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Category Archives: craziness

Help solve a very important mystery! Win valuable prizes! (There are no prizes.)

We all like mysteries, right? Sure we do. They’re like the best.

Want to help solve a mystery that happened at work today? I’d tell you there was a prize involved, but there’s no prize. Other than you can feel really proud of yourself that you solved a mystery, I suppose. Like, I’m sure Scooby-Doo and Shaggy feel pretty good about themselves when they unmask Old Man McGillicutty as the Coalpit Ghost or whatever. You, too, could feel proud of yourself like a stoner and his strangely oversized speaking dog!

Doesn't he look so self-congratulatory? Sure he does.

Doesn’t he look so self-congratulatory? Sure he does.

First, let me set the scene.

Oh, disclaimer: this story’s kind of gross. Just a warning.

So at work today, I had to use the facilities. In our office, we have the following for ladies’ bathrooms on my floor: a large bathroom in the lobby, with four stalls; a smaller bathroom in our actual office, with two stalls; and a unisex bathroom that’s really for the men, but we can use it too, right next to the smaller bathroom. There are also bathrooms on the second floor and the first floor, but we don’t use those much. Why would we? If you need to use the elevator to get to the bathroom, that’s too far.

I was in the lobby area anyway, getting water (hence the needing to pee – I drink a LOT of water at work) and went into the big bathroom. I went into a stall that a woman had just come out of.

“Hmm,” thought I. “This stall sure smells like poo.”

So I turned around and there, on the toilet, ALL OVER THE TOILET, was all the poo.

But it was in the WEIRDEST PLACE EVER. Like, it was in a place poo had no reason to be.

Don't piss off the toilet. No pun intended.

Don’t piss off the toilet. No pun intended.

I tried to draw you a photo of where the poo was, but my computer is NOT playing nice tonight. Probably too upset I’m writing a post about bathrooms. Anyway. Pretend you’re sitting on a toilet and you put your legs together and then put your calves back against the bowl. It’d be the front part of the bowl, facing you as you enter the stall. The outside part. NOWHERE NEAR WHERE A BUM GOES.

That’s where the poo was. All over there. SO MUCH POO.

So I was like, oh. Oh, WTF is this poo. But a woman had just come out of that stall. What if she was the pooper? And she was still in there washing her hands. So I stood in there as far from the poo bowl as I could and when she left I ran out and into the furthest stall from that stall as I could get only GUESS WHAT.

Totally poo, totally in the same place, TOTALLY ALL OVER THAT BOWL TOO.

OMG YOU GUYS WHAT THE HELL.

We needed caution tape in that bathroom. Like bigtime.

We needed caution tape in that bathroom. Like bigtime.

The middle two stalls were poo-free so I peed super-fast and got out (OMG YES I TOTALLY WASHED MY HANDS THAT PLACE WAS GERM CENTRAL) even though those two middle stalls have wonky doorlocks and you’ll be peeing and all of a sudden the door opens and you’re like oh no now you can see my hoo-hoo so no one ever uses those two.

Later in the day I had to pee again (I seriously drink a lot of water) and went into the small bathroom closer to my desk because, well, I wasn’t in the mood for all that poo. So I went into the stall and was all, aaahh, no poo, until I looked down and ZOMG YOU GUYS.

There was totally poo on the floor between the two stalls. Like, someone squatted and took a poo on the floor of the bathroom.

I was seriously flabbergasted at this development in the poo situation.

So I then washed up AGAIN super-fast and got out of there and looked for my boss because I was all, “Amy, you’ve got to report this poo thing” and she was at lunch so I told my coworker and she was like, “SERIOUSLY? I do not know what to say at this particular point in time” and I had to agree because listen, we work at a REALLY NICE PLACE! and we decided that emailing the facilities guy was probably the best move so I did and he emailed back “Thanks ~” and I don’t know what the tilde was for. Flair, maybe. Possibly because this was the actual email I sent him: “Hi: There is fecal matter all over two of the four toilet bowls in the women’s bathroom in the third floor lobby and someone defecated on the floor of the women’s bathroom near the copy room. I know. I am so sorry. We’re all sitting up here wondering what is wrong with the world. Thank you!”

But he never showed up and the poo abided. All day, actually.

And because we are children, we made poo jokes and giggled about the poo ALL AFTERNOON LONG. We made jokes about “doing our duty” and giving Depends out as Secret Santa gifts and all of the men in the office (there aren’t many of them) went in the women’s bathroom all giggly because they were expecting to see, I don’t know, pillowfights and tampons in there, or something, and one of them took a cell phone photo of the poo and they were all “WE CAN SOLVE THIS MYSTERY!”

They decided the toilet overflowed and deposited the poo there, but there was no water on the floor. We shot down that theory quickly.

I told my parents about this, and Dad got VERY SHOUTY. “That is the FIRST SIGN OF A DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE!” he shouted. “You stay vigiliant. STAY VIGILANT! There’s some sort of name for people who save their poo in plastic bags and put it places at work and also smear it all over. I don’t know what that name is, but the next step is bringing in an Uzi and killing all their coworkers. You should get pepper spray and scope out your exits.”

STAY VIGILANT, YO!

STAY VIGILANT, YO!

“That seems like a bit of an overreaction to the poo situation, Dad,” I replied.

Mom’s answer was just, “That is gross. Why would you tell me such a gross thing? One time I saw toilet paper on the floor of our bathroom. I couldn’t go in there ALL DAY.”

“That seems a bit of an overreaction to the toilet paper situation, Mom,” I replied.

So! Now it’s your turn, intrepid blog readers. What are your thoughts on the Office Pooper? Are the two poo-areas connected, or just separate things altogether? Is there any way poo could have gotten on the front of the toilet like that, or was someone purposely being smeary? How, exactly, did someone get poo on the floor of the toilet nowhere near the bowl? AND WHY?

There are no prizes for this mystery-solving, but you could add it to a resumé, if you wanted. SKILLS: Totally Badass Mystery Solving (Poo-Related)

I know. You had no idea when you clicked on today’s post you’d be a gumshoe. Or that there’d be so much poop involved.

Get to solvin’, little bloggonians. This mystery’s not going to solve itself. (Or clean itself. I’m so hoping the janitors come in tonight. Good gracious. I’m so disgusted with my office right now.)

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Don’t be hanging ‘round old Catfish John

We haven’t talked about current events in a while, have we? Shame on me. Shaaaaaame.

We could talk about Lance Armstrong but honestly, I just don’t care. I think it’s shitty he spent years saying “no no no I DON’T DO DRUGS” and all along he was doing drugs. That’s shady. But I didn’t watch the Oprah interview, because honestly, just don’t care. Mostly I feel bad for Dad. He LURVED Lance Armstrong. He thought the whole thing was a government conspiracy. (I just asked him about it, and he said “I was duped by a dope.” He sounded SO SAD. I felt terrible. I’m totally mad at Lance Armstrong. See, Dad doesn’t like many people at all. At ALL, at all. Because he thinks everyone is tricky and trying to fool him. And he constantly tells me not to love people. “THEY WILL BREAK YOUR HEART!” he says. Then, when someone does break my heart, he says “I TOLD YOU! Never love anyone! Ever!” But he LOVED Lance Armstrong. He stuck up for Lance Armstrong all through this and now he’s just crushed. I feel SO BAD about this. I mean, I have a long and storied history with heartbreak. Poor Dad, he’s a newbie here. I want to punch Lance Armstrong in his remaining testicle for hurting my Dad’s feelings.)

You SHOULD be ashamed, Lance. YOU UPSET AMY'S DAD.

You SHOULD be ashamed, Lance. YOU UPSET AMY’S DAD.

Nope, we’re not going to talk about Lance Armstrong, he makes me angry. I don’t like cheating.

Let’s talk about this whole football-player-Catfish-thing, because I find this fascinating.

OK, so in case you’ve been living under a rock (I totally just found out about this yesterday, so I’m kind  of one of those “living under a rock” people) apparently what happened is this:

There is a football player for Notre Dame named Manti Te’o. (That’s kind of a kickass name, yo.) He is apparently quite good. He’s gotten a lot of media coverage because earlier in the year, within days of each other, his beloved grandmother and girlfriend died. And he threw himself into the game and won all these things (shut up, I know nothing about football) and people were pushing for him to get the Heisman Trophy because oh, poor Manti Te’o. There’s nothing the media loves more than a sob story.

