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Turkey Bacon, Home Repair and Other Crap I’m Desperately Trying to Love [California Seething]

The rantings of a non-driving theatre professional living in altogether the wrong city

Look, I’ll admit it. This week’s blog post is kicking my ass. Mostly, that’s because the beautiful, intelligent, creative and fabulous editors of Fierce & Nerdy decided they fucking hate me this week so they’re making me write about Love. Okay, so, it’s not just me — they’re forcing all of us to say some shit about love this week. I guess it’s because it’s Valentine’s Day or something and nothing says “Valentine’s Day” like a compulsory and involuntary expression of love, as FTD expressed in their new slogan – “This year, say it with flowers- or eat lead, jive turkey!” (they probably shouldn’t have hired Pam Grier as their spokesperson this year after last year’s disastrous jewelry store campaign “Every Kiss begins with Kill Whitey!”)

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with love. I love love! Love is patient, love is kind, love will tear you apart, love is a battlefield and all the other good stuff Jesus told the Corinthians (BTW — never mix up the hooker dance from Love is a Battlefield with the Zombie dance from Thriller. Trust me, you’ll just end up with one seriously pissed off Filipino prison camp and a cease and desist order from the Jackson estate, not to mention that Pat Benatar will get all Billie Jean on your ass and nobody wants that. No one can tell her she’s wrong!) Need more proof that I’m all about love — check out my Valentine’s Day shout out from last year’s post:

“Valentine’s Day is a cynical, exploitive holiday made up by greeting card companies, stuffed animal manufacturers, jewelers and chocolatiers designed to make people in relationships feel guilty if they don’t buy each other presents and to make single people feel like inadequate failures for not being in a relationship. I love it! I’m an underpaid, out of shape arts administrator with a tiny house and a hairy back- I feel like an inadequate failure most of the time- why shouldn’t I feel like a winner one day a year for being happily married for over 10 years and let all the rich, pretty single people with slammin’ pads and manscaping regimens feel like losers for a change. And what’s wrong with getting presents? I love presents! Russell Stover hearts full of nougaty goodness, stuffed apes in boxer shorts that talk when you squeeze them, nattily dressed little bears from Starbucks with hearts on their outfits and a song in their hearts- what the hell is wrong with any of that? Even if we don’t exchange gifts, it’s all good- because I know I get to spend time with the love of my life and you don’t. The Christians have Easter, the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day but on Valentine’s Day — I feel like CVS has been redecorated just for me and the world is my warm, fuzzy oyster.“

You see that, bitchez, I’m captain fucking sensitivity. Who’s got two thumbs and saw the Indigo Girls and Joan Baez at Tanglewood on the 4th of July? This Guy! (all the fireworks were emotional). I’m so sensitive it’s like I like the Smith. Hell, I’m so sensitive, it’s like I went to Smith. I mean, I’ve got short hair and like chicks (unlike Morrissey), so I’d fit right in at Smith. Shit. I screwed that up, didn’t I? Can we just pretend the whole last paragraph didn’t exist? Like maybe just imagine that I was posting sweet and innocent happy stuff about, I don’t know, Girl Scout cookies (Tranny Tagalongs) (Shut up!)(Don’t tell me what to do!)(You’ll ruin everything)(Go to hell!) or puppy breath or something and not offending Smiths fans and Smith alumni (which the FaN creator is.) Right, ok. So that takes care of that. Great. So what the hell was I talking about again? Oh right, love. Huh. How’s it going? (insert rotten fruit throwing gag here).

Actually, strictly speaking, it’s not “Love Week”, at Fierce and Nerdy it’s “Lurve Week” – which, I guess is how all the super cool kids are spelling “Love” these days because all the cool kids are dumb and can’t spell. Thanks American school system! We’re number 17! (insert foam finger gag here) It’s all for the best, though, because our kids don’t have to worry about mean old Mr. Spelling (not Aaron Spelling, though, cause he’s dead and loves teenagers, though not necessarily in that order and not in a creepy Jerry Sandusky sort of way although even if he did Jason Priestly isn’t talking and Brian Austin Green still cries himself to sleep at nights in his enormous pillow but I think that’s more because he was a terrible rapper. I mean, come on dude, you know you’re not really David Silver, right? That guy was a musical genius!) crotchety old Ms. Science and Math and that uptight prick Mr. Reading Comprehension stomp all over their precious self-esteem. Our children need to know that they’re perfect just like God made them — under-educated and over-confident just like all great Americans. After all, the cash registers at Wal*Mart can add in the sales tax, so it’s not like they’ll need math at work and who cares if they know what USA stands for — just as long as they can chant it loud and proud while they watch the London Olympics on their Korean TVs, waving their Chinese-made flags and eat grapes picked by Mexicans and Guatemalans. Joke! Joke! Just Kidding! American kids would never eat fruit while watching TV :)

