Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines to my Life

Valentine's Day is a fine occasion to express your feelings to those you hold dear; verse is the traditional language of love. Here are the Valentines I'm sending this year.

Haiku for Indoor Plumbing

O, Indoor Plumbing,
What would I do without you?
Go pee in the snow.

Ode to Dick Wolf

Dick Wolf, you are so filthy rich,
You've made America your bitch.
I watch crime happen ever'y night,
Basking in the hi-def light.

I know exactly how it goes
From watching thousands of your shows.
But your predictability
Is what makes you so dear to me.

So go ahead and make some more
And put in lots of blood and gore.
You've hooked me through my prurience
Now you're my favorite decadence.

Shakespearean Sonnet for Arlington Trash Pick-Up

Each week they come and haul my trash away,
Whilst I am sleeping soundly in my bed,
And tidy dreams of order fill my head.
Ere I awake, my curb is sans decay.
Throughout the weary week, it piles high.
Unwanted items, having done their best
To satisfy our needs, now go to rest,
I do not weep or mourn to say goodbye.
E'en if I leave a sofa or a chair
Which filthy beast and child hath rip'd and rent,
On which no arse shall henceforth find content,
Yea, even such such a burden they will bear.
Recycl'ing, too, a wonder to behold,
Might mix and mingle freely, kind with kind,
If paper, plastic, glass and steel combined,
Yet all are taken, Township does not scold.
If such a wonder could to minds apply,
TV-show theme songs from my brain couldst fly.

Haiku for Two Sons

Messy, loud, unclean
Are you listening to me?!
Sleep; I kiss your cheek.

Homage a Fromage

You are so delicious, I eat you all day,
And I never get tired or sick.
You're there when I need you, when winter is grey,
Or when hubby is being a prick.

I eat you with dinner, I eat you with lunch,
Be you Cheddar or Muenster or Brie,
You'll never desert me, not even for brunch,
And especially not afternoon tea.

I eat you and eat you, though my bowels object
And who cares what my scale has to say?
Our passion's unending, our ardor unchecked,
Our true love will show me the whey.

Facebook Limerick

There once was a stay-at-home mom,
Whose brain did refuse to be calm,
Until facebook she found,
And her psyche unwound--
Now she thinks she's the queen of the prom.

Prayer to Normal

O Normal!
Keep me this day safe in thy boring arms!
Deliver unto me a host of petty concerns;
Subject me to untold minor irritations!
For if I lamented too grievously thy burden,
And thou deserted me in wrath and spite,
How woefully should I suffer for thy loss!
Well I remember when last thou went away,
And Fate and Worry came to take thy place;
As now they torment millions, who long for thee.
Grant me, then, your rashes and appointments,
Your messes and carpools, your burdensome school projects,
Your debts to pay, your broken fixtures, your foul weather!
And I shall offer gratitude, and only whine a little.

Happy Valentine's Day, Blog! Now, your turn: leave a haiku for a loved one/thing in my comment section. Major extra credit for longer poetic forms!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter People

I've mentioned that I'm not in favor of winter in New England. Tragically, it's a problem I seem to be stuck with, so it's become a project of mine to study how other people manage it. I've identified 7 distinct psychological profiles, and laid them out here in a friendly, even cheezy, facebook-quiz-result format. I've tried them all (especially 3 and 5) and can't say any of them really work for me. Which one are you?

1. The Scandinavian

Your strategy is to embrace winter by wholesomely and publicly not minding/liking/LOVING! the cold and snow, participating in lots of outdoor winter sports and whatnot, simply dressing correctly for the weather, and telling other people how they could--and really should--enjoy winter as much as you, if they could just cultivate an upbeat attitude and acquire proper footwear. When the subject comes up, you are likely to mention that you grew up in a northern climate, or that your ancestors did, as if that itself provided some kind of immunity to winter misery, though the statistics about alchoholism and suicide in northern Europe alone (see type 4) should be enough to shut you up. All the other types listed here hate you. In fact, why are you even reading this? Don't you have an Ididerod to train for or something?

happiness, health, superiority
Cons: only other Scandinavians can stand you

2. The Philosopher/Poet/Artsy Type

You are probably somebody's Dad. You can, and do, quote Robert Frost and Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale at length. You take beautiful photographs of ice-encrusted trees. You spend the long winter hours re-reading Les Miserables, and reflecting about and expounding on the building of character. By March, you are usually more depressed than the rest of us.

