Some Things Never Change

I just found a game on Steam where the review tagline from Kotaku is “It’s like Game of thrones, but with animals.” I don’t…what…is that an endorsement?

One of the characters is a busty bunny – and even in a grim, but cute Disney-esque fantasy world, the girl-type people don’t get to wear pants.

It’s called Armello.

HOLY SHIT – you guys need to go watch the trailer videos! It’s the weirdest cute-but-terrible thing EVER since Watership Down! An obviously evil, yet still COOT AS A WIDDLE BUTTON weasel with an eyepatch just full-on murder-faces a toad in front of his rabbit friend!

Because: Boys

I stopped by this local boozery called simply The Beer Cave to buy, well, beer. Which – for those of you who are puzzled by this, I drink SOME beers (Boulevard’s Bourbon Barrel Quad and Lindeman’s Raspberry Lambic, and Dragon’s Milk, for example).

ANYWAY – so at the checkout counter, the two cashier dudes are talking about how two female workers have both left early, in tears, over the last two days. One explanation was “Bethany, because: boys.” I cocked my head and raised a single quizzical brow and decided to join the convo, with appropriate matter-of-fact sass, “Well, if you dudes would just stop with being ALL the confusing-nonsense-stupid, then we’d be FINE, you know?” And the dudes start trying to EXPLAINIFY dudeness!

The dudes looked at me for a moment, shrugged, and nodded. But then they started trying to EXPLAINIFY dudeness! Bless their hearts.

Dude One: See, my girlfriend hates me. But she knows that I’m there for here when the chips are donw. So it’s cool. You know? I mean, I may suck, but I suck LESS than other dudes, and I will totally take care of her.

Dude Two: Yeah, I feel ya, but my girl does NOT hate me. She digs me. And she knows I’m there for her. *suddenly worried look* I think….

Me: Yeah. See? Even you don’t know for sure. *does ‘mind blown’ gesture*

 

I Broke Him…

I had to console a teen grocery clerk over my divorce. Sorta. Lemme ‘splain:

So I was checking out and the kid was way excited about everything.

The woman in front of me with the cart full of groceries and kids had amassed 160 grocery points and smugly looked at me and said “I guess I’ll be back to get free stuff!” He said “Yeah! Winning!”

Next he picked up my jug of iced tea and sang the “unsweetened iced tea” song. Then he made it dance on the counter and asked if I’d be drinking it with sugar cookies. I laughed and said no, it would have to find the tools to survive solo. He rang up my total and said “You’ve got…. Oh. 15 points.” He made a sad face.

I said “Yeah, I don’t shop that much.” He said “Oh – no shame, no shame.” I was still looking at the receipt and without thinking said “well, when you don’t have a family…”

Silence. I look up and the kid has TEARS in his eyes. On his face. “I’M SO SORRY,” he says.

“No. It’s okay. I’m divorced.”

“Oh. That’s TERRIBLE!”

“What? No – it’s fine. I promise. I just meant that it’s not like I lost my family. We never had kids.”

“No kids?! But it’s Christmas… ”

At this point I feel Iike I broke him.

“Yeah… I have a super cute dog though. I swear. Massive ears. It’s okay. Really. Uhm… Have a great night.” I ran.

I posted this story on Facebook, and some of my friends – well, their responses were fantastic.

You should have just kept going and destroyed him…..SWEEP THE LEG!!!

We do not train to be merciful here – mercy is for the weak!

FINISH HIM!!!!!!!

I love my terrible, awesome, idiot friends.

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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.

Making it MINE

So it’s been well over a year now since I’ve been alone here in this house.  Well, alone except for the dog. For a while it was me the dog and the cat – but Beki saw fit to shuffle off her mortal coil in February, so it’s been a bit with just the two of us. The neighbors haven’t said anything at all about Sam’s departure, but then what do you say?

“Oh hey – so…..your husband took off.  That’s….a thing…”

No.

So I’ve slowly been establishing myself as the sole resident of the house, both inside and out.

I kept the lawn guys, because there are wasps outside and I really REALLY do not cotton to those.  Plus, yard work?  That smacks of effort.  They’re not THAT expensive and I like coming home and going “Oh hey! The lawn is mowed! Awesome!” Plus they do gutters and leaves and whatnot.  It’s a good deal.

But it’s weird sort of being “me” instead of “us” in the local environs. Plus, if we’re all being brutally honest, I am a crazy person now – at least some of the time.

I mean, my Josh Groban porch-sobbing episodes HAD to have occasioned at least some gossip as I tried to tearfully explain to the dog, me in headphones, why the adorable little gnome just KNEW how to punch you in the feels with his angelic warbling.

