Monday, August 19, 2013

The Joy of Ordering In

So, I ordered a pizza and the guy on the phone was like, “Oh everybody from there is ordering tonight.” Apparently I’m the third person in my complex to order.
When I got off the phone, I started to worry that the pizzas would be all mixed up, which led to this conversation that never fucking happened.  
Me: Excuse me, but this isn’t mine, I ordered cheese and mushroom.
Pizza guy: Ugh. God lady, can’t you just eat that one?
Me: I can’t. I don’t eat meat.
Pizza guy sighs in a put-upon manner, snatches the pizza from my hands and stomps off down the stairs. He returns two minutes later.
Pizza guy: Here.
Me: Um…
Pizza guy: This is your pizza.
Me: Where was it?
Pizza guy: It was at your neighbors.
Me: Could I have a new one, please?
I would probably forget to actually say "please," because I’m prone to doing that, but the please is implied.
Pizza guy: Lady, it’s fine. They didn’t touch it.
Me: Did they open it?
Pizza guy: Lady, you opened the one you had.
I’m not sure why he keeps calling me ‘Lady.’ I hate imaginary Pizza guy.
Me: Exactly. So we should all have new pizzas.
Pizza guy: They’re your neighbors. What’s the problem?
Me: If they opened it, then they breathed on it, and I really don’t know my neighbors that well, so the thought of them breathing on my food kind of freaks me out.
It freaks me way the fuck out.
Pizza guy: The guy who cooked on it breathed on it.
Me: I try not to think about that. And I’ve never seen the cook, so I don’t have a mental image of him breathing on my pizza. At least, I didn’t.
Pizza guy: Look lady, they’re nice people. They didn’t do anything to the pizza. Just eat it.
Me: I didn’t say they did anything to it. I would just like a nice, fresh pizza that hasn’t been passed around my apartment complex.
Pizza guy: You’re a crazy bitch, you know that?
In most of my imaginary arguments someone ends up calling me a bitch. That probably means something. I’m not sure if it’s something bad or good, because in my real life arguments, I get called much worse things.
Pizza guy: Fine. I’ll be back.
But at this point I just want to cancel my order, because I’m convinced that either someone is going to spit on my new, fresh pizza, or Pizza guy is just going to drive this pizza around the block and bring it back. With spit.            

P.S. It was a really stressful forty-five minutes to an hour, but as it turns out, the correct pizza was delivered, and the pizza guy was completely pleasant.  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Say My Name(Ish)

            I have a couple of neighbors who think my name is Anna. I wouldn’t be so bothered by this if they didn’t insist on saying “hi Anna,” every time they see me. I don’t expect everyone to know my name. That would be ridiculous. I wouldn’t care if they had no idea what my name was. I just can’t understand what is so wrong with a moniker-free greeting. Why must they always make such a point of addressing me by not-my-name?
The worst part is I’ve made myself complicit. It’s been over a year, and I haven’t corrected them. I’m assuming that when we met, I told them my actual name, because (and yes, I mean to brag) I have never fucked up the process of telling someone my name. Not even when I’m drunk, because I’ve had a lot of practice at both of those things. So, I am completely sure I did not tell them my name is Anna.
But for whatever reason they started calling me Anna, and I didn’t correct them, because I’m really not that social, and it’s not like we hang out. Also, I had no idea they were going to be so persistent about saying hello, or rather, “Hi Anna.”
 So now I live in constant fear of being accosted with the wrong name as I scutter to or from my apartment. I know it seems like an easy fix, and it would have been, once, but now at this point I’m going to look like a douche if I say anything, mostly because I’m actually being a douche.  I’m spending way more time writing this post than it would take to march my ass across the way and say, “Hello, my name is Anne. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” But what if they didn’t get the reference? To be fair, I’m totally fucking up the syllable rhythm by using my own name, and only my first name at that, so it’s not like I’d blame them, much, but it would be pretty awkward. They would think I was crazy, which is valid, but for the wrong reasons, which I don’t want to encourage.
There is also the worry that if I speak up, I may set off an entire conversation. Something like:
Me:  I just wanted to let you know my name is Anne.
Them: We know your name, Anna.
Me: No. It’s just Anne. Not Anna. I should have said something sooner. Sorry.
Them:  Why didn’t you?
Me:  Because I dreaded the conversation that’s happening to me right now.
Them:  What’s wrong with you, Anna?
I’m left feeling resentful every time they say “hi Anna.” Between the two of them it happens at least five times a day, and it’s exhausting. They’re so aggressive about it that I’m never allowed to slip by un-greeted. And I get stressed out about the whole situation every time. Lately I’ve been wondering if they’re calling me the wrong name on purpose just to torture me.
The thing is, if they legitimately liked me enough to justify their urge to bury me in salutations, they would know my fucking name. It’s not normal to greet someone so often when you never otherwise converse. There is no one I say “hi,” to five times a day. Except for them, because I have to say it back or I’ll look overly antisocial.
I am the one who’s disgruntled, so I should speak the fuck up. But instead I’ll probably just bitch about it here, and continue to quietly resent them. I hope no one got into this post looking for a moral.

