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I’m not sure what is going with me these days, but I am discovering that I have turned into a passive-aggressive bitch from hell.

Walking on my side of the sidewalk? Better change course, buster, or I will run you down. Standing 10 feet away from the counter and still believe you’re next in line? Not when I walk around you and stand in front of the cashier, sweetheart. Standing with your friend talking in front of the only door exiting the building? I think nothing of just barging in between the two of you so I can make my escape. Taking forever to perform your OCD-like experiment with your coffee at the condiment counter? Then I’m the person blatantly invading your personal space, standing three inches behind you, silently urging you to hurry the fuck up.

Maybe it’s stress, maybe school is catching up to me. I’ve been under the gun for three weeks straight spending 12 hours a day in the lab. Or maybe it’s just that people have no zero sense of tactical awareness to know that they are moving against traffic, are holding up the line, are bogarting the creamer, or just generally in the way of people trying to get on with their damn lives.

I’ve got a week off and in the first two days, I watched 8 movies, read a book, went to the gym 4 times, cleaned the apartment, caught up on filing, and dismantled the vacuum cleaner for a thorough cleaning. You’d think I’d be overjoyed to get out, amongst the crowds, soaking in the weirdness of human society that usually tickles me pink.

Instead, I am moody on the verge of outright hostile and want everyone to eff off.

Off to the gym, again, trying to work off this mysterious anger.

Spring is certainly in the air this week and with the feeling of love rekindled, and well, Sex and the City reruns showing the Mikhail Baryshnikov episodes, I felt a bit inspired to check up, again, on my dear, sweet Vladimir.

And aside from selling his House that Russia Built and navigating a small to-do over the 2014 Olympic mascot, Vladimir has been keeping a fairly low international profile. So I found it interesting when Mikhail Gorbachev (yeah, remember him?? ) made a public comment that Vladimir should not seek to run for the presidency.

According to Mr. Gorbachev, eight years of presidency and four as Prime Minister is quite enough for one man to feed off the teet of Mother Russia, so Mr. Putin should just step aside and let someone else take a crack at rolling back democracy and increasing public corruption.

Vladimir, dear heart, sounds like you got on Mr. Perestroika‘s bad side. Maybe you should send him a link to this, I know it always cheers me up when I’m cranky with you.

You behave yourself now, darling…call me

The real suck-o part about being an atheist who goes to a Catholic college is all the damn religion…classes.

Actually, I don’t mind the so much as long as they are not Christian-based. So I am taking Buddhism to fulfill one of my “god” requirements. And I know it’s only the second week of class and a horde of religion scholars are bound to chew me out for this, but I am going to sum Buddhism, comparatively, in one sentence:

Buddhism is a cult of guilt that puts all Catholic and Jewish mothers to shame.

In short: life is a vicious cycle of guilt to be repeated over and over, and trust me, it’s a mother-effer.

With Catholics it’s a pretty straight up and down business deal: do something bad and confess, eff up bad enough and you go to Hell, do okay and you go to Heaven, get stuck in the in between and it’s Limbo or Purgatory.

Jews don’t believe in a heaven or a hell, so all your guilt is contained to this lifetime and, if you fast for one day and say your sorry, and you really, really mean it, your forgiven…beat that….

With Buddhists, however, it’s all in the intent. You desire something not kosher, you act on said non-kosher desire, and you get smacked something awful with karma whereby you go through all the horror that is adolescence again, and again, again, and again…that is, if you are lucky enough to return as something other than microbe on piece of dung.

Seriously, if I am going to be judged on intention alone, I might as well not even bother to leave the starting gate because I already know I’m coming back as a gnat.

Boy, I’d make one lousy ass Buddhist let me tell you. To become enlightened is to live without desire and to live without desire and how awful is that? It’s good to want. I wholly believe that. And desire? I’ll concede that some desire does cause suffering but all desire? Damn, how is a life without desire worth living? Desire is the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

Desire. Anticipation. Want. Craving. Hunger. Ravenousness.

Hell, wanting the cake, desiring the kiss, hunger for the man, craving coffee, anticipation of the result…if that is suffering, I’ll take it. I love those moments. When everything in your body becomes a live-wire. When everything in life hinges on that outcome. When waiting for the outcome becomes the still point of the turning world…love it. Maybe it’s hedonistic, maybe it is gluttonistic (aren’t those Christian terms anyway?).

And for the record, even though sometimes the cake sucks, the kiss is sloppy, the man is a douchebag, the coffee is cold, and the result you were waiting for crushes your soul and changes your life, the moment of the desire was still good. The desire did not disappoint me, just the outcome did….and you won’t convince me otherwise.

