I found two CDs with my initials on them, and seeing as I haven't released a CD in ages, and should really get on that live album, I was intrigued.
It was a whole mess of pictures from five or six years ago, that were on my old computer, the one I punched. Marvin must have somehow saved the pictures and I never looked at them.
Travel with me through time, won't you?
I adore Marvin, to this day I do. And dear god, I wish for him some woman who can't keep her mitts off him. We look like we're posing at Olan Mills.
I like his hair that way, though. He looks like a little spider monkey.
I'll give you a moment to stitch up your sides.
I laughed at this for 700 minutes. This is quintessentially my life. My life plus a blue whiteboard. I took it with me in this move and put it on the fridge, and just the other night, Ned was all, "Is this yours? Where'd it come from?"
There's a whole section of my life Ned is oblivious to.
Okay, one more.
I keep forgetting to tell you something cool. You know my coworker, who when I talk about her on this blog I call Fleeta, and I came up with that name using the random name generator? And we were all, Fleeta. Pfft. Yeah, there's a name. Remember that?
Well, recently our pal Fleet (that's her casual, we-know-her-so-well nickname) went back home for a visit, and she asked some of the older relatives to tell her stories about the family, stories from way back, so she'd know her history.
Turns out? Her great grandmother? Fleeta. HER GREAT-GRANDMOTHER'S NAME WAS FLEETA!
How weird is that? Out of all the names the random name generator came up with. And who ever even HEARD of that name, ever?
So that's today's first Freaky Friday story, and here's a bonus story, from an actual reader, who wanted me to give her a cool name, so I will call her Phleeta.
Oh my god I love myself.
This doesn't seem like much of a story compared to some others you've had but here goes.
About forty years ago we were living in a new house in a new subdivision in Knoxville, Tennessee. There were a lot of creaking noises at night; we were told by the builder that new houses did that as they settled. One dark night I found myself suddenly wide awake andI felt someone was in the room. I sat up and I saw a small figure in a white gown at the foot of the bed. I couldn't see the face clearly but the white gown shown in the darkness. I thought it was my six year old daughter and I whispered her name, twice. Then I remembered, she doesn't have a white nightgown anymore. The figure slowly dissolved and I lay there with my heart pounding. I knew there had been something there.
I didn't tell anyone what I had seen. I didn't want to frighten my small children and I didn't think anyone else would believe me.
Seven years later we're living in a different house, different city.My now 13 year old daughter heard me telling this story to a neighbor and her mouth fell open. She said that in that same house she had been lying awake late one night (child was a night owl and always had trouble sleeping) and she saw a man and a woman in a red dress dancing down the hall. She said, "I thought it was you and Dad at first but then......I realized it wasn't. I never told anyone because I didn't think anyone would believe me."
She's now 46 and she still swears this is true. I have no explanation of why there would be ghosts in a new house. The subdivision was on the site of an old farm but that's all I know. We moved a year later
and I've always regretted not contacting the new owners to see if they ever saw anything. My daughter and I still talk about it occasionally and it haunts (ha!) us to this day.
Phleeta, but give me a cool name if you use this
I only have 10 minutes while my root dye sets in--I'm trying to do things like my own roots to save money since this move. Although we'll be RICH soon, because we're saving so much living here together, at first I have laid out what the official money people call a shitload of cash.
I also waited three weeks to order contacts to save the $127 it costs to get them. For weeks I've worn glasses every day, and I look not unlike Margaret from Dennis the Menace. Appealing.
My last pair of contacts I'd saved for a special occasion, and that special occasion was this past Saturday, when I danced at the gay bar with some friends and some complete-stranger lesbians once my friends got all tired and middle-aged and sick-of-Cher on me. Margaret from Dennis the Menace has no place in a gay bar, so I went glassesless.
Anyway, I ordered contacts, finally, Tuesday, and my contacts guy called Wednesday. He and I get along like peas and carrots.
"How we doin'?" he asked when he called.
"Well, I'm doing fine, and I don't care how you're doing," I told him. He'd ordered my contacts to come in fast, as a surprise to me, and I cannot wait to be a normal member of society today and not Daria.
Only five minutes to go on the hair, then I have to rinse it out. So far I've covered a lot of crucial info.