P.S.  I know both of their names, and their kid’s name. And their dog’s name. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

But I Didn't Throw the Poop


Walking with three dogs is a slow business thanks to the generally unsynchronized sniffing, and lifting, and squatting. While we were stopped for a squat, a woman messing around in the trunk of her car shined a flashlight in my face. I tried to assume it was an accident, but then she did it again. And again. We had to pass her to get home, although to be completely honest, we would have gone over there anyway, because I was really annoyed, and because it’s everyone’s duty to stand up to inappropriate flashlight behavior when they see it.
And as we approach she shines it in my face again. Now, we are not out in the country. There is the ambient light that one gets in any city, not to mention the actual streetlamps. It is not that damn dark.
Me: “Could you not shine that thing in my face?” I’m thinking: What the fuck is your problem?
Her: “Sorry, Ma’am, I couldn’t see who was there. It looked like you were hiding behind a tree.”  Although she technically said the word “sorry,” it was not in any way an actual apology. And in case you missed it, she called me Ma’am.
Me: “I’m just walking my dogs.” This is a phenomenon she should be familiar with since there are probably almost as many dogs as people in my neighborhood.
Her: “Well, I’m sorry, Ma’am.” (Again not being sorry at all.) “I have bad eyes and I can’t see at night.”
Me: “Well, maybe you shouldn’t be out at night.” Grown women who are afraid of the not-really-dark should stay inside always.
Her: “Do you know how many times my car has been broken into?” Probably never while you were guarding it with that wicked flashlight.
Me: “Well, it wasn’t me any of those times.” Is she implying I’m a car burglar?
Her: “And did you pick up your dog shit?” Not that it’s any of your business but…
Me: “Yeah. Do you want to inspect it?”
Her: “Ugh. No, I don’t think so.”
I’m thinking:  Are you sure? Because I’d be happy to throw it at your head.
Her: “I can tell just by looking at you that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t pick up their dog shit.” That is so judgmental. And so incorrect, since…
Me: “I’m holding a bag of dog shit right now.” Don’t call her a cunt. Don’t.
Me again: “Why don’t you stop being so judgmental and fat?”  Dodged the C-word. Good for you.
Her: “I’m pregnant.”
And now we’re in a bad sitcom.
Her again: “Why are you such a cunt?” It’s called the moral high ground, lady. Come join me.
            Me: “It’s too bad that whoever knocked you up doesn’t care enough to come help you with that box.” There was a box. It was big. She dropped it, which was probably really embarrassing. I may have enjoyed that part.
            Her: “Your dogs are ugly.” Which is ridiculous. My dogs are beautiful. She was projecting.
So that was my night. And I hope she’s still fighting with her husband or whatever about how he didn’t help her with the box. Other than that, I’ve let it go. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Better, Stronger, Chompier


