November 15, 2010

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Which old witch? The wicked witch!

Through the magic of Facebook (because my dad cut me out of his life) I learned that my last living grandparent, my dad's mother, died of stomach cancer last night. Most people get pretty upset about losing a grandparent, but most grandparents like their grandkids. Ours not so much.

We never really knew why she didn't like us, but even at a young age we could tell. There was a certain coldness surrounding our dad's mom (who will be referred to as MM) that was present as far back as I can remember. Maybe MM didn't like that we weren't boys (my dad's brothers and sisters all had boys). Maybe MM resented our dad, the baby, leaving the nest. Maybe we symbolized something negative to her. Maybe she blamed me, the first born, for being female and setting precedence. Who the fuck knows.

Today I wondered what that funeral would be like. MM adored her daughters and grandsons, but she picked fights with her sons, her son's wives, and her granddaughters. She wasn't a warm, loving person to anyone (except her dog) and seemed to will the time to pass faster the rare occasion she was put in charge of us. What will people say of her? She was married to and divorced from the same man multiple times, made no effort to contact her sons for years, and created a very exclusive group of individuals she spent her time with. What will everyone else be feeling? Who will say the eulogy? Who will really mean what they say to others? Most of the family (my sisters and I excepted) decided to make amends with MM when they learned she had cancer. But I call bullshit on that. Just because someone is dying doesn't mean they deserve peace. It's like a loophole in Christianity I can't ignore: if you're a terrible person and you have no regard for others you can ask God for forgiveness right before you die and be redeemed and get into heaven. Which means heaven could be filled with those murderers and rapists who got a priest right before the chair. Unfair! Live your life how you want to be remembered!

So, this is how I remember my dad's mother:
When I was less than 2 years old I was blamed for pooping in the corner of MM's living room: a baby taking off her diaper, pooping in the corner, and then putting her diaper back on was a more likely scenario than MM's dog taking a shit in the house. But that was small beans. Here are some of the things our wonderful grandmother said to my very young sister:

Sister: My gramma died.
MM: That's nice. Do you want strawberries on your ice cream?

MM: Do you like that doll?
Sister: Yes.
MM: Would you like to have that doll?
Sister: Yes!
MM: OK, I'll leave it to you in my will.

Sister: Hi Grandma!
MM: Here honey, throw this away, will you?

There were more, but these ones cut pretty hard. And my poor sister just kept on going back, all excited her grandma was here, and kept getting verbally slapped in the face. Eventually she gave up. I think we all got Christmas cards a couple of years ago, but in the last almost decade the only contact we had with her was at our uncle's funeral (which was heartbreaking) and that was only what couldn't be avoided.

"Kickin' it with grandma. Sorry, one I didn't get along with."

Lastly, it would be fucking fantastic if Facebook stopped suggesting I "friend" my dad. The bastard cut me out of his life because he's getting tail and I don't want to sit there and listen to him brag about it. No, we're not "friends."

November 14, 2010

Moving, Again

At least the horse didn't have underwear to ruin.

So, I move a lot. Like, in the 5 years I've lived in San Diego I've had 8 different addresses, and I'm about to get a ninth. That's darn close to moving every 6 months. And believe it or not, I'm about over it.

Also believe it or not, I don't move on a whim. I am a terrible roommate picker. When I first moved here I decided to live with a friend of the family who went to my school. She was certifiably insane, but I stuck it out for a year and a half before I threw in the towel. The next house I lived in was OK, some typical roommate problems (girlfriends moving in and being messy...) but I moved because the lease ended and we all went our separate ways. The next house had one girl who refused to acknowledge I existed (not so much as a nod when we passed each other in the hall) and another who made giant, smelly messes in the kitchen and left them for a week. The next house... well, the next house had a 6 year old whose dad hit on me, a messy girlfriend who lived for free because she walked around half naked, a roommate wrapped around a crumbling "open" marriage, and a host of smaller issues. Then (and this was without a doubt the worst decision of my entire life) I moved into a new house with the roommate and the girl who was leaving her husband for him, and my sister. Very shortly after that was the glorious year I lived in my studio. I remember first seeing the Craigslist ad for it, seeing the place, checking out the location, and thinking, "this is too good to be true." But it wasn't. I know some of my neighbors didn't have the greatest experience, and I'm sure I had gotten to such a low point with roommates that any experience living solo would be great, but it really was the greatest. Unfortunately, a month after signing the lease I got laid off. I was able to stay the whole year, but towards the end finances were so tight. So I got another address. I ended up with a great roommate (but I knew he'd be great ahead of time, so it wasn't like I got lucky or anything) but we lived in a boring area in an apartment neither of us liked. Less than six months later I had yet another address.

And the roommate at this address rivals the first I had: either certifiably insane or on hardcore drugs. I knew he was a little weird when I moved in (and I've written about my annoyances before), but the events of the last week have made me so fucking glad I have a new address all lined up. A few nights ago I was all curled up in bed, lights out, TV off, winding down a text message convo with a buddy, just closing my eyes... when from the next room I hear, "NO! OH NO! NO NO NO NO!" THUD. He jumps out of bed, runs around his room and slams doors for a few seconds. Then he tears off down the hallway, booming like a minotaur, throws open the front door and runs outside. At 1 AM. In his boxers. Meanwhile, I'm very awake, very terrified, double checking the lock on my door and peeking out my window at the crazed man in his underwear on the sidewalk, silently but furiously begging him to not come to my window. Suddenly he calms down, turns around, walks back in the house, slams his bedroom door, and starts talking. He talks every now and then, and I can never tell if he's on the phone, on Skype or if he might even have someone in there. Now I'm starting to believe he's not talking to anyone... he's just talking. For the next two nights he screamed in the same way, but didn't get up. All I could do was send a text or two, just in case something went wrong, and countdown in my head until I get the keys to the new place. I was actually too afraid to go to a friend's house because unlocking the door and going down that hall was way too scary.

