Pain, Therapy and Lapin Gardening

So my cousin has posted an ultrasound of her baby on social networking sites. I hate when people do that. First of all it’s icky. Second of all it’s yucky. Third of all it’s tacky. My cousins keep doing this too, as if I want to see the strange sea creature/squirrel shaped parasites invading their abdomens.

Anyway, this ultrasound is really early. So early that it’s mostly space and just this tiny bean you kinda have to look for. There are a million people ‘oohing and aaahing’ in the comments, but I’m terribly tempted to ask her if she’s sure it’s not just a big fart. Trapped gas man, it’s a bitch.

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Okay, so I’m in a fabulous mood, as if you can’t tell. I’m snarky and sarcastic because I’m in an exorbitant amount of pain and there isn’t really anything I can do about it. I can’t even sleep (it’s nearly three a.m.). It’s been about ten months of this, and after numerous tests and one serious week in November where the doctors told me to brace myself for cancer, all they can come up with are shrugs and theories: another mass, a random tiny hernia, or muscle damage. The only way to really tell one way or the other or to do anything about it is to have an exploratory surgery. Now I’m sorry, but I don’t want random surgery. I have many reasons for this, the most significant of which is I’m convinced that the surgeon will come up with nothing or with more shrugs and I will have endured all of this for nothing. Not to mention that the doctors will stop taking my complaining about the pain seriously.

This means that until I decide to do the surgery, or my insides explode, or this stuff takes some kind of turn, every few days I will experience different levels of pain in that area. Tonight (or this morning, rather), I’m hurting badly. I took a pill for the pain but it hasn’t even taken the edge off. So not worth it. It’s bad enough that I’ve been taken to the ER twice and both times I was sent home with drugs and more shrugs. Rhymey.

On top of all of that, things haven’t been working out so well for me. I’m completely skint, unemployed, and frankly unemployable at this point. Plus all of this other stuff is weighing on me. I wrote this long blag post (a two-parter!) about what’s been going on, but it’s so terribly personal that I’ve not posted it. Yet. There is always the possibility that I may egg up, especially when one considers I’ve not a lot of followers and only a few of those actually read my posts and only two or three of those actually know me. It’s basically about how I’ve taken up therapy and how I have a colourful history of despising therapy and everything that goes along with it, and why.

As for this therapy thing, I’m fairly certain that I’m failing at it. Seriously, I think that maybe I’m doing it wrong. I don’t really talk about anything, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to talk about. And I talk to the therapist about her problems too. I know there’s this period of time in the early days (which is where I’m at) where you talk to your therapist about stuff just so she can learn about you and know what you’re on about (to discover and exploit your weaknesses). But I am still rather unsure.

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And in banal life stuffs, I grew lots of seedlings and plants for my garden, spent two days with Thunderball excavating and ravaging the very Earth, only to have this random apocalyptic downpour today eviscerate all our hard work. After all that, only about three plants of the hundreds we planted are still standing. I feel like the Charlie Brown of gardeners. Everything I touch get’s ruined.

But something exciting and interesting did occur in gardening. Our garden patch is about four feet by twenty feet. So in the soil turning and weeding phase on Saturday, Thunderball took one end and I the other and we worked our way towards the middle. About four feet in Thunderball suddenly stops her violent assault on the land and says “Uh, what is this?” She tosses over a wad of fluffy white fur, so naturally I ask: “Is something dead?” So she pokes at the spot with the garden fork and receives a terrified tiny squeal from the pile of furry earth. After she jumped away, we inspected the spot and discovered:

Bunny Seeds Germinated June 7 2014 01

Thunderball took this sessee shot.

Yes. That’s right. Babies. There were five or six tiny baby bunnies in there, all blind to the world. So now it’s like FUCK, we’re a mommy. So we’ve cordoned off that section of our garden (which will be devoted strictly to sunflowers), and recovered the nest we’d uncovered with an upturned bin. I keep periodically paranoiacally checking up on them, as I now feel responsible for having inadvertently uncovered their crèche, basically erecting the equivalent of a flashing neon arrow pointing right at them (hence the protective covering). Two days after finding them, I checked on them again only to find they were even closer to the surface with even less stuff covering them. I was amazed at how much they’d developed in only two days. They went from being blind and dark furred to being larger, open-eyed and more active and alert (although, clearly still too tiny to be on their own). Their little ears are still flat against their heads. According to some wildlife experts that means they are around 5-7 days old now.

I was so upset at seeing them almost completely exposed that I did some research to see if there was something else that we should have done or should be doing. But the wildlife rescue experts say that I did exactly the right thing, covering them back up and putting the bin over them. Now we just have to hope that they survive to adulthood despite living in a backyard that is full of raccoons and skunks and cats (That Cat and That Other Cat have both been sighted recently), not to mention our dog.

Plus they are so adorable one wants to take them in and love them forever (or at least until they reach their forever), but every wildlife place is like NO YOU CANNOT KEEP THEM. Shut up! You can’t tell me what to do! I am a paranoid mama bunny, hopped up on painkillers and out for blood! I do what I want!

“There is love in holding. And there is love in letting go.” – Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

And there is love in mauling a Animal Control officer. Just saying.

