Got Maggots?

So once upon a time, we were in a rental.  This rental just happened to fall into a time in our lives where it was an in between residence, and as such we were not very happy to be there.  Longing to be inside our new home - we just sold our condo, and also just had a baby *two months old at this time* - we really didn't want to be living half out of boxes.  Alas, there comes a time in every one's lives where you reach an unavoidable dilemma.  You either fall into a pile of shell-less pieces on the floor, or deal with life and roll with the punches.  There happens to be a super market down the road, and I'm distractingly excited that it's in such close proximity to the new place.  Happily, I pack up little infant in the Bjorn (this was back when big kid was little infant) and head to the store for some grocery shopping.  I don't know about you, but I sort of get excited about packing a new fridge.  All that fresh food and the clean shelves...  You can almost smell that *crisp* refrigerator air right now!

Well, this was far from the experience that I encountered upon opening the fridge (groceries unpacked on the shelf.)  I open the fridge to load up all the perishables...  When what to my wondering eyes should appear??  Not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but six mid sized shelves and 50 thousand maggots dead and blowing out every cooling fan vent in the fridge.  Shock takes over, and I'm standing still in front of this mortifying dead maggot infestation.  I'm not sure what takes the cake for the grossest?  The fact that it's filled with dead maggots spewing out the blow holes of the fridge? Or that I could have opened it to find live ones crawling all over the place.  I actually think the latter would have been far more appalling.  With a look on my face like I just ate a bowl of rotten cherries... I head screaming over to the husband.  "Holy crap, you HAVE to look at the fridge!  I refuse to put anything in there, and suggest that you get a friend and pick up your mini college fridge so we can use something for food."  Ice cream is now melting on the counter.  Cheese is starting to resemble a Dali painting, and I can hear the milk curdling. WHAT'S NEXT, LOCUSTS?!  He then admitted that in the construction of this townhouse remodeling project, the developer had placed a container of Chinese take out rice in this *brand spanking new* fridge. As with all construction projects, the power went off multiple times throughout the several months that the construction ensued (with the testing of the electrical, etc.)  During this time, the food rotted, decayed and maggots infested the fridge. When the power went back on, the maggot army finally froze to death. YAY!!  Death to maggots!!

Maybe he was just complacent with the whole scenario in light of the larger priority move, but it was bothersome that the husband was trying to convince me we just needed to wipe down the fridge a little and it would be clean as a whistle.   I didn't care if a postmortem cleaning service had done the best crime scene work of their career in there, I was never going to trust this fridge again to host any food for me or my baby for that matter!  So, after much deliberation - and whiny screaming on my part - the husband dutifully went out on a quest for our mini fridge.  For the record, the husband put his beer in that nasty fridge, but nothing else.  I, on the other hand, waited impatiently for the older and smaller mini fridge.  I did advise the developer of this repugnant situation with vomitous horror portraying in my tone.  He voluntarily came over himself and cleaned out the fridge to what he suggested was, "clean enough that I would eat out of it myself."  Well sir, if this was clean enough to eat out of, then you must prefer dead maggot stew weekly in your food repertoire.  In opposition, I generally stick to food inspected and passed by the FDA as consumable by human beings.  But I digress... Over the course of the next few days I noticed more dead maggots collecting on the barren shelves.  Which led me to investigate even further into the side panels of the fridge (with two pairs of elbow length gloves by the way, a ski mask, and medical nose and mouth mask.)  I was dressed like I was part of the Chernobyl nuclear waste spill clean up crew.   Just as I had suspected, filled in the interior side trim (and lord knows where else) there were maggots packed so firmly in the plastic hardware they looked like they were the maggot frosting smeared inside the fridge cake. Ah-HA! This is why the mysterious maggot blow holes were spraying dead maggots through the cooling fan areas of the fridge!

