Whitney and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

My week has been so bad it’s actually gone the other way and is now awesome. I’m not sure why my mood has remained buoyant despite the load of bull I’ve been dealing with, but I’m actually in a great mood. All the stuff that’s happened is on the minor end of the tragedy spectrum, so consequently in list form, it’s fantastic! This week:

  • My AC broke.
  • A dustpan fell off the wall and hit me in the head.
  • I managed to destroy the company website on my lunch break (….I did fix it, eventually).
  • I had a flat tire.
  • …twice. (Different tires.)
  • When tossing a paper towel into the trashcan, I missed. This isn’t surprising because I don’t have game. I then leaned over to pick up the paper towel and put it in the trashcan only to lose my balance (?!?) and fall, knocking my head against the computer and potentially damaging the fan inside. I don’t know, it’s making an angry whirring noise. Also, I have a lump on my head.
  • A little kid ran into me at the library and took a tumble.  Poor thing! But he looked at me like I was Satan and waaaailed and I felt awful.
  • Scratched the floor something awful when moving furniture. It’s time to buy a new rug!
  • Scalded myself on the popcorn maker.
  • I have a doctor’s appointment. For women’s troublesOooooh.
  • Got cable and internet installed in my apartment. Both didn’t work on Day One. Got them fixed. Now the DVR isn’t working.

And such.

What you need to understand is that all of these things happened in TWO DAYS. TWO.

Surely I’m good now. Right?  RIGHT?

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Things I’d Rather My Parents Not Know: Part 2 of ?

Someone asked me what I was going to do when I finally move out of my parents’ house and into my own apartment. Now that that day is approaching, I’m formulating my plans. All the following will happen on the first Friday I am there:

  • Have Cheetos and wine for dinner.
  • Have cowboy shots of tequila for dessert.
  • Try to do Wii yoga.
  • Acquire mysterious and unexplainable bruises from the drunken Wii yoga.
  • Put on “Drive” and talk to Ryan Gosling’s ass the entire movie.
  • Start to build Lego Hogwarts.  And then stop after one turret. And leave the Legos out without picking up after myself.
  • Decide to learn Japanese. Look up filthy Japanese phrases and text them to random numbers in my cell.
  • Shower until I use up all the hot water because HAHAHAHA I OWE YOU PEOPLE NOTHING.
  • Wander around naked a while.
  • Talk to my cats in stupid voices.
  • Attempt to change my name on Facebook to “Whitney McCatlady”.
  • Get lost on Facebook for 30 minutes.
  • Pass out.
  • Wake up at 2am wondering why the hell Drive is on.

I think it’s good to have ambitions.

How I Work Out

I work out sporadically. I’m told that my lack of routine is a hindrance toward progress, but since working out is strictly based on the factors of guilt, boredom, and whether or not I can fit into my “average day” pants, workouts simply aren’t something that happens with any regularity. For those of you wondering what I mean by “average day” pants, here is a brief caveat: I have about three times too many pants in my closet. One-third of them are too little, ranging from “could lose 5 pounds” to “sausage casing tight”. One-third of them are too big for those days of lounging around or for days I feel huge. And one-third of them are just right. This Goldilocksian approach to fashion has made for a bursting closet, but there’s something optimistic about staring at a size 6 and going “I could probably… feasibly… get into that… if I took out my ribcage and ate nothing but leeks…” Continue reading

Leash Laws: Into the Wild in Alabama

One of the most obvious differences between life in Orlando and Northern Alabama is the wildlife. It’s not that Orlando was an asphalt wasteland devoid of life that wasn’t in a Mickey costume. I saw lots of wildlife. I saw it dead on the highway all the time, a menagerie of squished armadillos, various cranes that had taken a wrong turn at Tampa, and assorted flattened groundhogs. It was somewhat troubling that I’d never seen any of these creatures alive, but if you’ve ever driven in Florida for any length of time, you know that the odds of survival are against you as soon as you put a toe on the interstate.

My neighborhood in Alabama is brimming with creatures – and few of them are dead! We have the typical kamikaze squirrels, but we also have possums, raccoons, coyotes, deer, rabbits, and foxes. Our house is pressed tight against the woods, and the contents of the wild often spill out onto our property. The tall, green trees look nothing like the stunted palms of Central Florida. When I close my eyes and breathe, I smell sap, honeysuckle, and undergrowth – not the exhaust, dust, and waffle cones of the Magic Kingdom parking lot.

One other note about animals in Alabama? There are no leash laws.

This seems a minor point at first. If you’ve never lived in a place without leash laws, you just assume that everyone keeps their dogs and cats or whatever in a fenced yard. This is optimistic, but it’s not the least bit truthful. Dogs roam in packs over my neighborhood, and while they’re (currently) all friendly, it can be a little overwhelming if you’re not expecting to have five other canine joggers with you as you do your evening run. When I was little, a less-kind dog pack roamed, and selling raffle tickets to the neighbors became something of a life-or-death situation as I torpedoed from the safe zone of a front porch to another, hoping to avoid the snap of canine jaws. It’s something to think about before you let Chester the Cat outside. And don’t get me started on the exotic birds.

Exotic birds? you ask. In Alabama? Well, yes. One of my neighbors collected them. Peacocks, emus, and guinea fowl. When he died, they roamed around the neighborhood for years; it wasn’t unusual to look out the window and see a peacock staring back at you, willing you to throw a piece of bread outside. When I learned to drive, emus chased the Volkswagen, pecking at the tires and flapping their useless wings. And guinea fowl? Are the stupidest creatures alive. They run straight into the car every time (I may or may not be lingering under the guilt of having hit a few in my earlier days).