 

 

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Thanksgiving Clusterf*ck and The Asian Club Goes to Japan (Where There Is No Math. Allegedly.)

This is an angry retelling of my bullsh*z Thanksgiving bonanza. However, it gets fairly amusing near the end. So bear with me. I promise I’ll try to make it light. Try.

Scenic Drive From My Brothers Apartment

Scenic Drive From My Brothers Apartment

Thanksgiving is a holiday I can do without. As a mere yout’, the holiday was celebrated at our home, my mother losing her mind and obsessing over the most mundane things while food went uncooked.  It was also the only holiday my maternal grandparents would spend with us, suffering through a visit long enough to eat dinner before running off to my aunts’ house down the road, their favorite child with whom they spent all other holidays. And weekends. And annual tickets to “A Christmas Carol”. (I’m not bitter, I swear. I’m just accurate.)

Anyway, since we’ve all supposedly grown up (and frankly I can contest that on all points), my brother moved out and ‘married’, and my grandparents have passed away, my parents decided to start a new tradition: Disaster Thanksgiving, or the less PC, NSFW version that I prefer: Thanksgiving Clusterf*ck.
They’ve decided that instead of going to my paternal grandparents dinner (in which more food is served than could possibly be eaten by the entire city of Boston, all with a side of love), or going to our extended family’s giant dinner (where we would all be guaranteed a good time), we would instead make the dinner ourselves and then drive it twenty five miles into the city to eat at my brother’s apartment (where no fun is ever had. EVER).

The only back story that you need to know here is that my brother and I don’t get along. We’ve never got along. We’re completely opposite in nature. I’m a giver, he’s a taker. He’s also the favorite. C’est la vie. He married a girl with a handicap that makes them unable to travel to our parent’s house. Which is fine. I had no problem with his wife until their wedding last year, when I basically made them a wedding from scratch and she became a psychotic Bridezilla (a word I typically find offensive, but is the only thing that aptly describes what went down last November).  After many months of death threats and defaming me via social media, one could see why I’m none too pleased with either of them, and why spending time with them is not my idea of fun.

But we’re a family dammit. So even though I wanted nothing to do with it, I am told that I either show up or never show up to anything again (which is kind of a stupid thing to say when you’re original point is that we’re a family and we need to stick together). I figured, fine, I’ll cooperate. But the second things start to go downhill I’m flipping the table and screaming “PROSTITOOTION WHOORE!!!!” at the top of my lungs.

It’s a week before Thanksgiving and my family still hasn’t shopped. My mother has already gone into lunatic shutdown mode, so I plan to make all the food so she doesn’t ruin the day with a breakdown or just panic to a point where she spends the day in hospital (RE: Christmas three years ago) or tries to otherwise sabotage it (RE: Last years Drunken Christmas).  I don’t mind cooking, it’s just I’m a lactose intolerant vegetarian. You can only imagine how well that goes over with you know, typical Americans on Thanksgiving. So BB agreed to do the meaty bits and I do everything else. That meant cooking eight dishes for dinner as well as blondies, brownies and three pies. Don’t ask.

I make it happen like a freakin turkey day miracle, and we get my wound-up-to-all-hell Mum and all of the grub in the car, and I loop ‘Funky Fanfare’ by Keith Mansfield on my headphones and take off for the inner city. When we get to his place my brother meets us, helps us into his apartment, and acts like he’s really grateful but yet put out by our being there. As if the holiday he begged for us to bring to him was really putting him out, when all he had to do was clean up a little, clear off the table and turn the oven to 350 before we showed up. He didn’t even have to provide silverware. When we open the door the first thing that hit you was the stink. Then the absolute filth, as if no one had cleaned anything in that apartment since they moved in two years ago. The ground was sticky, there was cat hair and food and feces EVERYWHERE. The very small kitchenette counters were covered with filth and used dishes – as of course was the sink. And the pièce de résistance to the scene – there wasn’t a table anymore. There was no where to eat this magnificent dinner that I slaved over for two days. Plus my table flipping Plan B is now right out.

My parents don’t say anything. They put the bags down by the garbage – the only clean spot in the room – and start cleaning. My brother walks around, not acknowledging the filth at all – or the cleaning – and instead starts complaining when he finds that we have forgotten the butter. I mean, we’re only providing the food, plates, cups, silverware, trash bags, napkins, beverages and toilet paper (an addition I made to much derision from BB, only to find that no, not only had he not cleaned the bathroom, he had no toilet paper at all). How could we not think to remember the butter? So while they spend an hour cleaning the kitchenette so we can use it (and subsequently have to reheat all of the now cold food) he goes to the bodega next door for butter and coffee. (Not toilet paper).

When it came time to eat I wasn’t sure what to do. I was too busy being silently bullshit and staring at my stolen elliptical machine that he uncovered from under a pile of trash and dirty laundry to use as a coat rack when we first came in. Apparently we were supposed to eat standing around his sick wife’s bed. Seriously. Frankly, I couldn’t really eat anything, I was disgusted. I stood with a plate by the gigantic television and spent most of that time chasing the cat who “doesn’t go on the counters” off the counters and away from the food. BB ate with the wife in the bedroom, but my Mum, I have say, ate with me. The second we were done we packed up to leave; we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. But my brother couldn’t be bothered to help clean up or put anything away. So, again, it was up to us. I didn’t care. At this point I was just trying to get the hell out of there, while my mother was obsessing over her soiled Pyrex. (“Dammit Ma, we can wash them at home!”)

