Thursday, April 21, 2005

Turkeys, lurkey

From MSNBC, in its entirety:

CRANFORD, N.J. - Residents of this New Jersey town say they are being terrorized by wild turkeys.

Police have gotten a-half dozen complaints about the aggressive gobblers, most of them from a letter carrier. He bashed one of them with a stick after a group of turkeys surrounded his mail truck and wouldn’t let him out, the officials said.

Wild turkeys can grow as big as 4 feet high and are fast flyers, reaching maximum speeds of 55 mph.

My grandfather, after his stint in the Navy, was a legendarily hapless postal carrier, frequently lost, dog-bit, or tender of foot. But damn, he was never held hostage by a gang of marauding turkeys.

Though there was an incident in the deer pen at a petting zoo, in which he was savagely divested of several packets of snack peanuts.

Four feet high? Okay, I might be induced to cry and flee a turkey the size of a fourth-grader...that could attain highway speeds. Cripes! We're getting into Night of the Lepus territory, here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Happy BirthdaAAAAAAIIGH!

Following a Google link to something else (which I've completely forgotten, at this point), I spotted this item on the page, sadly already purchased by some lucky and/or freakish bidder: 1974 Vinyl Clown Head For Helium Machine. Of course I rushed to alert Sis immediately, having wrapped several of her last birthday gifts in Creepy Clown paper (bless you, Archie McPhee).

The seller is really, really into the Clown Head, don't you think? Twice, she mentions what a great mask he would make for Mardi Gras. Or, you know, for when you brutally slaughter your next serial victim.

"He easily slips over your head (I know. I had it on when my husband opened the front door for me when I brought it home)." Counseling. I recommend counseling.

Oooh, agh--look at the other picture, the one of the flesh-toned Vinyl Clown Head interior. SHUDDER.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Easy, breezy, beautiful

Because an excess of junk in the trunk is the least of my problems, I've also had a bit of a blemish situation this week. (Bring on the chocolate-covered pretzels.) Sis, ever helpful, has alternately suggested that I have impetigo, or the flesh-eating bacteria--just like the gals on America's Next Top Model! While furtively searching the Intarweb for various and sundry dermal horrors, I was suddenly visited by another fond memory of our late friend Barb.

As a doctor, Barb was on a number of intriguing mailing lists. Assorted drug-manufacturer swag poured in to her home and office on a daily basis--free samples, or little notepads that posed sympathetic, rhetorical questions like "DIARRHEA?" across the top. One set of lapel buttons featured photographs of assorted people grimacing in agony, their distorted features a rictus of headache pain; she gave those to me and I still have 'em. In addition to all these goodies, Barb received her share of esoteric medical journals. A standout among these was Cutis magazine--a journal of skin disorders. Every month, this thing would show up without so much as a plain brown wrapper, each cover featuring a close-up color portrait of some suppurating pustule or flaky, blistered welt. Cutis was better than a violent comic book. It also proved useful in one of the finest insults in the history of smack-talking, originated by Barb's own kids and gleefully embraced by us: "Oh yeah? Well, you're the cover girl for Cutis magazine!"

Oh, stop Googling. Of course they're now online!

"I'm afraid to click," Sis said when I alerted her to this Intarweb presence. Sadly, this month appears to feature your average brown melanoma--not all that exciting. However, some of the headline links suggest things I want absolutely nothing ever to do with, such as "Multinucleated Atypia of the Vulva." Aaaaaaaah! No atypias, ESPECIALLY of the vulva, thanks much.

On the other hand, "What's Eating You? Fire Ants!" is possibly the best title ever. If anybody asks me what my problem is, I now have a new answer.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

What's the calorie burn on administering a bitch-slap?

This isn't a weight-loss blog. There are plenty of other ladies who write with fierce funny brilliance about that topic, some of whom have even parlayed it into a book tour, and to them I say right on! with envious admiration.

That said, I think I can speak with some authority on the issue. To wit: I am kinda fat. This is a known fact, despite my occasional psychological contortions to keep this matter somehow on the down-low. I realize that if someone sees me coming out of the Lane Bryant, or gritting it out on the elliptical trainer, or eating a candy bar, or conversely eating a heap of baby's not like my secret will be suddenly exposed: holy shit! Kim's FAT! I knew there was something about her that I just couldn't put my finger on...

It's been a thought, and sometimes a struggle, for virtually all my life. I can remember the first time I thought "oooh, FAT" about myself, spurred by a photograph. In it, I'm six, standing with that swaybacked posture all little kids have, wearing a halter top, tummy out. I'm holding a bouquet of sweetpeas. Not a fat kid. I know that, now. But at the time, all I could see was the soft flesh around my navel.

