Friday, March 31, 2006

Ace Employee

I can’t believe I haven’t been fired yet. In the past week, I have contributed NOTHING to this office. I’m actually ASHAMED at how lazy I’m being, checking email compulsively, reading comics online, calculating how much it would cost me to go on various dream vacations...the Internet’s name should be changed to better reflect its personality. How about:

Giant Means of Wasting Time
The Other Reason for the Rise in Unemployment
Deliverer of Brain Tumors for Surfing Addicts like Jemima

When I do have to pay attention and actually accomplish a work-related task, my body droops with ennui and crickets chirp in the vacant place that is my mind. And it’s only TEN FUCKING THIRTY IN THE MORNING.

Here is my latest addiction: Monk-e-Mail

Try it. You won’t be sorry. I sent Holly at Bonfires a little love note from her publisher. I send Alexandrialeigh a little apology from our ass hat former employer. (MWAHAHAHA!) Then I sent A.S. an angry turd note from his thesis instructor: “A.S., this is Doug. This shit does not work. What the fuck? Rebuild your entire model by tomorrow morning or you fail. By the way, you have a sweet ass. Have a nice day.”

Holly in turn sent her boyfriend a monkey mail that said, “Hi, Sean, this is Charlize Theron. You’re looking super hot today. I’m glad you shaved your beard. Let’s shag. I’m going to spank you like a naughty boy.” The best part was that the chimp was wearing a red 80s prom dress and holding a bagel.

I’ve been dicking around on that site all morning, and must have the mind of a three year old, because making the monkey swear just cracks the hell out of me. “Douchebag” is particularly funny, although you have to spell it “doosh baag” or the chimp hoses it up.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy. I’m walking the bridge with my sister and dad and the Bean. The Beaner will be in a stroller, so other walkers will give us the stink eye as we ding their Achilles tendons with the giant jogging wheel. Then I have a kitchen shower at noon. Then I have my goddaughter’s second birthday party at 3. (CRAP! Forgot to call the Add A Pearl lady! CRAP CRAP!) Then that night I have a cocktail party for some friends of mine who are also engaged. On Sunday, I have an interview and have to write an article on this big Spoleto party...I hope the interviewee won’t be as flakey as I suspect she will. Harumph.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Titty slap

Next Wednesday, A.S. has his oral defense at Clemson, which means he will be technically finished with graduate school (knock on wood fast). His manuscript is due a month from then, but that is apparently a mere technicality, evidenced by the flight that leaves a millisecond after he gets his presentation pass/fail on Wednesday go look at Mexican titties in Baja. I'm trying not be particularly pointy about this little male bonding excursion, but the mind races immediately, doesn't it? Mexico? Bachelor Party? Naked women? Cheap prescriptions?

Granted, A.S. is not really the chest thumping type. He's really pretty damn refined, but still...I seriously doubt that he and all his buddies will be merely surfing the whole time. There will be titties.

And those titties, they will not be mine.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wan and palely loitering

Since November I've had this really annoying pansy-assed little niggling cough. It's not deep and chesty and's more of a “ahem....hem, hem” type weeny variety. Rather than inciting sympathetic looks from coworkers and fiancés, it makes people say, “Jesus! When they hell are you going to get rid of that cough?!”

So I went BACK to the allergist, who suggested they do a whole bunch of tests on me. I had to politely refer them back to January, when they charged me a whole bunch of money for the exact same tests...which showed absolutely nothing.

“Oh,” said the doctor.

So I am having new tests done. And in the meantime, I'm on a positive MEAL of medication: Clarinex, Zyrtec, Nasonex, Astelin, Mucinex and Singulair. From here on out, I want to be referred to as “that wan and palely loitering phantom, littering the pathways of life with Kleenex and punctuating the days with her sneezing.” Instead of chains, I shall wander the corridors of my house rattling my prescription bottles. I feel like I should be the invalid boy in the Secret Garden with the hunchback father and child mother.

