Author Archives: Irene

Pubic Hair: The Great Equalizer

Pubic Hair: The Great Equalizer

Afro-wigs-Halloween-Christmas-Carnival-cheerleaders-Costume-party-wigs-adult-children-Curly-Clown-Disco-Circus-Costume

 

I can’t read one more terrible story this week so will now reintroduce us all to something important, relevant and that we can all relate to.

Pubic Hair.

That’s right – initial caps AND bold font, bitches!

Yep. Pubic hair! Right? Curly, straight, trimmed, shorn, bushy. We all have it. And the maintenance of it has created a thriving industry that is in existence because some evil genius, somewhere, decided we needed one more thing to feel self-conscious about.

But, who can keep up on the trends? I can barely keep the hair on my head under any semblance of control let alone the undercarriage. Thank you, Chilean ancestry!

Now I need to figure out what personal statement I need to make with my crotch coiffure? The options are myriad.

Do I go minimalist? Try on a genital skull cap to regain the dewy youth of a 12-year-old?

Or do I go retro and harken back to the groovy, bushy 70’s?

Do I go Vegas, baby, and Vajazzle that shit (said with jazz hands)?

Or do I go au natural and choose, what I like to call, a “George Clooney”? I could fantasize that I’m seeing the top of his head down there as opposed to the copious amounts of salt and pepper that make up that region already.

Please do not involve me in this.

Please do not involve me in this.

Or do I go with a more intimidating style? Really show who’s boss!

Obey mein ‘stache!

I actually, quite by accident, got a Hitler from a Brazilian waxer once. I chalked it up to a gross miscommunication due to a language barrier. When I said “just a little off the sides” she heard “a small man who committed genocide”.

Portuguese is a tricky language.

The aforementioned diabolical leader is in good company when it comes to megalomaniacs with odd hair choices….

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is clear that while they have all attempted to control the masses with an iron fist, they lose the battle of the skull. Don’t want to think of what’s happening down south with these morons.

And, like my Hitler debacle (right, it was only ME who had a Hitler debacle!) any or all of these could be a pubic grooming choice that catches on.

The Gadaffi Go Fuck Yourself

The Kim Jong I Be Illin’

The Full Donald

Luckily, the reality is that MOST of us (not ALL, I get it) do not have an audience judging the choices we make in our pubic region.

And, let’s face it, judging someone for their choices in pubic hair style is just as ridiculous as judging them for their choices in who they love or what diety they choose to worship.

Amidst all the murder, rape, rampant bigotry and divisiveness of our world right now, I want us all to remember one thing that I think will help to bring us all together. And, that one thing is simply this: At the end of the day, everyone has pubic hair.

It is the common ground where we can come together as a people. It is a bridge across nations, religions, sexual preferences and gender.

So let’s make a deal. I won’t hate you for choosing a Gadaffi if you let my accidental Hitler go.

It’ll all grow out anyway.

 

 

Please STEP ASIDE (It Could LITERALLY Save Your Life)

Please STEP ASIDE (It Could LITERALLY Save Your Life)

airplane-the-movie-that-launched-1000-spoofs-is-35-years-old-take-a-look-back-at-just-h-486780One result of the many changes in my life this past year is that I now commute between states on a fairly regular basis (every 2 weeks or so) and have to fly to do it. I know you’d think someone of my stature and fame would be doing that via private jet, but it appears that Alaska Airlines did not message that out to the numerous degenerates who muck up my airplane and hijack the valuable time of my pilot and staff with their ridiculous demands.

I think we can all agree that flying, especially when forced to mix with the likes inhabiting steerage, is not the most pleasant experience one could come up with. Surveys show it is often a close second behind prison rape. I imagine that is probably a little less pleasant.

Now that I am living this peripatetic lifestyle (and yes, I Googled the shit out of that word) I have been witness to every flavor of traveler that exists.

As such, in order to keep myself out of jail for any number of assault charges, I always have a little one-on-one with myself before starting this process by deciding I will simply have a smile on my face throughout the travel day, no matter what. The result is that I look slightly dazed and more-than-slightly unhinged (both of which are actually true under any circumstance). But, the response is usually either one of a returned smile and pleasantry or fear and avoidance, either of which I gladly take on a travel day.

