Hypocrisy, Self-Delusion’s BFF

For years I’ve chastised Paul for being careless with gloves and hats. I’ve been so certain that he’s lost and repurchased every item that I once threatened to sew his gloves to his jacket.

At this moment, I can’t remember a time when he misplaced any of these things, but in the last twelve months, I’ve lost two pairs of gloves and a hat. I think I can be a real asshole sometimes.

It’s like when I shriek in protest at the idea of Paul climbing onto the roof to fix something…because of my acrophobia.

Just one of many moments of self-awareness. Why don’t these ever happen in my favor?

Me on the left, scolding Paul. Collectively me on the right, confessing that I’m the moron who can’t track her accessories.


Writing a Great Hook, or Hooking

I think I would’ve made a good copywriter for ads. Not that my writing’s so great (I mean, come on), but if I could use my sense of humor however I wanted, I’d go for it.

Recently there was a news article about a notorious madam near Seattle, self-named Rainbow Love. When I read that name, I feel as though I’ve been wearing a ball gag for three days. Not that I know what a ball gag feels like. In fact, I don’t know where I got that term. I don’t think I’m going to find my way out of this paragraph except to start a new one.

In the middle of the piece about Madam Rainbow, there was an ad banner I wish I could link you to, but I can’t find it now. Trust me, it was there:

Work from Home! $97 an hour!

Notwithstanding the cut-rate pricing, if I can do whatever I want, I should check into Craigslist for a position. A copywriter position, you filthy creature. I’m worth more than $97 an hour at home. $98.50 at least. Maybe with a $50 rebate. And I’ll buy dinner.

My search for images relating to “prostitute” just got depressing, so I decided to use this one. I call it Fancy Floozies and Dandy Dudes.

Virtue Smirchoo

I’m angry at my ass. It isn’t downsizing on its own. At least not anymore. After I gave up sugar last August, I lost eleven pounds and even kept them off for a long time.

It seemed true what no-sugar guru David Gillespie says. The pounds will just fall off if you avoid that evil, sweet, delicious poison. Plus he says that being off sugar doesn’t mean I have to totally give up wine or spirits. Just no sweet wine or mixers. This made my brain swoon.

Check out this site. Great message. Love the Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook. (No endorsement paid here. You probably assume that. I mean, how successful and famous could I be at this point where people would pay to advertise here? God, what an ego.)

We’re eating whole fat everything now because—and you probably know this—“low fat” is synonymous with “We’ve dumped a shit-ton of sugar in this in order to make you feel great about avoiding fat. It’s going to turn you into a dirigible. Enjoy!”

I’m loving the butter, whole milk, and fatty-mcfat-fat sour cream. Plus the good-Lord-you’re-full-so-for-the-love-of-all-that’s-holy-stop-eating-now mechanism works again, so I don’t overeat. Well, I didn’t at first.

My translation of this new-to-me information is: Have all you want, as often as you want. It’s a party! Crush that baked potato under a brick of butter and wash it down with a half-liter of chardonnay. Every day. What could go wrong?

Then the weight loss stalled, and I even gained a few pounds back. Still. Off. Sugar. Except for that cake I ate last week, but it was for my birthday. So wisdom can just fuck off.

After a few months on my latest plan of action—Wait and See if Anything Changes, Part 654—I realize I might be missing a point in all this, but my hope remains: Magic will handle everything. I’m frustrated that this isn’t easy. And a little angry.

My ancient ancestor, just as pissed about the weight-loss struggle. Evidently there’s a long family history of flipping people off. And floppy-gut.


All these months later, I see that my enjoyment of gallons of chardonnay, truckloads of butter, and nearly zero exercise have not transformed me into a super model. Now I realize effort is required in order to feel healthier and look better. Was that always a thing?

I have to work for this?

Doing something good for myself just because it’s the right thing to do is in direct conflict with my assumption that I deserve nothing good. Paul goes rowing because it makes him feel good and keeps his weight down. It’s as though he believes he should be treated well, even by himself. I don’t get it.