Boo. BOO! I SAY!

It is particularly aggravating that I tried to encourage the doctor to just give me some steroids, since they worked like MAGIC last time, and I could feel better instantaneously, but apparently my doctor is a sadist and doesn't think that five months of near-constant suffering and woe is sufficient.

Is breathing really so much to ask? Apparently it is.

Monday, March 27, 2006


At long last, here is a photo of the Devil Dog herself, sitting next to her mother at Edisto Beach weekend before last. A.S. took the picture, and I taunted them both with the red squeaky ball, which is why they look so wide-eyed and zombified. Aren't they cute little brown dogs though?

Consider the Stars

Man, I feel TERRIBLE today. It's a mixture of horrible allergies and too much wine last night. Margaret (the friend whose father died) and I drank a few beers and moved a giant log into the middle of a sluiceway in order to build up a big bank and get more water to some pitcher plants in the bog. And then we went exploring and sat on a log in the middle of the swamp for a few hours till it got dark, watching the stars come out one by one and finding our way to the bottom of a bottle of wine (very good wine, no glasses).

Then we trespassed on the plantation her father managed and where she grew up (the trust was sold about three years ago, and the new owners won't her family on it) and walked the old trails for miles and miles under the stars. It was very surreal. A lot of it's been clearcut, so we would come upon these old childhood landmarks that were out of context, like oak trees and rice trunks and causeways. We saw an old dike that when we were little had an irrigation system that had been build 150 years ago from the hands of slaves. Since then, it's been replaced with a mechanical system and widened with tractors. I guess the only certain thing is change.

We were pretty FU'ed when we started, but at least the six miles of walking sobered me up for the drive home from Monck's Corner. The cool thing about being with Margaret, is that through the branches of a big cypress knee, I saw the first star appear in the heavens. And I pointed it out to her too, but neither of us had anything to wish for. Just sitting there with was enough for both of us.

Beulah was so coated in dirt and swamp slime, I had to give her a bath at midnight, so the poor dog spent a very cold and tired night. She had a complete ball though.

Friday, March 24, 2006

More upbeat blog

The Dog and I are off to Savannah tomorrow to see Miss Nobody, whom I have missed tremendously since she moved down the river. The plan is to paint her house, but I suspect there will be some significant imbibing as well. I can't wait!

Although I am swearing here, in front of God and everyone, not to diluge her with wedding crap, I am bringing all my planning files for her to pick through. So if she blogs about my being a wedding nazi on Sunday after I leave, you can all hold me accountable and make me undergo the garter ceremony as penance. I think mostly we will admire our dogs and pick dog hair out of our wine glasses and hug the dogs. Because she has never met Osama bin Doggen, and I have a secret crush on her dog, Murphy. Hopefully Beulah will be on her best behavior and hide her terrorist tendencies. Or else (sinister music).

Speaking of sinister...why Why WHY do southerner insist on open casket funerals? I feel so guilty bypassing the part of the line that files past the body, but is that EVER how you want to remember someone? I think not.

My dad says when he dies, he wants to be cremated and tossed in the campfire ring at his island, so people can point to it and say, "Look, that's Ben's ash hole."

Mom never seems so amused when he tells that joke. I guess it's hard to go and put flowers in someone's ash hole.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sad Day

God, what a craptacular day. First, a good friend called me and said her husband asked her for a divorce this morning. I feel so bad, since I was all, “HEY! Happy Kitten Bicycle Time!” when she called, being that I thought she wanted to talk about the wedding shower she had offered to throw. Ugh...I would kill me if I were someone else. She called me about seven hours later to say he agreed to counseling and apologized, but still. I didn’t even know they were having difficulties. I guess that’s a good thing to remember for later—that you Never know what’s going on in someone’s house unless they tell you. Even my friends with the seemingly seamless and easy marriages have their fair share of problems that sometimes make my own seem so petty.