Sometimes, in life, you get a broken front tooth. That’s not a metaphor. Last week, a beautiful, sweet dog was overcome with excitement to greet me and rammed my face with his face, resulting in a large chunk of my front tooth going missing.
The result was visually quite unfortunate, but relatively pain free, until I went to the dentist. The procedure itself was ok, since I’d been shot quite full of Novocain, or whatever. In fact, I had a pleasantly rubbery face for quite a while after I left. Turns out, I should have seized that pain free hour, because by the time I stopped dallying around, so had the drugs.
Unfortunately, I still had a stop to make. And it took all of my limited strength of character not to dart in front of the old man who was creeping toward the door as I approached from the parking lot, because I really wanted to get in line before he did. I actually have that urge all the time; so far I’ve managed to suppress it. I could be an amazing douche if I let myself.
Anyway, the door in question was the AAA door, where you can go instead of going to the DMV, and in most ways it is infinitely preferable. However, what I can say for the DMV is this: people don’t go there for directions. Directions. Yeah. It’s called Google maps, old people. Or even regular maps. I know you know about those. Or you could try your luck with your GPS. I’m pretty sure Cadillac has those. Sorry old people, as I write this, I’m still in pain. And I’m not prejudiced. I’m practically one of you.
I’m waiting my turn, counting the number of inane questions per minute (it’s three), and the numbness is really wearing off and this is reflected in my mood. I have to remind myself that these other people are people too, that they matter as much as I do, even if they are ninety and have apparently pilgrimaged to AAA for the sole purpose of insisting that they are excellent drivers (which inherently means that they are not), they deserve their turn. Their long drawn out turn.
There’s a lady who has got to be eighty, who’s  worried that her handicapped license plate is going to, “alert the cops.” She has already extolled her driving skills. I’m rolling my eyes politely to myself and trying not to let my jaw clench because I’m in more pain every minute and I’m not sure why they didn’t send me home with something for that because surely, this could have been predicted by the professionals, but it was not. Or else they wanted me to suffer.
 And I’m cranky and feeling guilty for all the rude thoughts I’m having about everybody else in the waiting room and bad about the fact that I’m reminding myself that they’re people too, because who has to remind themselves that other people are people? In my defense, I don’t have to do this every day. But full disclosure, this wasn’t the first time either.
When it’s my turn I draw the shortest of sticks meaning a trainee who doesn’t know how to do what I need done. He assures me he knows how to do other things, and lists some of them. I heroically refrain from leaping over the counter. A brief wait later, I am rewarded for my patience with a full-fledged employee and we manage to wrap up my errand so I am free to rush home and self medicate with tequila.
Flash forward two weeks, when I go back to have a permanent veneer put on. The doctor tells me that they usually don’t need to use anesthesia for this part. I prove to him that I am a special case by whimpering the minute he touches me with an instrument.
Some tugging, and filing, and flinching, and gluing later I have a brand new pearly white. They have rebuilt me. They have made me better, stronger and chompier. Or at least restored me to a state of dental symmetry. Now everything is fine, except the pain is back. So for the rest of the afternoon, I will be on the couch watching GoT and wondering why no one will step up and (SPOILER ALERT!) murder Joffrey. Although I’m only on the second season, so perhaps by now someone has. Happy thoughts.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Flying the Shrieking Skies