See? He's all footbally and shit.

See? He’s all footbally and shit.

Well, there’s this website called Deadspin, which I’ve never heard of in my life ever, but like I said, I live under a rock. Apparently it’s like a gossipy sports site? From what I can tell? Deadspin did a little digging into this dead-girlfriend story.

And there was no dead girlfriend. Or even a girlfriend.

This is where things get confusing. There are a lot of lies going on here. And it’s not 100% at this point who’s doing the lying.

Apparently through a combination of news reports and reports from Te’o and such, he met this girlfriend in 2009. Her name was Lennay Kekua. They were just friends for years; they became a couple in early 2012. In mid-2012, she was in a terrible car accident and almost died. When she was recovering, the doctors said, “oh, you have leukemia, too, by the way.” She died in September 2012. Te’o would stay on the phone with her for hours while she was in comas; his voice would make her vital signs get better. (Um. I don’t know about this. But I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television.) This all sounds very soap-opera-y.

Various people in his life said they met her, including Te’o. Or the media reported this, anyway; it’s a little convoluted whether or not anyone actually SAID they met her.

Deadspin investigated this, because they thought something was hinky. I like to think of the Deadspin staff as the Scooby gang, right? Anyway, they found out that the photos being used on Lennay’s Twitter site were some horrified girl who was all “OMG NO WHAT THE HELL?” and that Te’o didn’t meet her at a game, as reported in the media, but on Twitter. The girl whose face became the face of a fake dead girlfriend was all, “wait a minute, I gave this photo to this guy I know” and she called him and he started acting all weird.

Come to find out, this guy (Ronaiah Tuiasosopo) was friends with Te’o and seems to be behind the Lennay accounts, but has gone all mum. Hmm. Wonder why.

This is Ronaiah. Shady, right? I think it's the weird hair-point going on there.

This is Ronaiah. Shady, right? I think it’s the weird hair-point going on there.

So the story broke. And all the people in Te’o’s life who were quoted as saying they’d met her said now, “Um, no, we never did.” So who knows if they were lying THEN or NOW or the media was lying, really. And Te’o came out and said, “I WAS CATFISHED.”

But more and more people are coming out and saying he knew about this all along, and he and Tuiasosopo were in it together and it was all for the sympathy and the media coverage and the attention.

Notre Dame is standing behind him and saying he came to them a while ago and told them he’d been Catfished (which begs the question why they didn’t come out and tell anyone, but any press is good press, right? And Te’o was getting a LOT of press.)

You all remember Catfish, right? The movie that might or might not have been a documentary about the guy who fell in love with a chica online and decided to go meet her with camera-crew in tow and she ended up being a 40-some year old housewife with a husband and she was kind of a crazy-person? And for those of us who live online it was TERRIFYING?

Here's the guy that got Catfished. Spoiler alert: I find him very pretty.

Here’s the guy that got Catfished. Spoiler alert: I find him very pretty.

Now there’s a Catfish television show which I just discovered when I was researching this. So because I’m completely thorough, I am watching repeated episodes of the Catfish television show while I’m writing this. WHAT? Some of you have BETTER things to do with your Friday nights? Well, aren’t YOU fancy.

The Catfish television show is about people who contact the guy who was catfished in the Catfish movie and want to know if the person they’ve fallen in love with online is all they’re cracked up to be. All that and a bag of chips, if you will. The first episode I watched, the internet boyfriend ended up being a transgender woman. (SPOILER ALERT, the girl still loved him even though he lied to her and they are still very much in love, aw, well, good for them!) The one I’m watching now, this adorable college lacrosse player is being catfished by some trickster-woman who is catfishing a whole bunch of OTHER guys as WELL and I don’t know what will happen because it’s not over yet. I’ll get back to you on this.

(I think I will probably be obsessed with this show and watch it a lot. I can see this happening. DAMMIT MTV AND YOUR ADDICTIVE PROGRAMMING!)

Anyway, back to the Te’o situation.

Do I think he was catfished for three years? I don’t know. It’s all very suspicious. It’s all kind of falling apart like a house of cards, now, isn’t it? And the media jumped all over that dead-girlfriend story and didn’t even check on it. It took a weird gossipy sports blog to break the story. This is all very mysterious and shady.

(OMG SIDE NOTE. The girl that the lacrosse player – and all the other fellas – were talking to was totally NOT EVEN A GIRL but a very sad, shy young gay man. And the lacrosse player looked so sad and so broken. But he wasn’t punchy, which was nice. He seems like a very nice boy and I approve of him. The sad little gay man said he was catfishing OVER 100 MEN. And being the online catfish girl got him KICKED OUT OF COLLEGE BY HIS R.A. BECAUSE HE ACCIDENTALLY CATFISHED HIS R.A. This is all very distressing and terrible and he actually said, “Being Amanda feels better than being myself” and I totally just want to give him a hug. That poor, poor kid. Also the poor, poor lacrosse player. This show is making me sad. Yet I plan on still watching it. BECAUSE IT IS FASCINATING.)

OK, so the Te’o thing. My dad thinks this is RIDICULOUS. “That is a LIAR,” Dad said. “Don’t you write about that on your blog. HE LIED ABOUT THAT GIRL EXISTING. FOR ATTENTION!”

Dad hates people that need a lot of attention. As do I. We are in agreement on this.

Apparently Notre Dame has some sort of ultra-strict no-lying policy? And this could all be a lot of trouble for this guy? But he’s kind of out of the news because his team lost some sort of big game? As I said, ironically, since the name of my blog has football IN it, I know nothing about football other than it runs long and constantly makes The Amazing Race run late.

If he really was catfished, well, that’s sad. But I highly doubt it. I’m very suspicious about such things. I assume most people are lying all the time. Which is why I only trust and love like a handful of people. Part of this is me being broken, part of this is my dad yelling at me not to love anyone because THEY WILL BREAK YOUR HEART, AMY!!!, and part of this is because, well, honestly, when I love someone, I give it like 247%. I don’t have time to give everyone in the world 247%, I’d die in like a week, yo. (Which is why, when I lose someone I love, it hurts 247% more than it would hurt a normal person. Please see above re. “broken.”)

So I’m guessing this was all a scam for publicity, which makes me sad. Who invents a dead girlfriend for attention? Seriously? That’s something a high-school kid would do. If this is what happened, this is very distressing. You don’t invent a cancer-patient girlfriend.

Then again, you don’t lie to my dad, either, LANCE ARMSTRONG. You are so dead to us right now.

OK, now it’s time for more Catfish the tv show. Some guy thinks he’s online dating Miss Teen USA. Well, from like years ago. She’s not a teen anymore, that’d be more To Catch a Predator than Catfish, I think. (Again, spoiler alert, it wasn’t Miss Teen USA, it was his platonic friend and she’s a pathological liar. This show is terrible-awful and I CANNOT STOP WATCHING IT.)

I’d say I was watching this for research but at this point I’ve totally gotten obsessed, yo, I’m not even too proud to admit it. Happy weekend, internets. Don’t sext with strangers, they might not be who you think they are. What’s that? You already knew that? Oh, well, that’s ok, then. Nice job, you guys.


More Adventures of Our Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (yes, with jaunty hat in tow)

You of course all remember the continuing adventures of our favorite bon vivant, right? What’s that? Some of you are new around these parts? Well, you’re going to want to catch up before you read this, otherwise you’re going to be coming in in the middle of our stories, and you won’t know who the characters are, or have the rich backstory we’ve worked so hard on around here. First, our bon vivant went to London, saved all the tea and his BFF-ship with Kate Winslet, and foiled that dastardly L. Ron Hubbard; then our bon vivant went BACK IN TIME to hang out with J.S. Bach and Kate Winslet, and save music as we know it, and ran afoul of his NEMESIS, Jeff Goldblum DUN DUN DUNNNN; and most recently, our bon vivant went to Japan, where he rescued all tea from becoming obsolete with the help of Rachel Weisz and his most amazing dogs, Ella and Louis.

Are you all caught up? Good. As you can see, Ken (the bon vivant in question) has many adventures. MANY adventures. These adventures, were they not documented by The Person Who Writes These, might fall by the wayside. Which would be a crying shame, really. These things are GOOD. They are WORLD-RENOWNED. However, The Person Who Writes These has been busy. She has been SO BUSY. So she doesn’t always get to document them in a timely fashion as nature intends.

