Thursday, June 23, 2011


They say all dogs go to heaven.  Well, I beg to differ.  I'd say that when they're the less charming canine reincarnation of Attila the Hun, they spend a little time in doggie purgatory before descending into a deep circle of hell where they are sentenced to an eternity on a tight leash, chewing on a rawhide bone that never wears down while a squirrel just out of reach points and laughs (my favorite thing about squirrels is their human-like hands). 
I hate you.

Without further ado, let me introduce Lucy (short for Lucifer), my uncle's yellow lab that I have dogsat for on occasion:

The last time I took care of Lucy, I swore it would be the last.  She is, to put it simply, the devil.  I love dogs.  My dog Liam was both adorable and hilarious.  Lucy is neither of those.  If I had to choose between spending time with Lucy and having a colonoscopy, I'd take the latter without anesthesia.  Even as we speak, I can hear a crashing in the living room and I'm just hoping it's the demon exiting her body...

No worries, guys.  She's just eating a coaster (sigh of relief).  Hmm.. where to begin...  Well, the first time I dogsat Lucy, it began with her just being incessantly annoying (scratching my legs up until they bled, jumping all over me, dragging me down the street while I walked her, etc.) But it turns out that no, it wasn't just puppy energy... it was homicidal behavior.  My uncle had asked me to keep the door to the bathroom closed so she wouldn't eat anything in there, but I forgot to heed his warning.  Before I knew it, she was chasing me around the apartment with my razor in her mouth.  That wasn't all, though..   I have to point out at this point that at my uncle's surprise birthday party Lucy came up in conversation.. as I bit my tongue, he acknowledged that yes, she "has a lot of energy, but she'd never hurt a fly."  Umm.... Once when I was dogsitting, I made dinner and while I was eating in the living room, she went into the kitchen, got up on the counter, got the kitchen knife out of the sink, and started chasing me with that.  The violence has escalated.

Heeeeeeere's Lucy!

She is just absolutely the worst.  THE WORST.  I remember when my dad and aunt and uncle came to the apartment, I had warned them that Lucy was the Pol Pot of household pets and they thought I was exaggerating.  "She's just a puppy," they said.  "She just doesn't like being cooped up."  Well, they came to the apartment and as she ran in circles they laughed and said, "See?  She just likes to be around people."  Then, on cue, the dog stopped mid-psychotic-run, looked us in the eye, and peed on the hardwood floor.  "Fuck you. Don't try to explain me.  I'm crazy."  Hey, don't look at me.  We've been on the same page from the get-go.  You's a crazy bitch.

My cousin left me a note thanking me for taking care of her and he mentioned that I should destroy the letter once I was done reading it.  No worries, the dog just tore it up.

Christ, I remember my uncle warning me not to walk her in Central Park because she was "in heat."  I guess because my dog Liam was a male and we had him fixed after he rode my giant Meeko stuffed animal down the stairs (Meeko got put in the storage room after that traumatizing incident), I forget that animals have reproductive systems.  Can you imagine how cuckoo bananas she is at her time of the month?  If Lucy had opposable thumbs, she would probably light a church on fire and shoot a cop while she was PMS'ing.

The last time I sat for Lucy was the absolute worst.  First of all, my uncle doesn't pay us for dogsitting which only makes this all the more painful.  He just leaves money for "food" (which translates to alcohol in order to get through the ordeal).  The last time I was here, my cousin had bought some groceries for the week and there was still about $60 left.  The little shitstain tore up the money and left it in a neat little pile for me to find when I came home.  "Hey, remember the chana masala you were going to order for dinner?  Mmm... that sounds good. FOR ME TO POOP ON."

"Sit?  Am I doing 'sit?!'"
Once when I was taking care of her, I had a couple of friends stay over.  I insisted they take the bed and I'd sleep on the couch.  In order to win the argument, I said that I wanted to sleep on the couch so I would be in the other room in case Lucy acted up.  The moment I said this she barfed all over the kitchen.  After cleaning all of this up, I went to sleep on the couch.  I woke up during the night to go to the bathroom and as soon as I walked past the kitchen where she was gated up, she looked me in the eyes and insta-puked again.  Now that is talent.  I can understand how she feels, though.  I kind of want to throw up when I look at her, too.

Taking her on a walk is like wrapping a Twizzler around your wrist and attaching it to Mufasa with a wildebeest 20 yards away.  She is... awful.

She isn't just uncontrollable in a cute dog way.. like when they see a squirrel and want to chase it.  She's just a moron.  Once while walking her, we had been trying to get her to poop for 20 minutes.  Please just poop so we can go home.  When does she decide to pinch a loaf?  (Yes, Andrea, that one is for you since you had never heard that before you came to NY)  While crossing the street and the red hand is blinking, Lucy decides to get comfy and take a shit..  Ok, now the hand is no longer blinking and there are cabs coming at us.. quickly.. Lucy, they're.. oh SHIT. LUCY. MOVE!!! WE'RE GOING TO DIE.  Apparently yesterday she pooped an entire roll of coins when she was with my cousin.  Not shocking.  She was probably stacking them up so she could beat me with them when I came to watch her.