When I left I took the toilet paper.

Finally we were off to the ancestral home to have dessert with my grandparents. I love my grandparents, but in recent years going to their house is painful. My aunt and her kids live on the first floor of their house. But recently, my cousin, angry that my grandparents and her parents refused to let her and her boyfriend move into the third floor bedrooms and build them an apartment up there, got pregnant. On purpose. So now she and her boyfriend and her baby live on the third floor – formerly my grandparents’ bedroom. There is talk of making it a separate apartment. Fancy that.

My cousin, as you can see, is a monster. She has been her whole life. This comes of never ever being told ‘no’. When she was a child I refused to babysit her again after I told her she couldn’t do something and she had an unbelievable tantrum. Neighbors called. Glass was smashed. I think it was the first time anyone had ever failed to give her or let her do what she wanted.

Her baby just turned one and is becoming just like her – which is what happens when you have your 90+ year old grandparents raise your baby because, even though you have no job and don’t go to school or leave the house, you can’t be bothered. It’s like a cycle of monsters. My grandparents are just the most wonderful people, and it sickens me to see my cousins take advantage of them like that. They don’t care if their actions hurt people, or that they are killing my grandparents. And I mean, they are literally killing them. Adult Protective Services are threatening to take my grandfather away. It’s that bad.

So while dessert should have been fun and homey, it was awkward and uncomfortable: The baby having tantrums every five seconds when she was told she couldn’t smash the stereo, knock over hot coffee or hit my grandmother; my cousin just sitting there, screwing around on her new iPhone. It’s so hard going there now. That place used to be a respite from home, a comforting place. Now whenever I’m there my stomach hurts and later I have weird dreams. It’s messed up.

When I got home I was so glad it was over. Mum was tired but pleased, acting like it was some great success. I told her we were never doing that again. If she expected me to come to Thanksgiving again, let alone make the dinner, she had better come up with an alternate plan. If she couldn’t she could forget about Christmas, too. I also told her that I wanted my exercise machine back, and would break into his apartment with some thugs to get it. (Yes, I have thug access. Fear me).  She got silent and angry, but whatever. She knows it was a disaster, and she knows she can’t handle the holidays without me.

So I hope you read this story and realized that, no matter how stupid your holiday may have been, at least it wasn’t nearly as shetty as mine. And frankly, I was holding back, as I didn’t mention the fact that we shopped last minute (thanks to Mum’s neuroses), the snake, how lost I feel in my old neighborhoods, the sinking house or any of the other crap. I didn’t want any of you to kill yourselves.

Thanksgiving doesn’t just have to be bad, though. I can often look at it as the start of the ‘holiday season’ which can often be a good thing. For me this means parties and visiting friends and family whom I love but only really get to see this time of year. (It also means the Cookiepocalypse, which will get its own magical post, and is guaranteed to blow your minds). The first party of the season, I’m glad to say, went down the Sunday after Thanksgiving and has restored my faith in humanity. It was thrown by my extended family, you know, the ‘guaranteed fun’ people. It was a milestone birthday for a cousin who turned 50. He has eight brothers and sisters – all but one in attendance – with their kids and a few of us cousins and aunts for garnish. The house was completely decked out in balloons, streamers and bad over-the-hill jokes, full of food and laughter.

While for most people these cousins would be too far removed in relation to know or at least to know very well, I was raised to see them like aunts and uncles. I baby sat or was actually nanny to many of their kids and grandkids, and I often feel more comfortable with them then I do with my own immediate family. So when I got there I was instantly pounced upon by three of them:  sisters, 14 and 9, who I was nanny for in college (I probably spent more time at their house than my own in those days), and their 12 year old cousin, who I babysat. They jumped all over me (as per usual) and we talked and laughed and had a blast.

The sisters were talking about how their dad only gets ‘three days a year’. “Three days for what?” I asked, to which the 9 year old – looking at me as if I were an idiot – responded “To shine.” I thought that was sad, that he only gets three out of 365. So I made an agreement with their mom, promising that if I ever played a lottery and subsequently won, I would pay her many millions in order to procure him a fourth day. To shine.

Conversation came around to the topic of school and the 14 year old complained about how her school’s Asian Club won’t leave her alone. They are so annoyingly persistent that she refuses to join. Instead she joined the Jewish Club. “But you’re not Jewish.” “Yeah, but they have better candy.”

Then the 12 year old says that we should form our own family Asian Club, as we practically are one anyway (the 9 year old was adopted from China, her sister and cousin are both from Korea). So it is agreed. We would be the LAC. It is also agreed that Thunderball is a member too, even though she wasn’t there. I tried to point out that neither Thunderball nor myself were Asian, nor did we share their last name (the L), but they pointed out that it didn’t matter. “You’re practically Asian.” (Apparently it’s an awesomeness that can rub off.)

So we began our club plans, which were basically a discussion about candy which turned into a discussion on what kind of candy which somehow turned into them agreeing that Thunderball and I will make the candy, and they will help. Which I took to meaning that one of them will lose an eye, as I stressed to them how very similar to napalm melted sugar was. That just garnered responses of “what’s napalm?”

