The Curse

The Scene: New Year’s Eve, 1999.

I was 15 – the high water mark of my teenage angst. I wore lots of black, drew on my hands with Sharpies, wrote (exceptionally literary) vampire novels in spiral notebooks til 2 am, and nursed unnecessary suicidal thoughts and unrequited loves (Why won’t you look at me Chris Saylor, whyyyyyyy? Your Jnco’s are the widest.). You might have called me a nerd, but you wouldn’t have called me openly emotional. Irish blood courses through these steely veins, repressing all feelings until a perfect storm of alcohol and family gatherings unleashes them. This is important to remember, given the tale that follows.

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Honestly Chris, it blows my mind that you managed to rock these.

That New Year’s night I was a combination of John Keats + Anne Rice – dangerous territory. While everyone else was setting off fireworks and listening to that FINALLY RELEVANT Prince song, I stared down the grim barrel of The Millennium, the history and future of the world spreading before me, knowing for the first time that everything was the worst and would only continue to go straight to hell, that God was dead, that all the computers would explode and plunge us into darkness (Y2K!!!!), that I was completely mediocre and should just roll up in a ball in the attic and die. They would find my mummified remains months later, unrecognizable because the rats ate my face off. Hibernating emotions stirred. Rising throat lump….tears brimming….my mind vice didn’t activate. I became, to put it mildly, loudly overwrought.

The next day I was puffy-eyed and embarrassed, but otherwise fine. No computer explosions, no death in the attic. Only confusion as to why I had dissolved into an unrecognizable mess for a few hours. The hysterics shamed me, and I spoke not a word of it to anyone, thrusting the experience deep into my subconscious (mind vice fully functional now), until the next December 31st…when I repeated this noisy existential crisis in a new basement, with a whole new set of sorrows with no basis in reality. Every New Year’s since has become an iteration of that first nervous breakdown, with the awful additions of jungle juice and champagne, friends having good times just begging for me to ruin them, dubious men lurking in frat houses or bars. As a result, 12:01 a.m. usually finds me doing something that warrants an apology the next day.

Fact Analogy: full moons are to werewolves as New Year’s Eve is to me. One night of the year I will disgustingly eat my feelings and inflict physical/psychological damage to anyone around me. The only option I have is to quarantine myself.

But of course I’m not doing that this year.

Still, there’s hope here, readers. Objectively, and for the first time in twelves years (Christ.), I’m better off this year than I was last. I’m employed, doing something I actually like and continue to enjoy almost a year later. I don’t need to bother with bullshit Lose That Weight! Resolutions everyone is so fond of making this time of year (Zumba? Really?). I’ve succeeded in getting my extended family to believe that my sexual expiration date is not anywhere near approaching, so it’s cool that I don’t have kids. I’m writing lots, I’m traveling all the time, I’m putting stuff back IN to boxes instead of living OUT of them. I have plans, I have prospects. I’ve got a glorious move on the horizon where there is beer, music, friends, bearded men and never ever any snow. I could break into song about how fucking rad things are right now.

But just in case, if you live in the Denver area, I urge you to stay indoors this New Year’s Eve. Your city is mine, and you can never be too careful. Play me out, boys.

Thoughts on a Massage

Alright, so mom stuck with me the dude masseuse. Bitch. So which one is it? Ugh. Stomach is nervous. Should I pee? I peed like 20 minutes ago. I think? Yes. Why do I get nervous? Not your first massage, douche. Relax. Oh, there’s a dude. Oh, I hope it’s not this little bald dude. Why? I don’t know why actually. He’s beady-eyed? You’re being crappy. Stop. But he looks like a gym teacher. SO WHAT. But I hope it’s not him. Please let another guy come out. Please.

Oh, okay. Nother dude. Okay this man is big. And a little pear-shaped huh? How old is this guy? Exactly my age it appears. That’s weird. It shouldn’t be weird. Why is it weird? Who cares?

“Hi Megan, I’m Peter. Nice to meet you”

“Hello! How are you?”

Did he just bow? Asian style? Takin this ‘oriental’ vibe a little too seriously, Peter. God, my mom is totally laughing inside right now. Not that any of this a big deal. Plus I’m mature. He’s not really attractive. I’m more attractive than him. Why do you think things like that? Shame on you. How is that relevant? Or objective?

“Right this way, third door on the right.”

“Okay Megan, go ahead lie face down, I’ll be back in a few minutes”.

Ha. Why does that sound dirty to me? Would it sound dirty if it was chick? What is wrong with you?

