January 23, 2012

Made for Improv

Anybody who's ever met me in person knows that I'm better at being funny when I have a wall to bounce stuff off of.  I think that's part of the reason why a large part of my activity has been on twitter or facebook recently.  Most of my updates there are one-liners that I either came up with out of the blue, or were a result of conversations I was having at the time.  Also, another reason why I'm one of the few people who's hoping for hecklers when I get on stage.  So, if you're not already doing so, you can follow me on Twitter.  I'm @Ephemily.  Give me something to hone my sniper snark abilities!

Cry “havoc!” and let loose the 21st century trolls of war.

I lived in my house for just under 8 years before selling it post-divorce in 2011.  In that time, I had never had a pregnancy scare, adopted a kid, or even really had a person that kicked dirt at the “Must be this tall” sign at the amusement park in the house for longer than a few hours.  If they were there, they were with their handlers and promptly left with them when the occasion was over.  Short version is, I don’t have, nor will I have, wee ones of my own.  

What’s funny about this is the mailers I get.  I’m young enough to not have reached that mythical sexual peak that men whisper about in dark corners and locker rooms.  This is why all the mailers for tours of retirement communities and discounts on my AARP memberships make me laugh at the wasted postage.  After a local assisted living place sent me a third mailer, I finally called them and told them to please take me off their list.

Don’t get me wrong, my grandma had a more active social life than I do when she was living in her apartment.  I was envious of all her options.  However, I’m thinking there are others who could benefit from the sponge baths from Enrique more than I could.  

This brings me to my last set of mailers that just crack me up.  For some reason, somehow I have landed on a New Mother mailing list.  What’s funny about this is I’m pretty vocal about being child free.  I’m a S.I.N.K.  (I’m all that and the kitchen sink?  Oooh, the jokes in there abound!)  Most of the time, if you’re on that kind of list, you get all sorts of offers for free stuff; diapers, formula, day care.  You name it, there’s someone hawking you something.  However, I have been limited to offers to have my non-existent baby photographed for free from no fewer than SEVEN local photography studios.  Now, while I schemed about finding a way to find a 6 foot plus, hairy man friend willing to put on a diaper and a bonnet as a gag, it occurred to me that perhaps a heavier handed approach would yield more results.  The black light bulb over my head clicked on, and my forehead started to itch as my devil’s horns started to grow.  This is going to be good.

Let’s establish some facts.  You average human is typically hardwired to want to spawn.  There’s a reason why young women doodle their first names paired with the last names of their crushes on trapper keepers.  It’s biology!  There are women in my own family who have spent twice their annual income on fertility services, and here I went and got myself medically sterilized.  My best friend likes to tell me I’m a puma, too young to be a cougar, and I’ve been fixed but not declawed.  However, I am a statistical anomaly.  I can use this to my advantage.  Enter my uncomfortable spotlight of shame; a letter about the tragic loss of my wee one.  (A fictional love story.)

Begin Letter:

Dear sir or Madame at [Photography studio],
I am writing in response to your offer to bring my baby in for a free photoshoot.  When I got your mailer, it tore my heart from my chest to see all the beautiful babies and know that mine was never to be among them.  You see, I lost my baby in a car crash.  I was several months along when I was broadsided by a driver in an SUV who was texting instead of paying attention.  By the time we were rushed to the hospital, it was too late.  My baby was already gone.  What’s worse is that, because of my injuries, I can never have another.  That driver took two very precious things from me that night.  

Later, it could come to pass that he would take a third.  My husband stayed with me till I was recovered enough to dress myself and walk again.  But, as soon as I was home and back to work, he asked me for a divorce.  It seems having a family was more important to him than our marriage.  And since I couldn’t provide that for him, it was time to move on to a more “perfect” woman.  I was devastated.  He left me the house and the car and a healthy alimony payment.  Probably out of guilt.  But, I am left alone in the house that was once so full of happiness and love, only to remember how it would never be the same.  

Ok, that’s a big fat lie.  All of it.  I’ve never been in a crash, I’ve never been pregnant, and even though I am divorced, it wasn’t over my inability to have kids.  I’m sterile by CHOICE and a rather staunch supporter of the Child Free movement.  I’m writing to request that you please contact your mailing list provider and ask them to update their records.  They are wasting your money by including my name in their database.  


*Edit,  The more I thought about this, the meaner it started to feel.  I think I'm going to leave this up, but write something new to replace it.  I know that you can't ever really delete something from the internet, so it seems cowardly to try.  Here's to my next effort being less Mean Girl, and more "Fine Point Nailed Home With A Hammer".

January 12, 2012

Mental Vignettes

I've been talking to someone from Vermillion South Dakota recently.  Part of me is curious why they went to all that trouble just to name their town "red".  Then I stopped and played out a scene from the cold war where some bureaucrat walks into an office with a town charter in town.  He hands it to some higher level bureaucrat and says "Well, everything's in order, but they want to name their town "Red".  "Oh no!  We can't have that!  We'll be the laughing stock and commies will flock there.  Let's fudge this a little and call it 'Vermillion'.  I mean, it means the same thing and has more syllables.  It's classy!"

