True Story.

Maybe this isn’t timely, but the guy is still dead, so to me it is.  I never saw Greg Giraldo live.  I don’t see all that many comedians live, but Greg Giraldo was definitely one of the ones who was on the list.  I’ve seen Louis CK, and the Viking and I already have tickets to see Doug Stanhope in Chicago at the end of the month.

We may not be able to see him (because we won’t be in Chicago), but “No Refunds” is a show I can see over and over and over.  That’s a big deal for someone who gives her books away after she reads them once.  I know “No Refunds” by heart, which is one of the reasons it may be really annoying to watch it for the first time with me.  I start to laugh before the punchline.  Hell, I start to laugh before the setup.  One of the smartest, most fucked up, funniest comedians.

One of the most fucked up.  While I’ve not seen a whole lot of stand-up comedians live, I know about them.  Silly, I know, but I follow careers via podcast.  If you want to check some of ‘em out, look over there on the right.  I also know about movies via podcast, but very rarely go to see movies in theaters.  People annoy the shit out of me, and comedy clubs and movie theaters are where especially annoying fuckwads seem to congregate.

So I’ve figured out that most – if not all – good stand-up comedians are fucked up.  There’s something about the need to make people laugh that goes along with being self-destructive.  I get it.  I’ve got it, to a degree.  I’m not funny enough to do stand-up, but I put myself out there (hello, you’re reading this) in a similar – albeit much safer – way.  I’ve even been on stage, when I’ve done Bawdy Storytelling.

Greg Giraldo was not only funny, but also smart as hell.  He went to Harvard Law School, and because he was smart, didn’t practice law for all that long.  Maybe y’all don’t put much credence in that, but know that getting into, and graduating from, Harvard Law is no small feat.  Our most recent former president couldn’t get into law school in a state where his family had significant influence (that’s the latter Bush and University of Texas Law School for those of you who don’t know).

It was his smart, topical, biting humor that I loved.  The kind you can hear in “Underwear Goes Inside the Pants.”  Yeah, he was on Comedy Central roasts, and even “Last Comic Standing,” but I tried to ignore that.  He was smarter than that, and it was obvious he was doing those things because he needed to make a living.  Hey, we’re all sellouts in some way; we all have to sell a little of our souls in order to eat.

Also, I thought he was hot.  There’s something about a smart, cynical, funny, fucked-up Latino guy that’ll get me every time ….

He died of a prescription drug overdose.  I’ve seen (on Twitter) people joke that it’s pretty hard to accidentally die of a prescription drug overdose.  I’ve heard (on podcasts) that it must have been illegal drugs on which he overdosed.  No, you fucktards, it’s easy to take prescription drugs in a manner not prescribed.

Prescription drugs are still drugs.  Just because they’ve been prescribed does not mean they’re safe.  Alcohol is a legal drug and I’ve overdosed on it.  My friend Jesús died of a prescription drug overdose.  In the past I might have taken prescription drugs in a manner not prescribed and had blackouts of the kind that made me thank the powers that be that I ended up in my own bed either alone or with someone I actually knew.  And made me glad I had woken up at all.

Thing is, we don’t really know what the various prescription drugs can do.  We know what the commercials say.  We know what the prescription inserts say.  But none of those give us a clue as to what happens when we swallow the pills with a couple of Jack and Cokes.  How many people – famous and otherwise – have died because of the wrong combination of drugs (sometimes including alcohol) that they had taken many times before?  Off the top of my head I can think of Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy, Jesús Vargas, Anna Nicole Smith, Anna Nicole Smith’s son, and Michael Jackson.  There are countless others.

Doug Stanhope has an excellent point in his post about Greg Giraldo.  We know what a couple of drinks will do to a person, but we have no clue what a couple of drinks plus a combination of prescription drugs will do to a person.  Or just the prescription drugs taken in a manner not prescribed.  Or taken in a manner prescribed, but with side effects.

Shit happens.  And shit happens to smart people.  Smart people may have it worse because they know how stupid it is what they’re doing.  A (somewhat former) friend with whom I went to law school was smart, which is why she was so ashamed of how stupid she was to stay in an abusive relationship.  The kind of abusive that found her spending the night at my house more than once because she was worried for her personal safety.  Jesús was smart.  He just did something so stupid that he didn’t wake up, ever.

