I was going to title this “Letting the cat out of the bag” but, frankly, I think we’re all better than that.

I just went to throw away the empty sack Victor left on the counter after he unpacked the groceries* but then I heard the bag rustling and looked at Victor and said, “Sir?  Have you left your bags unattended at any time?”

ferris hermit crab

And then Ferris Mewler gave me that panicked guilty look of “OMG, WTF?  KNOCK FIRST” and I was like, “Hang on.  What did you do?”  And that’s when I looked in and realized he’d ripped open a catnip mouse in there and was having a small, paranoid kitty freak-out.

It was like a tiny paper hotbox and now I think he needs rehab.

These are the things people never warn you about cat ownership.

*I changed the original way I’d written this because in real life it was a sack from a resale shop that Victor left on the counter after he was like, “No, no, no.  Do not leave that decapitated head on the kitchen counter.  You take that with you” and he pulled it out of the sack and I had to carry it around with me for an hour while I tried to find a good spot for her.  I changed the head (and also a vintage scythe) to “groceries” because I thought people would be too distracted to enjoy the cat picture, and then I’d have to explain that the vintage head is not made of real human (except for the hair) and that at $25 she was cheap at twice the price.

As an aside, Hailey and I are currently debating the best style for Hedy Lamarr (I’m open to other names if you have something more fitting) and I think this is an excellent place for a poll:

heddy

**************

And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid2

 

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by David Robert, author of Wanderlush.  “When David, self-proclaimed anxiety-ridden introvert, convinces himself that he’s dying of ass cancer, he invites his delightfully unpredictable, Xanax-popping, chardonnay-swilling mother on a series of international “good-bye” vacations. By doing so, he unwittingly opens a Pandora’s box of hilarious and humiliating events that include digging his mom out of a rain gutter in Costa Rica and being dragged across the Arabian Desert by a psychotic camel named Forrest Hump. As the vacations unfold, David’s mother shares a secret that will change everything.”  I’m buying it.  You probably should too.

Well, they’ll never have to restock at least.

Picture I took outside my grocery store:

Inflation is a bitch.

Inflation is really getting out of hand.

On my way out I showed the cashier the picture and asked if the price was really “zero bundles of wood for $3.95″ and she told me that she wasn’t sure how much wood was but that they’d honor whatever the price was on the sign.  I asked how much it would cost if I bought a dozen bundles and she stared at her register keys for a minute and then said “Oh.  Wait.  I think I need a manager.”  And that would be good because if I’m reading it right the sign basically says, “We have wood and you can’t have any.  Just look at all this wood you can’t have.”  You’re not going to win any customers with that sort of braggadocious hoarding.

PS.  I was going to title this “Got wood?  No. Because it’s priceless, apparently” but then I thought I’d get a lot of viagra spam.

PPS.  Spellcheck is trying to tell me that “braggadocious” is not a word so I tried “bragalicious” and they don’t like that one either.  At least one of those is a real word, spellcheck.  Stop being an asshole.

NOOOPE.

If you haven’t checked it out today then click here to see my update on my Honorary Super-Doctorate.   Medicinal Margarita Madness and mandatory napping will commence as soon as the mail arrives.  Unless, possibly, ASU is just is waiting for me to get distracted and that’s not going to happen becauOHMYGOD HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CRAZY BULLSHIT?

Several people are aware of my severe giant squid phobia and lovingly (?) sent me this video of a giant squid attacking a Greenpeace submarine, and that’s unsettling enough, but WHY IS THERE ANOTHER SQUID BEHIND IT SPITTING OUT FIRE?  Is that a real thing?  Because I was scared enough without adding: “Oh, and also they can shoot a blinding inferno out of their butts like a tentacled, aquatic bonfire.”  It’s like half giant squid and half underwater maritime flame-thrower, and that’s not natural and is a sign that all giant squid are literally demons from the depths of hell.

