The March of the Ants

Did you know that was the precursor to March of the Penguins? It just wasn’t as compelling so, you know, no green light for that script. Fine. I’m lying. I contend it was actually March of the Giant House Centipede, although the penguins would never have made it to the pitch room in that case. Why, you ask? Because the House Centipede is a creature built for nightmares, people. Those babies are really damn attention-grabbing and would make perfect villains for a horror film. I can tell you from experience because my heart rate still hasn’t returned to normal. From this morning. Which was many, many hours ago. Eeek!!! My skull resident just supplied me with another flashback of that giant fella strolling (strutting!) like he owned the place (which he very nearly did had my son not been home still). There is a pest body size at which any bug, upon gaining entrance into my home and appearing to be at or nearly of this obscene size, is awarded property ownership as far as I’m concerned. Do you want my domicile? You got it, Stanley. The dishwasher was just emptied so you can load it. Also, the clothes in the dryer need to be folded. Oh, also, Lexi (dog) needs to be fed. Wait, nevermind. I’m taking her with me. Since she’s a lab, she’ll certainly consume you, and you’re sure as hell bound to be comprised entirely of poison, you evil beast.

Do you see that guy?!? I was in the kitchen (WHERE PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO PREPARE AND CONSUME FOOD) and that nausea-inducing beast was suddenly just there in my periphery. I registered this giant area of concern, turned to determine whether this thing was a threat, and immediately began simultaneously yelling, hyperventilating and gesturing at my son, who just looked at me completely baffled. Clearly I need to have his peripheral vision checked. Finally I was able to make words. Then I was able to make words start to form sentences. And then the coherent sentences came to me. It was this, “You have to kill that now. It’s your job. You’re a dude.” I’m not proud of myself, you guys. I’m a sexist pig. I’m working on it. But he said he’d kill it as long as I disposed of the body, and a frantic (on my part) verbal agreement was struck. I’m happy to say the carcass is long gone.

I know that this was supposed to be about the ants. I remember. Barely. So, about that. I was fighting an ant parade this morning. It was kind of festive, really. Until I put out some temporary housing for them (picture follows) which was less festive for them. It was a bit like a pick a favorite and see how long that one holds out before entering one of the traps game for me. But that House Centipede, you guys. Once he made his cameo, my brain pretty much began drooling and searching for crayons, a coloring book and a stuffed animal for comfort.

Yes. There are four of them. But look. They were everywhere! I didn’t want them to feel crowded or have to break out into mini ant wars over who got the spoils. “Fellas, there’s room for all of you. Make yourselves at home and don’t forget to bring some of the special poison food back to your buddies back home.”

Um…I’m still here. Welcome back to Exaggerated for Effect.

Holy hell!! I haven’t posted since December????? Is that even possible???!

The bad news? This post is brought to you by: Hey look, a shiny object! Expect sharp turns.

Look, there’s been a lot going on. Like a lot! I’d share, but yeah, I’m not going to share. Some of it is boring. Much of it is sooooooo emo. I can’t even begin to explain how emo. I should write some godawful poetry or music, or just emote the hell out of some karaoke. And some of it is just uncategorizable. Hey, red underline? Shut. It. I have no use for you. Where have you even been? Emo has been around since I was actually young. Emo isn’t new, and, you know, neither is The Queen is Dead. *sigh* Fuck, I’m old, and still an enormous fan. You coming close, Morrissey? I’d gamble and buy a ticket to a show I know you have no intention of appearing at, you adorable, complicated freak.

Moving on…

I dropped off one of my two familial comedy partners at sleep-away camp yesterday. [Ed. Note: My other familial comedy partner is my brother, Greg.] In doing so, I realized, yikes, I’m all alone in this house with two people who don’t get me. They are really great people. But they just are obnoxiously normal. Or hmmmm. Normal isn’t the appropriate word, right? That should make me feel very bad because it leaves me with the word abnormal to describe myself and my second human project. That’s not fair. What if she and I are normal and those two are the abbies? Yes, let’s go with that. So, as we drove her to Stinky Jesus Camp (more on that later*), she and I were doing our thing in the back of the car, and I realized the two in the front seats were curiously silent. You know why? Because we were so entertaining, and they were engrossed in what we were saying. I am certain it’s true. Shhhhh. Don’t try to dissuade me.

