Worst named fireworks ever.

I don’t know how other States do fireworks but in Texas it’s all-or-nothing.  Literally.  Either it’s illegal to shoot off fireworks because of drought, or it’s allowed and everyone goes insane and shoots off shitloads of pyrotechnics while young children run through the yard stomping out small fires.  It usually involves booze, neighborhood idiots firing guns into the air, and the police.  Most of us leave the actual firework-handling to that weird uncle who once blew off a finger because we suspect he has a greater appreciation for the danger and also because he has less fingers to lose now.

This morning we went to our neighborhood fireworks warehouse to stock up.  This is the conversation we had with one of the firework clerks while Hailey was off choosing sparklers…

me:  These are the most insane firework names ever.  I like that they called this one “Scarface”.  Truth in advertising, you know?

scarface

Victor:  Do you have any Tinnitus M-80’s?

Clerk:  I’ve never heard of that.

Victor:  Do you have one called “The Burn Victim“?

Clerk:  I don’t think so.

Victor:  How about “Child Maimer“?

Clerk: I’d have to check in the back.  I’m not really familiar with any of those.

me:  Do you have any “Golden Showers” available?

Clerk:  We did have those!  But they aren’t making them this year.

me:  Wow.  Who would have thought Golden Showers would ever go out of style?  How about…um…”Hair-Fire Inferno“?

Clerk:  You mean the Flash-Fire Hair Braid?  For kids?

me:  Sure.  (cough)  For kids.

Clerk:  They sell those next to the cashier.

Victor:  And it looks like you’re all out of “Plumber’s Crackle”?

plumbers crackle

Clerk:  Yeah.  I don’t know why it’s so popular.  It’s not really that exciting.

me:  You said it, brother.  But you have a lot of “Juicy” fireworks left.  I don’t think I want my fireworks to be “juicy”.

Clerk:  It’s a weird name but a pretty good display.  We recommend pairing it with another firework in front.

me:   Ah.  Like a Juicy Plumber’s Crackle?  That makes sense.

Victor:  And your “Happiness Explosion”…  Does that come with a “full-release”?

IMG_4159

Clerk:  Well, if any of your fireworks don’t fully go off you can bring them back for an exchange.  If you want something awesome I recommend “The Saturday Night Special”.

IMG_4152

me:  And according to the box I assume it’s a bunch of loaded guns you heat up until they explode.  WHAT COULD BE SAFER? Add it to the pile.  And this “Ministry of Magic” set…does one of the fireworks turn into a skull and then all the Death Eaters show up at your barbecue?

Clerk:  No, but that would be cool.  I’d recommend some “Tomahawks” but I think we’re out.

me:  “Tomahawks.”  Seems a bit racially insensitive, doesn’t it?

Victor:  Look underneath.

big shot cracker

me:  Well, at least they’re keeping it fair.

PS.  As we were checking out we found what we assume was the “flash-fire hair braid…for kids”.   We were a little disappointed.  And relieved.

IMG_4162

Happy 4th of July, y’all.  Please keep your guns in your safes, your drunk drivers off the road, and your blown-off fingers on ice.

UPDATED: A small gif of the fireworks we set off tonight.  No one lost any fingers but there were the usual amount of minor burns and I think we managed to blow up half of the moon.

This one caused minor burns & @Maile_wilson's clothe... on Twitpic

Worth it.

Forgive them even if they’re not sorry. That’ll really piss them off.

What I say to my small daughter when she’s nine:  Kids can be jerks but the best thing to do is to forgive them, even if they’re not sorry.

What I will say to my small daughter when she’s sixteen:   You should forgive people even if they’re not sorry because those people sound like real assholes and it will piss them off like crazy if they realize you’re forgiving them for being the dickheads that they don’t think they are.  Even better, just walk up to them and put a hand on their arm and say, “I forgive you.”  Then walk away.  And then you can feel better because you’ve fucked those assholes right in the head.  And also because forgiveness is next to Godliness.  Or cleanliness.  One of those.

Regardless, forgive them and you win.  Even better, forget them completely and then keep introducing yourself to them so they realize they’re not important enough to remember.  Then look at the note you wrote on your arm which says “Stop saying hi to Potato-face.  She’s an asshole to everyone and you always forget that.” Then nod to yourself and say, “Oh.  Sorry, Potato-Face.  Never mind” and walk off.  That way Potato-Face realizes that you’re trying to being polite and gracious.  And that’s important.

