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.”

Wherein I discuss wedding dresses, bathroom etiquette and, obviously, sociopaths…

Let's do this. And guys, if you're gonna stick with me through this, and I really hope you will, please start hydrating. Maybe grab yourself some snacks. This is going to be lengthy.

Wedding Dresses

I worked a wedding expo recently for one of the vendors (Captur, which you should definitely check out because it's seriously cool and seriously important), and blah, blah, blah, weddings are expensive. I'm not here to throw shade at the people who want to throw a big party to celebrate themselves (and presumably and hopefully the partner they've selected to hang with for a portion of their existence). Treat yo'self, you guys! I mean, I'm going to do some questioning, because I'm just a giant asshole, but it's not about that. They should do their thing. I'm just pretty confused about the interest in laying down massive stacks to fund a dress that's worn for tiny amounts of clock. And, perhaps, I'm all kinds of the outlier. I took off my very inexpensive wedding dress, which I am reasonably certain cost me just a shade more than a formal dress I wore to events in my college days, and that baby is not in a place I could be forced to identify. I couldn't even hazard a guess. It could have headed off with the tux to travel the world after the wedding for all I know. Mazel tov, wedding dress. I hope you had fun or are still having fun, since I haven't seen you since I took you off, you very inexpensive piece of event-specific sartorial gear. So, you know, I'm a different breed of weird. Weird, but not their weird. Because that's my hypothesis. People willing to plunk down many thousands of bills for fabric to swath themselves in for a LIMITED TIME ONLY – this offer expires in 3, 2,  Y  M  C  A — [No, thankfully, that is NOT a flashback from my own wedding.] — anyway, I can't say I get it, and I'm calling them out. As weird. Perhaps I'm missing the obvious future opportunities to wear that dress? Like I told my bridesmaids? Who very politely controlled their eye rolls when I did so, I'd like to note. Even now, I'm so damn proud of those women because I picked some beastly dresses. Egads!

You know what? Let's move on, to…

Bathroom Etiquette

I've talked about this and related bathroom topics before. It's a concern of mine. Maybe of yours, too. I clearly have some issues, but, well, seriously, people. If you're not new, you know this. It's probably why you're here. Whew. Woman is fucking nuts. I'm so normal. Gonna grab a chilled beverage 'cause it's hot, yo and relax. Contemplate how lucky I am to just not be her. Uh, I digressed. So, bathrooms. I feel like those are special places. Private places. Places where you should really respect boundaries. Places where conversation should be kept to a bare minimum. Hee. Bare. Where phone calls should not be conducted. Where eyes maybe even shouldn't meet when faced with the audible and olfactory horror foisted upon us by some hapless occupant clearly struggling with a situation that perhaps resulted from a certain expired foodstuff… Look, I wasn't in the second stall of that hygienically-challenged restroom in NC that fateful day in early July, but my heart wept for that woman. And my eyes. And my nose. All were weeping. I saw her stagger out. I didn't give her my eyes. Out of courtesy. The battle that woman had waged in there demanded every ounce of my respect, and I was prepared to quickly fashion her some sort of trophy had she demanded I do so. Such was the epic nature of the assault I had unwillingly witnessed by ear and nose along with my fellow restroom denizens. But I silently wished evil upon whoever served her the offending item and wished fervently for her to experience nothing but peace and intestinal happiness for the rest of her vacation. Here's the thing. I'm barely able to cop to the fact that other things happen in there other than fixing a wardrobe malfunction or checking to make sure all the food is gone from my teeth. I'm waiting impatiently for science to catch up to me and my hope that I can erase the existence of poo from the human experience. Hey Science, I left you that voicemail (and email, and IM) a LONG time ago. What's taking you so long? I know you're working on a pill. I'm ready to pop that bad boy every morning, and add time back to my schedule. And I have to say, I'm not one of those people…you know the ones…so I'm not even adding all that much time back. I go into the restroom with an agenda. I know what items are on it. My entire goal is to get in and get out with time remaining on the clock. But you know those people. The "lollygaggers" of the shithouse scene. They really squeeze every last second out of their time in the loo. I don't get those people. I just feel like every second I spend in that cauldron of hygienic decay is time I could be spending outside of it.