Here is another important story: My landlord, who is gay but he's really more pleated khakis gay, and I will call him Gaylord from now on, is obsessed with complex light fixtures. Almost nowhere in this house can you just, oh, switch on a light. Oh-ho-hoooo, don't be silly. Whoever heard of doing something so plebeian as being able to flick a switch up? That is so 2011.
When I'm not cooking my hair, I will show you the chandelier in the second bathroom, and the world's fanciest light in the bedroom that you need a remote for and a four-digit code to operate. "I just want to turn on a goddamn light," said Ned as he punched various keys on the control panel to our back porch light.
So, my office, here, has a--wait for it--fancy light fixture, and Gaylord said, "Oh, the bulbs on that are really hard to find, so I don't use the overhead, I just always used it as a ceiling fan."
....! I mean, HOW much did you pay for this thing? Because it LOOKS like it cost a million dollars. And there is one--one!!!!--outlet in here, at the back of the room, so I could plug two lamps in way over yonder and have the rest of the room be dark. Perhaps I could bring people in for questioning.
So I insisted we find bulbs for this effing light. And Ned, because I am charming and persuasive, agreed. He had to get on a ladder and unscrew the elaborate top to this light in here. Each light bulb has its own little home in this wrought-iron cage, like a go-go dancer from 1912. Ned lifted an old teensy bulb from the fixture.
Then he went to Lowe's and got a similar one, got back up on the ladder, and realized it was the wrong size.
"Son of a BITCH," said Ned. "Where's the receipt?" Ned asked me while I was crouched in front of the litter box with a Lowe's bag. "um..." I began.
"Oh GODDAMMIT," said Ned. "Well. Okay. These bulbs weren't that expensive. It's okay that you covered the receipt in cat poop, because you are so generally charming most of the time. But let's go back and try to find some bulbs that fit."
So Ned handed me the teensy bulb, and as we drove, I did an Uncle Fester impression, and I also said I had an idea and held the light bulb over my head, and of course there was the inevitable guy-with-testicular-cancer impresh, and finally we were back at Lowe's.
And that is when I got out of the car and dropped the bulb onto the pavement.
Look what I did! I set up my computer yesterday, because I am a computer gooo rooo. It only took 53 minutes of talking to someone in India who put "you know" in every sentence. "Now to check your, you know, modem." In fact, I DON'T know. Also, when I just imitated him, in my mind he talked exactly like Apu on The Simpsons.
They always assume, people you talk to about computer things, that you have deep intimacy with things like your "router," and I never know what the Sam Holy Hill they mean.
Anyway, that was relaxing, and it was preceded by an hour and a half of me at the Target trying to find a long enough shower curtain liner, because for some reason our brownish-burgundy bathtub/shower is enormously tall, and the liner hangs there ineffectively, dangling like a misused participle.
Yes, our bathtub is brown. There are brown and tan tiles on the floor that I believe are original to the house, and someone was trying to be matchy. I've never had a brown bathtub before, although once I had a turquoise tub, in Seattle. I lived with my friends in their 1950s house, and the bathroom was unchanged 40 years later. There were swans etched into the shower doors, too, and swans on the pink and seafoam tiles on the wall. Needless to say I effing loved that bathroom.
When they sold it, they updated the bathroom, and I always thought if I were house-shopping, the very first thing I'd love about that house was the swanny pink-and-seafoam tiles. But what do I know?
Oh my god, anyway. So, I shopped for a long shower curtain liner (didn't find one), a bottom-of-the-bathtub grippy thing, a bathroom rug because mine were all turquoise from the last bathroom and we looked like the Grey Gardens sisters with that busy thing on the brown and burgundy tile.
I also got a kitchen rug, for standing in front of the sink. Neither of our kitchens were big enough for one before. Exciting. Oh, and shelf liner! Black and white swirly pattern to match the black and white tiles in there. It's all very exciting. And won't you enjoy my gray gardens roots? Who's had zero time to get her hair done, do you think? I look like Shirley Maclaine when Debra Winger had the cancer in Terms of Endearment.
So, that took an hour and a half last night, and I am just grateful Ned did not join me--he was at Lowe's buying fireplace pokers and so on. And he doesn't even KNOW her. But if Ned had had to decide on rugs and liner and so on, he'd have taken 48 hours. We'd be just like that murder show 48 Hours, particularly when I murdered him for obsessing over which grippy thing to purchase.