OK, it’s entirely possible that they were silent in front because JT was fulfilling more of his required 45 hours of behind-the-wheel as he “cruises” his way to his driver’s license. And let me tell you, I’m not real chill when it comes to this. Here’s the thing. I’m still not comfortable with 70% of the people who I share the road with. They are on the phone. They are consuming foodstuffs (including SOUP – no, I will NOT let that go!). They are really, really interested in what’s occurring inside their cars: bug entries, exits, antics, photo-taking; child emissions, discussions, altercations, photo-taking; business meetings, brainstormings; pet interactions, feedings, photo-taking; podcast listening, car concerts, selfie-taking and OH MY GOD THE PHONE CALLS!! Bluetooth, people! I know not every car supports this, but I’ve seen some models that do support bluetooth spirit by with their drivers holding their phones and looking at their phones while speaking. What even the hell is up with that insanity?? Your phone doesn’t need you to look at it in order to work, people! These people are so engaged in these phone calls and it’s taking all of their focus. And another thing. Please can someone explain to me why people are so unbelievably confused by the two left turn lanes??!?! During our JT training, we had some supreme JACKASS move from the left turning lane into the right left turning lane without having a fucking clue that she needed to turn in her driver’s license immediately and submit to a public shaming to be held at her inconvenience. I just don’t understand how some people get into their cars and appear to feel that driving is a thing that they can approach as a just-do-your-best-or-you-know-don’t type of endeavor. Nuh uh, fool. Follow the rules. Then you’ll be fine. There are two left turn lanes. You have selected one of them. Follow the lane you have selected throughout the entirety of the turn. If you do so? You will not cause the car in the other lane to BRAKE SUDDENLY TO AVOID COLLIDING WITH YOUR IGNORANT ASS!!!]

Anna’s and my conversation went in many directions. I still believe fervently that we need to host a podcast (genre to be determined since it doesn’t exist based on my research). We landed in a most interesting place. She maintains, and I think I agree, that people shouldn’t date so far outside of their age group. She was intensely skeeved out by some One Directions dude (HUH???? Not a reference I could hang with her on…) whose wife was 10 years older? younger? than he. We both think this can lead to problems regardless of the gender make-up of the couple because it’s important to have points of reference to talk about to strengthen the bond between the two partners. Then, she got weird and said she couldn’t see a relationship between people who were 4 years apart and I called her crazy and the conversation became standard for us. Meaning it became absurd.

Anna: I think 4 years is a little weird.

Me: I think you’re being ridiculous. I mean, sure, right now? Yes. You’re 12. That’s not going to work. In either direction. And 10 years? Oh HELL NO!

Anna: I know! I’d be dating a 22yo!!

Me: Or…consider this…a 2yo. BOOM! “Hey, baby, where’d you get that sweet t…..uh onesie? Is that the latest band? Or…um…no…it’s just a baby Rorschach test. Yeah, baby, that’s cool. That’s so on point. Let’s make a connection. I’d like to play with that new Wonder Woman toy with you. That oatmeal you’re currently being fed looks so deeeeelicious. Yummmmmmm. Oh no. What’s that I smell? Is it a present? In your diaper?”

Anna: Can I fix that for you? Also, those are some sweet kicks you’re sporting. Do they light up?

Me: That Pull-Up is really highlighting your six-pack.

We were smart enough to stop everything here. As far as you know. Yes, I understand. You’re maybe uneasy. Possibly even appalled if you’re considering that I’m not sharing the worst of that exchange (you’d be right). You should understand that my kid plays in the deep end when it comes to this and other humor of the darker variety, but she is your favorite future babysitter IRL. I promise.

