Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Well, you quite possibly know that your family is partially screwed up when your aunt attempts to visit you and is not allowed to board the plane due to “aggressive behavior”.

Oh, Aunt Linda. How did this happen? I suppose it isn’t that hard to picture Aunt Linda being aggressive, despite her hippie persona. I haven’t seen her in years, which was the reason for the attempted visit. Encouraged by my hippie phase in my late teens/early twenties, she always felt we understood each other. On Jerry Garcia’s birthday each year, she would bake a “steal your face” cake and snap a picture of it, later emailing it proudly to me. 7 years ago while on a road trip, my brother and I stopped by her apartment in Florida to pay her a visit. Aunt Linda and I drank one of those double- size bottles of red wine while my poor brother looked on helplessly. But even then she had a sense of wavering fragility, as if something wrong could occur at any minute.

And things did go wrong at any minute for her. Over the years it would seem that her life was peppered with melodramatic family mishaps. A traumatic divorce. Both of her sons did time in jail for strange things that were of course never their fault.Her oldest daughter became a female bodybuilder. I am not even sure how that relates to anything and certainly doesn’t fall into the melodramatic family mishap category, but I thought I would make mention of that fact to present a picture of just how strange things really are down there in Florida.

I arrived home from work on the night she was due to arrive in Oregon and checked my email. On my facebook page there was 1 new message, and it was from Aunt Linda. The subject: Plane. The text described an interesting situation where apparently she was not allowed to board the plane due to being “too aggressive”, as well as her claim that she did nothing out of the ordinary. Had a couple glasses of wine before the flight.

My emotions vacillated between sympathy (how dare they!), anger (who is going to pay for those hotel rooms my mom bought her in Portland!?!), and morbid curiosity (wow I wonder what actually happened? can’t you just picture some kind of scene?). But after lengthy discussions with the relatively emotionally sane members of my family, I have determined that perhaps the airline did us a favor by pre-screening my aunt for me. The bottom line is, if a 62 year old woman is denied boarding due to aggressive behavior, and she can’t even get her shit together for 5 minutes to get on an aircraft, that week long visit here in Oregon might not have been terribly enjoyable.

And we never did find out what happened. The airline would only tell us there had been an “incident report”. My morbid curiosity hasn’t gone away, but I may never find out. We’ll save that one to the imagination, I suppose.

Read Full Post »

thoughts on self improvement

I feel completely sick to my stomach as each hour of the day passes with no news of the position I applied for. In my mind, I break down each moment of each interview, and the inane and ridiculous things that came out of my mouth before I had a good chance to think them through stand out like beacons of idiocy in an ocean of calculated speech.

Not getting the position would mean being flung back into the depths of despair. The despair of being stuck with no movement, lateral or otherwise, and the despair of another rejection being heaped on top of other monumental rejections in my life so far. A symbol of hopelessness, of an inability to break out of what I’m doing.

Getting the position would mean an elated feeling of success and validation. It would serve as a sign that I am on the correct path. It would mean I am the best at what I do, that I have something to offer. But somehow, as time goes by without hearing, that likelihood seems to become less and less.

Of course I know that I am notoriously overdramatic, and not getting one position does not automatically preclude me from getting another position. But the roller coaster of emotions that comes with the fitfulness of simply not knowing the outcome has led me to this unpleasent place in my mind that I need to escape from.

Outside, the sun has made an unscheduled appearance and it’s hesitant presence on the decomposing, sodden, brown, leaves of fall makes me feel like perhaps I will probably be able to feel successful someday regardless of the outcome of the situation. Until then I will continue to ride this out, and hopefully someday myprofessional blunderings and feverish snaps of emotions will even themselves out against the backdrop of life.

Read Full Post »

Pet ownership and moral dillemas

I have a cat. However, I do not qualify as a “cat person”. You know the stereotypes that come to mind when you think of a cat person: a house reeking of urine, perpetually single women, overfed and fussy cats occupying prime real estate in a living room. At the risk of seeming like a bad person and pet owner, I will announce that I keep my cat to keep rodents out of my house, provide a homey feel when humans view him perched on my porch, and to enrich my life when I overhear some purring.

