LOOT CRATE: The Bane of My Existence

I went to get my cards read by psychic RoseWolf of SecondSightRose.com a while back, and I knew she was truly accurate when she said to me, “I’m getting that the decor in your home looks more like a…MAN CAVE?!?” With all of the comic book convention tzotchkes, art, pop culture collections, art books, and work samples Dave Dorman has amassed over his 35-year career, outside of the Smithsonian Institute, there’s no facility existing to properly display all. of. that. shtuff. Oh, wait–there’s Warehouse 13, if only it was real.

So…you can just imagine my reaction when we started getting these LOOT CRATE boxes in the mail every month — it was like a geek menstrual cycle, and equally a pain in my ass. Every time Dave or Jack’s back was turned, I was throwing away these irritating, tiny collectibles into the circular file (which Dave and Jack never seemed to miss) in my attempt to maintain some semblance of decluttering. Outside of the Legends of Zelda terry cloth wrist band, which I used for tennis–and to wipe my brow as I labored over throwing away more LOOT CRATE crap–there was nothing in these LOOT CRATE boxes of “exclusives” worth the $20 a month. But this month, I have to hand it to Loot Crate. They actually sent something that I like. Something with purpose. Introducing my new Breaking Bad apron:

The BREAKING BAD Los Pollo Hermanos Apron, courtesy of LOOT CRATE

My new Breaking Bad Los Pollo Hermanos Apron, courtesy of LOOT CRATE

Mind you, Dave doesn’t enjoy my “clean eating,” so I’m rarely cooking for anyone but me or Jack, but if Jack’s occasional box of Mac & Cheese splashes up, at least my Batman tees are now protected. However, Dave’s t-shirt collection and mine are like constantly warring nations, fighting for closet space territory.

Good thing Dave’s out of town 3 of 4 weekends in September so those, too, mysteriously find their way into the circular file…

Lord, Love a Lefty! Reflections of a Southpaw After National Left-Handers Day

The cultural icon for left-handedness: Ned Flanders of  The Simpsons

God love him, the cultural icon for left-handedness: Ned Flanders of The Simpsons

As a journalist and a publicist at WriteBrain Media, I see the queries from fellow journalists all day long. The hot topic query yesterday was “the Challenge of Living Life as a Southpaw.” Some studies have shown that the 7-10% population of us left-handed people lose up to a decade of our lives due to the stress of being left-handed.

Frankly, it doesn’t compute. I’ve never had a problem cutting with scissors – I just hold them at a weird angle compared to 90% of people. Ain’t no thang. And maybe I take up more of the left margin in my spiral-bound notebooks (those reporter’s notebooks spiral-bound at the top are the bomb!). I don’t write in that hooked fashion, so I don’t experience the pencil carbon smudge on the side of my hand unless I’m doing charcoal sketches. But doesn’t everyone?

Pencil sketch from Cliff Nielsen's art jam. The Brewery, Los Angeles, April 2015.

Pencil sketch from Cliff Nielsen’s art jam. The Brewery, Los Angeles, April 2015.

 

I was raised in a household where my adoptive mother and brother were also lefties, so perhaps that made my life easier. When I finally met my bio-family, I was interested to learn my dad and one brother were left-handed as well (altho’ Catholic school redirected my bio-brother to the Catholic version of political correctness: being right-handed).

From the Middle Ages on down, lefties have always gotten the shaft, but consider this: Call me a conspiracy theory nut, but you know that part in the Bible about Christ being on the right hand of God?

I think it was a typo.

Some right-handed translator got the Aramaic word for “right” mixed up with “left.” This one small typo was perpetuated throughout history, all of the way down to Gutenburg’s Press. This resulted in centuries of left-handed fuckery. Bloodied knuckles being rapped with rulers by Catholic school nuns. Southpaws being tortured and imprisoned for wiping butts with our right hands. It was discrimination of Biblical proportions, literally.

I’d like to think that today, we’re better than this. That there’s no need for social justice, a movement, and a new Twitter hashtag: #Left-HandedLivesMatter. But to know that for certain, does anyone have kids in Catholic school?

A FlashJack

That is, a “Jack Flashback.” My close friend in Florida Angie Druetta sent me this photo in my email this morning, and it melted my heart. My parents, God love ’em, suffered through my stork delivery nearly as much as I did. I went in at 9 a.m. on November 2nd with Pitocin and ended up with a c-section at 4:42 a.m. the next morning. I never went into labor. The kid was already 2+ weeks late. My due date was October 18th. I was hoping for a Libra, but I got a Scorpio kid. It’s worked out well so far. My parents never left my side, so it was only right that they held Jack more than I did in the first few hours of his young life.

