Sunday, February 21, 2016

The EU Just Bulldozed the Goondocks.

The Question of the Day is: Can the European Union possibly get any douchier?

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

List of Recent Uncharitable Thoughts, in No Particular Order

"You know, if I looked like Shrek, I think I'd do something about it."

"Nice dye job, slut."

"God bless you; those ginormous legs look awfully uncomfortable."

"I'd like to kick his crutches out from underneath him."

"At least when we move, I won't have to listend to Hopalong gimp around all day."

"I bet you sniff your own farts and then smile, you pretentious prick. Who the hell quotes themselves in an email signature?!?!"

"Nice phone you're playing with there, while meandering slowly down the staircase in front of me, holding me up. It would be a shame if you "accidentally" slipped and fell."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Found Whilst Cleaning: Impulse Control

I was searching through the piles of little papers on my desk, trying to locate the login information for the Facebook page under a pseudonym that I forget to maintain. I found this, written on a piece of notebook paper.

A list, in no special order, of impulses I am currently working very hard to control.
  • urge to hit someone with a chair
  • urge to push someone down the stairs
  • urge to say to someone, "That haircut is STUPID."
    • related: urge to tell co-worker that her new 'do makes her look 10 years older, in addition to being stupid.
  • purple nurples
  • urge to go, "Duh da de derp de derp da dope de dope..." while someone is speaking.
  • assorted namecalling and slurs:
    • doucher, fuckwit, douchebag, asshat, cuntbag, fucktard, quivering pile of douche, faggot, fuckface, bootlip, Hootie, and shouting 'Run, Trayvon....RUN!!"
  • urge to punctuate statement with flatulence
  • urge to quote Bible verses at people
  • urge to tell someone, regarding an ill-behaved child: "Put that thing on a leash!"
  • urge to kick small dogs
  • urge to end sentences with "SELAH", or "So mote it be."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Look, Rabbit! I Don't Git Mad No More!

I had this brother, see. He committed suicide 14 years ago, an event I can honestly describe, with no melodrama or exaggeration, as the worst thing I've ever experienced. He took himself out in such a way that his body was not discovered for three months. Three long months in which I learned, the whole family learned, that "the worst thing is not knowing" isn't just a cliche', and the true meaning of the word HORROR.

Grieving a suicide is unlike any other kind of grieving, because on top of the sorrow is a pile of anger and guilt. Sorrow because he was gone, guilt because I didn't see clear to stop it. Anger because I felt betrayed and slighted and because of the damage the whole sorry mess did to my parents and my sister and his sons and me. What a selfish prick, I thought. Not only did he decide to exit stage left, he did it in such a way that we were all dragged through three months of fear and grief and uncertainty. Search parties and search dogs and police reports; false reports of sightings and bank activity that raised hopes, only to see them dashed. More guilt because I felt relieved when he was confirmed dead; not the outcome we wanted, but better than not knowing.

A little more anger swirling around the fact that in addition to the anniversary of his death, in August, there's the anniversary of the discovery of what was left of him, which is in November. Anniversaries are hard, and we have two of them. This last August was especially difficult; it's the 19th, and this year a week or two before it fell a celebrity killed himself. High-profile suicides are horrible for survivors, for they bring about the inevitable flood of do-gooding self-help nonsense where everyone tries to convince themselves that it would never happen to them. Look for the signs! These are the red flags! Here are the warnings!

The reality is that someone who means to take themselves out don't give you a heads-up. They don't drop hints. People who are trying to get attention do this; the ones who mean business go off somewhere and do the deed as quickly and efficiently as possible. People will argue with me about this; those people are dead wrong.

Anyway, the histrionic do-gooding is really difficult because it's feels like we're being admonished. We missed the signs, ignored the portents, ran passed the red flags, dropped the ball. We didn't, because that's all crap, but that's what it feels like. And as much as I tried to ignore it all last August sometimes it's just unavoidable, so on top of the guilt and the anger and the grief I already carry around, more guilt is piled.

So this year I prayed. I have a few basic prayers: God grant me wisdom, God grant me strength, and Please Jesus help me not to be such an asshole (h/t to Anne Lamott for this one.) To this I added, "Please help me lose this anger. This particular burden would ease if the anger was gone."

Funny thing, prayers; sometimes you get what you asked for, but make a mental note to add a caveat next time that the vehicle by which the thing is delivered not be unpleasant. My request was granted in the form of excruciating pain.

The expurgated explanation: my brother hurt his back as a very young man, and as a result suffered with severe chronic pain nearly all of his adult life. I knew about his injury, and the one botched surgery plus the additional ones to fix the first one. I knew he went to a rehab hospital for pain management after drugs stopped working. I knew he could never sit for more than 20 minutes and had to either get up and walk around or lay on the floor. I knew he had to quit working. I knew these things, but I did not really understand until I twisted the wrong way and ended up with a bulging discs and sciatica that didn't respond to steroids or physical therapy.