At that point the 9 year old was lying across me with an arm over her head but in my face. I asked if the LAC will come with me when I run away to Japan, to which she flew up (further into my face) shouting “I’ll go to Japan!”

“You want to go to Japan?”
“Yes, because they don’t have math in Japan!”
“What? Yes they do –”
“Even if they do have math it’s in a different language and I won’t be able to understand it so I will never have to do math if I’m in Japan!”
“Math is sort of universal. They do have the western version of math in Japan.”
“I love Japan because there’s no math! I HATE MATH!”

So now I’m deaf in one ear, and apparently going to Japan, as it is completely devoid of math. This, I suppose is as good a reason as any to go to Japan. Plus, it’s just a hop skip over to Korea, and that’s something. Hopefully we’ll all survive Candy Armageddon in tact enough to make such plans. I’ll keep you informed.

Halloween and Fat Death of the Endless

Things have been sort of strange and slow on my bit of planet, what with all the cleaning, illness, the holidays, and my recent realization that maybe I’m actually Atlantean, and not alien, as I had originally suspected (or both – maybe my people didn’t disappear into the sea, maybe they just left). So I think maybe now is as good a time as any to back track to Halloween; a time of triumph or trial, depending on how you look at it. Either way, there is always lasagna, spontaneous candy checks (can’t let the little ones fall victim to poisons and razor blades, can we?), and at least one great ape. Occasionally there are film festivals (your Plan 9 From Outer Space, your Nosferatu, your Mommie Dearest, your Jason-on-a-boat) or Addams Family marathons. But every year it’s a little fun or at the very least interesting.

Traditionally Halloween is also a holiday for gorillas. One, rather, who sits in a lawn chair in my front garden distributing candy and bananas to the youth of my neighborhood. Occasionally there are two gorillas as Thunderball is often wont to sport the spare gorilla suit and tear around the yard doing the finest ape impression. (This is something not relegated to Halloween.) Last year there was even a fog machine, and so there were Gorillas in the Mist. The gorilla is pretty much the biggest attraction in our area (outside of my ridiculous dog, but that’s something else entirely), and people come from far and wide, driving miles even, just to see him. Families who have moved away return for this one night, and there are those who have had a picture taken with him every year (some since infancy). You’d also be surprised and a little proud by how many children go for the banana over the candy.  Perhaps there is hope for the American youth yet.

This year Thunderball and I were manning the door alone as ‘Superstorm Sandy’ rescheduled my aunt’s wake, and BB went to represent. Every year we get dressed up and mess around with the neighborhood kids. Last year we had two Halloweens (New England is a fickle place) and so Thunderball was Marceline the Vampire Queen as well as a gorilla and I painted my face and sported wings (make of that what you will). A few years before she was a witch, I wore a Christopher Walken mask and together with BB the gorilla we danced to “Thriller” on our lawn accompanied by a dozen or so neighborhood kids. It was epic. This year Thunderball showed up to my house about three hours before go-time determined to make a Brolaire of Astora costume – from scratch. So we hopped into the spaceship and sped to the nearest craft store with an idea and a ridiculous deadline.

During the ride over she and I discussed my recent trend of weird dreams about my teendom. I suspect this trend had a great deal to do with a recent meeting with escapist Sean Von Gorman, who unfortunately got some of my word vomit on his shoes, and heard a bit about my escapades. I get anxious telling these stories to people because I worry that I may sound as if I’m lying or crazy; because strange things do need explanation – if not context. Hence stress dreaming about my old comrades and exploits.

The dreams (and the vomit) lead to my writing an epic blog entry about my youth, which lead to me spending a day exhausting myself on ‘paper’ only to scrap the whole thing and back slowly away from the computer. I told some of the stories to Thunderball (who may or may not have heard them already), like about the time I was at a party and was accused of being homophobic (me with the hag DNA, of all people) when I pointed out that all the young gay men in New England (at the time) were named Mike, and so I yelled “Hey Mike!” into the crowd and pretty much every gay dude answered me, thus proving my point. I was trying to explain to her that it was a lot harder to write about that stuff (my strange employment, the random people I was acquainted with, my complicated friendships and home life) than I thought it would be. It’s strange to think that you are so far removed from your past, only to find that really you aren’t or to realize how much you miss parts of it, and just which parts those are.

So for those reasons I am not posting what I wrote anytime soon. In the future I’m sure I’ll regale everyone with random tales of drag queens, street art, AFP, Fort Apache, Rivers Cuomo, home invasions and the like, but for now the dreams have stopped and have returned to the normal vivid nightmares with excellent soundtracks (these days I dream in Grizzly Bear) that I’ve grown accustomed to.

