I awoke last night at 4AM in a complete state of terror at the realization that there was a deranged psychopath loose in our neighborhood. Actually, right in my very own home . The once-human creature was more insane than Michael Myers, Norman Bates, and Jason Voorhees and Carrie’s mom all put together. It had to be. Why else would the monster quit her job during one of the worst economic times our nation has ever seen--especially considering she has basically no practical skills, a self-perpetuated reputation for being a drunk, and job titles such as “Elf” on her resume. Whoa! In two months, I am going to be income-free and living on a lake. After tossing and turning for an hour, I got out of bed and skulked around the house looking at the complete chaos and empty Rubbermaid containers waiting to be filled with either “Take,” “Store,” or “Sell” items. We already have someone moving into our home on December 01. I start interviewing people for my position tomorrow. There is no going back. I started to hyperventilate, drank half a carton of eggnog, and then picked up Oscar Brown the Meanest Cat in Town and cried into him like he was a pillow. After his fur was soaked, I gave myself a little talking to.
ME: You’ll find a job. You always do. You got this. You’re the Bourbonista.
MYSELF: Don’t remind me. Between the shit I’ve put on Facebook and this blog, no employer is going to touch me with a ten foot pole. I’m screwed.
ME: Calm down. You are totally capable of making a living. You just need to think outside the box.
MY SELF: Thinking outside the box shouldn’t be hard since I’ll probably be living in one. I’ll just wander out in the elements and ponder about a career choice.
ME: You essentially will be living in a box... by choice. A houseboat is basically just a buoyant box made out aluminum. You want to go live on a boat and write, right?
MYSELF: What if I can’t make a living an author? What if no one wants to read my book? It’s not like “The Miracle of Myrtle” flew off the shelves.
ME: Are you a writer or not?
MYSELF: Yes, technically, I am a writer.
ME: Then just pretend you are the main character of a novel and give yourself some job options. What could a middle-aged female living on a boat do to provide for herself and animals?
MYSELF: What about Frank?
ME: I consider him one of the animals.
MYSELF: And, I’m usually the snarky one.
ME: Focus. This is about you. What could you do?
MYSELF: Well, you know that lady that we see selling beet pickles and wild blackberry jam and produce out of the back of her pick-up at the fork in Palisades? She looks pretty happy. Maybe I could sell homemade canned goods from the back of the Scion.
ME: See, now you’re thinking.
MYSELF: Or I could teach ballroom dancing classes on the dock. Or make lamps with found driftwood and sell them at the Peddler’s Mall in Harrodsburg. Or I could be a reenactor at Shaker Village. I bet churning butter would totally get rid of my “Granny Bye-Bye” arms.
ME: And, don’t forget about your idea for the Floating Pepperoni pizza barge. That is money.
MYSELF: Or I could train the local otters and herons and turtles and do a “Sea World” type show right off the front deck. If it got popular enough, I could pitch it to TLC.
ME: Sure. Why not?
MYSELF: Or, I could fall in the freezing water, have a near-death, after-life experience and start my own religion. Being a prophet can prove to be profitable.
ME: I see a bourbon communion in our very near future.
A Poem in Honor of National Frankenstein Day!
In approximately thirteen days,
My heart is going to be broken into 5,682 pieces.
I can tell because it is pounding magenta and skipping beats.
It's waking me up at night singing "Slave to Love" by Brian Ferry.
It is puffed up with passion...painfully swollen...tender to the touch.
Every few minutes, a tiny tear opens up and his name spills out.
I patch up the holes with hope.
But even my desire-laden determination is no match for the inevitable.
You see, my heart has made the stupid, fucking mistake of falling in love,
With someone who is love with someone else.
And her shadow is a drab and dreary place,
Where people haphazardly morph into root vegetables,
And wear ugly shoes without apology,
A girl like me could never survive in a place like that.
Despite my definitive decrees and guarantees...
That I too can bring out the best in you.
That every Tuesday afternoon should be...could be,
Drenched in champagne and truth.
That you may have liked going to bed with her,
But you would love waking up with me.
And beyond all this, I give a fabulous blowjob...
