Archive for the ‘Rocco’s Modern Life… With Me’ Category

Jul

20

While I Was Out

This is what I did during my blogging hiatus, in no particular order:

  • Kicked Rocco out
  • Got fired
  • Decided to write, organize and produce my own version of Food Court Musical
  • Learned how to make homemade candy bars
  • Signed up for unemployment
  • Worked my way up to the number one and number five spots, respectively, on Facebook’s “Addicted to Angel” and “Addicted to Buffy” trivia applications
  • Gave up my dream of being in the roller derby
  • Realized unemployment will not keep me from being homeless…
  • …Began bathing dogs for Aunt Doodie in exchange for her paying my rent
  • Started taking a yoga class
  • Got cable TV with a DVR
  • Spent a lot of time with Aunt Doodie musing about how we would survive on a deserted island
  • Started working on building a freelance career, which will theoretically enable me to stay home so I can play “Addicted to Angel/Buffy” Facebook applications and watch the DVR all day long
  • Successfully completed a ten-day cleansing fast
  • Entertained at my home twice in one week — a record!
  • Found out my Aunt Shelley has cancer
  • Realized I am not equipped to write, organize and produce my own version of Food Court Musical, so enlisted the help of my friends
  • Became obsessed with sushi and ate it almost every day for two weeks
  • Lost nine pounds
  • Spent a lot of time daydreaming about how Nathan Fillion and I would live on a deserted island, using Aunt Doodie’s survival ideas and my “tons of free time” ideas
  • Attended the Slayage Conference, where Rhonda Wilcox saw my name tag, remembered me, and asked why I never formally submitted my paper
  • Made my home almost totally chemical free
  • Became disgusted by sushi and vowed to never eat it again
  • Found out my cousin Bailey is having another baby
  • Learned how to fry an egg perfectly
  • Bought a plane ticket to LA for the WD party in October
  • Twisted Cindy’s arm until she agreed to visit me this summer
  • Ate more sushi
  • Found, loved and lost my precious Dr. Horrible
  • Lost a toenail
Jan

20

Sixteen Years Ago Today

Sixteen years ago today, I was a high school senior.

Sixth period was drawing to a close when a PA call instructed teachers to secure their classrooms and institute a campus-wide lockdown.

I was putting to bed the latest issue of the student newspaper when the announcement came. The other six staffers assumed the confinement was due to the drug dog making one of its twice-yearly campus visits. I knew better, because I had a sinking-but-certain feeling in my gut.

In that moment, I knew that B. had come back to kill us all.

*****

Earlier that day, during fourth period choir, B. and the director — who, ironically, was a close friend of B.’s parents — had engaged in a heated verbal altercation. B. stormed out of the classroom, and no one saw him for several hours.

Turned out I was right. There was no drug dog on a leash; rather, there was B. with a gun — storming into his sixth period business class and jumping on a table and waving the gun and carrying on like a lunatic — and his classmates cowering in fear.

One student in the business class, A., was outside the classroom when B. entered it.  Hearing the commotion within, she fled to the principal’s office and reported what little she knew. As the secretary made the lockdown announcement, A. and everyone else in the office locked themselves in the book storage closet.

It was over before it even began, really. B. fled the classroom fewer than 60 seconds after entering; he was off campus before A. even reached the principal’s office.

*****

The police found B. in under ten minutes. He was sitting in his car in a gas station parking lot four blocks away, crying, with the gun on the passenger seat. He was arrested without incident.

B. insisted he’d never intended to harm anyone; rather, he’d wanted everyone to watch him die. And he hadn’t followed through — at least in part — because he didn’t know how to turn off the gun’s safety. (I know, I know. 18-year-old boy + Arkansas upbringing + doesn’t know how to turn off gun safety = creepy anomaly.)

Should I have been able to predict this? B. and I had known each other since kindergarten. He was my first kiss in first grade. The previous summer we had spent a month together in Europe. I worked with him every afternoon at a small business that employed only six people; hell, A.’s mom owned that business.

But none of us ever expected anything like this.

*****

B. spent ten days in a children’s psychiatric ward. Upon his release, he took a couple of classes via correspondence to earn his diploma. He graduated from a top-notch university. He earned his real estate license and completely restored a 102-year-old house himself, netting a sizable profit. He sheltered rescue dogs until permanent homes could be found for them.

On this blog, B. is better known as Rocco.

Jan

20

Party At Our Place

1:48 am · category: Rocco's Modern Life... With Me
  • 10 gay men
  • One 28-year-old female virgin
  • Me

Honestly, at this point I know way more about fisting than any straight woman from Bald Knob, Arkansas, should.

