Today this blog is ten years old. I feel like I should say something really profound, but depth eludes me right now.
I’m what I’ve heard many of us refer to as an “Old School Blogger”. I’ve been around the blogging block, as it were. Really, blogging was the original social network. Believe it or not, we used do this thing where we would read and leave comments on other people’s blog posts and they would do the same in return. The mind, it reels. This was a thing, I swear.
I’ve met the majority of the people in my life thanks to the Internet and blogging, specifically. Since this blog started, I met some of my dearest friends, people I call family; I finally traveled to another country, wrote a book about blogging and began a thriving web design business I’m really proud of.
On the flip side, I lost 100 lbs and gained a bunch back in front of everyone, which wasn’t really, you know, the plan, but all you can do is dust your ample ass off and start again.
Through blogging, I’ve seen friends experience great joy and sadness, loss, hope, triumph and so many manicures I can’t count. I have experienced the best and worst of people. I’ve been vilified and mocked, but mostly I’ve been embraced, uplifted and cheered on when I’ve deviated from my usual social observations to bare my soul, however rarely.
If I may get a little soft focus on you, I’m grateful for blogs, for connecting me to people… for connecting me to you. Thanks for the decade, chickens.
I need to rant. One of my new year’s “efforts” is to not complain so much and be grateful more often, but it’s still 2012 and I have a blog — that’s what they’re for, no? With that said…
I am the worst at being sick. I can’t sit still, and I always seem to get sick at the most inopportune times — like Christmas. The ENTIRE 4-day Christmas break, I was laid up on the sofa watching endless repeats of The Help. I love that movie, but if I have to hear about Minnie’s shit pie one more time this week, I may riot.
So, Christmas Day, we go to Mikey‘s family’s house, like we usually do. I am feeling much better, so I rally, grab my Ricola and off we go. We have some dry turkey and a lovely time (albeit short — only like 90 minutes) and then head home, back to the couch, where “Minnie don’t burn chicken”.
Yesterday, since I was well enough to go to the family’s, I figured I should go to work. I have a project that is in its end stages and I really, really need to move on to the other projects in my queue before they riot. So I did — for 13 hours. Probably not the smartest move ever, but things need to get done.
Cut to last night, between midnight and 4am when I am throwing a naked tantrum in the bedroom because I can’t stop coughing. CAN’T. STOP. COUGHING. That hacking, dry, tickling, annoying cough that feels like you might split the back of your throat open like old wood. Every single time I’d lie may head against the pillow… cough. Cough cough cough. Cough enough to sit up. Cough enough to get in a coughing fit and pull a muscle in your back. Suck on a cough drop… suck on another one… wonder if you’ll get a tumor from all the cough drops… cough cough cough. Spill the water fumbling for a tissue. CURSE REALLY LOUDLY. Get your bearings, calm the eff down enough to lie back down again… only to start anew. I violently punched a pillow last night at least 4 times, enraged at my inability to stop coughing. God, I just wanted to sleep, that’s all I wanted.
Again I say, WTF?
So finally, after Nyquil and cough syrup and enough Ricola to fill a very large man’s lederhosen, I finally, mercifully, fall asleep…. until the smoke alarm battery alert starts to beep around 4am.
Whomever invented those whores must have it set on a timer to go off in the middle of the night. It never fails. Every single time I’ve had to replace a smoke alarm battery, it’s told me in the middle of the night. What is that about? WHY DO YOU HATE ME, SMOKE ALARM PEOPLE?
Anyway, I tried to not get upset. I didn’t want to open my mouth or change my position lest I wake the undead in my throat, waiting for any opportunity to start the coughing again. I tried to be zen about it.
*Beep* Breathe… 2… 3… 4… maybe it’s not so ba- *Beep* Breathe… 2… 3…4… just try to fall back to sleep, I think maybe it sto- *Beep* Fuck.
Mike, of course, was sawing logs next to me, completely oblivious. That man can sleep through Armageddon. Actually, everyone can sleep through Armageddon. That movie sucked.
Miraculously, I managed to tune it out enough to sleep until 7:30, when I calmly walked nude through the apartment to find a 9-volt battery and the stepstool so I could change that motherbitch before I threw the smoke alarm off the balcony.
I’m supposed to work today and then go to a party tonight. I actually feel ok, other than being righteously tired. My throat feels like I’ve been sucking cough drops made of glass, and I’m still coughing, but nothing like at night when I lie down. Fortunately, the party is early and mellow, so I can probably still make it (I missed most of Christmas and I have no New Year’s Eve plans, so I’m taking this one).
Assuming zombies don’t fly out of my throat and try to kill everyone.