I guess I’ll walk the whole block to the gym and do something. Tomorrow. For sure. My brain just hissed, “Liar,” which is fair enough.

I am a BLT

I have a confession about one of my biggest fears: becoming a bag lady, with cats. It isn’t like having cats is a fear, but combine that with bag lady, and there’s something disquieting and stereotypical happening there.

I can’t even look elderly female panhandlers in the eye because I’m terrified they’ll peer into my soul and see the future bag lady within, give a little wink, and say, “See you soon, dear. Just remember this is my corner. And I have a knife.”

Recently I told Paul, “I need a little wheeled cart for all my trips to the store.”

He freaked and blurted, “You’re not that old!” But when I assured him that he didn’t have to be seen with me and the cart at the same time, he started breathing again.

I’ve found a pretty stylin’ trolley that can handle the thousand pounds of cat litter we have to buy every week for Mimi, so I’ve been feeling kinda hip as I trundle around the neighborhood.

That is, until I came home from getting groceries and Amazon packages the other day. Then it hit me: I’ve become a Bag Lady in Training, and I might need to accept my destiny:

Just need a hairnet and some semi-used tissue in my pocket for a complete ensemble.

* By the way, my cart is called “The Sholley Trolley.” I’m not getting anything for telling you about it, but I just have to share the info ‘cause it’s great for local shopping without a car: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S75L252/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also I think some people assume I’m pushing a baby stroller around. I’ve noticed a little smile until they get closer. Then there’s a look of dismay as they begin to suspect I’ve got a child in there, and it’s not allowed to breathe. Just another bonus.

Toileting Choices

Every time I prepare a lesson plan for tutoring at the local college, I wonder if I’m making a positive difference.

Then I remember the sign that’s in every women’s bathroom I’ve visited on campus (and with my old-lady bladder, that ain’t no small number of visits)*:

If maintenance has to post this, I think I should keep trying to help.

* I added the “women’s” because I was concerned you’d think I was visiting men’s rooms. Why does my brain do that?


Vet Bill Fatigue Syndrome

After some boisterous fan base clamor*, I realized it’s been a while since I last posted. In my defense, I’ve been suffering from a malady known as Feline Über Costs for Kitty Tests, Hospitalization, and Imaging on Seniors (more commonly known as FUCKTHIS).

Having two simultaneously senior cats is overwhelming sometimes.

We’ve had Molly since she was a baby, but now she’s eight. Or nine. Or 65 and preparing for retirement. What is cat retirement anyway? Sleeping twenty-five hours a day?

PAWS thought Mimi was three when we got her two years ago, but her doc thinks she’s about a hundred. She’s great and all, but it’s like buying a car with a gently used exterior and discovering it’s powered by an asthmatic hamster lumbering in a rusty wheel.

To celebrate her eighth birthday, Molly recently enjoyed a bout of pancreatitis. She got better, but not until we spent $600 on visits and drugs (most of which are still sitting in the kitchen because it seems she was able to get well on her own).

I was terrified because she wouldn’t eat. Trying to get a sick cat to eat is exhausting and demoralizing. I find myself on the kitchen floor, rattling the food dish and coaxing Molly, saying things like, “Please eat your food. Mmm. Nom-noms. Hoooo’s my ‘ittle baby hoo want to eats?” At this point, no one within earshot wants food.

 That does look yummy.
But I think not.

We don’t have to worry about Mimi’s appetite, though. She’s our Amazing Hoover-matic, and there isn’t a food that’s safe.

 Gimme a treat, or the ankle gets it.

But thanks to remorseless kidney infections, she has a drinking problem. I think she caused Seattle’s last drought.

And the pee. Good God, the pee. You could knock out a water buffalo with those clumps. And it’s not just plentiful. She has fun aiming issues too. Thank goodness I’m married to an occupational therapist who specializes in geriatrics. Got waterfalls? No problem. Just use incontinence pads.