Pros: sounds great
Cons: doesn't work

3. The Patient

You think of winter as a disease that can be treated with a variety of remedies--vitamin D, fish oil, light therapy, antidepressants, psychotherapy, smelling salts, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, etc. You suffer deeply, mention your diagnosis often (Seasonal Affective Disorder, Hypersensitivity, Vapors, Excessive Beauty of the Soul), and complain regularly, as if everyone around you weren't living in the exact same climate as you.

Pros: actually might work--placebo therapy is often effective
Cons: danger of slipping into type 4 when remedies don't work

4. The Alcoholic

You are a traditionalist. Your Daddy, and your Daddy's Daddy before him--all the way back to your Great Grandaddy Bjorgen Flergnoggen--all dealt with winter (and probably most other situations) using the time honored tradition of Drinking Yourself into Oblivion. Nothing warms the soul in a January cold snap like a hot rum toddy, or a bottle of vodka, or two, topped off with a steaming hot percocet.

Pros: dulls the pain
Cons: cons? what cons? there are no cons--you could quit any time you wanted to!

5. The Groundhog

You crank the heat up, watch lots of tv, takes lots of naps, and consume lots of hot cocoa and toasted cheese, and cookies, and bread, and other kinds of cheese, and other kinds of chocolate. You wear stretchy clothes, 2 or 3 layers, and extra socks. You get really good at some lame computer game. You do not answer the phone, you do not go out at night, or during the day, unless you must. You may have gained a few pounds.

Warning: Do not attempt this strategy with children in the house.

Pros: cozy, combines well with type 4
Cons: high heating bill; by spring your friends have forgotten you.

6. The Migrator

Each winter you go somewhere warm, stock up on sunshine and the will to live, take pictures of yourself in a bikini on a beach somewhere, sipping a drink out of a coconut, and put them on facebook so we can share your joy as we shovel and scrape. You absolutely must come home with a tan, whether or not you like to tan at any other time of year. You tend to have more money than me.

Note: This only counts as a strategy for "dealing" with winter if you go away for less than a month of the winter--more than that is actually just "not dealing".

Pros: a really nice week or two
Cons: having a stark comparison may exacerbate the effects of winter when you return

7. The Equal Opportunity Grouch

Winter doesn't bother you any more than every other damn thing in your pain-in-the-ass life. You remember that in the spring, there's all that mud, and in the summer you'll be uncomfortably hot and have all that yard work to do, etc. You complain, but with a sense of resignation that would seem more philosophical if you ever enjoyed anything, at all, ever.

Pros: acceptance
Cons: never-ending misery

Monday, January 25, 2010

Resolved: From now on, this blog is going to suck.

I'm not ideally suited to blogging. I'm inherently self-conscious, long-winded, perfectionistic, and slow. I'm also pathetically susceptible to others' opinions of me. My emotional involvement with my blog--which a few of my "readers" (i.e., best friends) recently noticed I had abandoned--had become more intense than a 13-year-old's crush on Simon Lebon, or, you know, whoever those crazy kids are into these days.

Previously, I would spend a week writing something far too long for a blog post, forcing my husband to read it six times and reassure me it was okay. I would sit at the computer, meditating on that orange "PUBLISH POST" button as if it were the proverbial Red Button. Finally, I would take a deep breath, press the button and hop up and pace around the room. Then I would read it over in published blog form, to make sure there were no errors I'd missed. Then I would unpublish it, because there would be. This could go on for an hour, or three. For the next few days I would compulsively check for comments every ten minutes, and each time I got one, it would be like I'd won the Nobel Frikkin Prize. My metabolism was heightened, I flushed, I fidgeted. When all 7 people had read it, and the comments tapered off, I would slide into a funk.

I fully realize how lame this is. Or was. I know what a blog is, or is supposed to be. I understand that everyone who reads it is somebody I know, who will either enjoy it and say something nice, or politely keep their mouths shut. I really do get it, that nobody cares, and it doesn't matter. We can examine the appalling lack of excitement and purpose in my life some other time, or not.

The thing is, in spite all of the emotional upheaval it caused me, I think blogging was good for me, because it gave me something to do (I know, you're thinking maybe if I had, like, two things to do, it wouldn't seem so important... um, shut up). Anyway. I really want to continue blogging. I just, seriously, can't fuss so much about whether it's any good.

So, fair warning: from now on, this blog will disappoint you. I will long-windedly blather about stuff that you don't care about, and make jokes that aren't as funny as I seem to think they are. I will be overly serious sometimes, and say stuff you disagree with. I'll probably even insult you, and your mother, and her stupid little dog. You are going to HATE this blog from now on. You probably won't even read it at all.

Whatever. Like I care.