It hurts so bad sometimes I can't think straight. My heart starts pounding; I get flushed and hot. I get the shakes, I get nauseous; I hold my breath and then I get light-headed. All because I sat too long or moved the wrong way.
At some point I realized that my brother had this for 20 years, and had been told there was nothing else they could do for him. This is what he felt like, I thought to myself, except it was worse. Day in, day out, every day for 20 years and no end in sight. Well, hell, I thought. No wonder he opted to bow out. I can't say I blame him. I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing.

So now I'm not angry at him anymore, and that particular load is no longer quite as heavy.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Babs is Out of the Office

I am out of the office.
If you require immediate assistance, I can be summoned but it requires some work.
You will need:
• a container of salt
• chalk
• a live chicken
• a small dagger
• a silver chalice
• matches or a lighter
• a working knowledge of correct Latin pronunciation
Step 1: Draw a pentagram on the floor with the chalk.
Step 2: Stand in the center of the pentagram.
Step 3: Make a ring of salt around the perimeter of the pentagram
Step 4: Cut the throat of the chicken with the dagger.
Step 5: Fill the chalice with the blood of the chicken.
Step 6: Repeat this incantation: “Boden excitant iratus sum, et meam impleat crimine voluntatis.”;
Step 7: Set alight the blood in the chalice, holding the chalice in your RIGHT hand and the flame in your LEFT.
I will then appear, but I will not be happy.
Caution: Boden-conjuring is a dangerous enterprise, and is not recommended unless the problem is urgent.
Please note that I will require a boon for any tasks completed once I have been summoned. This may be Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, a large Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee (with skim milk and three packs of Equal), an icy-cold can of Diet Coke...or your little finger. Be sure to have all of these items and/or a small, sharp knife on hand prior to beginning the rite.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


He sealed the box with packing tape and left it on the table before he dragged the blade across his throat. I think it might have snakes in it, or a Hurst shifter rebuild kit for a '76 Nova, or a stack of old letters, a rain-swollen photo album, and some old Tupperware (no lids.)
If it's snakes, they're probably dead by now.

If I look at the box, which I try to avoid, I see snakes. Hooded, black, and angry. When I'm not looking, I can hear them sliding against the cardboard and butting the seam of the flaps with their angular heads, their searching tongues sometimes sticking to the underside of the tape.
I hope there are no snakes in the box. I would really like to open the box and find the Hurst shifter in the same way that I half-heartedly hope that someone will call out of the blue to offer up contents of the unknown-to-me U-Stor unit  he had somewhere that holds the '76 Nova to put that shifter in, along with pictures and letters and his favorite chair, plus a box of record albums so that I could frame "Houses of the Holy" to hang on my wall and say to people, "Oh, that - it belonged to my brother."

It's probably snakes. In August and November and at my birthday they thrash insistently like the time we had to take the cat to the vet in a cardboard box we taped shut because we didn't have a carrier, and the cat thrashed and yowled and pissed in the box, finally loosening the tape enough to push his head through the top and hiss at us. The snakes will do that, someday.
There might be something nicer, something that I would like to have. A vintage Molly Hatchet or Foghat or Uriah Heep t-shirt, for example. Baby pictures and wedding rings. A pressed prom corsage with Budweiser bottlecaps stuck between the brown and wizened petals of the orchids.

At the time the box was sealed, I thought he was ancient but he was younger than I am right now, and I'm not that old. When you're in your twenties, you think everyone over the age of thirty needs to give away all their possessions, wrap themselves up in a bedsheet, and climb to the top of the mountain to wait for the eagles to carry them off. Then some time goes, and you realize that people in their twenties are very, very stupid.
Now that I am an age he never reached, I think I hear the snakes around my birthday and not just the anniversaries.

Why you would box up some snakes and leave it on the table is beyond me. Thinking about it logically, rationally, there probably aren't snakes in that box. Probably it's unpaid electric bills and expired pizza coupons, a stack of Hardees' Moose cups and a half-eaten carton of Whoppers. Of course, it might be that stuff PLUS the snakes; they ate the Whoppers.

What I would like to have, instead of snakes, is a set of hand-written instructions for car detailing, because I can remember some of the things he used to tell me about that but not all of them. Plus a recording of him telling his best Polack jokes, and another of his imitation of our mother which sounded like something off Monty Python.
What I have, however, is a whole lot of nothing. There is nothing because all the material things were in the possession of the woman he lived with at the time, and none of us can remember her name to call her up and ask her for something. There aren't really any snakes, but figments of my imagination; visceral representations of my guilt, anger, and grief. Plus more guilt. There is not even really a box, just a wish to have something material with which to remember, over which to grieve, and a wish to be able to rewinde and do things differently. It's a misguided belief that, if given a chance, I could go back and fix things. This lurks in my peripheral vision as a box on a table.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Just A Thought...

I used to blog anonymously on MySpace. Now this blog is here, and it's under my actual name. I wonder if this has anything to do with why I don't get called back when I apply for jobs?