After my last week at work, I realized that I might need to start considering a new career. I will not name names or specific details in order to protect the innocent...and I'm using that term as loosely as the elastic on my oldest thongs. However, I don't mind throwing out some words in random order to give you a taste of what I was dealing with: Three dead deer, bulimia, turtle-poaching, a Bryan Ferry fanatic, tattoos, Crazy Aunt Jenny from “The Brady Bunch,” tarnished tea services, rampant narcissism, a stand-up bass, sequined pink hot pants, a Pulitzer Prize, and being told I absolutely must be Botoxed.
So, with very few practical skills and a sketchy work history at best,I am forced to ask myself, “What in the hell am I going to do now?” Of course, my first response is “Write a bestselling book or win the lottery.” However, I've attempted both and accomplished neither...and the odds are about the same for either prospect. No...I need a solid plan, one that incorporates the principles of combining what you love with the concept of supply and demand. Think Ison, think. What do you love? The Lake. What are you passionate about...other than bourbon? Pizza. Everybody loves pizza. And, there is no pizza delivery directly to the docks, thus demand. My future is clear. I will open The Floating Pepperoni pizza barge. I will ferry up and down Herrington Lake blaring Dean Martin music and selling slices of pie to fisherman,and drunken jet skiers, and marina moms. The company mascot will be one of my beloved turtles whose shell I will paint to look like a pizza. I'll bootleg Beaujolais. I'll learn to toss dough so high that you have to use binoculars to see its flight in full. We'll have delivery dudes in gondolas. And, before you know it, we'll be a chain with a fleet of boats on every lake in the state. If you're going to dream...dream delicious.
_ I have a love/hate relationship with Shaker Village. I’ve had two very traumatic experiences there. One, playing Mary Todd Lincoln with no microphone, stage, or historical relevance for doing so. To my knowledge, she never even visited the place. And, when a friend took me there for dinner with his parents, and used me as a beard. While he and his father toured the gift shop, his mother described in graphic detail how she’d had the best sex of her life the night before in the inn. All I could say is, “The Shaker’s do build sturdy beds.” Ironic since they only used them for sleeping.
But the history of the Shakers is sordid and rich— founded by a woman (Ann Lee); belief in equality of the sexes; worship involving singing and dancing, shaking and shouting, speaking with new tongues; and gaining membership through adopting orphans and indenturing children. And, the jokes are endless. Frank’s favorite is to always remind me to get their specialty: the milk shake.
I went there recently for lunch. Here is a snippet of conversations from my visit.
When you are seated at the table, they bring you a basket of assorted bread and a wooden bowl of cole slaw. After ordering and gorging ourselves in silence, K finally speaks.
K: Both their cole slaw and potato salad are amazing.
Me: That only makes sense.
Me: What is the common denominator…mayonnaise.
K: I still don’t get it.
Me: How do you make mayonnaise?
K: With eggs…
Me: But then you do what to it…if you’re making it old school?
K: You shake it.
K:The biscuits are good too.
Me: They're made by the Shake n Bakers.
While watching a table filled with a miserable-looking octogenarian tour group who complained about everything, but the ice water. As if to counteract their dour dispositions, they were all wearing incredibly cheerful clothes in bright colors with bold plaids or funky floral prints, and Keds tennis shoes.
Me: I don’t ever want to be at that table. I now know that I would rather live hard and die young than ever be forced onto a bus filled with curmudgeons dressed like kindergarteners.
K: Don’t worry. I’ll shoot you before I ever let you get that crochety or wear hot pink.
The waitress who K thinks looks like a young Jody Foster comes to our table with a tray of pies and cakes.
Waitress: Would you like dessert?
Me: No, but it’s his birthday.
I don’t know what I expected by giving her this knowledge. I mean it’s not like we were at ChiChis where you get to wear a giant sombrero and have waiters assault you with a maraca-accompanied “¡Feliz cumpleaños.” What were they going to do? Gather round, tie a bonnet on his head, and do a rousing rendition of “Tis the gift to be simple, tis the gift to be free…”
K: I don’t want dessert. But, I’d like more cole slaw.
The waitress looks at him perplexed and leaves. A few minutes later she returns with a stryrofoam container, which looks completely out of place.
Waitress: I was able to get some leftover cole slaw from the bowls.
Now, it’s our turn to look perplexed.
_ (05/10/2010) Last night, I was called a freak. It was not the first time I have done something to inspire that label, but this time I really don’t think it was merited. However, I will let you decide.