After all, my mom used to always say that you catch more flies with honey.

As an aside, I’ve always thought that was a disturbing saying. Flies are filthy insects who gather on piles of fecal matter because that is like their version of an all-you-can-eat buffet. Then after they’ve had their disgusting bacchanalia, having covered themselves in all matter of disease, decide it would be a riot to buzz around your head before landing squarely on your food to wipe off their gunked up feet. So, really, if we are to be accurate, you can actually catch more flies with shit than honey.

This is a statistical fact

You can keep your god-damned flies!

At any rate, one of the occasional bright spots in all of this is when I do my online check-in and that beautiful, blue and green harbinger of hope shines brightly in the top left corner of my boarding pass:

This seemingly small but life-changing symbol is literally my favorite thing on earth – sorry kids, but Mommy needs this!

I know, I know. If I just took a month off to navigate the catacombs of the Homeland Security process to get this done permanently, life could always be sunny. Have you not been listening? I’M A VERY BUSY PERSON!! “Making a Murderer” isn’t going to binge watch itself, people!

The biggest reason pre-check means the world to me is not because I don’t like taking my shoes off in public or shoving my endless liquid beauty products into Lilliputian sized containers. It’s because the level of idiocy that presents itself around that security conveyor belt turns me into a raving lunatic.

So I ask you all this.

Nay, I beg of you!

Can we, as a people, as a civilized race, PLEASE agree to move aside from the conveyor belt to re-dress and put our shit away?

Just gather up all your stuff and STEP ASIDE. They even provide perfectly nice benches and tables, sometimes only 10 feet away, for you to manage your shoes, belts, liquids and computers, out of harms way. Because, you are clearly unaware that I am looming right behind you, ready to stab you in the back of the knee, if you do not STEP THE FUCK ASIDE.

Listen, I’m already letting you on my private jet and allowing my staff to be at your disposal. The very least you all can do is STEP ASIDE.

Seriously.

STEP. THE. FUCK. ASIDE.

Thank you for your attention and enjoy your flight.

My Mutant Deer

My Mutant Deer

Deerinheadlights1

Holy shit you guys! Seriously! Was that a motherfucker of a YEAR or what??

So, how are you? I’ve really missed you! You look fantastic. Is that a new haircut? Did you lose weight? Those jeans make your ass look FIERCE! Seriously!

Me? Well, that’s a story best told over a bottle of bourbon. Suffice it to say though, that despite what you may have read in the headlines, I am somewhat alive and did not die in a fiery crash whilst dodging pesky paparazzi. So, rest easy, dear reader, when I last held a mirror under my nose it fogged up.

Figured it was high time I started this party back up after over a year of extreme life changes. Not Caitlyn Jenner kind of change (now SHE had a year!) but probably just as hormonal.

One of the many annoyances of being a writer (and the list is fucking extensive, by the way) is that we often want to write about what we are actually experiencing and living and seeing and thinking. When those experiences are exceptional in nature – they are too personal or painful – we can become a deer frozen in the glare of headlights, afraid to type a word that would be the wrong one and further hurt yourself or others.

As an aside, I am the deer in this scenario, if said deer were, let’s say part of a horrible Dr. Moreau sort of mutation experiment who now had fingers and thumbs and the ability to type.

And think.

And speak passable English.

Actually, all that would be super cool. I’d totally want that deer as a pet, right?

Anyway, I am sort of doing the mutant deer thing right now.

Most of what has been on my mind of late has to do with the idea of starting over. In particular starting over at a bit of an “advanced” age. I think making sweeping life changes have different challenges based on your stage in life but I also think a vast majority of the experience is pretty universal regardless of age.

It’s exhilarating and it’s debilitating.

It’s uncomfortable and it’s authentic.

It’s confusing and it’s all crystal clear.

It’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times.

I think you get the idea….I ain’t no Dickens, people!

But, sometimes you get to the point where the unknown is better than the known and you have to just go with it.

The easiest logistical path can be the hardest emotional one.

So, there it is. My vague and mysterious explanation for my absence. I will try hard to get some more stuff up here and make it at least mildly entertaining and worth your time. At the very least it will be something to do while you are sitting on the crapper.