Greg Giraldo was smart.  He just did something so stupid that he won’t wake up, ever.

I swear.  True story.

[Continued from "Alex & Brendan (Part 1)."]

Alex wore ugly shirts and sweaters.  Think Bill Cosby in his ugliest sweater days.  I talked to him about this, and he didn’t deny it.  He said he knew what ugly was, but that he didn’t know what looked good, so he figured he’d just be the ugly shirt guy.  That makes a kind of beautiful sense that is so Alex.

He determined shoes were good based on their country of provenance.  Made in China?  Not so much.  “They must be good, they’re Italian,” is how he described a pair of new dress shoes he had bought.

Alex was obsessed with airplanes.  He could identify the make and model of a commercial airliner as it flew over the “beach” (outdoor area nowhere near a body of water) at our school.  He was particularly interested in cases that involved plane crashes, especially if they crashed on international borders (both Alex and I had international law concentrations in law school).  He had model planes, and books about planes.  He schooled me on the possibly inferior composite material used by Airbus.

After law school Alex and I stayed in touch.  He started seeing a guy, Brendan, who was at the time himself in law school.  The two-lawyer couple is incredibly common, probably because there’s nothing sexier than civil procedure whispered during the act of lovemaking.  Also, lawyers don’t seem to take it personally when someone argues for the sake of arguing.

Then Alex’s roommate moved out and Brendan moved in.  Little Alex with a live-in boyfriend?  So cute.  We were all hoping there would be a positive effect on Alex’s wardrobe.

There was a positive effect on his entertaining.  Alex, because he loves airplanes had to have a place with a view that would allow him to see planes in flight.  The apartment in Twin Peaks had a large living room and a big dining room, both of which had great views.  From the balcony one could see about 270º including downtown and far enough south that it was easy to spot planes to and from SFO.  The apartment should have been shown off!

When Brendan moved in he brought with him his cooking, bar tending, and entertaining skills.  Every time I was invited over I knew I’d have a great time.  Alex was always social and fun; Brendan had the skills; together they threw a great party, both sit-down and more informal.  They complimented each other quite well.

Alex was content in a way he wasn’t when he was single.  Brendan was clearly a great guy.  When I found out that when Alex’s mother would come visit from Salt Lake City, Brendan would have to pretend the spare room was his own bedroom so Alex could keep up the ruse that he wasn’t gay, I told Alex that he was very lucky that a gay man in San Francisco in the 2000s put up with that, that Brendan must really love him.

Apparently Alex’s mother really wanted grandchildren, which is why she kept asking Alex about girls.  Gay people can have kids, but that probably didn’t occur to Alex’s mother, who was born and raised in the Soviet Union.  Eventually, the problem was solved by Alex’s older brother, who fathered a child.

I don’t know if Alex came out by saying the words, “I’m gay” to his mother, but eventually it became clear that Alex would not be dating any girls, and that Brendan was not merely a roommate.

Alex said he and Brendan were going to have a commitment ceremony of some sort.  Perhaps it was pre-Prop 8 when they originally planned to do so, so they could actually get married.  And perhaps some day, after the challenge to Prop 8 is upheld (even if it has to go all the way to the Supreme Court) they can get married if they want to (though of course I’d advise against it).  For now, they would have to be happy with being domestic partners.

I received the invitation.  It looked gorgeous.  Great paper, classy pattern, lovely wording, even a cool address label.  I know some of you don’t think that matters, but it does.  There was nothing feminine about it, like most wedding invitations.  No flowers or doves or any of that bullshit.  Just a simple symmetrical band of pattern across the bottom.  Embossed, of course.  And in brown, which matched the envelope.

The Viking consented to be my date, so I sent back the RSVP and we marked our calendars.

I swear.  True story.

[To be continued.]

I will never get married again, and for the most part try to discourage such activities.  Nonetheless, I am still a victim of my culture so part of me thinks people can live happily ever after.

