Mighty Life List
Jun 23 2008

On Chafing

The time has come to buy new underwear. However, since having that cute baby and then losing the pregnancy weight, something has gone awry. All currently fashionable underwear is now made to go up my butt.

Bikini undies? Sure! If you like them up your butt. Tap pants? Sounds good, assuming you enjoy that extra material nestled up your butt. Boy shorts? Why waste effort walking around for 10 minutes? Just wedge them up your butt immediately so you can tug uncomfortably at your jeans for the next eight hours.

Listen, I’m already wearing shoes that make my feet bleed. The underwire on my bra is probably jabbing my ribs. You don’t want me any more irritated. It’s taking all my willpower not to cut someone. Introduce up-the-butt pants to this precarious scenario, and I can’t be held responsible. I also probably won’t be able to operate a motor vehicle.

Do you hear me, Universe? Take me to your comfortable yet stylish underwear! You drive.

Jun 18 2008

Growing Pains

A few friends and I have been reading a book on wellness that suggests eight ways to improve your life. It says you should choose a few and run with them, so I decided on:

Meditation:
Me thinking about light flowing into my head, and then thinking how nice it would be to nap.

Visualization:
Me thinking about how well things are going, then wondering when disaster will strike.

Conscious eating:
Me conquering food allergies by doing a restricted diet for 21 days, then remembering that I have hives because I really like to eat the stuff I’m not supposed to have.

Doing Fun Activities:
Me doing things that make me happy.

For the record, doing fun things is better than denying yourself caffeine. Should you choose to follow this path, I’d recommend starting with the fun stuff and worrying about your gluten intake later.

I’ve decided to do one fun thing a day, and it turns out that fun stuff is awesome. Yesterday I went down to City Hall to celebrate gay and lesbian couples getting married. There was a huge crowd, and lots of happy tears, and much merriment. Added bonus: no one yelled ugly things at the newlyweds.

So you see, we’re all evolving as a team.

May 2 2008

The People in Your Neighborhood

Right before I got pregnant, we decided we wanted to own a home. We tentatively put bids on a couple of San Francisco fixer uppers. The first one was a unit in an empty six-unit building, and we offered asking price.

We waited anxiously while the owner ignored us for a week, and then he countered $30,000 above asking. We asked our agent, “Were there other offers?” He said no. We asked our agent, “Where does this guy live?” And then we drove over and punched him in the teeth.

Next, we fell hard for the top floor of a Victorian with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, window seats, and wish-granting fairies who lived in the dumbwaiter. It was a tenancy in common, which means you share a mortgage with total strangers. I kid you not. In many cases, you may not even meet the people with whom you will share the house and a mortgage before you put in a bid.

If your bid is approved, you take out life insurance on each other in case something happens to one of you. Later, they hire someone to kill you so they can afford to own the whole building. Anyway, we wrote a heartfelt letter about raising our children there, bid a ludicrous amount over asking, and came in seventh out of thirteen bidders. I still feel bewildered.

It was around this time that we happened across a perfect little cabin in the wine country, and decided we could afford the modest mortgage and still pay rent on our apartment in the city. We bought a vacaaaation home. I say this with a long cigarette holder perched between my fingers as I bathe in organic cream.

The nearby town used to be a resort destination in the 1920s and ’30s, and in some ways, it still has that feel — like a big summer camp for grown ups, except most people living there are locals now. And the locals, they make life a lot more fun.

Once, on a morning walk with Hank, we noticed one of our neighbors had stuck a decaying boar’s head on a post in the driveway, Lord of the Flies style. Presumably to warn the other boars? Perhaps so they can dance around it at night chanting? I’ve been meaning to ask. Maybe I’ll take some muffins over.

Recently, we saw these excellent flyers posted everywhere:

In case you can’t make that out, it goes a little something like this:

$REWARD$
For information
Leading to the
Beatdown of
whoever tryed to
steal my G.M.C. Truck
in between 11:00 PM 5-9
And 7:30 AM 5-10-08
Call (number painstakingly obscured in Photoshop)
$REWARD$
I will find you!

Of course, this happened last month, not seven days from now, but shut up. You knew what he meant.

I’ve decided Information Leading to a Beatdown is the highest classification of information. The essence of news you can use: News you can use to assault someone.

In short, we finally found a place to call home. And if you touch our car, you know what to expect.

Apr 16 2008

Swarm, the Quickening!

When we last left Mighty Girl, she was breathing into a paper bag and assuming yoga poses while Melissa gave her instructions on killing the hungry bugs in her hair. What will happen next?

Next we spent hours and hours and hours and hours washing with chemicals, combing with olive oil, blow drying with Cetaphil, rinsing with tea-tree oil, emptying our closets, washing and dry cleaning every fabric item we’ve ever owned, bagging everything else, vacuuming the entire house a hundred times, and smudging.

Bryan wouldn’t let me vacuum Hank’s head because he was all, “psychological trauma, blah, blah, blah,” but Bryan and the baby fortunately were not afflicted. After countless nights combing, and rocking in fetal position, we appeared to be bug free. Free of bugs at last!

It was about this time we decided to head up to the cabin — the blessed, lice-free cabin. We packed our lice-free clothes, invited our lice-free pals, and piled in the lice-free car.

We arrived to find the cabin infested with giant flying ants.

Flying ants chaining down from the ceiling! Flying ants, congregating on the moisturizer bottle! Flying ants playing poker and smoking tiny cigars!