And exiting the front door, face-first into spiderwebs streteched between my two giant yew bushes, and then dancing around yelling “FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKING SPIDER FUCK GAH FUCK ADAUGHTER OF UNGOLIANT BITCH FUCK” was probably not the best thing I could have done for my reputation in my quiet, conservative burg.

You have to understand that if you translated “We have lots of money and we love our lawns” into Latin and slapped it on a flag, that’s my city’s motto. Only they’d argue for days – weeks – about the color of the flag, not because anyone gave a shit about the color, but because they worried about what message the color might send and whether or not it clashed with the awareness ribbons.  Awareness of what?  NO ONE WOULD KNOW.

So I am trying to be a good citizen, but occasionally I fail.  Thus it was yesterday when I let SB out back. I just needed him to do his thing and come back inside. Only he caught sight of something and decided it was a terrorist cell in the next door neighbor’s yard. In fact, it was a white squirrel.  Like all white.  Like, admittedly, frighteningly white. He DID NOT LIKE ALBINO SQUIRREL.

So he went apeshit. Like you do.

I tried my normal CTFO tactics, but he was not having any of it. The barking. And the jumping. And the snarling.

I finally ran out of patience and, forgetting myself just a tish, screamed “I KNOW IT’S AN ABOMINATION IN THE EYES OF THE GODS, BUT FOR THE LOVE OF CHEESE AND WAFFLES LEAVE IT!” Which, strangely enough, worked. As if my acknowledgement of its eldritch strangeness was all he was really looking for to begin with.

Also though, my neighbors looked out their back door.

So I went inside and cranked up Josh Groban. For internal consistency reasons.

 

 

Of Barren Hellscapes

Okay.

So I went to Midwest GameFest over the weekend. That’s a tabletop and RPG event in Independence.  It’s small – they only get like 500 people a year or something, but it’s nice. Sort of.

But here’s the thing – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU INDEPENDENCE!?!

And to be fair, and I don’t admit this freely most of the time, I am FROM Independence, so I can rant about this all I want.

What fucking barren hellscape IS THAT, seriously, where they have something called a “PIZZA RANCH” but no motherfucking STARBUCKS??!!?!

Oh – yes, I know that people will say “Oh, there IS a Starbucks over at the other end of 40 highway by the –” WHAT THE SHIT?

I should not be closer to a Cheddar’s, a Cabela’s, and the aforementioned Pizza Ranch than I am to a Starbucks EVER – E.V.E.R.  That should not be a thing that can happen in a civilized society.

It. Should. Not.

I was forced to drink hotel tea out of a fake plastic souvenir mason jar.

Are you hearing me?

UNTENABLE.

Now.

The event itself was delightful.

I got to play in a really cool Shadowrun event GM’d by the guy who wrote the module. Super fun.

I tend to play “talkies” – more communication driven characters. Which will surprise exactly no one reading this.

The mage in the party was awesome.  He played a mage whose schtick was basically that he’d been Van Wilder attending the UC Santa Barbara of mage schools and had taken a bunch of electives and stayed on past graduation driving around in a golf cart because people liked him, and then become “The Dude.” Another guy was the hacker / combat guy – he was super serious and awesome too.  He had a mentee – the REAL hacker guy, who was played by the guy who usually GMs for us.  The character was a teenage kid who idolized the combat hacker. I ended up having to pretend to be the kid’s mom – so he started calling me “fake mom,” and the combat hacker “fake dad” – which led to the two of us having arguments about how to raise the kid.

My favorite scene of the night was when we decided to let “little Charlie” learn the ropes of interrogation in Shadowrunning by having him question this guy we’d taken prisoner. We had him tied up and rigged with an explosive collar and just stood back and kibbitzed and helped out while the not-good-at-talking kid questioned this poor terrified ganger. It was hilarious. When the kid messed up and the guy started not giving the answers we wanted or scared the kid, one of us would step in “Now, Charlie, sometimes when people are under duress, they say things that aren’t QUITE true to make it look like it’s someone else’s fault. And it’s NOT VERY NICE, and there can be some pretty serious consequences.”

Good times.

When You’re a Stranger

I just want to take a moment to say that Doctor Strange is AMAZING.

I LOVED this film.

LOVED it.

Benedict Cumberbatch was the CUMBERBATCHIEST!

Mads Mikkelson was the MIKKELSONIEST!

Tilda Swinton was the SWINTONIEST!

SO GOOD!

I laughed. I cried. I marveled at the CG and explosions!

Seriously.

If you have not seen it – WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING!!???!?!?!?!

MINOR SPOILERS:

I loved that Rachel McAdams had enough self respect to walk away AND to respect what he had to do as a superhero.  SHE was awesome. LOVED HER.