*Stinky Jesus Camp=OK, OK. I know. You’re appalled. Again. But here’s the thing. Anna is away at a Methodist camp this week. Why have I applied the stinky adjective, you may wonder? Thanks for asking! That’s because she returned from this camp last year smelling ….. I don’t know how to explain it… Moldy? Mildewy? It was bizarre, and the smell was just rampant. And aggressive. I moped around the house for weeks after we retrieved her because it took so long to wash the smell out of her clothes.Yes, I have a sensitive nose. Shut up! I went to sleep-away camp and I never smelled like that.  Anyway, we dropped her off yesterday, and I kept thinking back to my own experiences at sleep-away camp and promised myself over and over that I would NOT stow away under her cot à la Lorelai [Ed. Note: Gilmore Girls]. I love sleep-away camp (even with a stink that assertive!), and I warned her that she might find me at the mess hall the next morning scarfing down breakfast with some of the other campers and regaling them with some exaggerated for effect tale. See what I did there? She tried hard not to roll her eyes at me (like you just did) because she knew that I’d see that as an issued challenge. #smartgirl

This butt’s for you. Stand down, Social Services.

Anna and I really get into my stories. Well, in my head, she is really getting into them. She shows enthusiasm, but let’s face it. I’m her mother. She’s probably just indulging me. I do love receiving proper appreciation for my creative endeavors, and she knows it. So, she either adores my stories or is silently enduring them. Whatever. I’ve got an audience. I’ve decided to believe that she’s a rapt one.

If Anna and I were questioned about the appropriateness of my stories, I guess we’d both say they are a touch irregular. But then, Anna and I are, ourselves, a touch irregular, so I think it’s about right that one of my recent stories involved a restaurant featuring pickled human feet as its signature dish, and another centered around a group of bears struggling to reform their image after an unfortunate incident whereby one of their overly enthusiastic members gave a hug to a human, crushing every single bone in the poor fellow’s body. When the man sank to the ground in a boneless heap, the bear fell to the ground beside him in a torrent of tears, while the other members of the bear’s clan rolled their eyes and rushed to console their overly dramatic friend. Like I said, slightly irregular plots for stories, but they make sense in the end. Ish.

Should I get to my point? I should get to my point.

I believe strongly that there should be a relatable butt emoji. [Ed. Note: Shhhhhh, Kimoji people. Shhhhh. I said relatable, not ridiculous.] I believe in this so strongly that I decided I needed to incorporate them into a story for Anna. The story was about the Land of Emojis. This land includes all the emojis that have been “released” to us, but it also includes all of the cool emojis that we have imagined in our minds or seen on Google. Yeah, even those. Yikes. I didn’t include those in my story. You guys should really be ashamed of yourselves. But back to the butt emoji. In the Land of Emojis there are a ton of those guys. Some are wearing hats to identify them as members of various professions, etc. Some of them are wearing expressions to denote various feelings. I’m not suggesting we need all of these guys. I didn’t create them all. Don’t blame the messenger, you guys. But it is a little surprising one hasn’t been approved for use now based on their representation in the Land of Emojis. I, myself, could see many situations where you might want to insert one of the jaunty fellas. For example, if you want to tell someone you think they’re acting like an ass but you mean it in a friendly way? You need the relatable butt emoji, right? Or say, you’ve been acting like a complete freak of nature and you’d like to let someone know you’re aware that you’ve lost your goddamn mind. You send them, “Sorry I’m such a <ass emoji>.” Oh hmmmm. Wrong article, yes? You’d have to use, “Sorry I’m such an <ass emoji>.” There, that’s much better. No reason to make us all get twitchy because my article didn’t match the word version of the emoji. Oh hell. What if you use the word butt instead of ass, or what if your recipient is a butt person? Oh damn, that went entirely wrong. Phrasing, Stephanie. So, now it’s “Sorry I’m such a/an <butt/ass emoji>” Yep. This is pretty much what texting with me is like. And I’m a paratexter. Consult UD (although it’s not terribly popular as a term because none of my contacts has voted yet), and weep with gratitude if I don’t have the ability to text with you. You’re most definitely welcome.

