Sunday, December 18, 2011

Vegas Vacation: A Lesson in Morality

So about two weeks before Halloween, a couple girlfriends of mine from work said to me, "Come to Vegas." I replied, "I'll be the friend that dies."

Much like an away match against the shit-eating Sounders, the probability that I will end up in jail or the hospital in these situations is exponentially increased due to my consumption of alcohol, lack of self control, and an inability to filter what comes out of my mouth. Nevertheless, I half-heartedly checked prices on flights for about a week, before remembering that I have nearly maxed out my Southwest Airlines credit card (mostly thanks to the Bitter End Pub). Turns out I had a free flight because of it, and if that's not a sign cock-slapping me in the face, then I don't know a dick from its balls. I left rainy, shitty Portland for 80 degree, dry heat in Sin mother fucking City.

The first hour in Vegas was akin to much of my time in Africa; uncomfortably close to sweat-stinky people, in a ridiculously hot climate, and finding it hard to locate alcohol when you have a big, lesbian, tourist backpack on. It was, hands down, the most difficult time I've ever had getting a Taxi. (And this is coming from a classy lady who used to get Fist-Pumping-Friday drunk at local douche bag karaoke joint the Boiler Room, and who's morals decline at about the same rate as her intoxication level increases.) After finally procuring a cab (cash only?), the driver gave me a nice little foreshadow to my trip, as he told me stories of the night before when all the girls on the Strip were "inappropriately" dressed and "sloppy" drunk.

All my friends were on a separate flight than I, so when I got there they'd already been drinking liquor in public and enjoying the heat and porn cards. (Yaaay my friends!) Planet Hollywood, the biggest building I have ever stayed in, is designed to confuse the fuck out of you. It's a labyrinth of bars and boobies and gambling that, when you are too drunk to figure out where the fucking elevators are, you'll shrug your shoulders and throw money at a soul-sucking slot machine and spend $10 on cigarettes. Gambling in the form of human contact like Blackjack and Poker are these magical games where they make money look like Monopoly coins. Alcohol is free, and therefore the loss of inhibitions is too. Money? What money? It's not money if it's these pretty little coins that give my fingers so much pleasure when I play with them... It's not ten dollars if they remind me of quarters.

I plunked myself down next to a group of nice looking Spaniards, (who were smoking, inside!!), and ordered a shot from a waitress who was noticeably acting like she'd had a few herself. I'm sorry. What I meant there was 'trashy'. What's my total? Eleven dollars. For one shot??? No wonder everyone gambles, it's so you don't have to get ass raped by outrageous bar tabs. Now, I had decided not to drink for about two weeks leading up to Vegas. My rationale? I was going to be in a swimsuit. In reality? I got fucking hammered after one shot and a Bud Light at one in the afternoon. Thankfully, when my friends found me they had been hitting the bottle like good alcoholics, so we were on the same level of giddiness.

The six of us checked into our hotel room, which consisted of two queen beds. We tried to work out some sort of least-awkward sleeping situation, (the trip contained a couple), before realizing that in all likelihood we'd all be too blacked out to care. We then visited the most awkward and poorly designed pool I've ever been to. You walk out of the doors to a DJ booth blasting techno remixes of LMFAO (P-P-P-Party Rah-Rah-Rah-Rah) and a 100 foot long catwalk of dirty red carpet flanked by hundreds of deck chairs, all of which were eerily empty. A giant building in front of us seemed to at one point contain a cafe, but it had long since been abandoned. There was one pool to the left and one to the right, which I think existed because at any time of day, at least one or both would be in total shade due to the skyscrapers surrounding it. If you've ever wanted to listen to Party Rock Anthem on repeat, you'd be right at home in this twilight episode of hungover life. We got in the pool, and it quickly became obvious that everyone else was there to people watch in the sun, not to swim in the disease-ridden waters. Also, because of our pasty white skin and non-tribal tattoos, we were wildly out of place.

Giving up on sunbathing, we focused our energies on going out for the evening. The two other girls had other business to take care of, so the three boys and I went to try our luck at Blackjack. We met a nice dealer named Vasco, who's name got increasingly fun to say as the free alcohol started flowing. Sitting next to one of the guys (read: unrequited love... awkward), I for some reason thought it would be a good idea to keep up with his alcohol intake. What this ended up looking like was me loudly conversing with Vasco about the story of his life, while he basically played the game for me. And smoking. Like, a lot. Eventually, like most Vegas stories go, we lost all our money and went to work on getting wasted. (Disclaimer: I already was.)