Okay but quickly now! Undress! Go! Go! Remember last time she just slipped back in the door, no knock, no warning. How do they know how long to wait? What if I’m slow? What if my sock won’t come off like right now? Hide your bra in your pants. Do I have time to fold? Do other people fold? What if he walks in and sees my boobs? Go! Quickly! Fuck folding your shirt–hurry!

Okay, I’m ready. I totally beat him. But how does he knooow? How do they know? Is it a set amount of time? 5 minutes? Less? Doesn’t feel like 5 minutes. Does he listen outside the door? I’m being very quiet. No fucking way he can hear me. I’m like a goddamn mouse. Maybe there’s cameras. Obviously there are no cameras. Even though it would probably be helpful. Like in dressing rooms trying to catch people who try on bathing suits without underwear. The places where you need cameras most, you can’t have them.

“Alright, are you comfortable? It’s not too cold in here?”

“Nope. I’m good”

Well hello man hands. My chronically single self misses man hands. Sad face. I’m immediately nicer now that another human is touching me. God. Cry for me. There should be a program that gives single people a free massage every month. The world would seriously be a much better place. Remember when you were a kid and said the first extravagance you’d ever have if you were rich is a live-in masseuse? Even your 11 year old self knew that massages are fucking amazing. Maybe I should write a blog post about this single people sadness – but then everyone would know –

“I really like your tattoos…If you don’t mind me saying so”

Hm.

“Thanks”

I could supply more information about my super awesome tattoos to make them even more awesome, like how each is from a different continent, etc. I’m obviously a self-named Badass and in a different situation would want to share that. But it’s relaxing time now so no talk. I don’t want to set a precedent for talking. Is that rude? Should I be friendlier? Do masseuses want people to talk to them more? Are they bored? Would I be bored? There is nothing worse than small talk. I would likely be sad if I were a masseuse and someone wanted to be chatty. I bet there are chatty people though. What should I do? Is it dickish to be so terse? Who cares. Didn’t George Costanza say something like this? I think he did. Damn I love Seinfeld. Seinfeld does apply to everything.

What do they think about all day long being quiet? Chandler’s knees.

Also, don’t look at my tattoos. Is it sexual? “Really”. “Really like”. It can’t be sexual though. This man is a professional. Don’t think so highly of yourself. This is how he has chosen to make a living because he has a special respect for the body or something. But why? God, who would want to touch disgusting people all day everyday? Naked people! And I bet a lot of people who come in here are old and wrinkly or hairy or full of weird skin things. Or smelly. Jesus. If I were a masseuse, I would be glad for a youngerish chick client. No wrinkles. No hair. Minimal nasties. What about a regular youngerish dude? If I were a masseuse, would I be turned on? Doubtful. It’s not the same for women. Rubbing my hands on a stranger dude, even if he were cute, eh. But dudes are so much more easily turned on by images. Porn, hello.

But how do they separate the sexual part from the job part? Like, if you’re a dude masseuse, do you give your girlfriend sexy massages? Where do you draw the line then? How do you not confuse sexual massage with professional massage? What if you got a boner? Dude, seriously why would you be a male masseuse. It’s a risk every time you walk in a room. Just fraught with difficulties. Laura’s sister slept with her massage therapist. How does that even happen? People be crazy.

And if your boyfriend was a massage therapist, would you have jealousy issues? Would it be bothersome to think of him rubbing oil on some girls all day? (Even though it’s probably gross people 90% of the time). Would it be a decent trade-off to have a boyfriend who rocked at massages? I think it might be.

Okay, shush. Relaxing time. Enjoy the massage Megan. Quiet your mind. Shhh.

Oh hey, that’s an elbow. Eee. And a hairy arm. Ew. Haaaaairy arrrrm. Aaaand we’re not thinking about it. Concentrate on something else. What’s going to happen to the characters in your book? Hairrrry. No we’re NOT THINKING ABOUT IT. Are Archy and Gwen going to get back together? Does Chabon – ohmygod, full arm contact! Calm down. Calm down. Men have hairy arms. That’s just how it is. You like hairy men over non-hairy men. Relax. He’s not dirty. He doesn’t smell. It’s okay. Ew ew though. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. But it’s oily too! OILY AND HAIRY. Please, next thing. Next thing please.

Where did he go? This fool is like a ninja. They all are. How are they so stealthy. They must practice. No fucking way people are just born quick and quiet like this. I bet there’s a course on it in massage school. Are there special quiet shoes? What shoes is he wearing?