I believe that cats should come and go as they please, cause little trouble, provide bits of therapy here and there with an appropriately timed lap sit, and defend the house against mice and rats when they try to move in during the fall time. My end of the bargain includes providing a warm shelter, sufficient quantities of high quality cat food, and annual checkups at the veternairian.

The other animals in my life are considered differently. My geriatric dog, who is approaching the ripe old age of fourteen, has an entirely different contract with me. She is my best friend, a spitting example of unconditional love, and I will do anything and everything for her. We go everywhere together. I will get up at six in the morning to take her out if need be. I will prepare her elaborate meals, buy her heated dog beds, and go out of my way to ensure she has an enjoyable day which includes several trips to the park. And then there’s my horse. He provides me with endless hours of entertainment, exercise, enjoyment, and listens to me discuss all the aspects of my life while we are on long trail rides. He commands my unlimited attention and wallet because he doesn’t even have to try, there is something about his sheer massive size and nonchalent attitude that you cannot argue with.

Back to the cat. He came about accidentally, as you may be able to guess. He was found as a feral kitten, newly born, under a tractor out on Sauvie Island, where I work. I didn’t mean to adopt him, in fact, when myself and a co-worker first discovered the 2 kittens in the grass under the tractor, we decided to put them back out in the barn, so that their mom could come find them. We also had the hope that if their mom didn’t find them, that the barn owls would find a nice meal. But the next day, it was apparent that neither their mom nor the barn owls had located the kittens, and they looked substantially weaker. We brought them into the farmhouse, and the next thing you know, we had bottled kitten formula at the ready, and took shifts feeding the cats. One of the kittens was an orange tabby, and because I had a beloved orange tabby named Sam as a child, I decided I would adopt the orange one. You know, do my duty as an animal lover and take in the poor wretched creature. I named him Tractor.

Everything was going along great with Tractor until recently. He is kind of the perfect cat- he is willing to put in a little bit of time snuggling, but he has a cat door that we installed so he is free to come and go as his pleases. This has made him independent and prevented him from becoming too needy. He sticks around our house though, not liking to go too far away. He sleeps on our bed, usually at the foot curled up against our legs, and I like this immensely.

Then suddenly, he started excessively grooming his genitals and howling. I’m not really sure how else to describe it. But he spent one night under our bed, conducting the aforementioned activity. The next day, like the responsible pet owners we are, we took Tractor to the vet’s office and spent three hundred dollars to determine that the cat had “crystals” in his pee. We came home armed with special cat food and three kinds of medicine. Ten days later, there has been no improvement. A quick peruse of the internet reveals all kinds of people, cat people if you will, that seem to think there is nothing strange about spending thousands of dollars at the vet’s office to improve this problem.

It is symbolically a dark rainy day as I sit here contemplating not doing that. I saved the feral kitten from death once before, must I now slip into debt to do so again? When there are people in my life that need the money for health care and food, am I a bad person for having the cat euthanized rather than paying for surgery for Tractor? I am hesitant, and the moral dillema is making me miserable.

Read Full Post »

Arctic Blast 2008

It’s that time again, time for an Arctic Blast. Only happens about once every five years or so in Portland, Oregon. Only this time, for some reason, it seems to be lasting a very long time. Our first little bits of snow starting coming down about a week ago, and then there was snow blanketing the city on and off since then. Over this past weekend we received the motherlode of snow, somewhere around 6-8 inches I’m guessing. It appears to be still snowing.

At first it was rather exciting. My boss, who is originally from San Diego, declared that the roads out to our office with their mere dusting of snow were too hazardous to drive. We all went out and fetched our computers and worked from the comforts of our houses, all week. I went along with the game and pretended to feel equally snowbound, all the while driving out to the horse barn everyday to take care of my horse, who lives very close to this supposedly “snowbound” office. But now, now that we are actually snowbound, I’m beginning to feel differently. We’ve sort of run out of snowbound activities, you could say. We have already had “nights out” at all the bars within stumbling distance of our house. We have played all the board games in the house that are appropriate for two people, and when those were over, we got drunk with the neighbors. We’ve had movie nights and baking nights. I even had a letter writing night, yes, actual hand written letters on paper that I will now take to the post office and mail with actual stamps. Everybody on my street keeps bringing over cookies and scones and shit they keep baking in their ovens, with nothing else to do. In my neighborhood, which tends ever so slightly towards “urban redneck”, people are driving past my house on ATV’s.

