Max Goes to the Vet


Max the dog is a mutant. I mean that in the best way possible. His sisters are mutants too. All three of them have health problems, legs that go out. Pixie, the smallest, has cataracts and looks like a crazed gremlin. Max didn’t have any health problems the first year we got him and then one day while we were walking him he cried out, crumpled a little on one leg and we thought he’d been stung by a bee. He wasn’t better so we took him to a vet (one of those “in store” vets who never makes eye contact) who said “Oh, he probably did get stung or has something lodged in his paw.” Well, fucking unlodge it.
Max is a little pudgy. I don’t think he’s fat.Or maybe I’m just in denial. We try to keep him leaner, knowing that the more weight he has on him, the more his legs are going to hurt. On another trip to a different vet we were told Max has floating kneecaps and would have to have surgery and it was no guarantee he’d be back to normal. Normal for Max.
So we decided to take Max to a holistic vet and by we, I mean my mom (who shares a terrifyingly strong bond with the dog. He actually sees me as a threat and is very protective of his “mom.” I think the last time I was able to give her a hug was Christmas of 2014).
Max pretty much knows something’s up as soon as he gets in the car. He struggles with the car. He wants to go for a ride but he also wants to scream and throw up the entire time. We pull up to the holistic vets and the door is wide open. A cat is sauntering back and forth, just watching the world. I’m praying Max doesn’t see it but he’s too busy barking “Oh God, where the hell are we! It smells! I have to poop!”

We go in and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  The vet had an emergency earlier and he was running late. I wasn’t annoyed for me but for Max.  He wasn’t exactly freaking out but he was in the waiting room pacing around and giving me the dog equivalent of a fist bump: booping his nose into my hand.

Finally the vet comes in. Max locks eyes with me.

Max: I thought there’d be sage.

Me: What?

Max: Holistic vet. I thought he’d come in here and smudge the negative spirits with lit sage.

Me: Yeah, he looks like he might start in a minute.

Max: Want treat.

Me: Me too.

The vet starts looking over Max’s medical records. Max growls at him because he’s a man. Max is smart.

Max looks at me again and rolls his eyes.

Max: Ugh. This guy.

Me: I know.

Max: That scraggly grey ponytail.

Me: Jesus Christ. Right?

Max: Earrings. He’s wearing an emerald earring and a diamond earring.

Me: What does that say about the guy?

Max: He’s a douchebag pirate wannabe.

Me: Check out the new hiking boots.  Bet he dragged them on the ground so they’d look beat up, like he spends each weekend hiking with a pack of dogs.

Max: The picture of him on his website has to be at least 25 years old. I bet he has a garage band and a mini fridge full of IPA beer.

But the vet, abrupt and almost downright rude, is making a damn thorough investigation into what might be wrong with Max and that makes me respect him.

Max growls at him again. The vet says “Oh, he’s a nipper?”

Max: I’ll tear your fucking face off.

Me: He’ll tear your fucking face off.

Short story long, Max will need surgery. We need to get him down to a  healthier weight which means no more French fries or saucers of iced coffee.  It’ s hard not to give him anything, especially when he gives me nose boops and wants to deconstruct this week’s RuPaul Drag with it

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Cookie Shaming

Special thanks to Gloria for coming up with the term cookie shaming.


Sometimes the only reason to go to work is the thought that someone might bring cookies or donuts.  Last week it was maple bars layered with bits of bacon.  This week it was a couple boxes of Girl Scout cookies.  Those things are crack.  And I swear to all that is holy they’re making those cookies smaller so you have to take more.  Or I’m just a greedy cookie pig.  I got shamed by the person who brought the cookies.  I got cookie shamed.

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Tag A Longs (or s I keep calling them Tagalogs but I think that one is a language) and those powdery lemon cookies.  I did a couple of cookie walk bys and grabbed two.  Of course I was in clear line of sight of the person who brought them and I could feel her watching me.  I pretended to take the entire tray of cookies back to my desk (I’m a damn lady and was raised to know how to share. I’d never take an entire box of cookies meant for everyone….okay maybe when I’m in the comfort of my own home I’ll take a box into my closet and eat the entre thing while sitting underneath all the clothes that don’t fit me any more, weeping and hiccupping and wondering where I went wrong in life) and the cookie bringer began to make snide comments.  Just little things about taking too many cookies.  My co-workers swooped by and took several handfuls and yet she singled me out.  What surprised me most was how ashamed I felt, how reprimanded, even if it was under the guise of “I’m just kidding.” A co-worker noticed the cookie shaming and asked me about it the next morning  “Motherfucker,” she breathed in exasperation and handed me a couple Oreos.  I felt loved.

