In just a few days it will be November, perhaps one of my favorite months. I will turn another year older, delight in the cooling, colorful fall weather, and watch men everywhere become extra scruffy as they grow out their Movember Mustaches. As I have always had difficulty growing a mustache myself, I will instead be participating in National Novel Writing Month.
A few years back I decided to attempt the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days. I had no plan other than some character ideas and a sense of adventure. I discovered after a difficult 20,000 words that having an idea of the plot is also sort of important. This year I am attempting it again. I have a better idea of my story, its characters and plot.
I love writing and the catharsis it provides. Though I have never excelled that much at fiction, I am excited for the challenge. I am excited to see how my story will unfold and what that experience will be like. I don’t expect to write anything spectacular or even very readable, but I want to see if I can do it.
Sooooooooooo I have had my period for 2.5 weeks (uh huh, thanks stress, thanks) and there are lice in my classroom and my students totally stole my voice so now I sound like a chain-smoking old lady who has a squeak toy caught in her throat and this morning I came into work and there was a giant (at least 4ft, maybe 10ft) cockroach in my coffee mug and I couldn’t help but think that some days are just more stabby than others. And Autocorrect keeps trying to change stabby to “stubby” and there is NOTHING STUBBY ABOUT MY DAY, Autocorrect. It. Is. Stabby.
But even though I am feeling extra stabby and have the current sex appeal of a, well, a chain-smoking old lady who has a squeak toy caught in her throat, Taylor Swifts new album, 1989 came out today and I totally have no shame about how much I LOVE her new pop sound and I keep listening to it on repeat while dancing around my apartment squeaking out, ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS YET ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS YET ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS
Also, I have a fun new hair cut, so maybe life isn’t the worst. Just. Stabby.
I think my fish, Edgar Allen Poe is depressed. And I know, maybe you’re thinking that it’s because I named him Edgar Allen Poe and that’s just sort of his deal, but my other fish, Sylvia Plath, is happy as can be, so that’s definitely not it. He is sort of mopey and the other day my mom was convinced he was dead because he was “floating” and I tried to explain to her that floating is what fish sort of naturally do and it’s only when they are floating upside down that one should worry. He is not floating upside down. He’s just moping.
Normally, I wouldn’t pay too much mind to this, we all get bad weeks and I can only assume fish are the same way, but my last fish, Allen Ginsberg maybe committed suicide by propelling himself out of his dwelling and flip flopping across my living room. I don’t want the same thing for Edgar.
I tried reading him some poetry. Sylvia loves it when I read poetry of her namesake. Edgar seemed indifferent. Besides keeping his water level low enough that he can’t possibly off himself, I’m not sure what to do.
I’d like to say that the reason I live without a microwave is because I’m one of those people who cares about things like toxins and health, but I regularly eat Lucky Charms by the box full, so clearly my body is only sometimes my temple.
No, the reason I don’t own a microwave is far less soap boxy. It started when the minute plus button stopped working and I was only slightly annoyed that I actually had to punch in the 1-0-0 and start because I am super lazy, which is why I owned a microwave. Then the 2 button broke, so I had to be a bit crafty and punch in 1-5-9 if I needed something to cook for two minutes. If it needed more than 2 minutes, it better need no less than 3! Then the stop button broke, so I would just keep the door open when I wasn’t using it, because I am a problem solver.
Finally, a few months after that first button broke, the whole thing self destructed and I bid it a fond farewell as I tossed it into the dumpster.
The thing is, I had every intention of replacing it because microwaves are super convenient! But I am also super lazy and busy so I didn’t really get around to it. And the longer I put off getting a new one, the more I started realizing that I kind of liked all the of the extra counter space and it really wasn’t so much more work to heat things up in the oven or on the stove than by punching a few buttons.
So I decided to make a decision that started out of laziness into a more purposeful one, and I have lived for almost a year now without a microwave. I kind of love it. I replaced it with a smaller, much more useful toaster oven, which I LOVE because I always made toast using the broiler and it usually came out burnt or at the very least never evenly toasted.