The problem comes that Portland is incapable of doing anything about the snow. There are very few snowplows, no such thing as sanding trucks or even perhaps accessible stockpiles of sand. The prevailing snow mentality is to require everyone to use tire chains and just hope it melts. 4 out of 5 times this proves to be an acceptable strategy, as the snow really does melt quickly. But tire chains are relatively helpless in large accumulations of snow, and there is that 1 time out of 5 where it sticks around for a week or so, and the city shuts down. Like now.

The plan for today? Another booze run. Maybe buy some new toys. And we had a wholesome board game playing letter writing night last night, so it might be time to start cycling back through the neighborhood dive bars.

Read Full Post »

Thoughts on the economy

It’s my favorite time of year. That’s right, it’s that time again: bring on the toy stampedes. Every year around this time, crazed and panic stricken shoppers turn violent as they scuffle over the last remaining electronic whatever-it-is-now. Just today, I am greeted with the inspirational news that some poor soul working at Wal-mart was trampled to death while trying to unlock the store doors at 5 am. Now, you heard that right. Yes, apparently two thousand people were gathered outside Wal-mart at five o’clock in the fucking morning! Just dying to get inside.

Who are these people, in the first place? Who the hell would want to wait outside Wal-mart at that hour? In the cold? You couldn’t get me near a Wal-mart with a fifty foot pole, at a normal hour of the day. And here all these stupid fuckers are, lined up overnight to get in, and for what? To trample some poor guy to death! To fight over useless crap, brandishing toys as weapons? And if you think about it, no wonder these people trample employees to death and punch each other out over the last cabbage patch kid. They’ve been standing outside Wal-mart for over 12 hours, spending the previous night awake and in line instead of sleeping, in the freezing cold, working themselves into a frenzy over the useless contents of some soulless big box store! If you ever want to feel more desperate and unenthusiastic about humanity, just think about that.

The sick part is, I’m sure all over Wall Street some assholes clapped their hands in glee that shopping related stampedes are still commonplace in these “trying economic times”. I’m just wondering. Has it occured to anyone else that maybe there is something inherently screwed up about our culture if we all need to be constantly purchasing useless crap to make our little world go round? The minute people stop racking up pointless debt to procure yet another flat screen TV, the world is crumbling to pieces?

I say, let it crumble. It’s time to build on a new foundation.

Read Full Post »


I’m out on the Oregon coast today, conducting habitat assessments with a colleague who I quite admire. Besides being a prominent figure of conservation in the North Coast community, he is very knowledgeable about all sorts of things that I someday hope to be knowledgeable about. I hop in his truck this morning since he knows the area much better than me, and we begin to head towards our sites. As we are driving up Highway 101 on the coast, he suddenly veers to the shoulder, alongside a bloated roadkill deer. It just so happens to be lying right under the “Welcome to Seaside” sign.

“Oh, got to grab this deer”, he says. I look at him, surprised. “It’s for the land conservancy, ” he explains. Apparently, they put roadkill deer out in the pastures on this huge piece of property they own, for the eagles, cougar, and coyotes to eat. He explained that it was a huge waste otherwise because the state just throws them into the dump. This makes sense to me, but he further explains that he had permission from the Fish and Wildlife department, so what the heck- it now appears to be the most reasonable thing in the world. Also, this colleague is much older than me and very well respected, so I’m inclined to go with the flow here. But it’s raining outside, hard, and the deer is pretty gross, so I’m slightly skeptical. I look at him sidelong again. “You don’t need my help, do you?” I ask. “Oh no.” he reassures me, and hops out of the truck.

Through the side mirror I can see him wrestling with this huge bloated deer (it’s a buck) at the back of his truck bed and it is clear he is not going to get it in the truck bed himself. I try not to look too much and especially not to make any eye contact with him while he is wrestling it, with the fear that he will gesture me back there. Sooner or later though, he comes over to the passenger side and tells me he needs help, looking somewhat sheepish.

