The diagnosis is official. I have contracted “I can’t stop planting vegetables”.
Sure, there are worse diseases I could have picked up, like “I can’t stop punching people in the mouth”, or “Crabs”, but I maintain that my illness is a serious one.
This is the first time I’ve lived in a place with both ample space and sun. And an intricate system of soaker hoses on timers, preventing me from having to actually remember to water. I thought, awesome, I will put in a cucumber, a yellow squash, a zucchini, and 3 or 4 tomato plants. And maybe a pepper.
Here is what I planted instead:
Ronde de Italia zucchini
Eight ball zucchini
yellow crookneck squash
2 California Wonder
1 Big Bertha
1 Sweet banana pepper
1 Japanese eggplant
27 plants. 14 kinds of tomatoes. FOURTEEN. And eggplant? I don’t even LIKE eggplant.
What was I thinking??
If all this stuff actually grows, I’m going to be begging all my neighbors to take some off my hands. Yes, even the sex neighbors. (Actually, I haven’t heard any sex from over there for a while. And I haven’t seen their cats in my yard either. I wonder what’s up. Am I using these ridiculous headphones to watch tv for nothing??)
The other night I got attacked by a mosquito in my bedroom. I felt all itchy and oogy all night.
The next day I was in a friend’s car and there was a mosquito flying around inside. We both kind of freaked out. I felt all itchy and oogy and like bugs were crawling on me the whole evening.
That night I got in bed, I turned off all the lights, and opened my laptop to catch up on e-mail. I thought to myself, “God I still feel so itchy and oogy and like bugs are crawling on me.”
And then a giant spider DROPPED OUT OF NOWHERE FROM ABOVE ONTO MY KEYBOARD.
It even made an audible “thwap!” sound as it landed.
I have never moved so fast.
I slammed the laptop shut and leaped out of bed and turned on all the lights. I got some tissue and opened the computer, scooped up the offender, and flushed him. Then I went back to my room. Shaken. Oogy. Itchy.
Yesterday at about 6pm I was out in the back yard, and I decided to pull a few weeds. This turned into about 20 minutes of vigorous weed-pulling. Normally I wear gloves in the garden, but since this was an impromptu weeding session, I didn’t bother.
That was my first mistake.
I came inside at about 6:30 and washed up. A few minutes later, my eyes started burning. And watering. I’m talking a steady stream of tears pouring down my face. I flushed my eyes out with water, but it didn’t help. It was seriously bizarre.
After about a half hour, it was getting worse instead of better. I was ready to go to the ER. I called Dr. Dad, who advised me to take a dose of Benadryl and give it another 30-45 minutes before worrying too much. I took the Benadryl at 7:15 and cancelled my plans for the evening,
By about 8pm, the left eye was a little better, but the right eye was still on fire. I’m not sure but there may have been actual flames shooting out of my eye. I had flushed my eyes, scrubbed my hands and arms up to my elbows, washed my face, and it wasn’t getting any better. I decided maybe I should take a shower, in case whatever I was reacting to had gotten into my hair or something.
This was Mistake Number Two.
Apparently, the heat from the shower was not helpful. By the end of it, I felt like my eye pores must have opened and sucked in even more of whatever was causing the problem. Okay, fine, I don’t think there’s such a thing as eye pores, but it’s fun to say.
EYE PORES! EYE PORES! EYE PORES!
The left eye was feeling ok, but the right eye was now worse than it had ever been. I could barely open it without a surge of burning pain, and the tears weren’t stopping. DAMN YOU, EYE PORES.
I dried off as quickly as I could and went to lie down in the dark, since any sort of light seemed to make it worse. I put a cold washcloth on my eyes and waited.
By about 9:30pm (three hours from when the pain started!) my right eye seemed to be calming down a bit, so after a brief period of TV watching, with a homemade eye patch made of paper towels stuck over the right lens of my eyeglasses, I tucked myself in and went to sleep.
This morning my eyes are fine.
Which brings me to the subject of today’s post. After showering and washing my hair last night, I was too distracted by the ongoing eye pore trauma to put any sort of product in my naturally curly hair. This never happens. EVER.
So when I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror at the puffball-afro-medusa-baby chick-Don King thing happening on my head, I realized it was official: I can never be on a reality show that involves a lack of quality hair care products.
I looked out the window this morning and saw a GIANT GOLDEN BALL IN THE SKY. And it appeared to be creating a bright light and radiating warmth unto the land.
What the hell?
I dug deep into the dusty corners of my brain, conjured up a memory from February, and realized that the fireball above me might be that thing they call “The Sun”.
For the record, this is what the weather has looked like here for the last, oh, 2 months:
I quickly realized that this might be my only chance in April to actually plant something in my yard without the risk of drowning, so I zipped over to the nursery, picked out 3 lovely azalea plants, and loaded them into my car. I noticed as I was driving home that I seemed to have some sort of slight rash on my forearms. Huh. Weird.