And I really do like weddings.  Actually, weddings not so much – they’re usually boring, religious, and way too long.  What I really like are wedding receptions.  The ones with host bars, though I understand if finances are such that a no-host bar is necessary.  But there must be a bar.  Alcohol-free wedding receptions are bullshit.

Months ago I got a “save the date” notice from my friend Alex.  Alex and I went to law school together.  Alex was the youngest of our group of friends.  Most of us had taken a while to get through college – me due to five years of junior college whilst working, a couple other friends due to some time off to deal with their nasty drug habits – or had had other careers before deciding to go to law school.  Alex had gone directly from high school to university to law school without passing go.

Alex was not only young, but very sweet and innocent.  Turns out he was from Salt Lake City, Utah, which explained the innocence – of course he was one of those sheltered Mormon boys.  Only he wasn’t.  If he were, he wouldn’t have been quite so young because he would have taken a couple years off to do his mission.  Turns out young Alex was Jewish.  And Russian.  From Russia.  He had moved to the US as a young teen.  Alex was the kind of adorable that made everyone want to protect him.

Or corrupt him.  He didn’t drink, he said because he didn’t like the taste of alcohol.  I explained to him on several occasions that most of the rest of us don’t really like the taste of alcohol either, but we sure like what it does to us, so we buck up.  He didn’t care, perhaps because he saw how stupid we’d get when we were drunk.

I went through all my “starter” drinks in an effort to get him to drink.  Well, not all – I skipped the wine coolers, which had gone out of fashion in the decade since I began drinking, and didn’t bother with peppermint schnapps, which I didn’t expect Alex to be able to stomach if I still couldn’t after my overdose.  I bought him a Midori sour, which at this point in my drinking career is so cloyingly sweet it’s not worth it for me to drink.

I bought him Bailey’s on the rocks, which he said burned as it went down.  He finally settled on an alcoholic beverage he liked after a trip to Europe – beer and 7UP.  It just sounds horrible to me, and Alex didn’t like it enough to drink it when he wasn’t on vacation, so it must not have been all that good.

Because Alex didn’t drink, he always got screwed when a big group from law school would go out to dinner.  Inevitably, there were several bottles of wine consumed, with Alex drinking water, or if he was feeling wacky, a soda.  When the bill came, the people who had ordered appetizers and main courses and wine decided it should be split evenly.  Alex would have had just one course, and perhaps a salad, and no alcohol, so there was no way he should have had to pay as much as the rest of us.  Alex was too nice and polite to speak up, opting instead to not make a stink which could cause tension.

I had no such compunctions.  We were all in law school, for fuck’s sake, we could do some simple math.  When the particular large group went out, there was also often a shortage of money to the point that not only Alex but also the Ex and I often overpaid.  Somewhere out there, those cheap shits owe all of us money.

[To be continued.]

I swear.  True story.

[Continued from "Alcohol (Part 6)."]

I didn’t drink for two years, which I know isn’t all that big a deal when one is underage and not legally able to drink anyway.

After living with my mom and DJ for just a few months, I moved back in with my dad and step-mother.  My mother chose a really shitty time to pretty much not bother to parent me in any way, and to cheat on DJ with DJ’s best friend.  I could have been drunk daily and my mother would not have had a clue.  As it was, I was going through a shoplifting phase and she didn’t once ask me where I got the money to pay for any of the new stuff I had.

Moving back in with my father and step-mother meant I was never trusted.  For years my parents checked in on me in an obsessive manner.  I had to post my work schedule on the refrigerator so they knew why I was out of the house.  When I wanted to do something that wasn’t work, I was usually denied because they thought I would be out drinking, which is why I stopped asking.

Another fun thing my parents did was to garnish my wages.  When I overdosed on alcohol they didn’t have insurance for me.  So an ambulance trip to the emergency room and a stint in the intensive care unit had to be paid out of my parents’ pockets.  The pockets that were not deep due to my father’s job issues.  They put the bills on a credit card.

