Just beneath the surface of normal

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I’m Helpless In the Face of Pun Temptation

Last time I was at our local purveyor of absurdly expensive semi-organic groceries, I happened to notice that their sweet potatoes were much less…round…than they used to be. I suppose this is in support of the ugly produce movement, which is great because ugly produce is a ridiculous thing to waste. But this one (along with many of its friends) was, shall we say, unmistakable:

dick tater

It looked like a dick, okay? That sweet potato straight up looks like a lumpy, malformed dick and scrotum. Not on its best day, for sure, but I DARE you to tell me you don’t see it. You can’t. That is a Dick Tater.

My friends, a pun is a terrible thing to waste. You cannot stare at a dick tater without thinking about dictatorship. Or at least I can’t. I’m willing to concede that I might be alone in this. But anyway, that’s how I wound up spending 30 minutes crafting this:

dick tater ship

Putting the dick tater in ‘dick tater ship.’ Yeah, I went there. Apologies for the crude photoshopping, but even I have limits to how much effort I’m willing to put into a visual pun.

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Let’s Not Kid Ourselves

I would apologize for being gone so long again except we all sort of knew it would happen. It’s time we came to an understanding: I’m not the sort of person who can reliably shit out a clever blog post every single week. I’m much more the sort of person who writes when inspiration hits me, and it just hasn’t hit me in awhile, because not unlike like jury summons, I seem to be getting more than my fair share lately. So here’s the quick version of the past five months:

  1. Corinne graduated from high school and went to college (using my tuition remission benefit -damn her and her practical ways!). Those of you with kids in high school, do not for a minute underestimate the amount of effort (or expense) that goes into the time between the first day of senior year and when you are blubbering incoherently on college move-in day. It’s difficult and weird and sort of wonderful in a way I can’t really entirely convey. I’m proud of her, though -she’s launched, and she’s doing wonderfully. I laugh every single week about something she’s experiencing at school, and I love that she still comes to me when she’s not sure about things. I also love that 40% of my brain is no longer consumed with thoughts like where is she? When is she coming home? Will she remember to give me any kind of notice when she’s on her way? What do I have the energy to cook tonight that includes vegetables? How come ever time I walk in the door at Whole Foods she texts me that she’s on her way home? Oh, two more for dinner? Empty nesting: I miss her, but it’s actually pretty nice sometimes.
  2. Corinne and I went to Mexico for a graduation adventure. It was one hell of an adventure. I might try to write about it, but I’m not sure I could. It was amazing and beautiful and exciting and delicious and terrifying and I will NEVER FUCKING EVER drive a car in a foreign country again. If you take nothing else from this post, take that driving in Mexico is an absolutely horrible idea. Don’t do it. The coach bus system there is awesome. Use it.
  3. Cancer. Jesus Fucking Christ, cancer. You turn 40 and suddenly it’s everywhere. A couple of my friends have it. My therapist’s wife is dying from it. One of my oldest friends went from “something hurts” at the beginning of July to dead at the beginning of August. I was honored to be there when he passed, but I’m still recovering. There are people in the world that you don’t need to see often, but their very existence somehow keeps things spinning rightly along, and when they’re gone, there’s a wobble that knocks you off your feet sometimes. But I have his toaster now, which is weirdly comforting. And he left me a blank book, because clearly I don’t have enough of those…. But I know him, and I know what that book means. It means, “stop making excuses and fucking write already!” And so I am. He was the first person to make me believe that I might have something to say in a way that is uniquely mine and might somehow be needed in the world. If I write for a public audience, it’s because of Keith.
  4. I re-enrolled for a second bachelors degree, because it’s nearly free as part of my benefits in bureaucratic hell. We don’t have the major I want, though, which is okay because I wouldn’t be ready to graduate in four years taking 2 classes per semester anyway (and you better believe that the ink will barely dry on Corinne’s diploma before I’m packing up and leaving NJ for good). I’m taking all the math & general science prerequisites and then transferring out to finish up a BS in Geology. But I had to pick a major, so…I went with Physics. Which is admittedly weird, if you know me, because I sort of don’t math. But I also don’t really want to spend the rest of my life as a secretary with a history degree who writes for free in her spare time (because frankly that’s a shitty retirement plan for both me AND Jim). If there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that you can do pretty much whatever you decide to put in the effort to do. If I want to get good at upper level mathematics, I just have to practice. And I will, because I need to get my ass OUT of the office world. Why Geology. Well honestly it was the only thing I could find at the center of the Venn diagram:

    As a bonus, it also includes a circle called “Shit That Gets Me Away From Desks.” NOW how much would you pay?!