Jan

18

Sick

Last night I dreamed that David Cross had a late-night talk show, and David Koechner was his sidekick. They had Pres. Bush on as a guest, and they hilariously eviscerated him in exactly the way you would hope John Stewart would but know he really wouldn’t have the balls.

Then I dreamed that Rocco and I were sharing a bed — my bed. (But sharing it in only a two-people-sleeping-in-the-same-bed way, okay?) And I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking, “When did we decide to do this?” and “Where the hell are my cats, because they always sleep with me and there’s no way that’s good for his allergies?” and “How come he’s snoring peacefully while I’m lying here worrying about this?” Then my mother got loose in the warehouse that was attached to our house in the dream, so I had to go find her before she fell and hurt herself or ran away or whatever. And then some Orcs came in and I had to get a battle axe.

Then I woke up. And I knew before I even opened my eyes that I was sick, sick, sick.

Gross.

Jan

15

Okay, Maybe I DO Have a Touch of OCD

I’d never lived in a town that had a recycling program until last year. And, as with most things, I embraced it whole-heartedly.

The problem is that I. Cannot. Stop. I take home the dozens of extra copies of USA Today that are shipped to my work.  I dig through the hotel garbage cans and remove discarded items from my friends’ vehicles. I pick up trash in parking lots to take home with me just because it’s recyclable.

My city provides only one small recycling bin per household, but Rocco and I have supplemented it with other containers. We use the city-issued bin for plastics and paper, an old laundry basket for glass, and an old trash can for cans/metal.

I like to think the recycling guy appreciates our pre-separating items for him, but he’s probably just wondering why two people have so many beer/soda cans.

Jan

13

Dirty, Dirty Dish War

Tonight Rocco and I had a few friends over for dinner, and they were all kind enough to help with the clean up afterwards. Of course, after they’d gone home, I had to totally reload the dishwasher.

This happens more often than you might think. Like, every single day. Luckily, I don’t have a problem like That Girl has. Rocco and I are both neat freaks to an extent, and he’s very good about putting things in the dishwasher as soon as he’s done with them. The problem is how he puts them in. I have very specific ideas about how to load a dishwasher. I guess these ideas are my own, because my family never had an automatic dishwasher when I was growing up. But boy-howdy, the dishwasher must be loaded a certain way.

Issue One: Plastic
Rocco puts plastic in the dishwasher, so I have to take those items out and hand wash them when he’s not around. I don’t care if the Rubbermaid/Ziploc/Gladware containers say they’re dishwasher safe; they always seem to shrink and then the lids don’t fit and then I get supremely pissed off.

Issue Two: Utensils
Our dishwasher has six compartments for utensils. That’s one compartment for each type of flatware (fork, spoon, knife), which leaves three available compartments. One gets steak knives and related items, one gets the items that are in the same drawer as the standard utensils (can opener, peeler, garlic press, etc.) and one gets the items that are in the “catch-all” drawer (measuring cups and spoons, apple corer, etc.). All of our big utensils (mostly wooden and stainless steel items used while cooking like spoons, spatulas, masher, etc.) have to lie flat on the left side of the dishwasher because they’re too tall to put in the utensil compartments.

Utensils should not be tossed in all willy-nilly. If they’re in their individual compartments, you can grab the whole handful and put them in the drawer or container right away instead of wasting time sorting them. This seems entirely logical to me.

Issue Three: Glasses and Cups
These go on the far right of the top shelf, and if it’s at all possible you put like items together. The far right top shelf is nearest to the cabinet that holds the glasses. That was a whole other battle in the dish war, because I want the cups and glasses beside the refrigerator because that’s where I get the ice and the drinks, right? Rocco wants them stored above the dishwasher because they’re easier to put away. Since the dishwasher is opposite the refrigerator, this led to a minor skirmish. Thank God I moved in three days before Rocco, having thereby set a precedent.

Issue Four: Bowls
We use a lot of bowls because we eat a lot of cereal and soup. Again with the willy-nilly. These should be placed in the middle of the top rack, where those pokey-up-close-together dividers are. They fit perfectly in there. Plus, you can grab four of the eight bowls in one grasp, making it quicker to unload the dishwasher.

Issue Five: Dishes
This is the part where one might decide I’ve taken this dishwasher-loading method too far. I have this set of patterned dinnerware. I think it’s completely understandable that I want the two different plate sizes on different rows on the bottom shelf, again because you can grab them all at once and put them in the cabinet above. The part where I might be crazy is that the pattern has to match. That is, the tiny red flower has to be in the exact same position (say, upper right) all the way down both rows. I cannot physically bring myself to start the dishwasher if the plates aren’t lined up just so.