I ran across a listing on Zillow last night for a way-too-good-to-be-true house for rent in Bay Ho, a neighborhood of San Diego with mostly mid-60′s ranch-style homes in a quiet area. This house was everything we wanted: not too big, not too small, a big backyard, mid-century, relatively new kitchen and all for only $1500/mo, all utilities included (water, electric, trash, cable, internet).
The utilities alone were enough to make me call “bollocks!”, but the price was the kicker. It’s hard to find sizable rentals under $1700 and those are usually well under 900 sq ft., so I had a feeling it was falderal, but I’d hate to pass up an opportunity if one presents itself, so dubiously, I emailed for more information.
This morning I received this email from a woman named “Peggy Phillips”:
Thanks for your interest.My home is available for rent and ready for you to move in,once you agree to my terms.Though,we wanted to sell but for the advice of my family about the property market we did decide to rent it out and we are looking for a God fearing family that could take good care of our home.
The property is located in a 1,556 sqft.A 3 bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms.Pets are allowed and the rent is all inclusive.The rent is $1,500 while the security deposit is $1000.
Ah, the ol’ “God Fearing Family” routine. I’ve hear this song before.
I replied back that I am not a god-fearer, but am a responsible, successful entrepreneur with excellent credit and stable income. Their month-to-month set-up is not for me, but how much are they selling for? I said I’m in the market to buy (which is true) and I’d like to see the property right away. Oh, but I’m also a science-loving atheist with two same-sex live-in lovers, 4 pot-bellied pigs and a miniature pony. *waits* I knew by now that this was 99.9% a scam, but now I just wanted to see how far they’d go.
Within a few hours, I received a long reply full of repetition and typos, assuring me that I would be perfect for their property. But, it was also a God-fearing bonanza. They must’ve said the phrase “God-fearing” like 30 times. Naturally, they were leasing the property themselves due to their “former realtor being unreliable”, but oh! By the way, they’re in Washington, so could I please send them the application and deposit right away since there is so much interest? Then they’ll mail me the keys so I can see the house! Joy of joys!
Um… no. But I’d be happy to send you this cordial reply:
Thank you for your reply, but you shan’t see a red cent or an application from me.
1) I Googled your phone number and found you have several listings on Zillow scattered throughout the country (Chicago, Bridgeport, Los Angeles, Miami, and Seattle, to name a few) using the phone number you’ve provided (which is a land line based out of Pikesville, Maryland, by the way, not Washington) for the exact same price and security deposit in every city. Because that’s not suspect at all.
2) You keep pushing this “God fearing” thing — something you’ve mentioned too many times for it to smell fresh. Your religious affiliations have no bearing on a business transaction and your continued insistence that you are “God-fearing” and you want a “God-fearing tenant” conflict with your comments that I’m perfect for the property, as I’ve declared myself an extra gay science-loving atheist with a small zoo. This only tells me that you think I’m not smart enough to figure out that this is a scam and that I will blindly mail my money to someone I’ve never met in person simply because you “love Jesus”.
4) Your email is so full of typos and redundancies, it was very likely copied and pasted from numerous other email scams and/or you have a poor grasp of the English language. I’m going with both.
5) Someone lives there, Mensa. Next time pick a property that isn’t occupied already.
If you are a legitimate landlord and property owner, my application would probably be declined after this email. But since you are likely a scammer and emailing me from Nigeria and not Washington, you may kindly go fuck yourself.
Fearing Only Clowns,
I boggles the mind that people actually send these miscreants money.
So, we moved. We’re here, in beautiful San Diego, my hometown and favorite city to live in. I’m grateful to be here and so happy to be home with my friends, the fresh air and my beloved Mexican food. But getting here was a lesson learned.
How sad. I have 2 double-bagged Trader Joe’s paper sacks full of magazines to unload pre-move: 4 full subscriptions (Self, Health, Cooking Light and Weight Watchers, with maybe a rogue People or an Eating Well thrown in there somewhere), over 2 years of issues — and I though I might donate them to the public library up here instead of just recycling them.
The library here is only open 4 days a week and their recording said “due to limited demand” they’re not accepting book or periodical donations anymore.
That makes me sad. I love the internet — my life revolves around it. But I have such fond memories of spending time in the library as a kid. I participated in summer reading programs and my dad would drop me off for full days of hanging out in the stacks reading Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, and Roald Dahl. I would even sneak over to the grown up side of the library and pour over biographies and occult books, reading about gangsters, Hollywood starlets and ghosts. (And when I got a little older, I read all those trashy V.C. Andrews books, naturally.)
Reading was such a huge part of my formative years, that it’s really disappointing libraries are struggling so much.
There have been many incarnations of our website in the last 10 years. We started out with a pair of ladies from stock imagery, for whom we hold a particular nostalgia. We've had hair salon ladies and even prom wallflower ladies when we were more than two. When we had the ever-talented Derek Yaniger draw our girls in 2004, the same airline girls we