Something new to add to my list of things that suck: cicadas

Troy and I were married on Friday the 13th thirteen years ago this coming June 13.  I had forgotten that the year we were married coincided with the arrival of the 13 year cicada invasion which is probably some sort of omen. May started out kind of cold here and the cicada invasion was on hold which was perfectly fine by me. I hate flying bugs. I especially hate mass legions of flying bugs. I knew trouble had started when I spotted the first one:

Loud, obnoxious and gross. Look at those beady red eyes.

One is bad enough. Millions of them are intolerable. It is hard to describe the sound so I have thoughtfully recorded it here:

Seriously, this sound will haunt me for years.  It’s like a million rattle snakes hanging in trees shaking their rattles simultaneously. This afternoon, I went to wash the kamikaze cicada debris off my car at the local car wash. Bad idea. I was attacked by dozens of the damned things. One flew down my cleavage. The outrage. As I gingerly tried to locate and remove the buzzing insect from underneath my sweaty left breast, I noticed I had attracted the attention of a few fellow car washers. In my mind, I bravely stared them down and flung the carcass of the dead insect at their feet. In reality, I probably stuffed my not quite as perky as it once was boob back into the sports bra and hid behind the car wash vacuum cleaners. What the hell were they staring at anyway? It’s not like I was picking the underwear out of my ass or something.

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Road trip to Miami: Part I

It’s been a hectic month. So I got a call from my niece who was on board a cruise ship in the Caribbean to tell me that my sister Susan was being pulled off the ship by Coast Guard cutter due to extreme illness. To normal people, this would be horrifying. My first reaction was “Seriously, you’re fucking with me” to which my sensible niece replied “I would never joke about something like this.” I only occasionally wonder if she’s really related to me.  My second reaction was to break into a Kathy Lee song “If they could see me now..” which is also probably inappropriate.  Sure enough, Susan got on board the ship 48 hours after having a shunt put in her liver. To most normal people, that would mean you would not get on the ship. Not Susan. I guess she was dying to sit at assigned seats for dinner, play shuffle board and be entertained by off off off Broadway musicals.

I would rather pull out my own toenails and drink them from a glass of sweat than have to cruise.

This created great consternation in the family since someone had to go get her. I made mention of my trial calendar, depositions, etc., but my Dad and uncle played the age card. Clearly, the writing was on the wall. Nashville to Miami is closer than Kansas City to Miami so I drew the short stick. I would drive to Miami since Susan could not fly.  To those who have only looked at Florida on a map, Miami is a long way from anywhere. The state of Florida is a really long state and it takes a long time to drive through.  It is full of old people who drive 30 miles an hour on the interstate and insane Yankees who drive 85 on the interstate and Europeans who don”t know which side of the road to be on. Seriously, my hat is off to the Floridians who drive there daily.

Florida has "Silver Alert" posters. To help find old people behind the wheel. For real.

To say that I was less than thrilled with the drive would not do justice to the word “annoyed”. Rearranging my calendar was not easy and also I had to drive through the entire state of Georgia. I should get some kind of medal for that. I had one major concern about where I would stay. This trip occurred the third week of March at the height of spring break. I should have known I would end up in Ft. Lauderdale. During Spring Break.

My personal nightmare. Katy Perry totally rules y'all!

Drunken twenty-year olds were far less traumatic than the legions of unbelievably cut gay men parading around in tiny swimsuits. If you would like to feel inadequate, put a swimsuit on and walk South Beach in the company of the gay beach brigade.

This man's ass is smaller than mine

I could never ever live in South Florida.

I have no reason to live

I have long subscribed to the theory that I am bulletproof and immortal. This despite multiple orthopedic surgeries which I have largely lumped under the heading “design defects” which have no real impact on my immortal status.  So on Monday when I could not stand up straight due to stabbing pain in my stomach, I forced myself to visit the doctor. Since I had spit up blood and no one having met me could ever accuse me of wasting away from consumption, it was a fair guess that I likely had an ulcer. I’m no rocket scientist (I went to law school which pretty much excludes extra smart people), but it kind of seemed obvious that this was an ulcer since I don’t have a flask in my desk drawer and despite my claims that my liver fled to live with Keith Richards years ago where it’s less toxic, my drinking days are largely now the stuff of myth.  The ER doc was less than amused by my self-diganosis and insisted on “tests”.

The tests included the following:

1) Stabbing me repeatedly in both arms and hands (which sucks epicly) attempting to take blood.

2) Realizing I am a lawyer and have no blood.

3) Stabbing me again for good measure because the nurse just realized I’m a lawyer.

In the end, the learned doctor determined I have an ulcer.  Thank you Captain Obvious. Aside from forcing me to take medicines, he laid down the following edicts:

1. No alcohol. I argued that no self-respecting lawyer can make it through to Friday without a martini?. He did not care about my problems.

2. No chocolate. I protested this was un-American and he told me to suck it up.

3. No caffeine. I attempted to rebel at the thought of no morning Red Bull, but could not stand up straight to kick him in the balls.

