That’s Not Right…

So I made a discovery about myself.  All because of a movie.  Well, technically several
movies – but it all started with one.

A friend at work has been giving me movies to watch.  Most recently he gave me a “mix DVD” of like six – including Bad Moms, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Nice Guys, and Rock the Kasbah – which were all really entertaining. But not the subject of this post.

When I finished with those last week, I decided I wanted to keep watching movies, and I stumbled across Mr. Right, with Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell and Tim Roth.

That movie….THAT MOVIE!

The first part of that film is eerily similar to my life. To me.  In fact, Anna Kendrick is sort of a weird spiritual doppelganger of me throughout.

  • She has a moment where she drunkenly screams “I’m wearing my favorite socks!” followed by “ONE OF YOU HUSSIES IS GETTING FISTED!”20161204_205503
  • She asks her friend Sophie “Why does this keep happening to me? Do I just suck? Am I just suckball McGee over here?” And Sophie replies (like my friend Karen or Lynn or Erin) “No, you’re not Suckball McGee. You’re just a work in progress, babe.”
  • She confesses to having a fantasy to be the crazy old woman in the neighborhood who drives around and “dead-eyes teenagers.” I have OFTEN said I want to be the crazy old lady with a big fuck-off hat shouting at teenagers to get off my lawn.
  • I don’t want to spoil a kind of special moment for you, because you NEED to see it – everyone does.  But the picture I’ve included here will make sense when you do. That’s me -in the picture, by the way, age five – as a T-Rex. Mom and dad made that costume for me.

In the movie, the love of Martha’s life turns out to be a government assassin.  This is important.  It’s important because, well, I realize that I liked this movie slightly better than my NEXT favorite romantic comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

I was talking with a friend about that, and he asked me to rank them – my favorite rom-coms.  So I did. Here’s my list:

  1. Deadpool
  2. Mr. Right
  3. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  4. RED
  5. Grosse Point Blank
  6. Sweet Home Alabama

Do you see it? Do you see the pattern?  I’m pretty sure SHA is the exception that proves the rule – the rule that I am MESSED UP.

Some women get accused of having these crazy, unrealistic standards as set by the likes of Mr. Darcy or Captain America or even Doctor Who (David Tennant, naturally).  But me? I apparently also have equally unrealistic standards – but I toss in near-psychotic trained killerhood. Because THAT’S normal.

Marth’s friend Sophie nails it when she says “At some point you’re going to have to start noticing these red flags…”

Yeah. Okay. I do… Red flag seen.  But I don’t want to DO anything about it. Except to find that crazy bastard.

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Deck the Halls with Droids and Jawas

I saw Star Wars in the theater when I was five years old. Say what you will about very little kids understanding movies, it blew my mind. I loved it. I wanted to BE some amazing combo of Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Also I wanted to marry Han Solo. It was confusing and complicated. But it was beautiful.

I had loooooong hair perfect for cinnamon buns and a mom inclined to spend the time patiently winding and pinning my auburn tresses into the iconic Leia hairdo, so I got to be the perfect little space princess All. The. Time.

Depending on whether you know me, or on what impressions you’ve formed of me from reading my scribblings, it may surprise you to learn that I was pretty much a perfect kid (behavior-wise) in school. Yes, okay, I was also a model student. By which I mean total nerd. I can own that. I just never got in trouble.

Except this once.

I have ONE black mark on my permanent scholastic record.

I was in a playground fight in fourth grade.

And it was over Star Wars. Well, Empire, technically.

How freaking nerdtastic is THAT?!

I mostly look back at my young self and feel a tish sorry for that quiet little mousy girl who thought she might die if she said a curse word or made a teacher frown. But that one glorious moment in fourth grade? I LOVE HER FOR THAT.

We were living overseas at the time – in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Movies didn’t reach overseas markets as quickly then as they do now, and there was always a lag between a big release and when we got to see them – UNLESS you were lucky enough to be traveling to the US when one came out. I was not so lucky. Jennifer Zwick, however, was. She’d just come back from a visit stateside and had seen *angelic chorus* The Empire Strikes Back. The phrase “spoiler alert” had not yet been invented, and also we were nine – so it never occurred to us to worry about such things. She was telling me about the movie and she said – she actually SAID – that Darth Vader was the wonderful and pure Luke Skywalker’s father.
The world stopped spinning on its axis.

Now, as I said – I was (and am) a Han girl. Because broken rogues are irresistible.
BUT STILL. One does not say such things about the hero. One does not. Scandalous. SLANDEROUS.

So I called her a dirty liar.

And she pulled my hair.

And it was ON like Donkey Kong (or it would be in another year – Donkey Kong was not a thing yet either).

The reason I tell you this is ONE because – it’s kind of awesome, right?

But two, because Star Wars is important to me. It really is.

