Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Big Year-End Crap Up



You Take the Good. You Take the Bad. You Take Them Both. And There You Have: The Craps of Life—


The Good:

1. The highlight of the year definitely came in the latter third, when I started –and here’s the kicker, kids – finished the 2005 Portland Marathon. I spent a little (ok, a lot ) of time wondering why I didn’t lose more weight in my training; why I couldn’t seem to shave any time off my slowpoke mile pace; why I looked like a jackass in my running clothes instead of a badass like all the rest of the folks on the road; why why why. Fuck that. Fuck that twice. I ran a fucking marathon this year. I’ll stop cursing soon, kids, but first I am going to break my arm patting myself on the back.
2. I quit smoking on July 26, and despite some major jonesin’ I haven’t gone back to my tobacco crutches. Dudes, there are a lot of things I failed to do this year. And as any smoker (or any addict, for that matter) will tell you, you never finish the process of quitting. You can only count the days as they go by, and hope for more clean ones. It’s not like breathing or something. I’m pretty sure that I’ll wake up tomorrow and take a damned breath – I can’t be quite as sure that I won’t wake up tomorrow and want a cigarette so badly that I break down and have one. But if the past 5 months is any indication, chances are good that I will be able to resist the urge.
3. I got a car. True, it’s a temperamental gas bag with one poorly-connected, tinny speaker and a busted right front axle, but it got me around nicely this year. After giving away my beloved Volvo, Boris, before leaving Minneapolis, I thought I’d never have a car again. There were always other , more immediate bills to pay; a car note seemed like a luxury I’d have to put off for awhile. But then my pastor loaned me the Brown Bomber, and apart from the ridiculous insurance payments, the exorbitant gas prices I suffer because of the wack mileage I get, the new alternator last month and the new right front axle this month – it’s been practically free!

To be continued...

Family



Hey, y'all.

Christmas is over, the New Year is almost here, and it's time for what may be my last post of 2005. For your sakes -- as well as for posterity, which might mark this as the most half-assed "year end wrap up" post ever -- I sincerely hope, however, that it is not. But should this already long-winded missive signal our last e-convo this year, I want to say one thing: I couldn't have done it without you. I wouldn't have done it without you. No, seriously -- were it not for ZDB laying the whole "you inspired me to update my damn blog!"* and then Broccoli-Broccolay being all "I'm starting a blog, too, jackass!" and the Sjostrands popping up to offer me the ol' Swedish meatballs in return for just keeping my blog going ...well, kids, you'll see that were it not for the affection you dorklies offer, free of charge, I just wouldn't bother.

At the moment, I'm updating this here bloglette from my job. I'd tell you where that is, and talk about all the Grade-A L*O*S*E*R*S who contaminate my air space with their germy germs, but I hear from the various news magazine shows that people are getting fired for that crap these days. I also hear that a) winter travel can be dangerous, so allow for extra time on the roadways; oh, and you might want to get to the airport early. Also, it's cold! Back to you in the studio, Brenda! b) Dating in the workplace is rarely a good idea (mainly because you work with a bunch of throwbacks, but whatever); c) Check your prostate regularly, men. The life you save may be your own.

So, as I prepare to jump, feet first, into 2006, I just want to say "thanks" to everyone who gave a shit this year. Not just for me, but for anyone or anything that meant something to you. That may seem corny and hackneyed to you sad sack of cynical snobs, but if alliteration has taught me one thing, it's this: I'm getting too damned old to give a crap what people think anymore. I turned 31, dorklies! You think I give a fuck whether you like me? You're reading my blog, dammit! Kiss my ass! No, you kiss my ass!

Next: The Big 2005 Year-End Crap-Up! Find Out What I Think About All The Crap That Happened This Year, and Whether I Managed To Adhere to My Own Dictum, "No More Jive in 2005!" And Find Out the Winning Motto For the Coming Year!

The Finalists:
Let's Not Be Dicks in 2006
Don't Get Sick in 2006
Eating Twix Through 2006

*which is weird, because he updates his blog about a hundred times more often than I do. Always gotta show someone up, don't you, Bruns?!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Save a Horse. Ride a Cowboy.



My friend, Todd, is going to breed miniature horses one day. At the moment, however, he is making himself happy with some stinky ass chickens and a tricked-out tractor that he occasionally lets me drive. I actually don't know Todd as well as I know his wife, Teri , and I don't know either one of them as well as I would like to. And I think you know what I mean, eh? Eh? Ha ha HA!

Ok, what's funniest about that is wondering which of the two of them will read this post first, and which will call the other and be like, "dude, I told you she wasn't right."

Well, both of you can put your shirts back on, because I don't want to make my money that way... anymore.

Anyway, this post is a shout out to the most cracked up farmers I know. Don't think I don't remember how you saved me when I needed a place to stay. And don't think I won't show up on your doorstep again the next time I need saving/ am hungry for Doritos.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Brokedown Palace



If it seems like I update my corner of the blog-o-verse a) shiftily, b) sporadically, c) in staccato bursts, I apologize. I mean, that is an accurate assessment. Nevertheless, I apologize. Not long ago, my friend Speckles Bruns blew some smoke up my ass about how I had inspired him to recommit to his own blogging duties. I think we all know what he was saying was, "You disgust me." To Speckles, as to the rest of you gracious lords and ladies, I offer my sincere apologies. Fact is, even though I vowed some time ago to cut with the solipsism and make with the creative non-fiction, I have found myself notably bereft of either the energy or the wit necessary to produce anything other than the half-assed "Adams' Updates" I've been dropping on you like so many bird turds.