It’s also possible that Greenpeace panicked and threw a flare at it and the squid grabbed the flare like, “YOU THINK WE’RE SCARED?  THIS IS A DAMN SPARKER, ASSHOLE.  I EAT YOUR MOTHERFUCKING SPARKLER.  YOU’RE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD NOW, SON.”

And that’s an even more terrifying scenario because giant squid are already horrifying and NOW THEY HAVE FIRE.  Good work, Greenpeace.  This is why we can’t have nice things.  Because you’ve armed the giant squid.  THEY ALREADY HAD TOO MANY ARMS.

It’s possible I’m overreacting, but I don’t think so.

UPDATED: As soon as ASU gets back to me I’ll be available for consultations and endorsements. And it will be awesome.

I’m not sure how it happened (I suspect voodoo) but I was somehow magnamed the Distinguished Alumna of 2014 by Angelo State University, my hometown college.  (ASU Magazine clipping at right to prove I’m not just drunk right now.)

It was very flattering but equally baffling, and I spent the weekend pretending to be “distinguished” and hoping that people wouldn’t realize that I am entirely overrated.

I was given my award at a banquet where everyone else being recognized had a legitimate reason for being honored and they were all insanely awesome, professional, and unintentionally intimidating, and I suspected that none of them had ever dug up a corpse or been attacked by their pet turkeys.

It was fancier than my wedding, and there was a live marching band to play us to our seats.

I can't play an instrument but I think I'd be a good band leader because I look good in capes.

Do all marching bands have capes, or is this one especially bad-ass?

I requested “Tusk“, but I don’t think they heard me, or possibly they’re just too young to know who Fleetwood Mac is.

My extended family all turned out, so I had to come up with a suitable speech that I could give in front of my daughter and my granny, so I wrote my speech on my phone while Victor drove us to San Angelo.  Here it is:

“I am so glad to be here tonight to accept my honorary doctorate degree. I never thought this would happen. Until I was driving here, that is, and thought, “I bet if I accept an honorary doctorate at this event they kind of have to give me one. That’s just polite.”

It doesn’t haven’t have to be crazy official. You don’t even have to spell “doctor” correctly, and I will vow to never perform surgery on people without first telling them that I’m an honorary Doctor of Journalism, but that I’m really excited about seeing if I can find their appendix.

This might seem ridiculous but I heard some other college gave Ellen Degeneres an honorary doctorate and my husband was like, “Well, is ASU up to those kinds of standards?” And I said, “Oh, ASU is way better than that crappy college” and I think you could prove me right tonight by making me whatever it is that’s one step above doctor.  I don’t know what that is.  Super-Doctor, maybe?   Major Doctor?  I don’t know.  I’ll leave it up to the board.  You guys are the experts.

I’d like to thank my parents and grandparents for bribing me to go to college with the promise that I’d get whatever money was left in my college fund after I graduated.

If I’d had college math at the time I probably would have realized that there wouldn’t be any money left and that I’d have to rely on grants and scholarships and work to carry me through, but in the end it was worth it. Because 17 years later I stand here before you:  A proud ASU graduate…

A Super-Doctor, at last.”

You can't tell, but that's me at the podium.  Trust me.  I'm a doctor.

You can’t tell, but that’s me at the podium. Trust me. I’m a doctor.

I was supposed to be in the Homecoming Parade but I said I’d only do it if I could ride on the float with Dominic (our live Ram mascot).  I was told that was impossible, probably because they assumed I’d steal him, and they were right because LOOK AT HIS FACE:

He looks like he'd be fun to drink with.

He’s like if Matthew McConaughey was a sheep.

I refused to ride in the parade unless I was given an equal or better sheep but they weren’t going for it, so I was like, “What if I bring my own sheep?” and they didn’t say no, so I just dressed my kid up as a ram and smuggled her into the bed of the pick-up.  Hailey had never been in a parade before either but you never would have known it and honestly she sort of out-Dominiced Dominic because she had the sweeping, majestic horns and furry coat, and she could throw plastic footballs to kids watching the parade because she has thumbs.  Additionally, she didn’t shit everywhere and that is a big plus as far as I’m concerned.

