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The stories you are about to read have not been embellished in any way. They are all horrifyingly true. I know because they happened to me. I’ve probably blocked out the worst ones but I recall quite a few. These experiences have shaped and molded me, turning me into the cranky old broad I am today.

Why am I reliving these traumatic events, you ask? It’s because I care about you, friends. I want you to know that if you’ve had an experience like this, you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone.

The first of these incidents took place about 20 years ago. I made the fatal mistake of going to one of those bargain-basement clothing stores, the kind where the dressing rooms are the size of a closet and have no mirrors so you’re forced to go the communal mirror outside, where everyone can see and mock you. I tried on a shirt that had looked nice on the mannequin. All clothes look nice on the mannequin. On me, not so much. On me, this shirt made no sense. It was too tight in some areas and really baggy in others. I was just about to go back into the dressing room to remove the offending garment when I was waylaid by one of the dressing area “assistants.” She grabbed the fabric dangling from my arm, furrowed her brow, and said, loudly, “Zis look teddible on you.”

“Yeah, I know, I was about to–”

“You no try blouse like zis, iz no good.”

I know that, which is why I–”

“Veddy bad.”

I should have told her to fuck herself but my priority was to get back to the relative safety of my little dressing cubby and stay there for all eternity. But at closing time the security guard made me leave.

The next incident happened not long after that. I was in yet another clothing store, trying on a jacket that looked really cool on the hanger. All clothes look cool on the hanger. On me, not so much. It didn’t look terrible but it didn’t look good, either. A super-enthusiastic saleswoman came over and asked if she could help me find something.

“No thanks, just looking.”

“We have some other nice jackets over here, how about this one?” She pulled one off the rack and held it up proudly. It was hideous.

“No, that’s not really my style, thank you.”

She was undeterred. She pulled another jacket off the rack. I had to admit it was nice. I tried it on, and I actually thought it looked pretty decent. As I looked in the mirror she stood behind me, smiling and nodding approvingly. “Now this looks nice on you,” she said.

I was about to speak when she added, “It looks nice on you because it’s cut very big.”


Suffice it to say I did not buy the jacket. Even if I had wanted it badly enough to be willing to sell my soul for it, there was no fucking way that idiot was making a commission off me.

Oh, and then there was the time I asked if they had a certain item available in a certain size. It wasn’t an unreasonable question, they had plenty of other stuff in my size. But the chick eyed me up and down and said, “I’ll check.” But you could tell what she really meant was, I doubt it but I’ll humor you.

Not even 30 seconds later she came back, with a slight but not imperceptible smirk. “I’m sorry, we only have it in a size 2, I don’t think that size will work for you.”

I wanted a trap door to open below her so she could plummet to her death. But since that didn’t happen, I went to find her manager. Unfortunately the manager was not available so I didn’t get to complain and suggest that they baste her with honey and set fire ants on her.

(As an aside, do you know how many years I’d have to be dead to fit into a size 2??)

Then there was the time I went to a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening because my complexion is about the color of this swatch:

The doctor came into the examination room, took one look at me and said, “Oh, are you here about your rosacea?”

I am now, I thought. Thanks.

And most recently, I was in Macy’s browsing in the makeup and perfume areas on the ground floor. I like buying makeup and perfume because you don’t have to deal with dressing rooms and the evil scrutiny of fluorescent lighting. Anyway, I stopped in front of a counter at random to read a message on my phone. A cute and perky little thing in her early twenties bounced towards me. “Hiiiiii!!! Are you looking for a concealer to cover those dark circles under your eyes?”

I thought about saying, “No, but you might need something to cover up the dark bruises after I punch you in the throat.” Instead I said, “Yes please.” I bought the concealer. Don’t judge me.

So there you have it. Five sorry tales. There are many others but if I write about them I’ll wind up on the floor in the fetal position again.

I invite you to share your sad tales, but only if you can do so without jeopardizing your mental and emotional health.

In the past I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with some illustrious figures from history–you may recall my conversations with Abraham Lincoln and Edgar Allan Poe. It had been quite some time since I had communed with the spirit world so I decided it was time to say hi again.