My step-mother is crazy-obsessed with money.  She’s cheap.  My dad and step-mother were cheap enough to not bother getting me health insurance when I was 14, which is why they had to put my health care bill on a credit card.  Two years later, when I was 16 and had to get a job (they made me), my parents still had not paid off the credit card bill that was incurred when I overdosed.  So they started making me fork over a portion of my paychecks from working a minimum wage job at Taco Bell, and later Round Table Pizza.

They were teaching me a lesson.  My lesson to them would have been to get me some fucking health insurance for their minor child.

I moved out when I was 16 for a number of reasons, including the garnishment of my wages, the fact that they let my step-sister, but not me (we’re the same age), get a a driver’s license, the fact that my step-mother didn’t respect the privacy of a sealed envelope, the fact that my step-mother was a condescending bitch when it came to my relationship with a girl (but not so regarding her daughter’s relationships with boys), and the fact that my pussy of a father did nothing but kowtow to his wife.  When I moved out, my father told me that when I get arrested he would tell the police that I had run away from home, thereby absolving him of responsibility since I was under 18.

He assumed I’d be arrested.  I never was.  I never have been.

Right around the time I moved out, my sister got married.  Since she was going to change her name, she didn’t need her driver’s license with her old name on it.  She gave it to me.  Conveniently, she was four years older than me, so just before I turned 17, I had a driver’s license that said I was 21.  Conveniently, my sister and I look enough alike that I had no trouble at all buying alcohol.

I didn’t have a car, but I did have the ID.  Funnily enough, I used my sister’s ID to buy alcohol and to get into bars, but I never used it to drive illegally.  When I was still in high school, my friends who did have cars would sneak a small group of us off campus so we could go to liquor stores where I’d buy us alcohol.  This didn’t last long, because my sister’s ID said I was 21 for less than two months before I graduated from high school.

Having that ID meant buying booze and getting into bars was not a big deal.  My friend Laura and I went to an 18-and-over club, 1970s, which played, you guessed it, all 70s music, but I always used my sister’s ID so I could get the wristband that indicated I could drink.

I swear.  True story.

[To be continued.]

It’s no secret that the Viking and I are planning to move.  It might not be a secret that the Viking and I thought we’d already be moved by now.  It’s not always so easy to make plans when we’re not in complete control, but eventually we will move.

Eventually we will have to move because my condo is on the market.  When my agent needs to show it we have to be gone.  Isis, too, has to be gone.  Also, the place needs to be reasonably clean.  It’s all kind of a pain in the ass, but it has to be done.

I wouldn’t have even been able to put it on the market if it weren’t for my ex-husband, the Ex, finally agreeing to sign a quitclaim deed so he didn’t have to participate in the sale as well, as he and I still owned the property together until very recently.

[In the middle of writing this I got an automated call from my mortgagor who doesn't seem to know my place is on the market.  I called back and had to deal with one guy who hung up on me because he didn't like that I swore, which is silly because what are "ass" and "fuck" but words?  I called back again and ended up hanging up on that person after one too many ma'am's and the realization that she could do nothing to stop the lame-ass automated calls.]

Perhaps because the Ex did cooperate in the end (and it is the end; I will never have to deal with him in any capacity whatsoever), I had a dream about him the other night.  Isis was in the dream, as she often is.  He and I got her together, but after he proved to be more interested in staying out all night doing cocaine and staying in all day sleeping it off than taking care of her in the most minimum way – taking her out to go to the bathroom – I realized that she was no longer our dog, by my dog.

In the dream he was trying to take Isis.  Back when we were broken up but getting along, he would joke at me about taking Isis (or Joaquin) because he was lonely without any pets.  In the dream he told me he was lonely and that he needed Isis.  I reminded him that he had his girlfriend and their child now, that Isis was mine.  He told me that the girlfriend was more interested in the kid than him and that he was all alone.  I told him that it would get better.  I told him all the things people say to people who’re having trouble with their new kids.

In my dream, I was nice to him.  I told him it would get better, and that now that he was a father he didn’t need Isis.  He got a little misty in the dream, and looked at me with his big brown eyes, and I sent him on his way, to his girlfriend and their kid.

