If These Intestinal Walls Could Talk

anatomy-160524_640Like with many people, my digestion has gotten a lot more talkative as I’ve gotten older.  We don’t usually have extensive discussions unless I go to the seafood buffet, but I’ve become fluent enough to carry on a basic conversation in Gurglish (that’s what I’ve named the language of my alimentary canal).  My small intestine, which is the chattiest of the bunch, likes to wait until I’m out in public and then tell me long stories about how much better things used to be in my gastrointestinal tract, with the other organs chiming in for emphasis.  Here’s how the major players in my digestive system tell me it used to be in their salad days:

Infancy

Mouth:  Milk!  Oh, boy!  This is the best thing ever!

Stomach:  Look, I’m not saying it’s not awesome, I’m just saying, we’ve had milk for the last two hundred and seventy three meals.  Couldn’t we change it up a little?  Maybe some juice, a little cereal?

Small Intestine:  We could try spitting up again.  I think we’re really getting the hang of it.

Large Intestine:  Wake me up when there’s something for me to do.

Childhood

Large Intestine:  What on earth is she eating this time?

Stomach:  I’ve stopped asking.

Mouth:  Yesterday she ate what was in the dog’s bowl, and I’m not sure all of it was food.

Small Intestine:  I’m debating throwing up just on principle.  Thoughts?

Stomach:  Let’s do it.

Adolescence

Mouth:  Pizza!

Stomach:  Pizza!

Small Intestine:  Pizza!

Large Intestine:  I hate you.

College years

Mouth:  Chug!  Chug!  Chug!  Chug!

Stomach:  I’s were not shurr no food izzz good idea, now— oh, escussse me.

Large Intestine:  How come no one ever invites me to the party?

Small Intestine:  Everybody stop everything, I think we’re gonna hurl!

Young Adulthood

Mouth:  Ow ow ow!  She didn’t let the coffee cool down again!

Stomach:  Now, that’s just careless.  And I see we’re having Pop-Tarts for breakfast again.  One of these days, Metabolism is going to go on strike.

Small Intestine:  Come on, guys!  We’re not that fussy little GI tract we used to be; we’re in our prime!  We can handle anything she throws at us!  Let’s get those digestive juices flowing!  Who’s with me?

Large Intestine:  Whatever.  I think it’s all crap.

Small Intestine:  That’s the spirit!

Now

Mouth:  Did that Number 7 meal seem off to anyone else?

Stomach:  Don’t ask me.  I’ve been empty for hours, and now suddenly I’m dodging half-chewed chunks of Big Mac and a side of fries I think she swallowed whole!

Large Intestine:  Were the fries at least hot?

Mouth:  Lukewarm.

Stomach:  At best.

Small Intestine:  That’s it!  HUMAN!  HEY!  YEAH, YOU!  LEARN TO CHEW!  AND TRY EATING SOMEWHERE WITHOUT A TAKOUT WINDOW, WHY DON’T YOU?  AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, EAT SOME FREAKING LETTUCE ONCE IN A WHILE!  IT’S CALLED “ROUGHAGE,” MORON!

Large Intestine:  Amen.

It’s a tough job, being an alimentary canal.  Twenty-somethings, learn from my example and start eating better before your small intestine starts yelling at you.  Oh, and my stomach was right:  Metabolism did go on strike.  Negotiations are ongoing.  That one may take a while.

Incidentally, major kudos to anyone who got my truly awful digestion joke in the beginning.  If you didn’t get it, honestly, don’t try.  It was really bad.

 

Image, as usual, in the public domain via pixabay.com.

Quiz! How Rude Is That?

The current presidential campaigns sometimes make me wonder if my standards of rudeness are overly strict.  For instance, when speaking of soldiers who have risked their lives to protect me and have ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, I generally don’t refer to them as weak.  I would consider that rude.  I would also consider it wildly inaccurate and monumentally stupid, but then, I’m not in politics.  If I were, I’d consider those to be selling points.

costume-15847_640All right, all right, I’ll stop with the political diatribe (even though I’m right).  What I really want to say is, when this many people strike me as being this rude, the devil’s advocate in me has begun to wonder if the one who’s really out of line is me.  Are manners now meaningless?  Are precepts of politeness simply passé?  Do I demand too much decorum and thus doom myself to deportmental disappointment?  Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the alliteration (and the made-up words).  All I ask in return is that you take this quiz designed by experts (me) to tell if I’m unduly uppity (sorry) or if people just really are that rude.

