Stupid One-Sentence Thoughts I Think of in the Shower — Part II

If I were an alien and this morning I landed on Earth in New England, I’d say, “Wow, the skies are such a beautiful blue, but holy fucking shit it is really fucking cold here!!” but I would say it my special alien telepathic language, so that only the other aliens on my ship could hear me, and then I would ask to get picked up — STAT.

A Sad Description About My Cold Plus Other Things That May or May Not Make You Feel Sorry for Me

I’ve always been the kind of person who resents the fact that we are expected to FUNCTION with a cold. No matter how crappy I’ve felt in the last 47 years, I’ve gone to school, gone to work, done my taxes, etc. I know you’ve done the same.  First of all: THANKS, AMERICA! I’m sure the people in all the countries that the fancy Cadillac owner hates are enjoying some good convalescing during THEIR colds.

Ferris-Bueller

Ferris Bueller stayed home and he was only fake sick. I guess that’s one of the benefits of living in a 1980s John Hughes film.

The cold that I have right now is nothing more than a Standard Cold: congestion and coughing. I can’t sleep through the night and fondly look back on the days (last Wednesday) when I could breathe through my nose.

The ass-kicker for me is that with THIS cold, my lower back is in severe pain. Sooooo (now here’s the part where you’re REALLY gonna feel sorry for me), whenever I wake up in the middle of the night coughing, my back is sent into such a spasm, that I have to get up out of bed and bend over myself in order to minimize the pain.

Sometimes, it hurts so much, that I can’t fully cough, so I just do these sad ‘half’ coughs, which never quite release whatever it is that my body is trying to COUGH OUT, so I just keep on coughing and coughing.

If you think a cough hurts my back, then you should see me experience a sneeze. I popped my car out of gear the other day because the sneeze made my legs come up toward my body in a reflexive pain response, thereby releasing my left foot’s hold on the clutch. On a positive note, how cool is it that I found a STANDARD 2006 Volvo!?

Anyone looking for  good laugh might enjoy watching me get out of my car right now. The process involves placing my two legs carefully on the ground, pulling myself up with my car door and then balancing my upper body over my bent legs. I then start walking VERY slowly, eventually moving into a semi-normal gait.

ARE YOU FEELING SORRY FOR ME YET?

More? Okay, how about the fact that I’ve been taking honey for my cough, but my GI system has a difficult time digesting sugars, which in turn increases the unhealthy flora growing in my gut and other parts of my body, including my vagina, which is now screaming out in discomfort? DAMN IT! Now you just feel sorry for yourself.

All right. Carry on.

Your Brave Lil’ Soldier,
Catherine B. Winchild

 

The New Not Normal

When you live in a place like Swankenstein long enough, its concentration of wealthy people emulating the 1% begins to pass for “normal.” Well, I’m here to provide us all with with a bit of an adorable reality check. We all (me included!) need to stop thinking that these crazy things are normal, because even a USED, affordably-priced Volvo v50 wagon has incredibly high maintenance costs, and there is NO WAY we can afford to have our own sauna. HAVING ONE’S OWN SAUNA IS NOT NORMAL!! So, let’s all help one another as we confront…