Now I think you're warmed up. Let's talk about…

Sociopaths

This one is a bit less comfortable. It shouldn't be, but I guess it could be. I mean, look, if you've seen me, I'm the least threatening woman on the planet. You would totally want me to babysit. [Ed. Note: Uh uh. Not after you read this section. No chance in hell. Because: toddlers.] But I won't. Unless it's one of your pets. One of your normal pets. Like cats or dogs. Don't ask me to babysit your pet unicorn. I'm going to know you're bullshitting me, and you have a straitjacket behind your back. Back off, hater. Anyway, as I was saying, I'm as non-threatening as people are formed at the factory. And though I'm nuts, I'm the sane kind of nuts. So, I was chatting with a friend who was talking about an upcoming trip to the beach. I mentioned that the beach he was going to is really crowded, particularly during the summer months. And we smoothly transitioned to shark attacks. I can't recall the entire thread now, but it made sense then, and I'm sure you can get there on your own. The gist of it was that the beach is overpopulated, and sharks exist. We decided that if you take a knife out with you into the water (his idea, not mine, but BRILL!!!) you can really make some inroads into the overpopulation problem. And then the conversation was a really nice back and forth. I mentioned that it would be good to target people who you know would be slower than you. Just a tiny little knick with the knife…

Hey, man, what's that odd murky cloud around you?

WTF? That's … is that blood? WAIT, IS THAT MY BLOOD, MAN??!?

The shark could go to work on that person, and you'd be safely on the beach before anything could happen to you, because you've got to clear that area fast so you don't get caught up in the take down. You know, the poor sucker is standing there in the water all "Wait, what's with all these fins???" And you're all "No worries, bro. Those babies right there are dolphins. Gotta run, though. Happy hour's in twenty." But my friend upped the ante with surgical precision. He said something about how you'd just start knifing annoying toddlers. Which is really genius, because, you're gonna identify the bratty ones only. The sweet little squatters are the ones you're scooping up and porting back to the safety of the beach. And here's where the sociopath piece comes in…

When you encounter a person who is delighted by a less sunny type of humor, and you're having a conversation similar to the one I've just given you a glimpse into, at what point do you ask yourself "Am I likely to awake to find this person kneeling above me with a very slim wire held in their hands ready to garrote me? Also, do they EVEN look conflicted about it???" I think it's probably wise to take internal pulse checks from time to time. Just ask yourself, "Does he/she seem to be making mental notes about what we're talking about? As if, maybe this could be a solid game plan for some sort of sinister Sunday at the beach?" [Ed. Note: No, I'm not worried about my friend. Seriously sick and delightful sense of humor? Absolutely. Sociopath? Nope. Definitely not.]

Um, should we segue to something else? Like this blimp?

TP On, You Crazy Diamond.

Have you ever had the universe hand you a comedic situation so perfect that you doubt that it’s real? I had this happen to me when I left work today. I looked all around certain that I was the target of an elaborate and really well-executed set-up. See, I looked up to see a man in front of me with a trail of toilet paper hanging out of his pants. Shhhh. It’s not even time to start judging me yet. Shhh shhh shhh! OK. Let me paint the picture. He was in a hurry. I was in a hurry. I started to walk a little slower as I needed to concentrate on looking around for the cameras who were clearly awaiting my reaction because HELLO???? How do you manage to achieve this situation? I’m talking a full 7 (SEVEN!!) squares of TP hanging out of his pants. The breeze being generated from the flapping was making my curls sway 500 feet behind him. I have to think it had to alter his gait in some way. And hadn’t he taken notice of even one of the no doubt multiple smirks he’d surely been gifted with by that point? There wasn’t a bathroom anywhere near us. I kept the emergency vehicle distance between us for a reason I cannot begin to explain. Do your own computations. I wanted to take a picture. Come ON! You would have wanted to as well. I really, really did. And I fought mightily with the little devil sitting on my shoulder, but there was a woman right behind me working the mind jedi magic and boring into my head to scramble my grey matter so I wouldn’t take a picture. I DIDN’T! OK?! So stop. But I also didn’t let him know about the situation. Look, I don’t know. Maybe this was his way of absconding with some extra restroom supplies. An odd method, sure, and only good for one restroom break (JESUS, WHY AM I GOING THERE????!). Anyway, who am I to judge. I guess the bottom line (Yes, bottom. Deal with it.) is that I could have alerted him to the TP tail, but I opted out. The security guard opted differently. Which made me look quite a bit like a dick. Happy Thanksgiving, TP Dude!!

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you people.

My brain appears to have a doppleganger. That is a scary sentence, you guys.

