Feline Lovin’

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Hey whisker tickler, come spread your cheer
at my doorstep in the early sun.
Bring me your unconditional love, in exchange
for just one long head rub.
Your frantic purring and meowl-ing shall not go
unnoticed on my porch.

No, I will oblige your cries,
and you’ve never asked for more.
Please stop by soon, Miss Pouncing Paws,
although you do live right next door.

Merry Whatever

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Today, I celebrated the birth of Christ.
Or wait, no I didn’t…

Today, I honored the spirit of consumerism and capitalism.
Er, that’s not quite it.

Today, I paid tribute to sugar, butter, and overeating in the name of the holidays.
Perhaps something a bit different…

Today, I spent time with people I love and tried to show them how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them. Yes, that sounds about right.

Sometimes it just takes me a while to remember.

The Torrential Downpour I Walked Through

The walk home today started off well enough.

It was raining good-naturedly and I was clad in my impermeable purple coat.

Rain, lovely rain!

I tromped happily through a few puddles before noticing a slight wetness seeping into my socks.

Ah, doesn’t bother me!

I decided not to take the bus home, and chuckled at the amorphous hunchback blobs trudging to the bus shelter.

But, one-fifth of the way through my walk, I started to resent the rain.

I saw a few runners who appeared very Zen and I couldn’t help but glare at them from under my dripping hood.

My socks were steadily absorbing water and the puddles around me were beginning to resemble a replica of Lake Ontario.

Coursing rivers had taken over the asphalt.

To distract myself, I created a song about the wonders of rain.

Rain, it feeds our crops!

Now, I know there are many uses for rainwater, but this was literally the only one I could recall.

You water those plants, rain!

My jeans were sopping, clinging to my thighs like an unwanted guy dancing too close at the club.

My cute boots were chafing my toes through the thin layer of sodden sock.

My cute boots were not waterproof and not so cute anymore,

Once they were mud-colored instead of white.

Okay, now, that’s enough, I said sternly to the sky.

It didn’t listen.

Thanks to osmosis and gravity, I now could feel frigid wet stripes running from my torso to ankle down each leg.

Come ON, rain! Knock it off.

Bloated worms were swept down the sidewalk. I was witnessing death.

Three-fifths of the way home, I began thanking God.

I do not believe in God, but I thanked it anyway.

I also didn’t want to admit I was talking to myself again.

Hey God, I’m so glad I have a house to go back to.

I couldn’t wait to strip off my soggy layers, brew a cup of tea, and turn on the space heater.

I’m sure all this water serves a purpose.

As usual, there was no reply.

I had many deep thoughts during this walk.

For example, I pondered crop growth factors. For another example, I contemplated earthworm mortality rates. I fantasized about Hawaii, where I hear the rain falls warm.

After twenty minutes, I was thoroughly drenched, but I had reached the final stage: acceptance.

A change of heart came over me as I reached my driveway. I kicked up my heels, frolicked in the showers, and twirled my way to the back door.

Once inside, I gazed out longingly.

Then I said, Oh, I just love the rain.

WANTED: Experienced Reassurer and Mind-Easer

Seeking a professional reassurer with experience in doubt and fear removal. You will be the objective, rational voice for a highly anxious individual. The ideal candidate would demonstrate a calm and soothing demeanor at all times, with quick, accurate answers to questions such as “My life has begun to feel so dull and meaningless lately and I think I’m just going to waste everything I’ve been given, including $50,000 at the University… AAHH what do I do?!” and “Is this dress too tight in the middle? I think I’ve gained weight. Oh god, I look like I’m pregnant. I can’t go to my brother’s wedding tonight in this, I’ll just go for a 13-mile run instead,” and “It’s 4 PM and I just drank a green tea with 70 mg of caffeine, is that too much to drink this late in the day? If I’m up all night I’m going to be so cranky at work tomorrow,” and “Do you think my brother hates me for missing his wedding? His wife doesn’t like me either and now I’m probably never going to meet my nephews! What’s wrong with me and why am I so unloveable?” 2+ years experience in crisis aversion or young adult counseling preferred. Opportunity for advancement to client’s nurse/psychiatrist/therapist/tissue provider/shoulder to cry on/body pillow. Compensation is $11.25-14.25/hr DOE, as well as biannual vacations with the client to a “rest and relaxation retreat”. 135-168 hrs/wk depending on client’s needs and erratic sleep schedule. Please send resumé and references to MyLyfsuXX@aol.com to begin the preliminary screening process. We ask for a 10-year commitment to start with, as the client has abandonment issues.

My Problem with Painting My Nails (and Wearing Thongs)

Something I hear a lot: “Your nails are so short!” This is not said in an admiring tone, mind you. No. What they are thinking is “Aren’t you supposed to be a girl? A delicate rose-petal-scented specimen who gets weekly manicures and biweekly bikini waxes? Who wears a tight, lacy, leopard print thong every day and likes it? Who has sleepovers and sometimes casual sex with her 18 closest girlfriends?”