The end result of this is that I have survived for an entire four days on entirely healthy, non-caffeinated substances. I would cheerfully roll a nun for a Red Bull right now. They tell me this is part of a “lifestyle change”. I’m not sure I see a continued reason for living without caffeine, chocolate and vodka.

I am one step away from “Help I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up“.

Cooking with Susan

As I have mentioned in the past, my parents were largely indifferent to my survival as a child and I was left to fend for myself a good bit.  Once in a while, my parents would realize that some portion of our upbringing was likely to bring shame upon them and they would take some step to remedy our filial deficiencies.  For my sister, my Mom realized that she had some natural inclination toward crafty things and so Susan was taught to sew. I got an F in home ec in 6th grade because my bean-bag frog was found wanting by Mrs. Chapman, the home ec teacher.  However, since I had exceptionally good grades, my parents were generally content to let things like my lack of artistic and/or domestic talent slide. By the time I got to college, my Mom realized she had failed me in that I had absolutely no domestic skills: my house was a wreck, my buttons were stapled on as a needle and thread were beyond my abilities, and the contents of my refrigerator included an ancient package of frozen pollock and condiments. Something had to give.  The solution: send me to culinary school, in Italy. And so it came to pass that I mastered the art of cooking. In Italy. Some would call that overkill.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my sister married and had kids. Sadly for them, Susan’s culinary talents were absolutely non-existent. Susan called me one night to ask me for the recipe for meatloaf. I gave her a recipe. Two hours later she called back for advice. This is a near-verbatim transcript of the conversation:

Susan: Hey, the meatloaf came out kind of weird.

Me: What do you mean by ‘weird’?

Susan: Well, the cheese on top kind of blew up and then deflated like a sad balloon over the meatloaf.

Me: I don’t recall telling you to top the meatloaf with cheese.

Susan: Well, after I poured the meat in the pan, it looked kind of sad so I thought I should cover it with cheese.

Me: Poured?

Susan: Well, I didn’t want to touch the meat and egg mix with my hands like you told me so I put it in the blender. Then, I only had a 13×9″ pan so I took the brick out from under the leg of the sofa and covered it with tin foil and put the brick in the pan to make it smaller like a loaf pan. Once I poured it into my new loaf pan, it looked sad, so then I thought, “cheese fixes everything” so I cut cheese slices and used the torch to seal the edges of the cheese over it so I wouldn’t have to look at the meat-like liquid. Now the cheese has blown up and burned and is floating in a sea of grease.

Me: That’s not sad, that’s tragic.

Susan: How do I fix it?

Me: Open the trash can lid and deposit the contents of the pan there. Then pick up the phone and call for pizza.

I still cannot sew and Susan still cannot really cook. Susan is now divorced (probably not related to her cooking and more related to his tendency to date girls young enough to say things like “Who is Prince?” with a perfectly straight face.)  However, I think Susan really just needs a keeper before she poisons anyone. If anyone wants to marry a 40-year-old menace in the kitchen, let me know. 

P.S. to Susan: You can thank me later.

Williams-Sonoma: purveyor of kitchen tools and adult implements

I have a wedding to go to in two weeks and my friends are registered at Williams-Sonoma.  Scrolling through the kitchen tools section, this gem popped up:

A stainless steel butt plug, with teeth

I wish I knew who wrote the copy for this product because they deserve a huge shout out for managing to get such a staid institution to publish something so sublimely subversive.

I Owe Alabama an Apology

I have always said that Alabama exists to make Tennessee look good. Cross the state line, set your clocks back 20 years. Insert your own Alabama joke here. This was before I drove the length of Georgia on my way to the Everglades. Alabama, I apologize. You may be backwoods, but you are no Georgia. 

I-75 is pockmarked with billboards. To amuse myself on this very long road trip, I started paying close attention to the billboards. Leaving aside the billboards advertising hotels, gas stations and restaurants, the overwhelming majority of billboards along the interstate in Georgia are about “getting rid of liberals”, abortion and massage parlors/strip clubs.  Apparently, Georgia is overrun with people who frequent sex parlors and strip clubs that get girls knocked up and that are just ripe for being marketed to via the billboard. I’m not sure what liberals have to do with this, but maybe they oppose people going to sex parlors and knocking up girls.

You have many options available to let someone love you long time in Georgia

Once you are done fornicating, it’s time to deal with that unplanned pregnancy:

Apparently, abortion accounts for 20 percent of Georgia's GDP because abortion billboards account for most of the billboards

Then, for some unknown reason, the liberals must be removed from Georgia. This was next to an abortion billboard:

Apparently, communists oppose easy abortion and strip clubs in Georgia because Jody Hice wants Obama out.

So if you are a communist-hating, strip club patron who likes to knock women up and/or you like to have abortions after fornicating, Georgia looks perfect for you. For the rest of us, close your eyes and think of baseball.