I don’t think I’m OCD, but I’ve been this way about weird things all my life. Of course all of my (money) bills have to be in order by denomination and facing the same direction, but lots of people are like that. But other people don’t, apparently, have to have their CDs alphabetized first by artist, then by album title. Their clothes don’t have to hang by type then length then color and all face the same direction on identical white plastic hangers. They don’t alphabetize their spices, fruit cups, Lean Cuisines or every single canned good in the pantry.

It’s just easier my way, okay?

Jan

11

Pussy Whipped

When I got home from work (even later than usual, around 7:30 p.m.) tonight, Rocco was waiting for me with a mixed drink in hand and a terrified look on his face.

He wanted to know if I’d been home before just then. The answer was, predictably, no; one does not drive 30 miles home in the middle of the day from a job that requires one to be on site for, like, a gozillion consecutive hours.

And then Rocco’s face sort of crumbled.

*****

I have two wonderful-but-very-demanding cats — Nigel and Quentin — neither of whom much match the stereotype of the independent, aloof feline; in fact, the pair sort of typify the term “pussies.” And because Rocco has many allergies — cat allergy being one of his worst — Nigel and Quentin are always shut away in my bedroom. (This is not horrible. My bedroom/bathroom/closets are sort of embarrassingly big; the entire square footage is probably 3/4 the size of the breadbox.)

We also have two dogs in the house. It’s worth knowing that I would never, ever, ever describe myself as a dog lover. Horrible as it may sound, it’s true; I can’t stand being licked or yapped or sniffed at inappropriately.

But it’s even more true that I’m sortofkindofreally afraid of dogs. We never had dogs when I was growing up, and I wasn’t otherwise around them very often. And I’m pretty sure that being within a couple of feet of a cousin and a sister who were both bitten by dogs when I was very young didn’t help. So mostly I’ve just learned to tolerate dogs when I must do so, and otherwise avoid them.

But, anyway: two dogs. Kelly, a Doberman Pinscher, is Rocco’s dog. He got her when he was part of the Kansas City Doberman Rescue. Rocco fostered the dog before he became so attached to Kelly that he adopted her.

It should come as no surprise that I was initially terrified of Kelly: the lean body, pert ears and long muzzle — I could envision nothing beyond every campy action-adventure movie I’d ever seen in which vicious Dobermans guarding the antagonist’s lair were distracted by huge hunks of prime rib. But Kelly is a well-behaved, almost docile dog who exhibits none of the aforementioned doggy don’ts, and I’ve grown quite attached to her.

And then there’s Lou. Lou is a boxer with a tiger-stripe pattern who sort of….. came with the house. Lou is one of the few dogs with whom I’ve ever interacted who has never caused me one moment of anxiety. She’s very gentle and unassuming, and I’m always yearning to hug and otherwise comfort Lou because her expressions and body language are so very familiar and human-like.

Kelly and Lou like to think they have the run of the house. Kelly is free to roam most everywhere, as is Lou — to an extent. Lou kind of has an obsession with polyfiber fill, and we’ve lost one too many pillows to leave her alone with anything resembling fake cotton; as a result, she is kept in a separate room when there’s not an “adult” in the house. According to Rocco, Kelly has a similar issue with squeaky chew toys, so those are forbidden except for special occasions.

And, apropos of nothing, Rocco has mentioned in passing that Kelly tends to think of cats as “playthings.”

Rocco and I are both pretty adamant that my bedroom door remain shut at all times.

*****

Rocco’s expression was enough to crack me up. It was clear he felt terribly guilty about something. Emmy-worthy theatrics, preemptive groveling, and genuine sheepishness followed as he spilled the story.

It appears that Rocco entered my room for something, and then inadvertently failed to pull my bedroom door to all the way on exit. He then left the house, securing Lou away but leaving Kelly (as is normal) to roam free.

At some point, Kelly nosed her way into my bedroom via the cracked door, and havoc apparently ensued. When Rocco got home, he found what he initially described as a crime scene.

Rocco smelled the fresh excrement as soon as he walked in the door. And then he saw the physical evidence: patches of carpet were now missing; the most recent EW and TV Guide issues stashed under my nightstand were shredded; couch cushions were strewn about the room; tufts of animal fur wafted through the air as the ceiling fan slowly turned.

Blood covered everything: my bed linens, carpet, night stand. The chair was stained a completely different color. One wall was splattered half-way up in a crimson bath.