But the other day, our bon vivant made an offhand comment on a blog that The Person Who Writes These likes very much – THIS VERY BLOG RIGHT HERE – and it made her head-wheels turn so she decided, yep. It’s time. Time for another tale of high bon-vivantery. Wait. That makes it sound like someone’s smoking weed in this story. NO ONE IS SMOKING WEED IN THIS STORY. Oh, wait, yeah, later someone might be smoking weed in this story. I take that back.

So…without further ado (with me, there’s always ado. You know that. I bring ado wherever I do. I am awash with ado) I bring you…

The latest tale of bon vivantery…complete with jaunty hats…

THE INVASION OF THE BON VIVANT SNATCHERS (aka DOPPELGANGER AHOY!)

One day, our bon vivant went on the internet. Listen, bon vivants go on the internet, much as anyone might. It is a good way to keep up with far-flung friends. Bon vivants have MANY far-flung friends. They make them as they bon vivant, you see.

“Huh,” said Ken. “This is strange.”

Where he had had many, many bon vivanty friends on Facebook only a week or so ago, he noticed the number had dropped. Substantially dropped. There were many notifications; he clicked on the little red number curiously.

“What the hell is wrong with you? UNFRIENDED,” said one.

“I can’t believe you would say that to me. We’ve known each other for YEARS,” said another.

“Last night was great! CALL ME!” said a third. (This one was worrisome, let’s be honest. FLATTERING, but worrisome. Because he didn’t THINK he’d had any sort of “last night” with this person.)

One of the messages was from his good friend Helen. Helen lived in Taos, New Mexico. The bon vivant likes Taos very much. He also likes Helen very much, and they had many cups of tea together back when he was a much younger bon vivant.

“This is a very destructive path you’re on, Ken. I don’t think we can be friends anymore if you’re going to act like this,” her message said.

He sent her a message. “Helen! What are you talking about? What happened?” Since Helen was online, she responded.

“You know what you did, Ken,” she said.

Oh, no! People don’t say “you know what you did” to Ken! That’s what KEN says to HIS NEMESIS JEFF GOLDBLUM! Well, THIS couldn’t be more worrisome if it tried!

“I’m sorry, Helen, but I don’t know. Did something happen?”

“I don’t think I can talk about this,” she said. “It’s too fresh in my mind. Too raw. Maybe someday we can rebuild our friendship, but you really need to work on you first.”

Then she logged off, and would not respond to Ken, no matter what he wrote.

He looked at his faithful dogs, Ella and Louis, with a worried look.

“This is not good news, Ella and Louis,” Ken said. “Something’s going on in Taos. I think I’ll have to go there to see what’s happening. What do you think? Want to go to the States with me? I think I will need your help. You’ve been such help in the past.”

Louis was very excited and ran in circles. Ella blinked once, sagely, to show her approval.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Can a person just BRING dogs from GERMANY into the UNITED STATES? Because SOME people (who are writing this) thought until VERY RECENTLY that was NOT ALLOWED and there was some sort of insane quarantine period and the dogs had to sit in doggy-jail for like ever until the quarantine period was up. But NO! It is a TRUE FACT that isn’t the case at all and if you tell a bon vivant you think that they will chuckle at you (but most politely, of course, I mean, the bon vivant is nothing if not the most kind person ever) and say, “Um. That’s an urban legend, you know that, right?”

No, I’m pretty sure they don’t get to ride like this. But this photo makes me laugh like a moron.

So Ella and Louis are TOTALLY allowed to come along for the U.S. bon vivantery. Don’t even think they’re not. Which is good, because listen, this story was going to be a lot less interesting without happy red dogs. I mean…um…not that this is a STORY, this is TRUE TALES OF BON VIVANTERY AS TOLD TO THE PERSON WHO WRITES THESE BY THE BON VIVANT HIMSELF.

So off to the States the bon vivant went! With Ella and Louis! And with many worries, because WHAT WAS GOING ON? Oh, also, well of course he brought many hats. Why would you expect otherwise? I mean, he is the bon vivant, of course. You don’t just TRAVEL across the WORLD without HATS.

SO.
MANY.
HATS.

When Ken landed in Taos, he realized something was going on. Everyone was looking at him. But not in the way they usually looked at him. Listen, Ken is used to being recognized. He’s the bon vivant. He goes places and people say, “Oh, it’s you! Ken! The Bon Vivant! I recognize you! And your hat!” and although that’s always a little humbling, he’d gotten used to it by now. I mean, you have to. As a bon vivant. If you ever become a bon vivant, you’ll understand. But people weren’t looking at him in a bon vivanty way. They were looking at him in an ANGRY way. Ella looked at him, worried. Louis tried to eat an empty Mountain Dew bottle.

“I think I need some tea,” Ken mused. “This is all very worrisome.” He pulled his jaunty hat down a little further over one eye very rakishly and walked toward a tea shop he remembered from his youth. “I will try to find Helen after I have my tea. Maybe she can shed some light on this situation.”

“KEN!” he heard from behind him. He turned and a women grabbed him and kissed him. KISSED HIM ON THE MOUTH! Oh, well this was unexpected. He managed to extricate himself from her clutches. She smelled boozy. And was wearing way too much lipstick. Ella did not approve.

“I’m sorry, do I know you?” Ken said kindly.

“Oh, YOU,” she said, and slapped his chest as brazen hussies do. “You’re such a KIDDER. Like you could FORGET. WINK WINK.”

“I don’t…” Ken started, but then a very large and VERY shady man came up and put his arm around the lady with too much makeup, who pretended immediately she didn’t know who Ken was.

“You hittin’ on my lady, buddy?” the large man said. He was very scowly. Louis hid behind his sister.

“Oh. No. No, sir, I assure you I am not,” Ken said. “I was just going to get some tea. I have no designs on your lady. Please excuse me.”

“NO DESIGNS?” the lady said, who had no idea what that meant. “He TOTALLY has designs, babe. He designed ALL OVER ME last weekend!”

The large man lunged at Ken. Ken does not like to fight. Bon vivants aren’t FIGHTY. They are ADVENTUREY and they are FILLED WITH A LUST FOR LIFE and they like to THINK THEIR WAY OUT OF SITUATIONS. Luckily, at that very moment, Louis flopped down on the sidewalk to scratch a VERY stubborn itch and the man tripped over him, giving our bon vivant an out so he could make a timely escape. (Listen, I don’t want you to think that our bon vivant couldn’t have won that fight. I’m quite sure he could have. I have no doubt that our bon vivant, faced with any obstacle, would find a way to overcome it. He’s kind of magical like that.)

“What is going ON, Ella and Louis? I don’t know that woman! Why is everyone looking at me like I am their nemesis? This is very much like the time I was not welcome in London because of L. Ron Hubbard. What could be going on?” Ken said as he darted down a back alley. Ella looked pensive. “Good boy, Louis. You know just when to stop and scratch an itch.”

Just then! A door opened in the alley and a very beautiful woman came out! Ken stopped short.

“Well, Ken! Is that you? Ken, the World Traveling Bon Vivant? I’d recognize you and your hat and your dogs anywhere. What are you doing in Taos?” she said, and laughed.

It was Grammy award-winning jazz singer Diana Krall!

“Hello, Diana Krall!” said Ken. “I’m a big fan! What a pleasure to see you!”

“Where the hell is that hat-wearing son of a…” they heard from behind them. Diana looked at Ken curiously.

“Sounds like you need to make a quick exit,” she said. “Come on, my dressing room’s in here.”

The alley was the back entrance to the Taos Center for the Arts! Diana whisked Ken and Ella and Louis neat as you please in the back door and closed it quietly behind them. They heard the man run by, then nothing.

“Well, Diana, it seems I owe you,” Ken said. Louis licked her hand exuberantly. Louis does everything exuberantly, you see.

“I can’t imagine why anyone’s chasing you,” she said, “but come on, I was just making some tea. We can chat.”

Ken was very pleased with this turn of events, as you might imagine.

As Ken and Diana Krall enjoyed a very nice cup of oolong (Ken was pleased to see that Diana made her tea the CORRECT way, WITHOUT teabags) he explained the situation, from the beginning to the end. She handed him a Kleenex. “You’re absolutely covered in lipstick. It’s very unseemly for a bon vivant,” she said, and laughed winningly. Ella seemed to agree in a very wise dog-like way.