I had a hunch that I'd get too drunk and become that girl holding her heels and walking barefoot. You know this girl and may have been her too at one point in your life- taking one too many Jager shots at Dirty and is now too drunk to stay upright in heels and is also too drunk to care that they are walking barefoot on disgusting downtown sidewalks. The girls decided that before we went to generic nightclub, we'd all get out of our heels and into some sandals. What could go wrong? Well for one thing, even sandals won't keep you on your feet if you are blacked out and think you can dance better than the strippers. For another, just because they are sandals does not mean that they too aren't capable of being taken off and lost. We'll get back to that.

So, I'm a huge proponent of the theory that if you walk anywhere with confidence, people will usually believe that you belong there. Waiting in line to pay to get into the nightclub, I saw something on the ground just past the lady collecting money and handing out wristbands and cups. "Katie, follow me. I got this." I walked (ok swayed very ungracefully) past the lady, bent down and picked up whatever was on the ground, and announced loudly, "Oh thank god, here it is, Katie! We can go back in now," as I waltzed into the entryway like a celebrity and Katie followed nervously behind. To my surprise, no one stopped us, and thereby proving my theory correct. But there was one tiny problem. We were now on the inside without wristbands or cups to prove we had legally entered, and were thus forced to walk of shame back to the end of the line, as onlookers giggled at us. "Yeah, I thought I saw you guys walk by," (I didn't think judgement and apathy could work so well as a 'tone'). I did not even try to make an excuse, but looked at her with crossed eyes and a sloppy grin. I was like a shamed toddler who had just been caught stealing. Obviously, I had no reason to be drinking more, in any setting.
Inside the club, Katie and I are instructed to first drink some revolting watermelon drink, which I swear to god must have been roofie flavored, because that's when everything started getting blurry. And by that I mean my ass was White Girl Wasted and therefore had the confidence of a Frat boy doing a keg stand, and clearly thought I was the funniest person on god's green earth. In reality, Katie and I were laughing so hard at these poor boys dressed as the Queen's Guard we were clenching our legs in order not to pee. Then, a very tall, sexy black man came up to us and said, hey- you girls should go say hi to my friends, it's their birthday. (Probably because we were the most noticeably drunk girls at the party.) Maggie's drunken motto came out ("Why the fuck not?") and he pointed us in the direction of- dammit- the Queen's Guard morons. We lost our shit laughing again, and overly friendly man sighed, "They have bottle service," Katie immediately responded, "I'm in," and as I hesitated, the man gave me my end-all, "They're English."

Even while blacked out drunk, apparently this bitch can sniff out the only boys in the whole bar that had British accents, and thereby solidifying the fact that my early twenties should be renamed: The Seducing of the Foreign Boy.

I vaguely remember sitting with these boys, and screaming about how "I swear I can do a greeeat English accent", dancing and falling on the floor a lot, and that's it. As I had the story told to me the next day, apparently my friend Angie had decided to take me back to the room, but somehow there was a mix up with the elevator, and the doors closed (slow motion: Noooo!) and she lost me. Shrugging her shoulders, she went back to the club and they all danced and fist pumped the night away. In the wee hours of the morning, they returned to the room, only to find a naked Maggie passed out in the hallway. Ok, so I was wearing underwear, (geez Dad don't lose it), but they did have to carry me inside. Also, I guess they dropped me on my head multiple times in the attempt. Which would explain so, so much. Wallet and clothing gone, the story of how I lost all personal items before returning to the hotel remains a mystery. I would like to one day be a reviewer of hotel security tapes for the sole purpose of laughing at dumb girls like me. So, like any good Vegas Vacationer, we went downstairs, bought a bottle, and took more shots. And thus begins the story of how I lost all my money and pride in the most epic four day bender of all time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Boy with the Knuckle Tattoos

In case you're new here, let me just go ahead and tell you about my fear of men. I lack social skills on even the best of days, and when forced to interact without the use of such awesome mediums like booze or drugs, you can be sure as shit that I am going to act like one awkward mother fucker. I get the nervous stuttering chatter, hand sweats, and body temperatures typically associated with menopause. Take all that and times it by a trillion when I am talking to a guy that I find attractive. Here's the thing- I'm really fucking picky. I know this would seem contrary to my normal behavior, but let me explain. I'm usually drunk. Yeah, that's about it, actually. I use alcohol to lower my own standards. Oh, Jesus. That sounds pretty fucking pathetic when I write it down. Oh well, blogs are for the truth, am I right people?