At the store it was like old times in art school: budget shopping; being as creative as possible with as little purchasing as possible, brainstorming insanity that just may work. In just a few minutes we had a gameplan and had freaked out half the store- and as many scrappin’ moms as were in attendance – with our whirlwind savvy. (Whilst oohing and aaahing over new Martha Stewart tools a scrappin’ mom pointed out that she – Martha – was ‘moving up from Walmart’ and I pointed out that it’s high time that Martha joined Thunderball, Anthony – Tony – Bourdain and myself for a night of drinking, ‘cause we all know how Martha can put it away, and oh what a night that will be. Which just served to set Thunderball off in the same vein, as this has been a plan of ours – to get our drink on with Tony and Martha – for ages and we’re really excited about it. We have big plans, people, and this will happen. Oh yes, this will happen. You can imagine how well that entire outburst went over with scrappin’ mom, who hightailed it out of there first chance she got. )

Yeah, if the helm fits...

Yeah, if the helm fits…

Back at the hacienda, we proceeded to assemble a suit of armor from cardboard, duct tape and magic. It was amazing. And beautiful.

Art school pays off.

With Adventure Time and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog for a soundtrack, we literally worked right up until zero hour, whipping up this outfit like two nerds who forgot that today was Comicon.

Brolaire of Astora

Brolaire of Astora

I didn’t even have a chance to suit up myself, so I left Brolaire of Astora to greet the first of the kiddies as I perfected my look: Fat Death of the Endless (because I rule). I was much pleased by the new makeup – which held up all night unlike the glop from the beta test that smudged and spread and bled.  I donned the Generalissimos’ hat (to cover the bald) and joined Brolaire and my dog at a table we’d set up with Coleman lanterns (we have no outside electrics due to the giant crater that is half my house) and candy bowls. We also had a six pack of Sunny D – part of Brolaire’s costume and a prize to any trick-or-treater who could properly identify our costumes.

My house was bombed with sugar crazed masses seeking giant gorilla glory. We had to tell them that the gorilla escaped his enclosure during ‘Superstorm Sandy’, stealing my wallet and all of the bananas before hopping on a bus out of town. While the kids were all disappointed at least our story was believable. Hurricane Sandy had been a complete betch throwing a wrench into many plans and lives in the last week.  They all agreed to keep an eye out for him, and to report back with any information.  I felt really bad for a few of them though, especially the little kid who showed up in a full gorilla suit. I think he was hoping for a replay of last year, where he could have run free through the fog with Thunderball.

The brave steed, looking for reassuring hugs between candy goblins.

The brave steed, looking for reassuring hugs between candy goblins.

Most people got over the absence of the gorilla upon seeing that my dog was present. He is a local celebrity after all, even if he did try to hide behind Brolaire every time someone came in the yard and then demanded huggings and pettings after every encounter. I don’t know what it is about him, maybe his ridiculous height – he is very tall for a greyhound – or his clownish nature, but everyone in town LOVES my dog. Seriously – one time he was six miles down the road, going for a car ride with his head out a window when a bunch of kids on bikes shouted his name. He’s a frikkin rock star. And he’s not the only dog on the street either.  So everyone was so glad to see him and pet him ‘up close’ and tell me a story about the time he ‘got out’ – the most epic twenty minutes in small town history, apparently. Everybody in the neighborhood has a story from that day. One family tells of how he played with their kids in their yard. A mother with a toddler recalled walking the baby in the stroller and his accompanying them around the block. He saved a family from a burning house, delivered a baby and rescued a kitten from a tree. All I know is, the second we realized he got out (something that never happens and I’ll discuss why at another time) half the neighborhood formed a search party. People I have never met in all my years living here got in on the action to find my neurotic greyhound, who was out gallivanting and helping little girls sell lemonade.

As the night wore on we were quickly running out of candy but remained well-stocked on Sunny D. A lot of people tried, mostly guessing that Thunderball was someone from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (got to hand it to my neighbors on that one), and one precious little kid (had to be maybe three) did manage to finagle a juice as he assured us he was really thirsty and just wanted to go home. Costume-wise I am happy to report the absolute lack of zombies, which I’ve previously stated are the Disney Princess of costumes these days. I was sure we’d see dozens of those. Rather, I was shocked to see a surprising number of Mario Brothers, especially Mario. Am not sure what that was all about, but it was a trend I did not see coming.

In the end we were down to a handful of candy when a bunch of high schoolers in some decent getups show up. They were accompanying a young man who lives a few houses from me who is mentally handicapped. He was upset when I told him he couldn’t take all of the candy that was left, in case we got any more late comers. So he got sneaky and replaced our remaining candy bars with candy from his bag that he didn’t like. Touché, kid. The rest of the group was preoccupied with scoring Sunny D from Brolaire, and failing miserably. One of them, a guy in drag, was particularly endearing. He was in a miniskirt and boots with bad makeup and a big blonde wig, all giving him the effect of a drag queen who just woke up in an alley behind a dumpster. I asked him if his name was Mike. Thunderball nearly lost her shit (epic spit take ensued).

As we were closing up for the night, folding up the table and chair, gathering lanterns, my neighbor came over walking his dog. (Of course my dog is asleep back in the house when his girlfriend comes over). He isn’t looking for candy. He’s come specifically to ask if Thunderball is a Sun Bro. She almost keeled with joy. He tells us that he saw us from his candy distributing station at his house across the street and was dying to ask but his wife wouldn’t let him come over.  So when the kids stopped coming he snuck over under the guise of walking their dog. It was awesome. Much Sunny D was shared, the Sun Be Praised.