The point is, I bought those things and got home and set up my computer so briefly and efficiently, then I had to write this week's Purple Clover. Here's the one that came out yesterday, by the way.
After all that, Ned said, "Have you eaten?" and I had not, which is how I found myself having dinner at 10:30 at night. In short, moving is fun. Did you know I've moved?
I will leave you with one final thought. Edsel. Not a fan of adult time. This morning he actually bounded over his barricade and ran fitfully up here to make sure I was not being murdered.
I was not. And you can imagine how sexy it is to suddenly realize a concerned-looking underbite is looming over you on the bed from out of nowhere. Hot.
So that's all I have to say about that. Off to work. My commute is now a breakneck five minutes, so I'd better get on it.
It's a beautiful, sunny, cool Sunday afternoon, and I'm sitting in my empty workplace with the blinds pulled, writing this post because my computer STILL IS NOT SET UP OH MY GOD OUR LIVES ARE CHAOS.
However, I did want a chance to check in and also eat the rest of my Chinese that I left here on Friday, not that I am consuming actual Chinese people with sesame sauce on them. That would be rude.
We managed to move everything on earth around and get the couch and TV set up, so we feel like relatively normal folk at night. Also, my office where I will be blogging is coming along, and the kitchen is done. There is one drawer that you can't open without also opening the oven door. It's like I engineered the planning of that kitchen or something. We also can't fit Ned's wine glasses in the cupboards, so Ned's just going to give up drinking wine.
BAHAHAHAHHAHAAHA! Oh, that's rich.
Anyway, the cats are still hissing, but they're sitting grumpily in rooms together, which I guess is good.
I'm surprised to find that NedKitty is way less pointy than I thought she might be with my cats. You should see her at the vet. She has a special Will Bite sticker on her chart. But with my cats, she seems a little intimidated. You will be stunned to hear she's mostly wary of Iris.
Anyway, the house is great. We have zero storage. ZERO. But god, it's cute, and the sun streams into my office in the morning, which by the way is this pretty blue room, and I gave Ned what he calls The Sad Room, this brown small office at the back of the house, with no closet in it whatsoever. Who builds a bedroom with no closet? 1928 people with their flappers up their asses, that's who. That made no sense.
In my defense, Ned saw the pretty blue room and said, "I suppose you want this to be your office" and what was I gonna do? Besides, what kind of girly man wants the light blue room?
The dogs freaking love the back yard, LOVE, and they've met two dog friends in adjoining yards already, one of whom is a MUFFIN with a gray and white face. Note I did not neglect to pack Blu. Can you imagine Eds without Blu? He'd have to start smoking or something. What would Eds' brand be? I'm seeing him with a nice Eve, or at least something menthol with a cigarette holder.
Ned spent all weekend building up the fence, which because the yard goes uphill, was too low in places. The first thing Eds did was leap over the fence like a long-legged asshole. Oh, and speaking of his athletic skillz, we are trying to keep the dogs out of the living room, so they don't ruin Ned's couch like they did mine. We're getting a gate, but for now have barricaded the room with boxes and so on.
We were on the front porch swing the other night, and through the front door window, I realized Edsel was staring at us.
Meanwhile, I readied my house for my new tenants, who moved in this weekend. You don't know how I craved a maid service, because I didn't have enough to do at my new place or anything. However, the house was ready.
The last night I was there, cleaning everything like I was tweaking--and I don't really technically know what that means, I've just heard people say that and I wanted to sound street--Peg had us over for pizza and beer.
It was really very lovely, and the sky was all pink, and geese flew over. Peg and I discussed all the parties she and I have had through the years, although I failed to bring up the noro virus party because I am gracious that way.
So that's that. Now we just have to unpack everything and get to know all the neighbors. I already met the couple across the street. She is a retired writing professor and he is retired from something or other. Their yard is spectacular and they have four cats, one of whom is named Sixty, who is not what you'd call lithe, but oh, was he sweet. He's a brown stripy kind of a cat. Because I need more cats to pet.
I have to go. I'm making salmon for dinner, and yes, I realize I should probably expand my repertoire. Why don't you shut up?
The first person to ask why I didn't, with all my spare time, take pictures of Lily and Talu gets scratched by NedKitty.