Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Spooky little girl...

Halloween costumes I have worn:

A princess. I always wanted to be a princess for Halloween when I was a kid. My mother made princess costumes for me and my sister when we were 5 and 7. Mine was pale green with an iridescent chiffon overlay and I loved it. I had a wand and a crown and little sparkly shoes and couldn't sleep the night before Halloween from the excitement of it all. Then my mother wouldn't let us leave the house to go trick or treating without coats (we lived in northern New Jersey at the time) so in the only photo I have of us in costume we're both wearing giant puffy parkas and look like we'd been crying. We had.

Columbia from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was in my early 20s and had planned on going to a party with a group of friends who were also supposed to be dressed like the Rocky Horror cast. They bailed, so I ended up at a different party where no-one knew who I was supposed to be. I still have the bustier and top hat.

A black cat. I was 19 or 20, waiting tables, and we were required to wear costumes, so I wore a black leotard, ears, and a tail. I figured I'd make more tips if I was a Slutty Kitty. I met one of my favorite boyfriends that night. He said he wouldn't have known I was in costume if it hadn't been for the black nose and whiskers I painted on my face. Meow.

A sexy housewife. I was taking my nieces trick or treating and decided to dress up in one of my mom's 1950s shorty nightgowns with marabou slippers. I didn't realize until we'd hit the second block of houses that the gown I was wearing was almost completely see-through, which explained why I later found three one dollar bills in my plastic pumpkin.

I have also been a Nun (and went to a party where there were three other nuns, one pregnant, all male), Joan Jett (complete with Bad Reputation and red Fender Stratocaster), Drunk Rocker Chick (technically, that wasn't a costume - I just walked around the block ringing doorbells with a pillow case in one hand and a bottle of Jack Daniels in the other), Dorothy Parker, and Marilyn Monroe with a nose ring (actually, it wasn't Halloween, but close enough).

Once I figured out I could play dress up whenever I wanted, Halloween lost some of its appeal. My nieces are almost all grown up, so I don't have an excuse to trick or treat. Plus, I don't eat candy anymore. Or drink. But the Irish Pagan in me still loves the holiday. Next year: Dublin for OĆ­che Shamhna.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

If I had...

married the first man I fell in love with, I'd be a widow now.

married the second, I'd be divorced now.

stayed in my corporate job instead of taking a leap to follow creative interests, I'd be VP of a software company now.

gone with the first choice I filled out on my "The Right Career for You" form in high school, I'd be a poet now.

pursued the second one, I'd be a rock star now.

taken the path of least resistance instead of the one that scared me, I'd be a mental patient now.

There will always be forks in the road and no way to know for sure how things would have played out. But I do know that I would not have been a good wife. I was a terrible poet. A double dose of social anxiety and stage fright would have sucked the fun right out of being a rock star (not to mention my addictive tendencies and easy access might have led to being a dead rock star). Career decisions made by 15-year-olds aren't particularly well thought-out, are they? Why do they have those tests in high school anyway? What kid is going to say s/he wants to be a street sweeper? A rental store clerk? The smart ones say "doctor" or "lawyer." The stoners say "roadie." The easy girls say "model" or "actress" and the easy boys say "rapper who lives with model/actress."

If I listened to reason instead of my heart, it might not have been a disaster, but I wouldn't be happy. I'm the Me I'm supposed to be, but I still like to think about what could have been.

What are your "roads not taken?"

Monday, October 23, 2006

How did our idea of beauty become so distorted?

Dove's new "evolution" commercial.

While I'd like to assume that everyone knows that people in real life don't look like the models in magazines, I was one of those teenage girls with torn-out pages pasted all over my closet doors so I could spend at least a small portion of each day wondering why I wasn't a size 0, why I wasn't five-foot-ten, why I wasn't perfect.

I love Dove.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I hate a damn bug...