But, first, a little background. I love being in the bathtub. I never take showers, always baths. I know some people consider this just splashing around in your own filth, but I firmly disagree. Though, as I mentioned, I have from time to time been called a weirdo or the equivalent, I have never been accused of stinking, except this one time by my friend Clifford but there were extenuating circumstances of the Timothy Leary variety.
Anyway, I don’t only like the bathtub for bathing. I like it, sans water, for sleeping, thinking, and escaping from bad parties. Throughout the years, I have been known to, on several occasions, disappear from a party only to be found lounging in the host's tub which I have lined with towels or robes or whatever fluffy fabric item I can procure. Sometimes, if it has been a particularly rowdy fiesta, I retreat to the tub to nap. But often, I just go there to hang out and chat in a more intimate setting with whoever happens by…of course, sooner or later, everyone happens by. So we have established that I like to bathe and I like to socialize while in the bathtub, so it only logically follows that I would like to socialize while taking a bath. It is a rite of passage amongst my friends to have to hang out with me while I bathe and keep me company. I take to the tub with a cocktail, they pull in a chair, and we chat while I wash away the stresses of the day. I never thought this was remotely strange until recently.
The new man in my life arrived to find me damp and in my underwear visiting with one of my girlfriends who was dry and fully clothed. He couldn’t help but inquire about the situation. The conversation went something like this:
“Did K catch you just getting out of the shower?”
“No, she’s been here awhile. I just made her talk to me while I took a bath.”
“From outside the door?”
“No, inside…duh. The dogs were there too. And, Angus.”
“So, she watched you take a bath?”
“No, she didn’t watch me. That sounds creepy. She just talked to me while I bathed. I make all my friends do it. I get bored.”
“Seriously? You make all your friends talk to you in the tub?”
“Yes. R has done it, and K, and G, and S, and even J, and he has a breast phobia.”
He looked momentarily perplexed. Then, the quizzical expression was replaced with one of obvious concern, and then disgust.
“That’s weird. You’re a freak.”
“Yeah, but I’m your freak.”
He did not look comforted.
So, the verdict is out and you, my friends, are judge and jury. Does preferring to have Happy Hour in the tub make me a weirdo?
(07/20/2012) Now, I spend every weekend in what is essentially a giant bathtub called Herrington Lake where I float nearly naked, cocktail in hand, and socialize with friends and strangers alike without anybody calling me a freak. To be honest, aside from the slivers of fabric over my lady bits, I don’t see how it is that much different than the above scenario, but it is totally acceptable. What a confusing society we live in.
_There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
(07/08/2009) According to some nebulous publishing theorem, in order for a novel to be considered successful, it must sell five thousand copies. Initially, this seemed totally doable...I mean 5,000 didn't seem like that many. But, now with The Miracle of Myrtle: Saint Gone Wild having been in print for five full months, I would give my left tit to a witchdoctor (though I don't know why he'd need it) to hit that 5,000 mark.
To date, no Shaman has offered to trade me one of my boobs for bestseller success. And, I need notoriety now. I need press. I need national recognition...and I'm willing to commit a misdemeanor, alienate those who love me, and sacrifice any semblance of class that I have left to do it.
For example, I actually made a valid attempt to get the swine flu because I was certain that the news would pick up an ironic story about the author of a pro-pig book getting H1N1. So, I went to the Northside Walmart, which caters to a large Mexican immigrant population (Mexico currently has the highest case of outbreaks), and hung out in the produce section, touching all the avocados and tomatillos and Chupa Chups candy (cause everybody knows children are better than Petri dishes for growing diseases), and then rubbed my eyes and sucked on my fingers.
But, the gods said, "No swine flu for you." I suspect, because of the high alcohol content in my bloodstream, the germs were rendered helpless. They probably just floated around in a state of viral bliss and forgot to infect me.
Then, the other day, I tried to get carjacked. En route to a soiree, we were requested to grab a bag of ice. While everyone else ran in to SuperAmerica, I sat alone in the backseat of our running automobile. A group of thuggish boys bopped out looking suspiciously from side to side. They spied me. I rifled through my wallet revealing cash, avoided eye contact, and gave my best impression of being vulnerable. My plan--I'd let them slide into the car and drive at least fifty feet or so to make it a legitimate kidnapping, then just as they were about to pull onto Bardstown Road, I would slam the spiked heel of my floozy shoe into the driver's eye. Then, I'd club the kid on the passenger's side with the bottle of bourbon next to me (Thank God the party we were going to was BYOB), thus stunning him. Car careens to a stop. I jump out. The police show up, followed closely by the press. I say that I remember an Oprah episode that advised never to let your assailant take you to a second location. I owe Oprah my life. She hears about it. Voila! I'm famous and "Myrtle" is a bestseller.