Dieting was one of my primary bonding activities with my mother, growing up. She wasn't particularly interested in shopping, or makeup, but this was something girly that we could do together. It made me feel adult. We did absurd, ridiculous things, like subsisting on frozen grapes or cabbage soup, or a diet purportedly from the Heart Association that prescribed certain foods for specific days of the week: Thursday, we reeled around light-headed on nothing but bananas and skim milk, and thought ourselves virtuous. We drank Canfield's diet chocolate-flavored sodas and watched Richard Simmons. We "jogged" by sprinting wildly room-to-room in our tiny apartment to the "Fame" soundtrack, howling with laughter. We did some insane workout with Cookie's crazy sister that involved drills with broomstick dowels. We took up figure skating. We went to the drive-in movie with hoagies and Baby Ruths from the little deli up the street. Sometimes we were chubby. Sometimes we weren't.

It gets harder as you get older, another fact that surprises no one. In college, I mixed up SlimFast shakes from powder, but I could never stop supplementing them with buttered salt bagels from Zaro's. I have been on NutriSystem, Jenny Craig (twice), DietPower, Sound Health Solutions, and what Sis calls the "dump diet," where you wither away after an ugly breakup. (I looked fabulous.) I've belonged to three gyms, two yoga studios, and three therapists. For four years, I dated a professional chef; during that time, I put on 50 pounds. And I am here to tell was a fucking BLAST! The entire time! Renee Zellweger gets PAID to have that kind of fun! Since then, I've meandered up and down that 50-pound spectrum. Sometimes, I am slim and active and magnificent, and some days (for example, when repairs cost NINETEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS on a nine-year-old Hyundai, let that be a lesson to all on The Perils of Deferred Maintenance), I comfort myself with a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk and baby, I use the big spoon, right out of the carton.

My point: I know. I know everything I need to about weight loss, and it all comes down to four words: eat less, exercise more. When I do those two things, I lose weight. When I don't, I put some on. I get it. I don't need to drink potions or abide by Dr. Phil or spend any more thousands and thousands of dollars to learn this again; I get it. I know that I'm the only person who can do this for myself, and I know that I am the only one who can motivate me. And every day is different.

My second point: don't tell me. I GET IT. Don't volunteer the information unsolicited, as if it is some new fact. It ain't. And for God's sake, ESPECIALLY don't POINT at my chosen MEAL and exclaim with cheerful HORROR how many, many CALORIES it has, because I. GET. IT. And also, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Jesus.

I'ma come over there and slap some sense into you my damn self. Soon's I can get my ass out of this chair. Beeyotch.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Way more charming than that Arnold on "Green Acres"

My car needed some work. So, after carefully soliciting friends' mechanic recommendations and researching my choices, I selected the one that most recently sent me a Val-Pak coupon and trundled in. I knew I needed the brakes done, and there were some shrieks and squeals and belt-y noises that demanded investigation.

"Are you the Hyundai?" asked the genial Manager Boy behind the counter. "Yeah, I think I heard you, coming in." Ha ha. So we discussed my automotive needs. I explained that I might not be able to pick up the car that evening, as I was going to the Mariners' home opener.

"Well, bite me then!" exclaimed Manager Boy enviously.

I have to admit, I prefer this approach to being "ma'am"ed to death at the Jiffy Lube, by well-intentioned grease monkeys 18 months younger than I am. It also helped that Manager Boy was cute, enough so that I didn't burst into tears when he called later with the incredible laundry list of things that were wrong with my vehicle, including everything its previous mechanic had botched at the 60,000-mile service. So what if this week's investment doubles the value of the car? I'll put it on my air miles card and be halfway to Paris.

The fam and I clawed our way out of post-game traffic, yesterday, and I actually made it to the shop with minutes to spare. Inside the bay I could see my car up on the lift, significantly lacking in wheels, from which I correctly discerned it was not ready.

So. Two buses to work today. At 3:30, I called the shop to check in and Manager Boy assured me it would be ready for me tonight--"But how was the GAME? I hear we kicked ASS," he said. At least he is sincerely working to CHARM me out of my hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
I left work an hour early, took two more different buses through pre-game traffic, hustled six blocks in the rain to the shop...

...where I noted my car, up on the lift, SIGNIFICANTLY LACKING IN WHEELS, which again implied a state of NOT-DONENESS.

Correct! said Non-Managerial Lackey, who was trying to lock up. A bolt broke off and a part didn't show, they tried to call me at 5:30, so sorry, too bad you don't have a cell phone, could you exit through the bay since we're trying to get out of here, don't slip, seeyoutomorrowbye.

I went back to the bus stop and worked to determine in just how many parts of speech one can deploy the F-word (some you might not have tried: "fucky," "fuckily"). The express #15, by the way, does not stop on 57th, though it does stop on 55th so you can see everyone piling on before it goes roaring past. Also, the morale-boosting, rain-proof company jacket my employer gave me? Is neither. I'm just saying. Adding insult to injury, the Erratic Business Hours Donut Shop at the bus stop closest to my house, on which I had pinned my entire will to live...was closed.

Manager Boy, you had better charm me right out to goddamn candlelight dinner if my Hyundai is still some-assembly-required, tomorrow.