Mom and Dad, who was just minutes old. Pensacola, FL, 2003.

Mom and Dad, with Jack, who was just minutes old. Pensacola, FL, Sacred Heart Hospital, 2003.

This almost softens my heart to the fact that before British Soccer Camp yesterday, I came downstairs first thing in the morning to discover that Jack removed a white sheet from his bed to cut up with scissors and turn into a North Korean flag. Unbeknownst to me, this was an assignment from his soccer camp instructor. I walked into my creme-colored, carpeted front room to find a giant, thick, RED Sharpie and 3 of my blue Papermate flair pens strewn across the floor, next to Jack’s new “flag.” He colored his white bed sheet on my carpet (so he could “spread out,” he insisted) while lying on his belly. The thought of doing this on the large kitchen table never occurred to him. Good thing his team won the “World Cup” at British Soccer Camp yesterday. That redeemed him a little

Jack gets a congratulatory "high-five" from British Soccer Camp Coach Tom.

Jack gets a congratulatory “high-five” from British Soccer Camp Coach Tom.

The Pranks and Hijinks I Am Sorely Missing

One of this century's greatest inventions. And you thought it was the Internet?!?

One of last century’s greatest inventions. And you thought it was the Internet?!?

I should have left my mani/pedi on Tuesday in ignominy, after my boisterous outburst of laughter. After all, this was one of Chicagoland’s most prestigious spas–one of those where you feel like you should be speaking in a hushed tone at all times while sipping your cucumber water. Instead, the whole room of women soaking their feet, who had no idea what I was laughing about, joined me. Even the lady with resting bitch face joined in, much to my surprise. I was sharing one of my crazy prank phone call stories with my fellow partner in crime that day–Rose–and I literally cried my makeup off laughing so hard. Naturally, this prank phone call story involves my other partner in crime, BFF Marovich and her brother Johnny Rockstar, but I can’t tell that one here. However…I will share here some of the fun we used to have when Marovich was a CEO. God, I miss those days.

When Marovich was CEO of her former company, the hijinks never stopped. I loved being there in the midst of it, as her dedicated outside marketing agency. It was worth the hour’s drive and parking in a terrible Chicago neighborhood. She would challenge her employees to take on all manner of ridiculous dares, all day long. One girl was forced to snake dance down the sidewalk in front of the building on a busy street, enduring the cat calls from every perv driving past. For our amusement, our friend and Marovich’s right-hand person Mary would chug down Diet Cokes and we’d time her epic, signature depths-of-hell belches. I think she reached 10 seconds during her peak performance. Here are just a few of the crazy antics:

Marovich had this phone system at her old company where she could patch together two calls and then listen in. Her mad genius mind patched together White Hen calling 7-11, Bosa Donuts calling Dunkin’ Donuts, and other industry competitors. As each side answered the phone, arguments always ensued over who called whom. Marovich would just kick back and listen for her own amusement (and mine).

Then there was the sweet and long-suffering little old Italian man she inherited from her father’s regime. Antonio became her janitor and errands runner. It’s a miracle we didn’t give him a heart attack. The first time I met and shook Antonio’s hand, it was with the fake rubber hand Marovich suggested I stuff inside of my sleeve. As it fell out on the floor, Antonio jumped. Very high, for such an old man.

Above Marovich’s desk was the antlered head of a giant moose her father, the business owner, had hunted. It was disgusting. Marovich accidentally broke one of the giant antlers. Fearing the wrath of her bombastic, short-fused father, she engineered an ingenious plan to get it quickly repaired. She gingerly balanced the broken antler piece back together and called Antonio to come in and dust her office…including the moose head. (I think this was the time Marovich and I hid inside of the louvered-door closet in her office with Mary, crossing our legs not to wet our pants, suppressing our giggles.) Naturally, Antonio dusted the antler, which flew to the ground and he jumped, mortified. It was like watching sped up, time-lapsed film as Antonio hustled to repair that antler in record time with a wood screw and carpenter’s glue.

Then Marovich’s banker would come in for meetings. At the time, her daughter was young and had lots of stickers at home. Glittery stickers. As her banker was on his way off to his next meeting, Marovich would gently pat him on the back as she ushered him out the door, affixing her daughter’s most glittery My Little Pony stickers to his expensive suit jackets. We always wondered what the people in his next meeting thought. And this was pre-Brony era. (Ever since then, when anyone touches my back, I’m always double-checking for the “Kick Me” sign.)