Praise the Sun

Praise the Sun

So I guess it was a successful night. Lots of diabeetus was encouraged, much praise was given the sun, and my dog continued his work as Ambassador to the Neighborhood. Plus, Thunderballs’ night was made, so that was good enough for me.

Oh, and here they are, the last pictures of me to appear on the interwebs.

It's all about the angles, baby.

It’s all about the angles, baby.

Not so bad for someone with so many chins. It’s all about the angles people. Awww yeah.

Fat Death

Fat Death

The BFF Turns 6, Death of the Endless Beta Test and It’s the Candy

Note its evil and succulent goodness.

On October 6th Thunderball and I went to my BFF’s 6th birthday party in full regalia. Full regalia being Thunderball as a Sith Lord (Darth Marv) and my beta test of Death of the Endless. I would say it was a rousing success, if it weren’t for the worlds shittiest makeup, which ran and smeared and spread everywhere. So by the time we arrived at the party we were fairly upset and more than a tad runny, but everyone seemed rather impressed nonetheless.

Captains Spaceship like no other.

The ride over was fabulous. This small New England town full of people walking around on the first clear day in weeks, with children or pets, were completely oblivious to the two fully made up folks in the spaceship nudging their way through slow traffic. I do not know if it is saying something about the obliviousness of my neighbors or just that they’re used to seeing that sort of thing drive through town. Once we hit highway, however, it suddenly became an issue of not causing accidents, as suddenly everybody noticed us.

When we got there, the BFF greeted us with a COMPLETE identification verification (I think we may have been swabbed for DNA), because of course our faces were covered, so we could be imposters. (Who knows? Right now, I don’t even know. How the frell did I get here anyway?) The party itself was alright, though compared to the previous year it was a bust. BFF was so bummed he wouldn’t don his costume. But the gorilla showed, and he got lots of candy apples and loot, so he was happy there. About a third of the guests – mostly musical metalheads in nature – failed to show, and they were supposed to jam with Thomas for his birthday. Hence his disappointment. It should probably be explained that Thomas’ father was a legendary musician who passed away last year, just before Thomas’ 5th birthday. Sufficed to say a lot of promises were made, and a lot of people who came and jammed last year failed to show this year (even after RSVPing and assuring everyone that they would). It is more than likely that over time these supposed friends will fail to even RSVP or bother to make excuses to come to anything in the future. It’s sad, really. Promises are so easily broken and forgotten.

Black Magic, betches.

The night before, Thunderball and I made the mad candy confections for the little bugger: poisoned candy apples and skull lollies. In addition, we made caramels, caramel apples (with so much added naughtiness), and basil lollies made from our own deadly basil plants. (We also used the basil to candy some fresh strawberries.) Thunderball and I in a kitchen are a force to be reckoned with, a well oiled gourmet machine. When it comes to confections we generally impress the masses with our ridonculousness. Our Christmas cookies, for example, have been known to cause riots. Our lemon-buttercream cupcakes are obscene. So you can imagine when it came time to make the BFF some snackies, we pulled out all of the stops: Our apples were not only delicious, they were infused with darkness from the Old Ones. Our lollies were so wicked they appeared to be one color, yet THEY MADE YOUR TONGUE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT COLOR when you licked them. That’s right. We bewitched that shit.  Snow White’s wicked stepmama has nothing on us.

Napalm Death

Though we have been known to whip up everything from handmade pasta to French toast popcorn (or rice cakes), we find candy is especially fun to make as it is so very lethal. If you are looking at our glorious evil confections and getting grandiose ideas that you too can be a sugar alchemist, please take note: candy is not to be trifled with. You don’t fuck with burnt sugar. That shit is NAPALM, yo.

About halfway through the party Thunderball and I wiped the smeared, blobby goop off of our faces and tromped around in our gear. I transformed myself into the Generalissimo (the hat I had already been wearing to cover the bald) donning glasses and all, and at one point TB sported a full cowl Batman mask, and it was quite effective. We ate all of our gooey nom noms (despite Thomas’ Nana arguing that he can’t eat the candy due to his allergies, even as Thomas was EATING THE CANDY), and disappeared back into the night to watch Venture Bros. reruns. But not before stopping for gas at a crowded BJ’s first (me still as the Generalissimo, Thunderball still in full Sith garb, but now sporting Devil’s horns). It was pointed out that I must be one fucked up badass if the devil is my chauffer.

Note the black goop oozing down the sides of my neb.

In conclusion, I think my Death of the Endless costume Beta tested well. (Am finding it interesting how my pallor these days – as a vampire – is such that I don’t need any white goth base paint.) I will definitely get better makeup and reprise the character on All Hallow’s Eve.  Also, I think as a society we should do mundane things in fancy dress more often. Like every day. I think it would certainly make this place a lot less inane.

Look at it and taste the darkness.

In a brief side note, I hope everyone out there is planning on celebrating All Hallow’s Read this year. Candy is overplayed, unless it’s some I’ve made. Thank you.

Godspeed My Little Viking

“Harold the Viking went to Valhalla today. May Odin welcome you to his table, my fearless warrior.”

Harold the Viking. Fear him.