No such dumb luck...the roughneck posse was obviously made up of poseurs. They did not even attempt to intimidate me with a lascivious look.
Publicity plan three is my most promising. I will bedeck myself in the most slutastic Myrtle garb I can get a drag queen to stitch for me, build and bedazzle a chariot, and be pulled through downtown by a team of painted pigs (rainbow striped or polka-dotted preferably) while throwing Myrtle memorabilia (tee shirts, key rings, miniature bottles of barbeque sauce) to passers-by. I will attempt this stunt in every major and minor metropolis on the Eastern seaboard. However, this plan has a few minor flaws like: I have no engineering skills, no pigs, no budget for publicity, and my Scion, though roomy, is not large enough to carry me and all the necessary accoutrement even as far as Main Street, much less Massachusetts.
(07/06/2012) I did end up getting swine flu, but it didn’t garner me a damn bit of publicity andmy beloved book sold nowhere near 5,000 copies. I still have hope that Myrtle someday will be a miniseries with guest appearances by Rosanne Barr, George Hamilton, Betty White, and Justin Bieber in drag as Mary Sue Ann. But, I have accepted the fact that it will never be a bestseller. I have not, however, accepted that I should not have my own parade float. It wasn’t quite ready for the Fourth…plus it was hot as balls, but, if all goes well, you can expect to see me in this year's Christmas festivities. I’ll be the one on the jeweled chariot with the sequined swine.
_ Want to be notified of any strange shenanigans, outrageous rants, and questionable life decisions that I write about? Subscribe, and the minute I hit "publish," you'll be the first to know. Simply scroll down and enter your email address. A verification email will be sent to you. Just click that you agree to get more me, and then whenever I post a new blog, you'll be notified. Easy Peasy and won't make you Queasy. You can also Subscribe in a Reader, but I don't really understand all that. For signing up, here's a bonus poem about my vagina!
Full Blown Rose
I am roller-skating through the rainforest in a red satin ball gown,
Escorted by mammoth-moths with peacock-patterned wings,
Swooping and looping to the whir-whir-whirring of my wheels.
When I return home from my rendezvous, I realize,
that somewhere along the way, I lost my vagina.
I rush to rainforest Lost and Found
It is located in a tree trunk and manned by a native named Makuna Timberlake the Third.
I frantically ask, "Click clack-clack clickity click clack click?"
Makuna presents me with a box brimming with vaginas.
I rifle through the misplaced muffs desperate to find my own,
Tossing twats to and fro...
Then, it hits me...
I have no idea what my vagina looks like,
At least, not in any specific sense.
Any pussy in the pile could be mine.
I wake. I scream. I rush to my Navajo Dream Dictionary...no vagina entry.
I meditate. I masturbate. I medicate with Maker's Mark.
But that night I have the same dream...
Except the moths have morphed into thirsty mosquitoes,
And my roller skates are ill-fitting wooden clogs,
And Makuna is Martha Stewart scolding me,
"I told you, 'labeling your vagina is a good thing'."
Third night--pterodactyls, snowshoes, and Henry Lee Lucas at the Lost and Found.
I awake knowing that in order to stop the nightmares, I must confront the cunt.
I move to the mirror, strip and sit astraddle...legs spread wide and confident...
An Indian princess riding a royal pacaderm.
I lower my gaze...
Fear speedy and greedy grips me...
And not top of the roller-coaster, anticipated, exhilarated fear,
But primal, pitch-black crawl space filled with cave crickets fear.
Not that I think that I have crickets living in my vagina...
Surely I would have heard them singing,
Or one of my legion of lovers would have mentioned it...
I must look. I cannot look. I must look. I cannot look. I must look. I cannot look.
Oh my God...
It will take Jesus, Jenna Jameson and Jacques Cousteau
to explain what I have witnessed down below,
a creature that could flourish on the ocean's floor,
Pulsing pink, lascivious lips, the ultimate predator.
Surely that's not normal.
There must be something debauched about my crotch.
For lorn, I turned to porn,
to find a match for my snatch.
After more than my share,
of contrast and compare,
I found there was none.