Aaaanyway, so here's how our tumultuous romance began. A few months ago, after I had tried unsuccessfully at "No Drink January" (I know, right? It seemed failproof.) I started walking almost every day to the nearest booze-shop near my house to pick up cheap wine. It just so happens that it is a ten minute walk to the Plaid Pantry, where they sell this glorious semi-palatable wine for three fucking dollars. A nice surprise for my unending quest to chip away at my credit card bill (yes, at least $5,000 of which I can attribute to last summer's proximity to trendy bars). So after a few times swallowing my shame and purchasing the wine (and alright, sometimes pretzel M&Ms), (and yes, usually 2-3 bottles), I began to notice that the guy behind the counter was incredibly good looking. And he usually liked to small talk while in the throws of our 1.5 minute transaction. Aaah! Now I have to small talk with a hot guy AND fucking multitask??? The terror of doing so almost stopped my Plaid Pantry trips altogether, but alas, his knuckle tattoos called to me. "Stare at my sexiness," they would say to me, "Try and figure out what I say without looking too obvious..."

This banter went on for a couple months before I left for New Zealand. When I got back, a month later, I was excited to revisit where we had bashfully left off in our stupid back and forths. The first trip to the ol' PP was... a let down. But I went back anyway because my alcoholism and frugality forced me to. So about a month ago, I go in after a reeeeally long shift, and knuckle-tats looks a bit more terrified than usual. "So..." he begins, "Tomorrow is my last day..." Hmm. I'm never one to get blatantly obvious remarks. "Oh, really? Where are you going?" Blah blah blah something about train hopping and I miss most of it because the icy glares from the customers waiting behind me are too heavy to ignore. I'm done paying for mommy's brain bleach, and now we're just standing there sort of awkwardly staring at each other. So I did what any good high school girl would do- I said "have fun" and ran the fuck out.

I don't know what caused me to do this, because like I said, I'm scared of interaction... but I went in the next day. Call it the "mustering of courage" to end all "musterings of courage". So, knuckle tats is standing in front of me with like, really shaky hands and gives me some speech about "in the interest of not regretting anything before I leave" and FINALLY asked me out. I walked away, elated, and immediately called my Dad, sister, and bestfriend/exboyfriend (am I the only girl with this problem?) because this date was waaay overdue. I had already explained to most of my family members that yes, I was in love with a boy who had knuckle tattoos and they were just going to have to deal with our future tattoo'd babies.

Our first date went predictably how I ruin all future relationships. I get kind of drunk and then pretend to be the coy, shy, unassuming yet alluring and sexy version of who they want me to be. This is because my normal self- obnoxiously witty, loud, perverted, and at times crazy and abrasive (alright straightforwardly abusive) immediately scares off any and all potential suitors, from experience. I swear to God I am such a dude sometimes. My favorite move is to say, "Do you want to come back to my place for a beer?" And when they balk and say something about moving too fast, I reply with a version of "There will be no funny business, I promise." But men are men and inevitably we end up in bed where I have to coax them down from the 'are we moving to fast' ladder. The next week or so we spend at my house enjoying each other's company and drinking too much. He decides to delay his trip by a week so we can spend more time together. Aw, how fucking adorable.

I usually give the lust-meter about a week to fulfill it's purpose before realizing that really... I just like attention... and I'll take it from just about anyone in small doses. After the initial phase one wears off, I am typically feeling smothered to death and am in desperate need of about a weeks worth of candle-lit alone time and deep breathing. Does this happen to anyone else? You realize that after the first week you actually have to get to know one another? There had been a couple of times hanging out where he would say things and I would literally just force my good sense to ignore them, because if I thought about them hard enough it would ruin everything about our inevitable two-week time limit. However, most of that first week was spent talking about how we'd liked each other for so long, checked craigslist missed connections, told our respective friends about one another, watched each other from afar blah blah blah you are like so dreamy, no YOU are. After we ran out of things to flatter each other with... well we actually had to talk. And let me tell you... we had nothing in common. I mostly talk about soccer stats, my dreams of traveling the world, and nasty/politically incorrect jokes, while he wanted to talk about fighting for the working class, being gender neutral, and killing cops. You can see where conversation might be limited.

