Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

19 February 2013

When Fat Days go rogue

*Author's note:  I become vaguely serious in this blog posting.  I apologize in advance.  I'll try not to let it happen again.

I woke up this morning roughly sixteen times fatter than I was yesterday.  No lie.  I don't know how it happened... Last night I went to bed, just regularly fat, and this morning I woke up so fat that I practically needed a fork lift to get me out of bed.

(My biggest fear in life is the death scene in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, when their 500 lb mother dies and they burn the house down rather than have her dead body hoisted out of the house on a crane.  I was so horrified when I saw that movie that I mentally added a clause to my as-yet unwritten will:  "Upon death, burn house down around me rather than tear down a wall of the house to remove my enormous carcass.")

It's not the first time this has happened, either (sudden Fat Days,  not wall removal to extricate me from a house)... It's a strange phenomenon that occurs every once in a while, like when the earth is slightly tilted on it's axis or pigs fly or some other freak event.  

(If this has never happened to you then I don't want to know you.)

I knew a Fat Day had arrived when I woke up at 4:30 a.m. (in the morning, Joanie) to pee.  I heaved myself out of bed, feeling bloated and out of sorts.  The gianormous t-shirt that I wear to as a nighty felt tight and constrictive.  My underpants were cutting me in half and my skin was so snug that it felt like sausage casing.  I waddled to the bathroom, each step echoing through the house like the sound of dinosaurs arriving in Jurassic Park, causing me to fear that I would go plummeting through the floor and wind up wedged like Winnie the Pooh in the Honey Tree, my fat little upper body protruding through the floor boards, where I would stay until summer, or at least until I was thin enough to be shoved through by Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga and Roo.

And Eeyore.  I'd probably need Eeyore, too.

Because I had suddenly became that fucking fat.

I don't know what it is about Fat Days.  They can happen in the blink of an eye, without a moment's notice.  

I'm going to take a little detour into Seriousville (sorry... I won't take long) and look back at my Fat Days through the years.  (Not each individual day... we don't have time for that.)

I was never a fat kid, but I was raised to believe I was.  When I look back at pictures of myself as a child, I was a normal sized little girl.  I had a brief chubby stint in 4th grade that is immortalized forever in a hideous photograph of me wearing the most unflattering bathing suit ever made, ever, standing at the swimming hole at Bedrock Park in Oroville, California... giant toothy grin on my face, flecks of fool's gold making me sparkle and shine (the water at Bedrock Park actually looked like liquid gold because of all the pyrite floating on the surface), belly protruding like I'd just downed a pony keg, fat little knees attached to fat little thighs...

I hate that picture.

And naturally, my mother loves it so much that she had it blown up and framed.

(Upon her death, that picture will be destroyed before the morgue is called.  My sister and I have a deal.)

She's also the person who put me in that horrible bathing suit to begin with.  It was pink, puckered, and emphasized every single fat roll on my vulnerable and insecure little body.

And so it went.  My mother had me on a diet from the age of 8 through high school... even the summer I weighed 80 lbs and lived primarily on hard boiled eggs and air.  And I would climb on the scale every morning, frantically praying that I weighed 79 lbs instead of 80 because if I could only get below 80 lbs, I would be perfect.

When I weighed 79 lbs, the school counselor called my mother and asked her if she'd noticed her daughter had a slight eating disorder.

Naturally, my parents hadn't noticed.

Not that I blame them, really... my mother's head is just as screwed up as mine is regarding weight.  Even at 70 she still thinks if she could get down to 105 she'd be just fine.  In reality, she weighs around 145 and looks great.  (Though she could use a fashion consultant.  And a lip wax.  Desperately.)  In her mind, she's morbidly obese.

It's probably a good thing I don't have daughters.

So anyway, Fat Days are as much a part of my DNA as my hazel eyes, short legs, and adorable little button nose.  (My nose is seriously cute.  It gives me comfort on Fat Days.  I'm all, "Yeah, I'm fat, but check out my nose.")  Fat Days are the reason God made yoga pants.  Fat Days are why I love winter: because I can hide behind a long, bulky sweater.  Fat Days are why God invented vodka.

(More about vodka later.)

I rolled downstairs this morning wondering if my chubby little legs would be able to hold me up, made coffee (I love my Keurig) and shuffled off to the couch to sip the Nectar of the Gods and contemplate life.