Every other year, Sailor and I trade off going back to Detroit or staying here in Erie for  T-Giving or Giftmasukah. Whether I prefer to spend time with his passive-aggressive-big-on-uncomfortable-silences-in between-the-food-and-excessive-drinking-clan or spending time with my own personal verbal-pre-emptive strike-force-with-the-pleasing-tendency-towards-the-excessive-imbibing-of-alcoholic-beverages-that-can only-be-described-as-not a holiday-but-a-24/7-“happy hour”-while-waiting-for-a-good-old-fashion-Irish knife-fight-to-break-out, is simply a matter of asking myself what side of the bed did I wake up on.

Sigh….

I really don’t wanna do it this year.

Honestly, aside from our mutual predilection towards sizing up liquor purchases based on the quality of bottle with which to make a Molotov Cocktail, how the hell did I ever come to share genetic material with these people?

Let us review 2009:

Big Sis engaged in a trans-continental verbal smackdown of La Parentsia after Father Unit spilled the beans to Mother Gossip about something or other where Mother Unit invariably spread the word around the hood. They waged a three month war of Celtic-Silence which translates into not arguing with each other but through all the people in their lives over the phone. They apparently came to an accord but until the treaty is signed I want nothing to do with that mess.

Second Son then got involved, don’t ask how, but Irish-Saga-Made-Short is that he thinks the family needs to forgive him for effing up his first marriage with another woman 7 years older and her own epic tale that results in my brother being husband #3 in as much as 7 years…(which, side note, I actually have forgiven him, in fact, I’m rooting for them as a couple for the simple reason that he will stay married to this harlot forever out of stubborn pride and to prove a point he certainly will not remember in another ten years, and quite frankly, my brother deserves the merry hell that woman will give him until he is dead).

Where was I?

Father and Mother Unit simply refuse to believe they have done anything wrong – ever – even in light of the overwhelming evidence of a gaggle of supremely messed up kids. But then, if their measure for this success centers around the fact that none of us are on an international watch list, yet, or by the fact that none of us have been picked up, drunk, singing Christmas Carols along the freeway in June in the last 10 years, well, they should consider raising the bar.

Of course, there’s also Third Son, aka the 30 year old child still living in my parents’ basement smoking everything but his bed linens and who always seems to be just one step shy of attending a Star Trek convention…He’s been unemployed for a while. His last job, where everyone hated him for his ignorant and racist attitude….well, if it were me, if I knew everyone hated me and then mysteriously, one day, I am asked out to lunch where I am offered a joint…let’s just say I wouldn’t be too surprised at returning to work to find a drug test waiting for me….

First Son is in a tiff with me for un-friending him on Facebook. I just figured that he should save his hate and vitriol for family gatherings and not post that shit on my wall.

Of course, I’m a perfect ray of sunshine. I don’t what the hell is wrong with those other people.

Sailor’s family is supremely uncomplicated by comparison. All I have to do is sit next to Grandma E and remind her who I am every ten minutes until I’m drunk enough to forget who I am to answer. A relatively simple evening, geopolitcally speaking.

I’m thinking we should stay put. I have the excellent excuse of having ventured into No Man’s Land by staying with sister for T-Giving…that should satisfy some quota somewhere. But then, there’s something to be said for tradition…

Morbidity and Mortality, or M & M’s, is a practice where doctors discuss the events surrounding the death of a patient and how they may either prevent futures deaths of that nature or how to perform a better job in general when faced with such events. It sounds sick and twisted, but I get how it can be a useful practice. If we did a post-mortem on all our mistakes in life, we’d be the better for it.

So I’m managing a contract on behalf the school. Lot’s of undergrads, young students, kids really, some of them girls. Thankfully, I have a pretty even-keeled bunch. My cohorts, however, have a much different group of students. And that is where the problem lies. I’m 36, I have years of experience managing companies and people, my fellow managers are 23 without such experience.

There is a young girl, recently turned 21, who is on another team and is going through some “stuff”. My fellow managers have not yet noticed only to say that she is behind on work and may need replacing. They don’t know what to say, what to do, and they are going to turn it over to school faculty to deal with. Clearly, this is something I don’t need to be involving myself with. I am busy with school, busy with life, and no time to be dealing with the turmoils of a 21 year old girl.

But said 21 year old girl is in a class with me and when she got out of her seat the other day, we happened to lock eyes and then I saw it: she’s ready to break. And by break, I mean, utterly ready to lose her shit…mind…shit, whatever…

So I invited her out for a drink, forced her really. I heard her story: break up with her first serious boyfriend, ending an unhealthy friendship, moving out on her own, a sick parent…basically everything that throws you into a tail-spin. She tried to justify it by saying she was just stressed. I told her it was deeper than that and that she was a mess. She admitted she was and began to cry.

I don’t have time for crying. I don’t have time for this girl’s problems. I’m so swamped with school and life at any given time that I can barely keep my head above water. I don’t have time for this girl and her tears.

But she got to me.