Not surprisingly about a week after this discovery, the whole fridge stopped working.  Electricity and power were checked, outlets, etc.  No problem with the house... It's decided that there is something wrong with the fridge.  Since it was only a 6 month old fridge we called in on the manufacturer warranty repair service.  (I made the developer assume the cost of any repairs).  The repair man was in as much shock and disgust as I was when we first opened the fridge and upon opening the circuit panel to check the mother board of the unit.   It was completely caked in dead maggots. They had worked their little filthy worm bodies all the way up into the motherboard and shorted out the whole system.  The poor guy asked to borrow my gloves, and at one point actually stepped outside to scrape the macabre larvae off the hardware - whilst holding back his body from the thrusts of dry heaving.  He claimed the fridge was not fixable, and so we had to live out of the mini fridge during the duration of our stay in the rental.  We only spent seven months at that townhouse anyway, so we just chalked this up to yet another disappointing element of the whole experience.  Living out of the mini fridge week by week made me kind of proud, as it was a shining example of my ability to embrace the European food shopping style.  That's one thing to take away from it... I guess.

Years have passed since that maggot fridge episode, but none-the-less that visual will forever be burned in my brain as one of the most disgusting memories I have ever encountered.   Let this be a lesson to all you people out there holding faith in your fridge to keep food alive forever "just because it's cold."  It won't, power does goes out, and you will be left with a maggot fridge that shorts out the motherboard from your lack of attention to detail or common sense.   If you find yourself in this scenario, you should be ashamed of yourself. On the upside, I have some lollipops you might find delicious and interesting while you are cleaning out your fridge.

Is There Nothing Sacred?

Here I stand, vulnerable, disappointed, and excited all at the same time. With Nads waxing kit in hand and dressed in skimpy mom underwear, I am cutting the little green organic strips to embark on an age old tradition - the female waxing session. As I am preparing the skin for the pain, big kid is staring in bewildered awe at how I can place this sticky stuff on my body, and rip it off with the immediate blood curdling scream of "OUCH!" that almost involuntarily follows. Typically she hides behind my bathrobe, and peers out as if she has just painted something with poop and hiding will make me not notice it. Trying to engage her - and soothe her fears - I ask her to count to three after I have placed, rubbed, and smoothed the strip down. Fears are perfectly normal here, because lets face it, I am ripping hair out by the root with acute force and then repeating the act until I resemble a newborn baby. This is, by far, the worse modern day torture that we inflict upon ourselves (and I am convinced that most countries use currently as a method of torture). Mind you I have not only one witness to this event, there are two... big kid and little baby. Both are girls, so in one way I am looking at this like preparation to an unavoidable right of painful passage someday.

As if this isn't bad enough, that I have to do these dirty deeds in front of my kids... lo and behold, the husband wanders in. Great, now it's a freak waxing circus. Immediately, I smack boxes up and down and start shuffling things around on the bathroom counter to look like this is not actually what I am doing. In my flurry of smacking random objects, a long strip gets caught on my elbow and is hanging listlessly like a toilet paper strand in a tree after Halloween. Feeling utterly embarrassed about this whole *deer-in-the-headlights-look* I am finding it very difficult to keep my composure. Big kid still firmly placed behind the bathrobe (little baby looking at me in confusion), I finally decide to cave in and admit that I was waxing. In unison with big kid, and little baby, the husband is staring at me like I've gone completely crazy with a "Why the hell do you have a waxing strip hanging from your elbow?" look.

IS THERE NOTHING SACRED ANYMORE? Have I really been degraded to the point of waxing in public as that would have less of an audience then my own bathroom? I don't even remember having this many eyes on me even when I went to the judgmental nail parlor down the street - with the shady back room that you are forced to take the "walk of shame" to. Passing over twenty or so women en route to this waxing dungeon, eyes following you with each advancing step. Glazing you over with their dilated pupils using that head to toe stare thinking, "what is she going back there for?" Shuddering, I hold my head low ensuring avoidance of all possible eye contact until the door closes to the closet sized room. Without fail, you always walk out of that little room hairless, confidence broken, and shamed by the whole vulnerable process. That experience was considerably more private than this entourage in front of me. I can already see my kids mentioning this in therapy as a traumatic experience they endured in childhood.