True... but it's only 7:30 in the morning.

I needed another thought.

Then a little voice came out of nowhere (my ass, maybe?) and said, "Dude... you're smart, you're funny, and gosh darnit, people like you."

So I answered, "Riiiight... but isn't being a funny fat person kind of a cliche?  You know how I feel about cliches."

Then the little voice said, "True dat, yo... but you're a sacastic, somewhat snotty bitch often enough that no one would ever actually call you jolly.  Because "jolly" would totally be the kiss of death."

Me:  "I know, right?  The kiss of death... for them.  Because I'd kill the motherfucker that called me jolly."

(What?  You don't have long conversations with the little voice coming out of your ass?)

This is how my ass and I converse.

Long story short, after much contemplation, I came to a conclusion:

Makes perfect sense to me.

The best cure for a Fat Day is good hair, killer make-up, and a trip to the liquor store at some point during the day.

(True story:  I was running errands with my 9 year old niece, who is mentally disabled.  I made a quick stop at the liquor store to pick up some vodka and she looked up from the backseat, where she was absorbed in her Leapster game, and said in a bored voice, "Are we at the vodka store?"  My shame was palpable.)

And at least once today, I'm going to feel good about myself.  No matter what.  Even if it's just to put a sparkly new nose ring into my fabulous nose.  Because I'm worth it.


11 February 2013

The one with the Regional Dialect

You mean you didn't??

So a few weeks ago I was informed that I speak with a "regional dialect" that identifies me as being From Somewhere Else.

You're not One Of Us...

I sound Too Californian.

Which apparently is Not A Good Thing.

How is being from California not a good thing??  

No Habla.

And I was told I need to Tone It Down.

(The reason being that in my new job as a Professional Ninja I need to be somewhat incognito.  I'm supposed to blend.  Which, it turns out, I don't.  Huh.)

I'm the one in the middle.

I have to admit, I was flummoxed.

And completely distracted by the term "Regional Dialect."

What does that mean???

When I think I'm using words am I actually speaking in the clicks and winks that are indigenous to My People?  Am I the only one who doesn't know I'm not speaking English??

If I'm not speaking English, what the hell am I speaking???

I took my query to the streets.  (IE:  My husband and his family, all native New Yorkers.)

Me:  "So it turns out I have a "regional dialect."  What the hell does that mean??  Were you aware of this nonsense?"

Dan:  *choking on his own obnoxious laughter*  "And you weren't?"

Me:  "Okay, I get that I don't sound like you... mainly, because I'm from California and we don't do the whole talking through the nose thing, but regional dialect?  What the frick does that even mean?"

Dan:  "I dare you to try to have a conversation without saying, "I'm, like..." or "And he's, like..."  or "And we're all, like..."


Dan:  "Go ahead... try."


Okay, seriously... is that even, like, possible?  Because I'm pretty sure it isn't.

See?  It's in my DNA, yo.

Me:  "Dude, seriously... I spent 48 years of my life as a Californian.  I'm pretty sure it's called The Golden State because it's, like, the best state.  And how in the hell am I supposed to tone down something I'm not even aware I'm doing??"

I'm sorry... is this a problem?

Dan:  "I'll help you."

And so it began.

Me:  "Oh my God, I'm like..."

Dan:  *clicking remote control zapper on my electric shock collar*

Me:  "Dude!  For real!  Seriously!  They're all like..."

Dan:  *zap*

Me:  "What the hell everrrr..."

Dan:  *zap*

Okay, he didn't really have a zapper and I didn't really have a shock collar but as it turns out, nothing short of drastic measures is going to correct my speech.  Even when I think about it there are certain words and pronunciations that I just can't change.  (Without extensive speech therapy, at any rate.)

I found out the hard way that I don't think... I just talk.  (I'm not sure that counts as a "regional dialect", however... but apparently in New York, it's a Strictly California thing that makes me stick out like a sore thumb.  Who knew?)

This is not a good thing.

I vowed to never speak again.

I seriously had no idea that wasn't how everybody did it until I moved here.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I'd made myself that promise and The Stupidest Thing Ever Said By Anybody, Ever flew out of my mouth Saturday evening.

