Thursday, March 29, 2012

"You know schizoid behavior is a pretty common thing in children. It's accepted, because all we adults have this unspoken agreement that children are lunatics. When an adult sees things that aren't there, we consider him ready for the rubber room."*

     I probably shouldn’t have started reading The Shining again in the first place. I’ve had bad experiences with it in the past. 
     One time I read it while I was staying in an old hotel (The Mark Hopkins) in San Francisco BY MYSELF and I was too afraid to use the bathroom because it had a shower-curtained tub (I guess they all do) and I was sure that the dead woman from Room 217 was in it. Then I was convinced I heard the shower curtain opening on its own. But nature won out and I had to screw up my courage and go pee or else pee in the bed. And I haven’t peed the bed once since I was eleven-years-old. So I marched right in and pulled the shower curtain open and peed (in the toilet—not in the shower). Then I left the shower curtain pulled open for the remainder of my stay, just in case. 
The Mark Hopkins. Not so scary.
        But I really like The Shining, so I read it every year, despite what a huge weenie I am. And there have been multiple occasions when I convinced myself mid-book that some small ghost child was looking in the window at me or Jack Torrance was trying to open the door and surprise me (in the bad way) in the shower.
        But I’ve never read the book while living alone, and it was really, really dumb of me. For one thing, I live in apartment #213, so I’m merely a few doors down from #217, which seems to be abandoned. Scary. And the elevator is old and creaky, and sometimes I think I hear it when I’m in bed at night (reading The Shining) even though it’s way too far away for me to hear. And I’m convinced I hear footsteps in the apartment above me, even though the building manager told me no one is living there yet. And the plumbing in this old building makes weird clanking and humming noises sometimes, so maybe it’s that old, dead lady trying to heat up her bath.
      Yeah, it was dumb.
      And then my friend Kathryn and I went out the other night for hamburgers and she mentioned how great the movie version of The Shining is.** And I almost choked. I started wondering if maybe I have the shine and somehow she was tuned into my extrasensory frequency. Which would be even worse for me if the dead lady from Room 217 is actually in my shower.
      I want to be proud of myself for how incredibly fertile my imagination is, but at the same time I’m wicked angry with myself for having the ability to imagine someone is chasing me or standing outside my door (despite the fact that I'm nearly 30 years old and I should know better).
     When I was a kid, we lived in a really cute little house with an unfinished basement. Lizzy and I would lay out blankets and pillows on the area rug and watch episodes of Who’s The Boss? and Family Ties down there on Friday nights, and eat pizza and drink Coke. It had exposed piping and light fixtures, but the family computer and dot matrix printer were down there and it smelled good because the washer and dryer were over in one corner.
      The only problem was that you couldn’t turn the lights off from upstairs. You had to pull the cord that dangled from the naked light bulb. And while that was perfectly doable at 4 p.m., it was a horrible after the sun went down. Usually our shows would end and we'd race each other up the stairs without turning off the lights and then fight over who had to go back down. When it was my turn, my brain could imagine any kind of horrible thing chasing me up the stairs after I pulled that cord. I could even hear the footfalls behind me.
       But now I’m a grown-ass woman and I still can’t shut out the voices of imagined bogey men hiding in every crevice of my apartment. And now I live utterly alone. And I thought it would be really great to read The Shining again.
     It was just plain dumb.
     The good news is: I’m trying to read as much as I can while the sun’s still up. I don’t have a shower curtain, but rather a shower door, and I leave it open. My imagination is slightly less incredible than it once was. And I’ve read this book about 10 times.
     But if I don’t post again for a few weeks, it’s because the Overlook got me.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. The inspiration for the Overlook.
     Or because I just bought Stephen King’s On Writing. Next time I write, it’ll probably be so amazing you’ll poop your pants. 
*The Shining by Stephen King.
**I don't care for Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining (Kubrick, 1980). He makes the lady in Room 217 hot, he adds in ex-caretaker Grady's daughters as weird twins, there's blood in the hallways and Danny is a wack-a-doo hippie with the voice of a gremlin and the hair of Dorothy Hamill. Plus, Shelley Duvall is Wendy in a heinous bit of bad casting (though to be fair, I hate her in almost everything except as Olive Oyl:the roll she was born to play). Sucky movie, if you ask me and not very scary. Nicholson's good, but he's always good, isn't he?

