Yep. NaBloPoMo officially kicked my ass. I could go back and post the things I, uh, thought about on those days, but I have more important things to do — like making Thanksgiving dinner for 14 people. WTF was I thinking?
Archive for November, 2008
As some of you know, I have a swimming pool.
I have a pool because it came with the house. Of course, this house also came with spectacularly cheap rent, a garage full of stuff the real owners (have forgotten they) are stowing, and the owner’s dog. (She’s my dog now, though. Mine!)
I don’t bitch much about the pool. I can’t really justify complaining about it because (1) It’s a private pool in my backyard; (2) I live in Arkansas, where the humidity hovers around 1 million percent in the dead of summer; and (3) It’s a private pool in a relatively secluded area. Besides, a significant reserve of real water is pretty much always welcome and desired in these parts, so long as it’s not infested with mosquitoes or water moccasins. (My pool has neither. Once I had a tadpole problem, but that’s because I left the creepy crawler in for, like, four days when I went out of town, and when I came back I had tadpoles.)
Regardless, I have a love-hate relationship with the pool. It really is rather expensive to maintain a pool — even the above-ground variety — in a single-income (and often unemployed) household. Yet despite the constant, time consuming, required upkeep of a healthy pool — water, chemicals, skimming, etc. — there is almost nothing I adore more than swimming naked in the moonlight. (Or, more specifically, floating nude on my back while gazing at the stars. But it is still a spectacular and singular experience,)
Still, having a pool — even an above-ground pool with a built-around-deck — is a shitload of work. And I kind of hate that work. (And yes, well, I hate most any kind of work that translates to physical labor. Such is not a significant revelation.) Yet maintaining the pool is mostly tolerable in the “open season,” though. I mean, I’m not an “outside” person. Sunlight mostly sucks except when it’s filtering lightly through my blinds and casting a much-needed healthy glow on Buffy’s visage on my TV during my repeated viewings of season six.
Nevertheless, I maintained the pool and stayed current with all that costly and time-consuming extraneous pool maintenance shit for — well, a lot longer than I probably should have — in 2008. Part of that was because there is nothing more exquisite and pleasurable for me than lolling around naked in moonlit water. As such, I took advantage of the fact that this Arkansas fall has been unseasonably warm and that the pool was still usable until late September.
But I’ll also admit to not giving two shits about some pool-related things about which others are far more militant. In point of fact, I pee in the pool and encourage other people to pee in the pool.
It’s not totally gross, though. Fact the first: urine is sterile. Fact the second: there are tons of chemicals in that pool killing all kinds of microorganisms all the time. Fact the third: I would rather not have small-bladdered four-year-olds running across my hardwood floors 7.6 times an hour to go inside to pee, dripping water all over the place. Fact the fourth: I would rather not have drunk 40-year-olds lumbering across my hardwood floors 7.6 times an hour to go inside to pee, dripping water all over the place. Fact the fifth: alcohol kills lots of stuff, and I’m fairly certain the beer-to-pee ratio in my pool was in my favor most of the summer.
I don’t feel good. I’m cold, I’m achey, and I’m very, very tired. This is all the posting I’m doing tonight.
I keep a running list of potential post topics. This sounds like a good idea, but it’s not. For a couple of reasons, in fact.
The first is that I’m rarely inspired by those potential topics later on. This is mostly because they’re just lists of random things. (See yesterday’s post.)
The second is that something that seems like a fascinating and hilarious post topic at 4 a.m. Saturday morning when you’re knee deep in the drink does not seem quite so engaging in more sober(ing) times. For instance, take a gander at this little gem I found on my list:
“If I were a character on A Different World, I would want to be Maggie (Marisa Tomei’s character) because Denise was too self-absorbed, Jaleesa was opposed to having anything resembling fun, and Maggie seemed whimsical.
Also, they all had awesome clothes.”
I’m really not sure how I thought I was going to get a whole post out of that nugget of brilliance.
- Citizen Kane
- Cool Hand Luke
- Gone With the Wind
- The Sixth Sense
- Sleepless in Seattle
- When Harry Met Sally
I have zero desire to see any of these movies. (Except maybe Footloose. It seems more culturally relevant than the rest.) So what do I need to see, and what can I forever and always cross off my movies-to-rent-when-I-can-no-longer-afford-cable-and-must-resort-to-Netflix list?
Here’s what I can tell you about Friday’s clown party without needing pictures to illustrate*:
- There was so much good food. Pickled asparagus was a revelation to my taste buds.
- I tied for third place in the costume contest, despite the fact that I dyed my hair. My aunt Shelley won. Since she survived cancer earlier this year, I conceded defeat (almost) graciously. (Second place went to a one-year-old boy. No way I was beating that.)
- No leg wrestling this year (Bummer!), but there were plenty of rounds of arm wrestling. I won one of them! Unfortunately, Aunt Doodie kicked my biceps when I wrestled her. She is deceptively strong for an old lady.
- I might have sung Bad, Bad Leroy Brown one too many times during karaoke.
- We played Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Nobody got my multiple references to donkey shows and Tijuana. This either means that my family is very sheltered or that I am too worldly.