There is one thing I'll give Lucy.. she knows how to give a guest a proper welcome.  The last time I came here, I already knew how much I hated this damn dog but at the time, I was still living on Long Island with my grandma so when choosing between the two, I'd pick the chemically imbalanced pooch over the LIRR commute any day.  Anyway, I walked in the door and she immediately sank her claws into my arm flesh.. As I tried to swat her pterodactyl talons off of me, I threw my purse down so I could defend myself.  Without missing a beat, she dropped down to all fours, reached up with one paw (I swear over everything unholy - particularly Lucy's soul - that this is true), and turned on the stove burner underneath my purse (which I had dropped in the effort to stop Lucy's attack). So to sum it all up, the dog tried to set my shit on fire.

Alright, ya'll, I should probably go.  I'm looking out the window and I see a doll that looks suspiciously like me hanging over the window ledge and now I'm feeling a sharp pain in my right side.

Update: she chewed the handle off her leash while I was blogging this.  Lucy for the win.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This is where half of my DNA came from...

The man, the myth, the legend.
My brother is at home for the summer, and, knowing I'd appreciate the story, he told me about how he'd worked on a powerpoint for my dad the other day and how my dad was fascinated by everything he did.  "Now can you put a picture in next to the text and.. Wait! How did you do that?!"  After I graduated from college, I spent the summer at home before moving to New York.  After watching 3 seasons of 30 Rock in a span of 4 days, my dad offered to pay me to make powerpoints for his oral surgery lectures because 1) I clearly needed something productive to do and 2) he still types with 2 fingers and buys a new laptop every time the internet freezes.  My dad is one of the smartest people I know, but everyone has their weak spot, and for my dad, it's the computer.  All the project required was some typing and google image searching but when I clicked from slide to slide and he saw the dissolves and fades, he reacted like what I imagine Benjamin Franklin looked like with the whole lightning/kite debacle.  This is one of the reasons I love my dad.  No matter how simple the task, he takes such pride in his kids when we succeed.  So, in honor of Father's Day, I am going to share a few of the reasons why my dad has succeeded ... at being awesome.

1)  His old school approach to technology.  We've already covered this but just one more anecdote.. When we got him a laptop for his birthday a few years ago in order to encourage him to start testing the waters with technology, we figured we'd make it a win-win for everyone and get wireless for the house. So we wrapped up a wireless router with the laptop.  When he opened the router, he asked what the hell it was and I explained that now we would be able to pick up internet anywhere in the house from multiple computers.  He looked around at everyone, then turned back to me (his tech guru) and said, "You know, we should invest in this.  People are going to want to buy this."  Just a few years behind the curve, Dad, but I like where your head's at.  Let me tell you about a little stock called Google...

Also, he doesn't know how to text.  Once his friend texted him lamenting about a Hawkeye loss and he asked me to text back "Ugh."  I said, "Dad are you sure you don't want to say anything else.. take advantage of having a texting surrogate here?"  "No, just 'ugh,'" he said.  His friend's response: "YOU CAN TEXT??"  Shocking, I know.

About a month ago, he was coming to New York to visit me.  I was at work and didn't want to call so I thought I would see if he'd learned to text in the year since I'd moved.  I don't know, maybe I hoped the empty nester syndrome would encourage him to take up a hobby.  I simply texted "Do you know how to text yet?"  The response?  Missed call: Dad.  Missed call: Dad.  Missed call: Dad.

2) He can't just answer the phone with a simple "Hello?"  Yes, thanks to a little thing called Caller ID (I'm sure you can imagine his shock when that one rolled out) whenever my dad sees his brother, his bestie Charlie, or me calling, he answers the phone with something like "Yeah, Sal's Pizza.  What can I do for ya?" with a ridiculous accent.  If he's caught off guard and hasn't come up with anything he just answers with "We don't want any."  Never just "hello."  If I call the house phone and I'm talking to my mom, sometimes he thinks of something he wants to tell me and just picks up another phone in the house and starts talking.  Like this memorable conversation:
Dad: Hello?  Hello?
Me: Yes?
Dad: Hey, did you know Tracy Morgan had a kidney transplant?
Me: ...
Dad: I think it was like a year ago.
Me: I don't think I knew that.
Dad: Ok, well I'll put your mother back on the phone.

3) When my brother wears his hood up, my dad tells him he looks like Eminem.

