My sister has probably saved my life a hundred times over the years. Just this past weekend, she convinced me of the following truths, which changed my course of action in several instances just enough to keep me out of prison or safe from blunt instruments:
1) It is a bad idea to tell the dimwitted elderly first-time Mom sitting in front of you on the Acela that her monstrous screaming child should be euthanized.
2) Pigeon shit is not a biological weapon. Even if it lands on your sleeve.
3) It’s OK to be irritated with humanity; not so OK to yell, “Fuck you, I was sitting there!” And then swat people with your laptop.
4) Long Island Iced Teas: A Drink For The Beginning of the Evening, Not The End.
Mrs. Piddlington and I went to New York this weekend, to visit my pal Smyres and see the Gates before they get torn down and recycled as Hari Krishna robes or whatever it is that’s gonna happen to them. But first I got crapped on by a pigeon, because that’s just the kind of thing that happens to me.
We were walking down Fifth Ave. in Park Slope, me and Smyres and Mrs. P, minding our own business, when a freaking pigeon dropped a deuce right on my tasteful and sorta pricey bright red winter coat. The poop was green, so it kind of looked like Christmas, with the green on the red and whatnot. And let me tell you something: I don’t know what was wrong with that pigeon, but I don’t think the poor bastard is long for this world. He had dysentary or something, because he got me good — three poop splotches on my coat and one on my purse. Which is also bright red, so yay.
I think I heard the fucker laughing as he flew away.
I got an e-mail the other day from a very nice fellow named Mike Hubley, whose name is my name, too. This made me ridiculously happy, as my name is far from common, especially around these parts. Hubley is a German name, heavily and ruthlessly anglicized. My father’s full name, including his Anglo-Saxon sounding but actually Slovac middle name, sounds so English that he is often mistaken for a blueblooded WASP.
But enough about these names and whatnot. The best part of the e-mail was that Mike Hubley informed me that he had once dated a Jen, who, if they had married, would have become Jen Hubley. Just like me! (For the record, even if I do get married, I will remain Jen Hubley. I may make my husband change his name. Because fair is fair is fair. Not that you’ll have to worry about that for awhile. Someone asked the other day if I was getting married and I said, “Yes! June 2012. Save the date!”)
Being a Hubley is a whole thing, at least to those of us who are. It doesn’t come with a trust-fund, or any particular history, but we do have a sense of pride in our heritage, which is, as far as I can tell, a deep-seated interest in being nice and pretty comfortable and having lots of snacks around.
…Hunter S. Thompson is dead.
Unless you’ve all been working very hard this holiday, or are still in bed nursing your hangover, you already knew that. Sandra Dee also died over the weekend. So, for those of you who are keeping track of the celebrity deadpool, we lost Gonzo AND Gidget in the past 48 hours. That’s unacceptable, people, and let me tell you why: with the advent of reality television and chick/lad lit imprints like Red Dress Ink, we’re not actually making any new cultural icons anymore. At this rate, I calculate that we’ll be shit out of celebrities by the year 2011. (Coincidently, the same year that I’ll be done paying off my student loans.)
We need new famous people and we need them right now.
It’s getting nine kinds of Shining around here, and there’s very little relief in sight. I am losing my ability to spell, speak coherently, and put on pants. It must be time for spring already, mustn’t it? No? Soon, maybe? Still no? Okay. I’ll just climb back under this blanket and continue talking to myself.
The worst part about winter in New England is that it totally kills any originality you might ever have had, in terms of writing topics. ‘Long about this time of year, I find that my conversation is solely restricted to:
1) How goddamn cold it is.
2) How sorta sick I feel.
3) How much I hate the snow.
Also, I have come to realize that every year is the Worst Year Ever for weather and illness. Ask anyone. Any old person you see on the street. They’ll be happy to tell you.
I like to read the wires while I’m eating my lunch, because I’m a nerd. Today’s stories on Yahoo! include, among various items involving Bush, Shiites and Monarch butterflies, a piece on the recent arthritis medication scare entitled “Whistleblower warns of more Vioxx risks.”
This is an important issue, of course, and hats off to Dr. David Graham, the FDA member who insisted on bringing this information to light. He was willing to buck the system and go up against pharmaceutical giants and his own bosses and so on. He seems very brave. But then, don’t whistleblowers always seem brave? It’s their defining characteristic. This is why I want to be a whistleblower, too.
As a general rule, I am a cowardly person. I am deeply non-confrontational by nature, to the point where, if someone is stepping on my foot, I will actually think to myself, “Does it really hurt all that much, having my foot stepped on? Perhaps it would be better to put up with it. And anyway, I’d hate to hurt this person’s feelings.” This sounds funny and sort of cute, but beware the wishy-washy person: I have, in my younger years, broken up with men via e-mail and the ever-popular gradual disappearing act, just to avoid having to tell them that I didn’t want to date them anymore. And needless to say, I have never battled any government agencies.
But now’s the time! I’m older and stronger and I’ve had loads of therapy. All I need is to find a corrupt government agency, insinuate myself into its ranks, and then, you guessed it, bravely blow the whistle on their corruption. How hard could this be?
I know that you will all wish me the best of luck in my new endeavor. And if you happen to think of any government agencies that particularly need exposing, please feel free to e-mail me.
My sister and I are sitting in my parents’ livingroom, wearing a comfortable lounging outfits and eating fattening things. I have a cold. We each have a couch to ourselves.
The TV is on. It’s playing a commercial, featuring a pleasantly plump soccer mom type who, no doubt, has been selected specifically in order to make the commercial’s intended audience — pleasantly plump soccer moms — feel comfortable. It makes me feel so comfortable that I forget what she’s shilling, even while I’m watching it.
I’m more interested in her hair, which is short and curly, like a purse-dog’s.
“See,” I say to Mrs. Piddlington. “That hair. THAT’s what I think my hair looks like.”
She looks at me in shock. Horror. Pity. “THAT’s what you think your hair looks like? You’re INSANE.”
I nod, sadly. She’s got me there.
She looks at the screen again, and then back at me. Poodle Lady is making spokesmodel gestures, which she’s not really suited to do. Again, God knows what product she’s advertising.
“Her hair,” Mrs. Piddlington says, “Is like ramen noodles.”