In real life I feel no such warm and fuzzy feelings for the guy, for his stupid (as in unintelligent), slovenly girlfriend, and their likely borderline-retarded child.  I woke up feeling as if my subconscious was much nicer and more forgiving than my conscious.  My subconscious fell for his sad, puppy dog eyes like I had so many times when we were together.

You went out and spent over $100 on drinks when we’re having trouble paying bills?  But you’re really sorry now, and you promise not to do it again, at least not until next week, and you have a look of contrition on your face?  Oh, ok then, I forgive you.  I did that shit for years.  I put up with a guy who took advantage of me, took me for granted, and who didn’t even like my company for about eight years longer than I should have.

On our fifth wedding anniversary, at a very fancy restaurant, where we ordered a several course chef’s tasting menu, he told me between courses one and two that he loved me, but he wasn’t in love with me.  The only reason I didn’t walk out was because I wanted to taste that food, dammit.  Later that night, on our anniversary, he met friends out at a bar.  We were married for three more years.

I didn’t know how miserable I was.  So I guess I should thank him for finally having the balls to leave me.

I swear.  True story.

I’m not saying that my nearly-indiscriminate fucking days are in my past.  Rather, I’m in a phase where I don’t have the desire for nearly-indiscriminate fucking right now and chances are I’ll get out of this phase and want to have some unknown cocks in me (with protection, of course).

We seem to be sold a shitty bill of sale.  We’re told that we’ll grow up, go to college, get a career, meet someone along the way, and live happily ever after.  Bullshit!  We don’t stop growing up, even if we stop growing.  We don’t stop changing.  We don’t settle in.

I thought I had it all figured out when I was a lawyer and was married.  For a very short time I was smug because I was the kid (out of my dad and step-mother’s four) who wasn’t divorced, who was gainfully employed, and who owned a home.  That lasted about a month.

My husband left me.  I lost my job.  I’m selling my home.  Shit changes and it keeps changing.  The end of the story is not living happily ever after, it’s death, and death doesn’t come – unless planned – for a long time.

In the mean time, I don’t think I’m the only one who goes through phases.  Sometimes I exercise.  I finished a fucking marathon for fuck’s sake.  That was several years ago.  I’ve also been a daily gym attendee, in the past.  When I was, it always surprised people because I’ve never been thin, or even what anyone would look at and think “in shape” but I swear, it’s true.

I’ve gone though drinking phases.  I’ve gone though sober phases.  Life continues.  If it was the same every fucking day I’m pretty sure there’d be more suicides just out of sheer boredom.

There is no such thing as happily ever after and it’s a shame we’re told there is.  It’s a shame we’re not told that the growing mentally and emotionally – if not physically – never stops.  It’s a shame that we’re told that the person we love when we’re in our early 20s is “the one.”  It’s a shame that it can take years of misery to realize that “the one” ain’t all that special, and that it doesn’t have to feel like shit and misery and drudgery just to wake up in the morning.

So my days of nearly-indiscriminate fucking are not completely behind me, because to say anything – other than fucking in a car and marriage, both of which I guarantee I will never do again – is completely in my past is to be naive about my own nature.  I go through phases, and often neither I nor the people I pull into my phases realize I’ve moved on until I have.

When I got my new phone I didn’t bother to save a lot of the contacts I’d had in my old phone.  I’d moved on and since I’d not heard from the people for a while, I figured they had too.  Every once in a while I get a message out of the blue from someone I obviously used to know in an at least physically intimate manner.  The messages are of the sort I would have welcomed in the past, but now they just seem downright rude, for many reasons.

Recently I received a message just after 4:00 am:  “Hey if you are up babe im comin ur way!”  If y’all know me at all then you know I despise text-ease.  Spell your fucking words out, lazy motherfuckers!  Back when I had an old school phone I made a fucking effort to press the seven button four fucking times when the word I was writing contained a fucking s.

I was asleep when that message came in.  It was soon followed by a picture of what I can assume was the author’s cock and “Hey hun :)”  Anyone who knows me knows I fucking hate emoticons and lack of punctuation.  Unless I was really fucking horny, this tactic wouldn’t have worked even when I was receptive to the very early morning booty call.