And I will befriend my mutant deer. And maybe even knit the poor animal a sweater and take it out for a walk now and then in the light of day.

Rock on, 2016!

A Bit About Writing (Or, Life In The Eighth Circle of Hell)

A Bit About Writing (Or, Life In The Eighth Circle of Hell)

I get a visceral response to a creative idea. It’s physical. It’s exactly like that feeling when the person you have a huge crush on walks into the room when you weren’t expecting it. It’s a barely contained giggle that sticks in the bottom of your gut. It feels both delightful and excruciating at the same time.

If you keep it in it’s terribly uncomfortable and itchy but if you let it out people are going to stare.

I’m starting to really understand why writers and alcohol seem to be so intrinsically connected to one another.

Which brings me to why I haven’t been posting here so much lately. I’ve probably been drinking a wee bit too much.

But, also, this past few months I’ve had a bunch of these little crushes walk through my addled brain. Regrettably, none of them have been in the form of a blog post. So, sorry to say, I’ve not been very focused on this particular outlet.

Instead, I’ve been sucked into Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, which is also called “screenwriting”.

I feel particularly comfortable in Circle Eight, which is Fraud.

I know this because I looked up the nine circles of The Inferno in order to avoid actually writing anything.

(As an aside, check out this super cool rendering of Dante’s Hell in Lego form….sometime it really pays to fuck off on the Google.)

This circle is also special because it’s narrated by the voice of my father telling me that I’ve, once again, chosen a direction that will ensure I will live in poverty and die in obscurity.

Thanks Pop!

I’m hoping, at some point, it will re-emerge as the fun rambling that I’ve enjoyed writing, possibly at the expense of your valuable time. But, for now, you seem to have been given a reprieve from having to read my inane verbal diarrhea that is the equivalent of an old man yelling at kids to get the hell off his lawn.

So, there you go, the first blog post in a while that explains why I haven’t done a blog post in a while.

I really wanted to go out on some quip about one of the other circles of hell. After all, I did spend time on that research and I want as much intellectual bang for my buck as I can get.

The best I can do is Gluttony, the third circle, because I just ate a plate of nachos and am feeling mildly nauseated.

Until next time!

Bad Naked

Bad Naked
Pray for me.

Pray for me.

 

There are things in this world that simply cannot be unseen.

A DayGlo orange penis hovering near your face, for instance. That would be something you cannot reverse. It will be forever burned into your retinas as well as your psyche.

I suppose you’d like me to explain myself.

In many cities in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is a time of celebrating the longest day of the year and the promise of long, sun-drenched days. Often these celebrations culminate in a parade or festival. And, at many of these parades and festivals, otherwise rational people often turn into crazed, naked druids.

Or at least I’m assuming they are normally rational. That could be the first flaw in my theory.

In the past I had always avoided these types of festivals, less because of the crazy naked factor and more because parking is terrible.

I’m nothing if not practical.

So, imagine my response when, quite by accident, I ended up driving right through the middle of one of these nude celebrations. Sitting at a traffic light, I was suddenly surrounded by an array of naked, body-painted bicyclists. Turning my head to the left, there hung my aforementioned DayGlo orange penis exactly at eye level.

(I say MY DayGlo orange penis because, in my world, if I see your penis, we have some level of relationship. If your junk is six inches from my face, we are dating and I at least got a nice dinner first.)

Which brings me to the whole naked bike riding thing (yes, it’s a thing). This seems about as practical an activity as operating a deep fryer in the nude.

From Portland to Chicago to London, some lunatic nudist (fantastic band name, by the way) decided at some point that everyone should become one with their bike seats.

Or, if you are in Portland, Oregon, your unicycle seat.

A quick note to nude cyclists: Please keep in mind that all that body paint does, indeed, smear when you sit. So, just know that when you walk around in your head-to-toe DayGlo body paint, you have a flesh colored strip going up your back side.

I feel compelled to make you aware of this even though it is very apparent you could give a rat’s nuts what you look like.

Lest I sound like a total and complete prude here, let me say that I do not begrudge these people their constitutional right to make bad decisions in a public arena. It’s kind of what our country was built on.