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I can assure that mine are still greater."*

        Today I overheard an 8-year-old kid at Target say to his mom, “No one else in my dance class can do this!” Then he busted out some weird side-to-side move in his sneakers and they made squeaky noises on the floor and threw salt in his game and he had to stop. “Well, I can’t do it here, but when we get home I’ll show you.” Awesome.
        But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. I just needed to let it out because it put the world’s largest smile on my face.
        I want to talk about the GRE. And in case you think that studying is why I’ve been M.I.A. for so long, you’re wrong, so allow me to disabuse you.  I don’t want to prevaricate. I’ve been enjoying time with the wacky Rouse family and then, after they left, lying around feeling utterly spent, quiescent, and sad.
        The GRE prep test has given me to believe that I am a borderline moron, and so I’m a little nervous. I’ve never thought of myself as capricious when it comes to learning, but those practice tests made me rethink my life. Here are some of the things I’ve done in the interest of boning up on everything I ever learned and then subsequently forgotten:
        When my family was here in L.A., I dropped my mom and sisters off at 3rd Street Promenade and took my dad to the Getty Villa, as he loathes shopping and makes it unpleasant for those who love it. We walked around the Greek villa replica in Malibu for a while and then he suggested we study some of my math problems for the GRE. I think he may have been slightly more excited about it than I was. Math never broke his heart. My dad’s a great teacher, but the amount of information I don’t remember about math has desiccated most of my brain juice.
Not a terrible place to talk Pythagoras and Euclid and shit.

        In addition to the half hour we spent on statistics, I have also worked on making copious vocabulary flashcards. I thought I wouldn’t have much struggle with the vocab portion of the test, being as how I’m such a big talker and like to fancy myself a writer, even. But there are words in there that I’ve never even heard of, let alone used! So I’ve had to go against my contumacious nature and try not to be so desultory about studying. 

My beautiful and super useful flashcards.

        But Math? Fuck you, Math! The bane of my existence!!!  (I probably shouldn't use the f-bomb on Math or he'll find a way to punish me later.) Hooray, Math! Here’s what I remember about Math: adding, subtracting, fractions, and BASIC algebraic equations.  Also, he was really mean to me in high school and cheated on me with all of my smarter friends. That’s so sad. What’s even sadder: the only reason I know fractions and percentages at all is because I love a good sale and I always tip at restaurants! I’m super inimical about Math, and I have to change my tune or this test might kick my butt.
        But I will be a better blogger in the next week or so, if only to stay sane. On the menu: before and after pictures of my new apartment! Hooray! Also, I need a new camera and new hands, but I think everyone will still get the gist.
 *Albert Einstein. What a pedant.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Some of the girls were making fun of her because of her hair. She does look kind of stupid. I don't know what we were thinking!"*