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The Fiendish Sex Lives of Coworkers

Okay, I don’t really know anything about my coworkers’ sex lives. Thank the Baby Jesus or I’d spend every day trying to put my own eyes out with my pinky.  I just thought it was an eye-catching title.  Besides, none of my coworkers seem to be the type to be fiends in bed.  Then again, I work in a library and you got to watch out for those library people because they are surprisingly freaky.

You ever have one of those dreams about one of your coworkers?  Yeah.  You know what I’m talking about.beeker  Good old sex dreams that lead to damn awkward encounters the next day and the inability to make eye contact.  I had one last week about a coworker and it was decidedly disappointing because it wasn’t about sex.  I’m not getting any in real life and evidently in my dreams I’m being denied as well.  In my dream, my coworker texted me (Jesus, technology has invaded my dreams….I used to have dreams about talking on a real phone to boys….then again, they were those kinds of dreams where my fingers wouldn’t cooperate and I could never push the right numbers) and said that I basically didn’t have any better options in life so I might as well start dating him.  The sad thing was that even in my dream, I cocked my head to the side and thought “You know what?  He’s right.  I don’t have any better options.  I might as well be his girlfriend.”  And then, before I could text him back and say “Yeah, okay, I’ll be your girlfriend” the zombie apocalypse happened and I had to hide with a bunch of survivors in a fortified bunker that Cloris Leachman owned.  My coworker may or may not have been lost out there in the zombie apocalypse.  Fucker never texted me to make sure I was okay.

I saw him at work the next day.coworker

I didn’t get all blushy and mumbly.  We didn’t do anything in  my dream.  He basically saw that I would probably end up as that 88 year old stink in the apartment at the end of the hallway with 72 cats eating my body and took pity on me and decided he should be a gentleman and tell me he was my last hope. I had to sit behind him in a meeting.  He’s not bad looking, kind of cute if you like that hipster techno-savvy  geek kind of thing.  I don’t. I studied the beginning of his bald spot, his orange skinny jeans, his ironic water bottle (I don’ know why it’s ironic but since he’s a hipster it’s probably somehow ironic therefore inexplicable to me) and tiny notebook he took indecipherable notes in.  He’s probably a nice enough guy for somebody to spend the rest of her life with, someone who doesn’t mind him being insufferably condescending when he sees her enter www before a web address.

I’d rather let my 72 cats eat my face off.

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Don’t Quit Your Day Job

When I was 15 (and younger) I wanted to be a writer.  I told everyone who would listen and many who wouldn’t listen.  Assholes.  I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, from the basement, from the bus stop, from that corner where that guy almost abducted me while I was walking home and he stopped to ask me if I wanted a ride home and I said “No thanks” and then “acted” like I had mental problems.  When you’re fifteen, you want to tell everyone what you dream about doing for the rest of your life.

You hit your 20s and you start to get very quiet.  Everything else gets in the way.  And I’m not talking about getting a real career. I don’t have a “real” job.  I’ve worked in a library for the last 18 years at a job built for a high schooler.  It’s not like I spent most of my adult life building skills and wealth.  I’ve been in hiding.  From my dreams. Those pesky bastards.

I reached my late 30s and instead of screaming about wanting to be a writing, I can barely mouth the words.  And instead of saying I’m writing something, I say in a dismissive tone “I’m just scribbling some stuff.  I scribble.”

Because I think my dream of being a writer is dead.fuck this shit.jpg

I joined this online group for writers.  You submit your stuff for other writers to critique.  It sounded like a pretty good deal.  For four days I sweated over submitting the beginning of a story, just a sample of something I’ve been working on.  I even threw up a little in my mouth when I hit the SUBMIT button.  I kept checking my email, hitting the refresh button enough times to fade the lettering on it.  I got my first critique last night.  The woman corrected a bunch of my grammar.  I’m a writer.  Of course my grammar is atrocious, mostly in the forms of way too many commas and semicolons thrown in willy-nilly.  She said my writing was “wonderfully descriptive” and I took that to mean “You are not a fraud, you are not a hack.  With some practice, you may even become a good writer one day. Please don’t give up.”

And then the second critique today.  Another writer said that the story didn’t hold her interest.  My knee jerk reaction was “Well fuck you and your interest.”  See?  Right there.  I think that’s why I should give up on wanting to be a writer.  I can take correcting my grammar but if you’re saying my story doesn’t hold your interest then I’m no writer.  Not a writer at all.i give up.png

Man.  I sure say fuck a lot.