So I think I'm pretty justified in moving, again. Though I will admit to getting real pleasure from the process. Hunting on Craigslist, seeing apartments, feeling that tingle when you find the right one, then setting up my new room, trying out my new kitchen, finding the right place for everything feels really good. I can only imagine when I'm looking for a house... the process will probably consume my life for at least a year. But I imagine liking that year very much. And when that happens I think I will be very happy to stay in one place for a long time, to not have anything to escape, to not feel the need to leave. Someday.

November 5, 2010

Size Queen

I bought a shirt from Target a week ago. It's a purple plaid button up kind with sleeves you're supposed to roll up to your elbows, and all in all pretty cute. Not really worth writing about but I'm mostly pleased, especially at $10.

Thing about this shirt, though, is it's labeled extra small and it fits me loosely. Now, at a somewhat athletic 5'7" no part of me is "extra small" (except maybe my wrists... somehow I have tiny wrists). I wear a size 8 shoe, anywhere between size 6 and 9 jean, and usually medium, maybe sometimes large shirt depending on the store and if I plan to wear other shirts under it (or if I'm buying it from the Internet, then it could even be extra large, because the Internet is made of midgets), and large jackets. Nothing I own is "extra small," until this shirt.

Joan Holloway would have a difficult time finding the right clothes now.

This isn't a one-time occurrence, or just a Target thing, or a mislabeled shirt or even a maternity shirt accidently put in the wrong section (dear god how embarrassing would that be). Clothes sizes are getting bigger. I've been trying on shirts labeled "small" at a handful of shops. This also definitely isn't a case of me losing weight, as awesome as that would be, because I was just at the doctor and the numbers are, unfortunately, not going down even though I took my shoes off. Others have noticed the change too. My sister just gave me a pair of jeans (Sevens!) because she said they're too short for her. Sizes are getting bigger!!!

Now, to be honest I felt pretty good about being a small sometimes, but owning a shirt that is extra small is a little ridiculous. I mean, what are the girls who really are extra small supposed to wear? If I'm wearing an extra small, and it fits loosely, a girl who is 5'2" and 105 pounds would have to start shopping in the kids section.

The big problem I see with sizes changing is it's giving us a false sense of comfort. It's no secret America is one of the fattest countries in the world (we're #3!), so if XXL is now just L seriously obese people might start thinking their weight isn't that bad or, worse, that the bad habits they've practiced over the years are causing them to actually lose weight, giving them even less reason to change. Plus, I don't need anyone trying to tell me I'm extra small when I'm not even small. I'm a medium sized adult woman: I have hips, I have boobs, I have muscles and I'm at least 2 inches taller than the average adult woman in this country. I like the way I am, and I am not extra small.

I'd like clothes companies to stop trying to flatter me. All they're doing is confusing their customers.

November 4, 2010


The most handsome, happy man.

I've kind of been putting off this post because it's another step in the "admitting it's true" direction, and that's still too hard to believe.

Having grown up with all sorts of animals and having maybe a cumulative year and a half of pet-less time in my whole life there've been some really awesome animals. Joker was one of them, and the best dog I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Everyone who knew him, even everyone who just met him passing by or at the park commented on what a wonderful dog he was. No one didn't like Joker.

Staring down the ball.

Joker was the smartest and most obedient dog I've seen by far, and one of the most loyal, most loving and most eager to please creatures on the planet. Part of that was his breeding, but a lot of it was his personality. When you sat on the couch he'd come sit right next to you and put his head on your leg, staring up into your eyes with such unashamed adoration. If you didn't immediately respond with love he nudged you with his chest, then threw his leg up on you. He needed to be next to the ones he loved as often as possible.


The mere sight of his leash or a ball or frisbee or the neighbor kids or anything that could be chased (rock, tree bark, water bottle, dart, some other dog's ball) he would wag his whole body with explosive excitement. Sometimes it looked like he'd fall over from wagging too much. At the dog park he almost completely ignored other dogs and people and stared at the ball like it was an enemy to destroy. He outran all other dogs in the chase, flew headfirst into wherever the ball landed, often coming back with a face full of dirt or grass but always an unmistakably happy grin of accomplishment. His teeth were so worn down because of his enthusiasm for playing. Sometimes he got so wound up over fetch that he'd throw the ball back in your general direction, too eager for the next game to bring it all the way to your hand. But just call him over and ask for it nicely and he'd put it gently in your hand. It took all of his self control to do that. It was amazing.

What he lived for.

Joker died quite suddenly on Halloween night. His absence has left a gaping hole in his family, his house is empty, and those who loved him have hollow hearts. People often live for animals more than they realize, and losing one, especially when he was the most amazing animal, can make life seem worthless. Joker was too young and far too good to die. He should have lived forever, or at least until right before his family died, so that way he'd never have to feel the pain of separation.

Dog tired.

If there is a rainbow bridge or a heaven or a place where good souls go, Joker's is there. And I hope there is so he can see those he loved again, and so they can play endless games of fetch and so they can lay down, dog tired, together again.