The New Not Normal

  • Having your own sauna
  • Having your own hot tub
  • Having your own sauna, hot tub and pool!
  • Owning a luxury car
  • Owning more than one luxury car
  • Owning a big, black SUV
  • Publicly discussing which big, black SUV to buy
  • Publicly discussing which big, black SUV to buy and being surrounded by hundreds of people with educated opinions on the matter
  • Having a private tennis court
  • Having a private tennis court in a town that has ONE GAGILLION PUBLIC TENNIS COURTS
  • Owning a boat
  • Complaining to a stranger about your struggle to find the right boat
  • Owning a home with more than 5,000 square feet of living space
  • Owning a home with more than 5,000 square feet of living space on the water
  • Hiring a nanny
  • Hiring a live-in nanny
  • Hiring a live-in nanny and referring to her as your “babysitter”
  • Hiring a live-in nanny and referring to her as your “babysitter” and sleeping with her
  • Hiring others to do your yard work
  • Being opposed to illegal immigration and hiring illegal immigrants do your yard work
  • Installing a hedge that costs more than a car
  • Installing fencing that costs more than a car
  • Installing fencing that costs more than a car and having it be so vast that when I walk past it, I refer to it as The Great Wall of Barrington. WHAT THE FOXTROT IS GONNA BE IN THERE?!
  • Buying a home that costs more than 1 million dollars
  • Buying a home that costs more than 1 million dollars and razing it to put up a new home that costs more than 3-5 million dollars
  • Getting stinking drunk at a party and sleeping with your wife in full view of the guests
  • Getting stinking drunk at a party and sleeping with your neighbor’s wife
  • Having an outdoor kitchen
  • Having an outdoor kitchen and living room
  • Having an outdoor kitchen and living room with a couch that costs $6,000
  • Owning a second home
  • Owning a second home and then preparing the friends you’ve invited for the weekend about how it’s “not that nice”
  • Referring to a neighborhood where homes cost more than $300,000 as “the ghetto”
  • Joining a pool club
  • Joining a pool club WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE OCEAN STATE
  • Doing Pilates
  • Speaking loudly to your friend at Starbucks about how your daughter is overweight
  • Speaking loudly on your cell phone at Starbucks while you are being waited on and then being impatient with BOTH the Starbucks employee AND the person on the phone who works for you, where you MUST BE A HEART SURGEON, because who else could be so important that they cannot WAIT to talk on their cell phone until they’re DONE ORDERING THEY’RE FUCKING COFFEE!?!?
  • I’m sorry. Those last two examples were not so much the New Not Normal, but the New Are Douchebags.
  • Being surrounded by fat squirrels
  • Being surrounded by fat robins
  • Being surround by robins that are SO fat, your 10-year old daughter says, “Mom! Look at how fat those robins are! Don’t you think that’s WEIRD?!”

So, formerly NORMAL people living in Not-Normal places, let’s break the cycle! Let’s save the money we THINK we should be spending on something Not Normal, on something COMPLETELY NORMAL, like a home leg waxing kit!

Barrington_River_-_Barrington,_Rhode_Island_

Building a dock that costs more than my home is not normal. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

 

 

 

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Stupid One-Sentence Thoughts I Think of in the Shower — Part I

If I were in a classroom at a college right now and everyone in class was working on their taxes, I’d ask the professor if we could go outside, because it’s such a beautiful day, and the professor would let us, but after we all got outside I’d say, “This is so annoying because the sun is making it so I can barely see anything on my laptop screen, so I’m going back in.”

shower

Late Night with White Guys

Listen, I love Stephen Colbert as much as any other Volvo-driving, Starbucks-drinking, NY-Times-reading, NPR-listening severe liberal. But for fuck’s sake, CBS! You couldn’t think of a single woman to replace Letterman?

Is late night television to permanently be the realm of The White Guys? CBS probably considered THE POPE before considering a FEMALE host.

Have you ever watched that Ellen? I did. Once. Because I was at a hospital in the middle of the day and it was playing in the waiting room. That woman is hilarious. Annnnnnd…she’s a solid interviewer. Personally, my dream would have been to have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host Late Night together, with Kristen Wiig as the permanent sub. I know none of them have ever hosted a talk show, but HELLO! They are women. And what do women do whenever they are at a social gathering? They ask questions of others, listen to the answers and then contribute something related and meaningful. Sometimes, without even knowing it, they contribute a “hook” for the other person, so that person will have a question to ask back. If talking with another woman, the hook is usually taken. If talking to a GUY, the hook simply enters the black hole of self-absorption in the the guy’s head. BUT I DIGRESS.

Have you ever watched Jimmy Fallon interview a guest? It’s painful! Why? Because he doesn’t listen. He’s already on to the next question and his celebrity ass-kissing before the previous question was answered. Jimmy Fallon is good at one thing and one thing only: bits and skits. Wait, that’s two things. Or maybe the same word for the same thing? Whatever! That’s what he can do. And that guy knows how to trend on Facebook with those bits, too.