I’ve been getting up at 1am to do my writing because that seems to be “my” hour, when the house is quiet and it’s just me and my music and my writing and maybe that crazy drunk woman walking by on the street. But I’m 38 now.  If I haven’t gone anywhere with my writing it’s my own fault.  I finally asked my very bestest friend Kathy to read some of my stuff and that took a LONG time for me to do because I hate writers who pimp their stuff on people.  It’s a specialized kind of whoring that I don’t think I’m cut out for.  I don’t think I’m ambitious enough to be a writer.  I’m willing to put in the time but dudes, I’m almost 40 with not much to show for my life.  Maybe I should put those ideas away and concentrate on stuff I’m good at like sleeping and Netflix marathons and pretending to be a kind person.  I think I’m going to go head over to the valley of dead dreams where it kind of smells like a thrift store and there’s lots of people with dead dreams milling around.  I see a cowgirl, a singer, an actress, most of the cast from every VH1 reality show ever…..little bit.jpg

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Fitted Sheets

I know my mom taught me how to fold fitted sheets.  I my have spaced off (most likely) or was thinking about what I was going to eat next.  Or maybe I was thinking about how she knows how to do all the stuff I’ll ever master like making a bed properly, boiling water, being kind to people and not tripping toddlers.  Lord knows she’s tried to teach me a lot over the years.  I was too busy thinking about a giant bowl of Sugar Smacks or if trying to sleep for 15 hours straight meant I was depressed or just really tired.fitted sheets.png

I’ve come to the conclusion that since she knows how to fold fitted sheets, she must be into some hardcore witchcraft.

I decided to try to be an adult the other day (I have two sets of real adult sheets instead of the Minions sheets I’ve been sleeping on for a couple of years) and went to fold a fitted sheet right out of the dryer.  It was warm and soft, very unlike my soul.  I matched up two corners and was thinking I might even clean the toilet and dust afterward. I was so proud of myself for adulting all over the place that I didn’t even notice the cursing in the room.  It was me.  Standing over a fitted sheet that looked like a hot air balloon that had been dropped on its head.

“Fuck fuck-ity motherfucking stupid dong fuck being an adult is stupid” I scream- hissed and then crumpled up the fitted sheet and threw it in the back of the closet like a dirty secret.

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And then I went and ate a big ass bowl of Frosted Flakes because I was out of Sugar Smacks.  Still haven’t scrubbed the toilet or dusted.  Fuck it.

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Not Another Hysterectomy Story

Tomorrow morning an Asian man with small hands (and who looks A LOT like Ken Jeong) will be taking out my cervix, uterus, and tubes.  Don’t worry.  He’s a doctor.  Well, he wears a white coat anyway and promised to robotically remove my lady junk.  I have to be at the hospital at 5:30am (which is fine because I’m an early riser but not one of those chipper people you want to punch in the face) where I’ll probably wait 3 hours for my surgery wearing nothing but a flimsy gown and sweaty hospital socks. My blood pressure will be through the roof because when I’m nervous my body betrays me and does batshit crazy things like get explosive diarrhea and try to stroke out.  The nurses will cluck over me, make small remarks and tell me to calm down and they’ll eventually shoot me up with some ultra-calming stuff that’s supposed to make you feel all floaty and relaxed.  Spoiler alert: the last time I had the floaty stuff it didn’t work on me, barely even took the edge off.  I went in for  biopsy last June and was so worked up over not knowing if I had cervical cancer or not that nothing but anesthesia was going to bring me down.  That was the best part, the anesthesia.  The nothingness of it.  The juice dude put that mask over my face and the next thing I knew I was awake, muttering “Is it over?  Can I go home now?”  Just like my first time having sex.

After the biopsy I had this conversation with my doctor:

Me: So, do I have cancer?

Doctor: Hmmm…almost.

Me: What the fuck do you mean, almost?

I didn’t say that last part out loud.  I just sorta sat there and gawped at him.  What it comes down to is this:  I sorta do and sorta don’t have cancer.  I have those asshole cancer cells roaming around my cervix that if left untreated would spread to my uterus.  The doc said he won’t know until he pulls out my baby hammock and takes a peek.  Hysterectomy is the only way to treat it.