      Well, I cut my own bangs the other night. It’s a mistake I’ve made in the past but after a college career full of numerous haircuts from friends and roommates, I promised myself only professional haircuts from there on out. But Thursday night I thought, “Hey, I can do this! They’re so long I’ll just bunch them all together and cut off the bottoms! Easy!” (And eerily reminiscent of the time when I was 15 and I put my hair in a ponytail and then cut the ponytail off. It doesn’t work the way you want it to—unless you wanted Marcia Brady’s hair that came to a point in the back like an arrow showing the way to her butt.)
        There’s clearly a reason you have to have a license to cut hair. It’s not easy at all. And you need special scissors, not nail scissors. And even if you are a licensed, talented hair stylist, you probably don’t cut your own hair but instead have someone else do it (also a professional).
        But I cut my own bangs and I went to bed feeling pretty satisfied with myself.
        When I woke up in the morning, my hair was greasy and matted and looked confusingly wrong. I thought maybe I just needed to comb it, but that didn’t solve the problem. I looked like a little kid that got tired of having bangs and so decided to cut them off up to the hairline. I didn’t have much to work with, but I had to try to even them out at least, so it would look somewhat intentional.
        I got the kitchen scissors and attempted a straight line angling up from my right temple to my mid-forehead on the left. It still didn’t look right so I got my razor out of the shower. I stared at it for a minute and then put it away. No way that was going to work, and even I’m smart enough not to razor my own head.
        I quit for a while and later on last evening, I went out to Fatburger because I was craving some red meat. While I was waiting in the drive thru, I noticed a Sally Beauty Supply in the parking lot. It seemed like some sort of sign. So after I got my food, I went into Sally’s and looked for professional grade hair scissors. And you know what? Those things are frickin’ expensive! No way was I going to buy $65 scissors—I could have gotten a professional haircut for that much (which I may still have to do).
        So I went home and ate my hamburger and then stared at myself in the mirror for a while. It was clear that if I continued cutting my bangs I was going to wind up looking like one of the Barbie’s whose hair I cut in childhood. One of our Barbies (Stewardess Barbie) had a full, voluptuous 80’s perm to go with her smart navy blue work uniform and either my sister Elizabeth or I gave her a hairstyle much like that of model Amber Rose. Except for not at all attractive. 
Amber Rose. Much prettier than Stewardess Barbie post-haircut.
        And finally inspiration struck. I dug around until I found this weird razor I bought from an infomercial years ago that was supposed to be for easily giving your bikini line a dry shave (shudder). I don’t think I ever ended up using it, or if I did it must not have worked. I found it in my bedroom at my folks’ house over Christmas and thought it might be handy for use on my face or nose hairs (and it is!). It’s called Bikini Touch and it looks like this:
Bikini Touch. A multifunctional tool.
        I found a battery for the Bikini Touch and started cleverly shaving off the bottom part of my bangs so they had more of a blunt edge (a term I learned from my incredibly talented friend, Erin, who is an ACTUAL hair stylist). In the process, I started to shave off a little bit of my left eyebrow, which sucks, but otherwise it looks kind of good. The rest of my hair is another story. And I think my eyebrow will grow back. Of course, I already have an inexplicable bald spot in my right eyebrow, so nothing’s definite.
        But seriously, starting now until the end of time or until I get married and let myself go, I will never cut my own hair again. That’s a promise.
        And here's a bad picture of my bad haircut, which I'm oddly proud of (the bangs, not the picture--the picture is awful). 
I am damn sexy. And naturally blurry.
*Keanu Reeves as Todd in Parenthood. One of his and Ron Howard's finest films. (Ron Howard, 1989).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"You made a fool of me, but them broken dreams have got to end."*

Evil Woman Part VII (The End)
    I've decided to end the suspense and give you the seventh and FINAL chapter in the Evil Woman series (my story of a trip to New York City with a famous musician and his heinous bitch of a wife). You may find earlier installments as follows: one, two, three, four, five, and six.  I didn't really think you were in suspense, I just kind of forgot I was telling this story. Ha ha.

From 2009:

