Deeeeeeeep thoughts. Ish.

I need to become part of a Speculative Squad.

Who’s with me? A group of people who want to hang out and discuss whatever is swirling in their brains. My brain is such an open organ. I’m inviting people in all the time.
Hey, wanna hear something weird? Grab a coffee. Let’s chat.

And I guess because I’m constantly all up in that gelatinous monster in my skull — Hey, while I’m here with a 💀 Happy Halloween! — I assume that people think the same way I do. I don’t know why. That doesn’t really make any sense. I am rooting around up in there so much that I’ve gotten comfortable with my trails of thought. No. Not trains. Train cars are connected. I think mine are more like trails. Think about when you’re hiking and you feel like you’ve kind of lost the trail for a minute or two? Maybe there are leaves and it’s a little confusing for a minute? Then you find the trail again. Yep. That’s how things are going up there. Anyway, as I was saying, I assume people work like I do up in their grey matter, and, most assuredly, they do not. For which they should be very grateful. And I want to take a peek. Browse the inner machinery of other brains and see what I’m missing. A guided tour. See how they’re making the sausage. I want to see how people process the important things. Not the latest diet trend. Sure, we can talk about it, if we must, but I’m really interested in what people think about … hmmm, how about this? I read that men are, to some, slightly unwelcome in the #metoo conversation. I have a #metoo stake. However, I’d argue [Ed. Note: Vociferously. Trust.🙄] that we ALL have a stake in #metoo.* I’m including men in that we. (Assange and the like can seriously go and sequester themselves on a deserted island right the fuck** now, however!) Now, there’s a shit ton of nuance that I’d go into in the discussion. But that’d be an interesting thing to hear others’ opinions on.

And not just that topic. There are so many things I’d love to discuss. How about:
  • Current events and how to navigate political discussions with people you disagree with but are logical and normal (Come on, you can’t discuss anything with the crazies on both sides of the political spectrum.);
  • Music that makes you stop whatever you’re doing and breathe it in, or lie down and let the lyrics punch you, or run or walk a little faster with an enormous grin on your face, or sing it at the top of your lungs, or dance furiously, or pantomime the lyrics;
    Shut up. I love music.
  • Books that affect you (beach reads need not apply);
  • Relationships;
  • Why did I start a list??? Jesus. What’s next? An agenda and a presentation??
    Dear Speculative Squad,
    Yes, I am a total loser. However, I wouldn’t want our hangs to be like this at all. I’d want them to be like someone just queued up Pink Floyd and everybody felt like they’d taken a major hit. OK? Please don’t kick me out of the Speculative Squad before I even get to join.
    P.S. I also promise never to tag any SS social media post with #squadgoals.
    P.P.S. I also also promise never to post anything related to SS if SS is a super secret Speculative Squad. If it is, for the sake of alliteration points, I recommend prepending Super Secret to the name. Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Speculative Squad Superfan
I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s what I want so much in my life. Interactions that matter.
I wonder often how many of us are looking for this type of connection with people. We’re so wrapped up in our relationships with our screens, or when we do get the chance to engage with people, we seem to be so worried about status that we forget that it’s really fucked up in the end. Who really cares who’s “winning” when shit’s so very real out there?

I don’t know. I may be crazy.

*I understand and sympathize with those who are triggered by #metoo. My intention is not to trivialize that in any way here with the lightness of my tone.
**Yeah. This post garnered more than its fair share of profanity. 

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.