(Hailey is the one on the right.)

(Hailey’s the one on the right.)

Then I went to the ASU homecoming game because I was told I needed to walk onto the field at half-time to be “recognized” and that sounded a bit awkward, but then when I got there I realized I was supposed to follow the royal homecoming court onto the field.  And let me tell you, if you ever find yourself walking slowly, here-comes-the-bride-style, onto a football field toward a packed stadium of people (and one live sheep) while a marching band plays “You Can Tell Everybody This Is Your Song” and an honor guard makes a bridge of swords for you to walk under, just remember that it could be more awkward.  You could be doing all of that while wearing a sweatshirt and pajama jeans as you follow the thinnest and prettiest girls on campus, who are all wearing strapless ball gowns and glittery jewelry, and one of them just got a tiara and that’s when thought to myself, I suspect a team of unicorns will be by to whisk them away, while a pack of dirty dogs carries me off because that’s the only thing that could make this any more glaringly unbalanced.

It's like turning up for a wedding wearing overalls and then you remember that you're a bridesmaid."

It’s like turning up for a wedding, but you’re wearing overalls for some reason and then you remember that you’re a bridesmaid.

I’m reading all of this and it sounds like it was ridiculously ludicrous, and it was.

But it was also…really lovely.

I kept waiting for someone to realize that they’d made a terrible mistake, but they never did, and I remembered that one of the reasons I’d chosen ASU in the first place was the fact that people there are accepting of anyone…even the girl who never joined a sorority or club, or went to frat parties or football games, or ended up in a single photograph during her time there.  I wish I could have told the terrified college me who hid in libraries and tiptoed through halls that one day I’d go to my first homecoming.  And that that very same weekend I’d aggressively accept a doctorate degree, and ride in a parade with a small, beaming child dressed as a sheep, and walk in the footsteps of (small-town college) royalty while a marching band played Elton John as I limboed under pointy sabers.  Then again, I probably wouldn’t even have believed me.  Honestly, who the hell would?

PS.  Dear ASU Alumni Board/President/King/Vicar:  I went ahead and made this myself because I know you’re very busy.  I’m not sure if it’s totally accurate but it felt right.  Could you forward it to whoever needs to sign it?

my degree

Please rush if possible. My first patient is ready for surgery but his family is giving me static and I think the certificate will help reassure them.  Also, can I get a discount on bulk ether now?   It’s important.  These cat’s tonsils aren’t going to remove themselves.

PPS.  Seriously, thank you ASU, for being a wonderful college for even the dangerously social awkward.  I just saw the video you sent out this morning and it reminded me again that there’s a place for everyone.  Thanks for being my place:

100% of all Super-Doctors approve of this message.  (See?!  Think of the endorsement opportunities alone, ASU.)

Now please hurry up with that certificate so I can start stabbing people legally for a change.

UPDATED (10/15/14):

This morning when I was getting Hailey ready for school I vaguely remembered that I might have sent an email to the President of ASU at 1 o’clock in the morning when my insomnia makes me even more unstable than normal. And apparently I did:

“To: Dr. Brian May

Just a quick thank you for the fabulous and unexpected honor of being named the Distinguished Alumna of the year. This weekend was really amazing and I can’t tell you what it meant to be recognized in the town where I always thought I was invisible at best.

I wrote a quick post about it I thought you might like. Or might hate. Hard to tell.

Ps. I’m just kidding about being given a “super-doctor” degree. But only if by “just kidding” you mean “ridiculously serious and dedicated to making this happen.” The last time I was this focused I was made an official Czar of Texas (true story) and ended up using this power to increase awareness of the awesomeness of Texas and also to overthrow the Government. (But just for one night and the Government was very nice about it because they recognized my valuable political contributions, and also because they didn’t entirely take me seriously since {according to my proclamation} I report to the stray cat that lives at city hall.)