However, I live my life as if I dwell in a Victorian funeral home with black crepe over the mirrors, only, instead of preventing the deceased from getting trapped in the looking glass, I am preventing the image of my naked self from being trapped in my own eye sockets thereby rendering me blind.

There comes a time in all of our lives when we simply have to look away. It’s for the best.

So I look at (or avert my eyes from) these free spirits with a level of admiration.

They have no body shame, which is another building block of our civilization. They don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks and are having the time of their lives. They are living in their naked moment.

Thank god for sensible footwear.

Thank god for sensible footwear.

Though, that moment won’t look quite as intriguing when they are trying to get lead paint out of their meat and two veg later in the night.

So, happy summer!! I support you in your dedication to flying your freak flag. Though I, for one, will just be sure to choose route option #2 on my GPS next time.

Sparklers

Sparklers

sparkler
He taught me how to read people’s eyes.

My Dad always told me to know your audience, read their eyes, before you say anything. That way, you can make those small adjustments and hit a home run with your words.

It’s a skill I have now, but one that I was sorely lacking when I first met her.

We were running around the yard, sparklers in hand, I was trying to hide the sheer joy of the sputtering lights behind the mask of male pubescent cool.

I was all skinny legs and knobby knees, hiding my singular eyebrow behind a curtain of dark bangs. Slouched shoulders and awkward gait.

She was all bright eyes, shining cheeks and blinding braces.

She was my Mom’s friend’s daughter and we met while on one of those forced multi-family events that I found excruciating. The assumption that because the parents connected, so should their children, was nothing short of insulting. Plus, the parents usually connected over alcohol and a shared desire to ignore their kids, if only for a couple of hours.

But this time, there was Kari.

I stood in agony as I tried to come up with something to say. A quip. A joke. Anything that might get her to take notice of me. To recognize that her soul mate was standing right in front of her.

But my thoughts keep turning in on themselves like one of those weird Escher paintings we learned about in art class.

So, I study from behind my safe mantle of hair. I watch. I take note of her every move, the sound of her voice, her laugh as if I am a scientist observing a new species of exotic bird.

I could win her over with comedy. I was fairly funny. Or, that’s what all my idiot friends always told me. I ponder this for a moment. The only jokes I know are riddled with body functions and genitalia references. I deduce that this would not be the right approach and quickly move to another angle.

I could go the observational route. I turn over some options. The weather? It was unusually humid out.

Who am I? My Grandfather? Am I going to talk about my arthritis next?

There was always the complimentary approach. I did like the pants she was wearing. And she had a nice clip in her hair.

Potentially creepy.

I finally decide to go with the classics – ask her about herself. Keep it simple.

I take several very deep breaths to try to quiet the nest of butterflies in my stomach.

I pat my bangs down a bit more to ensure my safety net is there in case this does not go down well. In my mind, I can become invisible behind them upon command.

I take one hesitant step forward….

…as she comes running up to me, a little winded, eyes bright and face flushed.

“So, what school do you go to?”

I brush my bangs out of my eyes as my heart bursts into a million points of light, just like the sparkler she is holding.

__________________________________________

This is my response to this week’s speakeasy,
over at yeah write, where we had to make some
reference to M. C. Escher’s lithograph, Waterfall,
and use the sentence “He taught me how to read
people’s eyes
.” as the first line in our piece.

Click the badge to read the other submissions or to learn more about
the speakeasy creative writing challenge.

Fear And Loathing In Fatherhood

Fear And Loathing In Fatherhood

Fatherhood.

I know less about fatherhood than I know about….well….motherhood. And I know next to nothing about motherhood.

Don’t tell my kids.

But, it’s Father’s Day so it seems that something needs to be said about those stalwart men out there.  These co-creators of our offspring who, despite conflicting DNA urges to run screaming from the village encampment, are now expected to bond, relate, nurture and practically breast feed the little darlings.

So here’s to the dudes out there who are trying really hard to pony up in this brave new world of fatherhood.

I’ve actually pondered (because that’s what I do…ponder) how much the role of father has changed and how quickly.

Now, I’m no spring chicken (and I’ve never understood what that meant anyway) but it seems to me there has been a pretty drastic change in the expectations put on dads since I was, well, a spring chicken.