And so, Vermillion was born.  And it's complete bunk.  But it was an entertaining 10 minutes while I was thinking about it.

January 9, 2012

Misinformation and the Art of Being Trolled - Fox News Edition

As I was slogging through my workday afternoon today, I was lucky enough to have an IM conversation with Dr. Zodiac about anything from our upcoming spoken word event, to the misinformation that Bill O'Reilly is spewing on Fox News these days.  (When you don't get much intellectual stimulation from resetting passwords or passing messages between users and techs like it's Jr High, you get your mental jerky from any topic you can!)

So, the good doctor sent me this link.  http://mediamatters.org/research/201201050021  After we'd just done a show to benefit Planned Parenthood, it was relevant.  It also pissed me off.

January 6, 2012

Rogue Grooming Utensil

I have strange habits.  I'll admit.  If candid camera followed me around, I'm sure there would be some raised eyebrows more often than not.

Speaking of eyebrows.  I trim mine so they don't get too out of control.  Well, that is, I did, until last night.  The short version of the story is, never trust a trimmer guard.  Especially when it's attached to a brand new trimmer.  Because a 2 guard on the old one is NOT the same as the new one.  Half a missing eyebrow and a dictionary of new cuss words later, I'm the proud owner of invisiblely blonde stubble.  At that point, the only thing to be done was to super-trim both of them.

Did I mention that this was at 5:10 and I had a date at 6:00?  Oy.  In a pinch, letting your bangs fall naturally without putting a tight curl in them and some mascara make a great foxhole solution.  As is though, I've got this perma-surprise thing going and some time to wait for them to grow back.

In the future, I'm going back to a bald blade and a comb as a guard.  rassum frassum.

But I'm a Fucking DEDICATED Panty Waist

By the time I was ready to say "I don't" to my now ex-husband, time, emotions, birth control, and bleu cheese dressing had enabled me to turn myself into a gelatinous blob with an unfortunate haircut.  I got sick of feeling like the Micheline man, so I decided to do something about it.  Well, let's be honest, I paid someone to help me do something about it.  I hired a trainer to kick my ass.

I am a bamboo forest of a woman.  Howl on great wind, I will bend, but I won't break.  And I make a fantastic paddle when it comes time to hand your ass to you on a platter and ask you if you enjoyed the spanking.  However, when it comes to sweating and getting off the couch, I'm a cream puff.  We're talking, 10 minutes on an elliptical and I need to hose down my legs because they feel like they just might spontaneously combust.  Add on top of that a diet that would make Dahmer question who taught me how to feed myself, and I am one unhealthy sumbitch. 

Six Days & the Cosmic Cornhole

Late October in 2010 was an interesting ride.  Between my birthday and Halloween, I managed to climb on a living amusement park ride and throw my birds up in the air and wave 'em like I just don't care in the face of the Universe.  I have a photo posted from this week on my online dating profile, with a caption that encourages people to ask me about the back story.  Today, I got such a request.  This is the explanation I offered.

RE: A Very Bundy Wedding Photo

Oh, now that's a tacky romp of a week in 2010. My birthday is very close to Halloween, and that week of my life was interesting, to say the least.

I had been in the final stretch of my divorce for a while. All we were waiting for was a court date to make it final. I had been seeing a guy for a short while at the time, however, that wasn't meant to be. He decided to part ways on Saturday. My birthday was Monday, I got divorced on Tuesday (best birthday present I'd had to date. This year, I sold my house after a year long nightmare, so that is now officially the best birthday present ever.) And I went to a Halloween party that weekend stuffed into a wedding dress that was 18,000 miles of tulle. (I'm very much NOT a princess dress kind of girl, which is one of the reasons why it was hilarious. The other reasons is, I had to cram all of that hot mess into a Mini Cooper to get to the party. Once I found the gear shift, I couldn't let go or I might never have found it again.) I put on HORRIBLE makeup on purpose. I wanted more eyeliner and red lipstick than should be legal. I learned though, I had trouble actually getting lipstick on my teeth on purpose. I bought a pack of candy cigarettes and stuffed them in the front of the dress for effect. Later, somehow a can of keystone light made it in there too. Yeah, it was a hot mess on purpose, and I laaaaauuuughed.

A friend of mine showed up dressed as Col Sanders, complete with white tuxedo. So, we've got some fantastic photos of the two of us goofing off and totally mugging for the camera as if TMZ caught the Col with his tacky bride.

So, yeah. 2010 That was the year where in one week, I was dumped, turned a year older, finalized a divorce, and was back in a wedding dress in a matter of 6 days. Because, that's how I roll.