But Mimi pops pills like a happy little addict, which is cool because after Molly got sick and needed drugs, I’m down to six fingers.

And you’re going to do what with that pill now?

There’s something relentless about this process. The second we get through Molly’s ordeal, the vet wants to figure out how to get Mimi off the drugs. (Which I understand, but how about intervention? That’s free. “Mimi, we love you, and we think you have a problem.”)

No such luck. “Let’s do an ultrasound!” chirps the doc. “We might figure out what’s causing this!” (I think she charges extra for the exclamation points.)

So $500 later, Mimi has a shaved belly, and the specialist says, “We found evidence that she’s been suffering from chronic kidney infections.” We’re officially at the diagnostic stage known in the medical community as No-Shit, Sherlock.

Now Mimi needs to see an internal medicine specialist, and my question is: “Didn’t you just look at her fucking innards?”

We have more pharmaceuticals for two cats than many human seniors, an occasional river of pee (possibly more often than many human seniors), and enough vet bills in the last three years to buy a used car.

 Is it worth all this?


* Fan base = Paul

Clamor = Paul asking, “Doin’ any bloggin’ today?”

Chicken Soup, Family Trees & Murder

The other day, Paul was browsing some ancestry sites online. I told him I’d been thinking about doing that too. I asked him, “Wouldn’t it be cool if at least one of my ancestors were a murderer?” Paul went back to his computer as though he were alone, which is sensible.

I had a cold yesterday, so I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself. When I’m sick, I’m a big fat baby about it, and I offer no remorse. (If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ve been warned about segues that may cause hernias.)

My cousin Lesli offered some comforting thoughts, mostly to drown out the whining. (Lesli is known in Italian as a cugina fantastica – fantastic cousin, female persuasion*) Some people offer fatuous well wishes and soup, but she knew that wasn’t going to cut it. So she told me a couple of stories about our family history.

The first story was about why a pack of Valleleys emigrated from Italy in 1903 and ended up Protestants. I mean, we’re talking Italy here, a country in which, by law, you must be Catholic or be crucified. Maybe burned at the stake. I might be confusing this with the Salem Witch Trials.

Seems the Valleleys were happily attending a Catholic parish in some US state when an Irish priest walked in the door.** He tried his best to bring the Lord to his parishioners as he struggled to hide his contempt for Italians.

Every service he mustered all of his compassion, but his sermons always started the same way:

Priest: “O, Lord, how we hate the fuckin’ dagos.”

Most of the people: “Let us show them the door.”

Priest: “Damn skippy, dudes.”

Or something like that. I paraphrase.

So about ten families joined the Protestant church down the street. This guy was so abusive that they left an entire religion, not just the building. Impressive. I love this story because it helps explain why my Irish/Italian blood is on a constant raging boil. Perhaps also why I don’t go to church.

Lesli’s second story makes me so happy that I probably should go back into therapy.

Our great-grandfather (whose name we don’t know, but let’s call him “Grandpa Badass”) was a caretaker for some guy in Italy about a hundred years ago. Someone was stealing from Grandpa B’s boss, and when Grandpa couldn’t get the guy to stop, he shot and killed him.

That’s so fucking great.

Then GB had to move to America because the freakin’ mafia started hunting him.

Actual picture of Grandpa Badass’s would-be killers. Or I just wish it were. This. Is. Awesome.

Then Grandpa had to keep moving from state to state ‘cause these maniacally dedicated goombahs followed him here. They were that pissed off.

At this point, I’ve wet my pants and forgotten my cold.

Love can be expressed in many forms – chicken soup, comforting words, a warm blanket. But the best way to show you care is to tell me I’m the descendant of an easily annoyed murderer.

Thanks, Lesli.


* If you know Italian and I’m incorrect, don’t be a smartass. Who asked you?