Why, back in my day, fathers were rarely seen and often heard. And if you heard one, you ran away and hid because you were in a world of trouble.

Dads were put on earth to teach you things.

See, son, this is the peritoneum….

See, son, this is the peritoneum….

Important things, like:

  • The difference between a flat-head and Phillips screw driver
  • How to tie a solid knot
  • The correct way to gut a fish
  • The exceptionally high cost of water because Jesus Christ how long can it take to wash your privates and get the hell out???
  • If you’re a boy, having the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE AND POTENTIALLY LIFE-ALTERING discussion about sex in the history of discussions about sex or anything else for that matter
  • If you’re a girl, absolutely no discussion about anything. Ever. EVER. ASK YOUR MOTHER
  • The exceptionally high cost of electricity because what the hell are you doing that requires so much God damned light? Reading? Light a candle!
  • The fact that the odometer in a car does not change if the wheels don’t turn. A rather painful lesson when you’ve gone on a joy ride when your folks were in Florida on vacation and you did NOT know they wrote down the mileage and you said you just started it so it wouldn’t get too cold and you thought that was good for cars and no I didn’t actually drive away in it and, wait, what was the question?
  • How to eat a meal without letting your teeth hit the fork because that drives them insane….as a people
  • How to bait a hook without puking

And, they gave these straight-forward life lessons as impatiently and with a level of irritation normally reserved for much more heinous violations. Like terrorist attacks.

The biggest gift here though is bestowing upon us the opportunity to recount these lessons while impersonating them at every Christmas gathering for the rest of our lives.

Modern fathers still need to do all of the above. After all, I still know how to gut a fish, even if I don’t do it all that often.

(Though I have been sorely tempted on more than one occasion to reenact the fish gutting scene from Office Space. If I ever do, I will have my father to thank for the precise way in which I gut aforementioned fish.)

He’s actually not doing it right….

He’s actually not doing it right….

But, in addition to these lessons, they are now expected to look their kids in the eye in order to give them their full attention. They are expected to listen to their weird little stories that really don’t end up with a point. They have to at least pretend to laugh at their jokes that make absolutely no sense, have no comedic timing and an utter lack of irony.

So, hat’s off to you, modern day Dads.

Champions of childhood.

Protector of our prodigy.

Subjugator of our spawn.

We lift our collective glasses of chilled Chardonnay to you. Please keep teaching them weird stuff that would never even occur to a Mom (myself included).

And continue to bestow upon many generations the gift of mocking you at family functions. That gift alone is priceless.

Letter To My Pre-kid Self

Letter To My Pre-kid Self

Dear Pre-kid Irene,

Hello sweetie! How are you doing? Right about now you’ve just gotten back from a month travelling around Thailand. And it was an awesome trip, right? But, for some reason, with all the travel you’ve gotten to do, this time you came home feeling a little less fulfilled than you usually do.

Now, I’m not going to tell you exactly what happens next because that would just be shitty. It would be like telling you the end of a movie, reading the last page of a book or letting you know that, as awesome as it looks in the trailer, the 2014 version of Godzilla is actually a little disappointing.

What I will tell you, is that you will be a mother one day. And, believe me on this, you are not in the least bit prepared. But, have faith, because no one is so at least you are not in the remedial class alone.

So, my independent girl who is swathed in a light of freedom that you are not taking nearly enough advantage of, let me tell you just a couple of things.