Well. First of all, no. None of the above. Manicures are frightfully expensive, seeing as you’re paying for someone to spread a toxic combination of dye and chemicals onto your body. Thanks to your nearest Rite Aid, you can subject yourself to a just as pleasant asphyxiation for only $3.99!

Ever had a wedgie you couldn’t fix? That is, by definition, a thong. But if you crave the feeling of a germy string flossing your buttcrack all day, be my guest. Also, have you ever worn a nice, snug thong while sprinting after a gang of children in a spirited game of freeze tag? That could potentially land you in the ER. One of the girls in my freshman-year dorm told me, “I’ve heard panty lines are the worst fashion faux pas for women,” as she checked out her own ass in the mirror. Needless to say, I was not wearing a thong that day. Hint taken… Now I check.

Anyways, back to the nails. It’s quite difficult to articulate just what about painting my nails is so aggravating. It always starts out so promising.

It’s a lovely day, the clouds have cleared from the sky, it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and on cue, I begin to sweat and burn to a crisp simultaneously. A true Seattleite. What a perfect opportunity to sit on the porch and paint my nails! I can’t decide if my favorite soundtrack to this day is my next-door neighbor using the leaf-blower on his roof or my other next-door neighbor attempting to hack up a quart of phlegm onto his lawn.

Either way, I go about finding the perfect color for my nails. My selection looks like this: firetruck red, bright pink, baby blanket pink, duckweed green, black, baby blue, sparkly blue, clear. Oh, what a choice. It’s obvious I haven’t ventured to paint my nails since I was about twelve. I decide on the eye-popping red because it could be classy. Marilyn Monroe probably wore this color. Actually, she probably only ever had a French manicure with white tips, which is impossible for me because I have bitten my nails down to the point where it looks like I’ve just galloped across the Great Wall of China on my fingertips.

Next: Apply the polish. It pours off the brush in great droplets onto my nail, immediately contaminating the surrounding skin. ShitI don’t want my damn skin painted. I hate this part. I take a Q-tip and maneuver it around my fingernail at a snail’s pace, yet still manage to graze the nail, leaving a nice blotch in the polish. My perfectionism requires me to remove all the polish from that nail, start over, and repeat this process 3 times per nail.

Then comes the right hand. Imagine a blind sloth in Paraguay gripping a laser beam in one toe and aiming it at the shell of a single pecan over in Uruguay. That is my left hand trying to paint a fingernail on my right.

Lastly (1.5 hours of Hell later), the polish needs to dry. Note: this will take five minutes longer than the point at which you decide it is dry and touch it. Reapply.

Take the Tofu Test

Take the tofu test. “As you grab a snack, ask yourself: Would I be hungry if it were a block of raw tofu? If the answer is no, you’re probably just eating out of boredom. Go for a walk instead!

-Oprah Magazine

Sometimes, I think I’m hungry when I’m not. It would be tragic to scarf a pint of Phish Food when I’m only feeling stressed, or tired, or bitter because that attractive guy I met already has a girlfriend. I want to know when I’m actually hungry. And I mean really know. Maybe I’m just mistaking hunger for wanting to take a walk. So when my hands are reaching for those Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at the grocery store, I stop and ask myself: Am I really hungry? That’s the reason I’ve implemented a highly effective test for myself; one that I recommend others try out.

Firstly, walk to the produce section. Bypass all tasty-looking displays and reaffirm that you will not be fooled by their alluring hues. Remember the painful contractions in your stomach are more likely due to IBS than hunger. Find the iceberg lettuce. Cradle that translucent green head in your hands and ask, Am I hungry enough to eat four leaves? Sixteen? How about the whole head? Steamed? No? Then you’re not really hungry.

If no produce section is available (for example if one were in a gas station), the rules change. Proceed directly to the personal hygiene aisle and find the cinnamon Crest toothpaste, preferably the kind with sparkly red flecks. Does this strike you as appealing? You may need to unscrew the cap and take a generous sniff. Of course it’s not real food, but that’s beside the point. If you aren’t seriously considering making a tube of Crest your next feast, you aren’t really hungry.

Clearly there are instances when neither of these tests is applicable. But you’re learning how simple it is to perform a hunger analysis. Camping? No problem. Before you devour your s’mores, rip off a hunk of bark from the nearest tree and contemplate that. Better yet, search the nearby woods for some dried dung. Even easier when you’re on a boating trip: just swoop your hand into the water and grab hold of the first slimy little body you feel. Take a big chomp out of its tail. You mentioned wanting some sushi? Think again. That old saying “I’m so hungry, I could eat my own arm” – well, you’d better be.