    So yeah. Math is my new frenemy. Also I’m really sorry I just resurrected that word. I take it back. I will learn love math, but it’s an arranged marriage and it’s going to take some time.

  5. Also I may have joined a belly dance troupe and committed to actual dancing in actual public.


Anyway, mostly the urge to write hasn’t been as strong as the urge to hide. There have been some good moments, mostly in the comments of Facebook posts, where for some reason I’m at my cleverest. Probably because it takes two seconds to blurt out whatever crossed my mind and then everyone forgets about it. But it’s harder to write about months of sad and trying and changes, and how incredibly hard your brain has to work to accommodate so much change in a short time. But I’m doing it anyway. Because really, a lot of delightfully absurd things have happened over the past few months, and I should remember to share them.

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Evil Haunted Dolls Made Me Do It

Okay, before we even get started with today’s madness, let me just apology-preface this by saying that Helen Keller is my hero. Not just because she kicked all the educational ass despite her considerable difficulties, but also because she was an outspoken activist who used her fame to talk about poverty, civil rights, and pretty much all the causes that I care about. She was BAD. ASS. and I love her. So I’m sorry, ghost of Helen Keller, for my inappropriate sense of humor. I like to think you’d have appreciated it though, and I’ll bet anything all of your closest friends knew the sign for “eat a bag of dicks.”

Now I do too:

Now to the point: It’s time for another installment of IMs with David!

David: Going to cabin in mountains in West Va for two days
David: In a room with creepy dolls.

you can't even turn them around because they'll see you in the mirror.


Maya: I would have sex in front of them just to spite them.
David: Yes. But what if they moved mid climax?
Maya: fear makes it better. Why do you think people go fuck when they think they’re gonna die?
David: The dolls watch me pee
Maya: you’re bigger than they are – ask if they like it.
Maya: make them as uncomfortable as they make you
David: Also, 1830s house…so they could be possesed
Maya: …that doesn’t mean they don’t get uncomfortable…
David: By spirits from school for the deaf from across the street
David: They just can’t hear me
Maya: even better. bigger gestures then
David: Like the miracle worker

With penis
Maya: Rule 34
Maya: I refuse to look it up though
David: You know what the miracle worker is
Maya: yes. that’s mostly why I refuse to look it up. Hopefully it’s at least done with an ADULT Helen Keller
David: Ohh
David: Ppeee nnidsss

Helen Keller: Eat a bag of dicks. Both of you.

I’m sorry, everyone. It’s totally the dolls’ fault.




Geriatric Cats are Totally Ungrateful

Our cat, Annie, is seventeen. We got her when she was six from parents who claim their toddler was allergic to her, but I suspect they just couldn’t deal with her constant, noisy demands to be held and carried around while their toddler was also making constant, noisy demands and wanting to be carried.

This past winter her thyroid developed a nodule and started overproducing, so we’ve been saving to send her for radiation therapy so we wouldn’t have to struggle to give her expensive anti-thyroid medicine twice a day for the rest of her life. In preparation for the procedure, we took her for her pre-treatment blood work. Because she’s a member of our family, something medically weird happened: her thyroid levels were normal, but her kidney function was low enough that the doctor suggested we take her to a 24-hour emergency vet clinic an hour away in Wilmington, DE for two days of IV fluids. Which means we spent all our cat savings anyway, just on something more unexpected. After two days, she came home looking like this:


I’m a poodle now. Poodles are cool.

And also with an unhappy prognosis: months? Probably. Years? Very unlikely. Her Creatinine levels are high and we get to give her subcutaneous fluids every other day to keep them as low as we can. But there will be a point in the near future where she’ll stop eating and just be miserable and it will be time to let her go, which really sucks, but that’s having pets.

