Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'll take my head with a side of lettuce

Ever noticed that many things that begin as a few hours of fun inevitably conclude with flashing lights and a run-in with authorities?

Or maybe this kind of thing only happens to me.

The fire department is outside of my house right now. But perhaps I should back up. Stories are often best told from the beginning...

Last night was EPIC--both by way of the events that transpired and in that they transpired completely unexpectedly. After an afternoon with friends and an evening of watching the US/Mexico Debacle De Futbol at the Brewhouse (shirtless Hispanic men "ay, ay ay ay..."), I was ready to call it a night. My friends, alas, were not. So I suggest Tijuana Garage. We're within walking distance, they have killer margaritas, and the only way the blinky-lighted porch could be better was if Prince himself was singing Purple Rain on my table.

So we go.

And Jeff (aka, good friend and sober ride) and I order a pitcher of margaritas. I figure I am going to need one if I am to continue enduring a certain member of our party...

Jeff's three in and I am still nursing my one when salvation arrives: in the form of a man with bedazzled underoos and breast implants. HOLY HELL! IT'S DRAG SHOW NIGHT!!!

Heart aflutter with excitement, I fill my glass and run--yes run--into the bar. Men in any sort of costume hold a sick fascination for me. Men in costume who can also appreciate my well-coordinated accessories? Yeah. You bet your ass I ran.

What followed is a bit of a blur, but those of you who know me know that I have the tolerance of a zygote, the natural inhibitions of, say, Russel Brand in his heroin heyday, and the showmanship of Madonna circa Blonde Ambition. These three factors, paired with my consumption of Petron and my innate ability to make "lasting bonds" over the most inane of commonalities--"Oh my God! You like Skittles too? Certainly we are soulmates! Let's be friends forever!"--resulted in what can only be described by lookers-on (teary eyed as they are when filing the police report) as a psychedelic cacophony of hair, sequins, fake breasts and lycra. I am also pretty sure there was some "Fergolicious" thrown in there just for good measure. At least I know I woke up singing it this morning...

Ah this morning...

But again, I jump ahead.

At one point during the evening, I know I was approached by a gentleman who lead with an unusual line, "Hey. I'm not trying to pick you up or anything, and I'm also not trying to cock-block that guy, but I know I know you."


Here is the conversation that followed: (and please keep in mind that I had a giant margarita in one hand, and was clasping a drag queen with the other)

Me: "Yes, you do look very familiar."

He: "Well, that's probably because you used to work for me. Name's Jay. I was your boss."

Fucking. Hell.

11:30 turned into midnight which turned, somehow, into 3 a.m., and poor Jeff had to pull me away from the drag queens, my former boss, and my table of new friends (BFF's I LOVE YOU FOREVER EVEN IF I CAN'T REMEMBER YOUR NAMES! Oh, and Whats-Your-Face: good luck with that new baby and with controlling your little sister who just exposed her boobs at the bar! Classy! Yeah. You should probably go get her...) No seriously. What nice girls. Anyway, Jeff, bless his heart, lugs my drunk ass home.

And todayyyyy...

With one Gremlin attempting to claw its way out of my head and another doing a number on my stomach, I am awakened by a sound heretofore unknown to any of the human race: my fire alarm. And it is powered by the voices of a thousand screaming harpies.

I am Petron delirious. The Gremlins are having an absolute party. And my attempts to silence the alarm by jumping up and down on a chair (still too high for me to reach. Thanks for the stature. MOM.), screaming obscenities, and then, in desperation, attempting to "make a deal" with my alarm system, have all proved futile.

I hear the sirens.

And I have to go out on the lawn. IN MY BATHROBE. While the DeKalb County Fire Department searches my place.


I. Rule. Life.


In related news, I also had my license revoked and a warrant out for my arrest.

Back to that in a minute.


When I was a child, I was very clumsy. So, naturally, my mother put me in dance class. It was a good idea, and, as it turns out, I was quite a gifted dancer, but unfortunately the "experiment" failed to achieve the desired results. Despite my newly-found twinkle toes, I remained clumsy whenever I left the dance floor. Now I'm just clumsy and have rhythm.

Seems like that's the story of my life though. You know, best of intentions. Road to Hell. That kind of thing. And what begins as a well-intentioned move usually ends in some sort of crazy adventure for me. Don't get me wrong, I love's just sometimes I wonder whether or not it shouldn't be...oh, I dunno...easier than this?

Back to the story:


So back in April I got a traffic ticket for turning right on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Yes, my friends, apparently there IS a place in the world where you can get a ticket for taking a right on Peachtree Street, and that place is Edgewood. Know it. Own it.

So anyway, I'm pissed, but I attempt to handle it. I call the number on the back of the ticket to find out how much this lil' bastard is going to be. Sure enough, the ticket hasn't posted. I will have to call back another time. Ok. So I go online to pay it. Sure enough, the ticket hasn't posted, so I will have to call again, or visit online at a later time... This cycle repeats, several dozen times over the next month and a half, until, finally, my court date arrives. I don't go. I have to work. But I do breathe a sigh of relief because, as the court date has passed, now SURELY SOMEONE SOMEWHERE will have posted the ticket and now I can pay it and once again life will be sunny and free.

My court date was Monday June 6. Check in on June 7. Can't get through on the phone. Busy. Again. So I try online. No dice.

That Friday morning before heading to work, I decide to get online again and attempt to pay this damned ticket. I am once again getting the cyberspace run around when I hear a knock at the door. Who could this be? I hope it's not the delivery guy who has a crush on me again...I always feel so bad when I have to turn down his presents...But no! This face is one I don't recognize. This face looks official. And not at all enamoured of me. And female. And kind of pissy. And authoritative.

