Electronic billboards registered 100-degrees when I spotted the tent on the funeral home lawn. It sheltered picketing funeral directors from the sun. How serendipitous. I was enroute to the library to return Nine Years Under – Sheri Booker’s tale of her funeral home employment days. I learned enough from “Booker’s book” to be creeped out by the spectacle of funeral directors in Adirondack chairs under the colorful tent. She didn’t mention anything about a striking staff on a day temperatures reach 100-degrees. I suggest a sign reading: “Could you please stay alive awhile longer? And thanks for not dying now.”
Since my Antiques Roadshow-worthy vanity was pulled from the bathroom (finally) to make room for a pedestal sink installation, Tuna has become fixated on the bare slab that’s now revealed. He lies there, staring at the cement, as though waiting for an apparition to appear. If I approach him while he contemplates the spot, he leaps into the air dramatically and scoots under the bed. This is getting worrisome. If these posts disappear, assume giant river rats hiding in the building’s plumbing system got me. I also envision Tuna, watching this from under the bed, meowing, “I told you so.”
Barb found me “the perfect” OKCupid online match, so I signed up and sent a note. He ignored me. No worries. I found others worthy of my heart — until one wrote, “with all of the bragging you do, why do you need a man?” Hmm. Stating my accomplishments is bragging? It wasn’t a good idea to mention seeking an agent for my erotic novel, either. Any idea how many creepy guys want to write this stuff and how many young dudes find older women quelle sexy? The reason Cupid has sharp arrows? To pierce the ego, not the heart.
I started school at College of DuPage this week. My classmates consist of 11 yawning, texting, tattooed and pierced girls plus six equally bored, scraggly-looking guys. It is, after all, an art class. My favorite part of Day One? The slide show: the kids grabbed all the seats in the viewing room, leaving the teacher and I standing for half an hour as they summarily ignored the slides and focused on prohibited smart phone screens. You gotta love a room full of vacuous 19-year-olds. I anticipate getting lots of material for my writing projects courtesy of this apathetic crowd.
During my writer’s group’s salad days — when six of us were producing so much material it was hard to keep up — I developed a character named Detective Christina DeNucci. In many ways, she’s a cliché – part Brenda of The Closer and part Rizzoli – but she spearheaded two literary homicide investigations and I’m about to assign her a third as an antidote to a painful summer. Writing and editing “Exposure,” plus self-imposed contest deadlines, nearly sucked the will to write out of me. I long to get back into Christina’s skin to rediscover the joy of it all.
Like Hansel and Gretel, I’ve left so many cookies in my wake while surfing the Internet, recent searches are coming back to haunt me in the form of pop-ups from marketers who know me better than I know myself. I am currently plagued by cosmetic manufacturers after searching online for lipstick comparison prices. First up? A lip gloss named Orgasm. Seriously? Has it come to this? Can I expect Panty the eyeliner, Post-Coital Blush and Brush With Death mascara formulated just for auto-erotic asphyxiation fans? My urge to look good is diminishing. All these sexual references are downright tiresome.
Every time I think that I’d like to go back into the work force, the word “meetings” washes over me like a bucket of ice water. That’s why economist Fred Kofman’s formula for slashing 90-percent of all meeting time hit a huge nerve. Kofman recommends dumping agenda topics that include words like “discuss,” “update” and “review,” before invoking three questions: “What will we do differently if this meeting succeeds?” “Why do we need to meet to accomplish this?” and “How will this help further team goals?” Where has this terrific man been all my life? I think I’m in love.
It’s 2 a.m. I think someone’s burgling my condo because hall closet doors are being opened and closed. I bought this place for the spectacular view and building security system, but tonight, I’m seriously freaked out. I’m not a gun person, but I have on hand the ultimate weapon: the rug rake. Giant steel bristles can inflict serious damage on skin so I feel adequately armed as I inch toward a closet and pull it open. Tuna didn’t flinch; he picked up the toy he’d stuffed under the door and walked away, leaving me trembling, pissed off and wide awake.
I’m again stealing an image from the Internet after promising Jenny I’d stop the evil practice, but I couldn’t resist reverting to old habits after spotting the x-ray posted above. Guys do lots of weird things in search of “the ultimate orgasm,” but I’m pretty sure this Australian dude takes the grand prize. His medical case was profiled in The International Journal of Surgery Cases. Doctors successfully used forceps and petroleum jelly to extract the fork, but this may not be the last time the guy visits the ER if he owns service for 12 and hasn’t learned his lesson.
Tattoos perplex me. Some look cool and edgy, particularly on people under 40, but skin art based on whims can turn into huge mistakes that require laser surgery to obliterate the impulse. Recently, a guy obviously blinded by love thought a tat would make a great, one-of-a-kind marriage proposal. If the tattoo artist hadn’t ignored his English teachers, he probably wouldn’t have followed up the girl’s name with the words, “Will you merry me?” He fixed it, morphing it into a giant flower. Wise move. Things could have turned nasty if the “proposal” stayed in place and she said no.