Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Children's Kitchenette and the Cat

I grew up in a small, tight-knit neighborhood with a local Catholic school most kids went to. Through this connection, my brother joined a Boy Scouts Troop. I think they're called "Den Leaders" or "Pack Masters" or whatever code for guys who molest small boys.

This Den Leader hosted his troop meetings in his fancy basement or something. It may come as a surprise, but I was a weird child--sorry to shock anyone. My mother was always trying to pawn me off on people (as most mothers do, no judgment), so she sent me to the Boy Scout pack troop because Den Leader also had a daughter a year or two older than me.

As a boy stuck in a girl's body at that age (I blame it on having an older brother for a role model), I desperately wanted to go to the Masonic-Temple-In-Training meeting. No, I was sent upstairs to the girl's bedroom to play with the kitchenette. She didn't like me, and she generally snubbed me at school--like pretty much everyone else anyway.

We played fried fake eggs, we made fake hamburgers, we had “lunch” together, but I spent most of the luncheon conversation begging her for us to sneak to the basement. They had her a lot more house-broken than me and she refused. “Boy Scouts is for the boys” she informed me sternly.

Their giantly overfed ginger tabby wandered in, and I was thrilled. My daddy didn't let us have pets, and boy I wanted to play with that tabby so bad. She said that he was mean and I shouldn't mess with him, but like that was going to stop me, it sounded like an invitation for mayhem of course.

Suddenly! I had a brilliant idea! "Let's put the tabby in the refrigerator!" Oh my god, I was SO overwhelmed at my genius! Cat + fiber-board fridge = Pure. Entertainment.

She begged me not to, and I begged her to help me catch the cat. Brainless girl refused.

I caught fat ginger tabby by leaning against the door so that it could not escape and grabbed it in a way that was probably hideously torturous. I shoved it in the top shelf of the fridge and closed the doors. "Ha-ha! the cat's in the fridge!" It howled and hissed and scrambled and made a ruckus, torture time over.

The doors to the fridge wouldn't open. At all. Despite both of us tugging and pulling and warping the flimsy fridge, that ginger was stuck for life.

The clearly upset the completely unadventurous and unimaginative crying girl ran wailing in tears to her mother.

I don't know what happened in the kitchen. My mom came to the bedroom red-faced with clenched teeth and grabbed me by the arm, pulling me down the steps to the front door. My brother, not grabbed, was also red-faced and maybe choking back tears of embarrassment, and we all hustled out the door. I was completely confused. I just stuck a cat in a fridge, seemed like fun. I knew about power tools, and I figured once that troop thingy was over, her dad would just come up with a drill and use a screw attachment to reverse screw off the hinges to the door. I mean, that seemed like what I would do, right?

 I always wondered why I was never invited back and my brother quit Boy Scouts.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Ennui continues: "que est-ce que ce est."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm still lurking about

This blog is not dead, I swear. I know I haven't posted anything of substance in forever, I am just totally uninspired by my life right now. I'll come back one day.

Lady C

Monday, September 07, 2009


I have never been able to resolve my feelings about Andy Warhol, and attending his museum in Pittsburgh only made my confusion worse. Eccentric genius whose very life was performance art? Arrogant prig, self-absorbed in his own belief he was genius? A phony? Maybe my confused perspective was his actual goal. (He even wore a gray-haired wig before he naturally grayed. Isn’t that pretty cooky?)

Here’s the source of my current angst: a banana necklace.

I traded a hula hoop from my Etsy store for a handmade lamp-worked glass pendant of a banana on a black background. The artist described it as reminding her of Andy Warhol’s banana art, which it kinda does, but more plants the seed in my mind that that’s what it is. I wear it with my ID necklace as kind of a totem. Life’s bananas, but it’s a performance art theater of the absurd participated in whether opting to or not.

When I feel on the verge of bananas, Andy Warhol reminds me to act my role in the theater of life. I can’t control bananas, but I can sculpt it to my own script, sans gray-haired wig.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

First, an explanation

I know I don't write as much anymore. It's for a couple of reasons.

Number one, real life is sort of more prominent in my day-to-day than it has been in the past. There's not as much space for writing.

Number two, I have found out that people where I work have found my blog. My blog started out as PG when I thought I was writing for my family. When they didn't read, I upped it to PG-13. When I realized just a handful of select friends were really reading, I pretty much took the blog to rated R.

Now that I'm more exposed, I feel compelled to be more careful, but the stories I really want to tell are still rated R. The diarist side of my brain hasn't found its way back to the simpler, less potty-mouth times. And it's not even that I swear, it's my questionable subject matter. Like writing about potties.

And now, enjoy a doughnut with me.

Glory hole

I have a weakness for Krispy Kreme doughnuts that borders on pathological. When I was a kid, for evening entertainment my parents would load us in the station wagon and take us to Krispy Kreme. We’d watch as the raw doughnut dough circles came down the conveyor belt and slid into the deep fat frier. Then, like magic, that rotating arm would flip the doughnuts and fry the other side, leaving that thin white band of unfried dough around the edge of the confection.