-THURSDAY!!!! Lucia and I have spent the day numbering the hours until we leave for the airport.
-Once again, we are left at the hotel all day, but this time there is no free period. Or at least, no designated time for ourselves. Poor John is sick and poor Beth’s massage didn’t help her ailing back and it’s raining, so we’ll all just sit here all fucking day long. I managed to get time to run outside and grab a coffee and call my parents, and then after I’d gotten back into the hotel room John called me and asked where I was. I said I was in the playroom and I’d walk to their room. They wanted nose drops for the baby. I gladly volunteered to trudge back out into the night. Not that they were grateful, just expectant. I was plenty happy to leave the room again, so long as I wasn’t with them. And New York City in the rain is far preferable to anywhere else in the sunshine. Okay, huge exaggeration, but you see what I mean (I like how the word “exaggeration” has two g’s: like the word itself is exaggerating).
-They decide to order room service and let Lucia and I eat some as well. I scanned the menu in a paranoid frenzy trying to find something that wasn’t a sandwich, a soup or pizza (the only things I’ve eaten here) and yet something that wasn’t too expensive. I settled on the $29 hamburger and crossed my fingers as I requested it. It was the most delicious thing I’d tasted in nearly two weeks.
-I checked my bank account first thing this morning and discovered that I’d been underpaid for our trip to New York by $1386. I showed Lucia and she immediately faked a bathroom trip so she could check her account by phone (she doesn’t have an online account). We then spent a good half hour trying to figure out exactly what we were owed after taxes. Ugh.
-Before we left the hotel for the airport (one of the happiest hours of my life), Lucia snatched a bunch of great stuff out of the mini bar and shoved it in our bags! I love this gal.
-Beth brought up the surfer boyfriend again at JFK. Lucia and I talked about the potential significance of that. (She’s clearly mourning the loss of the man she ACTUALLY loved but gave up for the security of tens of millions of dollars. Sigh. Poor Beth.)
-Conor woke up from his nap on the airplane and Beth asked Lucia to take him to the bathroom. Since Beth left her enormous Prada purse in the middle of the aisle, Lucia tripped over it, spilling Beth’s piping hot decaf on her (Beth's) pants. Poor Beth, I wonder what it’s like to have on wet, filthy pants. Oh wait: I do know what it’s like. Except in my case, it was blood. Coffee would have been a pleasure. Beth screamed at Lucia to watch where she was going and then got up in a huff to go change into alternate pants. 
-Lucia sat down next to me after returning from Conor’s bathroom trip, and started crying. I was rubbing her back when Beth returned. Beth leaned over the aisle to say things like, “It’s not your fault,” and “We just all need to watch where we’re going.” Then, in a fit of conciliatory inspiration, Beth said, “You know what, Lucia? Your money for the trip was deposited today!” And Lucia, god love her, responded with something along the lines of “Actually, it wasn’t.” She even whipped out our handy-dandy paperwork to prove it. That doesn’t, of course, have anything to do with me, so I know I’ll have to have my own conversation with Beth, but I feel good knowing it’s out there in the ether. Beth promises that it will be taken care of in the upcoming week. She also notes that in order for Lucia to be paid what she claims she’s owed, she will have to stay until 8:15 that evening (making it 11:15 in NY). BITCH, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Back home and never happier.
-On the way home from LAX in hellacious traffic, Beth yells at the driver repeatedly and doesn’t tip him. I apologize in the driveway, after she’s gone inside, wishing I could give him a tip myself. But I’m broke. Then I carry all the suitcases upstairs because it seems clear that Beth is going to keep Lucia working but send me home. I refuse to leave Lucia (because I am a saint-like human being). But seriously, there's no way I'm leaving a soldier behind.
-I wait for Lucia in the driveway and when Beth FINALLY lets her leave, we drive to a picnic table on Mulholland and have a cigarette. I tell her how I would have lost my mind without her. We hug and drive home our separate ways.**