I came home and made lunch (Buyer beware: HOT POCKETS PIZZA MINIS ARE A POOR SUBSTITUTE FOR JENO’S/TOTINO’S PIZZA ROLLS), and then decided I should get the azaleas planted before the heavens opened and dumped another 792 feet of rain on me.
I planted the azaleas, and came inside to clean up. That’s when I saw the rash on my arms again. The arms that had just been holding azalea plants.
It was back. And angry. And bumpy. And itchy.
Who the hell is allergic to azaleas??
Itchy arms aside, I hope that fireball thing sticks around. It was rather pleasant.
Observe the small decorative knife with a ceramic handle.
Be prepared for the disposal to instantly grind to a halt with a sickening crunch sound after you let the the knife go into the drain, disguised by wads and wads of carrot peelings and turnip trimmimgs.
Next, fish out the disgusting wads of carrot and turnip, ceramic handle shards, and other generally gross gunk, and then wonder where the hell the blade went.
Feel around in the dark and creepy disposal hole for a while longer, hoping it doesn’t spring to life in some dramatic horror film moment and chew your hand off, assume the knife blade is wedged in between the disposal blades, and contact the landlord. Wait 6 days for your apartment manager to (not) do anything despite promising to come over “tomorrow” every day, give up, and get your neighbor Jose and his wife to come over. They will arrive with a metal shishkebab skewer.
Watch with wonder as Jose’s wife works her shishkebab skewer magic and eventually pops this out and tosses it triumphantly on the counter.
Promise to make Jose and his wife some cookies, and then chat with them a while about their cats.
I was recently reminded of a favorite game from my childhood: Stop Thief!
I hadn’t though about that game in probably 20 years. I don’t recall if I actually owned it. I know I played it a bunch. Hmm. Maybe my next door neighbors had it.
Ahh, the next door neighbors. They had all the cool games. Life, Mousetrap, and some game I completely loved but can’t recall the name of. I can’t remember much about it at all, really, except there was a board…and cards, and the cards were sort of magenta… or purple… or hot pink…and there was money, I think, and it was funny. It was AWESOME.
I loved those neighbors, but they were completely nuts. The dad was divorced, and had two girls around my age who lived with their mom in Tiburon, CA during the school year, and with their dad and his second wife in Atlanta for the summer and school vacations. We would hang out every day all summer in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Usually we would play at their house, because they had a pool. One year we just watched Grease 2 on cable every day. EVERY DAY. I can still do all the moves to “Cool Rider”.
The parents were total potheads, and always had a big green plastic container in the freezer called something like a “Juana-Shaker”. And porn. Lots of porn. There were stacks and stacks of Penthouse Forum in their basement. And they got the Playboy channel. They had a friend they called “Shaps” who they said invented EZ Widers and Snoopy Band-Aids. One time we were out in the back yard swimming and the dad got home from work and came out to say hi. The next thing we knew he had fallen in the pool. In his groovy ’70s light blue piece suit. I had to dive to the bottom of the deep end to get his glasses.
Occasionally the dad would drop us off at Jellybeans, the “Rock n’ Rollarena on Roswell Road” to go rollerskating. Bring on the rainbow knee socks. He was also a huge movie fan and took us along all the time to see movies that were totally inappropriate for our age. I remember seeing All That Jazz with them when I was 9. Needless to say, I totally didn’t get it. And when I was 12 they took us to see Poltergeist at the drive-in. I sat with the sisters on the grass in front of the car with my hands over my face for approximately 87% of the movie.
I have no idea where those girls are these days. Last I heard the older daughter, Casey, was going by Cassandra because it was better numerologically, and had moved to Hawaii to join a cult. Or open a hot dog stand. It was one of the two.
25ish years later, I now live in an apartment in California. All I really know about my neighbors today is that they have very loud sex every morning between 9-10am. EVERY MORNING. It is LOUD. Their bed has two “air bladders” (her exact words) and they use some sort of power tool to inflate them at night before they go to sleep. And that’s about all I ever hear from them. Loud sex and bladder inflation. They don’t like it when I watch TV at night and are not shy about knocking on the wall to let me know.
Stopped by the Safeway today for a few things, and as I got to the front of the checkout line I smiled and said to the cashier, “How are you?”.
“I’m here.” was her brusque reply.
This was a burly, tough looking woman. A woman who might drive a truck. Or cattle.
As she started to ring up my items, she burst into a horrendous hacking cough. The cough of a 3 pack a day smoker. With pneumonia. And a ferret in her throat.
She continued to cough away, picking up my items one by one and running them over the scanner.
“Awwww just take me out back and shoot me”, she sort of yelled in her gravelly and slightly manly voice, to nobody in particular.