And, of course, the requisite pile of shit was right in the middle of the room, exactly as you’d expect it to be.

Rocco found Kelly, all bloodied and broken, burrowed into her bed. Her nose was pretty much shredded, and she was still bleeding rather a lot.

Nigel and Quentin were later found hiding in my room, tense and slightly more skittish — but also injury-free.

Jan

9

What the Bleep Do THEY Know?*

Tonight Rocco and I watched What the Bleep Do We Know? The film is far too convoluted for me to explain here, so this is what you need to know for this post:

In the film, Marlee Matlin plays a woman (Amanda) whose marriage fell apart when she caught her husband with another woman. Near the end of the film there is a scene in which the husband calls Amanda and leaves a message on her answering machine asking her to meet him.

Did you catch that? He left a message on the answering machine. For Marlee Matlin.

Unless that scene was supposed to illustrate something about manifesting your own reality — a reality in which Marlee Matlin is not deaf — I just totally don’t get what they were thinking.

*Alternate title for this post: “Dumb.” This is the latest reason that I’m probably going to hell.

Jan

7

Pissed. Off. AGAIN.

(A companion piece to Pissed. Off.)

Today I took a half-day off work to take care of Car Stuff. I had to file for a lost title on the old car with the shattered windshield; assess, register and tag the new car; and renew my driver’s license.

I took care of the first two items with no problem, but I couldn’t get my license renewed because the Revenue Office (Arkansas’ version of the DMV) couldn’t access the statewide database due to a computer glitch. This was a problem because my license expires on my birthday — which is tomorrow.

As a result, I had to take off work early today (after already taking off a half day, mind you) so I could go to another Revenue Office. I chose to go to the one in my hometown (that is, the town I grew up in) because it’s less than a mile from my parents’ house and I had some delicious leftovers to give my daddy. I was 1/10 of a mile from Daddy’s when a vehicle ran a stop sign and broadsided me on the driver’s side of my new car.*

So I spun around a few times in the middle of the highway, narrowly missing two other cars and the group of kids that the school bus had just dropped off at the local day care center. The car came to a stop in the parking lot of the local funeral home. (Heh.)

So, yeah. Another car, another accident. What the hell? At least all the important paperwork was easily accessible since I’d just registered it that morning. (Hell, I hadn’t even put the new license plate on yet. It was on the passenger floorboard.)

But as Rocco pointed out, I can keep having accidents so long as I’m not at fault and the other driver’s insurance pays more for the repair than the car is actually worth. (Which happened last time, and I ended up with some nice pocket money.)

*Yes, yes. The “new” car is new to me, not off-the-lot new. But still!

Jan

6

Men

Yes, I mean you and your friends — your whole sex! Throw ‘em in the sea for all I care; throw ‘em in and wait for the bubbles. Men, with your coughing and moaning, all fever, no energy — three billion of you passing around the same worn-out whining. Men! With your … sickness!

Rocco is sick, and I’m sick of it. Apparently, the stereotype of grown men being blubbering babies when they’re not well is completely true.

Oh, my God. You have never lived with a sick man until you’ve lived with a sick man who is allergic to everything on the planet, naturally high-strung, and gay.

I’ve done everything I can.

I cooked healthy, vitamin-rich food six nights in a row. The baked asparagus with balsamic butter sauce was “bitter.” The sweet potato salad was “too crunchy.” The Nigerian stew was “bland.” Of course, I offered several times to make homemade chicken noodle soup, but he refused on the grounds that he “hates chicken noodle soup.” And yet yesterday he bought three different brands of canned chicken noodle soup.

I plied him with fluids, most of which he turned down. But suddenly, the man who normally drinks nothing but water and black coffee is swilling sugary sodas while eschewing every type of fruit juice I’ve offered.

I attempted to make him more comfortable and bought him four more boxes of Kleenex on Friday night. He promptly decided to start using paper towels because “they cover more area.” Just… blech.

I’ve tried to keep the house even cleaner than usual. But I’m not allowed to use Clorox Clean-Up because it would “introduce another chemical into the public areas of the house.” I was sweeping the kitchen today when he yelled at me for stirring up the dust. And yet I’m having to navigate my way through miles of discarded, snot-laden paper towels left all over the house. I swear to God, it’s like fucking Hansel is marking a trail so he won’t forget his way between the bathroom and the sofa.

I even tried to get him to try some less invasive remedies. I made him take an EmergenC, but he refused to take any more after the first packet because they were gritty. I bought him his own nettie pot, and when I gave him the box he just glared at me.

Men, and their sickness……