Last night while watching TV in my bedroom and thinking about getting my hair cut and dyeing it dark brown like Tina Fey's, I saw a giant Palmetto bug (ew, ew, ew) on the top of one of my drapes. I thought I was hallucinating at first because I never see the little bastards anywhere but the floor. That's why I pay an exterminator to treat both inside and outside of my house, so they'll die by the time they get inside. I jumped up to get my economy-sized can of Raid (Country Fresh scent) from the kitchen and the f*cker flew across the room. I screamed, came running back in with the Raid in hand, and sprayed the bug, which was on the baseboard near my dresser. Doused in chemicals, it died. I went to get 18 paper towels and a piece of junk mail (because I can't bear to touch them, I pick them up by sliding paper underneath and dumping them into the toilet, flush - twice to make sure they don't swim back up - then wipe up Raid residue with the 18 paper towels). Except when I returned, it CAME BACK ALIVE. At least, I thought it did because there was another giant Palmetto bug on the wall.

At this point I was hyperventilating, missing the end of 30 Rock, and panicking because I've never had two bugs at once, much less two that flew. I sprayed the hell out of bug #2 (my drapes now smell like country-fresh poison), but it was apparently a Mighty Superbug because it jumped from the drapes to the open windowsill. I thought about setting it on fire, but it flipped over and died. I sprayed it again just to be make sure.

It took me almost an hour to calm down (after checking under the bed, in the closet, shaking out the duvet, and scanning the ceiling for more creatures). I had finally convinced myself that it was a two-bug fluke (though I had Raid-in-hand just in case) and tried to focus on watching the Project Runway finale (I was rooting for Laura) while chewing on a Xanax.

I heard bug #3 before I saw it: a loud whirring noise from the corner of the room close to where bug #1 was first spotted. I flipped out, threw the magazine in my lap across the room, and vaulted over the bed with the can of Raid locked and loaded. Bug #3 died before I had a chance to squeak out a scream.

Three bugs, same room - I call that an infestation. I searched the room again - no bugs - flushed the toilet about a dozen times to make sure the three stayed in hell where they belong, and decided that I'd better search the rest of the house for more mutant flying devil creatures just in case they were pouring in from a gaping Amityville Horror sinkhole-to-fiery-hell in my floor.

It's hard not to feel like two scoops of crazy when you're running around the house in your underwear, cursing, turning lights on and off, kicking furniture, squealing at the dark spots on the hardwood floor, and scanning every single inch of the ceiling, all while holding a can of Raid in front of you with your finger on the trigger.

I found no more bugs, but stayed up way past midnight because I didn't want to turn the light off. And I slept with the can of Raid like it was a teddy bear. If the can was bigger, I would have SPOONED the can of Raid.

Where was Miss Kitty? She's not an actual cat with cat-instincts and cat-bug-stalking abilities; she's more like a stuffed animal cat that eats and breathes. She was sleeping on the bathroom windowsill and didn't even wake up for the bug flushing ceremonies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What I’m doing instead of living my life...

Worrying about money.
Worrying about the world.
Worrying about specks of dust.
Watching too much TV.
Making excuses.
Reading about people who are living their lives.
Hiding out.
Being afraid.
Writing about all of the above.

Eventually I will spend so much time inside of my own head that I will simply implode and that will be the end of that: Death by Implosion.

My case will be studied by medical experts worldwide and a new medication will be developed to make people examine their external world instead of taking a magnifying glass to their thoughts 24 hours a day. People who have been hiding out for years will venture forth into the light of day, blinking and rubbing their eyes and speaking and touching, maybe even hugging and clapping and singing. They will communicate face to face. They will know their neighbor’s eye color. They will know the names of the dogs that run in the park. They will not have to use symbols to indicate their joy because other people will see them smiling and laughing out loud, even rolling on the floor laughing.

The holdouts (those who refuse to medicate) will have to go underground, literally, and live on the fringes of society where they never speak to anyone, not even each other. They will each think they are the one and only; they will believe they are right. They will know the world through screens—computer and television—and through sound, but never in real time and never in the brilliance of reality.

I hope they name a park after me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Payback is a bitch...