At some point she had a particularly drastic hacking fit and then winced, grabbing her neck in pain. She sort of stepped away, and coughed some more. She turned back to me with her runny beady eyes, her head at a funny angle, and said, “Great. Guess I’m going back to the hospital tonight.”
I mentioned that that didn’t sound like a fun way to spend a Saturday night, when really all I could think was I can’t believe YOU ARE TOUCHING ALL OF MY FOOD ITEMS.
“Yeah, maybe this cold’ll finally get me to quit smokin’.”
Or maybe it will get you to STOP TOUCHING ALL OF MY FOOD ITEMS.
People, if your job requires you to TOUCH PEOPLE’S FOOD ITEMS and you are so sick you need to be hospitalized…MORE THAN ONCE…please stay home.
She did get a palmful of sanitizer from a pump by the register before she handed me my change. Somehow that didn’t make me feel any better about the whole situation.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bathe in Purell. With my food items.
When I first moved to California, I brought some furniture I ended up not needing. I was pointed to Freecycle, which is a great way to get rid of your stuff without crowding the landfills. It’s basically a mailing list, and you can post that you have something to offer, or that you are looking for something in particular. The lists for my area get a lot of traffic, and it’s pretty amazing how much stuff gets passed along.
I soon learned that PEOPLE WILL OFFER ANYTHING.
And SOMEONE WILL TAKE IT.
Today a friend of mine finally took my advice and used Freecyle to get rid of his moving boxes. This reminded me that I used to keep a list of some of my favorite entries. So I dug it up:
OFFER: Llama fiber. I also have a bag of llama fiber, from a shearing. It still contains
all of the guard hairs, etc. Probably a couple of pounds (needs to be
cleaned and carded). This is really nice when carded with wool.
Llama fiber. Who knew?
Wanted: 4 Laying hens. Any breed. No roosters please.
Mind you, this is from the Palo Alto list.
OFFER: 32oz. tub of Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt With cream on top.
Because just a plain tub of SOMEONE ELSE’S YOGURT might not be worth responding to, but THERE’S CREAM ON TOP.
OFFER: outdated coffee Found several half empty sacks of coffee in the freezer. I think they
are from 2003. Also have packets from hotel stays for the in-room
You can’t make this stuff up.
OFFER: Special needs pet rat needs good home Albino female is blind, and slightly paralyzed on one side. Cage and
accessories (including her best friend – a healthy, spotted female
rat) are also available. Both rats are roughly 1 year old.
Serious offers of loving new homes only, please. If she ends up as
snake food (intentionally) karma will take care of you.
A couple of weeks ago, my sister, her husband, and my little nephew came down to spend the day with me. After a lovely lunch, we stopped by the crazy Asian grocery store that I’ve mentioned before. It’s called the Golden Phoenix, but I have lovingly shortened it to “The Go Pho”. I visit there pretty frequently these days.
My BIL was delighted to find his favorite lychee candy there, and bought a bag to take home.
Yesterday I received this email from him:
Hey, so I was eating this delicious lychee candy that I bought at the Go Pho, a big olâ€™ trippy Asian market near sallypnutâ€™s house, when I decided to read the back of the bag. the warning is great, and culminates in one of my favorite lines ever:
â€œWhen you choke this in throat, lie prone and vomit it by beating back at once.â€
makes me glad I made it through the bag without serious injury.
That’s Kristy Swanson, ladies and gents. The original Buffy. HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO WATCH THIS?
I am not athletic. I cannot ice skate. This did not stop me from starring in an ice show in Chicago. It was Christmas, I needed the work, and it was for kids. What do kids know? They wouldn’t be able to tell I suck, right? So 10 times a week for a few months, I laced up my skates, sucked it up, crossed my fingers, and stepped onto the ice. And I was really bad. Mostly I just said my my lines, sang my song, just sort of skated around in general, let the pros do their thing around me, and tried not to fall.
Don’t believe me? Here I am, in “Nutcracker on Ice”. Playing an 11 year old.
This entry is where I tell the long, involved, and irritating tale known as “Sofa Saga 2005″.
It’s so long and involved and irritating that just thinking about it raises my blood pressure.
So I’m not going to tell you about it.
Just know that it went on for over three months, and involved a sofa being made in the wrong color, a chair and ottoman made with the wrong legs, endless unreturned phone calls, culminating in me having an honest to goodness screaming match with Fred the sofa guy.
(Ok, fine, so I told you a little about it. This is just the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Trust me when I say you don’t want to hear the long version. Really.)
The story ends with Fred the sofa guy leaving a 2 pound box of See’s chocolate outside the door of my house. Which I ate. I mention it because that’s really the only good part about my whole experience with these morons.
I thought I was finally better, but tonight the cough came back. And it still kind of hurts to take a deep breath. It’s as if those 10,000 tap dancing hamsters have moved their show off of the roof and onto my chest. Either the 10,000 hamsters, or one very large ferret.