Category Archives: Blogroll

A’in some Qs

So sometimes, you just want to write, but not really about anything, and you read a post on a blog like, oh, say, Here in Franklin, and you go “THAT’S what I need to write about! ”  So you shamelessly get yourself tagged.  And the author of said blog is nice enough to give you some questions.  And then you write that thing.

1. You have magical powers and can go back in time to the concert of your choice. Who is it?
I have magical powers, and I’ve chosen to use them on a concert?  Weird.  I kind of assumed that if I ever had magical powers, I’d use them to, you know, cure cancer, or invent the ever-growing vodka-bush.  But OK, back to the concert.  I’m going with Elvis Costello, anytime in the 70’s.  I got to see him in February, and while it was all kinds of awesome, it made me even sadder that I never saw him young and angry.

2. You must choose between two candidates to be Ruler of the World. One is a cat. One is a dog. Who do you vote for and why?

You’re kidding, right?  The cat, of course.  Because while I am on record as saying cats are evil, dogs lack focus.  A cat would get shit done.  Of course, it would be in his own damn time, but still.

3. Mountains or beach?

Oddly enough, I find both those options terribly disorienting.  The mountains more, though.  So I’m going with beach.  (But really, if I had to pick one landscape forever, I’d probably go with bald-ass prairie.  Hated it when I was a kid, and there were no other options, but now it calms me down like nothing else.)

(photo from here)

4. Are you interested at all in the local politics where you live, or do you only pay attention in national elections?

I go back and forth on that one.  The same political party has been in power in this province since before I was born, so it feels a little futile to give a damn.

5. You have the opportunity to tell off the person you most despise without any repercussions. Do you? Who is it?

While I have a couple of people in mind….I’m going with a no, I don’t tell them off.  Repercussions or no, it has never, ever made me feel any better to tell someone off.  As soon as I’m done, I’m either regretting it, or kicking myself for not saying more.  Plus?  No one has ever changed their behaviour as a result of being told off.  Not really.

6. Do you have too much stuff or not enough stuff?

Neither.  I think I have the wrong stuff.  Everything I have feels like too much, but there’s so much other stuff I still want.

7.  The house is on fire. What do you grab first (excluding people and pets)?

My phone.  Not now, but a week ago, I would have.  Back when it had all my pictures of my kids and every song I love and the phone numbers of everyone I need.  You know, before IT CRASHED AND SENT ME INTO A DEEP PIT OF DESPAIR.

(image from here)

8. What place in the world would you visit again and again?

9. Do you ALWAYS answer the phone, or just let it ring?

I rarely answer it.  I have control issues.  (If I take your calls, you’re pretty freaking special.)

10. Does your family know about your blog?

Most of them. Does it restrict what gets written about?  Yeah, probably.  My sisters call bullshit when I get something wrong.  Keeps me on track 😉

(Thanks, lady, for the help.)

Answers, Part III (or: Put on Your Comfy Pants, This Might Take a While)

So I started to answer some questions.  And then I answered some more.  And then I contracted a world-class case of the ennui.  And then someone I know in real life told me to stop being such a lazy-ass. (Not her exact words.  But it was implied.  In her eyes.  Even though they were behind sunglasses.  I’m pretty intuitive, that way.)

So let’s see what we can get done today, shall we?

From Grumpy, who lives upside down, on the other side of the planet:

In ‘another life’ what job would you be doing/place would you be living in?”

Grumpy, you could have no way of knowing that I obsess DAILY over what my life would have been like if I’d done X instead of Y.  If I had turned right instead of left.  If I’d gone with the non-lead based paint….

So this is a good one.

If I could swing for the fences, have whatever I wanted, live where I wanted, do what I wanted, no consequences, no hurt feelings, I think I’d be living in Europe (in a country where there’s a healthy amount of English spoken, because man, I suck out loud at other languages), drinking possibly even more wine and eating even more cheese than I do now, but  somehow being miraculously thinner than I am.  I would have figured out that I wanted to be a writer, not pissed around with suppressing the urge and finding something practical, and just done it.  I’d be slutting it up, discreetly, and letting my hair grow long.

Yuri from Urbanvox, (after a considerable amount of preamble), asked:

what’s your favorite ice cream flavor????”

So I think, “easy one”, and start to answer, when the paranoia creeps in, as it so often does.  What does my favorite ice cream flavor say about me?  What if I innocently tell the truth, and it turns out Maple Walnut indicates I’m likely to have a foot  fetish?