  1. Being pregnant is the scariest thing on the planet. It’s also pretty cool. But mostly it’s just scary because the bigger you get the more impossible it seems to get that thing out of you without dying.
  2. Don’t listen to your husband when he tells you shit about delivery he has absolutely no clue about. “Oh, the human body shuts all other functions down when it gives birth.” Really Mr. Science? Needless to say that is utter crap and you need to know that terrible stuff will happen in front of complete strangers. You do not have to apologize as much as you do when that time comes
  3. When you do have to get the giant bulge out, you do not actually die. There are moments when you wish you could, but you don’t.
  4. You will hallucinate due to lack of sleep. Just enjoy the ride and pretend you just took mushrooms like that time when you were camping and you saw Nixon’s face in that leaf. Don’t question, just go with it.
  5. Parenting is like getting a bikini wax. It’s excruciating when it happens, sending you into a sweaty fight or flight reaction that can, in some instances, result in the punching of a Russian esthetician (sorry Svetlana). But, after it’s over and all the irritation subsides, it’s pretty awesome.
  6. You will feel like a giant fish-out-of-water when you are around other parents and be under the mistaken impression that everyone has this parenting thing down except for you. Listen to this absolute truth: 99% of the other mothers are either on Prozac, drunk, or looking to get their hands on any mood-altering substance to survive this. The 1% who make the rest of us feel like shit are all assholes and you don’t want to party with them. You will be buying drugs from their kids one day.
  7. Speaking of partying….all that blow you did in the 80’s will actually serve you well once they hit puberty. I suspect our sense of smell is not as keen as it was before those years in San Francisco and that will literally save your life as it should dull the assault on that sense.
  8. Everything will go excruciatingly slow and way too fast at the same time. It must be some weird parental worm hole or a tear in the space/time continuum because it makes no sense, I know. But you’ll feel like you are swimming in Jello during the tougher times and then the nuggets of amazing times will fly by in a blur. I have no idea how to fix this. Just thought I’d let you know.
  9. Believe it or not, you actually end up not sucking as a mom. And, not sucking is pretty high praise when dealing with such an impossible task so take the not sucking and wear it like a badge of honor.
  10. Don’t let your responsibilities define you. You are more than your kids. You are more than your aging parents. You are more than your financial limitations. Do not lose yourself in the often overwhelming weight of what you are on the hook for. If you ignore all of the above, please remember this.

And with that, I send you on your merry, innocent way.

Oh, one last thing. A little later in the year, on September 11th, some terrible things are going to happen. The world survives and so do you.

Much love,

Irene the Elder

Do You See Her Much?

Do You See Her Much?

I don’t see her as I had hoped.

She said she’d come back to tell me about it if she could.

Though I do imagine I feel her

in the slightest wisp of wind,

the smallest stirring of air

in filtered sunlight.

 

(Trying something new….42-word challenge based on a question. Click the link below to vote!)

 Vote for your favorites here!

 

On Being Brave – Man Up and Grow A Pair – #8 In The Achieving Emotional Grace Series

On Being Brave – Man Up and Grow A Pair – #8 In The Achieving Emotional Grace Series

 

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

~ Anaïs Nin

I’m not a big fan of feeling uncomfortable. This will probably surprise some of you who know me and have witnessed the glee I take in making other people uncomfortable. So, see, I can totally dole it out but I want to shoot myself in the head when I’m in an awkward situation. Which I do entirely to myself much more frequently than I like.  I am usually the victim of my own ridiculousness.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about discomfort and how cowardly it can make you. And, being a coward means you potentially miss out on a lot of amazing things in life because you hide yourself away out of protection. Or a sense of propriety. Or a misunderstanding that anyone else gives a shit.

A whole lot of the time we put much more weight on our personal risk than others do.

I made a conscious decision to try and do one brave thing a day. I want to get more comfortable with the risk that naturally goes with courage.

I am not talking about physical bravery. I am perfectly happy to be a coward with physical pain and will continue to embrace avoiding injuries.

I’m talking about emotional bravery, which can have a much longer recovery period and leave some pretty nasty scars. But also can lead to living an honest life without regrets. And that just sounds really good to me because if there is one thing that I want to avoid more than feeling uncomfortable it’s feeling regret. There is always the risk that I’ll end up with a big stinking plateful of both but it’s a risk I’ve decided I’m willing to take.

Every day we have a choice. We can live a small life, protecting ourselves and, thereby, creating distance between ourselves and others. Or, we can choose to live a bigger and riskier life that will ensure we make those connections outside of ourselves.

It’s scary to open yourself to another person. No doubt about that and you won’t get much of an argument from any other breathing, upright human.

But if you take a minute to think outside of your own experience and to set aside any expectations about what you want the outcome to be, being honest with others about your feelings, your concerns, your passions, your grief is ultimately what we are here for.

And being open to supporting someone else’s courage is a very big gift. One that can, literally, change lives.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement
that something else is more important than fear.”

~ Ambrose Redmoon