Voiceovers In My Head: Totally Normal, Right?

Scene 1 from the Mary Tyler Moore Show 1977You know those TV journalists on 60 Minutes and the evening news who do exposés on sweatshops and conduct interviews with people who have their faces blurred out?  I have one of them in my head.  She likes to turn everything in my life into a hard-hitting news story and do dramatic voiceovers at inconvenient moments (of course, for me, everyone’s faces are already blurred out, which saves some work).  It can get a little silly at times.  For example:

In line at the convenience store:

Cashier:  I’m sorry, we’re all out of Milk Duds.

Imaginary Voiceover:  And that’s when the Little Blind Girl knew that something was very wrong in Candyland.

At the mall:

Sales Associate:  Would you like to try a free sample?

Imaginary Voiceover:  But as the Little Blind Girl was about to learn the hard way:  nothing in life is ever truly free.

Getting ready for a date:

Friend:  Try the blue skirt.  So where are you going?

Little Blind Girl:  He wants to surprise me.  I just hope he doesn’t end up taking me to the Taxidermy Circus, like the last guy did.

Imaginary Voiceover:  A “good date”:  does it really exist, or is it just a story we tell to make ourselves shave?  The answer may surprise you!

Writing a blog:

Little Blind Girl:  Crap.  Where’d all my ideas go?

Imaginary Voiceover:  It’s 9:00.  Do you know where your ideas are?

Now you know:  this is why I sometimes laugh at what appears to be nothing.  Well, this, and the way I like to replace random bits of movie dialogue with the word “pie” in my head (Darth Vader:  Your lack of pie disturbs me).  And sometimes it’s because I just got a joke I heard two days ago.  So until we meet again, gentle readers, may the pie be with you.  Don’t worry; you’ll get it in a couple of days.

 

[Image By CBS Television (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons]

Elegy For A Suicide

The world is fractured and I keep feeling lost
since he died. Time falters forward, pausing occasionally
to look for him. I glance over my shoulder
when I hear a twig break or a door sigh
the way he used to, though I try not to,
and I miss him again. He was a dream, an idyll and ideal
and now a martyr. His crusade for love
left him damaged and afraid, alone in his mind.
I couldn’t reach him in time and so he left
without me, escaping on eager, trembling wings.
I remember him when a conversation stutters,
when a star tumbles to the ground,
when a beautiful girl cries. Mercy
and grace must surely be his, if anyone’s.  I believe
he came to rest among angels who understood him,
and now he shines in the diffuse indigo night
for everyone, and not just for me. I believe this
because as I stumble through the pieces of this world,
only the heavens make sense.

Top 10 Things I Wish I Hadn’t Overheard

left-308715_640It’s not exactly true that having crappy vision means you have magic super-hearing to compensate.  It’s more that you learn to listen carefully because you have to make the most of the senses you’ve got.   At this point, my hearing is so sensitive that not only could I hear my cat peeing on the area rug one floor below my bedroom, it actually woke me up (true story).  I was only half-asleep, but still:  impressive, right?

Well, yes and no.  For one thing, I had to get out of bed before dawn to clean up cat urine I could have happily not known about for another couple of hours.  A bigger problem, though, is that modern social norms don’t really account for a sense of hearing that finely tuned.  You know those embarrassing conversations you have in restaurants that you think are private because you’re talking quietly?  I can hear them.  Every word.  If I could see, I wouldn’t know where to look.

It doesn’t end there, either.  I can also hear what’s going on in the restaurant’s kitchen, which has ruined more than one date for me, and I can hear both sides of the conversation when you talk on your cell phone in public (most common topic, if you’re curious:  how you really, really need to clean your apartment/house this weekend).  It’s been an educational, voyeuristic, traumatizing experience.  So, because I like you all just that much, I’m going to share with you the top ten things I wish I’d never overheard:

10. “I can’t file for divorce for another two months, so don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant yet.”

9.  “He took out 27 inches of the guy’s colon, and there was no sign of a tumor in any of it.”

8.  “Adult diapers are a lot more comfortable than they used to be.”

