I'm on to you, and I always keep emergency hot dogs on hand. I don't NEED you.

It would appear that you chose to bring some of old cohorts back to the mainstream with you, possibly to deflect some of the attention away from yourself in your attempt at a Retro Resurrection. I will fight, hand over fist, until your asparagus eating, leg-warmer wearing, hairspray using, New Kids on the Block touring, Care Bear collecting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle animating, Camaro driving, Wayfarer and jelly bracelet wearing posse is disbanded, drawn, and possibly quartered, depending on what time of the month I find you. The 80's were only cool in the 80's, and you, like avocado colored appliances, should never have made it out.

Once, in your prime, you were a valuable source of vitamins A, B, C, folic acid, and an excellent source of torture for parents, but this is the 21st century. We can make something just as vitamin rich as you out for cardboard, and old muffler and some duct tape. And it would be shaped like a teddy bear. And taste like chocolate. And we still have brussel sprouts, and at least they don't run around trying to be all phallic.

Your usefulness has seen its last days. Your welcome has officially worn out. Anything that can make my children's stay in the washroom a more smelly experience is not fit for modern society. It is time to remove yourself from it, before I am forced to do it for you. Asparagus, you are on NOTICE.

Yours in Christ,

Mr Lady

Horny House-Web-Copy-Writer Just Doesn't Have Any Kind Of Ring To It. At All.

I'm attempting to become more organized, dare I say professional? in my real life.  I have a Blackberry now, which has only been lost three times and has only had one near-fatal injury in the two months it's been with me.

So Not Professional

Nothing to worry about, though.  I'm pretty good at fixing broken technology.

I'm naming that phone Zoot.  Not kidding.

And I can change my own oil.

So the Blackberry is clearly not making me More Professional, but iCalendar sure is. Every night, I sit down and I plug in all the shit I have to get done the next day, and that syncs to my phone and that buzzes like a gaggle of hornets in my pocket every time I forget to do something, and if Blackberry offered a small electric shock with every calendar reminder, I'd be the most effective person in the whole world, or at least have the tallest hair.

I've started working part time, from home, which is so ludicrously impossible I can't even tell you but my daughter has figured out that when momma is "doin' hers woik*" she can pretty much do whatever she wants, and whatever she wants usually ends up being testing the laws of gravity, thermodynamics and common sense with little more than all of the good toilet paper and the only clean toilet in the house.  I suppose my income could go to paying for daycare, but it's so much more fun to fork it all over to the plumber, right?  You hardly get to see any ass-crack at daycare these days.

Taking this job has meant that I've had to give up a few other things, and obviously this blog has been one of them, but I've also put washing (insert your choice of the dishes/our laundry/my children/the baseboards/myself/all of the above) on the backburner just until I find my feet and get into the flow of being gainfully employed again.  But thank god for that iCalendar, man.  That bitch is keeping me on task.

Like, how it reminded me yesterday that I actually paid good money to go to a Storytelling seminar tonight in Gastown with, um, this guy?

D tothemotherfucking oug.

Yeah, that guy.  And those are just the books I could find in this pigsty.  And by reminding me, it reminded me to totally inconvenience my neighbor at the very last possible second by making her babysit for me.  No wonder she's moving away.

I'm just about as excited for this thing as I was a few weeks ago when I went to hear Chuck Palahniuk tell a few stories and sign a few books, which was awesome because ohmygodseriously, Chuck to the Palahniuk people, and awesomely horrifying because getting the Teen Girl Squad** together is a whole lot like mixing the most ridiculously cute baking soda and the silliest vinegar together.

Two little girls at a very big book signing

Which actually isn't horrifying at all to the people doing it, in fact it's kind of rad and we want to do it all the time, but it's apparently fairly traumatic for the 20-something angsty I-drink-soy-chai-and-smoke-cloves wanna-be writer who had to sit near us. Someday, woman, your uterus is going to betray you, and hard, and karma will remember us and your big steaming hot bag of scorn and I will be standing right there when it happens saying NEENER NEENER and also asking you to shut your kid the fuck up with my eyes and the better part of the left side of my body.

And since I've been all on this Going Out For The Night But Calling It Professional Development Because I've Duped The Donor Into Thinking I'm Kind Of A Big Deal On The Internet kick, when in reality the only person I'm a big deal to on the internet is the operator of of little eBay store where they sell my favorite and impossible to find elsewhere girl's dresses and I assure you, I am a very big deal to that woman, I'm thinking about going to the Chicks Who Click conference in Vancouver at the end of June. Because seriously, if going to a conference is what it takes for me to get out of this house for the day, sign me the fuck up, yo. Hell, I still have my Leia outfit, and they have Star Con up here, don't they?

But sadly enough, while I'm all busy trying to justify reading Fight Club for the purposes of writing corporate web copy, which now that I say it out loud actually makes a good deal of sense, my daughter is just about to get fired from the only job she's ever had. A job which, mind you, pays her in outfits.  And she's getting fired simply because she grew, so I think I'm going to demand some workmen's comp, which I imagine will get paid out in capri's and halter tops.

But lucky for us, we have two photo shoots this month and even though I'm so busy stalking crazy gay men all over Vancouver to, oh, I don't know, read the manual that came with my camera, the first of our photo shoots turned out pretty freaking magnificently, if I do say so myself.

Sand Blanket
Sandy Toes

And I got to skip out on an entire afternoon of work to take them.  I love living in a different country than either of our bosses. 

*And yes, she says "woik" because she is clearly a little old woman who lived in Brooklyn until she was 11 and then moved to Philadelphia until she was 18 and then went to college in Boston and then moved back to Brooklyn to live out the rest of her days.

**If you're cussing me out right now for killing your eardrums, well, I tell you guys all the time to hover over links and pictures first, but you never listen.

In The Velvet Darkness

I'm posting this from an iPhone.

Thank you all for pointing that app out to The Donor and me; he added it right away and now, 1 3/4 of a sentence in, my thumbs joints won't unlock.

What I've learned: iPhones were designed by rodents in an attempt to rid us of our opposable thumbs and thereby Take Over The World. Don't worry, it's the same thing they do every week.

So, yes, this can bite me and I wouldn't be expecting another post until my piece of shit HP comes home from the shop, if I were you. Remember a year ago when I dropped $80 at the vet on a hamster we'd had for a whole week and you guys were all "you so dumb" and then that hamster died anyway? Yep, pretty sure we're reliving that nightmare, just with wardrobe money, not Starbucks money.

What I've learned: don't buy hamsters for christmas and mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be pc's.

I actually have so much stuff to talk about once I'm functional again that I've forgotten ALL of it. You know when you see the sign at the gas station that says Do Not Pump More After This Thing Shuts Itself Off and you do anyway because what do THEY know and then all the gas you pumped in comes shooting back at you because what THEY knew was how your gas tank is pressurized and you end up dousing you, your car and everyone within a 5 mile radius with gas and when you start your car to leave before THEY yell at you, you blow the whole place up?

What I've learned: That's the blog section of my brain after two weeks with no computer. Do Not Overfill.

That reminds me: what do you call a hooker with a runny nose?

I do remember that I wanted to mention that yes, we have one computer. And it's a laptop. We also don't own our house, drive 12 and 10 year old cars and I have exactly 4 bras. No one will ever blame Economegeddon on me.

(Truth be told, we have three computers. One has been dead for five years and one has been dead for one. At least they're not on cinderblocks on front of it house. YET.)

My whole point was that there's a light over at the Frankenstein place. I should have a computer again by early next week, and then y'all are IN FOR IT. If I can remember anything. Which, probably not.

Orange mocha frappucino, anyone?

Also, full.