Leno was another horrible interviewer. He was So. Awkward. He’s a skilled comedian, but he was no host.

Jimmy Kimmel? He’s on ABC, which I consider to be the trashy network, so I’ve never seen his show. The only bit/skits I’ve seen of his are the ones in which the parents video tape their children breaking down in tears, because their parents have just told them that they ate all the kids’ Halloween candy. That is dark, people. That is DARK.

Craig Ferguson? Feh. Conan? Permanently pissed off. Arsenio? I didn’t even know his show was back on the air until I Binged it. I watched him maybe once or twice in the past, but never liked him. I would LIKE to have liked him, because that guy is NOT white and that’s how my root-for-the-underdog-liberal brain works. Seth Meyers? Hilarious, but I’ve never seen his show.

Eh, what do I care? I haven’t watched Late Night since I worked in catering, when I would get home late and need to unwind. These days I’m usually in bed by 9pm (unless I’m binge watching my FAVORITE White Guy, Don Draper). These hosting decisions are not aimed at 47-year old adorable women. They are aimed at the young. Well, enjoy your White Men, Generation Y! In meantime, I’m off to the hospital again today. Maybe I’ll catch one of those white ladies on the TV.

Here is a picture of an incredibly talented white women, in case anyone from CBS is reading:

Please do not consider hiring an adorable funny woman.

Please do not consider hiring an adorable, funny woman.

And here is a picture of the pope:

Television's second choice for hosting Late Night.

CBS’s second choice for hosting Late Night.

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Coal Medal Olympic Interviews

I am a huge Olympics fan, especially the winter games. What could be better than when a New England winter has kicked your ass to the ground, even AFTER 20 years of living in northern Vermont, to sit back in the 64 degrees of your own home, close the living room door so as not to experience the huge draft careening up the stairs, put on a wool hat, cover up with a fleece blanket and watch young people risk — if not their lives — then incurring injury by slipping around on ice and snow with skill? That’s MY Olympic dream.

But one thing has struck me as particularly off this year: the post medal/missed medal interviews. Who ARE these interviewers, NBC? Were these the people who did NOT get the Tonight Show gig? Because they are HORRIBLE! Here are my “transcripts” of what I can remember from three of this year’s WORST interviews. So far.

Interviewer: What would it mean to win a second gold medal in Sochi?

torah bright

We love her mouth guard. SAFETY FIRST!

Torah Bright, Australian Olympic silver and gold medalist in snowboarding, Vancouver 2010: Honestly, not that much. I mean, I already have ONE gold medal. I don’t want to be greedy. And plus, my mum had dad build her a wood paneled display case in their den back in Australia that houses my gold medal from Vancouver and dozens of the awards and trophies I’ve been winning since I was six years old. I don’t even know if there’s room for another medal. Plus, I don’t want my mom to have to dust anything else. She has enough to do.

Interviewer: Katie, How did it feel to miss winning the bronze medal by four one hundredths of a second?

katie U olympicsKatie Uhlaender, U.S. Skeleton Team, Sochi: You know what? Medals are an EXTRINSIC goal. I’m happy INSIDE with what I did tonight. I have no control over what other people do, and I just have to accept the fact that I did the absolute best that I could, be proud of that, and realize that a medal is not going to make me a happy person on the INside. A medal is just another THING.

Interviewer: When you’re in the gate at the top of the hill and you’re looking up at the sky and talking to yourself, are you talking to your now deceased brother, whose death this past year has made your life horrible and is also the reason why you are bawling right now because of my previous ONE GAGILLION questions about your brother? WHO’S DEAD?

Bode Miller (needs no description): Actually, when I look up at the sky and talk to myself, I’m praying to God I won’t get an interviewer who’s a complete emotional moron.