It went like this:

The whole Fam Damily loaded up to go see the Ice Castle in Saranac Lake, NY.  (Explain this to me, please... The town is called Saranac Lake, but the lake in the town is not Lake Saranac.  In fact, there IS no Lake Saranac.  The lake in Saranac Lake is actually Lake Flower.  And *I* sound like a dumbass??  Hello, New York?  This is kettle.  You're black.)

The ice castle was fabulous and the theme this year was Under The Sea.  There were ice carvings of dolphins, whales, sharks... King Neptune guarded the entrance and there was a real lobster frozen into a block of ice adorning the castle wall.

I have no idea why, but that damn lobster totally captivated me.  

I mean, it was a lobster frozen in a giant block of ice.

On the way home, the girls were asked what they liked best.

Niece 1:  "I liked the dolphin."

Niece 2:  "I liked the shark."

Aunt Dani:  "I liked the lobster.  Do you think it was in the ice when they pulled it out of the lake and they just left it there?"

*insert sound of dead silence*


Dan:  "Dani, there aren't any lobsters in the lake."

Me:  "Well, how do I know?  I don't know where you guys go lobster hunting here."




Me:  "Oh, wait..."

I'd be sooooo sparkly...

Anyway, after some deep thought I came to the conclusion that being told to "tone down" my "regional dialect" was my new supervisor's uber polite way of telling me to think before I speak.  

Now I'm wondering what incredibly stupid shit I said that inspired her to make that request...

Are you suggesting that I'm not??

06 February 2013

This one time, at Ninja Training...

I had a hard time staying awake during my first day of Ninja Training.

The room was dark and warm, the voices were soothing, and I was running so late that morning (due to circumstances beyond my control) that I didn't have time for coffee.

I KNOW.  Like it's even remotely possible to be a Ninja without coffee.  (It isn't.  It's the first rule of Ninja School:  1.  Drink coffee.  I can't tell you what rules 2 through 10 are, because then I would have to kill you.)

It has been riDONKulously cold here.  Naturally, everyone has been reminding me about all the bitching and moaning I did last winter, when it was uncharacteristically warm and un-snowy (if I'm going to be stuck in the northeast, dammit, it had better freaking snow, especially after the hell, humidity and mosquitoes that is summer)... But you guys, my hair froze yesterday morning when I took the dogs out.

My hair froze.

I'm not sure you are understanding the enormity of what I'm saying, so I'm going to repeat myself one more time:


I had to get up uber early so I could shower, shave, get dressed, do my hair, beautify America (it's the least I can do), etc.  Unfortunately, when I get up, so do Javi and Maisy.

Maisy and Javi, respectively.

And when they get up, it goes like this:

Javi:  "Arf!  Arf!  Arf!  Arf!  Arf!"

*In case you don't speak Pomeranian, that means "I want to go out!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!"

And he ARFS until I take him out.  It's nothing short of really, really irritating, as his sharp little-dog barks are akin to having someone stab you in the ears repeatedly with an ice pick.

Since I had just gotten out of the shower, my hair was wet.  I nudged and whacked Dan with a pillow to try to get him up so that HE could take the dogs out, but he managed to fake sleep longer than I could tolerate Javi's relentless "arf"-ing, so I put on my clothes, coat and boots, muttered an obscenity at my husband, and stomped down the stairs with the bouncing and arfing critters, who had no friggin' idea how cold it was outside.

This is how cold it was:

The second I stepped out the door, my nose sealed shut, my eyes started watering, my ears began burning, and my hair froze.

Exactly like this.

Little Javi, who weighs 4 lbs, hiked his little leg to pee and literally froze in place.

Maisy refused to pee anywhere that snow might touch her delicate epidermis so naturally, she squatted on the porch.

(Well, wouldn't you?)

I started my car, checked the temperature (I don't have anything as mundane as an outdoor thermometer... when I want to know how cold it is, I turn on my car) and it was minus 9 degrees.

I wondered if that meant my training was cancelled.  I mean, seriously... who the hell expects anyone to leave the house when it's minus 9 freaking degrees?  I consulted my husband, a native New Yorker, who woke up long enough to laugh at me, mock me for all of my whining about it not being cold enough last winter, and tell my California ass that businesses don't close and people still have to go to work when it's negative degrees.