It’s very late so this email might not make much sense but I thought I should mail it off before Tulane reads my post and offers me a Super-Doctorate and things get all awkward.

Hugs,
Jenny”

My husband, Victor, read my email and suggested that thing had already gotten awkward, but my faith in the weird was redeemed moments letter when a response came back from Dr. May, which read simply:

“Super Doctorate is in the mail!!!!”

It’s possibly he’s humoring me, in a “the-check-is-in-the-mail” sort of way, but if I really am getting my Super Doctorate I’m stoked because as a Super-Doctor I would always outrank everyone in the room and so no one would question me when I mispronounced words, or let myself into the lemur house at the zoo. Victor argued that I would actually rank below “Subway Sandwich Artist” because “Super-Doctor” doesn’t really exist. And he might be right, but I countered that”Super-Doctor” doesn’t really exist YET, and that with my Super-Doctorate I will be setting a record for having both the highest and lowest ranking degree to ever come out of ASU, and that’s pretty darn impressive.

Also, if I become a Super-Doctor I can diagnosis everyone as needed. Like if you’re having a terrible day you’d be able to say, “Oh, this? My doctor prescribed this portable margarita machine to help me get through these horrific business meetings. It’s medicinal, I assure you. Please carry on.” Or “I need to take a nap because apparently I’m suffering from ‘An Overabundance of Bad-Assness’ and my doctor says naps are the only thing to keep it from growing to dangerous proportions that might overload my body and make everyone feel terribly inferior to me. Basically I’m taking this medically necessary nap for you, so please keep it down.”

EVERYONE WINS.

I’ll keep you posted.

How can you say no?

So, I just opened a package and I may have squealed a tiny bit and then Victor was like “NO MORE TAXIDERMY” and it was unsettling because HOW DID HE EVEN KNOW THAT?  Apparently my “I’ve-got-taxidermy-mail” squeal is very obvious.  Or perhaps he was just playing the odds.  Regardless, he was right and he came into the room to tell me to stop with all the weird taxidermy because all those eyes on him were making him paranoid.  Personally, I think that’s more his problem and he needs to sort out his emotional baggage and not bring it into our house.  He says the same thing, but about my weird taxidermy.

But this one was harder to say no to because LOOK AT HER: 

small bloggess mouse by le heart

And Victor agreed that she was hard to say no to, but only because he doesn’t talk to dead animals.  Which is sad because he’s missing out on a lot of conversations with excellent listeners.

(Made by the talented Lea Mai Nguyen of Le Heart Design.)

 

**************

And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

shitidid

 

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Laurel Talbot, author of I Love My Gay Badger SonThis surreal short novel about a child-free couple who end up raising a gay badger son from first grade to early adulthood was written in under 30 days during National Novel Writing Month.  From the author: “My intention in writing this collection of vaguely true and hilarious stories is to put out there – for all gay, straight, human, badger, artsy, sciencey, ADHD, geniuses – that it gets better. Life will be tough, especially as you will struggle to figure out who you are and where you fit in. You may cry and want to hide for years. You may even want to give up and end it all-I know, because I have been there. Don’t. Stick with it because there will also be moments of pure joy, when you are doing things you love, surrounded by people who love the same things you love, and in those moments it will all be worth it.”  You probably need to buy it.

I fixed it for you.

Yesterday I got an email from a very sweet girl who wanted to tell me how happy she was to have found “this tribe of bizarre stranglings” because she finally figured out she wasn’t alone and there were others out there like her.  And it was very lovely, although I did think it was odd that she was witnessing so many stranglings here, but then I realized that she meant “strangelings” (like “changelings” but stranger, and that spellcheck had probably changed it for her because spellcheck is an asshole who doesn’t understand the fluidity of language.)  She also included this quote from the Breakfast Club because she thought it fit our odd community so well:

we're all pretty bizarre

And I agree.