So it’s true: young Harold went forth to battle high in the hall of Odin yesterday. For those of you not in the know Harold the Viking won my heart and my sword on September 11th 2011, where, as a centerpiece at a friends wedding reception, he bested all other fish (and frankly all other flora and fauna) to win a place of honor on my bedroom dresser.

Harold was by far the angriest thing I have ever met   He tried to kill everything and everyone he ever saw ever. Especially BB. On more than one occasion he actually flew out of the water to try to kill BB. It is the general consensus that he wanted to stare his victim in the eye as he tore his heart out. He lived in a glass globe with marbles at the bottom, marbles that he would pick up and throw at night. So I would fall asleep to the constant plink plink plink of glass against glass, knowing that my bloodthirsty friend defended the rear (door) while I held the front (window) with my trusty ray gun at the ready.  (The same ray gun which he fought – and won – by the way, taking several blasts to the face with no negative effect. Well. He did get terribly angry, but that was expected.)

He hated Japanese fans, sub par feed and took strange comfort in yellow manila envelopes. He was the greatest, most vicious Viking that ever lived, wanting nothing more than to kill and mate (and then subsequently eat his young).  And he was purple to boot. So when I found his lifeless body yesterday I knew there was only one just method for laying such a warrior to rest.  I was trying to figure the logistics when Thunderball arrived, assessed the situation, and said “Viking Funeral.”

We lined the boat in manila envelopes and covered him in flowers before dousing with an incendiary and coating him in gun powder.

This is when you realize who your true friends are. The ones who look at your situation and not only think along the same lines as you, but help expedite and implement the means and methods necessary for your accomplishment – these are the ones you keep.  Thunderball saw our little dead Viking, and next thing I know we’ve got a little boat, gun powder, a pyre for a king, and are driving to the nearest body of water blaring Amon Amarth as the sky turns to dusk.  She set the little fish alight and even went into the water (in her shoes) to push his little boat back out to sea when it tried to wash ashore.  Thunderball we keep.

This is when you realize who your true friends are:  when you are standing on a beach watching someone happily light your dead fish on fire for you. That’s love right there, my friend. That’s love.

Little flaming vessel.

As we watched his little flaming vessel drift off into the night church bells rang. It was moving (creepy metal detector guy aside).  We threw a three snap salute, and solemnly walked back to the spaceship. We drove home, blasting Amon Amarth through the neighborhood yet again, and had a reception of pizza we made (from tomatoes and basil we grew) and hours of ‘80’s videos on YouTube.

I will miss you Harold the Viking. May your days of mirth, feast, and slaughter in Odin’s hallowed hall serve you well.

NOTE: The following evening, Harold the Viking’s entrance into the Norse afterlife of olde was confirmed as the earth shook and William (ancient, why-is-he-still-alive, bird) completely lost his shiz and spazzed all over the place.

The Sad Truth About Vampirism (and Eating Babies) Part II

Here comes part two, you can unbait your breath now:

Turns out I had little to no iron in my blood. Worse than that, my ferritin levels were almost nonexistent. Ferritin is the stuff that keeps the iron in your blood so your body doesn’t flush it out. It holds onto it and then releases it as you need it. Your average levels are between 180 and 250. Mine were 3. I asked the doctor if she knew where exactly these three ferritin were so I could keep an eye on them, keep them safe, but she didn’t find it funny. She already had a haematologist lined up to see me in a few days, so I made the appropriate arrangements and got out of her way.

That night Thunderball, BB, Mum and I went to Chunky’s and saw the Muppets. (Badass). On the long ride home we decided that the only solution to my blood problem – logically – was to turn to vampirism. I was mostly there already – being nocturnal and hyper intelligent and everything. (Hear that? That’s the sound of me tooting my own horn.) I could easily maintain my vegetarian cred just by keeping people on tap and not killing them. We also decided that instead of picking off random people on the street (nothing like a night ride through Dracut and Lowell to put you off eating people) it would be in my best interest to eat babies. Yeah, I know, I know, tiny bones and stringy. But I’m just going to hit them up for a few ounces here and there and not consume them whole. Or even kill them. Thus I lessen my risk of contracting something more insidious than what I may already have and retain eternal youth and beauty (you can’t get any younger blood than baby blood).  Not a bad plan, really.

The following week was all Christmas preparations.  Thunderball and I went insane and made everyone cookies in lieu of cash or prize gifts. (We’s broke, yo). I was really cold and tired with no appetite, but I was alright. Until I started passing out. Mixing dough in mixer. SUGAR EVERYWHERE. The next morning I wake to Mum shouting at me about the SUGAR EVERYWHERE. Then I explained, you know, ‘Sorry, I was sort of feeling weird when I tried cleaning it up after losing consciousness. I’m sorry I didn’t get it all.’ That was followed by an emergency GP visit, where she explained to me the gravity of my situation. My blood was not able to oxygenate properly, my blood pressure was dangerously low and she was considering hospitalization. I could potentially die. I was ordered to stay off my feet until the haematologists appointment and if anything else happened to go to the ER. I told her if I had to go to the one with Clooney I wanted no part of it. I seen what they do. Then I told her not to worry, there was a baby in her waiting area and I had thought to bring a straw.