And of course I’m not saying the FaN editors are stupid or anything, they just have a thing for stupid made up words like “lurve” and “blogumn”. Seriously guys- “blogumn”? Only Mr Burns can make that sound good (“Smithers, get out my old Smith Corona and type out a blogumn about the King of Siam, post-haste. I’ll want to look it over on the long auto-gyro ride to Indochina. And stop telling me you lurve me- I don’t even know what that means. If you want to be rump-chums just come out and say it. I might find the idea quite corking! Now, on with the butt sex!”)

OK. Right. Back on track. Love Post GO!

Huh.

Right.

OK!

How about all that weather we’ve been having? (insert crickets and tubleweed gag here)

Crap.

Look, I’ve got to be honest, it’s not just the subject matter that’s kicking my ass today. I’ve got a lot of distracting things going on. It’s been one of those weeks filled to the brim with unpleasant grown up stuff. In fact, as I sit here writing this, there’s a bucket overflowing with unpleasant grown up stuff jammed under my kitchen sink (that’s not a metaphor people, it’s a plumbing disaster.) When I first saw the leak under the sink in the P-trap (GROWN UP TERM #1: “P-Trap” refers to the curvy part that hangs down under the drain. IT SHOULD NOT CONTAIN ANY ACTUAL PEE. If it does, please refer to my helpful guidebook: “Seriously Dude?? My Cereal Bowl is in There! And Other Tips for Dealing with a Vindictive Drunk Roommate” – including helpful chapters like “If There’s a Brown Smudge on Your Toothbrush then Move the Fuck Out” and “It’s Probably Best if you Don’t Drink His Milk.”) I shoved the Bucket Formerly Known as my Bedroom Trash Can under there, and I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it was way too tall and would be almost impossible to remove without spilling every single drop of water all over the floor, which would defeat entirely the purpose of having a bucket underneath there in the first place, except that it would all happen at once not over a period of time so it would be much, much harder to clean and it would be accompanied by a corresponding torrent of profanity from me like a YouTube video of “Shit Tourette’s Patients Say.” I wish that I could claim that this was a stand-alone moment of total stupidity, but just like on Broadway there’s a shattered Pyrex dish for every moronic decision I’ve made on National Blvd.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with love, so it’s not really helping me get this fucking post done. Or is it? I mean, I absolutely hate any type of home repair or renovation, but if I’m going to survive as an actual legit grown up, I’m going to have to learn to love it — and isn’t that what adulthood is all about? Learning to love the stupid shit you hate because you’re stuck with it? Here’s a few other examples:

Healthy Food Substitutions

Let me tell you, I may have a tough time believing in God, but I can wholeheartedly believe this Lite spread is Not Butter. I mean, I may be a theatre person but not even Aristotle himself could summon enough willing suspension of disbelief to convince himself that that there’s anything even remotely butter-like about this big yellow tub full of trans-fat free crap.

And until I started eating turkey bacon, I had no idea there was a part of the turkey that was made of rubber but tasted like ass (SPOILER ALERT: It’s the ass.) The other healthy food options don’t fare much better- Garden Burgers, Soy Dogs, Skim Milk, Rice Dream, Egg Beaters, Light Beer, Fat Free Cream Cheese, Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, Better n’Peanut Butter, Shirataki Fettuccini Shaped Noodle Substitute, Reduced Fat Parmesan Style Grated Topping, and Morningstar Farms Chik’n Nuggets.