Californians have way more sense than that.  That's all I'm saying.

Shut the FRONT door... the HELL you say!

Suck it, bitches.  //word

Anyway, so that's why I was running late and didn't have time for coffee...

Because my hair froze and it took me half an hour to warm up my car long enough that I wouldn't have to scrape the ice off myself.

(Ninja's do not do their own ice scraping.  It is written.)

(I don't care if I have to warm up my car for three hours before I go somewhere... I'm not standing out there in the frozen tundra of northern New York with an ice scraper.)

Long story short, falling asleep aside, my first day of training went well.

I managed to revive myself by drinking two cups of the scorched coffee that was available and drink a bottle of ice water.

It's amazing how awake you can stay when you desperately need to pee.

I'm pretty sure I missed the entire last hour of the seminar because all I could focus on was how full my bladder was and wondering how long it would be before I suffered a pipe bursting.  (Can that even happen?  Can your bladder explode?  I mean, I'm sure it can, but CAN it really just because you drank too much coffee and water and have to go to the bathroom but are in a really boring seminar and wonder what the protocol is about getting up in the middle of a lecture and going to the bathroom?  What IS the protocol on that, anyway?  Do you raise your hand?  Do you just get up and nonchalantly saunter out as if you own the place?  Do you announce, "I need to pee... hang on a sec."  I really have no idea.)


Other things that crossed my mind during the seminar:

1.  Cool... I'm not the fattest person here.  (Always a concern of mine.)

2.  Dear God some of these people are ugly.  (I know, I know... I'm shallow.  Shocking, I'm sure.)

3.  Who the fuck does their hair??

4.  Black girls should never wear a tan sweater with tan slacks and a dark brown scarf.  (Don't ask.  Just know that it's true.)

5.  Who the hell has a seminar without offering snacks?  (Not that I would eat any... I don't eat in front of strangers.  I figure if maybe they don't see me eat, they'll assume I'm not really this fat.  But still, it would have been nice of them to at least offer.)

6.  Why do fat nerdy guys always have the most bad-ass tattoos?  Like Fatty Geekboy over there is gangsta.

7.  I'm wayyy more gangsta than Fatty Geekboy.

8.  My Betty Boop tattoos are soooo gangsta.  Suck it, Fatty Geekboy.

9.  Dayum, there's a lot of fatties here.  Hmmmm...

Word to the wise:

Come the Zombie Apocalypse, a lot of really fat Ninjas with bad hair will be coming to your rescue.

Now you know.


04 February 2013

The one with the job

*Author's note:  No NorthEasterners were injured in this blog.  Offended, possibly... but not injured.  

So after almost two years of life-sucking unemployment, I finally got a J-O-B.

(Go ahead and bask in the glow of the awesomeness of my announcement... I'll wait.)

I can't tell you what it is or go into too much detail (because I was hired by the CIA) but suffice it to say, I am once again a useful member of society.

Dear Walmart,

I'm sorry you didn't feel I was worthy of being hired by your store.  The State of New York, however, doesn't have your high standards and snapped my ass right up for twice the pay and 100 times the dignity.



Actually, I was hired over a month ago, but because of the highly confidential and Top Secret status of my new employment (I'm officially a Ninja), I had to have a background check (which included me having to list every.single.address I've inhabited over the past 28 years... no lie), show excessive amounts of proof that I am who I said I am and can do what I said I can do, get fingerprinted and then wait for the results of THAT to come back...

I was so stressed, y'all.

Because I'm always afraid there's something dark and heinous in my past that I don't know about.  And even though I've been fingerprinted 56430595712 times before, I'm always positive that this time, the truth will come out.

And it will be baaaaad.

I mean, as far as I know, I'm a law-abiding citizen who never even eats grapes in the produce section of the grocery store because that's stealing.  I've never been arrested (or have I??), never had to hide from the law (wait... did I??), and have only had one speeding ticket in my entire life, where I was going 57 in a 55 in Medford, Oregon, and the cop was such a dick that he made me cry.  

(Word to the wise:  Don't speed in the state of Oregon.  As Officer Asshole said to me, "55 means 55, young lady.  It don't mean 56 and it don't mean 57."  Officer Asshole was highly quotable, as you can well see.)

So anyway, for almost a month I worried myself sick about what my fingerprints and background check would turn up.