Then, I went to the 10 Most Beautiful People luncheon for Charleston Magazine and found out that one of the honorees is a friend of mine and a paraplegic, only I DIDN’T KNOW. Last time I saw her, she was drinking wine at a party. Apparently she was in a tragic accident last year and I’ve been out of touch since I haven’t ridden in months, since it's usually my horsey friends who keep me informed. Luckily I called my mom and asked why she was in a wheelchair, before I waltzed up and asked if she'd broken a leg or something.

THEN, Mom sent me an email that my childhood bestest friend's father, Edward Lowndes, died last night. He’s been fighting liver cancer since last year. His funeral is on Saturday, and I assume my friend Margaret will be flying in from Bozeman if she’s not already home. This man was a wonderful curmudgeon, a consummate storyteller and woodsman, a man who tipped his hat at women and was kind to every type of animal, whether it slithered, galloped or flew.

I remember sitting at the table at Bluff Plantation with Margaret and her family when we were in the fifth grade or so. Some British woman was praising the delicious wild turkey that the family had served for supper, and young Rawlings piped up in his prepubescent voice, "Road kill, Madame! Road kill!" And Mr. Lowndes jumped up, threw his napkin down on the table and declared, "Well it was still kicking when we caught it!"

True story.

Another time, I drove up to the house with Margaret and her mother, just in time to see Mr. Edward tear furiously out of the drive with the backhoe, ignoring our waves and shouts. James MacKnight, their farmhand and Margaret's nanny, was standing placidly in the yard. Marie Lowndes says, "James, what's the matter with Mr. Edward?"

James threw his hands up in the air and says, "I ain't know!"

This particular gesture and euphamism became very popular, because as it turned out, Mr. Edward had asked James to please clean out the refrigerator that afternoon. James' method of "cleaning" it was to put the refrigerator on a dolly, wheel it across the yard to the steep 20-foot bluff and toss it into the Edisto River. To this day, you can ask Margaret any difficult question and she'll throw her hands up over her head and say, "I ain't know!"

Edward Lowndes could tell ghost stories that would make all the hair on your neck stand on end for THREE DAYS. He rode in a McClellan calvary saddle on deer drives, with a horn used by his ancestors who signed the Declaration of Independence. He drove a car with horsefeed bags for a back seat. He'd rescue a water moccasin because he said every animal was useful. He could run almost as fast as Margaret to give her a switching. Sometimes his pants were held up with bailing twine, but he was one of the last of the old country gentlemen, and I will never forget the timbre of his voice.

I feel terrible. Like I should have videotaped his stories for the benefit of all mankind. Like I should have gone on more nature walks with him. Bailed more of his hay. Listened to his hound stories. God, my friends’ parents are dying. I can’t even think about what that means.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Burning haunches

No, it's not hemorrhoids (funny, I'm typing this in Word and it just asked me if I meant hammerheads...well, perhaps. I have heard they are really quite painful). Theresa and Jeff and I ran The Bridge this morning, and it proved just how far I have fallen from marathon shape. Panting like obscene phone callers, we ran it from Mount Pleasant to Charleston and back in about 50 minutes. When I think about how I used to pass people on the uphill sections, i just want to cry...and get emergency lipo. Insert wail of dispair here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pageant Mom

Yes, you knew it would be so...Beulah was the smartest in her class at Doggie School. We've been practicing all her commands, like heel, sit, stay, down, and come, for the last week. And all the other dogs were running amock and leaping all over their owners and growling at one another. Beulah kept her eyes on me the whole time, refused to take cheese from anyone but me, and did all her tricks with enormous panache.

I'm thinking of getting her a gig with Seigfried now. We'll travel the world, eat foreign squirrels, amaze distant nations with our style and trundly brownness. Beulah will be picked up by dogs that woof with strange accents, but I will warn her not to taken in...they all just want to climb into her new $100 bolster dog bed that is nicer than mine.