I highly recommend a microwave-free life. It opens up more space, cuts down the toxins (in case your body is also sometimes your temple) and I love the (only slightly) extra time it takes to cook up a meal for myself. It feels good and sometimes even makes me reconsider those boxes of Lucky Charms (but only sometimes).
I have decided to chop off a lot of my hair. It’s long and pink and I’m antsy and in need of something I can change and control in the chaos and cacophony of my life right now and it’s either cut my hair or get another tattoo and since I have no idea what my next tattoo is going to be (yet), hair cut, it is.
I’m not daring enough to go Audrey pixie short, so I’m thinking of something in the mid-short range. If I could pull off the major side part with wispy bangs, I would totally go T-Swift on this, but her hair is probably made of pixie dust and rainbows and mine has a cowlick and I cannot shampoo it with unicorns blood (which is what I am assuming she uses). So I googled medium hair cuts for thin, straight hair and as I was scrolling though dozens and dozens of celebrity women, BAM! Zac Efron with perfectly messy-quaffed, wispy side bangs and side part.
He probably also uses unicorn blood. Damn rich celebrities.
I have my appointment on Saturday so we’ll see what happens.
It has been an entire week since I last posted and I’d like to say that it’s because I was off galavanting on some great adventure or because of some other exciting excuse, but mostly it was because my job is soul sucking and then I got food poisoning and barfed ALL the barfs of the world. It was not my prettiest moment.
When not barfing and grading papers though, I managed to slip in an adventure or two, so check back this week because I PROMISE to tell you all about them. And one of them involves booze, and booze makes everything better.
As an I’m sorry for not writing, I leave you with this link to Buzzfeed‘s “This is What Happens When You Send Tinder Guys The Emails From You’ve Got Mail”. It’s my favorite thing right now.
Anne Shirley is right and I am glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. This is shaping up to be a great one. I attended my first Comic Con, I ate eggs and jammed with The Head And The Heart (or at least part of them) in my living room, the smell of death is sort of almost gone from my car (if I drive with all of the windows open) and in one week my mom will arrive to visit with a whole box of cider doughnuts from western, NY.
I was also nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Gina at Endearingly Wacko and I am so flattered! She is both endearing and wacko and she can come to a dinner party at my house any time and we will compare our bedside table book stacks. Check her out. She speaks Russian and tells funny stories about her kids.
I also learned that I am NOT the only person who doesn’t like pumpkin spice flavored everything, which has felt like a real win! I mean, I love me some pumpkin bread or pumpkin soup, but pumpkin spiced lattes? Gross, people. Gross. Of course, John Oliver is the one who has my back on this rage against the pumpkin spice obsession, so I’m probably still pretty un-American for not jumping on this bandwagon.
I also spent a lot of time on the internet pinning the nerdiest things I can find on the internets and tweeted a lot of pictures of Elizabeth Bennet. Because she is the GREATEST!
Today was going to be the perfect kind of Sunday. I met up with a friend for brunch in the morning and then I made my way home where I promptly put on my pi’s, crawled back into bed and settled in for a day of writing and watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Perfection. Then one of the girls who is staying with me this weekend for ACL Festival, came in and asked, “Hey, is it cool if the guitar player from The Head And The Heart comes over for brunch?”
So I spent my afternoon in my living room with my two delightfully hipstery houseguests and Josiah Johnson eating eggs and talking about music and life. It was only slightly awkward when we were introducing ourselves to each other and I said, “yeah, it’s super nice to meet you. I’ve actually photographed you on a number of occasions” (because in my other life, I am also a music blogger).
He was super cool and genuine and the best part of the whole thing is that he indulged us with a killer jam session. We sang and played and I thought I might all but burst for the pure joy of it all. Because loudly belting out and harmonizing along to Down In the Valley with awesome friends and musicians in my living room with the windows open and a fall breeze blowing through IS euphoria. Cooper even decided to get in on the action. And killed it!
Every once in a while my life is a little too ridiculous even for me and it is in those moments that I maybe, possibly, might succumb to a little white lie or two. But I never feel that bad about it because MOST of my story is always true and let’s be real about it, EVERYBODY tells a white lie every once in a while to make themselves look cooler. Right??