The next message, “Id love to lick your clitoris and give you my  full thick headed cock.” came with another photo of said thick-headed cock.  Both photos can be seen, above.

I don’t understand describing one’s cock in any way but “cock.”  It’s my job to figure out if I like it – thick, thin, long, short, meaty, veiny, mushroomy, velvety, rock hard, responsive – however it is.

Next, I received, “Hey hun , whats ur address again!? I jus moved real close to you so we can make this more regular if you want:)xoxo”  Wow, with an offer like that how could I not take him up on it?

My response?  “I don’t know who the fuck you are.”

I swear.  True story.

[Continued from (Katja, oh Katja (Part 1)."]

According to Katja, in Denmark only older ladies who’ve had babies bother to wear bathing suit tops.  And she said boys don’t start wearing anything at all until puberty.

So there we were at beaches with a topless Katja.  Sometimes it was fine.  We went to nude beaches or semi-private beaches near Santa Rosa, mostly along the Russian River.  That was fine.

Actually, it was more than fine.  Katja had one of the best bodies I have ever seen in person.  I didn’t realize it at the time because I was a young adolescent, but her body was fantastic.  As a Dane, she was tall, about 5’6″.  She was a teen, so her ass was perky and round.

Her hips were wide, but not too wide.  She wore her bikini bottoms straight across her hips, which was not in style in the US at the time.  At the time US women were wearing their bikini bottoms high on the hips.  I remember asking her why she wore her suit like that, not understanding that the US wasn’t the center of the universe.

Katja’s stomach was flat, as any fit teen’s is.  And her breasts were … gorgeous.  They were probably C or D cups, on a tall, slender body, and they were perfectly shaped, all teardropped and high and firm.

The Russian River was fine for Katja’s topless activities.  I had gone to nude beaches there plenty of times when I was a kid, and even when the beach wasn’t officially designated topless, toplessness wasn’t gawked at too, too much.

But when we went to Whiskeytown (where the Viking and I happened to go to for my family’s reunion this year), Katja’s toplessness wasn’t quite so ok.  We made Katja wear what she had, which were wife beater tank tops.  The tank tops were what wife beater tank tops are, ribbed and thin and white, and fucking sexy.

There was Katja in her bikini bottom and a tight tank top.  She wore no bra, because no one wears a bra at the beach.  She did want to swim, or at least get wet, but all she had over her top half was a tank top.

Think of that picture of Fergie with bigger, sans bra tits, a taller body, and a prettier face:  that was Katja.  Oh, and also a sweet, naive attitude since she was a teenager.

Katja really didn’t understand why my mother (who truthfully liked looking at her tits) or I (who would only years later come to realize how glorious it was to look at her tits) were upset by anything she was doing.  We weren’t upset per se, but we were fascinated.

I was fascinated by Katja.  I was fascinated that she was so comfortable with her body, that she talked to my mother like she was a peer, that someone could talk to an adult as a peer.  Also, I probably had a crush before I knew what the fuck a crush was.

One day when we were at Whiskeytown, Katja wanted to rinse the lake water off of her.  Luckily, the day beach provided some outdoor showers just outside the public bathrooms.

Katja, in her tank top and bikini bottom, hopped in the open-air shower.  I went into the bathroom to use the facilities.

When I emerged from the bathroom, there was Katja taking a shower.  She had an audience – an old, creepy dude with a dog on a leash.  He was leering so obviously that when his wife emerged from the ladies’ room she chastised him for looking at Katja’s gorgeous tits.

I was amused, but not as amused I am now.  I didn’t realize at the time that the wife was very invested in his wife being into her, not Katja, but I did know that was not ok within their relationship.  I did know that Katja was almost completely clueless: she just wanted to rinse off and she didn’t give a shit who was watching.

Years later, my mother had a calico kitty that she named Katja.  She also had Katja the kitty declawed, which worked when my mother kept Katja (the cat) inside.  Unfortunately, my mother very soon thought that it wasn’t that important that she keep Katja (the cat) indoors.  She (Katja the cat) was killed by a neighborhood dog, probably because she couldn’t defend herself properly.

I swear.  True story.

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