[It should be noted here that Bode Miller was apparently grown up enough to ask viewers NOT to blame the interviewer. Me? I'm not that grown up. And I also wasn't being interviewed. I was burying my head in my hands because the whole thing was so completely awkward and painful.]

Morgan Beck profile pic

This isn’t Bode Miller. It’s his wife Morgan, who deserves snaps for allowing NBC to mic her, even if — cynically speaking — it was just a way for the adorable couple to further promote themselves. I still think it was breasty.

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The Big Brained, Small Minded Woman’s Guide to the World

I’m not trying to be all show-off-y about having a big brain. It just IS big. Look at my forehead. It is high. And it isn’t housing my uterus.

But, all that big brain has a LOT of chaos going on it. You know, arguments with itself, rapid-firing connected thoughts, worry, anxiety. So, my big, scattered brain does something to help itself. And that is called Organizing the World.

How does one organize the world? Well, it’s not as simple as a field trip to The Container Store ™. You have to designate things into their proper places in your brain and one of those places in my brain is the Better place.

I know that this is a simplistic, almost child-like view of the world, and that’s why I call it my “small-minded” view. I also do this self-denigration early in the post so that no one from Boston whines about me referring to New York City as better.

What are some other things that wind up in the world’s Better container? I have lists and lists of these guys. Please let us to enjoy a few.

  • Already covered: New York City is better than Boston.
  • Paris is better than NYC.
  • Mustard on hot dogs is better than ketchup on hot dogs.
  • Picking up dog poop off the grass in 2 plastic bags is WAY better than cleaning a litter box.
  • Having chlamydia is better than the Red Sox.
  • Matt Damon is better that Ben Affleck. That Matt is ADORABLE!
  • Colin Kapaernick is better than Tom Brady.
  • Writing is better than talking.
  • The beach is better than the snow.
  • Sledding is better than skiing. Just look at the SPELLING of skiing. That sucks!
  • George H. W. Bush is better than George W. Bush.
  • Coffee in the morning is better than tea in the morning and if my stomach could handle it, coffee would also be better in the afternoon. Truth be told, my first cup of coffee is better than the rest of my ENTIRE DAY.
  • Watching a Vegas show or a 3-D movie with French Canadians who got their start as a mime troupe on the streets of Montreal is better than…hold on…give me a second…I’ll think of something…it’s better than watching homeless teenage heroin addicts turning tricks for money on the rainy streets of Seattle in a riveting television crime drama? Nope. How about better than watching a Disney television show with a horrible fake laugh track? Hmmm…close. Those are actually outlawed in my house, but no. Watching an NBC sportscaster ask an Olympic medalist what winning the gold means to them? No. Damn! This is hard!

    cirque_du_soleil

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  • Rite Aid is better than CVS, even with the cigarette ban because the only reason CVS can AFFORD not to carry cigarettes is because of their “system” of putting one price label on the shelf and then charging you more “by mistake” at the register. Oh, that leads to another…
  • Putting prices on every item is better than pricing on the shelves. I don’t need to tell you about how many times you’ve picked up something that was put in the wrong section of a shelf just to make the shelves look FULL, only to find out that the $12.99 label under the pure Vermont maple syrup at Whole Foods didn’t even APPLY to that size and I would now like to take the time to thank Ocean State Job Lot for their old-fashioned, 1970s style price stickers on every item in the store.
  • Having my mom in England is better than having my aunt’s solicitor calling me in the middle of making this list  to tell me that my mom is coming back to the states TEN months early because “things didn’t work out.” It is also better that she is headed to Oregon (“That’s where my car is, Catherine!”) and not Rhode Island. And, just so you know, the USDA does not regulate cats coming back into the U.S. That would be the job of the Center for Disease Control and the state into which you are arriving.
  • Knowing how to creatively end a post is better than leaving it with an awkward conclusion.
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Shiny Unhappy People

Happiness is the new black and it is really pissing me off. Since when do we all have to be so fucking HAPPY? I mean I know it’s our God-given right via the Fourth of July and everything, but the blogs, books, movies, songs…everything these days is focused on happiness, what makes people happy, what happy people have in common, how we can all be happier.