Nothing...nothing I will do or say
Is going to make him return my affections.
And so... in approximately thirteen days,
My heart will shatter into 5,682 pieces.
And though I just bought a new vacuum cleaner...
The cyclonic kind that has the power to separate molecules into atoms,
I will not sweep up the shards.
Instead, I will get out my tap shoes and dance it into dust.
Then, I will borrow a blowtorch,
And retreat to my bedroom laboratory to build a brand new heart.
One held together by something stronger than instant oatmeal,
And self-serving philosophy.
I will weld a heart designed to go the distance out of...
Pure cane sorghum syrup,
The right rib of a high school prom king,
And Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits.
Insert maniacal laugh here!
My Frankenstein fortress with a Valentine view will be...
Harder to move into than an Upper East Side co-op with a doorman,
And will prove impenetrable...
Even to the mobs of torch-wielding peasants that are bound to show up.
To gain entrance, one will have to fill out a 22 page application with 369 questions, such as:
Will you say what you mean and mean what you say?
Will you find me sexier in your white tee than lace lingerie?
Do you dig dogs?
Can you put the lights on the Christmas tree?
Can I adore you as much as you adore me?
Do you do cold pizza for breakfast?
Will you NOT console me when I cry?
Will your mother like me...or at least try?
Do you believe in ghosts?
Will you stay for two solid days in bed?
Can we buy a claw foot bathtub and paint it red?
Do you listen to classic punk?
Will you kiss my lips passionately every day?
Will you mind being the only guy at the party who isn't gay?
Do you go down?
Can we make love in the pouring rain?
And, will you stay with me if I go insane?
...which is highly possible.
Only if these and the rest are answered "yes,"
Will He be given unhindered, total access.
Once inside, however,
He can stay forever...
If he chooses.
Interested? You can fill out the forms online.
But, if by some miracle...
In approximately thirteen days,
My heart does not get broken,
Because my mind slaps it into submission,
With the truth...
He just cannot accept the awesome,
And that is unacceptable...
Then, I will use my mad, mad scientist skills to invent a decent ice tray.
UPDATE!!! The Frankster answered ALL of the questions right, and we will therefore live happily ever after, except when I want to kill him with a sock full of nickels. The douche noodle this poem was written about is, as far as I know, still single and wallowing in his own pretentiousness.
Though I’m not normally much of a filmophile, over the course of our four-day stay in Gatlinberg, we watched ten movies, including “The Help” twice. Here is a rundown with my reviews.
1) Cabin in the Woods- Teaches us two valuable lessons. Hang on to our virginity like it was a matter of life or death, because in a world controlled by bloodthirsty giants an intact hymen is the only thing that will save you. And, unicorns will kill you if given the chance.
2) Cabin Fever - Are you seeing a theme here? Basically the same movie as “Cabin in the Woods” except with a flesh-eating virus instead of a family of backwoods zombies.
3) Mangus! –Tap Dancing, music by Hall & Oates, John Waters as Christ, Leslie Jordan as Santa Claus, bi-racial girl-on-girl action in a Sno-Cone truck, and the line, “The school board has decided that it would not be politically-correct to have a paralyzed Jesus?’ Need I say more?
4) Willow- I will defer to Frank on this one. He states: “That Willow was one weird looking midget, and with that hair Val Kilmer looked like the lesbian from that show in the seventies where all the girls lived together with that old woman that took care of them (TRANSLATION: Nancy Mckeon in “Fact of Life:”).
5) The Descendents- George Cloony does a lot of good acting and flat-footed running. The daughter’s buddy reminded me of a young Frank. And, even though the character was a cheating whore, I felt sorry for the poor actress who had to spend the whole film just lying there in a coma while everyone around her gave Academy-worthy performances.
7) Five Year Engagement- Made me want to learn to knit, fulfill my dream of shooting someone with a crossbow, eat more pastrami, have sex in a vat of Waldorf Salad, and renew my wedding vows.
8) Prometheus – This film forces us to ask many questions about mankind and its origins, like: When did Charlize Theron become so smug? In a no-holds-barred underwater cage match between a Great White shark and a giant squid who would win? And Why does Ridley Scott hate filmgoers so much that he would inflict this movie on them?