1. Public (Restroom) Interrogation

I walked into the ladies’ room of a department store the other day, and a woman who was at the sink looked up and started talking to me.  I made a polite reply and went into a stall, at which point the woman not only didn’t stop talking, but actually continued to talk to me the entire time I was in the stall.  As a matter of fact, she asked several questions.  I wasn’t sure if it would be worse to say nothing or to answer (I said nothing).  Seriously!  How rude was that?

A.  That’s pretty rude.  I mean, what if you had a bashful bladder?
B.  Cut her some slack.  Maybe her boundaries were off, but she was just trying to be friendly.
C.  Was it number one or number two?
D.  You mean how rude was it for you to say nothing?  Yep, that was pretty rude, all right.  And mean.  That poor lady.
E.  Depends.  Are you a dude?

2.  Fuming Amid the Fumes

I was stuck in traffic with a friend, and by traffic I mean a seemingly endless line of cars moving at an approximate rate of five feet per hour.  After about twenty minutes (or 1.67 feet), and I’m surprised it took that long, some complete asshole came barreling down the shoulder because, you see, he really needed to be somewhere.  Just as he was about to leave my field of vision, which admittedly isn’t hard to do, some other complete asshole let. him. back. in.  Come on!  How rude was that?

A.  OMG, I know, right?  Who does he think he is, passing on the shoulder like that?  Wait in traffic like everyone else; you’re not that important.
B.  OMG, I know, right?  Why did he let that car back in the lane?  It’s the most sacred rule of the road:  thou shalt not let the asshole back in.
C.  Did you know that more people think it’s always wrong to cut in line than think it’s always wrong to commit murder?  I wonder if that means that offing someone who cuts in line is justified….
D.  The only possible excuse:  was the first asshole on the way to the hospital with a woman who was in the process of giving birth?  (By the way, if that was the case then I’m really, really sorry for calling you an asshole.  Also, congratulations!)
E.  You’re just ticked because you know you couldn’t get away with it!

3.  I’m Sorry, I Don’t Have To Take This

I went up to a sales associate and started asking about a product.  In the middle of my question, the phone rang at her counter.  She held up a finger and answered the call, which judging from the content was neither pre-arranged nor from a supervisor, either of which I would have understood.  The entire time she was on the phone and I was standing there, she kept her finger raised.  Eventually, I raised a finger of my own (I actually did!  I’m so proud!) and walked away.  But really, I mean, I was standing right there.  How rude was that?

Survey of actual responses:

A.  Rude!  I get so mad when that happens to me.
B.  So rude!  Not to mention terrible customer service.
C.  So very rude!  And completely awesome on your part, by the way.
D.  Incredibly rude!  I’m amazed all you did was flip her off.
E.  So very, incredibly rude!  I’ll bet the person on the other end of the line was that asshole who passed everyone on the shoulder.

Results:

Mostly A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, or E’s— I have no idea what it means if you got one letter more than the others.  That you think I’m overreacting?  That statistics are less meaningful than you think they are?  This really isn’t that kind of quiz.  If it makes you feel better, you can make up a reason that you got mostly B’s.  I’ll totally back you.

So leave a comment to tell me if my standards of seemliness are laughably lofty, or if these people were as devoid of propriety as a presidential candidate.  Am I being unreasonable or are they being rude?  Or is it a little (or a lot) of both?  You tell me!

[Image in public domain via pixabay.com]

The Ballad Of Yes

Give me your shouldn’ts, your wouldn’ts and won’ts,
I’m buying up couldn’ts and didn’ts and don’ts;
I’ll take each ‘if only’ and ‘what might have been’
and I’ll stack them in boxes and lock them all in.

I’ll load them all onto a boat on the sea
that’s got just enough room for the boxes and me,
I’ll sail through the waves and the currents and tide,
then I’ll throw every single box over the side.

I’ll toss every ‘not now,’ ‘maybe later,’ and ‘no,’
every ‘what were you thinking’ and ‘I told you so,’
I’ll watch as they sink through the brine and the foam,
then I’ll turn back to shore and I’ll set sail for home.

And I’ll sing to myself as I sail on the sea
a song about how good it is to be free,
about all the adventures waiting for me,
all the things I can do, all the things I can be.