7.  “I wouldn’t say she’s my girlfriend, I mean, it’s just too soon for that.  She might be moving in, though.”

6.  “It’s on the shelf below your grandmother’s urn.”

5.  “The dry cleaner says she can’t do anything about the stain because it’s a biohazard.”

4.  “It had to be your hair; you were the only one handling the spaghetti.”

3.  “Yeah, I peed in his bed.  I don’t understand why he’s making such a big deal about it.”

2.  “Does the country of Europe have more states than we do?  I can never remember.”

1. “I’ve been uncomfortable all day because the hole in my underwear is in the wrong place.”

You’re welcome!  Feel free to share the things you wish you’d never overheard in the comments section.  Or you can just mutter them under your breath.  I’ll probably be able to hear you.

 

[image in public domain via pixabay.com]

Confessions Part Two: My Shameful Shrimp Addiction

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image in public domain (pixabay.com)

Some people have said that the high point of evolution thus far is the human race, but I disagree.  I think it’s shrimp.  I love shrimp.  I once wrote a poem about shrimp that I styled after She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron; the first line was “They swim in yummy, like Brad Pitt.”  If a genie appeared before me and offered to make me live forever on the sole condition that I never eat shrimp again, I’m honestly not sure if I’d say yes or no (though this scenario is highly unlikely, as I never polish my lamps).  They’re just that delicious.

My weakness for the delectable decapod crustaceans will occasionally lead me to do things I would normally never do.  For instance:  one night my friends and I were at a restaurant sharing a platter of coconut shrimp.  Now, I love my friends.  I do.  They’ve made me a better person and life without them would be a joyless wasteland.  But I really wanted those shrimp.  They were little curls of perfection in a crispy beer batter, and I wanted them all to myself.  I would love to say that I wrestled with, or at least acknowledged, this ethical conundrum, but I didn’t.  Instead, I said this:

Little Blind Girl:  Hey guys, I read an article the other day that called video games the most interesting and provocative artwork since Picasso went blue.  What do you think?

Here’s why saying that makes me a rotten person:  half of my friends think video games are the primary cause of moral decay in modern society.  The other half of my friends love video games the way I love shrimp.  I knew this, and I made the statement knowing that it would immediately plunge my friends into an argument so fervid and fanatical that they would lose all track of the world (and the seafood) around them.  This is an excerpt from the transcript:

Friend 1:  No!  You did not just compare Picasso’s Guernica to Call of Duty!  Picasso created an enduring portrait of devastated innocence! I’ve watched you play Call of Duty, and the only thing you do is shoot people, die, and start over again!

Friend 2:  Guernica and Call of Duty both make you think about the role of the individual in the face of violence and destruction!!  And Call of Duty makes you take an active role in the process!!  All you can do with Guernica is stare at it!!

Friend 3:  Guernica confronts us with uncomfortable truths, whether we accept them or not!!!  The most uncomfortable truth a video game will confront you with is that your reaction time is sub par!!!  That isn’t art!!!

Man At Next Table Over:  Didn’t Warhol say that art is what you can get away with?

Friend 1:  OH REALLY?  WELL, I BET I CAN GET AWAY WITH STABBING THIS FORK THROUGH YOUR HAND!  SOMEBODY CALL THE LOUVRE!

You’ll notice that my name doesn’t appear in the transcript.  That’s because, while my friends were vehemently debating the artistic merits of Grand Theft Auto, I was eating my way through the entire platter of shrimp.  I took my time; you don’t rush culinary masterpieces like that.  Plus, I knew my friends would keep going for at least 20 minutes, so I savored my spoils and enjoyed the show.  I finished before they did, and they were all a little surprised to find the platter empty:

Friend 1:  I don’t care what you say, no video game that lets you earn “star power” has any true artistic merit.  (Glances at the table)  Wow, have we eaten all the shrimp already?

Little Blind Girl:  Looks that way.

Friend 2:  I can’t remember eating any at all.  Funny how you lose track of things sometimes.

Friend 3:  I don’t know about you, but I’m still hungry.  Let’s order another platter.