Glory of glories, the fried dough made its way to the shower of icing. A curtain of pure liquid sugar joy glided dreamily over each doughnut. And the icing, that transcendental wonder of the icing, some of the curtain of sugar glaze never made it onto the doughnut and fell back into a recovery vat. Oh, heaven above, if I could just stick my face in that sugar rain and catch the extra in my mouth.

“Now frying,” the sign blinked, my favorite sign ever. “Now frying,” the still warm doughnuts were delicately pricked directly off the line with what looked like a bamboo chopstick and placed in perfectly gridded order in a dozen-sized box. Dad ordered one box plain glazed, one box chocolate glazed. We all ate one of each, sitting in front of the magic doughnut conveyor belt, watching with rapt childhood attention, high on sugared sweets.

Twenty-five years later, and I have become allergic to wheat. I discovered it one day after eating a waffle. I felt horrible afterward. The next day, I did not eat a waffle, and I was fine. Just in case, just to prove the scientificity of my experiment, I ate a waffle again. I was sick. Like anaphylactic sick. So, poof, the world of wheat disappeared. I’ve been off wheat for a while now, and although I miss it like I’d miss chocolate (mac n’ cheese! Where are you?), I’m safely healthier.

Today, however, someone brought my supreme weakness to work—Krispy Kreme. My co-workers can never remember that I’m allergic to wheat (not that it’s their job to remember), and more than one person said, “There’s Krispy Kreme in the breakroom.” Evil. Pure evil. I ignored the Krispy Kreme, I reminded myself it was poison, I fought my burning sweet tooth, but I succumbed.

I was sitting alone in the breakroom eating a snack of string cheese. Two open boxes of Krispy Kreme stared at me. “They’re not there,” I said. “You’ll die,” I said. But then the much, much louder voice said, “DIE IN A GLORY OF CONFECTIONER’S GLAZE!”

I picked up one doughnut, gently, not breaking the integrity of the glazing shell. “I’ll just take a bite and see what happens.” I chewed slowly, afraid and exhilarated. Swallowed first bite. “I’m OK.” Next bite, chewed deliberately and carefully. “I’ll finish this doughnut, and that will be all.” I felt fine. My throat didn’t squeeze, my nose didn’t run, I didn’t sneeze—I was fine. “OK, another doughnut.” Thoughtful bite, careful chew, swallow. Second doughnut, gone and no reaction. Then the glutton in me took over, my doughnut demon started screaming, “Third doughnut! Third doughnut!”

You know I listened to the doughnut demon.

I knew I was really pushing my limits with the third doughnut, but I told myself, “There’s always the emergency room.” Yes, that is actually how I justified the third doughnut, a trip to the emergency room for eating a third doughnut.

Bite, careful, slow, bite. I knew this was my last Krispy Kreme ever, and I knew it had to be perfect. Alone, in the breakroom, with two boxes of Krispy Kremes as my friends, I started doughnut three. I chewed deliberately. I chewed carefully. I chewed mindfully that this, this glorious confection was my last. I savored like I had never savored before.

I finished, still terrified I’d be in the emergency room in minutes, but reveling in the magnitude of my doughnut accomplishment. And then my throat got tight. Assessment: throat not emergency room tight, throat allergy medicine tight.

I rushed to my office and tore apart my purse looking for that lone Sudafed I knew I had floating around in the bottom. “Sudafed, Sudafed, must not die,” I chanted to myself. Finally, Sudafed, lots and lots of water.

My nose ran for a while and my throat burns, but I did it all for Krispy Kreme. It was stupid. Terribly, wretchedly stupid, but for Krispy Kreme I took the chance. Three doughnuts. My last three doughnuts, and god they were worth all the agony for the joy of those precious minutes of bliss. I don’t need meditation, my transcension is fried.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Footloose and fancy-free? Not so much

“And stay away from the lakes,” the HOA orientation woman, says. “It may not look like it, but there’s gators in there.”

The orientation group stares at her with our mouths half-open.

“Oh yeah,” she says. “We just pulled out a seven-footer last week.” A seven-foot alligator. Living fifty feet from my brand-new home.

“And because it’s been exposed to humans, they euthanize them.” Gator, euthanized, for living in my lake. “It’s done humanely by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Well, actually, they contract it out to someone, but anyway. Once they’ve been around humans, they can’t be rehabilitated.” She pauses. “And don’t forget, all the lakes are interconnected through underground systems, so don’t think there aren’t gators in your lake. Believe me, they’re there.”

“Gators?” a shaky woman asks.

“You can’t see ‘em, but they’re there, believe me.”

Am I scared? Horrified? Both? I shoot a look at Matthew and mouth “OMG,” meaning, “freakin seven-foot alligators fifty feet from our brand new home.”