– The Little Blind Girl

Illustrated version [download here]:

the-ballad-of-yes-illustrated

 

Positive Affirmations For People Who Like Steak

meditation-303260_640Positive affirmations used to annoy the crap out of me.  “Tomorrow is bringing good things my way”?  How do you know?  I want proof.  I want bar graphs and pie charts.  (I may just want pie; I’m a little hungry.)  I’ve finally learned the secret of positive affirmations, though— it’s totally okay to just make them up.  They’re like lullabies:  no one actually expects to get all the pretty little ponies.  You just go with it because it’s less likely to give you nightmares than singing about getting all the nasty little tax bills.

That said, I think positive affirmations represent a real missed opportunity.  If you’re just saying things that may or may not be true, why go in for all that vague, flowery stuff?   I deserve better affirmations than “Tomorrow is bringing good things my way.”  I deserve an affirmation like “Tomorrow is bringing a free Prada handbag my way,” or “Tomorrow is bringing the perfect ribeye steak, cooked rare and very lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, my way.”  Here’s a list of some of my positive affirmations:

  1.  I give myself permission to love pie.
  2. Today I will replace my anger and frustration with unicorns.
  3. The perfect outfit will come to me easily and effortlessly.
  4. I trust the universe to bring Ryan Gosling into my life at the right time.
  5. I am open and receptive to experiencing beer in multiple ways.
  6. Today I will keep my mind ON the lottery numbers that DO win, and OFF the lottery numbers that DON’T win.
  7. Good hair days happen to me all the time.
  8. I choose to surround myself with delicious cheeseburgers.
  9. I am in charge of my minions.  My minions are not in charge of me.
  10. Every day, in every way, my blog is getting better and better.

The truly genius part is that, if anyone criticizes my affirmations (like, for instance, my therapist), I can reply that I accept and love my affirmations the way they are and choose to believe in them despite the negative words of others.  Of course, if I keep this up, I’ll probably start craving cheeseburgers and pie at odd times, but I kind of already do, and now I’ve got a reason that no one’s allowed to argue with.  I don’t know why I’ve been resisting this all my life.  Positive affirmations are awesome!  I just gave myself permission to believe it.  That makes it true, right?

 

[Image in the public domain via pixabay.com]

Cookie Monster’s Real Name, And Other Useless Knowledge

cookie-monster-1132275_6401I do my best philosophical thinking while I’m folding laundry.  The other day, as I folded yet another fitted sheet and realized both that I actually know how to fold a fitted sheet, and also that there is no point to folding a fitted sheet, I started thinking about how many other things I know that serve no practical purpose.  For instance, I know Cookie Monster’s first name.  It’s Sid.  No one needs to know that (except, presumably, Sid).

Then I started wondering:  how did I wind up with all this useless knowledge?  It began with a few odd bits of information from family and friends, knowledge I never wanted but kept anyway to be polite (like how to fold a fitted sheet), but over time it became such a massive pile of crap in my mental garage that there was barely enough room for the Porsche 911 that the Little Blind Girl In My Head totally drives.

Now, though, I need that space for things like retirement planning and how to tell if fruit is ripe.  So, to clear out my mental garage, I’ve decided to have a mental yard sale.  I thought about having an auction, but I don’t really need any more voices in my head.  So if you like to stockpile pointless facts for emergency use at, judging from experience, family reunions and office parties, come spend a little time in my psyche (it’s BYOB).  I’ve got some good stuff.  Here’s a sample item:

Useless Knowledge For Sale: The proper use of finger bowls

There isn’t one.  Everyone just assumes they’re for washing your fingers.  Finger bowls aren’t brought out until just before the dessert course in a formal dinner, however, and— formal dinners not being known for their finger food— you’ll almost never need to wash your fingers at this point in the meal.  The proper thing to do with a finger bowl is almost always to set it off to the left so it doesn’t get in the way of the dessert.

In fact, needing to use a finger bowl is the fine dining equivalent of the walk of shame.  It means you’re such a messy eater that, despite having been provided with three different spoons, four different forks, and six different knives, you still managed to get food all over your hands.  Honestly, it’s like you were raised in a barn.

(If this happens, by the way, no one actually expects you to use the finger bowl.  Just wipe your fingers discreetly on your napkin and then “accidentally” let the napkin slip to the floor, at which point you have an excuse to replace it with a cleaner model.  This method has served me well for years.)

I realize this isn’t much of a sales pitch, so I’ll throw in another, somewhat related bit of arcane table manners trivia free of charge:

Useless Knowledge Gift With Purchase:  It’s completely acceptable to eat asparagus with your hands.

Unlike much of what was said at the recent political conventions, this is actually true.  You may daintily dine on the succulent shoots without using so much as an asparagus tong and then smugly wiggle your fingers around in your finger bowl in perfect propriety, though you should stop short of flicking water at the people who used utensils.