Did I rob a bank at gun point??

Am I a remorseless bigamist??

Pirate?  Renegade?  Lawless Vigilante???  

Did I shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die???

As it turns out, no.  I didn't do any of those things (dammit).  And if I did, they haven't found out yet, or I was clever enough not to leave prints.  Because I was cleared for hire.

Suck it, skeletons in my closet.

And my training starts tomorrow.

I'm nervous and excited.  I'm excited because I will be doing something rather new, but that I feel confident I'll be good at.  (Ninja-ing.  I will kick ASS at Ninja-ing.)

I'm nervous because what if I don't remember how to act in public??  It's been so long since I've been in a work environment... what if I accidentally say "fuck!" at an inappropriate time??  What if I lean to the side and casually eke out a fart because I forgot I'm not the only person in the room??  What if all I can talk about is the morning programming on TV Land and no one else cares what's happening on Murder She Wrote??  What if I start talking and can't stop???

These are all very legitimate concerns, let me assure you.  

My former co-workers in California were used to me talking non-stop, for hours at a time.  As evidenced by my blog, I am an over-sharer and have very limited boundaries, as far as what I deem to be conversation-worthy.  (Everything.  Everything is conversation-worthy.  Except sex.  I don't talk about sex.  Except with people I know and feel comfortable with, which is pretty much everyone.  SHIT.)  But this is the east coast and people here don't find me charming.  They find me overly relaxed, overly friendly, and quite frankly, I scare them when I say hi and start talking about the weather.  My California-ness, it appears, is not appreciated in this neck of the woods.

But I don't know how to be anything else.

I always thought that the west coast/east coast stereotypes were just that... stereotypes with little basis on reality.

This may shock you, but I was wrong.

I am a fish out of water.  And I look like one.

My personality, which I personally find delightful, is considered to be slightly less than that in most northern New York circles.  Some even find me annoying.  

This just in, California:  We really are pretty chill.  Maybe not to the degree that we're portrayed in Coming Of Age college movies, but chill none-the-less.  We speak more slowly, we laugh more easily, we're friendlier and let's face it, not the tight-asses our East Coast cousins may or may not be.  (Totally are.)

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

East Coasters are proper.  They are in a hurry, they are rude (they prefer "blunt" but I'm here to tell you... you're rude) and  believe the rules of the road are merely a suggestion.  They say what they mean, mean what they say, and say very little else.  

It's maddening for a girl who can carry on a 2 hour conversation with absolutely anyone and only talk about superficial things, like shoes.

I can talk my ASS (and yours) off about shoes.

An example of a conversation that really happened:


The living room, watching the news with Dan and his parents.


Badly dressed, homely woman with hideous hair being interviewed about something or other that was apparently news-worthy.

Dan and his parents:  *discussing whatever the woman was being interviewed about*

Me:  "That haircut is soooo not flattering for her."

Dan and his parents:  *looking at me as if I'd sprouted another head*

Me:  "What?  Her hair is awful.  Why do people insist on wearing the same hairstyle they've had since 1982?  Don't they notice that fashion has changed and no one else in the entire freaking world still has feathered bangs?"

Dan:  "Is that seriously all you got out of that?"

Me:  *feeling uncomfortable, since even Captain Asperger is stunned by my lack of empathy*

Long story short, I don't talk about news and current events any more.

So flash backward to my job interview:

I was on my best behavior.  I didn't laugh too much, I didn't crack any jokes... All I could think about was the episode of Friends where Phoebe helps Chandler practice for his interview.  In my head I was all, "Please don't say duties... please don't say duties..."

(If you don't know what I'm talking about then I'm sorry, but we can't be friends.  Can't be Friends... get it?  Bwa ha ha!)

(In case you still want to be friends but also want to know what I was referring to.)

I was hired on the spot.  (I know, right?  I was surprised, too.)

I've had several meetings with various supervisors in preparation for when I start (should I turn out not to be a felon after all) and even though they are all very nice and sweet, there is one thing missing from all of them:

The ability to not take me literally.

And this is a theme I've noticed in almost every conversation I've had with almost every person I've ever met here:

They allll take me literally.

I need to have a card printed up that I can just hand people before we begin our conversations:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm full of shit.  Don't listen to me.  



Deal with it.