Arms time. And a music change. Ooh. Now we’re on a snowy Himalayan mountain. Wind sounds. And snow sounds. And a pan flute. What are snow sounds anyway? How would I explain that to someone? Why does this shitty music conjure Mt Everest imagery? Or the snowy mountain world in Super Donkey Kong? Ooh I want to play. Maybe this weekend. Where’s the Nintendo?

Shut up your miiiiiind. You are wasting relax time. Shut up.

Where is his body now? Is this guy squatting? What’s goin on here, how come I can’t tell if he’s on the floor? He must be. Where is his body? Stealthy-ass fuck. That would be hardest part. I’m too awkward and clumsy, I could never sneak around the way they do. I don’t even know where this dude’s body is!

Oh, onto the hands. Hands time. Boooo I haaaaate hands time. Even when it’s a chick. Holding hands with someone is so intimate. Or something. Ew “intimate”. Erm. What is wrong with you? I’m unloved that’s what’s wrong. That’s all. No but really, it feels weird. Oh oop, yuck. Oh there it is. Noooo. Oh god this is so much worse with a dude. All oily and shit. With a girl I can definitely distance myself from it. Why is it different with a dude? WHAT IS UP. Yuuuuck. Be done. Be done. My hand is so tiny in his. Stop just holding it! DO SOMETHING. Groooosss.

Oh thank god. Annnd now we’re in Asia! Asian flute. Pan flute? Does that even make sense? Did pan flutes originate in Peru or? South Park? How did they get to Asia? Remember that Ecuadorian pan flute band you saw at the train station in Seoul? That was a fun day.

“How’s are you doing?”

“Very good. Thank you.”

“Okay, I’m going to have you turn onto your back now.”

Oh good, watch me struggle to turn over while you hold the blanket and I try not to show you my boobs. Don’t judge me. I feel like a whale turning over. Don’t waaaatch me. I wouldn’t watch anyone turn over if I were him. I would be embarrassed for everyone.

Man. I liked it better face down. HA.

Underwater music. I see fish. And swaying seaweed. And a scuba diver. Scuba Steve. Adam Sandler. NO.

I’m all exposed now. Ew. Don’t look at my face. Am I drooling? I feel like I’m drooling. Gross. Don’t look. This is almost like playing stiff as board, light as a feather or whatever the hell that game was. Somebody all up around my head and neck, reaching under my shoulders. Breathe Megan. Breathe! Well I’m not breathing because I don’t want to breathe in his breath! But is his breath bad? Not that I can tell I guess. I don’t really even think he’s breathing. How is that possible? I think I was impressed by the same thing last time I got a massage. What the hell? This must be a course in massage school too. Or like, oh sad, what if you were doing a massage for critique and that was one of your failures? Your breath smells, F. You have BO, you might consider another profession. Fifty percent of this job is learning to be inoffensive and undetectable with your human sounds and smells.

Face massage hm? Okay I’ll take it. Wait, just kidding ew. The only time someone puts their hands on your face this way is if you’re makin out. Eeeee no. It feels good but it’s creeeeeepy. Oh stop it Megan. Just relax. It’s not weird, this dude is just doing the job you are paying him to do. But he’s cupping my face! And now fingers in my hair. Do you think he’s looking at my face? God that’s weird. Don’t look at my face.  His face is like a foot from my face. Oh god, I must look like super creepy when you pull on both sides of my face like that. I wouldn’t look at the person’s face if I were him. If I did I’d probably laugh. How is he not laughing? He’s squishing it like play dough! Feels good though. Really good. Who can I pay to do this to me before I fall asleep every night? God I need a boyfriend.

“How are you doing?”

“Great”

“Mmm. Unfortunately it’s time for us to wrap up.”

Your whispering is creepy.

“Okay, sounds good. Thank you!”

How many minutes do I have to get dressed and get my shit together before he opens the door? Oh, hello noodle legs! Woo. Oh god, I look like I was run over. What did he do to my hair? Ugh, he was all up in this business. Bad bad. God, I look like I just got up from a 20 year nap. Hot. Shit I have to pee so bad! Where did that come from? Wow that JUST happened. Hit me like a truck. A pee truck. Bathroooooom.

“Well thank you for coming in, here’s my card, we have a special blahblahblahlahb……..”

PEEEEEE. I NEED TO PEE. Bathroooom??

“Okay, thank you very much too”

Wait wait. WAIT. Did I go to high school with this fool?? Seriously though… Peter..Peter..?