Diana was in town for a concert, which was happening in a couple of days. She was just checking out the dressing room in a very lucky turn of events, because otherwise, there might have been fisticuffs for our bon vivant.

“So what do you think is going on, Ken?” she said. “This is all very mysterious.”

“I’m not sure,” Ken replied. “I want to go talk to Helen, but on my way, I was accosted by that unsavory woman and her consort. She seems to think I had relations with her. I am quite sure I did not.”

Diana nodded. “I wouldn’t think so. That was a very ill-advised lipstick color. I would assume a bon vivant would choose his companions more wisely. So, let’s go see your friend Helen, and find out what she knows. Ooh, this is VERY EXCITING. I’ve always wanted to have a bon vivanty adventure. My husband Elvis Costello ran into Kate Winslet just the other day at a royal event, and she told him about some of the capers you two have pulled! This is a dream come true for me. I’m so glad I was in the right place at the right time!”

Ken smiled. He was very pleased to have such an intrepid companion for this adventure. Ella and Louis were already quite keen on her, and she had a very melodious speaking voice. Plus, such excellent taste in tea!

Diana had a limousine waiting outside for her, so she and Ken and the dogs darted into it and directed it over to Helen’s house. Ella and Louis were big fans of the limousine and sniffed every single surface twice. Ken was less impressed. I mean, you’re a bon vivant, you’ve seen one limo, you’ve seen ’em all, I guess.

Helen answered her door, saw it was Ken, and tried to close the door in his face. “Please, Helen, I’ve come all this way, can’t we talk?” Ken said. Helen glowered at him from around the door, then nodded curtly and waved him in. He and Diana and the dogs went into her house. She was quite impressed to see Diana Krall, but even MORE impressed to see Ella and Louis.

“I wondered where these two were when I saw you last week!” she said, getting many pets and many licks from the happy red dogs.

“Wait, what? Saw me last week?” Ken said. “Helen, I haven’t seen you in years! I haven’t been back in New Mexico for over a decade!”

“Very funny, Ken,” she said. “Just last week, I was walking out of the library and you were hanging around outside with some very shady people. I saw you and went over to say hi, and you GROPED ME IN PUBLIC. It was very unlike you and not at all bon vivanty. When I asked you to stop you said I wasn’t cool, man and then you and your friends laughed.”

“Oh, Helen,” said Ken, giving Diana a very worried look, “I hope you know I would never do that. This person looked like me?”

Helen nodded. “Yes. He even had a very jaunty hat! And mutton-chops!”

Ken managed to convince Helen that it had not been him last week by showing her many photos of him doing bon vivanty things in Germany like having tea with Angela Merkel while discussing his thoughts on the debt crisis…

and playing much fancy music in the park with his partner-in-idling, Jarrod.

“I’m so glad it wasn’t you, Ken,” Helen said. “It made me very sad, to think you’d become some sort of weird street-groper.”

“I solemnly promise I will never become some sort of street-groper, Helen,” Ken said.

“Wait, what about Twitter?” Helen said. “You’ve been saying all these things on Twitter!”

“What? I have? No I haven’t. Well, yes, I HAVE, but…wait, what kinds of things?” Ken said.

Helen showed him her Twitter timeline. “See?”

There was his profile picture! And his Twitter account! But the things that were being said WERE NOT THINGS HE’D SAID! Like “Just saw a girl with a monster rack, yo” and “Where can I get some action up here in this joint?” and “Hang in there, kitten.” Ken would NEVER say “hang in there, kitten.” KEN HATES PLATITUDES.

“Wait!” Diana Krall said. “This is not your Twitter account! Your Twitter account is @lahikmajoe. This Twitter account is @lahikmijoe. IT IS A TRICK!”

Well, now this was just getting WEIRD.

Helen explained that a lot of people in Taos were very mad at Ken because he’d been groping people in public, cussing loudly on the streets, yelling out loud things like “baby got back!” at passers-by, and hanging with an unsavory crowd. “People don’t even like to go into the public library anymore,” she said. “You…well, the not-real you…and your friends…I guess HIS friends…are always out there.”

Diana and Ken exchanged a look. They knew that they’d have to go to the public library to track down this doppelgänger. This not-Ken. This bon-vivant wanna-be. WHO WAS DOING IT WRONG.

Diana and Ken and Ella and Louis said goodbye to Helen and went back to the limousine. “How can we go to the library where these seedy types hang out?” Ken said. “They’ll recognize me, especially if I look just like this dastardly foe!”

Diana laughed. “Oh, Ken. I have the forces of the entire staff of the Taos Center for the Arts on my side! There are MANY costumes there. We’ll just go in disguise, and no one will recognize us!”

“Will I have to shave my beard?” Ken asked skeptically.

“No. No, you will not,” Diana said.

“Well, then this is an excellent plan,” Ken replied.

Ken was impressed with this high level of bon vivantery.

BUT WAIT!

“What about Ella and Louis? If this person is pretending to be me, he’ll have done his homework. He’ll know about my dogs,” Ken said. Ella and Louis looked worried. Well, Louis did. Ella looked like a LADY. She always looks like a lady.

“Don’t worry. I have a plan for Ella and Louis, too,” Diana said.

They got back to the Center for the Arts and Diana threw herself into the preparations for their adventure. She dressed herself and Ken up as the kind of shady people who might be hanging out outside of a library. Ken got those terrible low-riding pants that the kids are all wearing nowadays and one of those douchey Ed Hardy t-shirts. Diana wore a tube top and very tight pants. They both got makeup so they were in TOTAL DISGUISE. Much mockery was made of one another. If this was a movie, a music montage would happen here, I’ll have you know. Ken thought the disguises needed some shady hats, so he found some in his bag. Ken has hats that cover all eventualities, don’t even think he doesn’t.

Ella and Louis got dog-safe water-soluble fur-dye. Ella became a pointer with very dashing brown spots over her eyes…

and Louis became a Weimaraner. Louis liked his new getup very much and pranced around looking at himself in mirrors. Ella gave Ken a long-suffering look and sat calmly. She was aware, you see, that the disguise was NECESSARY, but didn’t think it was very DIGNIFIED.

“To the library we go!” Diana said. She looked like a totally different person. “No one will recognize us for who we are now!”

They went off to the library to confront the false-Ken. No one looked twice at our bon vivant! The disguise was just that good! (Well, the classier people in Taos looked at him with disgust. An Ed Hardy shirt will do that to you every time.)

When they arrived at the library, there were unsavory types sitting on the stairs and laughing troll-like laughs. Some of them were smoking MARIJUANA CIGARETTES! (The Person Who Writes These TOLD you someone would be smoking weed in this story.) They looked at Ken and Diana and the dogs, but not for long. They blended right in!

“There he is, Ken!” Diana hissed.

Ken looked to his left. And there he saw…

HIS DOPPELGANGER!

He looked just like him! The same hair! The same beard! The same type of clothing! The same rucksack! And…what’s this? A VERY JAUNTY HAT! “Wait,” thought Ken. “I recognize that hat.”

“WELL HELLO!” said the False Bon Vivant, who had seen the new arrivals. “Welcome to the Library of Decadence and Bon Vivantery! My name is Ken!”

Ken wanted to out him then and there but Diana stopped him. “Yo, Ken. I’m Gina and this is my main squeeze Hank.”

“I don’t think people say ‘main squeeze’ anymore,” Ken whispered. “Also, ‘Hank’? Really? Huh.”

“I PANICKED!” she said.

“Nice to meet you! Would you like some illegal drug substances or perhaps gambling? Also, probably later we will have hookers or maybe gin. As Ken, the very famous bon vivant, I support all of these things!” the False Bon Vivant said.

Well, that’s inappropriate. Ken couldn’t stand for this a moment longer. “TRUE BON VIVANTS DO NOT CARE FOR THOSE THINGS AT ALL!” he roared, and pulled off his shady hat to reveal his true countenance. “TRUE BON VIVANTS ARE ALL ABOUT BON VIVANTING FOR THE SAKE OF BON VIVANTERY AND ALSO DRINKING TEA AND GALLIVANTING! SOMETIMES ALSO IDLING! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, SIR, SULLYING MY GOOD BON VIVANTY NAME!”

The people on the steps got very quiet. The False Bon Vivant looked at Ken with anger in his eyes. “NO,” he said. “I’M Ken. You can’t be here. YOU CAN’T BE HERE. This guy’s pretending to be ME, everyone! GET HIM!”