A friend told us, “If you walk the nature trails, your dog will get fleas and ticks. Oh, and so will you.” But, the realtor had us believing in the recreational possibilities of our dog walks on the nature trail. That’s bunk too?

The HOA woman tells us, “And the snakes on the nature trails—let me tell you that I don’t walk the nature trails. Moccasins, cotton mouths, Southeastern rattlesnakes….” I shoot another look at Matthew. He looks kinda blank.

“I tell you, one time, I was in my golf cart, and there was a moccasin right in my path. He was mean, they’ll strike unprovoked, and he was lookin at me,” she trailed off. “I turned around and went another way.”

Tick infestations, alligators, vicious snakes, what sinister place have we moved into?

“And if you get a flat tire on your bicycle on the nature trail at night, don’t feel around for it. There could still be a snake tooth in there.”

Me, terrified, “Do bear bells work?”

The whole room turns to look at me like I’ve just appeared from outer space. “You know, bear bells. You wear them in the woods. The bears hear the bells and are afraid that something’s in their area so they hide. Bear bells?” Everyone turns back to HOA lady.

“Well I’ve never heard of that, and I have no idea.”

The sheriff, who’s been silently sitting at a desk the whole time says, “I’ve never heard of it, but I wouldn’t trust it. Just don’t walk those trails after night.”

We leave, afraid of ponds and nature trails. I thought, “If I stay away from the ponds—which I had no intention of visiting in the first place—I’m pretty safe from alligators. I doubt they’ll come as far as our house exploring out of the water.” Much later I think, “Reptiles are cold-blooded. Are snakes really striking wayward bicyclists on trails at night?” I’m not a fish and wildlife expert, but I am confused. And ticks? I used to be a nature-hiker (remember the bear bells?); I’ve had enough ticks in my life to know how to get rid of them, and I’ve seen enough Discovery Channel horror stories to know what Lyme Disease looks like. No, I’m not out of the woods, but at least I feel a little better.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dripping to the top

Tonight, I went to Blockbuster for a really bad movie. Matthew’s out of town, so I have guilt-free anonymous liaisons with trash media, then never tell anyone but the internet about it. Fortunately, this is a blog. No one reads blogs anymore, right? Just Twitter?

Anyway, I’m at Blockbuster picking up a Lindsay Lohan straight to DVD movie when I realize I have to pee. Pretty bad. But I’ve used Blockbuster’s bathroom before, and, I gotta tell ya, I’m plannin on holdin it til I get back to the house. It’s not like Blockbuster’s bathrooms are gross or anything, it’s just that it’s a *huge* production. I mean, first you have to ask at the desk, and they oh-so surreptitiously announce it over the intercom that a manager needs to let a customer into the bathroom. Just in case you don’t feel embarrassed yet, you have to stand around waiting for someone with the keys while that whole, long, Friday night check-out line stares at you. Makes you feel real classy.

But the Blockbuster pee party doesn’t end there. Not only is a key-holding manager necessary to let you in, but they stand there and guard the door after you go in. Process that. You’re peeing. A Blockbuster employee is on the other side of the door waiting for you. Which is more humiliating? The peeing or pee-observing? I really don’t want to find out from experience because I’ve got to say that pee observation sounds hand’s down more humiliating than being spied on. And what do they think I’m doing in there? If I were desperate enough to go through all this pee-drama, I can assure you that I’m there on serious business.

Blockbuster. Friday night. Bad movie. I *will not* pee in Blockbuster. I *will not* pee in Blockbuster. I can totally hold it til I get home.


Half-way to my car, I realize that this is probably not going to go according to plan, but I am determined that I am not turning around and going into Blockbuster. I, Christine Wy, am going to make it home. No. No I’m not. OK, there’s a decent gas station really close by, I’ll just duck in there.

I headed to the bathroom. I could hear flushing sounds, so I knew someone was in there, and I figured I wouldn’t have long to wait for her to come out. Not long enough. Immediately after the flush, the door opened, and out walked an attractive young woman. “Oh my god, she didn’t wash her hands!” was my first thought, being a germ-obsessed weirdo. Ew. Now, being skeptical of her hygiene, I decided to check the toilet seat to see if she had peed all over it—I absolutely loathe seat pee-ers. Yup. The non-hand-washing attractive woman had peed all over it. Dammit.

I weighed my options. Wipe the seat and sit, or perch and add my own spray to the Pollack-speckled seat? I opted for perch.

Relieved of my troubles, literally, I realized to my horror that now someone else was standing outside the bathroom waiting to use it. Oh no! Now this stranger is going to think I peed all over the seat, when really it was a whole urine chain of events that were now completely out of my control!

I did what any level-headed gas station restroom user would do: I tore off extra toilet paper and wiped down the seat. I cared enough what a gas station stranger using the restroom after me would think that I actually wiped down her throne. I’m ashamed, sad, and confused, but that lady will always think, “What a clean, attractive young woman that was peeing before me!