I get out of the truck and the deer is disgusting. It’s been dead for a few days and it freaking stinks. And, there is stuff coming out of it. I try not to stare too hard at the head trauma, from which fluids are currently bubbling. I feel slightly sick. I realize it is bad enough to notice a dead deer on the side of the road, but much much worse to actually stop and attempt to come into physical contact with one.

“Do you have any gloves?” I demand. “I’m not touching that without gloves.” I go on to announce. He isn’t sure, but he begins rummaging through his truck for gloves while I try not to look at the deer and take deep breaths for what I must do next. I am hoping he does not find any gloves, since at that point I will be home free. Much to my disappointment, he triumphantly finds some latex gloves. I don them and proceed to hoist the deer into the truck, holding my breath and trying not to feel the cold stiff body. Dead stuff doesn’t really bother me, I’m a pragmatic biologist after all, but it’s not necessarily something I enjoy. Add the roadkill parameter, and it’s a downright horrendous task.

The deer has rigamortis so it’s legs are sticking straight up out of the bed of the pickup truck. It looks kind of ridiculous, and it smells so bad that when we park at our next site, I dash into the woods at the first possible chance. We hike to our wetland, do our habitat assessment, and around thirty minutes later we return to the truck to find it surrounded by police.

There was three cop cars, and officers looking for us in the woods, ready to arrest us for poaching a deer. It takes us thirty minutes to explain the situation but they have already called the state police as well as Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and it appears to be a huge fiasco. They start running my ID and checking me for warrants and stuff. Hmmm, wouldn’t this be a bad time for that old marijuana charge from South Dakota to show up? Fortunately, it’s been many many years since those days, and I come through free and clear.

Nevermind that the deer clearly looks like roadkill and we clearly don’t look like hunters, the cops are downright convinced that we poached a deer. I point out how stiff it is, and I show him my business card that says “biologist”. Then I try to offer another point of view: why would anybody poaching a deer drive around in broad daylight with the legs sticking straight up like that? He replies that people around these parts are “incredibly stupid”. My colleague, for all his knowledge about the universe and for all his beaming intellect, somewhere along the lines missed the life lesson where you learn how to act around cops. He became so flustered with the whole initial cop thing, that he was acting really nervous and stammering and getting all shifty eyed, and we totally looked guilty. So I’m left to try and handle it, poor me who would’ve never chosen to become that intimate with such a large piece of roadkill… ever.

When the state police and wildlife guys finally show up, they knew my colleague and are familiar with the land conservancy, and everyone has a good laugh and off we go, deer legs sticking up and all. It was an interesting day. I hope those cougars, bobcats, coyotes, or eagles enjoy our efforts and have a really kick ass meal tonight.

Read Full Post »

On being a botanist

Most of the time, being a botanist and my associated botanical knowledge is viewed by the general public as being completely useless. Usually, when someone asks what I do for a living and I fill them in, they sort of smile uncomfortably and then don’t talk to me anymore. I’m not sure if it is because they don’t actually know what a botanist is, or if they find that so incredibly boring that they can’t take it. But, every now and then my unusual profession comes in handy with some everyday knowledge that really saves the day.

Like last night in the grocery store when I was approached in the floral section by a panicked looking man about my age, for instance.

“Excuse me, can you help me?” he spits out. I am taken aback. Partly because I do not like talking to strangers in the grocery store, and partly because I am near the floral section and he is male and it is 10 pm- bad combo. But I nod, hesitantly.

“What’s a tulip?” he asks. I look at him like he is completely insane. “I need to know what a tulip looks like. It’s my anniversery, and it’s my wife’s favorite flower.”

I must have been looking at him like he was from another planet, because he takes a step back.

“A TULIP?” I say. Now I can’t figure out if he is completely full of shit, and attempting to hit on my in the floral section? But he just said the word “wife” in a sentence, so that can’t be. Besides, I’m wearing my hideously tight yoga outfit which I know does not do me much justice.

He nods eagerly.