I hung my lice-free head in our ant-infested living room. And after that I don’t remember anything, because I was drunk.

OK, I made that up. It took at least twenty minutes for the vodka to take effect, and in that time, Bryan suggested we crawl up in the attic to see if the ants were nesting up there or something. I nodded, considered that calmly, and then responded.

Icannothandlethis! Icannotdealwithanymorefuckingbugsinmyhair,ormybed,orcrunchingundermyfeet! Iamcompletelylosingmyshit! I! Am! Losing! My! Shit!

…I will be out on the deck.”

So Bryan husbanded up and drove to the hardware store to explain our situation:

-We have a bunch of flying ants in the living room.

The counter guy nodded.

-Do you have anything to kill them?
-Yep. It’s that time of year.
-What the hell are they?
-Flying ants.

Bryan nodded.

Bryan returned home to kill all the crawlie things with hippie, don’t-kill-the-baby spray. It was made of organic lavender and vegan DEET. I downed a pitcher of greyhounds on the deck and apologized repeatedly to our eerily understanding guests. In addition to being extremely polite people, Bryan slipped some Valium in their drinks. Just to take the edge off.

Thanks to Bryan’s efforts, we ended up having a pretty relaxing weekend overall. And then, a few hours after our guests left, Bryan came in from the deck holding a plastic deli container.

Inside the container was a scorpion he’d found on the deck, where the baby had been crawling around all weekend. If you’ve never seen one in real life, they look kind of like this:


photo source

I’ll tell you what, friends. It’s becoming clear that my karma is aaaaaall out of whack. I clearly need to spend the next month meditating on wrongs I may have committed in past lives. It’s possible I offed some prophets or something.

Anyway, when we got home, we found our apartment had been overtaken by locusts and frogs. Weird, right? I guess it’s that time of year. Fortunately, I hear tea-tree oil is a natural repellent.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Apr 14 2008

Swarm!

So, there’s this thing going on where I’m allergic to everything. For the last year or two, I’ve been dealing with many bumps that look and itch like mosquito bites. Sometimes a few of them pop up on my face! It’s fun. It’s a 24-hour party with go-go dancers, and laser effects, and shirtless men who bring you martinis.

Unfortunately, we’re not here to talk about my allergies — mostly because I’m not 122 years old, and therefore have not yet exhausted all other avenues of conversation. I mention the allergies story as a precursor to the real story. The story about the bugs in my hair.

Yeah. You heard me.

A mom friend recently sent an email letting me know that a kid at school (probably a nasty, horrible bully who enjoys name calling and stealing decorative erasers) had given one of her utterly adorable, perfect children lice. Since we like to cuddle her adorable kids regularly, she thought we should check our heads. Of course, my head began to itch upon reading the first sentence of her email, so I asked Bryan to check my hair whilst I shuddered uncontrollably.

Nothing, he said. I bleated with anxiety. Please check again, I said. He agreed. Nothing, he said again, rather more impatiently.

The next day, still obsessing and still vaguely itchy, I insisted Bryan check my head again. He did. This time he did it with the forbearance of someone who must regularly deal with hysteria-induced itching. No, he said wearily. There are no bugs in your hair. I skulked away — a pouty, bitter, hypochondriac.

Over dinner that night, I grew reflective as the itching grew more intense. Clearly I have begun to get allergy hives on my scalp, I thought. I may crawl out of my own skin with the discomfort. Perhaps, I thought, I should stop eating all the things to which I am allergic. Farewell, booze. Goodbye caffeine. Wheat? No more wheat for me. And then I sobbed quietly over my pasta. My teardrops made concentric circles in my red wine, and be-salted my after-dinner tea. My desert, garnished with a fine dusting of crushed Vivarin, went untouched.

A while later, I was washing my itchy hair, and looked down to find bugs on my hands. Exactly two bugs, in fact. They were each 4 feet long and had jaws like Drill Baboons.


photo source

I’ve no idea how they’d been hiding so successfully. Perhaps I have a very large head.

I emerged dripping from the shower to email Melissa, whose kids had lice a few years back. I told her I planned to strip the family naked and use a flame-thrower to destroy our apartment and everything in it. She noted that using a flame-thrower without protective clothing was imprudent, and might raise eyebrows, even in San Francisco. I agreed naked flame throwing was more of a Burning Man thing.

So what happened next? You can’t wait to hear all about it, can you? Well you’ll have to, because I’ve been spending a lot of time with the washing machine lately. Not to mention all the hours I’ve wasted scrubbing my skin until it was raw.

Tune in tomorrow to hear more exciting adventures! To whom did I loan hats? The baby! Good lord! What about that innocent baby? Is this where the swarming ends? Don’t miss one action-packed minute of infestation!

Nov 11 2007

Whew!

I’m always mildly freaked before I present, and then surprised afterward by how much fun it is. This time around I was presenting some new material, and I was really happy with the result. This was in part because of the extra-welcoming crowd — a few people even drove well out of their way to come say hi, which made me feel all aw-shucksy.

Anyway, it’s time to start taking this show on the road more, we’ve been having a blast. If you missed us this time, but want to come say hi, the next place I’m scheduled to present is at SxSW.

Now I’m going to bed. Tomorrow, Detroit! I’m hoping they’ll have cocktails there.

Oct 24 2007

Hank Smacks Dad

I may need to make this into a flip book.