It’s a good tip for writers either way

Victor: What are you doing?

me:  Reading.

Victor:  Shouldn’t you be writing?

me:  I’m reading about writing.

Victor:  That doesn’t really count.

me: This book says you shouldn’t be afraid to kill your characters.

Victor:  You write memoirs.

me:  Yes, but technically my memoirs would be more exciting if I started killing people.

Victor:  Hmm.

me:  I mean, I’d only kill off people who deserve it, obviously.  Like people who interrupt me when I’m reading.

Victor:  Point taken.  Carry on.

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And in other news, it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid
What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by SilkWords, which is moving to a new reader-vote option.  It’s like choose-your-own-erotic-adventure except you get to vote on what the character does next and then the author writes the next section of the story based on winning votes.  This way you know you’re not the only person choosing the really questionable option.  The latest one is here.  You should check it out.

It was NOT a squirrel.

Hailey and I saw a weird-looking creature when I was dropping her off at camp today. On my way out I talked to the guy at the guard station…

me: I just saw a really weird-looking animal near the tree-line. It was like a big nutria but with a giant, bushy tail.

Him: You probably saw a squirrel.

me: I know what squirrels look like.  This was like eight squirrels put together. And it had a fox tail.

Him: Oh.  You mean a fox-squirrel?

me: Are you just fucking with me right now?

Him: Well, what do you think you saw?

me: It was like a woodchuck, maybe?  But with bushy tail.

Him: A whistle-pig?

me: Are you making fun of me?

Him: Whistle-pig. That’s what we called woodchucks when I was a kid. They’re also called “Land Beavers.”

me: Fine. Then I think I just saw a whistle-pig with a swollen tail.

Him: Unlikely. Yellow-bellied marmot.

me: Excuse me?

Him: Yellow-bellied marmot. That’s more likely what you saw.

me: Do they have giant tails?

Him: No.

me: Well then that wasn’t it. It had a big, bushy tail.

Him: Sounds like you saw a squirrel.

me: *sigh*

There’s a moment.

Several weeks ago I had surgery to stitch up a hernia in my stomach.  It was supposed to be very simple but the recovery for me was horrific.  Worse than labor, or gallbladder surgery, or stepping on a floor made of loose LEGOs.  I had complications and developed a seroma, which is a “tumor-like collection of serum from damaged blood and lymphatic vessels after significant tissue disruption or trauma.”  It sounds worse than it is but it hurts like a bastard and I’d end each day exhausted and teary and unable to take complete breaths without flinching.  I might need more work done to fix it but they often go away on their own so my doctor decided to wait.  So we’ve been waiting.  And this weekend I was able to walk around and leave the house.  And Monday I could sit up from laying down without wanting to scream.  And Tuesday I felt almost normal for several minutes at a time.  And today, if I’m not moving, I feel good.  Really good.

The point is…today I feel okay for the first time in what feels like ages, because time – when coupled with pain – drags by so slowly.  I still hurt, but more like someone punched me, or like other people probably feel when they do too many sit-ups.  I can finally sleep without waking myself up thinking I’m being stabbed, and I can completely forget the pain for several minutes at a time.  That sounds small, but if you’ve ever pushed through pain that doesn’t stop for weeks at a time then you know the blinding relief that comes with a few minutes of peace that doesn’t accompany the nauseous dizziness of narcotics.  There’s a moment when you feel aware of the absence of pain, and that simple moment is such a wonder that it’s practically euphoric.  And you remember what it’s like to not hurt.  What it’s like to live.  And it is so beautiful there aren’t words for it.  It’s so incredibly easy to forget what it’s like to breathe when you’ve been holding your breath for so long.

It’s the same thing that happens when I come out of a rheumatoid arthritis flair-up that puts me in the hospital.  It’s the same relief I feel when I pull myself out of a depression that lasts longer than a week.  After a while you forget exactly what it’s like to feel good again, but then when you come out the other side, it’s dazzling.

I’m writing this to remind myself of the light.  Of the dazzle.  Of the fact that it’s worth trudging through the muck because the way out is so much better than you can remember.  It’s like the first shower after a week in the woods, or the sun on your skin after a month of night.  I’m writing this because I know I’ll be in dark places again and I’ll forget how wonderful it is to emerge.  I’m writing to remind you that if you’re struggling now, it will be good again.  It will be so much better than your lying, forgetful brain remembers.  And I’m writing to tell you that if – right this moment – you are healthy and well then you should stand up and do something wonderful to celebrate it.  Go walk barefoot on the grass.  Treat yourself to a good book.  Call or visit someone you love.  Make plans for a trip.  Eat a chocolate ice cream bar.  Enjoy the sun.