“I’m sorry, but you don’t know what a TULIP is?” I exclaim. He admits to me, that no, he doesn’t. I am extremely glad he is not my husband. For one thing, it’s 10 pm on his anniversery and he hasn’t done anything about it yet. Another thing, he doesn’t even know what his wife’s favorite flower looks like. And finally, for Christ’s sake, he doesn’t even know what a freakin’ tulip looks like. He doesn’t even know that he is currently asking a BOTANIST what a TULIP is at the current moment.

It takes him three minutes to convince me that he is not bullshitting me and No, he really doesn’t know what a Tulip is, and then I fill him in that there are no tulips located in the floral section and that it is actually totally the wrong time of year for tulips.

He shrugs at me. “Well do you think roses would be OK?”

I shrug back at him, and he thanks me for trying to help him, and rushes off with his roses. Once again, an intrepid botanist saves the day. I think he needs more help than I have to give, though.

Read Full Post »

Why I Love the East Coast

Maybe the title of this is misleading. I do not love the east coast. But I did grow up there, and therefore a certain element of sarcastic and cynical humor has been ingrained in me, and it’s not my fault. Just last night, I was lying in bed and picked up the “Four Agreements”- which was left for me to read by a friend recently going through a new age self help phase (don’t worry- he has only been in the phase for three weeks, so not quite long enough for an intervention). I read a brief summary of the agreements and put the book down.

“I have a problem with this kind of philosophy.” I remarked to my boyfriend. He looked up from his read.

“Why?” he asked. After all, I know he has been known to subscribe to such wholesome ideas as presented in the “Four Agreements” in the past.

“It’s just not funny.” I tell him. “There is just no room for humor.”

“Hmmm, maybe things could be funny, but there doesn’t seem to be an allowance for sarcastic humor. You could still have humor though.” he offers, and turns back to his book.

In my mind: humor = sarcastic humor. There is no in between. So if there is no allowance for sarcastic humor in that life philosophy, then my logical conclusion is that the philosophy is flawed, and is not funny.

This same friend who lent me the book is very serious about it. Another mutual friend of ours (who is, incidentally, also from the East Coast) has the Four Agreements as well, but she keeps it in her bathroom and “only reads it when she’s pooping”. Our “enlightened” friend was aghast at this. This book, which seemingly changed his life and was the catalyst for “enlightenment”, is only read by her while shitting. He fails to see the humor in this. Probably because there is no room for humor here.

Anyway, all this pontificating about the East Coast was triggered the other day while riding on the Max, which is our city’s light rail system. I was on a line that was eventually destined for the airport, and there was this early 20ish looking kid on the train, clutching his luggage and looking panicked. He was very fresh faced, maybe even too much so for early 20’s, he might have dipped into late teens, as he had this look about him that said he’d never been to a bar. Eventually somebody noticed how panicked he looked, and because this is Portland and not the East Coast, this somebody asked him if he was allright.

“I may be about to miss my plane!” he stammers helplessly and looks furtively at his watch. Somebody else leaps to attention.

“What time is your flight?” this concerned human queries. It’s in an hour and fifteen minutes from now.

“No problem.” another concerned human pipes in from a few seats down. “This train will be there in about forty five minutes, you’ll have just enough time.”

“Are you checked in yet?” another extremely concerned human chimes in from a few seats in the other direction.

“No!” exclaims the panic stricken young man. I have to admit, the situation looks grim.

“It’ll be ok.” the original concerned human says, “your plane is probably delayed anyway.”

“Yeah, definitely,” someone else chimes in. “Besides you’ll be there with time to spare.”

Now I am usually one to shut out all conversation on public transportation. But I don’t know whether it was my mood, or what, but I decide to contribute to the meaningless banter and overhelpful atmosphere with a few inane comments of my own.

“Where are you flying?” I offer. The answer is Phoenix. I keep going inanely, “oh, don’t worry, my brother lives there so I fly there a lot. There are tons of flights leaving all the time, so if you miss this one, they’ll put you on another one no problem.”

He doesn’t look convinced at all. Finally, the voice of reason comes in the way of another passenger who has been formerly silent. He is a mid fiftyish man with a busy mustache and dark hair.