It’s like living in some weird science fiction movie where all of the normal food has been replaced by super-healthy-artificial food-product compressed into regular food-shape and totally stripped of fat, sugar, cholesterol or anything else that makes it remotely edible by the use of sinister health conscious alien technology (they’re only trying to probe us because they’re worried about our fiber) — kind of like Soylent Green except that at least was made of people so there might be some fucking fat in it, which might give its a little flavor.

Come to think of it, if the Donner Party had been subsisting on Almond Milk and Tofurky they would have resorted to cannibalism a hell of a lot earlier. They might have even got themselves trapped in the snow on purpose and thrown out all of their provisions so they could hurry up and start eating the chubby ones with sour cream, real butter and chives like a Wendy’s Baked Potato. Crap, now I’m hungry again. I wonder if we have any more of those baked, fat free Cheez-Its.

Right, so clearly, no one actually loves eating like this — hell no one even really likes eating like this, but we do it anyhow because it’s the right thing to do for ourselves and we realize that even though we might not really love eating the food, we like how we feel about ourselves after we’re done. Hungry. Really fucking hungry. Just don’t come near me with sour cream and chives, or I can’t be held responsible for what’s gonna happen.

Must See, Can’t Hear TV

So, there I was, hanging around the house on a Friday night watching Murder, She Wrote on TV Land when Lee Majors came on to hawk his brand new line of Lee Majors Bionic Hearing Aids. A few minutes later, as I was relaxing in a nice warm bath with my wrists both cut open, I thought, well, ok, maybe it’s not as bad as that. I mean, sure, my taste in television has placed me squarely in the portable oxygen and mail order catheter demographic and sure one of the great television idols of my youth is now pushing hearing aids — but hey, it could be worse.  It could be Fall Guy Male Incontinence Pads (“For when you can’t pull off the stunt of bladder control ”). And, besides, who gives a crap if this is how I want to spend my Friday nights. I’ve got nothing to prove. I don’t need to be going out to Skybar, wearing leather pants and trying to be cool — shit, I wasn’t any good at doing that when I was in my 20s. So now, if I want to hang around in my sweatpants and watch the Dementia Channel so I can see my withered TV idols rub their failure and mortality in my face while Angela Lansbury tries to figure out which 80’s guest star is that week’s murderer (Ken Howard. ALWAYS Ken Howard), well that’s exactly what I’m going to fucking do. And, you know what? I love it.

Depressing Lifecycle Events

I’m not sure who came up with this system, but all of the really fun lifecycle events are kind of packed into the first 40 years or so of a person’s life, and it gets a little depressing after that- as you will see from the chart below (feel free to substitute non-Jewish events. I don’t know what you goat worshippers do):

0 – 40 Birth
Bris
1st day of school
Bar Mitzvah
High School Graduation
21st Birthday
College Graduation
First Job
Car rental- yes!
Marriage
First House
Children (optional)
40 – 90 Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Illness
Retirement
Death

Okay, I mean, sure, it’s not actually as bleak as that. I mean, if you have children or nieces and nephews or godchildren or children you watch through binoculars at the house across the street and occasionally give frosted animal crackers and a little sips of gin and Juicy Juice to at the park when their nanny’s not looking, you can live vicariously through their lifecycle events — which is fantastic and all, but it doesn’t change the fact that the excuses for getting your suit dry cleaned become progressively more depressing the older you get, and you learn to say goodbye a lot more often than hello. So, what is there to love about that? Well, nothing really, except that it’s a good reminder to celebrate the good times with the people you love as often as you can, make the most of the time you have together, no matter what the reason, and try not to be an asshole whenever you can, even when someone really deserves it.

OK, so there we go. A post that’s all about love. Or, you know, at least one that uses the word “love” as often as I possibly could without choking to death on my vomit. Trust me, I’m gonna do a whole hell of a lot better when FaN finally has it’s “Fucking Bunch of Douchebags Week.” during the Republican Convention. Trust me, that is one blogumn that I’m really gonna lurve writing (insert canned footage of black and white audience applauding here.)

And, oh yeah, my kitchen sink is gonna be fine. It just needed a little plumber’s tape, some elbow grease and the right shaped bucket for when everything inevitably falls to shit. Who has two thumbs and is awesome at home repair? This Guy! (SPOILER ALERT: Call a plumber.)

featured image credit: riptheskull