But let’s back up a minute: subcutaneous fluids.

What I imagined was the skinny little needle we use to administer her monthly arthritis medication shot, which she takes without even flinching. What I was confronted with was a full-sized IV drip bag, and a needle that looks like it was stolen from a certain galactic Seattle monument. Still, I reasoned, if she has so few nerve endings between her shoulder blades that the smaller needle doesn’t faze her, maybe the larger one won’t either.

You’ve probably already ascertained that this was magical thinking on a level that would make even Walt Disney raise an eyebrow and go, “really?”

My first attempt was sad and awkward, and involved replacing the needle several times, because she always managed to move and the needle would fall out and saline would spray everywhere like one of those old sprinkler toys.

Just hold still while I put this in your back.

Trying to hold her still is seriously 95% of this battle. Jim usually tries to hug her while I do the dirty work. Here’s how that generally goes:

Me: Hold still asshole, I’m doing this to save your life.

Annie: You’re literally stabbing me in the back right now. I’m supposed to hold still while you murder me? How about no.

Me: No, murdering you would be not trying to fill you up with enough fluids that you look like a tiny furry linebacker. You’re welcome.

Annie:  Seriously, you need to cut this shit out right now. You’re lucky my other family – MY REAL FAMILY – had me declawed. I am not even kidding. Let. Me. GO!

Me: If you’d just hold still the needle would just go into loose skin and not hurt, but the wiggling makes me stab you in the hurty parts, so you’re actually doing this to yourself. You’re stubbornness is making it hurt AND poisoning you from the inside.

Annie: Don’t care. It can’t be worse than that horse needle you keep trying to kill me with. I’m out!

Sometimes I manage to get about half the fluids in her I’m supposed to, sometimes not really any. Sometimes we both give up and glare at each other angrily from across the room. She’s been a really healthy cat up until the last year, so I guess I’ve been lucky. But this is the worst kind of payback. And it comes with suffering and death at the end.

Gosh, isn’t having pets just great? (Yeah, it so is. And there will be others because not having them is way worse than having them.)


The Scourge of Pervlexia

So I have this thing that happens when I read blocks of text, where letters from lines above and below the line I’m reading get all wrapped together and combine to make entirely different words. Sometimes it’s just weird, but probably 98% of the time it creates something dirtier than the original intent. Today my friend posted this on Facebook:


I am stalked by my own dirty mind.

A normal person would go, “hell yeah, me too!”, hit Like, and go on with their day. But because of the triangular proximity of “on call” and “my back” and “bliss” in the two lines, my brain interpreted it as “when I win the lottery, I am going to have someone scratch my balls,” which is sort of an odd thing for a cis-woman to want, really, but who am I to judge.

I would have rolled my eyes at myself and kept going, but I seriously see that every single time I look at that text. So I finally had to admit to her what I saw. And that’s when a miracle happened: someone else commented that they saw the exact same thing. I learned something important: I am not alone. We are multitude (or at least two) though we suffer in silence.

On the spot, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant and original portmanteau: Pervlexia. Alas, Rule 34 (well, it’s not exactly porn – maybe Rule 33 1/3?) was in effect, and someone already thought of it twelve whole years ago. Which just goes to show you how special Barbiesaurus really is.

So now that we know we’re not alone, it’s time to end the silence! It’s time for we who constantly misread things inappropriately to come out and say it loud, “I’m Pervlexic and I’m proud!”

Now to be clear, Pervlexia is not the same thing as this phenomenon:

Admit it, you saw “I have a flower in my butthole” too. If you didn’t, I’m frankly not sure why you’re even here. You should probably see a doctor

No, it’s not just misreading “pens” as “penis”. This is the tendency to create new dirty words/context out of combinations of entirely different and benign proximal words. And I do it all. the. time. Though of course I can think of no examples of it right now -other than the one that started this- because I have the memory of a drunk gnat. Except when it comes to things that don’t matter at all. Which you would kind of thing this would fall into, but it’s like my memory knows when I’m going to need something in the future. Because my memory is kind of a spiteful asshole with psychic abilities.