I am here as an unhappy person to say ENOUGH.

There are different types of unhappy people. Some unhappy people are REALLY hurting inside and life is so painful that they do self-destructive things in order to avoid their pain. Those people need Help. For the record, I used to be one of those types of unhappy people. Thank you, bulimia!

Now, there is another type of unhappy people, and those are the folks who no matter where they move, how pleasant the weather, what kind of job they do, marriage they’re in, house they own, or meds they take, have a steady, low-grade, consistent, some might say adorable, level of unhappiness. The latter kind of unhappy people is me! Now!!

Note to happy pushers: I AM PERFECTLY FINE WITH MY SET POINT OF MISERY, CYNICISM AND UNHAPPINESS, just like I am perfectly happy with my height (short), weight (120), level of intelligence (low-smart), sense of humor (fucking hysterical), hair (FAB!-ulous), feet (uh-DOR-able), unequal breast sizes (left > right), anxiety (ahhhhhhhhhhh!) and everything ELSE about me.

There are some VERY unhappy people who wouldn’t be half as interesting if they WERE happy. Louis C.K. is the first one who comes to mind. That guy is a brilliant MESS. Frankly, I think most comedians are miserable, and that’s why they’re so damn funny. Besides comedians, there are lots of other people who depend on their misery in order to do what they do. Artists in general are a pretty unhappy bunch. Derivatives Traders are unhappy. Oh, wait…no. Those guys are just DICKS.

All these articles, blogs, movies and books about being happy are starting to take on the tone of those products that help you lose weight or get rid of wrinkles or increase penis size. Happy is just another thing that we SHOULD be. Well, I’m done trying to be something I’m not. And I. AM NOT. HAPPY.

Glass_Half_Full_bw_1

Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, I guarantee that this glass of water is full of chlorine and will taste like CRAP unless it’s filtered.

I am a glass-is-cracked-and-leaking woman and, guess what? Before that, I was a glass is-cracked-and-leaking GIRL. Hell, I was a glass is-cracked-and-leaking NEWBORN! Can I change some of my thinking? Of course I can…and have. Do I experience many happy MOMENTS in my life? Absolutely. But I will always — and forever — enjoy a particular level of unhappiness.

Because without my unhappiness, I never would have my sense of humor or my perspective on the world, both of which I enjoy. Oh, and I definitely wouldn’t be a writer if I was really happy. What the fuck would I write about it I were happy? Kitty cats and ice cream?

So, worry! Be unhappy! The world needs the art, music, writing, jokes, plus whatever else we unhappy people love to create. And maybe all of us unhappy people can try to convince the happy people to buy the products of our unhappiness. Not that it would make us any happier.

The end.

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Life in Swankington as a Pale Shade of High School

Like most other adorable people, when I need to understand something, I make an analogy to high school and it helps everything make sense. Here goes…

Do you remember those girls in high school who were popular NOT just because they were pretty, but because they had a certain centeredness about them? A confidence beyond their years? They were part of the “in” crowd, but didn’t need to be mean to others to prove it? They were kind to everyone…and beloved.

I’m not here to talk about those girls. I’m here to talk about the popular girls who were popular for ONE reason and ONE reason only: they were pretty, dumb and mean.

Here is what I think is the source of the meanness for those popular girls here in Swankington: this town has a middle class population (which is something, quite frankly, that MANY swanky towns cannot claim). Now, trust me, as one of those who constitutes its middle class, I’m very happy Swankburg even HAS one. But I think that the middle class here in Swankville pisses the popular girls off! They don’t want to have any socioeconomic diversity. They want to be living in the Fairfield County of Rhode Island and Swankburg is just a sad facsimile of that place.

If the popular girls of Swankington had a little more pride in its middle class, you know, like as much pride as they have in the golf club that doesn’t admit people who are black or Jewish, I think it would be a much cooler high school, I mean place to live. And might even be filled with fewer date raping jocks. Jesus, I MEAN ASSHOLES!