There was much hubbub. The shady people lunged at Ken and Diana and the dogs. The False Bon Vivant disappeared into the crowd. “Don’t let him get away, Ken!” Diana said. Ken was trying to get away and could see the False Bon Vivant and ALMOST HAD HIM when he heard Diana cussing. “Let me go, you bastard!” she said. Well! If there’s one thing a bon vivant hates – a TRUE bon vivant – it’s when someone shady grabs their lady-friend. Ken immediately turned around and went back for Diana. He heard the False Bon Vivant scream, once, and Louis bark. He got Diana away from the ne’er-do-wells using various bon-vivanty techniques learned in many bon-vivanty locations that I can’t really go into here because they’re for bon vivant use only, and called to Ella and Louis, and off they ran in the general direction of the False Bon Vivant – but he was gone.

“What do we do now?” Diana said. She was none the worse for wear for her manhandling, but her tube top was all askew. Tube tops are very impractical when faced with a group of unsavory characters.

HIGHLY ill-advised.

“Let’s go back to the Center for the Arts and regroup,” Ken said. “There’s tea there. I think we could both use some tea.”

Diana most wholeheartedly agreed.

They went back to the Center for the Arts and put on NORMAL clothes (and threw the Ed Hardy shirt and the tube top in the garbage, where they belonged) and washed the dye from the dogs together and had much fun with water and soapsuds and two wiggly red dogs who made many wet footprints all over the dressing room. To keep their spirits up, they sang a rousing duet of “Mustard and a Piece of Bread,” which of COURSE Diana Krall knew. Everyone knows this song. Don’t be absurd. It was very nice for Ken to sing with Diana Krall and Ella and Louis liked it very much as well. After much tea and much singing and many shenanigans they went to sleep, because tomorrow they had to figure out what to do about this False Bon Vivant. This kind of chicanery cannot stand.

The next morning, Ken was awoken by the sound of Louis gnawing on something and Ella sighing heavily. “Louis, what do you have there, old boy?” he said. Louis looked up at him and gave him a doggy grin. He had a piece of cloth hanging out of his mouth. “Bring that here, Louis. Good boy.” Louis brought it over. It was a piece of pants-fabric. Very bon-vivanty pants-fabric. But it wasn’t KEN’S pants-fabric.

“Louis, did you try to stop that false bon vivant? Did you tear off a piece of his pants?” Louis wagged his tail so hard he almost fell over.

“What’s going on, Ken?” Diana said. She had very sleepy eyes. Not a lot of sleep happened the night before for the two bon vivants. She handed him a cup of tea. “What do you have, Louis?”

“I think I have an idea,” Ken said. “That’s a piece of that False Bon Vivant’s pants. We can use the dogs to track him. Ready for our next adventure?”

Diana was ready. Diana was proving a very capable bon vivanting companion!

Louis and Ella passed the piece of Bon Vivant pants back and forth as they tramped through the streets of Taos. Louis got distracted by many good smells along the way. Ella did not. Ella is very single-minded when she is concentrating on a task.

“Where are you bringing us, Ella and Louis?” Ken said. They stopped in front of one of the old pueblos in Taos and looked at Ken expectantly. “In here? Is he in here?”

“Well, let’s go in and see!” Diana said, and they snuck into the old pueblo.

The dogs assiduously led the way while Ken and Diana followed. There was a light burning behind one of the walls. When Ken and Diana went around the corner, they were dumbstruck.

“These are all…photos of me!” Ken said. “And printouts of my blog posts! And pictures of my Tweets! And pictures of the dogs! And pictures of my friends! And many drawings of jaunty hats! What is going ON here?”

“How could one man DO all this?” Diana wondered, as she looked around with wide eyes. “This is INSANE!”

Louis sneezed and knocked over a stack of papers. Ken picked them up because bon vivants hate messes. “Wait. These are…these are printouts of my crazy-eyed blogging friend’s blog! There’s one phrase highlighted and circled and highlighted and circled over and over and over and OVER. It’s…”

“IT IS DING DONG JOE!” they heard from behind them, and when they turned, the False Bon Vivant was there! With a crazy look in his eyes! “SHE HAS MADE THE WHOLE WORLD LAUGH AT ME! But you. YOU! The whole world LOVES you, Ken, with your HATS and your BON VIVANTERY and your HAPPY RED DOGS! So I knew what I had to do. Ding Dong Joe had to become Lahikmajoe! It really wasn’t so hard. WE ARE BOTH JOES! AND NOW I AM THE BON VIVANT!”

“You’re not the bon vivant,” Diana said. “You can’t just DRESS like a bon vivant and BE a bon vivant. It’s more than clothes or facial hair, Ding Dong Joe.”

“DON’T YOU CALL ME THAT!” Ding Dong Joe screamed. “My name is KEN now!”

“Um…’Ken,'” OUR bon vivant said, “just be calm. I’m sure if you let people get to know the real you, they would love you, too. We can call Lucy’s Football and ask her to stop calling you a pervert on her website. She will, if you want. I’m sure she will. She only pretends to be crazy online. She’s really very nice.”

“NO! It’s too LATE!” Ding Dong Joe began to pace around the room frantically.

“Ken, I think he’s lost it. Also, Ding Dong Joe is real? Huh. That’s a twist I didn’t anticipate,” said Diana.

“He couldn’t have done this alone,” Ken said. “He had to have had help. But, who?”

Ding Dong Joe kept pulling his jaunty hat on and off his head as he paced. On and off; on and off. “I know that hat,” Ken said. “Why do I feel like I know that hat? It’s the most real part of his costume. For some reason, it reminds me of…penguins? Wait. WAIT.”

“Well, hello, old friend.” The oily, unctuous voice coming from the dark hallway chilled Ken to the bone. “So, you’ve stumbled upon my little protegé, have you? How astute of you. How utterly SCRUMPTIOUS.”

“Dammit. DAMMIT. Goldblum. WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE GOLDBLUM?!?!” Ken said. It was the hat Jeff Golblum had stolen from him in Japan, of course. What other hat could it have been?

Jeff Goldblum came out from behind the wall, as high-strung as ever. He put his arm around Ding Dong Joe’s shoulder. “Oh, Joe. What happened, my good friend?”

“HE FOUND ME, JEFF!” shrieked Ding Dong Joe. “You PROMISED I could be the Bon Vivant! YOU PROMISED!”

“I know. I know. We’ll figure this out, buddy. We will. I promise.”

“What was your plan, Goldblum? To have Ding Dong Joe pretend to be me? To what end?” Ken said. He waved Diana toward the exit. She shook her head resolutely. She is stubborn, that Diana Krall. But she doesn’t know how nefarious Jeff Goldblum is, now does she?

“Once everyone hated you, KEN, it would be only one quick step to make them love and respect me. Nature abhors a void! I would take your place as the most beloved international icon. You don’t deserve it, Ken. You’re just a MAN. I’m a CINEMATIC IDOL. I was in JURASSIC PARK and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY. Your fame should be MINE. WHY CAN’T IT BE MINE?”

“What about me?” Ding Dong Joe asked, a shocked look in his eyes. “You said I could be the bon vivant!”

“Yes, what about poor Ding Dong Joe? Why don’t you tell him he was just a pawn in your ongoing war with me?” Ken said.

“That’s not true, is it, Jeff? You said we could be BFFs! You said we were a TEAM!” Ding Dong Joe whined.

Jeff laughed. It was a terrible, soulless thing to hear. “Oh, Joe. Sad, foolish Ding Dong Joe. I’m sorry. I have one BFF; that BFF’s name is…JEFF GOLDBLUM.”

And with that, Jeff Goldblum screamed an utterly maniacal scream and ran from the pueblo.

Ding Dong Joe collapsed in a puddle of weepery on the floor. Louis looked askance at Ken. Ken nodded. Louis went over and nuzzled Ding Dong Joe. Listen, this wasn’t all Ding Dong Joe’s fault. He’s just a pervy little dude who wants to be liked, is all. Isn’t that what we all want? Well, other than the pervy part. We don’t all want that. At least, I hope we don’t.

“What should we do with him, Ken?” Diana asked.

“Nothing,” Ken said. “He’s learned his lesson. He knows what he did was wrong. He was led astray by Jeff Goldblum. He isn’t the first to have been; he unfortunately won’t be the last. That Goldblum. He’s insidious. Let’s go, Diana Krall. You have a concert to get ready for!”