She did, she got to me. I know what it’s like to have your world fall down around your ears while trying to deny to yourself that your world isn’t falling down around your ears. I know what it’s like to be cut-off, to not have anyone to talk to. I know what it’s like to be so overwhelmed by the coming weeks that you can’t see your way through the next 24 hours. She got to me.

Mostly though, I know what it is like to be surrounded by women, older women, women with experience, who have been there…and frankly, these women, they could give a damn that you’re there now, in the trenches. They make you dig your own trench, even if that trench is being dug in the wrong direction. Because they are busy with their own lives, or they feel there is something to be learned by digging a trench alone, which truth be told, teaches you nothing. Digging a trench may make you stronger, endure more, but it doesn’t make you smarter, doesn’t prevent you from making the same mistakes that required the trench digging in the first place.

And while I hate those women, I also want to be them. I don’t have time for this. This 21 year old girl and her problems. My own problems are much bigger. But she got to me.

So I heard her out, she received a talking to, and then we made a plan. We planned how she was going to get through the next 24 hours. Then the next 48. Then the weekend. Come Sunday night, the planning starts anew.

She has my number with strict instructions to call if she needs to melt down. Another thing I don’t have time for and I fervently hope she keeps it together and doesn’t call. But if she does calls, I know I’m sucker enough to answer.

By nature, I’m not a particularly good or even nice person. I try, but I usually fail. But Sailor is a nice person, the nicest I know, and I am surrounded by so many nice and good people I wonder why I can’t be the same. My instinct is to take care of myself, my needs, and be selfish with my time. Sure, the girl got to me, but the instinct to pull away remains the same. To not be a nice person. I’m willing to admit that this now, what I’m doing with this girl, is abnormal behavior.

But I’m in it now. I’m hoping for the best. I hope she can pull it around. I know she will because I will make her. I’ve gone out on a limb, now I expect acorns. I’m hoping my involvement remains minimal. I’m hoping this won’t be a massive time suck. I’m hoping there are no more tears.

Because while I want to be a better person, I don’t have the time for it.

lupo_mannaroA mere 40 arbitrary days after smearing oneself with burnt whatever and you get to celebrate the encore performance of a dead Nazarene on stick with pagan bunnies and psychedelic eggs whilst eating cocoa bean by-products from Central America! Top it off with multiple airings of the “Sound of Music” and you, my friend, have the fixins’ for a perfect weekend.

Dammit, I love Easter!!

I don’t know what it is about this holiday that makes me all crazy nut-so insane, but it does. And alas, Sailor Man is off to sea at present so I am wholly unable of yelling him to put some clothes on when he’s talking on the phone to my mother. Not that he walks around naked. And he certainly would never actually talk to my mother on the phone (best not to engage mom in that fashion…at all..took him years, years I tell you, to learn that lesson).

So I am denied my fun.

Seriously, I have got the trouble bug something fierce and that itch needs to be scratched, I tell you. It’s been many, many moons since I’ve gone out to a bar pretending to be a dyslexic stripper from Arkansas with a backwards tattoo on my ass….and I’m surrounded my college kids all day who truly do not know how to go out and create mischief.

Sigh…I really need to get out…something about this time of year makes me wanna howl at the moon…

Believe it or not, I learned this poem sophomore year of Catholic high school. To date, this remains one my favorite naughty poems. Do keep in mind this is posted by woman whose husband is away at sea…

(ponder,darling,these busted statues
of yon motheaten forum be aware
notice what hath remained
–the stone cringes
clinging to the stone,how obsolete

lips utter their extant smile . . . .
remark

a few deleted of texture
or meaning monuments and dolls

resist Them Greediest Paws of careful
time all of which is extremely
unimportant)whereas Life

matters if or

when the your-and my-
idle vertical worthless
self unite in a peculiarly
momentary

partnership(to instigate
constructive
Horizontal
business . . . . even so,let us make haste
–consider well this ruined aqueduct

lady,
which used to lead something into somewhere)

ee cummings

Naughty Haiku For Sailor

Hey, there Sailor Man

When you’re done there at the helm

Come home and take mine

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The pooch shot out the front door last night, when I forgot to close it fully, and promptly darted across the street to see if the young rapscallion pup was out to play.

I tiptoed into The Neighbors’ backyard to retrieve said pooch when I heard music. Poking my head up enough to peer into the window, I saw it.

My alien neighbor family was singing and laughing around the piano. Executive Polo was leading the singing with what looked like a damn smart cocktail in hand. Skort Mama was knitting-yes knitting– while listening to young Sally and Bobby play a duet while harmonizing with dear old dad.

I never would have believed it had not my other neighbor caught me sneaking out of their yard. I had barely begun trying to explain my voyuerism when she pointed to their window: “Yeah, strange, isn’t it?”

Sister, no truer words have been spoken…