I began my session by dimming the lights, closing my eyes, and meditating. But just as a spirit began to materialize, the connection was abruptly severed. One of the Weeblettes had wandered in, saw the ectoplasm and went batshit crazy, swatting at it and hissing. I really need to remember to keep the cats out of the room when I’m summoning the dead.

I had just closed the door when I heard swearing. I turned around to see a woman’s glowing head hovering in front of me and scowling: “It’s bad enough I was beheaded once, now I have to be disembodied too??”

History has no shortage of women who had their heads chopped off so I quickly made a mental list of Beheaded Women. Marie-Antoinette…Mary, Queen of Scots…Anne Boleyn…

She rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. “Nice of you to remember me,” she said. I didn’t think the attitude was called for but in fairness I had never been locked in the Tower of London and executed. I’d probably be pretty bitchy too if I were her. [Editor’s note: A lot of people think Madame Weebles is pretty bitchy anyway.]

MW: So…I’d invite you to have a seat but…well, you know.
AB: You don’t expect me to hover here indefinitely, do you? I can still sit, I’m still able-headed.

Her head floated over to the chair opposite me and settled onto the seat. I considered offering her a cup of tea but decided against it.

MW: Let’s get to the questions about the beheading first.
AB: Not much to tell, really. My rat-bastard husband accused me of adultery, incest, and high treason, threw me into the Tower, and had me executed. End of story. He’s since apologized but frankly it’s too little, too late. I’m still not speaking to him.
MW: That sucks. You deserved better.
AB: At least he had the decency to get an executioner who knew what he was doing—he took off my head cleanly with just one blow of his sword. Mary, Queen of Scots wasn’t so lucky, it took them 3 blows of an axe to remove her head completely. Really grisly stuff. If you meet her and she volunteers to stage a reenactment of her execution, decline. Consider yourself warned.
MW: Duly noted. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I have to ask…
AB: You want to know about the codpiece, don’t you.
MW: How did you know??
AB: Easy. Everyone wants to know about the codpiece.

Henry VIII’s armor and codpiece. To protect the Crown Jewels.

MW: Well?
AB: Let’s put it this way: he had delusions of grandeur, if you know what I’m saying.
MW: I think I do, yes.
AB: You have no idea how many people have asked me about it. Catherine the Great was especially disappointed to learn the truth.
MW: I’m sure she was. Now tell me about your daughter, Queen Elizabeth I.
AB:I laugh my ass off every time someone refers to her as the Virgin Queen. As if. But she was the best queen ever. Victoria hates it when I say that—if she says, “We are not amused” one more time I’m going to bitch slap her into next year.
MW: You know, for someone who died almost 500 years ago, you have a remarkable grasp of modern vernacular and swear words.
AB: I try to keep current with the lingo, it helps when I meet the newbies. Not many of them speak 16th-century English.
MW: Have you befriended many of the recently dead?
AB: Oh, plenty of them. At the moment I’m angling for an introduction to David Bowie because he’s really hot. But Johann (Bach, of course) has been monopolizing his time since he arrived, giggling like a little fanboy. So embarrassing. You have no idea how awful “Suffragette City” sounds when played on the harpsichord.
MW: When you finally do meet David Bowie, please tell him we miss him down here. And please send Prince our fond regards too.

And with that, Queen Anne and I bid each other farewell. Her head floated gracefully into the air and slowly vanished.

Yeah, I know, I know.

April 18, 2016 — 125 Comments

Hello again, friends. I know, I know…it’s been a while. Almost a year. I really had planned on posting regularly again. But you know how it is, sometimes your brain says, “Nah. I’m shutting this down.” So I spent many months immersed in grief and existential angst. And not even in a cool, glamorous way with the moping artfully, wearing the black turtleneck and carrying around the dog-eared copy of Sartre.

This is mostly my dad’s fault, by the way. As many of you know, Dad had the nerve to die 18 months ago. Way to cramp my style, bro. Grief barges in whenever it wants, and it camped out with me for a while. But I recently realized that he wouldn’t approve of this. He’d say, “Grieve for a little while if you have to, but don’t drag it out and take up so much valuable time.” He was infuriatingly sensible. He read my blog regularly so I think he’d be happy that I’m posting again. And this time I mean it–I’ve even written a few more posts already.