To his credit, he did let me take him to his first Timbers game... unlike the last fucking asshole prick douchebag cuntrocket (what? I'm not at all upset that he cheated on me with a stripper) I dated who refused because "he didn't like soccer." (Man, it was so black and white, why did I hang on for so long? Because I'm a fucking moron for dating anyone who doesn't at least appreciate the beautiful game. Unless you are a GODDAMN sounders fan. Then you can go ahead and cut your dick off while drowning yourself.) Knuckle Tats replied, "I'd love to see something that makes you so happy." See? There were redeemable qualities. While the last idiot couldn't bare one fucking 90 minute game to understand one of the most important and influencing factors in my life, K.T. actually chanted through and ultimately enjoyed his first game. He showered me with affection and compliments. He read some of my nastier and degrading stories and thought I was funny. He is a very sweet, well-meaning boy... we just happen to be perfectly wrong for one another.

Now that I've built him up a bit, let's take him down a peg or two. Knuckle Tats has a flair for the dramatic. Although this may have been obvious when he could literally quote to me thousands of songs about cop murder and anarchy. Ohhh my god. He has accidentally misspelled tattoos and the word "fuck" written on him. While waiting in line for the Timbers match, a camera went by shooting footage for ESPN or something, and K.T. immediately pulled a bandana out of nowhere and had it tied around his face in seconds, scared that somehow ESPN would give a flying fuck about who he was. Did I mention he is a vegan? Now, I have nothing bad to say about vegans, but it does make it a bit difficult when having to spend every meal with them... I like cheese. I have nothing morally wrong with how cheese is procured and made. So sue me.

We  talked a little about how I should write a story about our little 'meet-cute', and how adorable it was going to be. Anyway he left, and a couple of weeks ago when I was attempting pretentious sobriety, Knucks got real drunk and started texting me all this bullshit. Here's the thing- we dated for... maybe two weeks? It's not like we're getting married here, sunshine. Shit like about how he "doesn't know how to talk to me" (which I assumed was obvious) and also managed to somehow make it my fault. Alright, fucko, I'm sober, at work, and do not appreciate fucking texts that are clearly meant to spark up some sort of drama in my life. No fucking thank you. So I did the appropriate thing (for once), and did not text back. Around midnight, and past my bedtime, however I finally broke down and said, listen- stop texting me. I do not appreciate this unwelcome drama. To which he replied "Later, dude" and then promptly DEFRIENDED ME ON FACEBOOK. Are you fucking kidding me? Are. Youfuckingkiddingme. So here's how this little story came to be, with the twist I'm sure he won't appreciate, and to further prove that relationships are dramatic and men are children. Hooray!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Poor Decisons Made in Ireland: Part One, Day One

I like to think sometimes that my friend Sara has a magic vagina. She has this amazing superpower that snares just about any man she sets her eyes on. Not only that, but she can get them to do whatever the fuck she wants. I love this girl, but more often than not whenever we go out every man we meet showers her with attention and free drinks as I sip my expensive beer and take shots alone. The only logical explanation would be that she has a magic vagina (right?...).  Because of our two week vacation in Ireland, I would like to personally thank Sara's magic vagina, which gave us the gift of some of the most hilarious, lucky, and/or terrifying experiences of my life. To preface this series of adventure stories, I'm going to give you the tale of the first 24 hours, which I think gives a pretty good indication of how the rest of the trip went.

Before we had even left Portland, Sara had already been sprinkling fairy dust from her magic vagina, and met a nice boy who just happened to be flying into Dublin the same day as us. Coincidence? No, it's the power of her magical undercarriage and the intoxicating smells it emanates. He overheard Sara telling a friend about the trip while she was hungover in line for coffee. Even racked with nausea and smelling like a dirty bar floor, she is still hotter than most of us will ever be. (S.M.V. 1 Universe 0). So they make vague plans to meet at the airport in a couple days. This 'plan' consisted of calling each other minutes before our take-offs from different cities, hurriedly deciding to meet outside each others respective gates. As it would turn out, Dublin airport does not have gates. It merely has a giant hallway that spits you out to customs before you walk through some doors to the awaiting paparazzi. If you have a fear of crowds like I do, having the opaque doors open to camera flashes, loud noises, and everyone staring expectantly at you was kind of like those dreams I have with a zombie/natural disaster apocalypse combo platter haunting me only to wake up terrified with someone in the room watching me.
I blindly meander to a quiet spot (typically the inside of a girls bathroom stall) breathe, and reassess my situation. I'm supposed to meet this guy "Chris" and have no idea what he looks like. So I stand, like a fucking American jackass, outside customs with my overstuffed, lesbian, tourist backpack on, scanning people's faces to see if I find anyone that looks about on par with my jackass meter. As luck would have it, me and this guy sort of stared at each other, smiled, looked away, then looked at each others backpacks, walked the 20 foot distance to each other while awkwardly avoiding all eye contact, said hello, and... We had beaten the odds! With two hours or so before Sara landed, the bar was the only option (I swear). Have I mentioned yet that it was 6am? It was 6am. Portland time, it would have been 10pm. The weathered bartender made us show our boarding passes to show that we are still on International Time, because in Dublin, it's still too early to drink. (I know, right? Come on, Ireland, live up to your stereotype.) I probably should have taken this as a sign that yes, it was too early to start drinking, but I like to think that I was "successful" enough to make my first poor decision in Ireland without even having to leave the airport.