But so, In another shameless attempt to get my comments section to actually DO something, tell us, dear reader: what have you hilariously misread recently in your struggle with Pervlexia? Bonus points for inappropriate context like teachers, bosses, and priests.


Jesus Has My Motivation

You know how sometimes your to-do list sort of stacks up – especially the stuff you actually WANT to do – because all the crap you don’t want to do is more urgent will deliver unwanted consequences if you don’t do them first, but there’s too many of those too and before you know it your to-do list is threatening to avalanche on you and you don’t actually even remember what’s on the first page anymore? Yeah, I know -“sometimes.” Except only sometimes does this list make me feel like I don’t know how to adult, which is what’s happening right now. I blame Jesus. I know, “what the hell, Maya? That doesn’t even make any sense! You can’t just blame Jesus every time you can’t get it together.”

The feeling is totally mutual, Jesus.

But I can, and what’s more it will make perfect sense to you by task 3. So buckle up and prepare for a ride though the wild and fearsome jungle of my inner monologue.

To-do list for this blog:

1) finally make the damn Christmas ornament from my old Mirena already. You exorcised that demon two and a half years ago! Exactly how long do you intend to keep it a plastic bag in the bathroom cabinet? You’re never going to win the “it has to move with us” argument if it isn’t coated in glitter. There is glitter, there is glue. What exactly is the holdup? Oh, time-shame is it? It doesn’t roll backward, sweetcheeks, so you might as well do it now.

2) make a barbie-saurus. Seriously, somebody has to do it, and it should be you since it was your idea. If the leg sockets aren’t compatible there’s always x-acto knives and glue. And duct tape. And big poofy barbie dresses to cover the mess, which you’ll probably need anyway to cover the giant dino-hips. Better to do it badly than not at all. Goodwill is Right. Down. The Street. There’s not even snow anymore. Just go!

3) Make a t-shirt that allows wearers to decide what of theirs Jesus has today (for those following along, go read this post, just the part about the Jesus Easter Eggs; now go read comment 23. Now understand why I blame Jesus for stealing my motivation. He’s probably a kleptomaniac though, so don’t be too hard on Him because it’s an illness). The Bloggess hath spoken, and this t-shirt needs to be made. Okay, admittedly this one was more complicated than you might have guessed. It took a whole day to set up the (still empty) Zazzle shop, then there was the unsuccessful day spent trying to find a place to make custom patches that don’t belong on paramilitary gear, followed by exasperation and lust-shopping for embroidery machines. And then there was that wasted hour making custom Pantyhats™ that resulted in nothing because leggings aren’t in stock right now. This one is a puzzle. I totally forgive you for not finishing this one yet. [thanks, me!]

4) Eulogize Terry Pratchett. Okay, granted, this one’s been really hard. How do you finish a post when every time you try to write it everything goes all watery? I know it’s sad, but this is important – your writing deities don’t die every day (thankfully). So suck it up, buttercup, and honor the honorable already. What would Sam Vimes do? Agreed: bacon sandwiches (and yeah, Do What Must Be Done).

5) Write a post about Corinne turning 18 on Tuesday. Again with the weepy; it’s a wonder you’re not completely dessicated! It would have been way more meaningful to do it ON the birthday, but she’s no less 18 now than she was Tuesday. There’s good material in this story, you just have to remember to not go all maudlin, though admittedly the apple/tree issue makes that difficult. Still, time’s a-wastin. “My baby just turned 19” has a much less dramatic ring to it. Hop to it.

The trouble is, that’s only one of like seven conversations happening in my head right now. It gets very noisy in here.

The upshot of all this is that these are all things you can look forward to here…at some point…hopefully soon. I have a day to myself on Saturday, so my fingers are crossed that I’ll get a bunch done and then stack up a bunch of posts to release over the next few weeks. OMG, it would be so nice to get ahead on posts. Yeah…this is me, holding my breath.

Jesus could at least be helpful and take my excuses or fatigue or something. Or figure out those damn t-shirts for me. You’d think He’d want the PR, or at least a convenient way to keep track of whose stuff He has right now.