Here’s some shit I’m worried about:

  • The doc’s going to open me up and find cancer everywhere.  And Jimmy Hoffa and Waldo and that necklace I lost in the third grade.
  • I’m going to blurt out to the anesthesiologist “You guys better not draw dicks on my face while I’m out!”
  • The catheter will feel like a UTI.stupid uterus
  • I’ll have uncontrollable farts because they pump you full of air to better see your organs.
  • My hospital roommate will have Ebola
  • I’ll get MRSA
  • And Ebola

But the odd thing is I’m kinda excited about the whole (hole) thing.  After almost 30 years of suicide-inducing periods, I’ll be free.  I’ll still have my ovaries so I won’t go into early menopause.  The best part is I’ll get to spend $7.50 every month on candy instead of candy and tampons.  I just hope my bladder doesn’t slip and try to make an escape via my vagina.

I hear that shit happens sometimes.

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You Say It’s Your Birthday

Today is my 38th birthday.  Well, it was two days ago.  I wrote this blog in a notebook because there was a movie on Netflix I’d seen 5 times and I was in a hurry to watch it for the 6th time.

Mentally, I feel 18.  Physically, I’ve had better days.  From the way my co-workers talk, I can expect to wake up dead tomorrow now that I’m closer to 40.  I’ll try not to make this post a list of everything going wrong with my body along with aging.  I’ll make it more of  a “This is Some Shit I’ve Noticed” post.  And I’ve noticed some shit.i've seen some shit

If I have to pee I’d better do it as soon as the urge hits.  Remember when you were 14 and could hold it for 6 hours and not feel like you were going to need a Depends?  Yeah, those were the days.  Sometimes if I have to pee and blink too hard it’s almost photo finish getting to the bathroom.  I find myself nodding at those Poise commercials and then switching over to the Cartoon Network like I was caught watching porn.  Same thing with pooping.  When I was 14 my body would be like “Nah.  You okay.  It’s cool.  You got a couple hours.”  Now my colon gives me one warning blast and says “You better find a bathroom.  There will be no second warning.”

I’ve noticed surface things about my body that have taken me by surprise and by surprise I mean “Aw, man, what the fuck?”  I grew up in a house where the bathroom mirror showed only the tops of my shoulders.  Sure, there were other mirrors in the house but I’ve never been one to stand naked in full-length mirrors, not even to do a suspicious mole patrol.  The house I’m living in now has a mirror directly across from the toilet.  One day I was finishing up my business and stood up and was shocked to see some old vagina looking back at me in the mirror.  I actually turned around to see if there was some old pussy behind me.  Nope.  That was my old pussy.  Who knew those things could look old?  And kind of fat?  And a little sad and droopy like life hadn’t gone the way it hoped it would.  Get in line, sister.

I don’t feel old.  Sometimes I’m a little achy in the morning but that might be because I slept like I just went through an exorcism and part of me was on the bed while the other half was on the floor.  I should probably start exercising, the kind that says I like myself and care about what happens to my body.  Maybe I’ll start running or train for a triathlon.

Nah.  I’ll stick to Netflix marathons and maybe do jumping jacks during the credits.nearly 40

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The Fraud

There’s something I want to do but I’m afraid to do it.  I want to apply for a writer’s grant.  The only problem is the one I want to apply for is for real writers.  I’m talking Virginia Woolf and shit.  Writers that write important, life changing novels.  Writers that people remember 100 years from now.    I write about farts, pooping in bathtubs after eating too many peaches, cannibals living behind Safeway and ,Jesus, just a bunch of meaningless crap.  I lack a lot, A LOT, of faith in myself as a writer (and a human being.)  I don’t like calling myself a writer because it makes me feel like a pretentious asshole. A complete fraud.fraud  I say I scribble because when you say you scribble people think “Oh, you just write your weird little ideas down in your weird little notebooks” and they’re right.  To apply for this grant I’d have to submit some pieces of writing, some of my fiction.  Just thinking of that makes me throw up a little in my mouth.  And in my lap.  I imagine the form letter I’d get back: “Dear Ms. Hughes- Thank you for your interest in The Gift of Freedom writing grant.  However, we are not interested in stories about flatulence, black out drunk drag queens or the low self-esteem that happens at the end of the day when your foundation starts to melt.”

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Going Soft

I hated spiders for the longest time.  They were my sworn enemies.  You know the ones I’m talking about: the ones that are the size of a fifty cent piece, big hairy looking butts and legs so long they would engulf an entire hand.  Something about all those legs and  skittering movement. And did you know some of them are fast fuckers?  I’ve seen some huge ones that would leave Kenyan Olympic runners in the dust.  Those are the scariest ones.  The one you hit with a heavy shoe, they fall off the wall and when you go to check to make sure they’re in a clump of death they’re gone.  You could throw a Doc Marten at one of these suckers and they’d brush it off and begin plotting revenge against you. I had pretty good aim.  I was the Katniss of killing spiders with a thrown shoe.  Or a TV Guide.  Or a cat.