God, I'm such an impulse buyer, it's terrible. I already spent $165 on Tuesday for her shots and the itching to hell and back. Do you think it's okay to call her former owners and discuss her allergies and see if they'll offer to pay half? Is that tacky? I suppose I did offer to take the dog, which means she's my responsibility. But I didn't know she'd need vaccinations immediately, plus a $95 training class. Or that she'd wallow in my bed quite so much, but that's a different story.

Only TWO MORE DAYS till my mini break! Huzzah! A.S. gets here on Friday night, and we're off to Edisto. We ought to just meet there, but his aunt (who is lovely but apparently crazy as a bat) loaded me up with an entire carload of crap to take with us...model ships, travel pillows, mouldery beach towels, crappy plastic framed photographs, etc. I don't have room to put a toothbrush in the Mini, much less Beulah and her mother, Belle, plus the mountain of food I'm taking. I suggested we fling it--"She'll never know!" But A.S. says that in a year, she'll want it back and freak and refuse to speak to us ever again. Plus, she's giving us a piano, so I can't argue with her too much.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Separating the cheese from the chaff

I have a small confession to make. I haven’t touched any of the goat cheese I bought on Sunday. I’m SCARED to! It’s almost like when you go to someone’s house who has about 11 cats and cur dogs with mange, and they offer you a nice slice of pound cake, but you just KNOW it’s going to have a hair in it. My eccentric and severely unsanitary godmother once invited me over for Latin tutoring and gave me a coke with an ice cube that had an entire hairball frozen in it (it was all wound up in a piece of blue plastic), and the worst part about it is that I didn’t notice until I’d drunk half the coke, the memory of which still sends me in paroxysms of horror. Shudder. Shudder.

Anyway, I feel like one of the relatively evil lesbian goat milkers (probably the one who yelled at me to get off her ramshackle Little House on the Prairie wattle and daub tchotchke-filled porch) patted one of their pack of mangy dogs and then made my cheese without washing her hands. I didn’t take the tour, so how do I know that the milk vats are pristine? Did the lesbians wear gloves and not throw goat fur and chaff into the mix?

I may have to give all the cheese to someone else (SACRILEGE!). I think I’m a bit too close to this cheese to enjoy it, which is something I never thought I’d say. Someday, when I have my own goat cheese farm, it’s going to have no poop on it, or mangy dogs, and only hygienic, non-evil lesbians.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Brand New Day

A.S. and I went over my playlist for the wedding CD this weekend and the boy HATES Van Morrison. I just stood there blinking, because granted, a lot of his songs are overplayed, but still, who hates "Starting a New Life?" It's okay though, because if he thinks any Zappa's going on this thing, he's in for a rude awakening.

He did like Neko Case and all the Wilco and Ryan Adams and Iris Dement. He refuses to let me add the John Prine song I want though. Hmph.

I've just dragged The Dog on a four mile run, and hopefully now she's too tired to take a bite at me when I trim her dreadlocks. And of course, I don't have to take her on a morning walk, which means I have an extra 30 minutes to sit and drink coffee. Ah, Peet, will you marry me?

In other news, since it's 85 degrees around these here parts nowadays, we'll be experiencing some blooming: azaleas, magnolias, and the flying Periplaneta americana. What is that, you ask?

Ah, tender roachling, how I have not missed your ominous scuttling, your menacing wing flapping, your subtle, yet shocking appearance in every dark corner of the house. This year, thanks to The Dog, everything I own that resembles food is tightly encased in plastic and all crumbs have been cleared away. So come if you will (you always do), much luck may it do you. I know it doesn't hurt if I cut off your head, but perhaps you can feel it when you starve.