Before I continue, I wanted to thank everyone who contributed to the RawrLove for Rara Campaign, it was a huge success and a great help to Rara, whose inner strength in the face of impossibly awful adversity never ceases to amaze me.

Also, big hugs to everyone who emailed me to find out how I was doing. I’ve been criminally bad about replying to everyone but I will–for now I just wanted to say that I have deeply appreciated your care and kindness.

I don’t have anything particularly exciting to report since we last visited. Except that I now have two more tattoos. This one is in honor of my dad–it’s his initials in nautical flags:


Then, for my first non-memorial ink, I got this one to show the intertwining of space and time, because I dig that shit:

2015-12-19 00.11.26

This baby involved six hours under the tattoo gun. SIX HOURS. Strangely, it didn’t hurt as much as my first tattoo, but you have my permission to shoot me if I ever consider sitting for that long again.

And by far the most important thing that happened since we last chatted is that I saw Rush at Madison Square Garden. It. Was. FUCKING. AWESOME. If you heard an unearthly squealing sometime on the night of June 29th, that was me. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself–you know I love me some Geddy. Here’s a photo of him with those two other guys:


Don’t think I didn’t contemplate leaping onto the stage. Because I contemplated it very seriously. But I’d probably have been arrested and who knows if Mr. Weebles would have bailed me out.

So what’s up with you? Share with me. Anything you want. Tell me what you had for breakfast. Tell me your thoughts on the season finale of The Walking Dead. Tell me which presidential candidate you most want to plunge into a vat of boiling oil. Or whatever else you want to talk about.

I’ll be back next Monday, and in the meantime I’m going to visit with you guys at your blogs as well because I’ve missed you all.

By the way, you look SMOKIN’ hot today.

RawrLove for Rara

June 1, 2015 — 115 Comments

We interrupt our regular programming (I know, I know, the programming hasn’t been regular for a while, I’m getting to that) to bring you this very important message…….

This one is for Rara, the well-loved blogger whom you may know as Rarasaur. As you may already know, Rara has been serving a prison sentence for the past year—we don’t have to get into the details here—she has written about her situation in detail on her blog. Suffice it to say, she was given a bum rap. She’s scheduled to be released in a few months.

A few weeks ago, her beloved husband, whom you may know as Grayson Queen (also known as Dave), died suddenly. He died way too soon and way too young. His last posts are haunting; he wrote of not feeling well and described some troubling symptoms. And then the posts stopped.

DJMatticus took on the unenviable and difficult task of announcing the news about Dave’s death. He has been good enough to keep us posted on the memorial service, and most importantly, on how Rara is holding up.

Under the circumstances, I don’t know how anyone would hold up. But here’s what I do know: when Rara is released, she’s going to need some help. She’ll need the love and kindness of her friends and family, but she’ll also need assistance of a more practical nature.


Click on this cute little guy to donate

So here’s where you and I come in. I’ve created a GoFundMe campaign for Rara, called RawrLove for Rara. You can click on this link or on the little dinosaur to go to the campaign page and donate. You can reblog this post, you can share the link in your blog/Facebook page/Twitter feed/email messages/whatever. The important thing is that we help Rara get back on her feet, because when she’s released she’ll have very little to start off with.

I’m going to keep the GoFundMe campaign active until we meet (but hopefully exceed) the donation target. I will also keep the little dinosaur fella on my blog throughout the campaign, and you can click on it anytime to get to the donation page. All money raised will go to Rara.

Many, many thanks to all of you in advance, and extra thanks to the righteous DJMatticus for writing the campaign description on the GoFundMe page.

I promise promise promise I’ll be back with an irreverent and swear-laden post soon! In the meantime, you look really fetching today. That color suits you so well, you really should wear it more often.

So yeah, I haven’t been around for a while. This is why.

Over the past several months my dad braved a massive onslaught—the evil ravages of severe COPD, liver disease, bladder cancer, and a handful of other medical problems. He had an astonishingly strong constitution but he was so tired from fighting such a difficult battle. Dad died on Saturday morning, October 11th, 2 months and 13 days short of his 76th birthday.

I was with him during his final days. We talked, we even laughed a few times, and I told him everything I wanted him to know. I also said I’d be pissed if he didn’t stop by every so often to haunt us and fuck with our lights.

We weren’t with him when he died—I think he wanted to check out on his own, without us hovering. I know he’s happy to be free of all that illness bullshit. I know because when my mother called to say he had just died, I felt a cloud of energy wrap itself around my head and shoulders like a shawl—it was full of happiness, relief, love, and peace. It was Dad, without a doubt, letting me know he was fine now. I couldn’t stop smiling for several hours after that. That was his final gift to me.

Everything looks strange, as if viewed through a filter or from a warped angle. I can look at something blue and know that it’s blue, but the color doesn’t look right somehow. Objects appear closer or further away than they actually are. My normal surroundings look familiar but foreign. The reality sometimes slams me out of the blue: Dad is really gone. It helps me to know he’s okay but it doesn’t keep me from crying.

Anyway, enough about me. This is about my dad. And in honor of his 100% Irish ancestry, his twisted sense of humor, and his fondness for the occasional cocktail or two, I’m holding a virtual Irish wake for him, where we’ll eat, drink, celebrate his life, and tell some stories. He’d like that.

So help yourself to some refreshments, mingle with the other guests, pour your favorite tipple—gin, tea, soda, beer, whatever—and let me tell you a few Dad stories.

For starters, Dad had the best poker face of anyone I’ve ever known. It’s a shame he didn’t actually play poker because he could have cleaned up and retired early. Between the poker face and the gravitas in his voice, he could have you believing almost anything he said.

When we were at restaurants, he liked distracting me during dessert so that I’d look away. When I looked back, my dessert would be gone. As I got older I became wise to this ploy. Mostly. One night he sat across from me and stared behind me. With a perfectly straight face and a calm voice he said, “Isn’t that strange…a three-headed man just walked in the door.” Mind you, I wasn’t a little kid at the time; I was about 16 and knew there was no such thing as a three-headed man. I said to myself, I am not turning around, he’s just messing with me again, I am NOT turning around…  But the expression on his face—a mix of genuine curiosity and confusion—would have convinced even a seasoned FBI profiler to check it out. What choice did I have? Of course I turned around. And of course there was nothing there. When I turned back, Dad had my chocolate pudding and a shit-eating grin on his face.

Then there was the time he had Army recruiters calling me. Those of you of a certain age will remember those business reply cards inserted in magazines, where you could send away to the Army, Navy, etc., for information on enlisting: Yes, please send me some materials on joining the United States Army. Dad filled one out with my name and contact information. I was 12 at the time. He figured they’d send me some brochures and it would be a good laugh and that would be that. Little did he know then that the gag would go even better than he expected; one night I received a call from a sergeant at our local Army recruiting office. I stammered through the call, trying to discourage the sergeant from having any further interest in me without disclosing that, you know, I was only 12 and my dad was just fucking with me. Dad was tickled pink that his prank yielded a bonus prank. He would talk about that sergeant for years. “That poor bastard…” he’d say.

Like most dads, mine had many words of wisdom. One of my favorites was the way he explained why he didn’t put any stock in UFO sightings:

“Think of the advanced technology required to travel light-years to earth. Now if you’re an alien that advanced, why would you fly all the way over here just to fuck around and play UFO??”

He was nothing if not practical.

Dad was a good-natured guy and very charming when he wanted to be. The nurses in the ICU said he was their favorite patient because he was pleasant and funny and never complained unless he was really in discomfort. That’s how he was. He didn’t make a fuss and he didn’t need anyone fussing over him.

Two days before he died, he said Mr. Weebles and I should have some fun while we were there (my parents retired to Florida, as all New Yorkers are required to do). He told us to go to Universal or Disney but urged us to avoid the new Harry Potter rides at Universal because he heard they were still ironing out some mechanical difficulties. Unbelievable. The Grim Reaper was pulling up to the curb and there was Dad making theme park recommendations. As if I’d leave him to go stand on line with a bunch of sniveling kids, obnoxious adults, and teenagers wearing TURN DOWN FOR WHAT t-shirts. As if I’d leave him to do anything.

For as long as I can remember, every phone call with my dad concluded with both of us saying, “Okay, talk to you later. Hug.” I don’t know how it started but it lasted right up to our last phone conversation—with him being 75 years old and me 46, we still said, “Okay, talk to you later. Hug.”

Here’s to you, Dad. Here’s to everything you were, and are. I love you, and I miss you. Talk to you later. Hug.


I don’t want the comment thread to turn into a pile of maudlin. I’d rather continue the celebratory vibe, so I invite you to share a funny anecdote about one of your dearly departed loved ones.

Also, what’s that fragrance you’re wearing today? I find it especially provocative.

Good morning, friends!! How the fuck are you? I have missed you all THIS MUCH (outstretch your arms on either side of you and measure the amount of much between your hands).

As many of you may recall, I have a touch of insomnia. I went to bed one night, hoping that I would be able to fall asleep quickly. When I woke up, it was May. Remind me not to mix Nyquil with my gin anymore. It’s delicious and has a lovely color, but it packs a greater wallop than I expected.

So anyway, since I’ve been awake I’ve been catching up on everything that’s happened since January. I had no idea the world was in such turmoil. It’s so sad to hear about current events, and it’s chilling to see how history is repeating itself. For crying out loud, did Gwyneth Paltrow learn nothing from her time with Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck?

Not much is new with me, aside from feeling really well rested and having especially unappealing bed head. Oh, but get this [Editor’s note: Shameless bragging coming up]: While I was sleeping, I was selected as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year, for this post—which, by the way, was also Freshly Pressed!

You may recognize some other names on the list of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year, so let’s stand and give them all a round of applause. Seriously, stand up. You over there, I see you. Get your ass out of that chair, bro. Don’t make me come over there.

For those of you who have joined us since that Freshly Pressed post, a hearty welcome! Please help yourself to a drink. We’re out of Nyquil mixer, though.

And to all of you, sorry I’ve been asleep for so long. But you’d be surprised how easily a batch of Nyquil & gin shooters goes down. I’m still catching up on replying to comments but I’ll get to you all very shortly.

Now enough about me. Tell me about you. What’s new with you? What have you been doing for the past 4 months? How do you feel? You know I care deeply about your welfare.

Next up: Something Blue, Something Red, Something Hot, Something Dead. I think you know what I’m talking about.

What you don’t see

January 8, 2014 — 398 Comments

The other day I was minding my own business, waiting on a subway platform. Three girls, about 15 years old, were about to pass me, and they were looking my way. One of them pointed at me and said, “You’re FUNNY looking!” She and her compatriots roared with laughter because this was the most hilarious thing ever.

Fortunately for them I was caught off guard and I didn’t react. If I had, their delightfully charred remains would have been scattered across the third rail. Alas, I hadn’t expected to be zinged by a trio of idiot adolescents, so I was unprepared. I just stood there, speechless and confused.

I confess, I do not have a thick skin. What can I say, I might be foul mouthed and full of piss and vinegar, but I’m also a dainty little blossom. (Fuck you, stop laughing.)

And because I’m a delicate flower, my first instinct was to cry big sobby tears and hide my face in shame.

"Hello. My name is Madame Weebles. I am very pleased to meet you."

Hello. My name is Madame Weebles. I am very pleased to meet you.

My second instinct was to come out swinging.

"I'm funny looking how, I mean, funny looking like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny looking, funny looking how? How am I funny looking?"

I’m funny looking how, I mean, funny looking like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny looking, funny looking how? How am I funny looking?

But by that time it was too late to do anything. The train arrived and that was that.

For the record, I don’t think I’m funny looking. I don’t have any extra limbs, and my eyes, nose, mouth, and ears are all in the proper places. I don’t notice too many people shrieking and recoiling in horror when they see me. However, I am almost criminally self-conscious about my looks and I always have been. Critiques of my appearance, whether insults from strangers or insensitive comments from people I know, wound me deeply. It’s my Achilles’ heel. I’ve battled with it for as long as I can remember.

I know that looks are the least important thing about a person when it comes right down to it. But for so long, I truly believed that my appearance rendered me inferior, that my value as a human being was directly proportional to my physical attractiveness. I’m fully aware, incidentally, that my mishegas is insignificant in comparison to the difficulties of those who are judged because of their race, disability, sexual preference, or something else that people shouldn’t give a fuck about. And this incident got me thinking about how freaked out I get. It also reminded me of this fantastic post written by the divine Jen Tonic back in 2012, in which she listed five things she loves about herself. It all started coming together for me as I tried to think of even one instance where I benefitted from someone approving of my looks. And you know what? There aren’t any.

I know now what would have been the appropriate response to those silly little creatures. I would have started with a sarcastic slow clap and then launched into my reply:

That was an amazing jab. Well done. You are shockingly clever. Really, congrats.

I don’t give a flying fuck if you think I’m funny looking, dear. I don’t know what you see when you look at me and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Because here’s what you don’t see:

I have a big heart, and I’m caring and kind. So kind, in fact, that I’ve decided not to shove you onto the tracks. I’m a loyal and fierce friend and if you hurt someone I love, I will cheerfully cut out your heart and jam it down your throat. I’ll help people whether I know them or not. I’ll offer my time, energy, money, or a sympathetic ear and/or shoulder to cry on. I don’t care which. Whatever helps, I’ll give.

I’m successful. I don’t mean that in a financial sense. I mean that whenever I’ve put my mind to something, I’ve done it and I’ve done it well. Sometimes I fly by the seat of my pants, but my pants have always landed me in the right place because they’re very good navigators. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, both personally and professionally.

I’m funny. Not funny looking, just funny. Whether I’m writing or talking, I can make almost anyone laugh. I take great pleasure in this. I have a good sense of humor and great comic timing. By the way, your fly is open. Ha, made you look.

I’m smart. As in, answering all the questions on Jeopardy! smart. Finishing the NY Times Sunday Magazine crossword puzzle in pen smart. I know a lot of shit. And if I don’t know it, I learn it really quickly.

I’ve worked hard to improve myself. I learn more every day about what’s important, what isn’t important, and what I’m here on earth to do. I should add that a lot of the credit for this goes to my therapist and to Ben & Jerry. The value of the insight found at the bottom of a pint of Chubby Hubby cannot be overstated.

So go ahead and have a laugh at my expense, Miss Thing. I have a good life and wonderful friends, and I’m going home to my comfy apartment to see my adorable cats and my fantastic husband who loves me no matter what I look like.

And even though looks truly don’t matter, I’ll have you know that strangers often stop me to compliment me on my hair. I have pretty eyes, a hot rack, and an engaging smile, and even though I’m 46, I have not one wrinkle. NOT ONE. Let’s see if you can say the same when you’re my age, little girl.

So put that on your lollipop and suck it.

If you were with us last year, you may have read about my experiences with dead people here, here, and here.

This wacky stuff started about 5 years ago, for reasons unknown. It escalated after I became a reiki master. And it seems that I now have a bunch of abilities with things that are sort of…you know, odd. Unexplainable. Paranormal. Yeah, I don’t understand it either. But those of you who have firsthand experience with me on this know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I wanted to learn more about it, as in, am I losing my mind or is it a real thing? So I took a class on psychic mediumship. I know, it sounds nuts. Unfollow me if you must.

It was a small group, just two other students aside from myself, plus the teacher. We took turns trying to sense any non-corporeal people who might be present. And to quote Velma from Scooby Doo, “Jinkies!”

The first time I tried to “read” one of the students, I “got” the presence of a man and described him, and the student said it sounded like her uncle. I said I had the sense that he was a fisherman or a dock worker or someone who worked on or near water, and I had a strong feeling he died at work. Apparently her uncle was a fisherman, and he did, in fact, die on a fishing boat. So far so good. But later I worried that my brain was fucking with me because I was getting conflicting info. I said, “I’m thinking that he died of a heart attack, but then I’m also getting that he died because of an accident, they can’t both be right so I must be imagining all this.” She told me my read was correct; her uncle had a heart attack on the boat, which caused him to have an accident that ultimately killed him. What a shitty way to go. (But I was secretly glad that my impressions were correct. That makes me a bad person, doesn’t it.)

And then here’s what happened when I read for the other student:

Me: Okay, I’ve got a man, it looks like he’s bald, with a round face and sort of protruding ears. I’m getting the sense people might have thought he was a bit strange or off-kilter. Does that ring a bell at all?
Other Student: Yes. (She was laughing.)
Me: It sounds like an F name, maybe Frederick or Frank.
Other Student: His name was Frank.

At this point I’m thinking, “Seriously?? Wow. Holy fuck.”

Me: Was he your grandfather?
OS: Yes.
Me: On your mother’s side, yes?
OS: Yes.
Me: Do you have something of his, like a box, or something that’s kept in a very specific box? I keep getting the impression of a special box.
OS: He made my grandmother a carved wooden box, which my grandmother left to my mother, and she gave it to me.


Me: I just heard “Te amo” in my head. Did he speak Spanish?
OS: Yeah, he was from Puerto Rico.

Whoa, this shit just got real. Also, hearing a foreign language in your brain out of nowhere is kind of unsettling.

Me: Okay, now I’m hearing “little flower.” Does that mean anything to you?
OS: Oh my God! He used to call me “Florecita.”

Grandpa Frank was speaking to me in English again, but “Florecita,” as you might have guessed, means “little flower” en español. By this time, the poor woman was a sobbing mess and I was casually freaking out.

And thus I concluded my first readings as a medium. Go figure.

Lonely among us

December 3, 2013 — 209 Comments

The holidays. For many, they’re not cloyingly sweet happyfests like on the Hallmark Channel. No, for a lot of people, ’tis the season to be lonely. Loneliness is probably as old as time itself but I suspect it’s more virulent now than in days of yore.

First, let’s get one thing straight: Being lonely is very different from being alone. You can be both, but not necessarily. You don’t have to be alone to be lonely, and you don’t have to be lonely when you’re alone.

Loneliness hurts, emotionally and physically. Several months ago, Mr. Weebles was telling me about a thread on an online forum he reads regularly. This particular thread was about doctors who work in the ER. One post was from a doctor who had a patient come into his ER at 4am with a triage complaint of “lonely.” That broke my heart—the idea of someone suffering so much that they needed to go to the ER. Were they in that much pain? Or were they desperate for someone to talk to, for any sort of companionship? Or both? I don’t know what happened to this person but I hope he or she is okay.

There have been times when I’ve felt so lonely that I thought it would crush me. Sometimes while I was living by myself, sometimes while I was living with others. I can’t decide which is worse. On the one hand, when you feel lonely and you live alone, the isolation adds to the feeling that you’re the only person left on earth. On the other hand, when you feel lonely and you live with other people, their presence only exacerbates the pain and disconnection. It sucks no matter what.

Technology has been a major contributing factor in making this modern scourge, this loneliness, so nasty. We’re competing for attention with iPods, smartphones, video games, and the internet, and we’re losing.

Admittedly, through the internet I’ve met excellent peeps I never would have known otherwise. The flip side is that although it can bring us together globally, it separates us locally. We stare at our phones instead of engaging with the humans around us (I have been very guilty of this). We play Candy Crush and send lives to our friends instead of looking people in the eyes and talking to them (again, mea culpa). Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, internet surfing, IM, texting, whatever. And how many of us have felt lost in the vast sea of statuses and comments everywhere? It feels terrible to be overlooked, and it can happen so easily when people have an unending feed of info. It’s a wild paradox, isn’t it, connecting with others and being completely disconnected at the same time.

Here’s another downside of the internet. It’s VIRTUAL. It’s as real as it can be under the constraints of the various platforms, but it’s not real life.

The virtual world gives you the luxury of portraying yourself as you want to be seen rather than as you are when you’re in the same room with someone, talking in real time. You can choose your words wisely. You can post only about the great things going on in your life (by the way, fuck you, humblebraggers), share inspirational quotes like you’re gunning for Deepak Chopra’s job, and craft beautiful bon mots that showcase your creativity and humor. They don’t tell the full story.

That’s the problem with social media. Unless you’re a witless putz or you genuinely don’t care how you’re perceived, you’re going to put your best foot forward. Anyone who has an online presence isn’t showing you the real deal, no matter how forthcoming they are. Because real life is messy and unedited. You don’t see them struggling for words and saying the wrong things, and you don’t have to experience their unpleasant moods. Take my posts, for instance—I’m generally not an ass online (shut up, I said generally). I may occasionally air my dirty laundry here, but I’m going to make sure it’s well-phrased dirty laundry, and I’m not showing you all of it. I still control what you see, even when it looks as if I’m baring a lot. Like a good strip tease.

Recently I saw a quote that said, “We shouldn’t compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reels.” But that’s exactly what happens: We compare our everyday lives with those highlight reels—the happy photos, the carefully cultivated personas, the thoughtfully written posts, the pithy tweets. It’s easy to start assuming that everyone else has it better, and at some point it might make you feel kind of shitty. And lonely. It’s not that misery loves company; it’s that nobody wants to feel like the only one not invited to the party where everything is amazing. We want to know that we’re not the only ones, that we’re understood and acknowledged.

As I said, the internet has served me extremely well overall. I’ve found so much wonderfulness in the friends I’ve made online, many of whom have become closer to me than people I’ve known for ages in real life. But technology facilitates feelings of rejection and neglect in a way that wasn’t possible before we were all connected by—and to—so many devices. So surf carefully, look around you occasionally, and take everything with a few grains of fleur de sel.

This has been a public service message from the Weebles Wellness Committee. Because Madame Weebles cares and doesn’t want you to wind up in the ER.

Fuck you, Congress

October 2, 2013 — 195 Comments

I wish I could say I had no words to describe the utter stupidity and insanity you’ve displayed. But oh, do I have words.

You scum-sucking vermin. You cretinous, moronic little monsters. You have no idea how much I fucking hate you. SO MUCH HATE.

Mr. Weebles said it best yesterday: You have no interest in serving the American people; you’re interested only in serving your own selfish agendas, inflicting your own ideologies on everyone, and screwing over the guys on the other side of the aisle. That goes for all of you, not just those of you whom I’ve targeted before.

And for you small-minded, bigoted bastards who will do anything to thwart any and all policies the president initiated—I know most of you are THIS CLOSE to calling Obama “Boy.” You should all become Satan’s girlfriends in Hell.

You can’t come to an agreement to keep the government running? Then you’re not doing your fucking jobs. So why can’t we eject all of you from your cushy little seats? I want to stop paying taxes. I want to fire all of you. I want to see all of you rot.

So many people depend on the government for their income, their livelihoods, and so much more. You’ve made it patently obvious that you don’t truly care about any of them. And all you mean-spirited jackals can do is puff out your chests and bloviate. Fuck you.

If you actually cared about your country, about the American people, you would have gotten it done. You didn’t. You should be fucking fired. All of you. Choke on those furloughs, motherfuckers.

As for you, John Boehner, fuck you especially for saying, “The American people don’t want Obamacare.” Is that a fact? Did you interview every single American citizen? I’m quite certain you did not.  You may be Speaker of the House but you absolutely do not speak for the American people, you demonic pus-filled slimeball.

Children would do a better job of running the government than you people. Even the kids from Lord of the Flies would do a better job. They’re not nearly as petty as you troglodytic* half-wits. Blow me.

You could have come to an agreement. You could have found some ground on which to compromise. But you all let your personal interests and your hatred of the other party blind you to the all-important fact that YOU WORK FOR US.

You failed. Miserably. I wish we could charge you with criminal negligence and throw all your sorry asses in jail. I cordially invite all of you to fuck yourselves as hard as possible.

*Apologies to actual troglodytes. You’re probably smarter.


This Fuck You Rant was inspired by the government shutdown, and also by my friend Rants. If you haven’t read his stellar screed on Congress, you should do so right fucking now.