    I quit working for the Hitlers about two weeks later. When I quit, I was terrified. My heart was beating out of my chest like I was about to go onstage. At a strip club. I told Beth that I didn’t feel like I was the right fit for Conor, that he didn’t seem to care for me and that maybe he was better off with someone he liked better and respected more. I had enough self-control not to mention that he was Satan’s spawn and by Satan I meant her.
    She said that she and John had already been discussing replacing me, so this worked out perfectly for her. I assume she was lying. Bitches like her can’t ever show weakness. Which is too bad, because weakness at that point might have made me think she was a human being and not the devil incarnate.
    I remember saying something like, “You’re children are wonderful and bright and beautiful.” All of which were (pretty much) lies.
    She responded, “I know how amazing my children are. I don’t need you to tell me that.”
    Oooooookay. Thanks, Beth! I love you, too.
    I gave her two weeks notice, but she sent me a text saying that I shouldn’t show up for my next shift. That it would be "too confusing" for the kids. I'm sure. I missed out on some money, but it was worth it to get my sanity back.
    And then came the depression of unemployment. But that’s a story for another time.
*Electric Light Orchestra's "Evil Woman."
**I'm still friends with Lucia, so there was some good that came out of the experience. She's a delightful human being, and she's taken me out dancing a couple times at some of the Latin clubs around town. I'll have to get into that more later, because it's worth discussing. But sadly, she's still working for Beth (who now has a third child). Last I talked to Lucia, she said she went to Europe (various cities in Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands) for another band tour (or tour of duty, as I like to think of it), but managed to get a day off each week and all her pay in cash. She paid off her car and all her credit cards. Happy ending!     

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"I say the ride is so smooth, you must be a limousine."*

   I have been AWOL for the last few days…weeks? Months? And it’s not just because I was moving. No, friends, believe it or not I’ve had a social life for the first time in ages that has filled up my free time with fun time. Hooray! I deserve it. I haven’t felt this popular since I was prom queen.**
   In the offing of some of said free time, I’ve been thinking a lot about important things like whether or not I should return the blue pants I bought, or if there really is a god, or if I’m ever going to have chiseled abs. Answers: “yes”, “dunno,” and a decided “most likely not,” respectively.
   But mostly I’ve been thinking about male singers and this list my buddy Gabe and I made in high school, working long hours at 13th Street Coffee Company in Downtown Omaha. Our coffee shop had a work log that we were asked to add entries to during the work shift. These entries, made in a spiral-bound notebook, tended to run the gamut from “we’re out of Colombian roast” to “the hot guy from the Bemis stopped in this morning.” I'm not sure if our employer, an Italian named (yes) Sergio, found it useful, but it was a nice outlet for artistic doodling and discussion among the baristas.
    But one afternoon, while listening to our favorite cable radio station, coming down from what was probably close to 12 shots of espresso and 8 hours of work, Gabe and I decided to start making a list in the log of the top falsettos of all time. I think about the list from time to time when a great song featuring a great falsetto comes on the radio, and Saturday was no exception. I drove down to Carlsbad, CA, to visit my high school friend Rachel and listened to portions of Rolling Stone's Greatest 500 Songs of All Time. Songs like “Kashmir,” “Dream On” and “Little Red Corvette” got me thinking about the list again. So I’ve decided to remake a portion of it here.
    In no particular order (except the first two names):
1.     Robert Plant: If Robert Plant’s voice were a man, I would try to make it love me and hold it in my arms all night long. I would stalk it like a psychopath and watch it through its windows when it undressed at night. Immediate examples of where this gorgeous falsetto makes me the happiest are “Whole Lot of Love,” “Immigrant Song,” and “What Is and What Should Never Be.”
Robert Plant at his sexiest. Seriously, don't look at current photos!

Okay, fine, here he is. Time isn't always kind to the beautiful.

2.     Freddie Mercury: Now I’ve mentioned Freddie before, because I adore the man, the voice, the music and the persona. That man’s voice was out-of-this world beautiful and I’ve known sopranos who can’t belt like this man could. Favorite tunes backing up this theory: “Bohemian Rhapsody” (duh), “We Are the Champions” and “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy.”
3.     Prince (“Little Red Corvette” or anything, really. He's the smallest/sexiest man of all time.)
Prince. Sigh.

    4. Beck ("Debra")
   5. Michael Jackson
   6. Justin Timberlake
   7. Steven Tyler ("Crazy"...I mean, holy shit.)
   8. Smokey Robinson
   9. Art Garfunkel (or was his entire singing range in the falsetto?)