“Excuse me.” he says, in a thick New York accent. “Because I’m from the East Coast, I can’t help but present the other, and likely true, side of this situation. You’re going to miss the goddamn flight- that much is certain. You’re not going to get on any other flights, because they’re going to dick you around at the airport. You’ll spend four hours walking from desk to desk from gate to gate, and then you’ll sleep sitting upright in a chair that’s so goddamn uncomfortable. It will be the start of many years of recurring and incurable back problems. When you finally do get put on a flight, you will be flanked by a screaming baby on one side and an obese woman who hasn’t brushed her teeth in days.” he pauses, and I am laughing.

“Just sayin’.” he said, “Just thought I’d present another side to the story.” The panicked kid is kind of laughing at this point too, and everybody feels better. See? A little sarcastic humor goes a long way.

The next time I see my “enlightened” friend and he tries to loan me another book that will also cause me to be enlightened, I am going to tell him that if there is no sarcastic humor in enlightenment, then there is no me in enlightenment.

Read Full Post »

Over the years I have tried on numerous occasions to get in shape and lose weight. Each time was a collasal failure due to my tendency to completely overindulge in everything, and my initial overzealousness would end up doing me in right away as I rushed into an intensive boot camp style of exercise combined with overwhelming restrictions on my diet. Often, I would successfully lose 5 pounds and then feel skinny, so I would resume my normal eating habits right away. Then gain 10 pounds. You get the idea.

I would kick off each “diet” the same way. Feeling morose about my appearance, I would head to the grocery store and purchase some kind of glossy fitness magazine. You know, the kind the says “Lose 8 pounds this month!” and “Drop a dress size in 2 weeks!” on the cover. The idea is that simply by purchasing these magazines, you are being proactive about the situation. Then I would fill up my cart with what I perceived to be “health food”: almonds and veggies and brown rice and tofu and organic cheesy poofs. The latter is still cheesy poofs for all intents and purposes, disguised in more subdued packaging and with less Red # 40. Then I would stock my kitchen, eat a measly salad, and head to the gym where I went through the motions on the elliptical trainer for as long as I could possibly stand.

After a few days of this regime I would be extremely weary of being on my “diet”. I would rather hang myself than get on the elliptical trainer, and would head out to the bar, the glossy fitness mag tossed in the recycle bin or stuffed in a corner. Visits to the gym eventually tapered off completely.

Another interesting facet of this process was that I seemed to fail to grasp an important concept- eating in moderation. I assumed incorrectly that since I was eating organic cheesy poofs and almonds, that I could eat as much as possible and it wouldn’t “count”. I also gave myself a free pass to eat whatever I wanted each time I successfully completed a workout. Case in point: yoga class. For nearly a year, I attended a yoga class with my good friend Beth. Immediatly after the class, we would head across the street to a thai restaurant and consume a giant vat of Pad Thai. Then we would move our little party next door to the bar, where I would drink 5 beers. It didn’t matter, because I had “worked out”. Never mind that hatha yoga practically burns the same amount of calories as sleeping! The end result was that I became fatter and more flexible. Awesome.

An especially fond weight loss memory of mine is when I was in my mid 20’s and having just moved to a new city, was spending a lot of evenings drinking beer and socializing with new friends. I must’ve been consuming a ridiculous amount of beer throughout my escapades around town, because when I decided to switch to light beer, I lost 5 pounds within a few months with no other dietary changes. If you think about it, it makes sense, if I drank 5 beers a night, that was a caloric savings of 250 calories/day. Since you need to cut out 3500 to lose a pound- I would lose about a pound every 15 days with this “diet”.

So I’m not really sure what happened. I don’t know what clicked in my brain that suddenly gripped me with the desire to get in shape. I don’t know how I managed to educate myself about portion control. I’m still not sure how all that weight came off and who this person is that I see in the mirror lately. But here I am, thirty years of age and completely addicted to exercise.