I had to wait to write this until I could calm myself and be reasonable. I didn’t want the entire post to be profanity; because it was that bad. Some people may be offended and judge me, and that’s ok. But here’s the thing: babies should not be allowed on planes, because they’re horrible. Babies, not planes.
By now you probably think I hate children. I don’t. I have a nephew and he’s awesome, partly because he never shrieks at the top of his lungs. And it’s not just about being greedy for the pleasure of screech-free flying, although I am. There are health issues to be concerned about. I’m referring to headaches, deafness, (which ironically would be a blessing) and the stress that is caused by suppressing one’s natural instincts; namely the urge to fling peanuts, SkyMall catalogues, or whatever else is within reach at the offending baby.
I get it parents. You like your babies. You like to take them with you. But you have to balance your, I have to use the word “selfish,” want against what you’re putting other people through. If you do insist on taking a baby with you on a plane, (a small enclosed space where people are trapped with your horrible baby) then bring shit to entertain it. Please don’t rely on it being enchanted by the nozzle of the air conditioning vent. As I know from personal experience, that fascination is fleeting.
Pack a toy; and maybe some Nyquil, the airline will provide the booze. And yeah, all that stuff is for the baby. “Oh no,” you may be thinking. “I don’t want to drug my baby when it’s not even sick, that’s horrible!”  It’s not that bad. People used to put brandy right into the bottle, and drink and smoke while pregnant. And breastfeeding. The human race survived. And so will your baby. Probably. I’m not a pediatrician, but probably.
Well, maybe. I mean, there’s really no way of knowing what will happen. But I do know that sobriety is no guarantee of a safe childhood. Anything can happen. Besides, I believe they make Nyquil just for children. And if something is made specifically for children, then it would be bad parenting not to give it to them. It would be like denying your baby vitamins. Because drug companies care.
And if your child is shrieking and giving someone all the way across the aisle a headache because it’s so damn loud, don’t smile around as though you think it’s cute, and don't expect anyone else to think it’s cute. Shut that kid up. Screeching is not adorable. And when you act like you expect me to find it adorable, I want to hit you in the face.
Airlines: don’t let babies fly for free. You’re just exacerbating the problem. Make them pay at least full fare, perhaps with an additional noise hazard tax of 100%. And consider turning one or two of the bathrooms into soundproof penalty boxes for particularly rowdy babies. Better that the rest of us have to hold it, than have to listen to some rowdy infant scream as though it’s being skinned because it dropped a pacifier.
It also wouldn’t hurt to penalize the parents of bad babies. Perhaps a modest fine could be imposed on those that allow a baby to get out of hand. Like a dollar. Per passenger. Payable every time their baby shrieks. Or cries. Or stinks. Incidentally, if that policy had been in effect during my last flight, my next flight would have been paid for. And that would have been justice.  
Please remember airlines, that frequent flyer perks aside, you have an obligation to treat your passengers equally and fairly. If I behaved like a certain baby named Quinn*(whose parents passed out earplugs and candy at the beginning of the flight, which I should have taken as a sign of end times instead of mistaking it for a courtesy) you would fly me over Guantanamo without passing GO and push me out a hatch. Fair is fair.
To the babies: Just stay home. Ask for a babysitter. Remember, anyone who cares will come to you. I’m talking grandparents. Yeah, that’s it, just grandparents. Everybody else is waiting until you’re a little older and less terrible. It’s ok. The rest of the world will start to warm to you when you can say words and poop in the toilet. And babies? One more thing: It’s bullshit to scream when you’re upset, and then scream when you’re happy. Get a grip.
*Seriously, she’s the devil. (Whom I didn’t even believe existed until this kid sat behind me for two hours.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

For "Ease" Read, "Holy Shit this is Hard!"

Nobody died. And it was amazing. And no one made fun of anyone else. Except me. I made fun of one girl. But I didn’t make fun of her because of any sort of physical ineptness, because that would be mean. I only made fun of her insistence on whining during such a spectacularly fun occasion. It was discrete mockery too; for the ears of my sister only.
In spite of the ominous lawyerese on the release form it was abundantly safe and so much fucking fun that you need to go do it. Right now. Call in to work, whatever it takes.
            Fair warning, the back of your legs will look like this:



And this can happen to your pants:  




             And it’s a lot harder than it looks. For me. There is something horribly wrong with my body that prevents me from getting my legs over the damn bar in the normal way, so I had to learn an alternate way. Which they say is harder. I didn’t know if that was true or if they just say that to make people feel better about being sent to remedial trapeze school. But I proved to my satisfaction that it is in fact more difficult, by immediately getting my leg tangled in both the trapeze and the safety line, which no one else was able to do. Hence the pants. Anyway, I finally managed it.
             However it’s hard to catch up to the others when you get sent back. To remedial trapeze school. Like I did. So by the end of the session, I was losing my mind. Half the people had crapped out, and the other half had managed to perfect their timing, and were being instructed on how to do the catch. I was pretty much left to go again and again.
             In my crazed determination to perfect my timing, I was forgetting all the safety rules and had to be reminded once by a fellow student and once by an instructor to hook up my safety lines. The instructor actually made me climb down the ladder and take a moment to breathe and calm myself, so I was probably pretty much a wreck by then.
             I didn’t get to do the catch because I totally fucked up my last turn, and I had been warned there was some concern that I might crash into the catcher and injure us both. I was so hyped up that I was totally prepared to take a head injury, but they are a bit overprotective of their staff. So fine.