I vowed then and there never to wax during the day again, and to instead leave this process to night time activity when husband is gallivanting about town and kids are asleep. Sadomasochistic things like self waxing should (and now forever will) be a private affair.

Allow myself to introduce... myself?

7 Things that I'm in complete contradiction with myself on:

1) I am one of those rare and stereotypical socially awkward IT computer nerds.
Contradiction: I'm also like Martha Stewart.
(Actually these two are pretty much the same level of crazy, so it's a wash).

2) I love horror movies. I mean I'm obsessed with them. Anything that will scare the crap out of me and make my blood curdle is AWESOME. They are literally better than breathing... ok, well maybe not that.
Contradiction: I refuse to view any needle going into me at the doctors and I have to lay down when blood is drawn in fear of passing out.

3) My inner child is an "Emo" teenager who has purple and blue hair, listens to "The Cure", and wears heavy black lipstick.
Contradiction: My "Emo" inner child often fights with the preppy/bohemian adult. "Let's wear that 'Sisters of Mercy' Tee-shirt today!"... "No! We're wearing this tunic with jean shorts and flower sequined sandals."

4) I'm seen as a socially fun person, nice, outgoing, etc.
Contradiction: Social interaction scares me, and I am a hermit. There is nothing I enjoy more than staying at home on my couch in my Costco pajamas, communicating only through text/ email, and farting in silence.
Agoraphobia is a blink away.

5) I can't stand repeating myself over and over to someone who isn't listening.
Contradiction: I repeat myself constantly to the point where no one wants to listen.

6) I love the country.
Contradiction: I hate bugs.

7) I'm very disciplined to the point of seeming militant, and have been accused of being emotionally detached.
Contradiction: I'm a "wear my heart on my sleeve" type, and I'm an emotional wussy. I cry at Onstar commercials, and every episode of Extreme Home Makeover.

Why don't YOU pipe down???

My apologies to anyone who finds this offensive, but FLOCK YOU concert goers who "SHHHHHH!" other attendees.

Who died and made you king of the concert hall monitor league? Just because I'm talking to my friends (by the way it was at a reasonable *concert volume*) at the same concert you are attending doesn't give you the right to angrily "SHHHHHH" us. You might have a stronger argument if we were at a closed acoustic viewing of a band like (oh I don't know) U2... but at a huge outdoor amphitheater showing of Lyle Lovett? Really? I'm sorry, but if you find it's so imperative to "SHHHHHH!" someone at a huge outdoor concert who is already standing on the cheap hill seat area near the recycling trash cans, then you are too socially stunted to be outside of your moldy basement. We were willing to accommodate you by moving several times AND lowering our voice... but how far must we be ostracized from the park before you are satisfied? Shall we completely remove ourselves from the park entirely? Would THAT make you freaking happy jackass?

By chance were you a hall monitor as a kid?
Did you find pleasure in tattling on the not-even-that-bad kids?
Do you work for the IRS?
Have you gone "postal" before?
Do you correct others mid-sentence with their grammatical errors?
Have you created your own penal code?
Are you retired?

Lighten up, SERIOUSLY. You need a seriously strong cocktail to kill the bug living up your hole. Last time I checked, I wasn't attending a poetry slam at a coffee house, nor was I at a classical performance at a major upscale concert hall. If memory serves, the outdoor amphitheater folk/ rock concert I was attending has never been
so quiet that you could hear crickets chirping and no human sound within a ten mile radius. WTF?!?!?!? I swear it was so quiet at one point that I could hear an ant fart ten miles away. If that small amount of human buzz and interaction bothers you, then you should strongly consider removing yourself from society. Becoming a hermit would suit you, and you could order all your accoutrement, groceries and household items online. You really could get rid of all that silly crap like bothersome human dialogue or general interaction, and concentrate on how superior you are to everyone else. Get off your high horse, stupid jackass.