I loved the cape.  LOVED IT.

I loved Tilda Swinton OWNING her moment at the window with the snow. LOVED IT.

I loved that it was more Man vs. Himself than Man vs. anything else.

I loved the time loop.

I loved the cut scenes. Because of course I did.

Seriously.  Go see it. Totes worth it.

 

 

Sorcery

So as some of you may know, I had a birthday recently.

Last year was a bit bleak because of reasons.  This year was way better. In part it was way better because while last year I bought myself one present (an admittedly wicked cool Handbag of Holding computer bag from ThinkGeek.com – the deluxe black “vegan leather” version!), this year I…uhm…I went a little nuts.

This year I bought myself a ton of socks from Sock Dreams.  I am not a shoe girl, but I DO love me some socks.

I also DID buy a pair of shoes – boots, actually.  But understand that I have never in my life owned a pair of tall boots.  Never. Not once.  And now I do.  I cried when I bought them. I tried them on and I got all teary-eyed and the barely-more-than-a-teen helping me looked like I had just started hemorrhaging from all of my orifices and fluttered her hands around not sure what to do. I waved her off and said I was fine, and then asked if I should get those or another pair I’d tried on (partly because I kinda wasn’t sure and partly out of spite because I knew she’d try to help me but be befuddled – shadenfreude – it’s a thing), and sure enough she froze like a possum staring down a Volvo and then mumbled “…you seem to like those…….”

I also got myself a wireless gaming headset and new speakers – since I disconnected my computer from the TV and the surround sound system. AND I got myself not one, not two, but THREE 27″ monitors. It’s egregious. And I love it. My consoles – like Steam and Battle.net and Origin are on the left.  The internet is on the right. And my games and whatnot – right in the middle.  It is AMAZING.  I am really not sure how I survived before now.  I was basically a raccoon, rummaging through the garbage for tech before now.

I feel really powerful.

Also I got myself Civ VI.  And it is GORGEOUS.  Only………..WTF, Sid Meier?  Where is Alexander?  Really?

So anyway – know that as I type this, it is on the RIGHTMOST monitor. Unless I decide I need to move it to the middle for some reason.  Or the left. Because I feel like it. Because I can choose.

And if you only have one or two monitors, know that I feel like I am JUST a little better than you.

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.

 

 

Bad Medicine

The local vet is a only a few minutes from the house. I got the dog into the lobby, where he bled profusely. So much that the girls behind the counter whispered about how much blood it was. I looked down and suddenly realized that, yeah, it was.  Especially given how much was already on the floor and furniture at home.

I went catatonic.  Which apparently upset other customers. So they put me in an exam room.

My ex husband texted me to ask how Starbuck was. I thought about ignoring him, but was a grownup and told him. I hate being a grownup.

Eventually the vet came in. I’ve seen two vets there.  One is Dr. Hippy – he’s young and has hair down to his waist, but he’s a really good vet. The other one – the one I saw that day – is Doc Oct. For Octegenarian.  He’s clearly going for the record of Oldest Practicing Vet in the World.  He has GOT to be the frontrunner. I have no idea if he’s a good vet.  I don’t understand a word he says. I am pretty sure he uses poultices and treats ague. He’d decided to use pressure bandages to stop the bleeding – because the dog had somehow torn out TWO toenails.  No, I don’t mean broken them off, as dogs are wont to do – I mean TORN THEM OUT COMPLETELY.  How?  No clue. Also, why did he not use silver nitrate? The vet, not the dog, obviously.  No idea.  I texted my cousin, who happens to be a veterinarian (but he’s a long drive from my house for emergencies, which is why I didn’t go see him for this) to ask about it, and while it was OKAY, pressure bandages are not perfect when there’s a risk of infection, which there is here, on, you know, feet.

So I went out to the lobby, dog in tow – who had, by the way, completely forgotten he was injured and was prancing around just fine.  They’d given him pain meds and he was in that sweet spot where the foot had stopped hurting but the grogginess hadn’t set in yet.

I pulled the card out  of my shirt pocket and handed it to the cashier.  I wrapped up the transaction and put the card back in my pocket and got back to the middle of the lobby and, for the first time in his entire life, my dog grabbed my skirt – a simple, long knit skirt – in his teeth and pulled it down around my ankles.

I just stood there and said, “Yep.  That’s about right.”

I pulled up my skirt and trudged out  to my car wondering where my life and dignity had gone.

And realized they were not going to be found today.

Do you know what the only thing worse than having your skirt pulled down in a veterinary lobby and then making it safely out to your car is?

Having to go back INTO that veterinary office to get your purse, which you left in the exam room.

I asked my cousin, and those girls behind the counter are NOT trained to deal with that situation.  They are not.