So I checked it out.  Turns out Vanilla means you are NOT boring, Coffee ice cream lovers are dramatic, and Organic Mango & Freshly Squeezed Kumquat means you’re a pretentious wanker.  (The last one is purely a result of field studies, and has not been scientifically proven.  Yet.)  My favorite, Mint Chocolate Chip,

means I am ambitious and confident and skeptical.  (One out of three ain’t bad.)  (Well, actually, it is.  They don’t know me at ALL.)

Jaymie, who muses over here, asks:

Most challenging life moment so far?  How did you get through it?”

You know, when you put it that way, I’ve been pretty damn lucky.  Knock on a great big piece of wood, but I’ve never had anyone I loved get really sick, or even die.  And when you think of it that way, the rest is a bit of a cake walk, now isn’t it?

But you asked, so I’ll answer.  This whole damn parenting thing?  This is challenging.  You’re making decisions whose impact might not be seen for 10 or 20 years, sacrificing until it becomes rote, pouring every resource you can get your hands on into another person(s), and you’re doing the whole thing with a serious sleep deficit.  There have been moments, ugly, atrocious, cringing in my soul moments, when I’ve seen very clearly how babies get shaken.  And abandoned.  And wrecked.  How did I get past them?  I have no clue.  I just did.

Thank god.

Deborah from bedrest banshee, had a pretty involved question:

“Q1: Do you ever feel that maybe, just maybe – you ARE”hot”? As in milf not menopausal. If so, when?
Q2: If there was a, how you say, “Indecent Proposal” – for you, for your husband? Would you? Would you let him? Let’s say $75K tax free in small unmarked bills for you, let’s say an untraceable $25K for him.
Q3: who do you currently think – famous or local, of all the people you know or view, has the most confidence in their own appeal. Not arrogance, confidence.”

Ahem.  There was a one question limit, Deb.  (Good thing I like you.  I will persevere.)

Every now and again, for about 5 minutes at a time, I feel hot-ish.  And yes, it helps if I think I’m looking OK, but really?   It’s when I’m actively engaging with another person, talking, entertaining, really nailing a good conversation.  It’s the only way that being “hot” feels authentic to me.

As to the Indecent Proposal scenario,  um, well, I could really use some money.  I couldn’t sleep with someone in that situation.  Owen could.  I’d have no problem letting him.  The problem would come when he failed to show the appropriate amount of remorse and self-loathing, afterward.  (And can I just say how much I enjoy that you valued me 3X higher than him?  You’re brilliant.)

As to confidence, that’s a tricky bit of business.  Because what I’m starting to understand is that the people who seem the most confident to me are the hottest messes, just under the surface.  And that we’re all faking it until we make it.  If we ever do.

And finally, the question that made me spit diet Coke when I first read it, from Rassles:

“You would go gay for me, wouldn’t you?”

Yup.  Just a matter of time, toots.

Excuses, excuses…

In the last couple of days I have:

Taken photos of a toilet for the express purpose of emailing them to a stranger.

Mistaken my soup bowl for a rice bowl at a restaurant, then pretended like I totally meant to do that.

Solicited dental advice from a British person.

Tried, in vain, to remove all traces of navy blue eyeshadow from a 3 year old’s eyebrows.

Written a guest review at Ask & Ye Shall Receive.

And what, may I ask, were you doing?

Feliz cumpleaños, señoras!

Christmas birthdays probably blow.

People give you christmasbirthday presents, a lot of your friends are away on vacation, Jesus completely steals your thunder, and you have to act like it’s all cool.

You know what else blows?

Birthdays right after Christmas.

Everyone’s hung over, feeling bloated, and broke.

The odds for a good birthday are kind of against you.  Unless you are a chick who is so awesome, your birthday has no choice but to be a reflection of your awesomeness.

Not one, but two totally rockin’ bloggers I happen to be friends with happen to have post-Christmas birthdays.  On the same day.

Please join me in wishing Kitty and Rassles each a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!  IN CAPITALS, BECAUSE THAT INDICATES YOU REALLY MEAN IT!!!

I realize neither of you is named Emma, but the love? That's real.

(Image via Cake Wrecks.)

Which brings me to me.

My birthday is exactly one month after Rassles and Kitty’s birthday.

It’s a demographic-jumping year for me.  I’m leaving the coveted 17-34 group.  Off to the purgatory of the pre-middle aged.  The only things marketed at me are beige carpeting and Sheryl Crow CDs.

I want to turn thirty-five in a blaze of glory.

So how do I go about making that happen?

All ideas are welcome.

(But just so you know, here’s some things I won’t do:

Wear heels over 2 inches.

Eat kale.

Get a perm.

Drive a Yugoslavian car.

Shank a bitch.


Go to a movie starring Kate Hudson (I find her off-putting.)

Lick a metal pole.


Take public transportation.

Wear lace-up anything.

But other than that, anything is fair game.)