Out of curiousity, what is your opinion everyone?
A) I strenuously agree, concert "
SHHHHHH!"-ers can suck it.
B) You're a self important @** - I disagree, and here's why...

Penii Garden **UPDATED w/Pictures**

They're baaaaaaack! And it appears they have returned with a vengeance. Against my better judgement last week I went out to the side yard and removed the alien discs. With latex medical gloves firmly melded onto my hands, I carefully *plucked* these rotting flowers of filth from my yard. Following with a *Pssssst!* spray of organic cleaner. Some of these mushrooms were so monstrous in size, I could barely fit them into a shopping bag (they were the same size as a dinner plate) - a garbage bag was the only option. I swear they had an evil grin on their underside that was mocking my efforts the entire time. The sick sadistic fungus.

So, now as I'm returning from a shopping trip with the kids... I noticed the return (%$#@!) of the alien mushroom colony. Only now it's changed shape to expand themselves into their own little mushroom crop circle pattern. An appalling sprinkling of alien mushroom braille pronouncing to their mother ship in the sky, "Attack! Attack!" Twenty little penis soldiers with elephantitis of the head sneering at me from below, and an extra special welcoming committee just outside of the fence near where I park the car. As if they decided to meet me halfway, and now are waving me into the driveway like those ground control guys with the light sticks signaling the landing path of the airplanes.

It doesn't stop there either!!! Today I took a picture of their growth progress, and the satellite discs have expanded. If that isn't bad enough, this garden of penii mushrooms is on full display for anyone walking by my front yard to see. Despicable, utterly despicable. I have no other option than to declare war on the fungus, I'm going all out and IT'S ON MUSHROOM PENIS SOLDIERS!!!! I just hope to god for my lawn's sake that they learn something from my wrath, and never return again.

So, if you see a mushroom cloud in the sky it's probably because I have used nuclear weapons of destruction on my yard to eradicate the army of penii filth growing there. My sincere apologies to anyone who breathes in the nuclear fungus death fumes.

My night with The Cult

I really despise name droppers. Who are you trying to impress by dropping all the names of famous people you hung out with? I mean, really? REALLY??? Nobody cares about your one time with the cool people. If you have to reiterate that to random strangers you are king of all posers.

Now that I've got that out of the way, back to my name dropping. I mentioned I was a walking contradiction, right? No? Oh, well I'll explain that another time...

It was a warm summer night. My coworkers from the IT Help Desk and I had decided to take a trip to the next state over and watch the Cult in concert at a pretty good sized venue. We all had been fans of their music for a while, and thought it would be fun to check it out live. Sure it had been like 20+ years since they started their music, but aging rockers are like a good bottle of scotch. The older they get, the bigger the ass kicking they provide.

We're walking down the avenue, casually passing the bars and a whole spectrum of what appears to be post-punk goth fans waiting to enter into the venue. There is still an hour before the show starts, so we are looking for a place to hang out in the interim. Setting our sights on an Irish bar at the corner, we start making our way to the door. Just in front of the bar, and a little past the venue doors, we notice four ginormous buses. I'm thinking, "Dang, there are a lot of bachelor parties here!" Yeah, I was 24 years old then and things didn't click too quickly... the last bus had a tall surly guy standing outside of the door. Soliciting girls to go inside seemed to be his only job. As we passed him, of course he hits us up to come inside...

Strange man: "Hey, you girls want to hang out on the bus?"