Unfortunately for me, I hate asparagus, so this fascinating knowledge does me no good, even if the Queen of England were to invite me to a formal asparagus tasting replete with finger bowls of every description.  One little blind girl’s trash is someone else’s treasure, though, so up for sale it goes.

Asking Price:  The proper use of Tumblr

woman-1459220_640I went on Tumblr a few times to try to understand what it is, but the longest I went without getting trapped in porn was fourteen minutes.  It may be that porn is, in fact, the proper use of Tumblr, I’m not sure.  But I’m told there’s more to it, and knowing how to use Tumblr seems more relevant these days than knowing how to use a finger bowl— at any rate, it’s certainly more common.  So if you’re interested or if you’ve got something else to trade, feel free to make an offer.  I’m open to negotiation, and I really want my mind-garage back.

And anyway, Queen Victoria once drank from a finger bowl, so what do I know?

 

(All images are in the public domain via pixabay.com)

Seeing Eye Sasquatch

bigfoot_concept_art_by_timwade94-d992xrh

Sometimes people ask me if I have a seeing eye dog; I don’t.  I’ve been holding out for a seeing eye Sasquatch.  I don’t have one yet, and it looks like it’s going to be a while.  The training period for a seeing eye Sasquatch is notoriously long, mostly due to their tendency to tear the arms off their trainers.  I think they’re worth the wait, though.  A seeing eye Sasquatch can do so much more than a guide dog can do.  For instance:

Navigation

When you’re visually impaired, guide dogs can make it easier for you to move around in unfamiliar places by directing you along the right path and making sure you don’t bump into things like flower pots and buildings.  A seeing eye Sasquatch makes it easier for you to move around in unfamiliar places by walking through things like flower pots and buildings.  It makes its own path, and all you have to do is follow along.  Just be forewarned:  the liability insurance can get a little steep.

Socialization

Guide dogs can make it more comfortable for others to interact with the visually impaired; nothing breaks the ice like an adorable, fuzzy service animal with its tongue hanging out.  The thing is, not all people with visual impairments actually want to socialize more.  Enter the seeing eye Sasquatch:  not only do people never try to pet it (and, by the way, don’t do that with guide dogs either, unless you have the owner’s permission), most try to get as far away as they can, quite often leaving valuables behind in their haste.

This indirectly solves another problem affecting little blind girls like me that guide dogs can only do so much about: the tendency of guys to cop a feel while pretending to guide you to your seat/the door/what you hope is the right subway train.  This still happens when you’ve got a guide dog, though not as often, but when you’ve got a seeing eye Sasquatch, all the pervy strangers melt  away.  Unfortunately, so do any potential meet-cutes with guys who are genuinely trying to help, but you can’t have everything in life.

Bonding

Guide dogs and their owners often form very strong bonds.  They depend on each other and spend lots of time together, and guide dogs accept payment for their services in the form of belly rubs (I suspect that pervy strangers do, as well, but guide dogs usually smell better).  The Sasquatch, on the other hand, has a reputation for being antisocial and— oh, what’s the word?— murderous.  It seems like guide dogs almost have to win this category, if only because it’s so much easier to clean up after their “accidents.”

When I get my seeing eye Sasquatch, though, we’ll prove that they can be as lovable as any dog.  We’ll find a field near the woods and I’ll toss a stick for him to fetch, and when he lopes back toward me proudly carrying a tree, I’ll laugh and give one of those sitcom shrugs like “What can you do?”  Then I’ll throw a frisbee really high so he can jump up and catch it in his mouth, but he’ll accidentally swallow it and burp and then give me a guilty look, and I’ll just smile and shake my head, and say, “That’s my Sasquatch!”

And when he’s asleep and dreaming about chasing leprechauns (because why chase squirrels when they don’t have any gold?), I’ll stand on my tiptoes and give him a good scratch behind his ears, because dogs aren’t the only ones who like that.  That’s how it’ll be when I get my seeing eye Sasquatch.

Guide dogs are great.  They make life easier and more rewarding for the visually impaired, and they’re also dogs, and dogs are awesome.  But this Little Blind Girl wants a seeing eye Sasquatch and will accept no substitutes.  When you’ve got your heart set on having a gigantic wild creature that may or may not exist as your therapy monster, nothing else will do.

 

[Image is BIGFOOT Concept Art by TimWade94 on deviantart.com, license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]