4) Sometimes he is totally Mr. Weir from Freaks & Geeks.  Last summer, all my friends came to Iowa City for a Hall & Oates concert and a few of the guys were stretched out on the couches in the ninth inning stretch of a group hangover.  My dad came home from work and without missing a beat, said "What've these guys been doing?  Smokin' pot all day?"  Sooooooo Mr. Weir.

5) He has no filter.  I flew home for Memorial Day weekend as a surprise for my dad's birthday.  My mom picked me up at the airport and the plan was for my sister to take my dad to breakfast as a birthday treat, and my mom and I would surprise him there.  My sister called while we were on the way back from the airport and said he knew something was up.  Apparently he thought it was strange that she just wanted the 2 of them to go to breakfast so he asked if she needed to talk to him about something she couldn't talk to my mom about.  She said yes and then when he went to shower and change, she called us for a suggestion as to what she should "talk to him about."  I told my sister she should tell him she was a lesbian but she responded, "I can't.  He already asked me.  In front of all my friends.  Over dinner."  In his defense, he only asked so that he could tell her that he and my mom were totally fine with it if she was.

On this same topic, his concept of where to draw the line can probably be found alongside his discarded filter.  Apparently in the car one time, my dad was teasing my mom, and my mom said something along the lines of "You know, I'm going to smack you in the head if you say that again."  My dad's response?  "Well, I'm going to rip out your small intestine, wrap it around your neck, and choke you with it."  Umm... yeah.. "too far" was when her digestive tract got involved.

Sometimes this lack of filter gets him into trouble.  My parents were having friends over for dinner and my dad asked my mom to pick up some wine and nice beer.  After some of the people had arrived, my dad went to the fridge to get one of them a beer.  Upon opening the fridge, he turns to my mom and says, "You know, no matter what I ask, why do you always have to buy such shit beer?"  Umm.. the beer my mom bought was outside in a cooler.  The beer in the fridge was what one of the couples - who was standing there witnessing this - had brought over.  Oops.

He also taught his children to abandon our filters at a young age.  My dad was always interested in the performance arts and thought I had natural theatrical talent.  When As Good As It Gets was released in 1997, he got me to memorize the scene where Jack Nicholson tells Greg Kinnear "Don't knock.. not on this door" and perform it at family dinners over the Christmas holidays.  I was 9 years old and definitely had no idea what a fudge packer was but I totally nailed it.

6) This text from my sister: "You know dad has been drinking when he says that he could hang with John Tesh and that they could bounce shit off each other."

7) He loves this commercial and says it makes him want to cry:

Well, these are just a few of the reasons my dad has succeeded at being awesome, but the most important is that despite the fact that I rip on him and his receding hairline all the time, he loves and supports me unconditionally, and if I allowed him to know I was writing a blog, I'm sure he would be my third - and most loyal - follower.  Love you, Dad!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I See Dead People (maybe)

It's raining which was supposed to be my motivation to go downstairs and do laundry but I decided this morning to lay in bed and watch movies because, well, I CAN.  So I took the list of Netflix instant play recommendations from my friend Chris and started with Mary & Max (which I give two thumbs up).  Mary is a quirkly, lonely little girl living in Australia who becomes pen pals with Max, a lonely older man with Asperger's Syndrome living in New York City.  In one of his letters to Mary, Max writes "People often confuse me but I try not to let them worry me." I thought that was a very fitting description of how most people react to the crazies they run into on a daily basis here which leads me to the story that happened to me yesterday morning which was definitely bloggin' material.

This would never happen.  I would have broken rank, taken a picture with my
camera phone, and sold the rights to Doc Oc for $10 million. 
I was walking to the subway on my way to work when I stopped at the corner of St. Mark's Place and 2nd Ave. waiting for the light to change.  I was listening to a voicemail when all of a sudden this guy was standing in front of my face staring at me.  Honestly, I usually take a page out of Max's book and let the crazies confuse me but not worry me.  You have to laugh them off.  Once when I was interning in New York a couple of years ago, I was passing this homeless man who I would always see in the same spot around 23rd St. and Sixth Ave.  He had a sign asking for money or food, and I decided to give him the peanut butter sandwich I had packed with me for lunch that day.  When I set my little brown paper lunch bag down next to him, he asked, "What is that?"  I told him it was a sandwich, at which point he started yelling at me to take it back.  Completely confuzzled, I didn't know what to do.. I couldn't take the sandwich back because anyone passing by was going to think I was taking food from a homeless person and if New Yorkers are as morally upright as they appear in that scene in Spiderman 2 ("We won't tell nobody, Spidey."  Barf), I would have been tarred and feathered like a post-Revolution Tory on the spot.  So instead I just ran away while the homeless guy yelled "YOU'RE GETTING ANTS ON MY BLANKET! YOU'RE GETTING ANTS ON MY BLANKET!"