Bird turds...like the ones decorating my '87 Mazda 323 -- the car that just blew/bust/abandoned/magicked away its suspension system, so that for the second time in a month, I'm back on foot patrol. Or, as Fergus used to say, "taking the heel-toe express." As you can probably surmise, this was an absolutely stellar time for this to happen: less than two weeks before Christmas, with about 90% of my shopping left to do, and about 90% of my money gone.

What shopping, I hear you ask? We'll get back to that in a minute.

So anyway, I've been paying a few social calls at my ol' stomping grounds, ZLB Plasma -- and not even to catch a few bills for gas money or food or rent, like I normally do. This time, I'm getting sucked dry so that I can afford to mail everyone's gifts off this year. So everybody better like the small tokens of friendship and love that I literally gave my blood for.

I was back at ZLB this morning (having borrowed Bern's car to make the trek), where I discovered to my delight that some ironical soul was playing Queen of the Damned (fairly hackneyed vampire flick) to the throngs of sad souls who'd come to voluntarily leave a liter or two of Portland's Finest with the world-weary "tappers" who, let's face it, are just doing their jobs. Is it their fault that that the company they work for has just slashed five bucks off the "donation" fee? I mean, I'm sure they're not seeing any extra dough. They're treading water, just like the rest of us, because the folks behind the folks in the lab coats know that, if I'm desperate enough to let you drain my blood and fill me with saline while I watch The Sixth Sense or Catwoman or X-Men or Die Another Day, I'm probably just desperate enough to let you get away with giving me 20 bucks instead of 25, the way you used to.

A friend of mine has just started using plasma donation as a way to make grocery money, even though I tried to talk him out of it. Where he lives, it's mostly female college students who go in for "the draw." The citizenry at the Hostile Hostel where I go is about 75-90% male, however, and while none of them is too savory, none looks completely down and out. There was a raucous discussion in the 2nd stage waiting room this morning about the way that plasma center owners must be raking it in, but everyone agreed that they couldn't be making nearly as much money as the payday advance or check-cashing people. We all nodded, because we all knew about those loans. Of course we did: if you're desperate enough to lie still for an hour or two while a couple feet of tubing whisk your blood away and return it to you, devoid of plasma, all the time praying that you get lucky in the weekly drawing and get an extra five bucks -- well, then you're probably desperate enough to promise to pay 500% interest on a hundred dollar loan.

Some tweaker leaned over to another guy in the waiting room and said that he hoped his pulse was slow enough for him to pass the medical tests today -- "yesterday, that bitch told me to leave. Oh well," he continued, "I just got a prescription for Percoset." He didn't explain how or where. "I'll take the money from today, go get the Percocet, take it back to my 'hood and sell it. I'll clear 45 bucks!"

That's the level of dreaming that goes on a plasma center. That's as far as your planning can take you. That's as far as you can take it. 45 bucks. It beats the 20-used-to-be-25 bucks you'll get for that hour or two on the beds, no doubt about it. When you break it down, you'll probably be earning about 10 bucks an hour for your pains. More than you make at your shitty job, anyway. Right?

I scored the win with the movie choice today, though. After narrowly escaping having to sit through My Big Fat Greek Wedding, some awesome soul slipped in Star Trek: First Contact. That's the one with the Borg Queen.

Resistance is futile, kids. Trust me on this one.

What Child is This?


I suspect you've already seen this fantastic photo several times already this holiday season, my dorklies, but if you haven't I want to let this young girl's desperate dissatisfaction wash over you like the Balm of Gilead. She's just doing what we all want to do: make a break for it.

Of course, what truly makes this photo is the juxtaposition of her expression with her brother's.

That's Christmas spirit you just can't buy, friends. You can only find that kind of holiday hysteria at the bottom of a bottle or twisted up in the dollar store tinsel of a miniature, pre-lit tree.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Um, Excuse Me...





thanks to Esme at the OTZ for helping me to say what I wanted to say

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Got To Getcha


Hey, y'all. I know it's been a minute since we spoke, but you know I got stuff going on, right? Serious stuff. Important stuff. Christmas stuff. Here's the deal, kids: mama is broke as a joke for another year, and while I feel less anxious and self-recriminatory about it this year than I have in years past, I nevertheless worry about how I will show the people in my life that I care about them. Now, I do not have a husband or children to buy for, and that's a relief. But Doug is expecting something -- I mean, in addition to my sweet a$$ -- and I don't want to disappoint.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not entirely sure that Doug is expecting something. That cat is so simple and sweet...he's probably just hoping for another year where he gets to touch boobies. Jeez. That fool makes me smile.

Anyway, I'm going to Powell's to try to score him a nice Indian food cookbook. He's insane about learning how to cook Indian food, so he'll trip off that. For Julie, I'm getting..HA! I'm not telling, 'cause I know that heffa reads this blog. I have ZERO idea what I'm getting Fergus and Paul, which is worrying. I love them both so much, and I would love to get them something that says "I'm your sophisticated, stylish, no-well-vodka straight lady friend! Enjoy this [insert awesome gift idea here]!" And they would unwrap the artfully decorated box and gasp in astonishment and then laugh and say "That saucy bitch!" and all would be well in this rather cliche world. I'm getting my parents some framed photos of Portland in the fall that I took and still need to have made into prints...um, got no clue what to get my brother and his girlfriend, either. Have I mentioned yet how much I like Gracie, my brother's girlfriend? She is perfect for him. They are the cutest couple I have ever seen. I want to smack those two kids just to rough up their pretty asses!

Anyway, I turn 31 this year -- in exactly 3 weeks, in fact -- and I'm hoping for a successful end to this dissertation drama and the money to buy myself some glasses. That's pretty much it. So if you can help me out with either of those things, get in touch, a'ight?