But, that’s not real life. All towns have their worst and — so — we occasionally have to bump up against the popular kids who refer to our middle class neighborhoods as “the ghetto.” In front of us. To our face. When they see us. In the non-high school world.

But it’s okay! Those of us who are NOT popular find all the other nice girls and make friends with them and sit together in the cafeteria and talk to each other about all the atrocious things that the mean popular girls say to us, or — you know — write a blog about it, and feel good about ourselves because we know we’re smarter than they are, even though we ended up transferring to three different colleges after high school and that — in the end — wound up at a “party school,” where — quite frankly — we got a top-rate education that changed our lives and taught us  a BOAT LOAD about class, and possibly, what a rich bitch we actually were, ourselves, growing up.

This is Barrington High School. I mean Town Hall!

This is Barrington High School. I mean Town Hall!

So, rock on middle classers of Swankville. And don’t worry! We’ll only be stuck with the mean popular girls until graduation.

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That Time I Thought It Would be a Good Idea to Become a Lesbian

I was recently challenged to record the times in my life when I’ve been the happiest. The two times I saw myself as being the most relaxed, the most playful, fun, creative and MYSELF, were both times when I was surrounded by a lot of other females: first in third and fourth grade, when I had a group of really close girlfriends; and the second at boarding school, when I actually LIVED with all my closest girlfriends.

Before I go any further, I want you to know that I am not unhappy NOW. As a matter of fact, my husband is — by far — the most calming, peaceful, happiness-inducing influence in my life and — if anything — he’s like nine best girlfriends wrapped up into one. But, the times I’m referring to were something else. They were times that I was carefree and loose and full of confidence. I’m just trying to think about what contributed to THAT.

So, to continue, the two times I referenced above were also marked by something else quite significant: hating boys. Not the “Down with Men! Cut off their Balls!!” kind of hating (Although…). It was more like, I thought boys were disgusting, gross and lame in grade school and I didn’t want to have anything to DO with them. By boarding school, I was dating boys and the like, but my friends and I just didn’t go around trying to BE anything FOR them. They were just these guys who were also at school with us, were fun to party with and even more fun to torment by stealing their painter’s caps.

Am I saying one has to think males are disgusting, gross, lame and slightly insignificant in order to be happy as a female? Absolutely not. But, as a woman, I think you DO have to NOT CARE about what the males think in order to be truly successful. And I’m not talking “I don’t care what my male boss thinks of my work,” kind of not caring. I’m talking about not caring about the UNHEALTHY things males demand of us, like having firm bodies, lifted breasts, charming little sister personalities and porn star sex capabilities.

I first noticed this CBW-truism with the lesbians. The Lesbians don’t care what The Boys think of them! And I swear I’ve never met a professionally unsuccessful lesbian. I’ve met plenty of alcoholic lesbians who are in crappy relationships, but damn if those ladies don’t have a great job and live in a verdant, tony suburb of New York (all the lesbians I know have been melded into a one conglomerate lesbian to protect the innocent).

In college, I became so enamored with the lesbians I decided to BECOME one. I wasn’t attracted to women or anything, I just wanted to stop caring about what boys thought of me. There is a name for this kind of lesbian. It’s called a POLITICAL lesbianism, the difference being that you choose it instead of being borned that way.

Lucky for me, my foray into Political Lesbianism (or PL, as no one in the entire world refers to it) lasted about two weeks, as I was promptly discouraged by one of my relative’s best friends, who was: a lesbian. She could see much more clearly what I was doing, which was basically not wanting to care if guys thought I was fat in order to have some peace. I could do that, I just didn’t ‘need to become a lesbian to complete the plan.

So, that was it. That was the time I decided to become a lesbian. To the Guys, I’m sorry if you were reading this post in order to find some titillating lesbian sex descriptions. And, if that IS what you were looking for, thank you for giving me another reason not to care what you think.

Love, Cathy.

There's a good chance a lesbian couple owns this home.

If you look closely, you can see the lesbian owner of this home painting the deck.

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