“It’s amazing, Ken, how far he went to try to be you. You’re in high demand,” Diana said, as they walked back to the Center for the Arts. “And how badly he failed, too. It’s sad, really.”

Ken chuckled. “Well, what people don’t understand is that being a bon vivant carries with it a heavy responsibility. You can’t just bon vivant all the time. You also have to live up to the bon vivants who have come before, and you are a model for those who cannot bon vivant themselves. It’s not all traveling and eating exotic cheeses.”

Diana nodded. “And that is why you are the one and only World-Traveling Bon Vivant, Ken. Because you understand that. I believe maybe a person isn’t just a bon vivant; they are CALLED to be a bon vivant.”

“Diana, you can bon vivant with me anytime. That was very wise,” Ken said.

Diana blushed. It’s not every day the bon vivant calls you wise.

Diana got Ken a front-row seat for her concert. It was an amazing show, and Ken was so glad he got to see her perform. She even got the Center to allow Ella and Louis to watch with him! If you are the headlining act, you can do such things, I would assume. Elvis Costello joined her on stage for the encore, and she hushed the cheering crowd.

“I had the honor of spending time with someone very special for the last couple of days. He’s gotten a bad rap here in your lovely town for the last few weeks, and it was unwarranted. He is still the bon vivant you all know and love. I’d like to invite him up on stage with us to sing one very special song. Ken, the World-Traveling Bon Vivant, would you join me and Elvis?”

Well, of course Ken would. How could he turn that down? And did he have his ukulele with him? Of course he did, don’t be foolish.

So that is how Ken, our most favorite world-traveling bon vivant, got to sing “Mustard and a Piece of Bread” with Diana Krall and Elvis Costello in Taos, New Mexico while everyone forgave him for the events of the past few weeks and Ella and Louis watched. Well, Ella watched. Louis was sound asleep, dreaming, no doubt, of something utterly joyful and guileless.

In the parking lot, in a very long stretch limo, gritting his teeth as he heard the cheers and the music drifting out of the side doors, Jeff Goldblum talked to the only person he trusted in all the world. Jeff Goldblum.

“He always wins, Jeff Goldblum.”

“I know. Jeff Goldblum. I know. It hardly seems fair.”

“It is MOST unfair. We never can seem to beat him. He has these amazing FRIENDS! And he’s so SMART! And those DOGS! THOSE HAPPY RED DOGS!!!”

“I know, Jeff Goldblum. Listen, don’t frown too much. Your face is your living, you know. You can’t afford frown lines.”

“I know. Thank you, Jeff Goldblum.”

“We just have to try harder, Jeff Goldblum. There has to be a chink in his armor. There has to be a hole. A way in. A way to win.”

“Heh. You said ‘hole,’ Jeff Goldblum.”

“This is hardly a time for sophomoric humor, Jeff Goldblum. Really. I expected more of you.”

“I’m sorry, Jeff Goldblum. It’s been a tough day.”

“I know. I’m sorry I jumped down your throat.”

“We just have to BELIEVE, Jeff Goldblum. One day. ONE DAY, we will beat him. We will. We will be victorious.”

And with a “Driver! Onward!” Jeff Goldblum drove off cackling into the New Mexico night.

THE END!

(Only, of course, not really the end. These things never really end. Not as long as there’s breath in the bon vivant and there’s power in the laptop of The Person Who is Writing These. Stay tuned, my little blueberry muffins. Stay tuned.)

(Psst: thank you thank you, my real-life bon vivant, who totally lets me mine your life for bon vivantery and turn it into blog fodder and never ever gets huffy when I bug you for details or photos or random crap. How empty would all of our lives be without you? I don’t even want to think about that. THANK YOU.)


If my life is ruled by these stars, I think I need some new stars.

Well, in your world it is Wednesday, but in my world it is MONDAY, and therefore BIRTHDAY. What’s nice about writing these in advance is that I can draaaaag out birthday weekend! Today I slept in like a dead person. Until TEN A.M.! That is very late and I felt extremely decadent. And a little lazy. Maybe the new sleeping pills have finally kicked in! That’s nice. Also I stayed up until almost 2 a.m. which is my own damn fault, I suppose. I was doing things! MANY THINGS!

So today has been lovely, with many many birthday greetings and wishes and such. That’s one of the nicest things about being on social media, the crap-ton of love you get on your birthday. I woke up to so, so many happy birthday wishes. I like that so much. THANK YOU PEOPLE! I am on happy overload. And then sj made me a birthday mix and sent me a birthday surprise, and Kate wrote me a birthday sonnet, and I am just the luckiest woman. So Dumbcat and I are hanging out and relaxing and watching the shiny new TV and it’s a beautiful fall day and all is right in the world. Yay for birthdays!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHINCHILLAS! At least I think these are chinchillas. Either that or super-chubby hamsters.

OK, so listen, I usually don’t pay attention to my horoscope because I think it’s silly and somewhat inaccurate and mostly just for entertainment value, but I like to read my birthday horoscope because it’s longer and more in-depth, and therefore has more opportunity for me to make fun of it, and also be hopeful. I get strangely hopeful about horoscopes, even though I think they’re mostly hokum.

So I’m a Libra. Libras are supposed to be balanced and love all the beautiful things in the world. I’m tippy and I like beautiful things, but also weird ugly things, so I don’t know that I really fit in the Libra mold completely. I do like things to be balanced, though. If things are out of whack I feel all confuzzled and I hate that.

Another website said Libras are “nice to everyone they meet” and I find that kind of the most wrong ever. I don’t like anyone, really.

So, according to my VERY SCIENTIFIC yearly horoscope on this website, here’s what’s ahead for one of the last years of my 30s. Let’s see what’s going to happen to your old friend Lucy’s Football!

ABOUT YOU

You possess a highly creative mind. You are likely quite good with language and/or languages, and you have an unmistakably goofy sense of humor.

Oh, this is flattering. I like this a lot. And it’s TRUE. Win! WIN, horoscope website! I AM TOTALLY GOOFY! Also, I do love all the languages. I don’t know how GOOD at them I am, but I love them kind of the most.

You have a wonderful sense of judgment.

Nope. I make terrible judgment calls on a daily basis. Nothing wonderful about that. BAD CALL WEBSITE.

Although you will entertain some attraction to the mystical, you are largely logical.

TRUE!

You can be a charming conversationalist, making each person you talk to one-on-one feel very special.

Only in type. In person, I don’t think I’m as successful. I get loud. And random. You should specify “via social media,” astrology website.

Although you are capable of much hard work, leisure time is very important to you.

PRECIOUS HOURS OF LEISURE! This makes me laugh.

Who is this NOT applicable to? VAGUE.

You are more decisive than the typical Libra personality. You are creative, witty, and fair-minded.

Aw, I think you’re flirting with me. Are you flirting with me, astrology website?

Famous people born today: Chevy Chase, Matt Damon, Sigourney Weaver, Jesse Jackson, Paul Hogan.

And as you can SEE, we’re totally the same AGE. Give or take thirty-some years.

And as I was informed on Twitter today: R.L. Stine, of Goosebumps fame. Also, that weird kid from Two and a Half Men.

YOUR BIRTHDAY YEAR FORECAST

When a Quarter Moon occurs in your Return chart, as it does this year, you are at some sort of a turning point in your life, in terms of personal growth.

You need  to be more specific. When’s this going to happen? I’m going to need to know so I can prepare my outfits, astrologically.

Events that occur this year act as catalysts that get you in touch with some important issues in your emotional life. Your emotions run high, and mood swings or identity crises are possible. There may be some kind of conflict in your life arising from a great urge to do something different. The year ahead promises to be a busy, dynamic, and significant period in your life.

This sounds like I’m going to be bipolar this year. I don’t know if I like this. WORRISOME.

You are able to see your life in terms of the big picture this year, and thus you more easily manage stress and your enthusiasm is natural. Others tend to be helpful and supportive.

Well, that’s a good tendency of others. Thanks, others. I’m glad you tend in that direction. Also, my enthusiasm is ALWAYS natural. I haven’t had it cosmetically enhanced at ALL.

This is totally me at my laptop EVERY DAY. Except I’m usually wearing my pajamas and my hair’s a lot messier than this.