I believe this [Ed. Note: severely edited and condensed for your sanity] conversation will provide the required evidence to show that my brain has a twin. And that leads me to believe that there are other hosts out there walking around with a grey, squishy skull resident who behaves in the same way as mine and, apparently, Jon’s. Yikes. We are all clearly siblings separated at birth and ruled by our skull residents. Shhh, don’t let them hear us.

Greg, you should probably be weighing in on this one.

JDud:   

I need to capitalize on more of my ideas. I mean, I saw this this morning and was, like, SMH. Brilliant! http://goo.gl/sKOOHD

SScott:

Jesus, man what the hell happened? Why weren’t you on that?

wait your talents should be going in the other direction — liquor prep

picture something similar yet it’s in the bar area

maybe with a dude attached

JDud: 

hmm

SScott:

so he can be all “Yes, sir” and stuff

JDud:   

I’ll call it “It’s 5 o’clock, NOW”

SScott:

See? So, let’s flesh this out.

It’s your clock again – you’ve designed that already

JDud:   

yep

SScott:

The one with the REDACTED Trademarked material

Now, you have Jeeves standing there all official. I’m not sure of his purpose. But I think he needs to be in the mix. Maybe he’s a robot

But he needs to be very subservient

JDud:   

Classic Jeeves would be great but no one is going to get a Wodehouse reference these days.

SScott:

Hmmm – i’d agree – philistines

JDud:   

luddites as well

SScott:

damn this is good stuff I’d like this to be my new job

JDud:   

Them: “What do you do for a living miss?”

You: “Ideas, lots of ideas. For instance, do you have a minibar at home?”

T: “Why, of course not. Why would I need a minibar at my abode?…Wait, that’s amazing!!”

Y: “See. That’s what I do. Bye.”

SScott:

Yeah. It’s starting to look a little thin when it’s typed out like that.

It’s been a long time. Get back on the horse, Stephanie.

So, let’s say you and your brain have a bit of an adversarial relationship. And let’s say your brain has decreed your blog a dead zone. And you do a drive by and notice that it’s been two months since you’ve posted. TWO MONTHS! What do you do? Well, what you do is post a little video of some people having fun floating on the river. That’s what you do, people.
Enjoy.

Is anybody alive in here? Is anybody at all in here? Nobody but us in here. Nobody but me. 

I don’t receive butt dials (or unintentionally-placed calls) often, but when I do, I ultimately react in a very strange manner. I answer the phone normally. And by normally, I mean that I start talking to whoever it is without the customary and polite greeting, as is my way. When the person doesn’t respond, I begin a verbal assault of “Hellos” which start at a normal volume but proceed to a volume that can be heard from miles away, so I can alert the caller that I’m available and ready to get the party started. I’m always amazed that my faint voice can’t be heard by the person, and perhaps it can be, and they are thinking to themselves, “Why on earth do I think I hear Stephanie’s voice right now? Am I having a stroke? Also, why do I have to hear her annoying voice when the stroke hits? That seems terribly unfair.”

I think my terror-filled reaction to these butt dials stems from the thought that I could unknowingly be placing my own calls. Because I’m doing some strange shit when I think I’m alone. I’m singing about 50% of the time. 25% of the time I’m talking to my dog; people in neighboring vehicles (YIKES!); or worse; an inanimate object. And I’d say another 25% of the time, I’m holding conversations with myself. Yeah, it’s probably almost that often. I enjoy hearing what I have to say about things. It’s not always what I expect. I like to give myself room for spontaneity. I mean, mostly, I know what I’m going to say, but every now and then I surprise myself. Pleasantly. Good point, Stephanie. So, the thought that I’ve got some unknown and unseen witness to my crazy is quite unsettling. 

I’d like to know why the butt dials I receive are so yawn-inducing. The most entertaining part of them is my shouting “Hello” in the expectation that the call was placed purposefully. It takes me far too long to ascertain that the person placed the call unwittingly. I did receive one decently funny one. The person on the other end was snacking so aggressively that I assumed it was a great attempt at being humorously annoying. So, I did my “Hello” bit to no avail per uzh and finally settled in for just a bit to see how much snacking we were going to be doing. I ascertained that we were diving into a bowl of chips. I’m not sure if we were viewing a tv program or just staring into space enjoying our salty snack and contemplating the banality of life. There appeared to be no beverage consumption to help wash down our chips. Maybe we were out of our favorite beer? I finally realized I was pathetic and silently dropped the call. I’m still waiting for the one. That glorious butt dial that is wildly entertaining and makes life worth living again.