None of This Post Is Even True, Except for the First Phrase, Before the Comma.*

I used to be a hypochondriac, but now my obsessions are realigning from health to security. Okay, wait, I’m still a hypochondriac, but thanks to the scare tactics of those All-Fear-All-The-Time Republicans, I am now worried about security on top of everything else. In public bathrooms, I will be doing my business, and then I’ll think, “Did I lock the door?” And I’ll look at the door. And it is locked. But maybe it just LOOKS locked. Maybe I’m misinterpreting from its appearance whether it is locked or not. So I will dam everything up inside and waddle over to make sure it is locked, and it is, but I will lock it again, just to make sure, because I don’t want a terrorist to get in while I’m going to the bathroom. Can you imagine? Of course, if it’s one of those automatic sensor toilets it will flush when I move away from it, so when I go back to finish, I know it’s going to have to flush again, and I wonder if the terrorists are out there counting how many flushes they hear. Sometimes this happens multiple times in one session because I will get back to the toilet and think, “Did I just accidentally unlock the door when I thought I was locking it?” In case this was a problem of memory, I made up a song to sing while I lock the door. It’s called “Lock Lock Locking the Bathroom Door” (with apologies to Bob Dylan), and the idea is that if I can remember singing the song, then I have locked the door. Only that doesn’t work because then I have to remember to sing the song on top of everything else, and if I don’t remember singing the song, I have to wonder if it is because I didn’t lock the door or because I locked the door and just didn’t remember to sing the song.

If I don’t sing the song, the terrorists have won.

This happens with my car, as well. And now with my gym locker. And there are a lot of terrorists at the gym, too, so this is a problem.
Maybe this elevated concern means I’m not a liberal anymore. Liberals are well-documented terrorist lovers. If a liberal suspected that a terrorist was lurking around outside the bathroom door, things would end differently.

They might even exchange phone numbers.


* Well, one other sentence is true, too, but I’m not telling you which one.

UPDATE: Wait, I just reread the first phrase, and that’s not really true, either. Suddenly, I’m Fair and Balanced!


In Space, No One Can Hear You Meme

I have to be the last person on Real Earth to start playing with Google Earth. Google Earth is a magical land you can look at on your computer screen. If you type in an address or the name of a landmark, you will swoop down on Google Earth from orbit and see a satellite photo of that place. If you then type in another address, Google Earth will gently bounce you back up into the atmosphere for the short journey to the new location. Google Earth makes me feel like an eagle, an eagle of inquisitive love.

Taking a cue from our omnipotent government, I have over the past few days spied on everyone in my address book from space. Sometimes, I am also spying through time. The photo of my parents’ house was taken years ago, before they had a pool. The photo of my house shows our beloved backyard tree before it was mutilated by evil. You can see evil from space. There are times you can see it more clearly than others, depending upon the resolution. Some areas of Google Earth are rendered only as splotches of blurry color, and some are razor sharp. If you peer down on my ex-boyfriend’s house from space, you can clearly see the 2000 Volkswagen Golf I sold him when we broke up and the plants I spent months of my life installing in his sad little garden.

One of the most jarring things you can look at on Google Earth is Walt Disney World, and here’s why. If you are familiar with Disney World from walking around, you can picture the quaint old-tyme charm of Main Street, USA, but from space, these look like vast, soulless warehouses behind their homey facades. And do you know what? There are parking lots behind them. Maybe they are employee parking lots because all those smiling robots have to park somewhere. When I mentioned this to my husband, he was all, like, “Of course!”, as if he had poured the concrete for those parking lots all by himself. Rob likes to know about secret things, and now I can, too. With Google Earth, no secret is safe from me, no harsh reality unexplored. I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West, or George W. Bush, or Jesus.

You can look at Iraq from space, at Bagdhad, at something called the Former Republican Palace, which strikes me as actually being the Current Republican Palace and-like Main Street, USA-also looks vaguely industrial from above. I tried to find the Green Zone, but Google Earth had this to say:

Your search returned no results.