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UPDATED: Shower of Awesomeness (now with much less awesome)

UPDATED: after I announced to the entire Internet how up I was, it was kind of inevitable that bad news would follow. It did, though shockingly in the form of the passing of the great Terry Pratchett. I feel somehow personally responsible (though obviously I’m not). Certainly I’m ridiculously sad because when I think of how I want to be in the world, he is the person I think of first. I’ll write another post shortly with my own personal remembrance, but it’s hard to write when your eyes are all swimmy. I think I mostly just wrote this update to appease the Internet gods so they won’t kill off anymore of my heroes.

The Internet is just spewing awesome at me this morning. Which is kind of nice, because yesterday was regression day and I made myself sort of miserable. But I guess sometimes you have to go back to see how far you’ve come. So I went home and had a good cry and a nap, and you guys I ATE DAIRY AND GLUTEN MAC AND CHEESE, which is like forbidden love and your first high all rolled into one creamy, glutinous orgasm when it’s off limits. How? Through the miracle of Gluten Cutter I am able to indulge once in a blue moon. Yesterday the moon was bluer than that stupid dress evidently is. It was glorious.

So this morning I got back on the journaling horse and sorted through the stuff crowding my brain and got my mind re-organized to function again. And then I went online, where the Internet was apparently conspiring to make today a whole lot better than yesterday. Also, this isn’t a sponsored post, just things I think are awesome that you, being still here, might also think are awesome.

1. Holy crap, you can now play Cards Against Humanity online!

The majority of my most inappropriate friends are far away, and the prospect of playing a not-exactly-MASSIVELY-but-not-small-either Multiplayer Online game of inappropriateness chicken with them from afar is just about the best birthday present you could give me. I envision it in conjunction with a big Google hangout with wine. I will be setting up a public game in the very, very near future. Look for information in a future post.

 2. Princess Rap Battles

I know I’m late to this show, but in case you are too: How have I never heard of Whitney Avalon before now? Aside from her work on TV, films, theater, web, etc., she writes these hilarious Rap Battles between characters, including Gladriel vs. Leia, Mrs. Claus vs. Mary Poppins, and Snow White vs. Elsa. Today she released a battle between Belle (played by Avalon) and Cinderella (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, y’all!), which is going viral as we speak – and not just because SMG could get views for picking her nose. This shit is the best since Garfunkel and Oates (who have their own show now – how did I not know that either?!). Thank goodness smart, funny women are a trend…if only online.

3. 90s Hip-Hop

Actually manages to hold up, and I suddenly find myself on a throwback hip-hop kick. I really object to the way Spotify treats musicians, but I can’t help but love the ability to make playlists that include awesomeness like The Humpty Dance and Ladies First. I dare you to feel bad listening to those songs. You will lose, because you simply cannot. Which is actually sort of a win. Except probably for Digital Underground and Queen Latifah. I should probably just go buy the tracks.

4. Prismatic Privacy Film

Sure, privacy, yeah, whatever. You can cast rainbows all the hell over the room. It’s like your bathroom is suddenly the setting for Dorothy Gale’s first acid trip**:

“you don’t have to GO ANYWHERE to get to rainbows, man! Rainbows are, like, everywhere. They’re on us right now. If you open your mouth and let them in, you can have rainbows INSIDE YOU! If I were lactating, rainbows would totally shoot out of my tits and I could feed them to the world! Whoa, that’s deep – I should write this shit down so I don’t forget it…. Hey, is that guy really a munchkin or is my vision just that distorted?”

Hopefully these things make your day as thoroughly as they made mine. You’re welcome. Unless you already knew about this stuff and didn’t tell me, in which case thanks a lot. Anyway, excuse me but I have to go buy rainbows for everywhere.

**not that I’m advocating taking illegal substances, because that would be wrong. Unless you’re using it medically. Because somehow that’s different. Also, I kind of miss being young enough to want to do crazy shit like that. Except not really, because then I’d have to be that fucked up again, and yesterday’s anxiety-hole would be permanent. So hooray for adhesive light-benders!


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