9) The Help- I am glad I finally gave in to this gem…twice. Though sometimes I felt as uncomfortable as I’m sure the actresses did in those girdles, it was as delicious as Minny’s chocolate pie. And, Bravo Bryce for creating one of the most convincing cunts in film with Hilly Holbrook.
10) The Devil Inside- Apparently, when you’re possessed by the devil you become really limber. So, if your dream is to become a contortionist for Cirque du Soleil, just play with a Ouija Board.
On Friday, I had to undergo a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) to remove a cluster of precancerous cells from my cervix. The procedure involves first being grounded so you don’t get electrocuted, then having your lady bits lasered. I lay there, legs spayed out in the stirrups, with my curmudgeon of a gynecologist barking statements like, “Speculum,” “Pressure,” “More Pressure,” “IUD hook,” “Slight Pain,” “More Pain,” “Relax,” “Done,” “No sex for a month.” During that month, it will scab over and slough out. Throughout the ordeal, I hummed “Crocodile Rock;” tried to breathe in and out to the count of eight; and decided that there must be some truth to the whole creationist story. I don’t know if it was Eve, but some woman at some point had to have pissed off the gods in a big way.
Let’s face it, compared to men, women have a horribly hard way to go. From puberty on, our lives are a study in survival. First, we have to face the dreaded menstruation, which no matter how you try to spin it, is not pleasant. You bleed sporadically, with no warning, often during inopportune times like when you’re wearing white shorts in gym class or sitting on a friend’s cream-colored sofa at a cocktail party. When the friend and his partner have a genetically-predisposed aversion to vaginas (and all things related), it makes it especially sensitive. Hallmark really should make a“Sorry, I bled on your Dakota Jackson chaise” card. And the period is accompanied by crippling cramps, fatigue, and mood swings that would suggest demonic possession. But it’s not just the pain, inconvenience, and temporary insanity brought on by becoming a woman, there is the fact that our reproductive organs are especially prone to a slew of dangerous diseases.
And, along with getting the monthly crimson typhoon, we get breasts. From then on, we are judged by whether they are too big, too small, too nipplous, or too not. And, then comes the all-too-necessary concerns with breast cancer. Each year, we are forced to embrace our masochistic side, and get a mammogram. To get a proper picture of the tissue, they have to contort, stretch, and flatten the boob. It hurts like hell. Passing into womanhood is as treacherous as passing into the Bermuda Triangle.
It seems that after undergoing the monthly torture of menstruation for thirty-plus years, we’d be rewarded with an increased metabolism, libido, and maybe a government stipend of $50,000 or so. We should at least get a Post-Period Party. But, no, instead we get menopause with even more severe mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, insomnia, urine leakage, headaches, and weight gain.
I know what you’re thinking…Donna, you’re forgetting the most important part. Being a woman enables you to bring life into the world. It’s a miracle. NO! If pregnancy only occurred when we had orgasmic sex, a stable partner, and money in the bank AND if it was a euphoric experience involving no morning sickness, bladder discomfort, swelling, exhaustion, or potentially serious risks AND if labor involved the body just gently opening, like a refreshing morning stretch, and releasing rainbows, butterflies, and a baby, AND the stomach then closed up scar-free and the body immediately returned to its pre-pregnancy state…AND if each infant was accompanied by a Nursery Fairy to change all of the diapers, give mommy daily massages, and put the wee one to sleep…That would be a miracle.
In closing, I just wish that all men would have to undergo one bad period, severe hot flash, or long labor. I guarantee if they did, women would be worshiped.
It has been three weeks since I adopted my motto FWPT, and since then I have made great progress. I have not completely squashed the imp of insecurity, but I have definitely put a hurting on him. These are some of my small steps in the right direction.
1) Instead of taking time out from remodeling The Muse to change clothes, I went to the store wearing paint-covered leggings and a shirt that was far too short to cover the fatty parts emphasized by said leggings. Granted it was only the Dollar General in Bergin (population 962) , but I still consider it a victory.