Maybe the Green Zone is afraid that the bad guys will spy on it. I know I am. On Google Earth, you can identify cars from space, and you can often see individual people. At the gym yesterday, in the locker room, a naked guy told me that he works for a company that has developed the next generation of traffic surveillance camera, which will take your photo if you go through a red light or are speeding or maybe even if you give someone who cuts you off the wicked wicked finger. These cameras will be everywhere, and according to the naked man, if you attempt to disguise yourself or your car from them, you will get your driver’s license taken away and maybe even go to jail.

That’s not Google Earth, that’s Real Earth. Google Earth can’t send you to jail yet.

If you go to jail, I will look at your jail from space. I will swoop down and try to find your cell window. I will wave and wave, and maybe you won’t see me, but I will see you.


Lord of the Crumbs Jungle

My husband has a new obsession. Yes, Rob has moved beyond pancakes, Television Without Pity, and H.R. Pufnstuf; his new love is a vine he is growing in the back yard. My very own Seymour Krelborn has spent a significant portion of the past month rigging up ropes and impromptu trellises in an attempt to get his precious green friend to grow grow grow. The damned thing has complied, too. Basking in the sunshine of his attention, it extends what seems like a foot per day. From its former corner of the garden, it has climbed a tree and covered the shed, and it’s right on track for taking over the second-floor balcony.

At first, I thought he had at least left the worms behind with the pancakes, but it seems that passion is still alive, too. He has once again taken to grinding up our garbage in the blender and feeding the buggers, and it’s no coincidence that his little friends live right under the beloved vine. It’s vines all day and worms all night in this house.

One day, I could take no more. “Why don’t you MARRY them!” I shrieked. Now he goes out of his way to tell me how handsome I am and how lucky he is to have me, but I know this is just a play for time. Once the vines and worms get big enough, they are going to burst in the bedroom window while I’m sleeping, and the next thing you know, my DNA will be scattered all over the back yard.

I mention all of this so, in case I mysteriously disappear, you will know to dust for leafprints.


And Sooner or Later, You Realize It’s Marchin’ Across Your Face (Not!)

Is this what our relationship has come to? That you have forgotten our four-year blogiversary!!!!! How could you? How could you?

Ah, nuts to you, anyway. To celebrate this momentous occasion (lots of good presents are still available; custom dictates that the more belated, the bigger they have to be), Rob and I went to my family’s vacation home in Western Maryland. Three days of fabulous relaxation. I read a book. I won five out of six games of Scrabble. I observed wildlife.

Here is a partial list:

1. Chipmunk

2. Deer

3. Opossum

4. Bunny

5. Cat

6. Skinny owl or fat hawk

7. Vince Vaughn in The Breakup

Noah’s Ark is still being rebuilt, by the way.* They are going to have to move faster because according to An Inconvenient Truth, which I saw last night and can’t recommend highly enough, Western Maryland may soon be underwater, and hey, those polar bears need help NOW.

So I’ve been writing here for four years. Not much lately, obviously, which has become a charming new sense of guilt in my life. But I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. I’ll go for five and aim for an entry a week.

After that, you’re on your own.


* If you follow that link, it says it was written by me, but it was really written by Faustus.


A Lip Full of Soul

I have been growing a soul patch. Yes, I know, they’re so last year. Actually, they are so last century, which is the only reason I now feel comfortable unleashing those particular tendrils on the world.

I had a soul patch back when the soul patch was the new “it” facial hair configuration, and it lasted on me slightly longer than that golden period because I think it is particularly suited to my features. But I knew it was over the day I was walking down the street and saw an overly moisturized man in his fifties proudly sporting the look.

Now that it has been out of style long enough to be seen as a deliberate retro choice rather than as evidence of the mistaken belief that it never went out of style in the first place, I can sprout one again with abandon.

Sprout sprout sprout.

I am such a hipster.