There was also a beautiful parrot who was sometimes allowed to fly around the neighborhood. His owners assured us that he was totally fine and always flew home. He had the uncomfortable habit of looking in and squawking “touchdown!” whenever an actress on television took off her top.

So no, I didn’t have any of that in Orlando. I kind of missed it.

Insert Apocalyptic Joke about Turning 30 Here

With the first day of May comes a lot of biggies: getting my new apartment, going to Yellowstone on vacation, and turning 30.

I think I’m supposed to express horror or guilt or something desperate about the pending number. I will no longer be in my 20s. Those days are gone. Soon, I’ll be in my 30s, and all the things that I’m supposedly behind on – marrying, having kids – really start to count.

Let me be perfectly clear: the first person who approaches me to talk about my ticking biological clock is going to shredded like taco beef.

Babies are cute. Marriages seem cool. But whatever attitude of “meh” I had about joining either institution hasn’t faded with time (like approximately 33,000 people assured me it would). Ladies, you feel me? How many times have we been told “you say that now, but…” or “it’s different when it’s your own” with regards to children and getting settled and God help us, anything that goes against a social norm? It’s the most maddening sensation in the world, because it implies that they know my mind far better than I do. It’s also terrifying because it implies that my body is programmed to betray me, to want these things when I haven’t pined away a single moment in my entire life.

So no, I don’t really care about turning 30 so much as I dread the upped onslaught of “when are you going to get married?” and “BABIES!” that will surely escalate in my direction. Talks of my age I can handle – what-the-fuck-EVER, I’m hot – but all this double-talk about mysterious future changes just makes me want to hide in a fallout shelter until reproduction is impossible and I look like Iggy Pop.

My First Kiss and the Circumstances Therein

I don’t tend to believe in omens, but my first kiss was so bizarre that I’m inclined to consider it the preview to a love life so weird that Tim Burton would make a movie of it. First kisses come in two flavors: Hollywood and Reality. First kisses in Hollywood are usually sweet, strange little learning totems in which bittersweet lessons are imparted. There’s usually very little clacking of teeth. No one has terrible breath or strangely cavernous pores up close (seriously, there’s a reason why people keep their damn eyes shut for kissing). Hollywood first kisses are innocent and exploratory and everyone respects each other afterward. Continue reading

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means: The Downside of a Rapidly Expanding Vocabulary

After I read the entire elementary school library in my formative years, teachers began bringing me books to read so I wouldn’t get bored during “reading hour”.  The upside of reading so much was that I learned a ton of new words and facts in a very brief amount of time.  The downside was that not all of this new information was age-appropriate or easily pronounceable, so I had a tendency to garble my vocabulary and take advantage of cruel facts in hilariously terrible ways.  For example:

  • Kindergarten: When playing “Ring Around the Rosey”, I announced to the large group of kindergarteners that the rhyme was actually a reference to a deadly bubonic plague and that by “falling down”, we were dying. Because I was an obnoxious little shit, I claimed that someone’s mosquito bite on their knee was a “rosey”, a clear indicator of impending death.  One girl became so hysterical with terror that she had to be taken off the playground.

 

  • First Grade: Enamored with orphans like Oliver Twist and in love with a romanticized idea of poverty, I asked kids in my class if they were poor to their face and then congratulated them if they were missing a parent.  When they got upset with me, I sang “Tomorrow” from Annie and wondered what their problem was.  I still don’t know why my mother didn’t throw me out of a moving vehicle.

 

  • First Grade: I got in trouble for singing “What do you do with a drunken sailor/early in the morning?/Put him in the brig until he’s sober” in class, and then defended my choice of verse with “being sober means you’re serious and sad and boring” because I had no concept of the other definition of the word.  I also started the trend of referring to the time-out corner as “the brig”.

 

  • Second Grade: At a funeral for a friend of the family who was a Marine, I kept asking questions very loudly about the “corpse”.  This kept going on until my mother pulled me to the side and told me to STFU. She thought I was talking about the dead body; I thought I was talking about the Marine Corps as I had always seen it written in books.

 

  •  Second Grade: I asked my teacher if she knew where I could buy opium.

 

  • Third Grade: After reading Leda and the Swan, I refused to feed the swans at the local lake. On the flipside, when I asked my teacher what the “feathered glory” was in the poem, she made some blustering comment about how boys and girls were different physically and to not ask any more questions.  For a long time, I assumed that boys had feathers down there.  I was a little disappointed when they didn’t.

 

  • Third Grade: After reading a terrifying book about Pompeii and the volcano Vesuvius, I was in hysterics because “there might be another eruption” and my aunt lived in nearby Naples!!!!! ….Florida.

 

  • Fourth Grade: A girl called me gay. I didn’t know she was attempting to be mean until the next day when someone told me that she wasn’t calling me cheerful.

 

  • Sixth Grade: I got into trouble for screaming VIVE LA FRANCE and for doodling hearts and “Whitney Enjolras” on all my textbooks after reading Les Miserables.

 

  • Yesterday: When talking to my mother about the unsolved Black Dahlia crime, she informed me that I had been mispronouncing Dahlia all these years.  It’s “dall-ee-uh”, not “dah-lee-uh”. Whoops. At least I got a blog entry out of it. And for the record, plaid is not pronounced “played”, as well.