The haematologists had other ideas about my infant consumption. They scheduled a series of infusions (of ferritin, red cells and a drip) to begin immediately which they felt would fix the problem. They drew more blood and told me that I had nothing to worry about, that this was most likely a onetime thing and a little fusing would do the trick. They began the treatments right there in the office.  If you are squeamish you might want to skip this next bit. (Of course I say this after the straws and babies part.)

BB was there with me for the first treatment and all the ones that followed. I get sick a lot, so people, especially BB, tend to ignore it or just think I’m exaggerating. It gets old, I know. However this time, with the urgency and the test results, the more extensive testing and then the infusion procedure itself, he got really freaked. Suddenly this is really serious. Basically what they do is they put you on an I.V. with a saline bag and magical red cells in another bag and let that go. When the red cells are gone they give you the ferritin in a ‘push’ which is injected slowly in to the line via a big GIANT syringe. (Every time they bring it out all I hear is Melora Creager whispering ‘a 20 gallon brass syringe’…). When they were preparing it across the room BB says “It could be worse. You could be getting THAT.” And then of course they brought it right over to me. It’s really really thick, this infusion, so they have to push it slowly and let the I.V. dilute it. I learned quickly over the next two weeks (and six treatments) which nurses to watch out for and which to root for. One is really really bad at finding veins and would tear me up every time. At one point BB went and insisted on a different nurse and hasn’t let that one near me since. Another nurse is this incredibly racist Irish woman who pushes too fast so it is amazingly painful. (If you ever hear that I’ve had a stroke it’s because of her).

The haematologists insisted that most everybody who gets this treatment feels better immediately, but I didn’t. Rather, I got really really sick. Before I was just cold and exhausted and randomly unconscious, but now I was a wreck. Vomiting and nausea. It was a nearly immediate reaction. I was lucky that my first treatment was the Friday before Christmas, because on the following Monday I ended my second treatment with a head to toe rash. Literally. My scalp, all over my face, up my arms, everywhere. They began to start the treatments with a shot of Benadryl which cleared it up a little, but mostly made me barely conscious enough for BB to get me back into the car. During off days of treatment I was unable to get out of bed and I hurt in a strange exhausted way – as if I wrestled with the steamroller before it ran me over. It was awful, and I didn’t want to complain, especially considering that the oncology and hematology departments are the same building and the transfusions, infusions and chemotherapy treatments all take place in one big open room. I literally see much worse things being put into people every time I’m there. So I’d sit there next to a garbage barrel – for puketastic fun times – for about an hour and try to act like it wasn’t bothering me.  (By the way, those little pink kidney-shaped bowl things are for chumps. Real women puke in barrels.)

“He’s just begging for the Juice Fusion!”

It was supposed to be over after that one session of six treatments. Instead it’s happened again, and it keeps happening. Turns out, when I joked about having vampirism I wasn’t too far off. I’ll be dependent upon transfusions and infusions for the rest of my life. I have some kind of anemia in which my body makes too little ferritin, and then my immune system (shocker) tries to get rid of what’s left. I get so sick during the treatments because my body is trying to reject it. That’s why I don’t respond to it like everyone else.  After the last visit the haematologist said I can look forward to getting fused to the juice every three months, six if I’m lucky. That’s two to two-and-a-half weeks every three to six months where I will be generally incapacitated. Yea, me.

So basically being a vampire entails being dependent upon human blood and human blood components.  Which we already knew. But it also entails plaque psoriasis of the noggin (cradle cap! fast forward to 5:04) and possibly irreversible hair loss, rash, oxygen deprivation, vomiting, constant chill, and a ghastly pallor. And it means having a really high chance of getting blood cancers. It means having track marks for weeks on end but without the heroin chic physique. It means possibly bleeding to death during your period (that’s menstruation).  It possibly causes debilitating vertigo and migraines… It includes being manhandled by creepy nurses who don’t mind telling you a few things about the blacks and the gays as they stab you repeatedly and make you bleed. There is absolutely no romance.  That’s only in movies for gullible teen girls (and gay teen boys. I’m a professional hag, so I can speak to this.). It also doesn’t help with any embarrassing I.V. phobia (not needles, tubes). You’d think it would, but no.

Also, being a vampire gives you a completely new perspective on blood donation. I’ve always been for it and encouraging of it, but now I think that it’s more important because I need it. I need your blood. Give it to me. (Sarcasm!) More importantly, lots of other people need it. Lots of people, like me, find out they have some weird anemia, or have accidents, or have cancers and find themselves in that chair. In fact, according to the American Red Cross about 44,000 blood donations are needed every day – that’s a need for one donation every two seconds. So next time you see a donation truck in front of your work or school or concert (Amanda Fucking Palmer, indeed), go for it. You can also donate blood for someone specific or even to yourself, strange but true. So go for it. Twenty minutes can save someone’s life. And you’ll get juice and a cookie! (and even a sticker). And a swell mug and a t-shirt for those who donate frequently. Make it a sport, go with a group of your friends and try to out donate each other in a year. Imagine the Red Cross loot you’ll score – you’ll be the envy of all!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this epic two page whine and have now learned a thing or two about vampires and blood donation.
And why I’m so annoying.
I’m cold people. And hungry. For your blood.

Oh and my Cyborg has corrected me: babies are tender and not stringy. Sorry.