Here is what I did on my final turn:


video

And here is my sister doing it properly:


                                            video

             So it was awesome. And the people who were good were very sweet and encouraging to those who weren’t. By the end that was just me, because everybody else had quit. So I got to be the plucky girl who didn’t give up, even though she sucked. Which is not what I was planning; but it wasn’t so bad. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

With the Greatest of Ease


Saturday morning I will be flying through the air with the greatest of ease; or else I’ll be dying, probably also with the greatest of ease. Trapeze school is finally upon us, and no, you didn’t miss anything, I haven’t mentioned it. I imagine myself doing flips and catches and whatnot, and in my mind I’m suddenly endowed with the grace and coordination that is noticeably lacking in my usual interactions with the physical world.
 Hopefully that actually happens because apparently (according to the terrifying release I’m supposed to sign) in the world of trapeze there are consequences for physical ineptness, “…could result in physical or emotional injury or death. I understand that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity.” Ok. I get that they can’t guarantee no injuries when they’re letting you swing around like monkeys and the only thing keeping you from falling is the untrained and sweaty hand of another trapeze school newbie, but I have to question the idea of emotional injury being unavoidable. Are they going to make fun of us if we don’t do well? Post photos of us fearful and sprawling on the internet? Surely, some restraint could be shown there. Falling on your ass is bad enough without the professionals making fun of you for it. And if I do fall on my ass it will be because I wasn’t properly instructed, so heal thyself, trapeze guy.
And there’s not just the danger of me falling; there’s the possibility that shit will fall on me. “The risks include…being struck by objects dislodged or dropped from above.” Well, perhaps we don’t need to keep so much clutter on the trapeze platform. Seriously, what the fuck do they keep up there? And dislodged could be accidental, but dropped? Sounds like someone up there is out to get me. 
Then there are the trapeze people. “…employees have difficult jobs to perform. They are not infallible.” Ok, that’s kind of a given, albeit not something I necessarily want emphasized right before I literally put my life in their hands. But even though they’re not perfect, they are surely highly trained and as close to infallible as is humanly possible.
Except for the part where they’re not particularly observant. “They might misjudge the weather or other environmental conditions.” Really? Because the trapezing actually takes place outside. In the weather. What I’m hearing is, “If we don’t kill you by flinging bricks at your head from 100 feet up, the lightening will finish you off because we’re not properly trained to look at the sky.”
And it seems that’s not all they’re not properly trained to do. “They may give incomplete or inaccurate instructions or warnings.”  You’re starting to sound lazy, guys. How about taking a little pride in your work. Consider how nice it would be to go home and say to your wife, husband or cat, “No one died today, and there were only a few close calls, because I had the initiative to tell people to hold on tight.”
“The equipment being used might malfunction.”  How much can a new trapeze cost? It’s essentially a rope and a stick. Maybe I should bring my own. Except I don’t know where to get a trapeze on short notice. But, I might know where I can borrow a sex swing.* Those things are pretty much interchangeable, I believe.
“I certify I have adequate insurance to cover any injury or damage I may cause or suffer while participating...” I wish I could, but I’m sure they won’t check. At least not until after one of the aforementioned unfortunate incidents has occurred.
In spite of the eager specters of death, paralyzation, and embarrassment, I’m excited. I’m a little worried that the trapeze people will see this and not let me on. But I can’t post it after, well, maybe I could, but it’s not certain. And because I’ve gone to the trouble of writing it, I don’t want it to be a wasted effort if I die. Speaking of dying, if I don’t make it back, would someone please feed my dogs?
*I absolutely do not know where I can borrow a sex swing.