But in honor of Euphoria Girl and not being afraid of being a total idiot sometimes, here is my confession:
The Story of the Smelly Car
I have the incredible luxury of living only a few blocks from my job, which means that I can often go for several days without getting into my car. It is because of this luxury that something can die in it, fester, and grow maggoty without my catching it in due time.
I drove my car on a Monday night and thought it smelled a little bit like farts. Normally I am the one responsible for the fart smell in my car, but I’ve been laying off the dairy lately and this was just a little worse than what I am capable of. It was probably something I’d driven by.
By Wednesday, it smelled like something had taken a giant poo in my car and the smell was quite pungent. I keep my car pretty clean, but I’d left a pair of muddy boots in there from Utopia Fest and maybe they were covered in more than just mud? So I emptied my car, checked under the seats, and finally brought my wellies in and washed them. Problem solved.
Until Thursday when it was clear that death had happened. Only death could make the kind of thick, putrid, scoop it up with my hands and let it drip between my fingers smell. But I had to get to my chiropractor appointment before I could take it to get cleaned and I drove with all the windows down and my head out the window like an excited dog. Only I wasn’t excited. I was trying not to add barf smell to the death smell. Sitting in the waiting room I realized I had brought it in with me and that my life was far too quickly becoming a Seinfeld episode!! On the way back, I pulled in to get take out and the woman at the window turned to tell me the price of my burger and fries and had to catch her breath and she turned her head back in towards the fresh smell of fried things as she kept talking and bless her heart she was trying to be so polite. So I cleaned out my car. I vacuumed every crevice, scrubbed every surface and then sprayed the carpet with a thick layer of foaming cleaner. I WILL USE ALL THE CHEMICALS!! I said.
By Friday morning I could smell my car from a good 10 feet away in the parking lot. Well shit. So Friday afternoon I rolled up my sleeves and popped open the hood of my car and took a look around. Except I have no idea where to look for a dead thing under the hood of my car! I was sort of hoping there’d be a giant raccoon body festering and frying on top of the engine. That would be SUPER gross, but definitely identifiable and I could say something like, “Welp, that is OBVIOUSLY what is making that smell!” Except there was no dead raccoon. Or any kind of dead body that was obviously making the smell! I looked deeper and touched things and called my brother and said, “if you were a mouse and decided to die in a car, where would you crawl to?” He mentioned some technical device in my car that I didn’t know how to find and I decided he was no help to me. Also, the smell was a whole lot more nonexistent near all the engine parts and maybe it wasn’t there after all.
This is where the lie comes in because I told everyone that I found some sort of dead rodent under the hood of my car. Because that is totally a thing that happens to people. “Oh, it must have crawled in there and died,” is what people said. “Uh Huh. Yup.” Is what I answered. The TRUTH is that I threw my hands up in the air and yelled “WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS SMELL COMING FROM” and opened up all of my doors and started searching under every seat and floor mat AGAIN and there, underneath the passenger seat, wedged all the way to the side was a bag of dead mice COVERED in maggots. That’s right. A bag of used-to-be-frozen mice (because it wasn’t one mouse. It was three) that I had bought for taxidermy the weekend before had fallen.
I walk of shamed all the way down my parking lot with the festering, dripping, maggot covered bag of rotting mouse carcasses and threw it in the dumpster.
Because sometimes I rockstar at life.
And sometimes I accidentally leave mice in my car to rot in the Texas heat for several days.
There is a funky shop down the street from me that sells found objects and art of a generally large statuesque nature. I have often marveled at the random and grossly expensive pieces and wonder who buys them. Obviously many don’t. Some of the weirdo pieces have been there for at least the past four years of my passing them by. Then the other day I walked by and saw this big fella and I totally get it because he is amazing and would look SO PERFECT in my (fictional) backyard (because I am poor and don’t have a backyard)! He is even holding out his hand to give me five like we’re already best friends. Or maybe he is creating a perch so Cooper can sit there and they can plot things together. Barnabas (he NEVER goes by Barney, except with Cooper because they’re such old friends) seems like the plotting type. Oh Barnabas, someday I’ll get that backyard!