“The Wilderness Years – Xmas With My Father”, A Guest Post

So there’s this guy named Kono (well, not really, but that’s what he’s going by, and I can dig it).  And he writes at a blog called the asshat lounge.

As of late, his writing has been knocking my proverbial socks off.  When I read his story about Christmas with his dad, it made me hold my breath, from sheer overload.  I just flat out love it.  The post originally appears here, and it is with Kono’s express permission that I repost it here.  Go visit his blog, poke around, get aquainted.  (Unless you’re a hipster douchebag who’s going to call him a carpet-bagger.  Then, you can hit the bricks.)  If you’re a commenting type person, leave a comment on the post at his site, let him know he is much beloved.

Without further ado, I present, for your reading pleasure, “The Wilderness Years – Xmas With My Father”, by Kono.

Click here for more: The Wilderness Years. You can refer to the Late Night Maudlin St. post for the back story or you can just pick it up here but the years following the demise of my nuclear family is what i refer to as the Wilderness years, for both Dad and me it was a strange and rough time, Dad found himself in an apartment on the west side of C-town and i found myself bouncing from place to place, apt. to apt., from migrant beach work to rust belt grunt to self employed purveyor of fine contraband, the big D had hit the old man right in the gut and it was as if i was right there with him, a younger version of Mickey, Rocky Balboa’s trainer, encouraging him to get up off the mat and live, he would, my old man is nothing if not resilient…

But this is not a Sad Panda kind of post so we’ll get on with it… when i was about 11 or so, back in 81 or 82 ye olde family had a garage sale and one of the items up for sale was the old man’s stack of classic Hustler and Penthouse which his young son had already discovered and took a liking to though he was not sure why, of course looking back i can bask in the glow of the pre-Brazilian days of porn when every woman was au naturel , i’m pretty sure mom wanted this out of the house before said boy hit puberty and locked himself in the can to flog himself mercilessly, she put the stack out and charged a dime for each one. They all sold in the first 20 minutes of the garage sale. At one point that fateful morn Mom had to go and hang some signs for the junk show so she cast an icy glare my way and stated that she had counted the stack of magazines and would count them when she returned and that they better all be there, i of course applied best poker face and said, What magazines?

Mom left and i waited for 30 seconds and Carl Lewis’ed it to the garage to get one last peek at the glorious golden age of nudie mags before some lucky bastard trotted off with the lot, of course as soon as the garage door buzzed i dropped the treasure and high tailed it back inside to sit at the kitchen table, sweat dripping down my temples and innocently studying the box of Trix as if i had just discovered the meaning of life and the rabbit himself was espousing on it.

We now fast forward 10 plus years to my Dad’s barren apartment, what i loved about this time was though it could have been another maudlin affair of woe is me and why did it come to this it was some of the best X-mas mornings of my life. No tree, no lights, just me and the old man, boiling water in an old metal pan and drinking shit instant coffee and eating toast cuz all the restaurants were closed and the old man now being a bachelor barely kept any food in the house, we’d sit and have a cigarette, talk about the state of the world, philosophy, books, my mother and his ex-wife, ( of which he never said a disparaging word and encouraged me to re-kindle some kind of relationship with) we’d watch Sportcenter’s Year in Review and Top Plays and when we’d had enough he’d retire to his room to sleep (he worked nights) and i would read on his couch between cat naps, glorious fucking days. The best present we had was each other’s company.

Of course my job as a salesman, off the books of course, gave me just enough extra cash to buy the old man something, it wasn’t the first year more likely the next that i showed up stoned out of my gourd, talking about my fucked up tooth which was on my right side while i stood rubbing the left side of the face, Dad just kind of chucked and said “wrong side son, musta been a helluva drive” and smiled at this gigantic wasted boy of his, i stopped, shook my head, laughed and said by the way i got you a present…

The old man looked at me quizzically, a present? he said, uh-huh i said and proceeded to pull a brown paper bag out of my travel bag and hand it to him, he pulled out the December issue of Penthouse, chuckled and said Alright. That’s not all i added, i got you a subscription and the video should arrive in the mail shortly. The normally unflappable old man looked at me and said no shit. I stood beaming at him like a 5 year old who had just handed his dad an awful tie but this time i was old enough to know that the Old Man was thrilled with his present. I figured it was the least i could do since Mom made you sell all the old ones you used to have. He laughed again and i told him, third drawer down hidden under a couple of t-shirts, i mean shit dad at least i hid mine in a shoe box and covered ’em with baseball cards when i was at home. He laughed again and gave me a hug and while outside the world was awaiting the impending birth of their savior this x-mas eve and the snow fell on Cleveland, the Old Man and i cracked a couple of beers, heated up some pizza and turned on the tube.