Mine looked nothing like the pierced, plucked, delicate daisies that grew between their thin thighs.
That night over dinner I'm lamenting aloud,
when one knowledgeable queer from the crowd,
exclaims, "What you have, my dear, is a full-blown rose.
In some cultures that would keep you drowning in beaus.
However, many in polite society find them...well...for lack of a better term...nasty,
Have you ever considered labioplasty?"
For months, I crossed-my legs tight with all my might,
Certain that every stranger was aware that there was something different and dangerous looming in my loins.
All summer I refused to go near the water,
For fear of the slaughter,
that might occur if the monster broke free from my bikini.
What is someone was bitten by my kitten....and it was rabid?
To cause a further diversion,
I grew my pussy's coat from Domestic Shorthair to Persian.
It was exhausting shielding the world from my vagina.
Come fall, I had no more energy to be appalled,
So I said, "To hell with it," and shaved the damn thing bald.
Me thinks, it's now a Sphinx.
That night, I had another dream...
White doves, spike heels, and Javier Bardem.
I ask, "Have you seen my full-blown rose?"
He takes out a crystal box and holds it to his nose,
Then sighs and invites my inspection.
I immediately recognize the fabulous, fuchsia flower.
He says, "My lady, I believe this treasure must be thine."
I swell with pride, "Yeah, that vagina is mine."
_ Frank shops with absolute abandon. He doesn’t check fat grams, return policies, or the price. I envy his exuberance when turned loose with a handful of cash. However, being that I am responsible for our finances, I have unfortunately been forced to forbid him to shop until further notice.
Here are three incidents that demonstrate why Frank has been banned from consumerism.
1) After Frank has been at the grocery for an hour and forty-five minutes, I receive a call.
Me: Where in the hell are you? There were only three things on the list.
Frank: I’m standing in the trash bag aisle.
Frank: I’m looking for baguettes. I’ve read every shelf, and I can’t find anything called a baguette.
Me: That’s because a baguette is bread. It’s in the bakery.
Thank Goodness, I didn’t ask him to pick up a batard, instead. I fear he’d have brought home a mentally-challenged person who was born out of wedlock.
2) Watching television. Commercial Break.
Frank: Oooohhhh…look! An Olde Brooklyn Lantern. It can light a whole room. We need that for the boat. You get two for the price of one. And, for a short time it's free shipping.
Resume TV watching. Next commercial break.
Frank: Ooohhh…look! The Groutinator. We could use that on the kitchen island. It works on all grout colors and types. It even cleans calcium, algae, and red clay.
Me: None of those things are in the grout of our kitchen island. No.
More TV. Another commercial. Losing Patience.
Frank: Ooohhh…look! A Slushy Magic machine. Wow, it uses snowflake science. And it comes with a fun drink guide. I could make Pina Colatas.
Frank: But it’s Slushy MAGIC.
Me: First of all, we’ve discussed the fact that you are too big to drink cocktails with paper parasols. Secondly, must I remind you about the Flex Seal Roof Sealant debacle? Remember, you begged me, “But Donna, it can turn a screen door into a raft. I need it.” Then you ended up paying fifty dollars just in shipping and handling, and it wouldn’t even stop the tiny leak in our faucet. You wound up ruining a perfectly good pair of shorts, gomming up one of my wine glasses, and then getting so frustrated that you threw it and made a dent in the cabinet. No, Slushy Magic!
3) We receive our monthly bill from the Bait Shop on the dock. It is $68.00. Our electric only constitutes $22.00 of this.
Me: Frank, have you been charging things at the Bait Shop?
Frank: Maybe just a bag of ice or two.
Me: Bags of ice don’t cost $23.00 each. Maybe I should go ask them for a breakdown.
Frank: You don’t have to.
Me: But, I want to.
Electric - $22.00
Cigarettes - $8.00
Ice cream – $34.00
4 ice cream Sandwiches
3 Klondike Bars
So, you see why until further notice, there will be no buying for the boy.
_ (07/17/2009) Today is cleaning day for Donna. And not in any metaphysical clearing my mind and rearranging my soul sense, but actually vacuuming up the piles of dog hair, washing all the glasses with red wine dried to the bottom, taking out the overflowing trash (which I think has a hole in the bottom from a broken martini glass so coffee grounds and rancid scraps are bound to spill out), and worst of all, dusting--did you know that dust mainly consists of dead skin, insect waste, animal dander, and mold. God, I'm equally bored and grossed out just typing about it. I hate housework more than most anything, except gyno exams, Jim Carey films (only exception, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind--brilliant), and ordering Chinese food over the phone.