Some form of recognition for your work or for past good deeds may be forthcoming this year. Fortunate circumstances arise from a positive attitude as well as sincere self-expression. Your social life will likely increase and bring you in contact with more influential, powerful, or simply happy and helpful people.  Educational, publishing, freelance, and promotional efforts can thrive this year.

Oh, I do a lot of good deeds. Most of them, I don’t even mention to anyone, because then they’re not as good when people KNOW about them. This is exciting. I also like the publishing and freelance mention. That’s promising. You’re winning more than you’re losing, here, horoscope.

The opportunity to grow through your love and social connections this year is especially strong. You are seeking intensity in love, and are especially aware of the importance of healthy relating and intimacy.

Again, this could be anyone. Who’s NOT seeking “intensity in love?” Who ISN’T “aware of the importance of healthy relating and intimacy?” TOO VAGUE, INTERNET HOROSCOPE.

You could renew and deepen love commitments or social connections. Strong and stimulating–even motivating–attractions to others are likely.

I’m attracted to others all the time. It’s not that it’s LIKELY. It’s HAPPENING. Come on now.

Secret loves or attractions may develop and existing relationships tend to rise to a higher level of insight and understanding.

Ooh, SECRET LOVES! ZOMG, how much do I want a secret love! I will keep him under the couch and feed him gingersnaps and fruit punch.

SECRET love! In the FOREST! Wearing SWEATERS!

Romantic relationships and attractions have a fated quality to them this year.

Fated? Like in Wuthering Heights? Nice. I guess I’ll have to move to the moors.

FATE! Such a cruel mistress.

This could be a year when you fall in love, and this could be with a person, an activity, or a cause! Meeting someone who transforms your life, and more specifically your values and attitude towards love, is possible.

I just want to say for the record that every single year, my yearly horoscope tells me that THIS WILL BE THE YEAR I MEET MY FELLA and it NEVER EVER HAPPENS. So please don’t judge me if I’m taking this with a grain of salt. A big ol’ grain. Like sea salt sized. No one’s transforming my life. I’ve given up on the very idea. Just being honest, here.

All the grains of salt. Every last one of them.

Strong existing relationships are likely to grow and transform in rewarding ways, as you are more open than usual to intensity and passion. Your finances could also improve dramatically this year, generally due to your increased ability to strategize and cut out frivolous expenses.

Um. I just want to say, I haven’t frivolously expensed in months. I think if I were to cut out any further frivolousness I would be living in a cardboard box and eating baked beans cooked over a fire burning in an oil barrel.

I’d be a LADY-hobo. Dumbcat would be my loyal sidekick.

Your ability to concentrate and focus is enhanced this year with Mercury conjunct Saturn in the Solar Return chart. This sometimes suggests a need for solitude when you work, or a year in which you often retreat to work on specific tasks on your own. You might be required to travel for business purposes. It can also indicate that young people in your life are more mature or serious in their approach to life. Thinking in realistic and practical terms is your best bet, and the need for tangible results for your efforts is strong. You can successfully combine imagination and effort this year. A sense that your dreams are realizable is with you, and this stronger faith and acceptance can serve you well.

This entire paragraph is stupid and I’m ignoring it. I always work alone because I live alone, and unless I get a new job, there won’t be any traveling for work. I don’t have any young people in my life, unless you mean The Nephew, and he’s too little to be very serious.

Your social life is likely to bring benefits and opportunities into your life this year, so be especially open to new experiences. Your love life can bring profound discoveries and deep changes. Money improves with strategic planning. 

I think this is a recap. I am ALWAYS open to new experiences. I have no love life, so bring it on, horoscope, BRING IT ON. And shut up about money, I don’t want to talk about that.

2012 is a Number Five year for you. Ruled by Mercury. This is a year of exploration and freedom. It’s a time when exploration and reaching out to others brings opportunities. It’s a good time to advertise and sell. Surprises are in store, and the routine is broken. This is a year when exciting relationships can be formed, or, if you are already in a partnership, new life is breathed into the relationship. Advice – explore, look for adventure, keep your eyes open for opportunities, mingle.

The routine sure has been broken, jellybeans. Also, “a year of exploration and freedom” makes it sound like I’m on walkabout. THE WALKABOUT OF THE MIND.

MIND-WALKABOUT! In a DESOLATE DESERT!

2013 will be a Number Six year for you. Ruled by Venus. This is a year of relative contentment. It is a time when love is the easiest to attract, and partnerships formed under this vibration have a better chance for longevity. You are able to attract others, and material things as well, this year. This is a good year for establishing harmony in the family and in the home. Advice – develop existing relationships, be positive and receptive because these kinds of energies help you to attract what you desire.

I think I’m going to get LUCKY this year. Look out, I think I need to buy new underwear. Oh, wait, what’s that? These things are bunk? Yeah, that’s right. Well, just in case they’re not: magical 2013 dream-man, I look forward to meeting you next year. I’m pretty sure we will make an excellent team, and plus I promise I will make you laugh daily. I’m quite good at that, whether I mean to, or not. Inadvertent laughs are still good, right? Right. Awesome. Good. Looking forward to it, then.

Yep, this is exactly what my dream-man looks like. White space. Lots and lots of white space.

Happy day, everyone! Look out for your secret lovers and don’t spend money FRIVOLOUSLY!!!!!


Help save the youth of America; help save the youth of the world

Dear Youth of the World:

I just read a very disturbing article and I think we have to have a talk.

Now, before we start, I know. I am immediately to be distrusted. I am a grownup! Therefore, my heart must be dead, and I just don’t GET it, man! I don’t remember what it was like to be one of you, the disaffected youth, looking for that new cool thing, that next big rush, anything to kill the dead, dead places inside. I know. How could I possibly understand? Being an old, boring person and all?

Ugh, GROWNUPS.

Well, I might be old (ahem, I’m not THAT old) and I might be boring (debatable) but I remember being your age. I remember the teenage malaise and the depression and not knowing what to do next and being just SO DAMN ITCHY to do SOMETHING. My something, chickadees, was reading, though, so I guess that’s why this article I read was so distressing.

Apparently, you’ve all moved on from turning Robitussin into street drugs and morphing hand sanitizer into delicious cocktails and have all decided that you want to be movie stars, so you’ve decided to live the life of Jason Bourne or Tom Cruise in those terrible Mission Impossible movies. SO MANY TEETH UGH.

Dun, dun, dun-dun…TEETH!

Listen, I like movies as much as the next person, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think I can DO the things that happen in movies. I don’t think my Harry is going to come find me on New Year’s Eve and tell me he wants the rest of his life with me to start RIGHT NOW and I don’t think I can drive while having a conversation and never look at the road and I don’t think I can go to bed with a whole face full of makeup and wake up looking as fresh as a daisy and I don’t think I can get six days of work done in the span of one kickass music montage. BECAUSE I AM RATIONAL.

Yes, wouldn’t this be nice? So would trees that grow money and pulling carrots out of the ground and finding they were really cookies. IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

But you! Youth of the world! You seem to think that the people in movies are doing their own stunts. And that they aren’t really stunts! That they are REAL THINGS THAT PEOPLE DO!

Things that, according to this article, you kids are doing nowadays because they are BORED and they think they are INVINCIBLE:

  • “the choking game”
  • jumping off a moving vehicle
  • “salt and ice”
  • extreme fighting
  • “the cinnamon challenge”
  • hitting someone over the head with a folding chair
  • “train/car surfing”
  • huffing
  • “mumblety peg”
  • “Chubby Bunny”

Now, you, youth of America, I know you probably are WELL-AWARE of what all of these things are, but we, the fusty old-people of the world, are scratching our heads in puzzlement. So! In order to make us all better educated about what’s going on with the kiddos, please pardon me while I fill in the old people among us about these things you’re all doing.

The choking game: apparently this is just auto-erotic asphyxiation. Do you kids think you created this? Nah. We old people have known about this for years. We (well, most of us) are just too smart to do it. (And apparently, kids are doing this but WITHOUT THE SEX. They’re just doing it because it makes their heads swimmy. There have GOT to be better ways to make their heads swimmy.)

Kittens also disapprove of the choking game. DO NOT CHOKE YOUR KITTENS. (Not a euphemism.)