2) I had a glass of wine (actually two and half) at lunch with my mother-in-law, who already thinks I have a drinking problem. Fancy that.
3) I wore a caftan to the office.
4) Despite a sign stating, “All Dogs Must Be Leashed. No Exceptions,” I let Rufus and Doc Grizzly go rogue, and run and play.
5) I didn’t look in mirror one time on Tuesday.
6) I admitted to a room full of people that I loved Barry Manilow.
7) Though I understand that theaters make most of their money on concessions, I still think $10.00 for a bucket of greasy popcorn that has more fat and sodium than you should have in month is not acceptable. So, recently when I went to see a movie, I decided to take control of my snack situation. I filled my messenger bag with a loaf of French bread, some sliced cheese, kale chips, pepperoni, and two mini-bottles of Pinot Grigio, and feasted throughout the film.
On a larger scale, I am about to embark on a new lifestyle that has required me to take FWPT to a whole new level, because quite frankly people think I’m crazy. At the end of this year, I am leaving my job with skirt! Magazine, renting out my hip downtown digs, and moving full time to the lake where I will live with Frank, two dogs, and two cats on a pair of boats named “Lakematized” and “The Muse.” I am selling the majority of my shit, including all of my stiletto heels, and downsizing by 70%. During the winter months, we will have to pump and purify water from the lake to shower. Each morning, rain or shine, I’ll have to take the dogs on the long walk through spider alley, across the dock, around the bait shop, and over to the shore to “get busy.” It’s in a dry county. The closest “real” restaurant is at Shaker Village. Sound insane yet? Well, if so, that’s alright, because it sounds like a big fun, awesome adventure to me, and FWPT.
Today's Flashback Friday blog takes us to the not so distant past.
(10/22/2010) Let me begin by saying that I know on the esoteric, self-help, "New Earth" level it is supposedly impossible for anyone to make you feel insecure or inferior or inept. We are responsible for our own emotions and reactions...blah, blah, blah...I get it. So, someone should tell HER. You know HER. Every workplace, junior high, college dorm, and, I would assume, retirement community has HER--the woman who seems to effortlessly make every other female look and feel like shit. The woman who could waltz in from a rainstorm and seem dew-kissed, while you could walk in behind her, after experiencing the same downpour, and look like a drowned rat. She can toss on any combination of clothes and look "boho chic." You in the same outfit would look like you'd escaped from a psych ward. And, she doesn't just look the part, she owns the role. She's successful--she always has the top sales, the top grades, the top ratings, and is on the top of everyone's guest list with an adoring mate and fawning friends and an array of exciting extracurricular activities.
We have one of these dangerous alien specimens at my office. I am quite certain she is either a government experiment in the Stepford wives vein or from Pluto. She arrives every day--I couldn't tell you exactly when since I have never managed to get there before her--with the latest fashions draped over her long, lean frame. They are perfectly pressed without so much as one errant animal hair or pick or speck of lint. Her make-up looks as if it has been airbrushed on by the team from Vogue. The only explanation for her shining and sleek coiffure is that she keeps a celebrity hairstylist chained to her bathroom sink. Even when she wears a ponytail it has the exact amount of tease on top and bounce to the back. Her desk in a study in organization and personalization with just enough family photos to keep up the appearance that she is indeed human, but not so many as to seem sentimental. I've seen her car in the parking lot. Despite the recent snow, mud, and salt, it is as gleaming as the pearly white teeth she flashes to her ardent admirers. On a personal level, I do not know this woman well. But, I do know that she always achieves and exceeds monthly goals, that her family is as flawless as she, that her body must require hours at the gym, that she seems to be well liked (or at least revered) by those around her. And I know that even if I gave up sleep all together, stopped drinking, and hired help, I still could not make it to work even one day a week looking like she does.
Am I bitter? Yes. Am I determined to one day find the antennae under her ponytail and end this cycle of space invader imposed inferiority? Absolutely!