But now it’s different.  I’m getting older and less inclined to kill other living things.  I found a spider in my room the other day and transplanted it to a potted plant because I was worried it wouldn’t lead a happy life hanging out on my wall.  This morning sitting at my desk at work I found a good sized spider walking through my bangs.  I must have walked through its house on the way into work which made me feel guilty.  Instead of killing it, I spent three minutes trying to move it 10 feet to another potted plant but the idiotic thing kept jumping from the edge of the post card I was using.  Maybe it was suicidal.  Maybe I should play it Elton John’s Somebody Saved My Life Tonight.  I finally got it into a co-worker’s potted plant and then looked into a mirror because I punched myself in the face and knocked my wig sideways when the spider startled me.

Then again, a couple weeks ago I killed a big spider that was on my mom.  It was on her, disappeared and showed up a second later on my arm.  It fell to the floor and I swear to God it was wearing roller skates because it took off so fast.  I felt bad about killing him but it was either me or him.  And when I was kinda trying to help him out of the house, shooing him with a magazine, I squished him.  And then I tried to make myself feel better by trying to convince myself I sort of tried to save him.

But he attacked my mom, you guys.  Nobody attacks my mom and gets away with it.  Even if it’s a spider that fell out of a tree.  And stay out of my wig.flip flop

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You’re Horrible

Until last night I never thought about punching a child in the face.  Who am I kidding?  I think about punching people in the face all the time.  It’s not that I’m a violent person.  Wait.  I just admitted to wanting to punch a child in the face.  I am a violent person.  I’ve thought about being at the grocery store and tripping a screaming child just to enjoy that ten seconds of pure shocked silence before they start screaming and you have to get the fuck out of there before the police are called.  I’ve seen a kid kick a dog and then wanted to kick the kid.  Kid knows better.  The dog doesn’t.

We don’t get a lot of heat here in the Pacific Northwest during the summer.  If we do have 90 degree days it might be for 3 days and then it’ll start raining or a hipster will fall through a Starbuck’s door and write a screenplay about how depressing Seattle is.  For the last week we’ve had hot weather.  Shoot yourself in the head weather.  Punch a child in the face weather.  I don’t do hot weather very well.  It gets above 60 degrees and I start mourning my sweaters.  I get cranky when it’s hot.  And I get boob sweat and swamp ass.  TMI?  Yeah, but it’s my blog.

So I’m trying to fall asleep last night about 2 inches away from a fan that is doing nothing but blowing hell fire heat around.  It was maybe 8 o’clock.  Early for a lot of people but I like to go to bed early during the work week.  So I can sleep and escape the fact that I don’t like my job.  Neighborhood kids are outside playing because hell, to them it’ll still light out for another two hours and they don’t have to go to sleep to get up in the morning for a job.  Those little bastards.  It gets pretty noisy right out in front of my house.  I wear earplugs but last night, they seemed to amplify every single sound.  I’m in bed, fan turned up high, boobs sweating, brain suffocating from the heat.  And then I hear it.  This bizarre plastic plonking sound like someone is picking up something and setting it back down on the concrete outside.  After half an hour of trying to ignore it I get up and look out my window to see some kid in the driveway tapping a sidewalk chalk bucket slowly and methodically onto the driveway.  She’s doing the world’s slowest cup stacking thingy.  She picks up the pace a little but she still seems to lose her place and all I can hear is not a catchy rhythmic sound but the sound of someone rolling a plastic cup along the sidewalk.  I wondered if a squirt gun would work through a screen or would it be like taking a pee test and all I’d end up doing was getting the water all over me.  After about an hour and 10 minutes I wanted to punch the kid in the face, mainly because I was jealous because she got to play outside until it got dark and didn’t have to get up and go to work but mainly because I was hot and pissed off that I couldn’t play outside until dark.  People think it’s weird when a 40 year old woman wants to hang out and draw on the sidewalk.  I had to tell myself the kid was being a kid.  Enjoy her enjoying herself.  Enjoy the fact that she wasn’t going to be any stacking cup champion anytime soon.  I still wanted to yell out the window “Enjoy it while you can, kid, because pretty soon you’ll have to get a job and try to spend your life sleeping to escape it.”

But if she does it again tonight I’m totally going to throw a handful of Tylenol PM’s out the window and yell “Skittles!”blam

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