January 5, 2012

Stars and Stones, Moon and Mountains

i do not want to moon
or its rays
that turn some forbidden fire-footed dance on water

for once the moon is down, what should i do with it?
rubbermaid is not prepared
and all it could do is
bob on my soup as a great matzo ball

you soil your one knee down with the bullshit you spout
and offer to call down the stars
catch them in your fists
and set them in gold
for me
as the reminder of
“the diamonds in my eyes”

what would i do with the stars?
glue them to my journal like cosmic glitter
or season my brown rice with them

how clever are your gifts?
yes, these familiar items
tired novelty trinkets of affection (effection?)
words inspired by soft radio hours
spouted by rhyming fairweather sometimes poets
who thumb guitars and clear their throats into microphones

I have apparently never been typical when it comes to dating.  Forget the diamond, I'd rather have a book.

January 3, 2012

Mixology - Innuendo in a Glass

Over the weekend, I attended the Steampunk Society's Masquerade Ball.  Part of the costume included a leopard print flask.  (I know, I know.  Not exactly Victorian when it's a shiny patent leather.  Humor me.)  As I was checking out at the grocery store earlier in the day, I not only remembered I didn't have anything good to fill it with, but I saw a pink bottle of Kinky in the impulse buy area of the store.  That's when a little lightbulb went off above my head.  This would be my booze to nip on.  Fitting, and tasty.  So, I bought a bottle.  While talking about the New Year's party at work today, I had yet another brainstorm; Ephemily's Cocktail - Sexual Innuendo in a Glass!

In a sugar-rimmed Champagne flute, mix:
  • one part Kinky
  • two parts Squirt.  
  • Drop in a slice of Pineapple for a that wink wink, nudge, nudge effect.
I think I'm going to have to start carrying this flash with me more often!

Meditations on Donuts

Not all of the work that I did in college was QUITE so visceral.  I had a lovely roommate my sophomore year.  We shared just about everything, and I miss her terribly.  We had an inside joke that donuts were a gift from the gods.  So, out of that came the following:

Meditations on the Goddess of Doughnut
What passes through the novice worshiper’s consciousness during prayer

oh goddess of doughnut…
<Said impatiently>
for goddess sake
send me a divine revelation
and tell me your name
i’ve been sitting behind this
dunkin’ doughnuts for three days now
and people are starting to stare
and I need a shower and
I drank all my coffee
and I…
gotta sound devout
gotta sound devout

January 2, 2012

Childhood Vignettes

Memory snippets of childhood.  Oh, so sweet.

Perfect perfect perfect baby
coo a little more for me

mama brought her up on
bagels braunschweiger, Bach & bruises

playing on her scooter
flying legs with skinned up knees
and a streak of dirt on her face

brown ropey standard in kiddie piggie tails
flappity flappity flap
up & down & through
places marked
No No No

Cat up a tree
so to speak

mama yellin’ & screamin’ ‘bout shampooing her locks
& the hole in her osh-kosh’s only a weeks worn

little little little girl
with long hair and short temper

nitty gritty little girl
riding a horse in jeans and ratty t-shirt

justy dusty Smokey
rhythm and blues
without a cloud in her eye

mamma callin’ with cook’s triangle
& daddy cowboy/businessman
following the scent
of dinner
and home

January 1, 2012

I Remember, I Regret

I came across this as I was cleaning up more of my work recently.  I think you can see the rational mind trying to bubble up from the teenage angst here.  It's interesting to go back and see the birth of personality, don't you think?

9  .  1  .  96
I remember I regret
I regret
leaning, arms crossed against the trunk of my car
parked on the shoulder of the highway
staring up

the band of the milky way so bright
against a rare black sky
the stars and planets actually twinkled
and I waited when I should have enjoyed
a warm and strangely misty night
you were caught in wonderment
I was caught in worry, again about time

the thoughts sting to remember
chasing you back in the car
and promise of next time is hollow

Time, and being “responsible” “adult”
kept me
from doing only what I enjoy most
losing myself
divorcing everything but
it would have been you and me
a road, the radio, the stars

the placid in me
took leave this summer
purpose drove me
activity called to me
I lost my soul, my county
City took over
black to hide the dirt
paints and dyes to hide the age

when we chased the rain
the glorious walls of clouds
red and yellows electricity framed the sky
I remembered the thrill
something new something old

that evening, it was your turn
your right to lean in and put down your smile
you night to think and be mellow

we hid while the citronella chased the bugs away
as comfortable as one can be
in a large tin can
we, again, watched the sky
and you reminded me
with your one bit of humor that night
to “keep looking up”

I remember I regret
not getting lost
being all too serious
all too “eastern” full of myself

I dream of your huge white blanket.  Remember
playing peek-aboo
the idea of tag-team bubble-bobble
I hear you saying
“Ducktails woo woo” in my sleep

I remember I regret
sitting in the chair in the corner with my feet tucked up under
falling asleep in your bed alone
clamming up
curling in a ball

at night here, at day here
defensive to anyone who flirts too close
I sleep, arm over a pillow,
surrogate #2

your picture, our picture
your flowers in my planner
I hide behind
hold out before me for all to be told
to boys who come to steal me away
it’s all I know

I keep your word with me always
folded in my pouch
it’s with me, in my left hand or pocket

I remember I regret
all the time I held my tongue
all the times I stuck my foot in my mouth

Simple language says all I can
bare and honest truth