*Pictures will come later, though. I have to stretch this post out for NaBloPoMo posts.
I’ve been wanting to dye my hair a dark, dark, dark color for a long, long, long time. But usually when I’d mention it, I’d get either stares of horror or well-meaning insistence that it Just. Wouldn’t. Work.
I had a theory, though. First, my father’s family has quite a bit of Native American heritage, and it’s very, very obvious when you look at them: dark skin, dark or black hair, dark eyes. This is true of one of my sisters, too.
But me? Not so much. Pale skin, blue eyes, and hair color that can only be described as, um, non-descript. Honestly, I’ve been coloring my hair for so long that I have no idea what color it really is now.
The key here is that I have another sister. And for better or worse, we look alike. A lot alike. In fact, I sometimes have this weird experience where I walk by a mirror, catch a glance of myself peripherally, and think for a couple of seconds that it’s my sister. At first I always think, “How the hell did she get in here? I’m sure I locked the front door. Maybe I should check the garage.” And then I think, “Wow. We look a lot alike. Except for the part where she’s several inches taller. And has black hair.”
So I figured I could pull it off, you know? Because, hello: identical. (Except for the height thing. She’s almost normal sized!)
And, as you know, I did it last night. I didn’t have a particularly good reason, except that I was dressing up as a zebra and zebras don’t have red hair. (FYI: If your costume involves coloring your hair with permanent dye and wearing a banana clip in 2008, you might want to step back, take a minute, and reconsider.)
But it turned out okay! There were a few touch-and-go moments, though. When I tried to blow dry my unruly, curly hair out straight for the first time in what seemed like hundreds of years, there was a bit of a crisis. Turns out I didn’t really remember how to use a round brush and it got completely entangled. As a result, I stood in the bathroom with the brush ensnared in my hair and my hands on my hips while I debated whether or not to call Aunt Doodie and ask her to cut the thing out. Once I finally muddled through that mess and realized that the round brush was a seriously bad idea, there was another problem — namely, that my hair was all crinkly and wiry from the bad blow job. (Heh.) So there I stood, looking exactly like Gene Simmons. I debated forgoing the black and white zebra face make-up for something more appropriate — like this — but realized that I didn’t have a tongue prosthesis on stand by.
By today, however, things were looking up. Some of the — well, whatever the equivalent of “brassiness” is with black hair dye — had given way to a color a tad lighter and less Simmonsesque. And the ladies who came over for the post-belly dancing get-together were very complimentary. I might keep this color for awhile.
Or I might go blue next week. Who knows?
Note: I totally had this post finished before midnight, but I got all distracted by Justin Timberlake’s all-too-brief appearance on SNL that I had recorded earlier. Oh, Justin!
Okay, just two parties. But I wrote it twice, so that seems fair.
Tonight is my family’s used-to-be-annual clown party. I will be a zebra clown. I did, in point of fact, dye my hair black, because I go all-out for costumes. Mistake? Possibly. Caring? Not any.
Tomorrow I’m hosting a little get-together for a few people from my yoga studio after the belly dancing class. I will not, in point of fact, be attending the belly dancing class; you will remember that I am the whitest white girl that was ever white and therefore have zero rhythm.
Cindy tagged me for this. I am absolutely going to do it because now I don’t have to come up with some bullshit post. I’m supposed to tell you six book-related things about myself and then tag six others to do the same.
- The first book I ever read — like, for real read and not pretend read because I’d memorized it — was called Who Cried For Cherry Pie? I swear it exists, but I can’t find any reference to it online.
- If I were forced to name a favorite book, it would probably be Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut. I used to have two copies of it, but now I can’t find either of them. This depresses me. Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions is probably my second-favorite book. Oddly enough, I’ve never read Slaughterhouse-Five because I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed.
- I realized last year that I stopped reading books for pleasure about the time I started seminary. I initially attributed this to having so much boring required reading that my brain couldn’t take any more. But then I realized that was also about the same time I stopped watching movies and started watching even more television. Maybe I stopped reading books and watching movies because of attention span issues. However, I think the most likely reason is that I started reading tons of online fanfic. Spuffy fanfic. Lots and lots and lots of it, in fact — most of which was novel length or longer. I can make recommendations if you’d like.
- I don’t care for most of the classics, which is probably weird for a former English teacher. There were two novels in the last literature textbook I taught from: Nicholas Nickleby and Dragonsong. OF COURSE I picked the McCaffrey novel. Why? Because it wasn’t boring, that’s why.
- My favorite books to escape in are Robert Ludlum and Clive Cussler books, which are chock full of intrigue and action. (See, LA people? I come by that whole international jewel thief thing honestly.)
- People often ask me when I’m going to write a novel. The answer to that is never. I believe you should write what you know, and I don’t know much.
I’m tagging Cassy, Helen/Callie, (My Cousin) Rachel, Cindyshine, and Laurie. Um, and also Oslowe/Will, even though he doesn’t read here; Annika will have to tell him. (I’m interested to see what he says as a writer of books rather than just a reader.)