Suddenly my mind flashes to those after school specials I saw so many of when I was in high school. You know the ones where there is that creepy guy in a coat waiting by the school yard? Offering candy or a puppy to that emotionally withdrawn kid? I'm convinced this guy is going to violate me, and then chop me up into pieces to be disposed of on his tour bus by way of the porto-toilet flush. Although, he's not wearing a coat and has no puppy or lollipops to dispense. He actually looks as if he's a hired hand, and doesn't even have gum or tick tacs for that matter. But I digress... exchanging glances, my coworkers and I cock our heads back in rejecting laughter. "Um, yeeeeeaaaaah. Tempting, but no." We respond, as if he had just asked us if we would like being chopped into pieces and disposed of in random lakes. An hour later, we emerge from the Irish pub - totally ready for a rocking show.

The Cult performed a wicked concert that night. Old and young alike, we all were rocking our heads in unison to "Fire Woman", "Edie", "She Sells Sanctuary", etc. It was killer. Even after being around all this time, The Cult showed they haven't skipped a beat and could still deliver one hell of a performance. At this point, it had been about four hours since the pre-show tour bus sighting. Of course during the show we had tossed back a few beers... so we're all feeling pretty awesome and like the world is our oyster. We say our goodbyes to the old punk-goth dude that stood next to us through the performance, and nod our heads in understanding that we all just shared a moment of "rock" in there. Still in the afterglow of the concert, we turn our heads to see that the same guy is still standing at the front of the bus soliciting chicks. What is this guy's deal?? Now, he's peaked our interest and we HAVE to find out what the hell all these buses are about. The five of us head over to the strange non-coat wearing man.

Me: "Hey, what's your deal?... and what's inside there?" I ask the man.

Strange man: "I can't say out here, but if you want to come in, your invited."

Me: "..." I look at my friends, who seem to give me that look like, 'Hey there's five of us, and isn't there safety in numbers or something?'
Me: "Well, he doesn't have candy or a strange coat...?" "Are you hiding dead bodies in there?"

Strange man: "No. But I like your humor..."

Me: "Ha, ha! Who said I'm joking?"

We decided, ah screw it - we'll make our way into the bus. All the while I'm thinking... Am I being adventurous?, or being an idiot and heading into a slaughter house? Ahhh, how beer can clarify the decision making process! As soon as we walk inside I immediately turn to my girlfriends, and simultaneously our jaws drop to the floor in shock.

You're thinking... What??
Naked creepy men?
Dead bodies?
Evil clowns?

Nope... I was smack in front of the members of the same band I just paid money to see. There was the bass guitarist, Billy Morrison right next to me offering me a beer. Nice. This guy is in head to toe black, with full sleeve tattoos covering both arms (and I believe some on his neck too). Jet Black hair in spikes, and if memory serves - a ring in his nose. He looked like Keith Richards in his early twenties. I instantly ask to use the restroom, and proceed to call everyone on my phone contact list whispering, "DUDE!!! I'M ON THE TOUR BUS!!!!" The collective thought amongst my peers was: Let's try not to look like the geeks we are, and act casual. Trying not to sound like a loser, I ask, "So, what do you guys listen to when you're not playing?" Billy Morrison whips out a Green Day disc and starts to play it over the speakers. The uncomfortable silence is broken when all of a sudden a sketchy woman at least 15 years my senior comes rushing out of the back of the bus. A disturbed look on her face, she sprints toward the door. Immediately following her was the lead singer of the band. He seemed unfazed. MAYBE going into the back of a rock band tour bus wasn't that great of an idea?? Hmmm??? I doubt he was expecting to play duck duck goose. Honestly with the highway miles on this chick I doubt that this was the first bad decision she has made. Meanwhile, Billy is staring at me with a really strange glare in his eye. Like he's been hypnotized and his eyes have lost the ability to follow a moving object. He's asking me questions, and my responses (and inner dialogue) went something like this:

Billy: "Will you be my girlfriend? You can go on tour with me, and stay on the bus."
Now... if you looked more like Billy Idol, I would have been more inclined to reply with an emphatic yes... but you look more like Keith Richards. I'm not really into the pale, druggie, looking older than you should look.