So when the new movie was coming out in December, I naturally wanted to go, and ideally I wanted to go with friends. Some good friends of had rented out a small theater at The Alamo downtown and had offered tickets. Because of reasons, I had not gotten one. It’s not worth going into why, but I had not. And I was angry about it. Super angry. White hot fury of a thousand suns angry. But also bitter and sad.

This angry bitter combo led me to do the only thing I reasonably could do: I reacted like a child and decided I would just wait for it to come out on Blu-Ray because screw everyone and everything – no one could make me go see it alone.

Of course that turned out to be completely not true.

Someone could.

My friend Micah.

Micah and I had known each other for almost nine years when we worked together at the seminar company. We had only worked semi-closely together for last five or so years, but we communicated a lot, and due to various circumstances, we’d become friends.

Micah texted to ask me if I’d seen the movie yet. Mostly it was self-serving. He wanted to talk about the film. I said no, and told him my grand plan endorsed by five year olds everywhere (sorry, five year olds). I don’t t have the text transcript any more, but this is pretty close to what happened.

Me: “No. I’m not going. It’ll be out in, what, six months?”

Him: “What? No. Go see it.”

Me: “Nah. I’ll just wait. I don’t like seeing movies alone. Besides. I want to wallow in my bitterness.”

Him. “What the….Fuck bitterness. Go see it.”

Me: “Sigh. Look. I’ve actually been looking at theaters and they appear to be all sold out anyway. At least online.”

Him: “Don’t you work downtown? Right across from The Alamo?”

Me: “So what. It says they’re sold out.”

Him: (you can almost hear the deep breath and pursed lips) “Walk across the street and buy a ticket. I’ll wait.”

This went on for just a bit – because I am difficult. Or can be. But he persisted. Because he is awesome. And has the patience of a saint.

Ultimately I walked across the street and bought a ticket. Turns out the online services for most of the theaters were completely overwhelmed, but you could just walk in and get a seat without much trouble. To be fair I marched in and demanded that the ticket seller guy tell me they were sold out so that I could tell me jerk friend *waved phone at him* they were sold out and get him off my fucking back. The dude said “Well, I can TELL you that, but…..” And I had to apologize and buy a ticket.  It was even a decent seat.

I can admit that I got teary-eyed when the fanfare started behind the giant STAR WARS logo. I wanted to text him “thank you” right then and there – but if you know anything about The Alamo, you know they frown on that sort of thing.

 

 

Walk with the Animals, Talk with the Animals

When Jeff, aka Raccoon Ranger, arrived, he was everything you would expect from someone who specializes in vermin removal and who has a farm for citified animal rehab out in the country. He was also delightful.

He explored the attic and seemed truly disappointed not to find anything.

Next, he went outside and scoured the outside of the house.  I stayed inside with the dog, who was a bit agitated at having someone wandering around the yard.

After about ten minutes, Raccoon Ranger knocked excitedly at the door and beckoned me out back to check out “positive Raccoon Sign.”

He took me to the back landing and walked me through the clues like Poirot at a murder scene. But with a Southern twang.

“Well, you gotcher claw scratches on the lattice where he crawled up here, then he ambled on over and you gotcher paw prints on the siding, and the downspout is all bowed out where he shimmied on up, and raccoon belly tuft fur where he scooched out to the eaves, and then pop goes the – well, the raccoon – he was up and over onto your roof, and up into your attic.”

“That’s a very strange skill set you have there, Jeff.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll set up them traps.”

I’d been outside for all of four minutes. I went back inside – and found an abattoir. There was blood everywhere.  There were literal pools of it standing on the ottoman. And there was no sign of either the dog or the cat.

I panicked.

The dog came limping in from the garage, whining, his right front paw a pulpy ruin.

I had no idea what had happened, but I did a quick search and found the cat asleep.

I tried to clean up the paw, but he wouldn’t let me. He snapped at me. I couldn’t even rinse it to see how bad the actual injury was, much less find the source of the bleeding.

I made a mistake here.  I called my ex husband to ask for help.  He got angry and yelled because he had patients and could not just leave them to come  deal with my problems. I just hadn’t thought about what time it was.  Sigh.

RR came to the front door and saw the mess and asked if I needed anything.  Whatever look was on my face told him I did not require him as I reached for my wallet and tossed him my credit card.

While he processed payment for the initial traps, I wrapped Starbuck’s leg in a towel as best I could and ran out and tossed all 65 pounds of him in the car. I grabbed my stuff, checked the back, locked the door, pulled out of the driveway, rolled down the passenger window, caught the clipboard, signed the sheet, tossed back the clipboard, stowed the card in my shirt pocket, rolled up the window, and called my friend Carol – like a goddamned domestic ninja – to ask her to tell me I was a rock star. She didn’t skip a beat, then asked why. I told her.  She told me I was an EGOT winner. She cautioned me not to wreck the car. Good advice.