"Sign here please."


I open the documents--my license has been revoked and there is a bench warrant out for my arrest. Signed, love and kisses, the Atlanta P.D.


So I call in to work (I have had this job for all of two weeks) and have to tell them I have received a court summons and have to go. NOW. Priceless. And then I hop in my car and-apparently illegally--drive down to the APD to pay this fucking ticket in person and settle this mess once and for all.

Now this particular Friday was a hot one, one of Atlanta's beloved 100 degree scorchers, and I am dressed in business attire and heels. Knowing my fashion handicap, I pay to park close to the station. This becomes important in a moment.

Once inside, I go through the rigamarole that is our government bureaucracy, and find myself on the receiving end of a $300 fine. My MasterCard literally whimpering, I take the handful of papers the gent behind the counter bequeaths to me and prepare to make my exit, which is halted by said gent's instruction that the paperwork--rather than being faxed or scanned or osmosed by the other branches of the APD--must be hand-delivered (by me, of course) to another department. Awesome. And where is this department? "Oh, about six blocks from here," I am told.

Ok. Six blocks. I can do this. I am in heels and a suit and it is a hundred degrees outside, but I can make the walk. After all, I am not about to drop another $10 to park in a location six blocks from my current paid place and, besides, when am I EVER wearing the appropriate footwear? So I take the directions to the new building and I start on my way.


That building--which was the ATLANTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION B.T.DUBBS--was a mile and a half away. One way. And I don't think I have to tell you my mood by the time I arrived. 1.5 miles in 100 degrees in a suit and heels to deliver what should have been internal paperwork to the sty that is the Department of Motor Vehicles. Someone call Dante. I think we have discovered a new layer of Hell.

And don't forget: I also had to walk back.


So this is my life. Welcome to it. Make yourself cozy. Stay awhile. Watch as I dance like an angel but stumble while walking down the sidewalk.

Monday, June 6, 2011


It's been brought to my attention recently that I lack in do you say?...tact.

Shocking, I know.

But hear me out...

Always one to prize complete disclosure with regard to one's thoughts, feelings, beliefs and judgments, I was recently appalled to learn that being completely forthright about where one stands is generally embraced by modern society with the overwhelming exuberance usually reserved for, say, leprosy and child molesters.

Simply put--and as my dear, deceased grandma would say--"you draw more flies with honey than vinegar"(and as someone who inherited said grandmother's sense of tact, the irony of this statement is not lost on me...)

Yes, my friends, apparently if you want to have...oh, I dunno...friends and have to learn to shuck the criticism and "play nice." Because, you see dears, everyone loves rainbows and kitties and unicorns. Smiles and fireflies constitute universal "happy places." And "Kumbaya" ain't a classic for no reason.

Thing is though, rainbows and smiles fade, kitties and fireflies both die when placed in jars, and "Kumbaya," while great with smores, loses its luster on second-singing. Put simply, just ask Charlie what happens to unicorns when they abandon their common sense, opting instead for the sugary-sweet joys of Candy Mountain. (For reference:

Bitter? Yeah maybe. Or maybe I'm just "being real."

Growing up I was lied to. A lot. And that early exposure to the duplicity inherent in human nature had a profound impact on my psyche. I watched as the adults society designated for me to emulate said one thing and did another. I saw rewards for lies and delight in deceit, and I suffered in silence as the injustice of it burned in my tiny tummy. As a result, I doubt my age had reached double digits before I made the decision that, no matter what, I was going to be frank and forthright with everyone, consequences be damned. To me, this manner of living was a refreshing alternative to the syrupy sweet taste of bullshit to which I was accustomed...but to others...well, it seems my tendency toward the bitter truth may have proven equally unpalatable.

Some people just can't take it.

I used to be okay with that fact.

Now I am not.

With furrowed brow I ask you, "When is the time for tact?"


I always justified my "being real" as either refreshing honesty or a dose of tough love--both happy alternatives to what I always saw as the deluded nonsensical swill bandied about by miscreants with either less backbone or less scruples than the true humanitarians (like myself, of course) who see fit to "tell it like it is." But lately I have been wondering: At what point does "being real" translate into "being cruel"? And when does "tough love" cross that gossamer boundary that separates "helpful" from "hateful"?

When does "brutal honesty" become...just..."brutal"?


When Tennessee Williams penned his masterpiece, "A Streetcar Named Desire," he placed at its nucleus the iconic characters of Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski, two diametrically opposed powerhouses whose interactions literally explode from the page. Blanche, a world-worn southern belle, is prone to illusion and exaggeration (ie. bullshit)--continuously repainting her melancholy world in self-deluding rose colored hues. Stanley, corporeal to Blanche's ethereal, is no-nonsense. Brutal honesty. Love it or leave it. Talk about a clash of the Titans.

The two cannot coexist.

Honesty destroys the illusion.

Every time.

But the thing is...when confronted with Stanley's honesty and Blanche's illusion, I pull for Blanche every time. I, who in demeanor and belief mimic Stanley to an astonishing degree, must admit that reality is much more palatable with perfume and paper lanterns thrown in to dim the harsh light of reality.

So what does that say about me?

In one of her final speeches, Blanche famously relates,"But some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable! It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion, and the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty."

Cruelty. Unforgivable.

Am I deliberately cruel?


Yesterday I jumped out of an airplane to overcome a physical fear. Today I confront a psychological one. And while both involve falling headfirst into open space, I must confess the psychological fear is proving more disorienting than uncontrollably plummeting 14,000 feet.

Only 24 hours ago my body landed firmly on solid ground. Be brutally honest with me--will my brain do likewise?