Little Blind Girl:  Really?  Well, okay, if you want to.  Waiter!

(For those who are curious about the title:  Here’s a link to Confessions Part One.)

Quiz! California: Great Song Topic Or Greatest Song Topic?

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image in the public domain

Why are all the songs about California?  Sure, there’s the occasional Sweet Home Alabama or Midnight Train to Georgia, and plenty of people are in an Empire State of Mind, but in the final analysis of pop songs about places, California tops the topic.  I got a demonstration of this the other day when I put my iPod on shuffle and, in the space of 90 minutes, it played five songs about California and not a single track about Michigan, South Dakota, or Maine.

To be fair, Michigan and South Dakota are hard to rhyme.  Maine is really, really easy to rhyme, though, and when was the last time anyone whipped or nae naed to a song about Maine?  (Nae nae’d?  Naed nae?  Do you nae nae with your bae?)  Here’s a quiz to help you figure out if you think California truly deserves to win the little gold statue for Best Song Topic By A Location or whether you think it just gets all the songs because it’s pretty:

1.  So what is it about California girls, anyway?

A.  They’re undeniable!  Daisy dukes, bikinis on top…
B.  I wish they all could be California girls.
C.  Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz.
D.  Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearing hoochies screaming.
E.  Spray tans and Photoshop.  Nailed it!

2.  How is it that, every time California is in a magazine or a movie, it looks like paradise?  Isn’t there a massive drought there?  And, like, a major earthquake fault line?

A.  You could travel the world, but nothing comes close to the golden coast.
B.  From Oakland to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down, Cali is where they put they mack down.
C.  I was thinking to myself, ‘This could be Heaven or this could be Hell’
D.  All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.
E.  I never thought paradise would have this many Kardashians.

3.  The official state motto of California is “Eureka.”  The unofficial state motto is:

A.  The state where ya never find a dance floor empty.
B.  You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
C. Space may be the final frontier, but it’s made in a Hollywood basement.
D.  We’ll melt your popsicle.
E.  Sorry about all the Kardashians.

4.  I’ve heard that all the nuts roll to California.  Is that true?

A.  Let me welcome everybody to the Wild, Wild West!
B.  It’s the edge of the world and all of Western civilization.
C.  Warm, wet, and wild; there must be something in the water.
D.  And still those voices are calling from far away…
E.  No.  They roll to D.C. and stay there until it’s time to run for re-election.

5.  All right, I’m sold.  I’m going to California!  Who’s with me?

A.  Once you party with us, you’ll be falling in love.
B.  Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex.
C.  If I didn’t tell her, I could leave today.
D.  What a nice surprise!  Bring your alibis.
E.  I would, but I have narcissophobia (fear of Kardashians)

Mostly A’s, B’s, C’s, or D’s:  Party on, California girl!  You know when to whip and when to nae nae, and you always make time to lay underneath the palm trees sipping gin and juice.  Keep on living it up at the Hotel California!  Just try to limit the money and alcohol fiendin’, and remember to practice safe Californication.

Mostly E’s:  Congratulations!  You hate politicians, Kardashians, and the culture of celebrity as much as I do.  You win the quiz.  You lose the internet, though; California won that a long time ago.  Second place went to catz.  Sorry.

The Velveteen Bumblebee

This is a picture of Bombee.

This is Bombee. He’s like baby shampoo, he doesn’t sting.

In my very tasteful study, with my very tasteful furniture and my very tasteful collection of objets d’art, I have a very old, very dilapidated stuffed bee.  Its name is Bombee, so named by my sister when she was too young to be able to pronounce “bumblebee” correctly.  Bombee actually lucked out, name-wise; my sister’s other stuffed animals were called things like Horse, Bear, and (the pinnacle of her creative expression) Whitey, a stuffed white whale.  Just call her Ishmael.

At some point, Bombee got passed down to me.  I vaguely remember my sister getting upset about this, but whenever I start to feel bad about it, I remember having to wear all her hand-me-down bellbottoms.  In the Eighties.  So I don’t feel too guilty that I ended up with Bombee.  Later on, I also swiped a John Lennon t-shirt of hers, and I don’t feel bad about that, either.  The bellbottoms were polyester, and one pair was bright red.