    10. Axl Rose
         11. James Brown
    12. Adam Levine
    13. Steve Winwood
    14. Pete Townsend
    15. Frankie Valli***
    16. Sting
    17. Michael McDonald
    18. Jackie Wilson
    19. Eddie Kendricks
   I’m sure this list will be updated a bunch of times. I called Gabe to weigh in, and she reminded me of several of the above-mentioned names. We also discussed how we shouldn’t count men whose voices have such a high octave range that they were never required to sing in falsetto. That’s cheating. Also, if a dude is screechy or whiney at the falsetto range, he’s disqualified (Mick Jagger). And if we don't like the man or his music, he is also not in the running (think Kanye West).
     But, I’d also like to include some honorable mentions. This is the list of men who really tried to hit the high notes, and maybe shouldn’t have, but did an admirable job nonetheless:
1.     Paul McCartney
2.     Trey Anastasio
3.     Steven Page
  You got others? Please let me know!
  Okay, so this isn’t an important issue, really, but there’s something supremely sexy about a man hitting those high notes. Kind of like how Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show is superlatively sexy dressed as a woman. It’s that whole gender-bending phenomenon, without the tights and the wigs. I’m somewhat tempted to put Robert Smith on this list, but I won’t because I’m pretty sure I only think his voice is high because he wore lipstick all the time.
*"Little Red Corvette" by Prince. Just sing that line to yourself. Can you hear that falsetto in your mind?
**I was never prom queen.

***Thanks for the reminder, Mom.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"What a cool eye you are, Melly. Now go back to bed, you'll be dead if you don't."*

        Well, I’m pretty much moved in. I got up to some projects the other night (namely finishing one more chair and finding places for my books that don’t involve drilling holes in the wall…yet). And since, as I’ve brought up time and again, I don’t have cable, I decided to watch a movie. Or twelve. But mostly I watched Gone With the Wind, and scraped and moved and recited lines and cried a little bit (just at the end, you understand).

        Gone With the Wind isn’t something I have the time or inclination to get into in detail: most everyone knows the story, and it’s widely considered one of the best movies ever made. I hope to god they don’t try to remake it, because that just seems fiddle-dee-frickin’ dumb. It’s “practically perfect in every way”, and I know what I’m talking about because I read the book just about every year. So there. 
Melly stands by Scarlett, even though Scarlett is a bit of a whore.

        What I do want to talk about is how it recognizes the power of female friendships, and it recognizes them in a funnily truthful way and not in a heinous, catty bitch way (though there’s a bit of that, too). Scarlett and Melanie aren’t a couple of besties who braid each other’s hair and ask each other questions about penises and where babies come from.

        These bitches help each other give birth, watch each other bury loved ones (hell, they help dig the dirt), work their butts off to keep their families alive, kill a few Union soldiers, and assist each other in getting their asses through the Reconstruction without starving to death or getting murdered by Dirty Yankees.

        That ain’t no slumber party. That’s some real female friendship, and I salute it.

        This story teaches us a lesson about the strength of women and the female bond: it’s not all periods and not getting to vote. Gone With the Wind is an epic example of how our best lady friends keep us honest, watch our backs, and try to keep us out of trouble.

        Of course, it wouldn’t be a movie about women without some dudes thrown in to toy with their hormonal fluctuations, but I think Ashley is a big, whiney butthole of a man, and I’m kind of disappointed anyone is interested in him. The movie makes it a bit worse than the book because they cast Leslie-friggin-Howard as Ashley. So Ashley, the “great man of the south”, mysteriously has an English accent despite being raised on a farm in Georgia. But oh well, we can’t have everything. If I were casting that movie, I think I would have picked Errol Flynn. He and Olivia De Havilland were always sexy together. Of course, he was Australian, so there would still have been a bit of an accent. (Why was Vivien Leigh perfectly capable of doing a southern accent and no one else was? She was bloody English as well!) Okay, maybe I’d cast Jimmy Stewart. That would have been hilarious!

        Moving on.