(10/12/2012) So after two years, I actually bothered to talk to this creature. I am happy, and a little ashamed, to announce that she is not an alien. Quite the contrary, she is one of the most down-to-earth women in the entire office. She is not intentionally superior and stand-offish, as I first assumed. She is shy and, as a newly-single mom, incredibly focused on getting her work done so she can get home to her daughter. She has been through a year with the kind of loss that would make weaker women crumble, and has maintained grace throughout. She is also aware that she is oft judged solely on the way she looks without ever being given a chance to instead be judged by what she thinks, feels, and believes. I am guilty of not wanting to get anywhere near her for fear I’d be compared and fall short. By letting my insecurity turn me into a judgmental bitch, I’ve missed out on a friendship with a lovely lady. I won’t let it happen again.
Here's a poem chronicling the last time I went feral. I fear this time is going to be even worse and involve explosions, nudity, and massive quantities of BBQ and moonshine.
I used to growl...
at menacing men of the subway train.
I used to howl...
to the moon, naked, in the pouring rain.
I used to claw...
the back's of lovers and eyes' of rivals.
I used to woo, then kill...
just for the thrill.
I used to bite the hand that fed me,
With no fear of being talked about, left out,
Taken off the guest list.
I was feral.
But, I awoke one day,
To find along the way...
I had been domesticated.
The 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets stretched out beneath me.
The pink pajamas, emblazoned with kittens and strands of Christmas bulbs...
that I was wearing despite the fact that it was only October.
The man dozing next to me...
The clean-shaven, gainfully-employed man who hadn't...
Talked to me in weeks...
Kissed me in months...
Been in love with me for years...
And yet was still here.
When did I fall into to this insidious rut?
And start putting Neosporin on a paper cut.
Not roller skating without wrist guards,
Keeping a drawer full of hostess gifts and Hallmark cards.
Bragging about my deviled eggs.
Wearing stockings on my lotioned legs.
Networking with people that I'd rather slap.
Not leaving the house without a Google map.
Scrubbing an apple before taking a bite.
Forgetting my instinct for fight or flight.
I have forfeited my freedom for a Roth IRA.
I've been cowering in a cage built from complacency,
Fettered by fear,
Hand-fed and housebroken,
Too plump and pampered to hunt for my own food,
Yet still starving for passion.
Tonight, that hunger gnaws through my frame,
I am tired of tame.
I want wild.
I want to run just to feel the wind in my hair.
I want to fuck just to know there is someone else there.
I want to drink straight from the bottle,
And smash it on the floor.
I want to kick in every door,
Then shatter every mirror,
So I can see myself clearer.
I want to shred every matching towel,
And torch my wedding album.
I am going to revert,
Go ballistic, Go berserk.
And throw the past thirteen years on a fire fueled by Dominican rum and Chanel #5.
Then, I will flee to the forest,
To be reraised by wolves.
After a year with the pack,
I'll come back...
Tangled and Tanned,
Ferocious and free.
To those who knew me...
Especially, to those who thought they knew me best.
Tonight, I declare myself dangerous.
Tonight, the man-eater emerges.
Tonight, oh baby, tonight...
You best beware my bite.
When you live at the lake, which Frank and I will be doing full time come January, you face certain annoying issues and concerns that don't plague you when you live on dry land and within city limits. I like to call these Lake People Problems.
Here are just a few:
1) The damn otters defecated on my freshly-painted hooch stand last night.
2) Frank got drunk and staggered into the antique lure display and hooked a Hula Popper through his eyebrow.
3) The trickle charger got wet when the hull flooded and now we can’t flush the toilet.
4) Fuck! A block of frozen bluegill fell out of the freezer and broke my big toe.
5) The propane tank ran out, but it’s 6:15PM on a Sunday, so everything for a forty mile radius is closed.
6) Crap, I was only three grommets away from getting the skirting hung and ran out of zip ties.
7) My turtle perch is waterlogged.
8) Splash! Shit! Somebody else miscalculated and stepped between the boat and slip. I hope they’re not dead.
9) They let the dam out and now the parking lot is under water with my car still in it.
10) Dinner was served…until a sudden storm blew in and took my meal with it. I hope the alligator gar like fillet mignon.