And if you don’t see the sun right now, keep trudging.  It’s there.  It’s blindingly magnificent.  And we’re waiting for you.  Promise.

Just remind me of this the next time pain or depression lies to me.

Deal?

UPDATED: Twice as cute. Although I suppose that’s subjective.

Last month when we were in Atlanta I found an old, two-headed taxidermied bobcat in a thrift shop that I really wanted to buy, but then I noticed that the shop also had a human hand in a jar for sale.  I couldn’t justify buying both of them and that’s when I realized that this is probably the kind of torture that normal women go through when they’re forced to pick only one pair of shoes. The bobcats were awesome because they were on clearance, so they were twice as cute and half off.  The math does itself.  Victor disagreed, but I pointed out that there was a lot going with these bobcat heads.  One face seemed conservative and cranky while the other seemed flighty and possibly insane.  These heads were a personification of us.  The Victor-ish head seemed to say, “No.  This is a terrible idea” but the me-head was like, “I CAN’T WAIT TO GO HOME WITH YOU GUYS.  GIMME A SNUGGLE AND A BALLOON.”

I'm the one in the middle.

I’m the one in the middle.

But the severed hand was cool too, mostly because it was tattooed in the most ironic way ever.

So...yeah.

So…yeah.

You have to question how “lucky” a guy is if he ends up with his hand in a jar, but severed rabbit feet are supposed to be lucky too so maybe this all makes sense somehow. I couldn’t decide between the two so I held them up to Victor one at a time. “Which is better?  The conjoined bobcat faces or the severed hand?” He looked at me like he was in pain. I don’t blame him though.  It was a tough decision. Victor insisted that I couldn’t buy both but I cradled the bobcat heads and said, “I don’t know.  I really need ‘a hand’ with these two.  Literally.”  Victor pointed out that we were getting on a plane in a few hours and I probably couldn’t bring a human hand through airport security, and I was like “Good point.   Because of the liquid formaldehyde, huh?”  And he was like “AND BECAUSE IT’S A HUMAN HAND.”   I don’t know much liquid can you bring on a plane if a severed hand is displacing most of it so I still couldn’t decide but then the clerk pointed out that the hand was an old movie prop made of latex and so I decided to pass on it because I’m allergic to latex. I paid for my cat(s) but I couldn’t come up with good names for them.  Victor suggested “Hang-Nail & SideCat” but I asked twitter and they suggested several winners too and now I can’t decide.  So I’m going to let you decide.  Please vote on the best names for the newest members of my terrible posse:

The left head hates the tie.  The right head loves it.  Victor would prefer it if I'd stay away from his ties.

The left head hates the tie. The right head loves it. Victor would prefer it if I’d stay away from his ties.

UPDATED:  Another option.  Please don’t sue me, Kevin Smith.  It’s a tribute.  Swear to Alanis Morissette. jay and silent bobcat

Oh, Facebook…you win.

Remember last month when Facebook sent me a targeted eBay ad specifically for me, and it was for the ass of a squirrel sticking out of a wall?  And I wrote about it and then Facebook decided to double down so the next week they sent me an ad for the taxidermied ass of a larger animal.  And then Victor told me I was bringing it on myself because I kept looking at these animal-ass auction ads that Facebook kept sending me and so Facebook probably thought I was into that sort of thing?  Well, I stopped looking at the weird ads Facebook was sending me, and Victor was right…the ass pictures have stopped.

They’ve been replaced with this:

I give up.

I don’t even know what that is but it seems to have a goggly-eyes and I think it comes with its own sauce.

Touché, Facebook.

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

And in other news, it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid
What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Zazzle.com.  You already know I love them because I use them for my own shop, but they’re also pretty fantastic for finding bad-ass gifts, or creating your own.  You can customize designs that already exist or make things from scratch.  My personal favorite: post a picture of your kid (or cat, or whatever) here and they’ll turn it into an acrylic, cut-out photo sculpture.  I used that same process to make tons of tiny standing Beyoncé’s and Juanita Weasels so I could create a custom checker board.  I recommend.