Me: "Aww... that's really sweet, but I have a job and I really can't do something like that."
Thanks, but I prefer my body to stay unviolated, and in one piece. I really don't prefer to sleep in suitcases, or at the bottom of any large body of water for that matter.

Billy: "Wow, I can't believe you are computer chicks!"
Me (thinking to myself): Thanks for insulting my intelligence. This is the point in conversation where I find you as appealing as a bikini wax with fly paper. I'm going to leave now and watch non-stop marathons of Bob Ross because that's way more intriguing than being here with you.

Truth be told, after the woman went running out of the back is really where the conversation took a turning point anyway. We all said our goodbyes, and headed out of the tour bus. Despite the beer my quick wit was still intact, and I immediately request that all the band members sign their play list for me. Quite frankly I was surprised they didn't tell me to bugger off, but they happily signed away. I still have that play list today.

Considering we didn't go anywhere, that was one hell of a ride, and will go down in the books as my very cool moment with the cool people.

Foot in Mouth Disease

Foot in Mouth disease is a really despicable thing. Unfortunately, I seem to suffer from a horrid case of it and have no understanding how to rid myself of this terrible predicament. This is not, however, to be confused with "Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease". The latter causes fever and blister-like eruptions in the mouth and/or a skin rash. In my opinion, Foot in Mouth disease is a far worse ailment.

Over the years the level of my infection with this disease has gotten significantly worse. I attribute this only to the fact that I am older now, and thereby more aware of myself and my interactions with others. That, or it's just that the people around me are less tolerant of my stupidity and are more open to telling me how much I sound like an utter moron. I try, I really do try to think in advance of what I am saying before it comes out of my mouth... but it doesn't always end up where I was hoping for. Ultimately my statements are followed by looks of disgust, shock, rolling of the eyes, or worse - the backwards head jerk with a fluttering blink. Ooh... that's the worst response. That one literally hurts.

An episode of "Foot in Mouth Disease" typically begins with me saying something I think is fairly harmless. I'll divulge something about myself in a self-deprecating way, thinking it's quite funny. It's only when the last word is still hanging in a bubble outside of my mouth, that I realize I just said something also relevant to the person I'm conversing with. Only I thought I was insulting myself, and I just inadvertently insulted them too. Here comes that *pit-in-stomach* feeling now. Great. Now, this is where it gets worse... the condition takes on a life of it's own, escalating drastically and the worst symptom of all takes hold: uncontrollable verbal diarrhea. Adding insult to injury, I then follow the verbal diarrhea episode with nonsensical babbling further digging myself into the already appalling mess I have created. The unlucky soul to have crossed my path is now left burdened and broken in the wake of my verbal assault. Now maybe you will see just how horrible this disease really is, and the endless levels of my affliction.

If you think you might also suffer from Foot in Mouth Disease, here's a list of the common symptoms:

1) Despite thinking you are hysterically funny, your statements are often met with looks of shock, horror and flinches of disgust.
2) You find yourself *wanting* more and more "alone" time, since the idea of no one wanting to be friends with you based on your personalty is a harsher realization.
3) You are actually a hermit.
4) You have your own radio station broadcasting from a cabin in the woods.
5) You used to live in a normal town as a member of a civilized society, until they ostracized you and stoned you to death (for no apparent reason).
6) Your family refers to you as "the one that just isn't right", and
at gatherings they place you in the corner with the fish tank and the shitzu dog with its period.
7) You have uncontrollable urges to "shake things up" in conversation, and this urge often leads you to sound like an incoherent homeless person off medication.
8) Animals have a strange affinity for you, and in contrast random people run away from your mere presence.
9) You suffer from spastic verbal diarrhea, followed by uneventful nonsensical babbling.
10) You have an actual foot growing out of your mouth.

If you have more than 3 of the symptoms above, you might have Foot in Mouth Disease.

If you especially have the symptoms listed in lines 3, 4, 5 and 10, you're in the advanced stages of this disease and your condition is sadly untreatable. You might want to consider contracting Ebola, or playing with fire.