I am so addicted to exercise, that I work out six days a week, sometimes seven. I still go to yoga class, but I also go to spin class, strength training class, play on a soccer team, play tennis, swim a mile at least once a week, run, attend pilates at 6:30 in the morning. I still buy the glossy fitness magazines, but now I actually do the suggested workouts listed inside. I can do regular push ups like a man. I can hold side plank for several minutes without collapsing. I will run 5 miles during my lunch break at work, and horseback ride bareback all evening. I treat my body like I am in boot camp. If I am hungover, I force myself to run in the hot sun and sweat out the booze. It’s as if I am a college hockey player caught drinking too much the night before, and I am also my own coach who makes me run the morning after. I answer to myself, and only myself, and somehow myself keeps insisting that I keep up this regimen. And keep it up I have, for nearly 2 years now. I am gripped by a terrifying and irrational fear that if I miss one workout, that will be it for me and all those pounds will return instantly.

I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here, I am just completely amazed by my self discipline. Every now and then it strikes me. I wonder, how long can I possibly keep this up? My new muscles are demanding. They want attention, all the time. And I can’t believe I spent the good part of my 20’s, when my youth was all aglow, overweight and sucking down way too many microbrews. Hey, better late than never.

Read Full Post »


Is it just me, or is everybody you know traveling down heartbreak alley lately?

In the past couple of months, I’ve watched from the sidelines as couples of all walks of life call it quits. I’ve seen everything from the relatively benign “going our separate ways” scenario to the tumultuous “who gets the house/dog/car” scenario. Wow. Where is all the new love springing up? How can one find inspiration in the trials and tribulations of yet another sad story?

If you’re like my neighbor, whose boyfriend up and left last week giving her less notice than he provided to his job (as it turned out), you have a huge raging party. You invite all your friends and random boys you met on the internet since the tragic departure of the man in question. You start a huge bonfire and tell stories, you blame everything on that “fucking asshole”. You show all the people at the party a particularly pathetic polaroid shot of the fucking asshole in question, standing in the nude (unaroused, I might add). You provide partygoers with ample quantities of cheap whiskey to wash down their sorrows.

At some point during the evening, someone suggested that we share the story of the worst time we ever got dumped with the group. Fueled by the cheap whiskey, we went around the circle and revealed what used to be private moments of humiliation and heartbreak with strangers. As each person exposed thier story, it became abundantly clear that everyone is getting burned, all the time. Getting burned appears to be a fairly normal experience… for everyone. Not only is it normal to get burned, but it is normal to get burned badly. I thought I would share some of the getting dumped experiences so that the people of the world can feel better about that time they came home to find their significant other packing up their shit or screwing their friend.

-Someone actually got dumped via a letter, from prison. Then it turned out he had started a relationship with her friend, also via letters from prison.

-One guy was heading home with his girlfriend to visit his parents for a week. On the very first night they were there, she dumped him while watching The Breakfast Club in the basement of his parents house. He then had to spend 7 days with his family while they pretended to still be together.

-A girl met a super hot guy in Mexico and had a passionate whirlwind romance that lasted 2 months. Later, back in the states, he was coming up to see her the same night she was having a party. He rode up on his motorcycle, with a super hot chick in black leather on the back. The chick in black leather proceeded to dance to the band provocatively all evening while motorcycle man decided to tell the brokenhearted girl he had a new girlfriend.

-Someone got pregnant and her and her boyfriend decided to plan a shotgun wedding. Before the wedding took place, she lost the baby. In the throes of her depression, her boyfriend decided to tell her about his addiction to $400/hour hookers. Needless to say, they did not end up getting married.

-Someone else got dumped during the first hour of a 16 hour plane flight to Australia. Enough said.

-Any now for yours truly. In college, my boyfriend who was living with me at the time decided to go visit his mom for the weekend. Three weeks later when he hadn’t come home and I was worried sick, I received a 4 page long “we seem to be going in different directions” letter. Then at the very end of the 4th page, it said “And I got drunk and slept with somebody else“. It was crossed out a couple of times, but not enough so that it was illegible. After drinking an entire bottle of wine to my head and crying into most of it, I dragged all of his stupid crap out into my front yard and set it on fire.

I think the moral of the story here is that inspiration can be found in heartbreak. The stories, when shared all together, became hilarious. Hilariously awful, but still hilarious. So buck up little campers, there will be more good things to come.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »