birthday cake and ulcers
So I’m off to Houston to visit my mom tomorrow. Or tonight. I haven’t decided when I’m leaving. If it was up to my mother, I would have left yesterday to come and see her, but I do have a show tonight. But the A/C is out in my car, and with the weather the way it is lately, I know I’ll be sweating. I’ll probably leave in the morning.
It’s my mother’s birthday, and of course I’m coming home. I wouldn’t miss her birthday for anything.
In case I don’t get a chance to update when I get there, let me just do it now, since it is always the same every time I go. And I mean every time I go. It’s scripted, and everyone is off-book. (There’s little acting lingo for you guys, how’s that?)
I’m Coming Home
Opening Credits: pamie is driving along in her car, singing at the top of her lungs. She has the occasional cigarette, and doesn’t stop to pee. She completes the two hour drive.
Scene One: pamie walks in the front door. Dog attacks with happiness. Dad is asleep in living room chair. Mom is out at grocery store buying last-minutes stuff for dinner. No one has heard from Sister. pamie pees. Say hello to seventeen year old cat “Ginger” who now weighs four pounds.
Scene Two: Dad greets pamie, turns on History Channel. Mutes television to ask me questions, unmutes while I’m giving my answers (he cannot hear voices when the t.v. is on… my father says that he has a special kind of hearing loss. The doctor told him that he’s lost the range of women’s voices. He cannot hear our frequency. Since he lives in a house with up to three women, this is very, very, very convenient for him. “Damn these ears.”
Scene Three: Mom comes home. Hugs. We go out on the porch to have a cigarette and talk about what’s been happening.
Scene Four: Dad comes out to have a cigarette with us. We page sister to see what’s taking her so long.
Scene Five: I go and tinker on Dad’s $4000 Solitaire Machine. Dad explains to me that they don’t need online service anymore because the web is boring and they don’t know how to e-mail anyone. I shed a silent tear for the insane waste of technology, and then kiss the 20 inch monitor longingly.
Scene Six: Mom has fallen asleep in the living room waiting for Dad and I to come back from the Pentium argument. She will sleep for an hour and a half. I smoke a cigarette.
Scene Seven: I am reading a book. Cigarettes.
Scene Eight: Dad begins dinner, and wakes Mom up to have her help in the kitchen. Outside with cigarettes, I am convincing myself that I am nothing like Bridget Jones.
Scene Nine: Sister comes home, pissed and pouty that her day has been interrupted by family time. She goes into her old bedroom and plays loud music. She goes through my suitcase for clothes she wants. She starts doing the laundry that she brought from her apartment.
Scene Ten: Essential dinner ingredient missing. Mom, sister and pamie are sent to store.
Scene Eleven: The worse I look, the more old high school acquaintances I run into at the store.
“You don’t need that.”
“Mom, yes I do, you don’t know.”
“Well, I’m not buying it for you.”
“You’d buy it for pamie.”
“I buy you stuff all the time.”
“God, I hate everyone!”
“Just go wait in the goddam car and pamie and I will be out in a second.”
“Fine. Get me a pack of cigarettes.”
Get home, dad has remembered something else. Sister and I return to store. Sister refuses to go in, and blasts Tupac in the parking lot until I return with Sour Cream.
Dinner. Humiliation. Arguing. Sister is burping. Mother is mumbling and my dad can’t hear her. Lots of repeating ourselves. Sister hates whatever meal is in front of her, and Dad is telling her that she liked it last time. Sister has made a pile out of her meat and is feeding it to the dog under the table. Mother is getting up over and over again to go back into the kitchen for something else that is not on the table (napkins, salt, spoons, etc.) Cat jumps on table. Dad yells at cat. Mom says not to yell at ancient cat, she could go at any time.
Mom and I get into an argument over Tourette’s syndrome. She thinks that it is simply kids wanting attention and a good spanking would solve everything. My father chimes in saying that my generation is dissolving the core of all humanity in this country, and it all goes back to that wretched MTV. I try to have a political discussion with my father, but I end up getting so infuriated when he goes in about same-sex marriages being an insurance scam that I have to go refill my milk glass.
Cat vomits under table.
Sister has gone out with friends. She will come back to finish her laundry tomorrow. Parents and I sit around and talk and smoke, sometimes play a game of “You Don’t Know Jack.”
Dad gets tired, goes to sleep.
pamie and mom sit up very late outside smoking and talking.
Naked sleepy Bed-Head Dad comes out to yell at us that we are keeping him awake. I make the observation that he cannot hear the pitch of our voices when we stand next to him, but somehow sixty feet away and through a pane of glass we are disturbing his slumber. Dad does not find me funny, reminds me to stick with computers, goes back to sleep.
Mom and I decide to go in. We fall asleep watching Lethal Weapon 3. I wake up in the middle of the night to turn off all the lights and go to sleep in my old room (which consists of my sister’s old furniture, my old bed, and my mother’s forgotten old projects.)
I leave first thing in the morning back for Austin because I have work/rehearsal. Mom stands at door, teary-eyed and making my stomach turn in knots. “It’s never long enough,” she says, and I feel guilty that we don’t spend more time together. We make future plans to go out just the two of us that we both know will never happen, but it makes us feel better to know that plans have been made.
I drive off, tears in my eyes and Radiohead in my tape deck.
It’s like this every time. It never changes. Only the dinner meal. It’s a routine, and everyone is comfortable with it. It happens about once a month, depending on who’s birthday it is, or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day…
So, this is family living. This is being there for each other. I wouldn’t trade the late-night talks for anything. My only regret is that there’s never a time… except for the meal fiasco, where we are all in the same room. And then I think… that’s probably a good thing. Families need their space, my family more so than most.
So, tonight, when I’m packing, I know to find a couple of good books, three packs of cigarettes, and a whole bag of patience.
It’ll be good to be home.
I have a headache. I’ve had one for about a week now and I’m tired of it. It starts right under my eyes and travels down to the base of my neck by the end of the day. I took off work early today to get some rest, but it’s not seeming to help.
What did brighten my day, however, is the amount of mail I got over the weekend. Thanks, guys. I was just thinking the other day about what is it that keeps people coming, makes them want to read your site. Why do I go to sites every day hoping from an update from Melty or Ms. E? I love the privacy of it all… looking into someone’s mind without them having to explain things slowly to you or you having to hear the same old stories again.
I enjoy writing this page because people I would never have met e-mail me to tell me what they thought ( my girlfriend piece was especially popular) and people that I do know tell me what they think of it all…(hi, guys!). It’s my tiny magazine that I work on every day and it’s something that makes me feel like I’m doing some writing everyday. Guestbooks make me uncomfortable, I know, because you feel compelled to put more of your own personal info on them than you’d like, but I like when people sign them, because they usually tell me more than they do when they are just sending a quick e-mail.
I also realized that I never told anyone too much about me, so to answer any questions:
I’m in my twenties.
I’m an Aries.
If you didn’t know at least two of those facts by now, I’m pretty surprised.
In any event, this was merely my attempt to thank you guys for the great mail I’ve gotten lately. I like knowing that people are reading.
I’m not a crazy cat lady.
Now that we’re past that, it’s time for me to tell you about my cats. I think it’s important to tell you about them so that you understand a little bit about my home life, and that when I say my house feels crowded sometimes, you know all of the personalities in the house.
I have two cats.
Taylor and Lillith.
I’ve mentioned them before, but I never went into detail.
First off, I didn’t name them. They came with the name. Somewhere in San Francisco lives their former owner. His name is David. I’ve lost his e-mail address, so I cannot tell him that his kitties are doing just fine. But if he happens to read this…
Let’s start with Lillith…
Lillith: AKA Rose Petal, Spice Girl, Wiwl-wiff.
Age: 5 years.
Lillith is a grey cat. Often when people come into the house, they comment that my cat looks like the cat in Pet Sematary. That’s because she has these sharp green eyes, and she always looks like she’s slightly pissed at you. Lillith is a lap cat. She likes to be in your lap at all times. If she is not in your lap, she looks at you like you are being incredibly rude to her.
Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night, she’s sitting over my head, staring straight at me. That’s kinda spooky.
She’s the beta cat, and let’s Taylor pretty much rule the roost.
She likes men more than women. Specifically, she likes my boyfriend more than she likes me.
Lillith wants to be the next Spice Girl. She’s British. She is more elegant than anyone else in the house.
Lillith likes to rub the fur off her chin on anything hard. She has no fur on her chin.
Lillith does resemble in personality the Lillith of “Cheers” fame.
Lillith drinks out of the toilet bowl, which goes against all of her proper breeding and drives me insane.
She has a very skinny tail.
She has $100 worth of toys, but she prefers to chase the shadows on the floor.
When I exercise at home, she likes to bite me on the neck to get me to stop moving around.
Lillith is very good at looking innocent. I recently learned that it is her that goes into the trash can at night, but she puts the evidence over next to the sleeping Taylor, so in the morning he is framed. She’s a smartie.
She has herpes in her right eye. I’m not kidding. Her eye weeps whenever the house gets particularly smoky. My boyfriend will tell you that I gave the cat herpes. He thinks that’s really funny. Since I don’t have herpes (human or feline) this is impossible. She picked it up before she belonged to me. Do not listen to by boyfriend’s opinion on this subject. We have this oil that we can put in her eye when it gets particularly goopy, but it grosses me out to no end, since it’s like an ointment that you have to put straight onto her eye and then rub in. Eww…
AKA: Taylor Dejardan, Taylor-tot, Squishy, “The Cat
With the Fur on His Face”
Taylor is a big tabby cat. Big. People think he’s fat, but like Cartman, he’s just big boned. Taylor’s face is big and squished in. Taylor is a French Canadian Hockey Player. He cannot believe that the Pittsburgh Penguins did not do better this year. He really likes Doug Gilmour, but he is more like Felix Potvin (Felix the Cat).
Taylor is very strong. He can take a slice of pizza down from your hand into his mouth. When he swats you it makes a great “smack” noise. Taylor rarely scratches, but he can bite pretty hard.
Taylor is not a lap cat. He’s not even a “sit-near-you” cat. He likes to sit under the futon and watch our feet. He lays on his back with his legs spread.
Taylor likes catnip a lot. A whole lot.
He thinks that he can become invisible.
Taylor has an eating disorder. He binge eats. He waits until he thinks you’ve gone to bed and then eats everything in his bowl. You can’t stop him.
He’ll eat anything. The cat will sometimes eat chips, fruit, cheese, bread (he loves bread)— especially french rolls.
Taylor eats the carpet. I cannot get him to stop. He loves to sit and munch on the rug. I don’t know why.
Taylor likes to sit on folded clothes.
You can pet his head and neck, but that’s it.
He likes to sit on whatever you’re reading, or whatever he thinks you may read in the future.
Taylor often pretends that he’s my boyfriend. He sits where my boyfriend does on the couch and sits really tall like he wants me to bring him a slice of pizza and some beer.
Taylor will chase bugs and get lost. He hates wind. Wind freaks him out. He keeps looking around to see who just walked by, but he doesn’t see anyone.
Taylor rarely makes a sound, except to say hello, and “feed me.”
They are both good at saying my name. “Paaaam!”
They once packed me a lunch. I make pork chops, which is their absolute favorite, and one day when I got to work, I opened my bag and there was a chewed up pork chop inside. Somehow they got into my bag, dropped off the chop, and closed the bag. They care about my well-being.
Taylor chases Lillith, but Lillith never chases Taylor.
Taylor cannot stand Pearl Jam.
Lillith likes Radiohead.
Taylor doesn’t like me to sing to him.
Taylor will knock glasses over to drink out of them.
Lillith gets her head stuck in the glass.
They both jump into the empty bathtub and get lost.
They are afraid of cockroaches, but they like to eat crickets.
When the litter box gets full and I forget to change it, they leave little crumbs of kitty litter on the rim of the toilet.
Go on, tell me I’m crazy, but these cats are just as much roommates as anyone else. Except they won’t get a damn job.
I suddenly get this feeling like you’re going, “Oh, and I used to like her so much. She just did a cat page.” So I’ll tell you the truth. I’m still a little sad (see yesterday, and I’m a little drunk off Vodka. I wanted something to cheer me up, and I also wanted you to know where Squishy came from. I just need a damn hug. Damn. I’m gonna go smoke.
and other stories from my gynecologist
pamie is a little sad.
I took my boyfriend to the airport this morning. He’s visiting the fam for a week.
This afternoon I went to the gyno. I hate getting my annual. I end up feeling very violated. It’s all over so fast. Wam, bam, here’s your co-pay bill. No hugging, no snuggling, no lollipop.
I feel that after you spread your legs you should at least get a sucker.
For those of you who never go, and for those of you who will never need to go, here’s the experience in five easy steps:
1. Something metallic and wet pulls at you.
2. Something sharp and small pokes at you.
3. Something sharp pokes further in you.
4. Metallic wet thing gets smaller and goes away.
5. Fingers poke around while pushing down on your stomach
You have to understand that I started out by going to the University doctors. They don’t care how you feel. They don’t care what’s hurting you. They want you on the pill and they want you out of their office. Then they want you to come back every year.
My first gyno was pretty good. She explained what was happening to me, and aside from that awkward moment during the breast exam where she was flopping my titties around and asking me how my GPA was going, she was pretty good at making me feel comfortable. She was aware of my body to a degree that I didn’t feel uncomfortable telling her about my problems.
She said I had a beautiful cervix. That made me feel proud, since it’s a natural beauty.I’ve never spent money on creams or anything to improve its appearance. I can only assume it’s pretty, since I’ve never seen it myself, but I’m planning on putting that on my resume one day. If nothing else, I’ll get an internship at Annie Sprinkle’s office.
The next gyno left me in such a state that I still haven’t recovered. First of all she was cross-eyed, which makes me nervous to begin with, since she’s sticking sharp objects between my legs. Then she starts making fun of my family’s medical history, which I won’t go into right now. Just know that at one point she made a joke that it was a wonder my father wasn’t dead. So as you could imagine I was just anxious as hell to get naked in front of her.
Here’s the worst part… I’m on my back, legs in the air, feet in the stirrups, and she starts calling to my cervix like she’s playing Ollie Ollie Oxen Free. “Come on, Miss Cervix! Where are you? Oh! There she is! Hello!”
Did I mention I had the flu?
Christ, I was humiliated. I just wanted to go home, but we were only on step two (see above) and it was going to be a few more steps. She whistled “Heigh Ho” and sang a couple of tunes while she completed my pap smear and then told me I was free to go.
She left the room and I cried for five minutes. A crazy woman had just looked inside my body, and she didn’t even notice that I had a beautiful cervix. I had it all dolled up for her, too. With a little bow.
Today’s doctor didn’t mention my cervix as a beautiful thing. In fact, she was worried about it because I was so sensitive. I’m starting to worry that my cervix is losing it’s sex appeal at an unusually early age. I wonder if there’s some sort of exercise I could do.
Then I realize that I’m trying to impress my gynecologist, and I think that’s going a bit too far to be liked.
Besides, how can you impress someone in a paper vest and a sheet?
Don’t ever tell anyone you’re a comedian if they ask what you do at night. They just want to hear a joke. The place I was at today was called “A Woman’s Place” and when the doctor came in I asked her, “Do you guys ever jokingly refer to this place as ‘the kitchen?’” And she just looked at me. “You know,” I said, “A Woman’s Place? Do you call it ‘barefoot and pregnant?’”
She goes, “That’s not funny.” And I was like, “It’s just a joke, you know about how far we’ve come and all.” And she’s like, “My husband wouldn’t find that funny.” And I was like, “You’re a very lucky lady.” And then she started putting on her gloves and cleaning the speculum so I shutup. She asked for a joke, man.
Tip for future patients: if they have that seat where you sit down and then they tip you back to put your calves in the stirrups, be careful. Going back I felt like a cowboy slapping my legs up in the air… but she didn’t tell me when I was coming down, and I was talking to her and I slowly started sinking and my butt fell down from the chair with my legs over my head. Oh yeah, I looked real cool.
And I still didn’t get a lollipop.
wherein we discuss my shortcomings as a glamourpuss
There’s something very appealing about a girl that knows how to rock out.
I am not one of those girls, but I do have respect for those that do. The girls that can sing, the girls that can write, the girls that can make your spine do that tingly thing.
I’ve always wanted to do that.
I want to be the girl with the “too-cool” look that makes you want to know her better, that makes her instantly unattainable and unforgettable.
I want to stop the air in the room when I walk in.
I want to be asked to dance by a total stranger because he just “had to.” I want a drink bought for me by the “gentleman at the end of the bar.” I want a door opened for me and a jacket thrown over a puddle for me. I want to get pinned. I want a coming out ball for me.
I want to be the girl “with the most cake.”
Women with a presence. Man, that’s an amazing thing, isn’t it? When you sit back and want to absorb them. You wish they knew who you were, and inside…deep deep inside… you wish their knees would bend for your affection. That they craved you like you crave them. That they find you so intoxicating.
I’ve always wanted to be That Girl.
That Girl knows how to have a man love her. She makes him beg for love. She knows how to have a lover’s fight with style and class and oh-so-much-bitch-factor that even the pets are crying when she makes her perfect, perfect, perfect exit.
That Girl never needs a tissue.
That Girl has her cigarettes lit for her, unless she wants to light them all.