Merry Music of the Damned

Monday, 12/17/12 9:14am

Megan:  there is some kenny g christmas on my radio that i definitely think you would enjoy

Erin:  oh man, if there’s one thing a monday morning needs it’s Kenny G’s ballshrinking shrill ass saxophone

Megan:  come on, it’s soothing and peaceful

Erin:  it’s the music they play in the lobby of hell, gah. just thinking about it is enraging me

Megan: there is no video of Kenny G live playin his christmas songs!

Erin: because he’s not a real person. just an idea of horrible music.a phantom, summoned by the sound of a soprano. i hear that if you stand in front of a mirror in the dark and say his name three times. he appears and murders your ears

Megan:  but it’s festive! okay, you have to sit in a room alone for 24 hours with the same music on loop. kenny g? or the wham christmas song? (YOU MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO BTWS)

Erin:  good god. what kind of twisted imagination asks that question??! i want to punch this video. ski chalet from hell. look at these yuppies and their huge coats

Megan:  you must answer!

Erin:  you’re sick dwyer

wham

Megan:  okay

Erin:  ugh. what would you pick?

Megan:  kenny g vs. that paul mccarney christmas song?

(wham)

Megan:  look this video comes with a christmas movie montage!

Erin:  duuuuuude

Erin:  remember that knife dildo from the movie SE7EN? that in my ear is what that paul mccartney song is

Megan:  soo..kenny g and his sexy curls beats sir paul this time??

Erin:  no i don’t think so. i would take knifey rape ear music over kenny g. they haven’t invented an instrument that represents kenny g’s tunes yet. there is no equivalent

Megan:  okay. so wham v. simply having a wonderFUL CHRISTMAS TIIIIME?

Erin:  why are you do this to meeeeeeeeeeee

Erin:  they’re all in my head now. um let’s see….damn, probably mccartney. because i’ve got childhood holiday memories of that song. whereas wham is a relatively new song (to me)

Erin:  christ i hate all those songs

Megan:

https://i2.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me85vxN1681qdfyf3o2_1280.jpg

Erin:  i love ron swanson and his alter ego. but nothing, ever, could convince me to get on a sax train

Megan:  aw. you would suicide off a sax train.

Erin:  i would

PS. To redeem ourselves, check out this cover of “Last Christmas” by XX. It’s pretty great. http://www.uproxx.com/music/2012/12/hear-the-xxs-cover-of-a-rare-good-holiday-song-whams-last-christmas/

PPS. To further redeem ourselves: humor.

Fun Facts: North Dakota Edition

this.

When faced with uncharted territory, the savvy businesswoman must educate herself on the ways and interests of the people she will encounter, the general climate and landscape of the foreign land in question. Her travels have taught her to prepare for anything, for anything can happen…in North Dakota.

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Shoo Fly

Did you know fruit flies can spawn from and survive on the soil of a house plant? Did you know that they can then spread to other house plants? Did you know that house plants can also be office plants–and that the same laws of pest-infestation apply? Did you know that when left untreated, fruit flies will spawn an ever-growing extended family whose sole purpose in their very short but wretched lives is to send me over the edge by attempting to enter my brain through any and all available facial cavities, nose, eyes and mouth included?

So here’s me everyday for the last six weeks, playing whack-a-mole with the flies that treat the space between my face and my computer screen like their own personal jungle gym. They’re not terribly difficult to catch (yet another quality besides their abbreviated life spans that brings their entire existence into question), and yet one is forced to apply just one of two methods to effectively murdering them, each of which presents its own problems.

Method 1: Swat or slap. As in, “See fly on desk. Bring arm down in sweeping motion. Squish fly against hard surface”. This method is really only effective when they fly lands on the cleared desk, and not on mouse, keyboard, coffee mug, etc. Since this only happens about 20% of the time, one must consider Method 2.

Method 2: Attempt to smash offender in the air. Due to the aforementioned dopiness, this approach can be very effective. The difficulty arises when the fruit fly figures out it is being pursued and its single Darwinian mechanism kicks in, causing the fly to seek shelter near the body of its attacker. This leaves the attacker with two unfortunate options: first, to slap herself in an attempt to slap the fly. Or second, to continue to try to “clap” the fly in the air, but very near the body, we’re talking symbol-smashing motions just inches from the neck and face.

It is this second unfortunate option I find myself involved in on a daily basis. The reason this is noteworthy is because everything I have to say is noteworthy. But also because it looks completely and utterly moronic and always calls to mind this little gem:

Happy Monday!