These are merely a few examples of the innocent fun we used to have. I can’t wait for the day when Marovich is at the helm of another company and we can “get the band back together, man.” I have a perfectly good remote control fart machine that’s gathering dust…

Who Can Settle This Argument – What IS the Capital of Northern Ireland?

Today was filled with those minor irritations we all recognize as first-world problems. It kicked off when my Bubble Yum order arrived from Amazon – not the sugar-free kind that I ordered, but $41 of sugary Bubble Yum. I guess my Halloween candy shopping is done early this year. Parents, don’t send me your dentist bills.

Then came the Gloria Estefan CD I ordered, purportedly her “Greatest Hits,” yet it didn’t contain the one song I wanted, “Live for Loving You.” Sigh.

Next came Pub Quiz, a night I have been looking forward to for a very long time, reuniting me with my trivia-loving friends, plus I made a couple of new friends. (BFF Marovich would shrug, “More for your Collection.”)

One of my friends is an older gent named Shea from Northern Ireland. With that gorgeous accent, he could read the phone book and I would be mesmerized. The trivia emcee was a young woman who predicted Shea would get this next question correct, knowing his ethnicity. She queried, “What is the capital of Northern Ireland?” Shea immediately submitted his answer, which was: Stormont. We trusted he would know, so none of us even considered debating him. We only knew of Belfast. And according to the trivia emcee, the correct answer was: Belfast. D’oh!!!!!

As you can imagine, with us 8 rowdies–okay, let me rephrase that–seven rowdies plus Dave Dorman, this created quite the uproar at our table. According to Shea, the parliament is in an area called Stormont, and that is technically the capital.

We asked the emcee to challenge the veto.

Soon, our escalating dissension caught the notice of this woman’s supervisor, the Grand Poobah of Trivia–a 40-something guy with too-long hair, a beer gut, a sloppy t-shirt, and flip-flops–who approached our table with his MacBook Air parked on some Wikipedia page, which he somehow felt trumped the page of proof we showed him on Dave’s iPhone. Grand Poobah thrust his page in Dave’s face, snapped his Macbook Air shut with an air of finality, and walked away in a huff. I couldn’t help but think of Cartman from South Park:

If the Trivia Grand Poobah were a South Park Character...

If the Trivia Grand Poobah were a South Park Character…

We didn’t win our point.

The fact that our score’s outcome was being held in the balance by this Beach Boys wannabe was about a 5 on the Pucker Scale. Especially when we had evidence:

Proof!

Proof!

The other unsettling moment of the evening was learning that the final episode of Third Rock from the Sun aired the same year Train’s song “Drops of Jupiter” came out, which was the same year Legally Blonde came out. Wrap your brain around that for a second. Guess what year it was? 2001! Hand to God! Yeah, that was unbelievable to me, too. Drops of Jupiter just doesn’t seem that old. We’ll  be hearing the Muzak version on some Las Vegas elevator any day now.

Despite losing our footing early in the game with the Northern Ireland question, we managed to come in first place and win the whole trivia game. That showed ’em!

However, I still have to know…the Truth Is Out There…I’ve already emailed my comic book writer/creator friend in Belfast. The journalist in me will be verifying this Stormont business with at least three sources by day’s end tomorrow.

I’ll let you know what I learn.

The Poop Deck: Episode One – Your #1 Online Resource for Scatological Humor

I willingly admit, my sense of humor is often ruled by the 13-year-old boy who lives inside of my brain. This is the side to my humor that Dave Dorman finds deplorable. His derision merely serves to egg on Jack and me, which drives him deeper into his art studio…far away from us.

I derive comfort from the fact that I’m not alone in this. In fact, the family I was adopted into shares my sick sense of scatological humor, as do my “collection,” as BFF Marovich calls them, of friends I’ve curated along the way. No one batted an eye when one-year-old Jack’s favorite stuffed toy from me was Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo from South Park, replete with a push-button sound chip of Mr. Hankey sound bytes (“Howdy Ho, Kyle” being our personal favorite!)

Every once in a while, you’ll see me post some poop humor here that catches my eye. My non-Mormon Sister Wife Maura curated this one for me:

https://www.facebook.com/DiscoveryNews/videos/10153337937478387/

Like Peanut Butter & Jelly...

Like Peanut Butter & Jelly…

I commented on my Facebook page that I appreciated that “Mr. Henkie” from South Park was narrating this little video, and I received this instant message from my Facebook friend, Mike. Knowing my penchant for correct spelling, rest assured I’ll be editing my FB post, post haste!

We all need friends to hold us accountable. Thank you, Mike!

We all need friends to hold us accountable. Thank you, Mike!