And yet, inevitably, in every crowd there is the one total psychopath who says, "I love to clean. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment. It's sooooo relaxing and rewarding. I just love getting all soapy up to my elbows and showing that dirt whose boss" If you are that person, hightail your apron-clad ass over to my casa pronto. Yes, I'm aware that I just called you a psychopath, but I guarantee you won't be nearly the craziest person to ever polish up our place. There was one guy that we only invited parties because of his tendency to get all coked up and then clean. Inevitable, sometime around midnight, he'd be so wild on the white that he needed an outlet for all that energy. So I'd give him a trash bag and the dust buster and let him tear that mess up. Oftentimes, we went to bed with him still in full Hazel mode, and then awoke to find a sparking clean apartment. I bet he now has the most spic and span cell in his medium-security prison.
Since, as we've established, that Flo on Blow is now locked up and no one is knocking at my door with a big smile and bucket full of cleaning supplies, I suppose I am going to have to scrub and sanitize this hellhole myself. Where the fuck is Mary Poppins when you need her with that spoonful of sugar? Whoa...revelation...a spoonful of sugar that makes you actually enjoying cleaning and be able to finish a whole room in the time it takes to sing a song...Disney's favorite nanny was referring to nose candy.
But that still doesn't dissolve my dilemma...I still have a house to polish and purge and not even a trained helper monkey to assist me. So, I'll just use my old stand-by strategy and bribe myself. If I finish the dishes, I get a game of Bubbletown. If I vacuum by 2, I can watch ten minutes of a rerun of Laguna Beach. If I organize and file my desk, I can buy that Gladiator Troll Doll on e-Bay. If I get everything done, I can move Happy Hour up to 4:30. Or...I can just call Merry Maids.
(07/06/2012) A domestic diva, I still am not. I have spent all morning sewing, cooking, cleaning house, and attempting to pack for the weekend before heading off to the lake. I am now two hours late. All I have to show for the day is a pile of crooked hems, a chickpea concoction that tastes like cuntberry curd, piles of still unswept Doc hair, and an empty overnight bag. Screw packing. I am going nude. Summer Style Tip: Naked is the new black. For a pop of color, dye your pubes coral.
The one thing I hate more than anything else is waiting. The other night Frank was twenty minutes late. But, this was after calling and changing the time he would be home on three separate occasions. When he walked in the door, he smelled like an alcoholic fruit roll up. He has taken to drinking the prissiest cocktails on the planet. You know the kind that come in unnatural colors like smurf blue and are adorned with slices of citrus and maraschino cherries. I'm thinking of getting him a bedazzled goblet that says “Princess.”
“Hey, babycakes.” He swaggered over and tried to hug me.
I was not in the mood. Before his eyes, I transformed into a banshee bitch from Hades.
“Where the hell have you been? And with what trash? How many drinks have you had? Don't lie to me. You've got that glazed look and gummy face. You are drunk. I worked all day, then cooked you dinner, and we were supposed to be in Berea two hours ago. I'm sure you were telling those same old, stupid jokes to anyone that would pretend to listen. You're not funny. You know that, don't you? Asshole.”
I grabbed the plate containing the crab quesadilla that I had slaved over a hot griddle for about five minutes to make, and all but threw it at him.
“I can't. You've upset me too much.”
“You're fine. Eat your dinner.”
“I can't. My stomach is all knotted up. I'm a nervous wreck now.”
“I'm sorry. You know how I hate to wait. Just eat.”
“Look,” he says, and points to the corner, ”You've upset Doc.”
When either Frank or I raise our voices, Doc Grizzly assumes that somehow he is responsible. The dog has some kind of canine Catholic-guilt complex. He hides in the corner and stares with a look that would break Hitler's heart. Oftentimes, he gets so agitated that he goes into a seizure and starts sticking his tongue in and out uncontrollably. Then, I have to administer Bach's Rescue Remedy and lay on the floor with him and rub his chest until he calms down.
“I can't even think about eating. I need a cigarette. I'm like Doc, you know.”
“No,” Frank insists, “I'm serious. Look, I'm shaking. You've got me so worked up I'm going to have a seizure.”
I get so close that our noses touch, and use my scary whisper, “Don't you fucking threaten me with epilepsy.”
We both start laughing. End of fight.
Sharing All I KNOW about the fine art of voluptuating. here's to living the lush life.