That Girl has a voice that digs at your knees.
That Girl has perfect skin, perfect hair, and a body that makes you blink. She has never thought twice about skinny-dipping, and has never apologized for you seeing her in a swimsuit.
Women hate That Girl, and she never notices. She never notices, because they never ever let on. To hate That Girl is admitting that you are not, and will never be That Girl.
She is strong, except when she wants someone to hold her. She is outspoken, except when she can get someone else to take the blame. She is accused, and she accepts the gossip. As long as they are talking about her somehow, she’s still important. She’s still That Girl.
Maybe you’ve never spoken to That Girl. You just want to look at her. You just want to listen to her. Smell her. Maybe she knows you’re there, maybe she doesn’t. It doesn’t really matter, because you are just watching a part of her world. She seems to almost see you, but then– she looks away.
I will never be That Girl.
And a good part of me doesn’t want to. She has a lot of responsibility. She has to keep making herself remarkable. Watchable. Desirable.
I just have to be funny and pay my rent.
That Girl has to spend lots of money on a night life. I’m broke.
I can eat Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt in my boxer shorts and Pittsburgh Steelers shirt I swiped from my boyfriend.
That Girl wouldn’t be caught dead in her boyfriend’s shirt.
I could never slap someone. I could never tell a horrible lie. I could never use someone to attain perfection. I could never leave my friends behind. I can hardly leave my cats alone for the weekend.
That Girl has crying fits that are followed by nights of amazing passion. I have crying fits that are followed by hours of splashing cold water on my puffy face, while soaking the sleeve of my flannel pajama in snot with my boyfriend going, “Man, are you okay?”
That Girl never has bad breath. That Girl has never had to leave the room to change a tampon. That Girl has never called a man and hung up when he answered the phone. She has never punished herself after eating a Death By Chocolate.
Or she has never eaten chocolate.
That Girl knows nothing about the internet, except that there maybe a few pages out there about her. That Girl never reads the poems you leave for her.
That Girl is starting to get on my nerves.
I can’t imagine being aware of yourself all the time. I sing “Sesame Street” songs while I’m brushing my teeth. I break into a dance at the line at Taco Cabana if the song moves me. I trip and I fall all the time. That Girl couldn’t do that. But I can.
I’m That Other Girl. And I’m very happy about it. I’m a clumsy, dorky, funny, short girl. No glamour, 100% fun. And although I don’t stop a room when I walk in, chances are they may remember me after I’ve walked out.
“I hate my sister.
She’s such a bitch.
She acts as if she doesn’t even know that I exist…”
So it’s a little crowded around my place right now.
I’ve got a friend staying with me until her apartment becomes available in a couple of weeks and her soon-to-be-husband stays over on the weekends when he drives up to visit. He will be here on Thursday to stay until the apartment opens up.
so that’s two guests.
Then last night, about nine-thirty, I find out that my sister is en route to come visit with her boyfriend. They are staying “for a couple of days.”
fifty ways to name your lover
Naming your sweetheart is not something to be taken lightly. In the earliest part of the relationship you are on a very small wire in which something you may say could stick forever and you are given a love name that you neither wanted nor can stand.
You think I’m kidding? You’re lookin’ at a gal that has been labeled such terms of endearment as “pamie puss,” (thanks, Mom) “p,” “encyclopedia pam,” “little miss can’t be wrong,” and “chicken wing.” I don’t want you to suffer the same misfortune.
Never fear, pamie is here to help you through the early time of a relationship (picking a name and getting one picked for you) and what to do if it’s already too late.
I have been reading this.
It is an article on smoking and people sharing their smoking stories. How they started, how they quit, how they started again.
I couldn’t even finish reading the whole thing without going out for a cigarette.
I smoke and I like to smoke and I know that it’s terrible, I know it’s filthy, I know that I shouldn’t. I know that people die, I know they get sick. I know, I know, I know.
are you in love or just another stalker?
Before you decide if you love a girl, it’s very important to know if you are pursuing her, or merely stalking her. One is very charming, and makes your stomach flutter. The other is very frightening, and makes your stomach hang in that lower part of your spine reserved for your kidneys.
I’m hyper. Hyper. Sugar good. Very good.
Honestly, I don’t know how anyone works without it. I tried when I was in my Atkins phase. That sucked. And I’ve just committed myself to the fact that I kind of like that sugar high. I don’t do drugs or anything, so allow me the feeling of a nice sugar high combined with a caffeine head rush.