        I don’t like it when movies focus on women hating each other and being nasty assholes to one another. All of my women friends are incredibly powerful, articulate broads who have no insecurities about other dames, no territorial dog-sniffing-dog’s butt attitudes about other ladies. Those women exist, for sure. But they aren’t worth bothering about. This movie celebrates both the good and the bad in female friendships and comes out in favor of women supporting and loving one another. Excellent.
Scarlett realizes that Melly is the best relationship of her life.

        And to all my women friends: I love you so much, and none of you has to die before I figure that out (perhaps a shortcoming in Melly and Scarlett’s friendship).
*Scarlett to Melly, when a bed-ridden Melly attempts to help Scarlett kill a Yankee soldier. (Gone With the Wind, Victor Fleming, 1939.)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night and he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger."


    I don't intend to write a full entry at the moment, I just wanted to post a little something because it makes me so freakin' happy, and it doesn't deserve to go unacknowledged.

    I'm looking into the possibility of a new duvet cover and I was scouring eBay for something that was maybe a little unique. And I think I found it:
Ferocious bedding.
    Should this be my new bedding? Roar.
    I think the best part is the way the tiger's face is on all of the pillow shams as well, and the pillows seem to taper off in the distance, like this is the world's longest bed or maybe there's a double-mirror effect in this (obviously artistic) person's bedroom.

    Fierce. Meow.

    That is all.

*Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." And a quote that's nearly as long as this blog entry.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"If you are easily shocked, please look away!"*

    So, you know how when you're moving, you're really careful about hiding things you don't want anyone to ever know about? For some it might be whips and chains or nipple clamps. For others it might be a urine-stained mattress or really old, scary-looking underpants. And for yet others, it might be glamor shots taken at home by oneself after a night of heavy drinking. For me, it's all of the above. Ha ha. I'm kidding. My secret is much worse, and it was discovered a couple of days ago. If you are easily shocked, please look away:
Creepy creature in repose. And touching itself?
    It's a beyond-disturbing puppet-type creature with pink pen-caps for fingernails. Ewwwwwwww.   

    Okay, so to be fair, this ISN'T MINE. I'm pretty convinced it's a prop from my one-time roommate (and all-time awesome friend) Dara's production of a play called The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.**** But try explaining that to Ron and his new roommate, Chad, who now think I'm a sick, twisted weirdo. Which I am, but for TOTALLY DIFFERENT REASONS!

    It's kind of funny, in a way, because years ago my landlord's son, Raffi (who mostly manages my previous apartment building) told my neighbor and friend, Carl, that I was really kinky.
    When Carl told me this I was appalled.
    "Why?" I asked, properly horrified.
    "Because, he said he came to your door and you answered it wearing a blond wig and a black, leather outfit."
    Here's a visual, in case you can't picture it:
Creepy creature in leather.
    I said to Carl that it couldn't have been me: all of my wigs have been packed away since college theatre days and I can rarely afford real leather ANYTHING. But Raffi's always treated me funny, so I'm guessing it didn't matter what I said. In his head, I'll always be a bleach-blonde sadomasochist.**
    The truth is, this terrifying creature isn't mine, and it makes me desperately miss Dara. 
    That’s all I’ve got for now, as my brain is close to dead. 
*From Willow (Ron Howard, 1988). Like, before Ron Howard was a big time, splashy director. One of the best movies EVER MADE. And Warwick Davis is still going strong! Hooray!
**Coincidentally, in college I had to do a term project for one of my French classes. I made a children's book about the Marquis de Sade. I just thought it would be funny. I'm not into that shit. Ew. Not that I'm judging.
***As a final note, in no way related to the above: it's really sad news that Davy Jones died. He was pretty great. "Oh what could it mean to a daydream believer and a homecoming queen?" Sigh.

****Correction, the puppet is from Dara's production of A Vast Wreck. The puppet played a little boy and was hand-crafted by a master puppeteer, thus giving it clout and history. Awesome.