Jumping off a moving vehicle: Well, this is pretty self-explanatory. Except for…um…why? Why would you do this? Because people do it in movies or on television? You’ll get road-rash, kids. That is, if you’re not dead. Who thinks jumping off a moving vehicle is a good idea? Put your hands down. PUT THEM DOWN, I SAID.

I have no idea what’s happening here but I like the inclusion of a coffin because that’s what happens when you JUMP FROM A MOVING VEHICLE.

“Salt and ice”: ZOMG WTF. Apparently, this is a game. You put salt on a body part. Then you put ice over that salt. It starts to burn. Whoever can leave it on the longest is the “winner.” But guess what’s happening to your skin? YOU ARE GETTING CHILBLAINS. Chilblains! Like an arctic explorer! And if you leave it on long enough? FROSTBITE. According to this totally funny Wiki answers page: “According to the game, the winner is whoever can hold the ice long enough. However in reality, the person who opts to not attempt this challenge is the true winner and the one without a possible hospital bill and missing limbs.” Hee! Whoever wrote this is SCOLDY.

WHOA. Everyone’s totally scoldy about this, right? I’m not going to scold you. I’m just going to tell you, THIS IS STUPID STOP IT.

Extreme fighting/hitting someone over the head with a chair: THIS IS NOT WRESTLING. This is REAL LIFE. Those things are all STAGED. There are blood packets and they work that shit out beforehand and they REHEARSE. It is THEATER. You don’t HIT SOMEONE OVER THE HEAD WITH A CHAIR. That’s ASSAULT, brother. Who’s volunteering to get hit with a chair? I guess I can see the appeal of extreme fighting – boys are super-fighty, from what I remember of them, even The Nephew likes to head-butt people, including his beloved aunt Amy – but chair-hitting? Really? That seems super-ragey. I’m adding “because they might hit each other over the head with chairs” to my list of “reasons I am pleased I decided not to have children after all.”

Hee! Look at the woman’s shock-face back there. SHOCKED BY THIS CHAIR!

“The cinnamon challenge” – This is apparently swallowing a huge spoonful of cinnamon without taking a drink of water in 60 seconds. The cinnamon clumps up and gags you and then sometimes you inhale it and it gets in your lungs and nose and makes you throw up and sneeze. Fun, right? Listen, you’re all a bunch of pussies. Why don’t you go try the wasabi challenge or the black pepper challenge or the habanero challenge and get back to me?* (*Don’t do this.)

Thank you for this infographic. Very helpful, intertubes.

“Train/car surfing” – again, pretty self-explanatory. You’re not Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf. Don’t do this. You will fall off and you will die. Moving vehicles are a recipe for death. Stop it stop it STOP IT. This isn’t cool or fun or a rush. This is a recipe for death and destruction and limb-missing-ness. Listen! Some kids were driving 110 miles per hour at 5pm (that’s rush hour, for those of us unemployed) down one of our local roads here recently because they thought it would be good-times, Charlie and a minivan pulled out and they hit him and they both died and he’s struggling for his life so wasn’t THAT funny? HA HA HA! No. Because I talked to his wife at work the other night and I can assure you, she wasn’t laughing. I was almost in tears when I got off the phone with her. You little jackasses. Stop risking others’ lives. If you kill someone I love, I’m coming for you. WITH KNIVES.

Only Michael J. Fox can do this. YOU CANNOT DO THIS.

“Huffing” – oh, for the love of…you dorks, we’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been BREATHING. No pun intended. I don’t even think I have to describe what huffing is, do I? It’s inhalants. It’s sucking down inhalants to get high. It’s the high-stakes version of Whipits. You can do it with spray paint like Ruth in Citizen Ruth (what? you haven’t seen Citizen Ruth? Watch that and see if you want to huff again) or with things like canned air. And it murders braincells like the Biblical Slaughter of the Innocents, babydolls. You’re gonna need those braincells. Well, someday you will. Promise.

Pretty, right? TOTALLY pretty.

“Mumblety peg” – really? You think stabbing at your fingers with a knife super super fast is funtimes? OK. I can’t see that going wrong at all AAAHHH YOU CUT OFF YOUR FINGER! Seriously, this only works in mobster movies. Don’t do this.

Good idea! Oh, wait, no, BAD idea, I meant to say BAD idea. Silly ol’ me.

“Chubby Bunny” – this is when you fill your mouth with marshmallows and say “chubby bunny!” until you can’t anymore and whoever can put the most marshmallows in their mouth and still be heard saying “chubby bunny” wins and whoever chokes to death on the marshmallows loses. You think I’m being facetious but people have DIED playing this game. Dead dead dead. Chubby bunny’s not for the faint-of-heart. Or people with brains. Also, marshmallows are DELICIOUS. Why are you wasting marshmallows, stupid? And didn’t your mom teach you not to speak with your mouth full? SIGH SIGH SIGH.

HA HA HA FUN! Choking to death on gooey dessert items is on my BUCKET LIST!

OK. So now that we’re all up to speed on your shenanigans, let’s discuss.

People are dying doing these things. I think you can see why. There are various ways that these things are leading to death:

Gross bodily injury, due to things like chair-beatery and car-jumpery and train-surfery and finger-cuttery and ice/salt-freezery

Choking to death, due to inhaling marshmallows, cinnamon, or choking yourself with a belt

Drug overdose, from huffing

I can’t imagine the “high” you get from any of these things being worth being DEAD from INHALING MARSHMALLOWS. Do you really want to be that girl? Do you want to be the girl who died inhaling marshmallows? You’re not going to get a page in the yearbook commemorating you, darlin’. You’re going to be a PUNCHLINE. People are going to be all “Chubby bunny GAHHHHH” and pretend to choke and gag and die and then they’re going to LAUGH AND LAUGH. Or do you want to walk around with nine fingers because you cut one off stabbing at your fingers with knives like you’re a street performer in Thailand? Good luck counting to ten at your future job at the counter at McDonald’s, Sonny Jim. And yes, I get that you want to be cool like Fox Mulder and die of autoerotic asphyxiation, but…wait, you don’t know who Fox Mulder is? Because you are FOURTEEN? Then why would you want to do that?

If you don’t get the reference, I’ll feed it to you with a spoon. Psychic Clyde Bruckman predicted Mulder’s death by autoerotic asphyxiation, and he was never wrong.

Kids, I get it. I do. I made some SPECTACULARLY stupid decisions when I was younger. Maybe not 14-young, but when I was a little older, I did not let my brain do the thinking. I cannot confirm or deny that I might have done some binge-drinking and made some terrible sexual decisions and got kicked out of a hotel and (look away, cops!) dabbled in substances that weren’t technically “legal.” I understand, kids. I do. Bad decisions and I have been bedfellows in the past. And I’m sure, somewhere down the line, we will crawl shamefully back into bed together again, because once you bed down with Bad Decision McGee, he comes back all, “Come on, baby, you know we had a good time before, I MISSED YOU” and if he shows up at just the right time you’re all “SIGH OK.” I get it.

But here’s the thing. You’re going to want to live to see your twenties. You really are. Your twenties are pretty awesome. And – top secret news no one tells you? – your thirties are EVEN BETTER. If things keep up at this pace, my forties are going to be AMAZING. And if I’d been car-surfing or whatever the hell, I wouldn’t have SEEN these years.

I know you’re bored. I know you’re looking for the next cool thing and whatever. I get it. But please don’t do things that will kill you. If you have to do dangerous things…how about you TAKE SOME CLASSES FOR COLLEGE CREDIT OOH? Or READ A BANNED BOOK AAH? Or WORK ON YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATIONS EEEE? No? Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Just don’t do the things I listed above. Or have inappropriate sex because you’ll get the herpes. I’m serious, you’re going to regret these bad decisions someday and *I* won’t be all “I told you so” because I don’t do that, but SOMEONE will, and I’ll be thinking it. I totally will.

BAD BAD DECISIONS.

Thanks for reading, kiddos. If you need further advice, I’ll be RIGHT HERE. Come talk to me. I promise. I’ll be kind and won’t even talk down to you and I’ll teach you new words like “douchecanoe” and I’ll tell you your skinny jeans look ridiculous but I will be SO SUPPORTIVE. I’m like the kickass aunt you always wanted, promise.

Be careful out there, kids. I’d like you to be around in your twenties and thirties, ok? They’re worth it. No, seriously. They so are.

Yours, with love, and also some serious concerns,

Amy.

(Here is a song to make you happy. This is for the GROWNUPS among us. I love you, too.)


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