And I decided to write this post in case you needed to be reminded of how important you are to me, and to all the other strangelings and misfits out there who find themselves at this blog, and realize they aren’t alone, and get the support they need to be the dazzlingly odd person they are without apology.  You have no idea how important you are.

And I love the quote, but I did feel it needed a small tweak to reflect the us that we’ve become:

fixed

Never change, sweet strangelings.

Mama Paquita: “Why would a baby need a sombrero?” and other problematic questions.

This isn’t a real post.  It was a rambling email I was writing to my sister and then it sort of got away from me and so I decided to flesh it out and share it here because maybe we weren’t the only ones who were taught this song in school.  You can ignore it if you want.

When I was little there was this song called “Mama Paquita” that we’d have to sing in music class.  According to our music books, it was a 1930’s Brazilian Carnivale song but it was kinda fucked up.  It was about some salesman trying to convince a mom to buy her baby a banana, a papaya, some pajamas and a sombrero, but she was like “Who has infant-sombrero money in this economy?  Let’s go dancing!” (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly) and I remember thinking, “Why would a baby need a sombrero?

(Side-note: I just googled” “Why would you buy a baby a sombrero?” and I got a lot of vaguely racist pictures, and also a link to a poem, which includes the lines “He had heard stories of a baby sombrero wrestler who would one day rule the world, but he had never thought that it would be his son” and “Hey, do you want to go get some soup, and maybe have a baby?” {Which might be the best pick-up line ever.  Or worst.  Depends on who you’re trying to pick up, I guess.})

Anyway, when I was in third grade I asked the music teacher why we didn’t just  sing the original Brazilian song, Mamãe eu Quero, (which I’d memorized from Carmen Miranda movies and old Tom & Jerry cartoons) but she shook her head disdainfully, saying only that there were “too many nipples in that song”.

I was confused about that for years, but in high school I told a friend that I knew the words to a risqué Brazilian nipple song, which I then sang.  She knew a little Portuguese, and she told me my song was about breastfeeding and that my pronunciation was atrocious.  Then I said, “Oh wait.  It gets worse” and I sang her the bastardized English version from my childhood music classes, and she was like, “What kind of racist bullshit is that?” and I said, “The extremely problematic kind taught to small children in the 70’s?”

Then she looked at me in confused bewilderment and I nodded in embarrassed agreement and said, “Honestly, I don’t understand it either.  I apologize on the behalf of white people.”  (Which is a phrase I should just put on a t-shirt because that shit needs to be said A LOT).  She gracefully accepted my apology and offered to teach me how to curse convincingly in Spanish if I agreed to never sing that song again.  Our cultural bridge was built on a shared love of profanity, and although I never mastered the accent to her satisfaction, I will forever treasure the phrase: “I SHIT ON EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!” which is easily the best thing to scream when you are stuck in traffic, or when the copier eats your overdue report, or when life is just being an asshole in general.

ishitoneverythingthatmoves

This was all before the internet existed so I had to take my friend’s word on the translation, but then my sister reminded me of that song again and so I decided to go online to try to translate the Portuguese version.

And here is the (probably horribly butchered) translation:

Mommy I want, mommy I want,
Mommy I want to suckle!
Give the nipple, give the nipple, give the nipple
Give the nipple so your baby won’t cry!

Sleep, son of my heart.
Take the bottle and join my dance party.
I have a sister, she’s called Anna.
She blinked so much she lost her eyelashes.

I look at the little ones, but this way
I’m sorry I’m not suckling.
I have a sister, she’s phenomenal.
She’s the boss and her husband’s an imbecile.

And now I’m even more confused, and I can’t get the fucked-up English version out of my head.  And (if you were also taught it as a small kid) it’s probably stuck in yours too now.

Awesome.

I am part of the problem.

PS.  Again, I would like to apologize on the behalf of white people.  Seriously.  White people fuck shit up for all of us.  Including white people.  It’s baffling.  I’m so sorry.  Let’s go get some soup and maybe have a baby.