11) Libby is back in prison, so the local yokel Steve will be coming around again showing us dead headless snakes.
But even with all of these insane inconveniences, I love being a Bourbonista on a Boat.
So, the time has come to decide what to be for All Hallows Eve. I have dressed up, or been dressed up, every Halloween since I was born…until last year. Though we took our Mobster and Moll costumes along with us on our honeymoon, I came down with a nasty cold and we didn’t go out. The year before, we were a little girl and her sock monkey. It was supposed to be adorable, but it was horrifying…more like Baby Jane Hudson and her giant Mutant Killer Chimp. (See Exhibit A). In our defense, finding couples costumes is really hard, especially when you’ve already done most of the good ones with an ex. In previous seasons, he’s been Gomez to Morticia, the Big Bad Wolf to Little Red Riding Hood, and Frankenstein with his Crack Whore Bride (the crack whore aspect was not part of the costume). I’ve been Snow White with Prince Charming, the Marquis De Sade with my Whipping Boy, and a Valkyrie with her Viking. This year, we really need to come up with something good to make up for two years of lame. So, far these are options we're considering:
1) Thing 1 and Thing 2
Pros: Comfortable, Warm, and Appropriate. Those little Seussian hellraisers have nothing on Frank and I in the wreaking havoc department.
Cons: While all the other women will be using the holiday as an excuse to totally slut it up, I'll essentially be wearing red footie pajamas and a blue Don King wig. I'm afraid when put next to a saucy pirate wench with her doubloons hoisted up to her chin, I might feel a little jealous.
2) Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny(as Carmen Miranda)
Pros: Come on...classic with a twist. And, I'd be carrying healthy snacks on my head.
Cons: Frank would go around all night slurring things like, "Now, ya carrot-chewin' coyote!! Git a goin'!!" And, where am I going to find a 35-gallon cowboy hat that will look over-sized on his huge head?
3) Charlie Brown and Lucy
Pros: Simple to make. It's a yellow shirt with a zig zag, a blue dress, and a football.
Cons: At some point in the evening, I'll inevitably convince Frank to let me hold the football while he tries to kick it and we'll end up back in the ER.
4) Wednesday and Pugsley Addams
Pros: I could be completely snarky and antisocial all night and just say I was in character.
Cons: I'd have to tell Frank he was going as Pugsley.
5) Superman and Wonder Woman
Pros: It would be hilarious...admit it, you're laughing just thinking about it now.
Cons: Stop laughing...you're hurting my feelings. Okay so maybe it would be more like Superman and Wonder Woman after a six-month taco and tequila binge...but, you just wait, this time next year we are both going to be buff. We'll make an awesome set of superheros in 2013.
But, since the verdict is still out on Halloween 2012 , feel free to offer costuming suggestions. Now, I'm off to become bulimic in anticipation of those blue satin panties with the crotch stars.
Me: If something doesn't change, I'm going to divorce or kill you.
Frank: Why? We get along awesome.
Me: Yes, when we're awake.
Frank: What are you talking about?
Me: I haven't slept in weeks. I don't want to be one of those sad couples who have separate beds.
Frank: It worked for Ricky and Lucy.
Me: No, it didn't. In real life he was a notorious boozer and womanizer, and she had a temper like a Tasmanian Devil. They divorced. Anyway, something has to change.
Frank: Like what?
Me: You have got to learn to respect the bedding. First, you spin like a crocodile in a death roll and rip the fitted sheet off the bed every single night. Then, you just randomly pick and choose whether you would prefer the top sheet, quilt, or comforter and steal it, leaving me with a tangled mess of the rest to deal with. Then, you make it impossible to get the stolen linen back by tucking and tying it all around you like Kinbaku.
Frank: What's Kinbaku?
Me: A Japanese bondage technique using knots. Don't change the subject! Then, you stuff a pillow between your knees and try to spoon. It gets all up in my stuff. It's like I'm being molested by marshmallow.
Frank: You're crazy.
Donna: Maybe. But, may I remind you that both insanity and sleep deprivation have been successfully used as murder defenses.
Sharing All I KNOW about the fine art of voluptuating. here's to living the lush life.