** I swear there’s a “So this Irish priest walks into a bar” joke here somewhere.

Protests and Peaches: An Embarrassing Update

As I was writing the January 19 post about my fear of going to a tutoring session during an on-campus political protest, I was determined to go no matter what. I reasoned with myself. “Self,” I said, “just use the back entrance of the school. No need to worry about tear gas, nightsticks, and Molotov cocktails.”

I felt brave and proud.

Ready to fight that fear. So badass.

Later that morning as I updated my work schedule, I started hyperventilating. I told Paul, “I’m past my eyeballs in work. It doesn’t make any sense to go to tutoring today, right?”

Paul’s developed a keen instinct for knowing when to question me or just roll with my bug-eyed freakouts. In this case he said, “It sure does” in that sort of voice one uses when trying to persuade a rabid dog not to attack.

I felt sensible and mature.

A few hours later as I watched live footage of the campus protest, I was relieved not to be there. I was safe in my home office and not being water-cannoned.

That’s when I realized the full impact of my subconscious’s douchebaggery. It manipulated me into hiding, and I went along without question. Just like the one time I agreed to let a whole life insurance salesman in the door. It makes sense to say yes until he’s been there for six hours and you start to suspect he’s going to move in until you buy something.*

Volunteering means a lot to me, and now I feel like a jerk.

Hiding from fear. Typical.

This situation reminds me of the time I told Paul that I wanted to learn how to use a chainsaw. As Paul looked on, wearing his customary bemused expression, I stood in the driveway, holding a running chainsaw and weeping as though I were being threatened by a serial killer.

Plus I never got any peaches. Just a crappy star fruit. Those are awful. Don’t even bother.

* I’m talking about an insurance salesman who sells “whole life” policies. Obviously I wouldn’t let a partial salesman in the door because it’s too difficult to get blood out of the carpet.

(Kitty photo by Allmightyduck at Wikimedia Commons.)

Protests and Peaches

This morning I learned that 250 students at the local college plan to walk out of class tomorrow in political protest. This is scheduled during the time I tutor someone on campus, so I started writing a benevolent e-mail, telling him I understand if he’d prefer not to meet. Maybe he wants to join the protest, or perhaps he’d rather avoid the campus because of the potential for violence?

By the start of the third paragraph, I sat back and said, “Oh, this is my shit.”

So the Watts Riots of 1965. (My first piece of merchandise is going to be an official Windmill Tilter Neck Brace. “Wear at all times. This blog contains herky-jerky segues.”)

The Watts Riots happened just around the corner from us in ’65. For years I thought they were a million miles away, but Google Maps just told me, “Holy crap, Cindy. That maelstrom was happening in the next neighborhood!” *

Considering how close it was, it’s no surprise that my father sat me down and, in a voice filled with gravitas, said, “If you’re anywhere near a riot, run. Even from the cops. I know we keep telling you the police are your friends, but in the chaos, they won’t be able to tell the difference between you and a rioter.”

Good advice, that, except the cops could easily pick me out of a crowd then because I was five years old.

We lived in an area that was so breathtaking in its safety that I used to go door to door, alone, “shopping” for peaches. Everyone stocked up on them just in case I visited. Why the hell would I stroll into a riot zone when there’s no guarantee of free fruit?

For fifty-two years now, I’ve avoided all marches, rallies, and sit-ins. I’m stuck with my fear, but I admire those who speak their mind loudly or silently, publicly, and peacefully.

To all aspiring thugs who want to bring violence and distract from the protesters’ message: Fuck you in advance.

To all peaceful protesters: Be as loud or quiet as you see fit, but please be safe.

This looks like fun, but I’ll just stay at home, eating fruit.

* Yes, I believe Google Maps talks to me. You try sitting alone in a home office, day after day, and maintaining sanity. I dare you.

"I've always found paranoia to be a perfectly defensible position." – Susan Lowenstein, The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

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