Bombee is a bit of a puzzle to me.  Specifically, I’m puzzled about why, out of all my childhood toys and family mementos, the one I choose to display is a stuffed bee that looks like it has mange.  What kind of a kid cuddles a stuffed bumblebee, anyway?  At that age, the extent of my knowledge of bees was that it hurts when they sting, and sometimes their stings make people puff up and have to go to the hospital.  I guess I’ve made worse choices when it comes to naptime companions, but it’s still pretty weird.

I wouldn’t even say that Bombee was my favorite toy as a child.  I’ve had plenty of other toys I loved and played with more— for a while, at least; a lot of those other toys ended up breaking pretty quickly.  I thought for years that it was my fault until I realized that the toys that broke were almost always the ones my parent found most annoying.  Still, even my quiet toys all eventually got thrown out, passed along, or packed away, and now there’s just the mangy second-hand bumblebee and I don’t really know why.

If I had to guess, I might start with how it reminds me of my sister.  After all, Bombee was hers before it was mine.  She named it, played with it, and loved it, and I worshipped my sister.  I still do, really, but these memories come from the very beginning of my life, and my sister was like a god to me then.  Everything she did was perfect because she did it, and everything she loved was good because she loved it.  Sure, I could just hang up a family photograph.  But when was the last time you took a picture off the wall and cradled it because it held the blessing of your sister’s love?

And if that’s how I’d start, then I think I’d end with how Bombee is the first toy I can remember.  I  used to tuck it into the crook of my arm while I sucked my thumb.  I think I even still wore onesies.  Bombee has been in my story from the beginning, when I was too young to be able to pronounce “bumblebee” and much too young to be self-conscious about the shabbiness of my stuffed companion.  Bombee lived with me in the kingdom where nobody dies.  I guess I’m not ready to let go of that just yet.

 

How I Got My Snark Back

Dear Weird Guy I Met At The Bar,

girl-1064666_6402I want you to know that, even though I wouldn’t give you my phone number or my real name, I’m so glad we met.  Not because you said you liked my hair; although that’s usually a solid move with a girl, I’d recommend against using the word “fetish” within the first half hour of conversation.  I appreciated the super-clear warning sign, don’t get me wrong, but maybe ease into that a little more slowly next time.  With someone other than me.  But that’s not why I’m glad we met.

It’s also not because we had a deep and meaningful conversation about the relevance of Eastern philosophies on contemporary Western living.  We might have, if you had been able to pronounce the words “Bhagavad Gita,” but even if your speech hadn’t been slurred from what you initially claimed was your third beer and eventually admitted was your seventh, I doubt we would have ended up discussing the theistic aspects of moksha.  Also, the “main dude” in the Bhagavad Gita is named Arjuna, not Arwen, and that’s still not why I’m glad we met.

I did get some entertainment out of listening to you try to convince me that you like doing yoga because you enjoy the female energy and that you never even notice the boobs of the women in your class.  It was especially amusing because, for the ten minutes before you gazed into my eyes and made that earnest declaration, you’d been addressing most of your intoxicated musings to my cleavage.  Not an original move, no, but the fact that you clearly had no idea you’d just been doing it gave it that special something so often missing from drunken ogling.  Well done, sir!  But that’s still not why I’m glad we met.

I’m glad we met because, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t just smile awkwardly while secretly snarking at you in my head.  This time my smile was one of real  enjoyment.  I don’t know whether I was responding to some quality in you or whether there was just magic in the air that night, but when I heard you talk about actualizing your inner tranquility,  I was finally able to give myself permission to snark out loud.  You can’t imagine how good it felt after denying myself for so long.  It was snark without shame, reckless and abandoned, and it was bliss.  You gave me the best night I’ve had in a long time.  You gave me my snark back.  I’m so glad we met.

And if I didn’t say it last night, thanks for buying me the drink I was nursing while I mocked you to your face.  It was delicious.

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Snarks and kisses,

The Little Blind Girl

 

[images in the public domain via pixabay.com]