WHOA. What happened there?

I’ve completely lost track of this blog post. And I feel like I should mention that as I was telling the story to Anna I got so into it that I kept imagining all of these butt emoji, and it was so entirely entertaining that the story was quite a disappointment. Considering the enormous potential of the material I had given myself to work with, the story was a real shit show. Yes. I went for the low-hanging fruit.

Coming soon to a theater near you… Or not.

Anna caught Lexi in a state of ennui for 15 minutes and produced a movie trailer that has me “anticipating” the release of the full feature film. And I kid. I think this movie trailer is like so many others when I think to myself after seeing it, “Yeah, I think I can miss that one. I think I’ve got the gist of it.”
[Ed. Note: I just noticed a fluff of Fox’s hair on the carpet in one of the shots. Lexi can be a little tough on the ones she loves.]

I claim to take ping pong seriously, but this video proves I’m a liar.

I don’t come off well in this. First, because I haven’t played in months, and so my game is quite sucky. Second, it’s clear that I’m a complete fool, and I’m prone to celebrating at even the most pathetic of winning shots in a most obnoxious manner. Real adult-like. But Sebastian has a cameo in here, and that makes it worth a little something.

[Ed. Note: I should mention that I didn’t wear the togs in preparation for ping pong. I had just returned from a bike ride. Yesterday, I played in a t-shirt and sweats. Hmmmm, yesterday I played even worse than I did today. Maybe I should keep that in mind. Although yesterday I played without shoes. Bare feet don’t have the same type of traction. Something to keep in mind for next time. Wait, maybe I do take ping pong seriously….]

Prince. Of course. But it’s not the post I had originally written.

I wrote a Prince post 7 months ago. It wasn’t ready for publishing. Some things happened that interrupted the posting of it. Private revelations. So, I put it on hold then, and it’s been waiting in my drafts for a certain album anniversary so I could post it. To post it now though would seem even more self-indulgent, and “Hey, look at me. I’m suffering.” than this one does. His family and friends are suffering. The rest of us are feeling the loss of an inspirational musician. We’re not feeling what those who were close to him are feeling. It’s really grotesque to assume that we are. Anyway, I’m not writing great literature on this blog, so I’m obviously not mourning the loss of a ridiculous blog post. But it was an earnest one: extremely rare for me. Prince was an incredibly large influence in my life when I was young, and when I was not so young. His loss cannot and should not be minimized because he was beautiful and deliciously controversial. He was a genius: full stop. Sure, I lusted after him. I was young enough that I wasn’t even quite sure what to do with all of that. I thought Prince was unbearably hot. Like everyone else. Because he was. And then there was his music. The music that he created with so little input from others that to have the chance to work with him in even the most limited-capacity (which, let’s face it, a limited capacity was the only real option with all that he brought to the table) must have been awe-inspiring. Prince’s music checks off every single box. [Ed. Note: Yes, she knows.] So, yesterday was the day for me that Michael Jackson fans experienced when they heard about Jackson’s death. That’s how I felt upon hearing that Prince had died. And, I mean no disrespect. Michael Jackson was certainly ridiculously influential. But I felt a personal loss when Prince died. Michael Jackson was my crush. Prince was my lover.

So yesterday sucked. It started out badly. I had two interactions with “All Good” guy at work before I had a chance to enter a caffeinated state. Trust me, that’s intolerable. There was a third “All Good” assault, and after I successfully negotiated my departure from that, I learned that Prince had died. After that, my perspective shifted. If I’d seen “All Good” guy after that, I doubt I’d have even registered his presence.

The good news? This is how I ended my day.

IMG_4865

My kid is in the front row on the far left.

And this is how they sounded.

So, “All good” guy? Go ahead and say it. “IT’S ALL GOOD!” Yes, people. He speaks in all caps. Trust. And while I can’t agree that it’s all good, I can agree that honoring and celebrating His Purple Majesty is better than getting lost in gratuitous grieving.