Anyway, back to the corner of St. Mark's and 2nd.  So as I said, I normally ignore the crazies but this one was by far the most disturbing encounter I've had (and bear in mind this is at 8:30 on a Friday morning).  This guy was probably in his 40s and kind of reminded me of a skinnier version of the guy in Elf who works in the mailroom and gives Buddy the "syrup" for his coffee.  Now, I'm not trying to be dramatic but I have reason to believe he had escaped from a mental hospital and my reasons are threefold:
1)  He was wearing an all-white get-up
2)  He was wearing a hospital wristband
and.. wait for it...
3) His head was covered in blood.  Yes... blood.  And there was dried blood down his arm as well. Bet you didn't see that one coming.

What? Is there something on my face?
I stood there completely still and avoided eye contact until he threw his hands up in the air and walked away.  He then stood in front of me, also waiting for the light to change, which is when I saw the open wounds on the back of his head, and then when that goddamn red hand turned to my favorite little walking pedestrian (yes, I sacrificed symmetry there to avoid sounding racist) he just continued walking and then turned the corner (thank God) as I kept walking straight.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that maybe I could see dead people.. Like I was Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, and he needed me to help him bring justice to the doctors who performed experiments on his brain in the mental institution..  In which case this was definitely a missed opportunity.  Once I had decided that this was unlikely (but not impossible), I started thinking about how much cooler this story would have been if I had actually interacted with him.  Like if he had gotten into a fight with the guard at the mental hospital and killed him and then after I turned him into the police I could have been a witness in the trial.  But if I'd actually talked to him maybe he would have gone crazy and spit on me or punched me in the face or something.  In which case I'd still wind up with a cooler story but the experience as a whole would be decidedly less favorable to my physical well-being.

So the moral of the story is that while people confuse me, I try not to let them worry me... unless they have experienced blunt force trauma to the head and have that "I-once-stabbed-a-drifter-for-his-shopping-cart" look in their eye.  In which case it is best to worry.  And fake a phone call.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yep, You're the Worst.

I'm not feeling particularly inspired this evening but as I have a couple of friends in town this weekend, if I don't post tonight I won't post until Sunday, and I'd hate for all my loyal followers to think I've abandoned them.  Well, still just one loyal follower (thanks again, Nathan!  also, thanks for the phrase "softer than a curry shite." it's my new favorite) but a girl can dream!

Anypoop, as I wrapped up my four years at Notre Dame, on one particularly booze-fueled day during senior week, I sent the following text to a friend former friend:

Hi!  It's Mariel!  Just wanted to say go fuck yourself.  Yep, you're the worst.  Well, just wanted to get that off my chest before graduation.

Needless to say, this was detrimental to our friendship but instrumental in making me a texting legend.  So the phrase "yep, you're the worst" became part of our colloquial.  Now, since I don't have anything I'm itching to write about this evening, I'm just going to tell you a few other things that are the worst.

1) Penn Station.  Maybe it's because I associate it with my frustration to move out of my grandma's house when I was commuting from Long Island and saving up to live in the city.  Maybe it's because of the heartbreak that I felt one too many times upon running down the stairs, watching the train doors close, and waiting another 2 hours for the 3:19 am to Port Washington.  Maybe it's because once I missed the 3:19 am and woke up next to a homeless person without my shoes on.  Who knows?  It's the worst.  Period.

2) Balthazar Getty -- We've already talked about the fact that Balthazar Getty aka Tommy Walker is the devil but I just found out a little background info indicating failure is in his DNA.  His father J. Paul Getty III was kidnapped and held for a $3 million ransom in 1973.  J. Paul's grandfather (Balthazar's great-grandfather) was oil magnate Jean Paul Getty.  Jean Paul and his son insisted that the ransom was a hoax and refused to pay it.  They received JP III's hair and SEVERED EAR in the mail.  Is that proof enough for you, idiots?  Then, JP III gets married at the age of 18 and Jean Paul the Grandpa disinherits him for marrying too young!  JP found a girl who was ok with whispering sweet nothings into a gaping hole and seized the day... and now - after the trauma of getting Van Gogh'd by the Italian mafia - his dick of a grandpa takes away his inheritance.   I guess the gene for being the worst skips 2 generations because Balthazar seems like Jean Paul, Jr. to me.  P.S. Jean Paul probably would have disinherited Balthazar for that hideous eyebrow and his ineptitude at charades.

3) When uninformed people claim to have a political stance but are really just repeating what they've heard other people say so that they can keep up with things that really matter.. like the Kardashians.  I remember when President Obama was elected and my newsfeed was bombarded by 8th graders at my high school whining "Ughh can't w8 4 a socialist govermint."  You don't even know what that means.  And your parents are rednecks.  Also, if you're getting your news from The Onion, please never operate heavy machinery or donate to a sperm bank.

4)  Not having air conditioning in my apartment.  I'm sweating like Louie Anderson in the home stretch of a 5K charity walk.

Well, I'll leave you with that image.  Until next time, kiddos.