On The Dog note (not biting)...nope, didn't work. I did get half a dread off. She's very protective of her Rastafarianism.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Domestic Bliss

Ugh, what a wretched and numbing weekend. A.S. is four weeks from his thesis and exhausted and stretched too thin and people in his studio are having breakdowns, so I went up to the horrid Orange Place to help him out in any small way. Sometimes this means gluing models, sometimes proofing papers, but after taking a look at his fetid apartment, I realized that this time, it meant playing housemaid...but definitely minus any shorty skirt and cute feather duster. Seriously, ew. Smelly sink. Ew! And since he was at the studio from 10 a.m. until 2:30 a.m., I spent most of the weekend alone, just the washing machine and me.

Oh, and the dog. Beulah Dog and I went for a two hour hike in the mountains and swam in mountain streams with honking geese, and gyred and gimbled in the slithy toves. Or at least she did. I mostly got swamp ass from hiking in jeans in 85-degree heat. Jesus, when did it become shorts weather? At least I achieved thigh soreness, which is the ultimate goal in all physical activity. And after wearing shorts today, I think astronomers in far off solar systems are having panic attacks from the super nova that is my honkieness.

Anyway, I realize exactly how little I would enjoy being a housewife:
A.S. comes home. I’m passed out on the couch having watched depressing movies and found my way to the bottom of a bottle of wine. The house is spotless. He dirties up dishes and I feel compelled to hover around until he’s finished, so his crap doesn’t mar the perfection of my clean kitchen—a single dirty spot will ruin his sense of appreciation for my domestic anal retentive drudgery. He’s too tired to be appreciative ENOUGH. I am bitter and resentful. And bored. So bored. So incredibly bored. Boring boreness of bored boringdom.

Begone, oh weekend of tedium! It was so lovely to come home and sit on the back steps with my homies and drink wine and coke and grill burgers and talk about pot smoking days and music and masquerade balls and Wonder Woman and not have to fish for compliments by saying, “I cleaned your tub. Look! Sparkly!”

At least I got to hit the goat farm on the way home and buy lots and lots of cheese. MMMMmmm, cheeeeeese.

$40 worth of goaty goodness. Tomorrow, I may have a goat cheese orgy, just because I can.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


In case any of you were wondering if A.S. is the best fiancé in the universe, please see the following message:

“good morning. Hope your day is going smoothly - I know you have a ton of work today. I wish I were around there to cook you dinner tonight. miss you, and lots of love, [A.S.]”

I nearly cried. Instead I taunted him about his Moleskine surprise.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Cuddly Lumpus the Face Eater

I wish A.S. and I had a bigger bed, because Beulah would probably be really nice to snuggle with. Either that or she’d bite the hell out of me like that French woman’s dog that ate her face in her sleep. By the way, what effing dog does that? And who in the hell doesn’t wake up? Apparently it took that psycho bitch all morning to notice that she didn’t have a face. I don’t know about you, but I would fucking notice if my face were off. Then, I’d kill that goddamn freaky-ass dog.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Hooray! My new orders for Moleskines has arrived! I ordered two for A.S. and one for me, and I love mine so much, I’m scared to write anything in it. Since about 1994, I’ve kept a little book where I make lists, keep track of everything I want to do before I die, write down interesting names or poems I’d like to memorize.

It has text messages I received from my boyfriend in South Africa. It has books I keep meaning to read. It has good websites on home decorating. It has Christmas card lists and present ideas. It has metaphors I want to use later. It has my BMI. Writing sites. Weird trivia. Conversion tables for Centigrade ovens. The four column psychological test for about 15 different friends. Useful phrases in Afrikaans. Hardest interview questions. Future CD playlists. Peach cobbler recipes. Self help excerpts. Really really really weird dreams. Packing lists for trips to North Carolina, Italy, France, San Francisco, Mpumalanga, my sister’s house. Pitch ideas that I never sent. Menus for Valentine’s Day dinner parties. New Year’s Resolutions. A.S.’s address in Italy. Bridesmaid dress styles. And my favorite...a To Do list that includes, “Make New Years Resolutions.” When you have to make a list to make another list, you know you’re neurotic.

But goodbye little book. Hello fancy new smellumy Moleskine.