Jemima's post about getting flashed in SF reminded me that I heard about this web site on NPR last week. If you've never been exposed (no pun intended) to this level of creepiness, it's hard to explain the feeling of being violated. I was flashed the first time at age 7 on a trip to NYC with my mother and grandmother. Though I didn't know what I was looking at, it was exactly like you'd imagine - the stereotypical creep in a trench coat with nothing on underneath. If he hadn't fled the scene, I think my mother and grandmother would have cut his wee willy off with nail scissors. The last time was when I was in my 20s and I had a regular stalker/flasher who used to stand in my front yard in front of my living room window with his pants down. The police actually caught him the 3rd or 4th time (I called 911 each time, but he always ran away before they arrived) and it turned out he was a neighbor that lived one street away. After I found out he'd been going through my trash and my mail, I moved.

I don't think it happens as much in these parts as in larger cities, but I think every city should have a Holla Back site. Maybe if these pervs knew that their wives, mothers, or children might see a photo of them wanking off in the subway, they'd keep it in their pants.

Update: California has a Holla Back site. So does Boston. And Texas. And Arkansas. And there was one in Seattle, but they've combined resources to form Holla Back Pacific Northwest.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

You make the rockin' world go round...

I swear to God I have not laughed in about a week. Not a smirk or a half-smirk. Not even a silent chuckle or giggle. My sense of humor had been sucked dry by out-of-control hormones, too much CNN, creeping apathy, finances, and a series of events that just made me believe people, in general, suck.

But yesterday, the sun broke through my evil little doom and gloom clouds and I laughed at the following things:

"The "BARRRNNTT BARRRNNT!!!" part is when "other person" for some reason gets right up in my face and wags their hands around like they are playing a large fish and hollers BARRNNNNTT BARRRRNTT at me." (from banjo-playin' Walter at Baxter Sez...I think it was the "BARRRRNNT" + the image of waggling hands that did it).

"It was not Pocket Knockers. I was striving for the almost-action shot a la the J.C. Penney Sunday paper advertisement." (Michael, after I speculated on what his hand might have been doing in his pocket in a photo emailed to us by a mutual friend. If I didn't think he'd give me a Friendship Time Out for it, I'd post that photo too).

"I too noticed your errant hand + package..." (Ida, who may or may not have been said mutual friend commenting on above referenced pic).

"oh my god i am like a muse. a muse for people that want to destroy their own lives." (from self-titled, whose blog I should visit more often because she always makes me cry from laughing).

I am changing my home page from CNN.com to CuteOverload.com and swearing off news for at least a week because this makes me laugh hard enough to momentarily wipe out my worrying about nuclear war and plane crashes and pedophiles in positions of power in our government.

I called my BFF MK (Morgen in the Morning) during her show and requested "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen. Why I think this is funny: she had my friend Louis on the air to talk about his Louie's Kids organization (fighting obesity, one child at a time) and an upcoming Yoga-Thon . Both have a great sense of humor, so I wasn't worried they would think I was trying to disparage the message.

Besides, not only do I embrace my fat bottom, but I want the whole world to embrace my fat bottom. The whole world. So take a number and start forming an orderly line.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

This is what you get...

...when you spend your birthday having a blasty-blast in London instead of with your BFF Kelly Love.

Happy Birthday, Monkey!

I love you.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Self-portrait challenge: Be not afraid....

Inspired by one of my favorite project web sites, Self-Portrait Challenge, I decided to undertake the October photography challenge: Look beyond the surface of your life, dig into your imperfect self and reveal it to us. I want to see the down and dirty you, the messy, gross and ugly you, the side of yourself that you always try to hide, give us some insight into your dreadful secrets. Be not afraid!

"That Which is Kept Hidden is Known as The Secret"

©2006 Kelly Love Johnson

This is the tired, jaded, smeared, melancholy, grubby, dull, sweaty, disheveled, sluggish, murky Me.
She screens her calls.
She has a Xanax hangover.
She naps twice in one day.
She doesn’t wash her face before she goes to bed.
She hasn’t done dishes or taken out trash in a week.
She doesn’t cry from missing anyone, not even him.
She knows a lot of things she will never tell.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why I am not a rock star...

(besides basic lack of musical talent and drive)...

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

~Hunter Thompson
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