Four beers deep, Sara finds the new best friends wasted at the bar, shouting about how much fun we were going to have while the bartenders looked on with blatant disdain. We head out to the rising sun suspended in a cloud of drunken stupidity. Navigating the city hammered was needless to say a biiiit difficult. Especially when the dreaded feeling of sobering up hits. Combining this with an impending sense of exhaustion, I took my leave to a dorm bed for a four hour power nap while Sara and Chris continued drinking.  To this day, I have no idea how they did it. It was the apocalypse of binges. I met up with the two surprisingly coherent bffs later for a pub crawl, ending in an attempt to find a bar empty enough for us to watch the Ireland soccer match. (It's quite a popular sport over there. Here is where I wish they made a separate font for sarcasm.)

There was no room at this gigantic bar blasting the match from 25 TVs for us to even stand. So, Sara and her magic vagina saunter up to a group of nice looking boys and ask if we can sit with them. Of course they say yes, the noxious fumes of her witchcraft dancing in their nostrils. All hail the magic vagina! We sit and cheer, and the boys are immediately surprised that I can actually converse intelligently about soccer, (as an American), and that I understand the offside rule, (because I have tits). Usually in foreign countries when those two facts are revealed it results in many rounds of drinks bought for me (sadly the only time this happens is when I'm impressing foreign boys with my soccer-knowledge) as they try to find some fault in it. There are none, however, and now I'm wasted.

I woke up like I was coming out of an exorcism. Covered in saliva (my own?), wearing most of my clothes (panties?), yelling incoherently (about kebabs?), and am in a strange place with no recollection of how I got there. Alright, first step: opening eyes against the throbbing protests of my poisoned brain. Step two: identify male asleep in chair next to me. Right. Now I've started my Ireland holiday with a god damn "who are you" morning. Greaaat work, McCombs.
As random hot Irish boy awakens in the same fashion I do, I sort of blurt/slur out, "I haaave a boyfrrriend," to which he responds, "I have a girlfriend." Phew. "So..." he starts.
My mouth pathetically whispered, "Where is Sara?" But the cunt inside me was screaming, "ASPIRIN! I need a fistful of fucking aspirin before you fucking speak to me again, leprechaun!!!"
"Yeah she went off with some guys." Plural. Fuck. Outside random apartment, the sunlight assaults and abuses my eyes and headache, and hot n' hungover Irish boy quickly directs me and my shame to the easiest way of getting back to where I'm staying, on some ball-sweat-hot streetcar type thing. He even gave me some Irish money to pay for it. I may not possess the ability to hang on to a guy, but at least I'm pretty good at getting them to pay me to leave. (Maggie's traits increasingly point to 'low self esteem hooker'. A little bit of pity goes a long way.)
I pull my favorite douchebag tourist move, and walk around with one of those tiny, often wrong Lonely Planet maps in hand and meander in circles around landmarks for a while. Hours later at the hostel, the guy at the front desk gives me one horrified, humiliating look before staring in any direction except my eyes. While I haven't yet found a mirror to assess the damage, I am positive that he was staring at a greasy, sour smelling train wreck. He informs me that neither of us assholes made it home in time to check out and our possessions were now located behind the front desk. (His words.)
Oh, crapballs.
I sit alone with my anxiety in our new and empty hostel room and wait for Sara. Around 3pm the terror of having to call the Irish police to search for my missing American sets in, Sara arrives hand in hand with a young, clean-cut Irish lad, who has given her the gift of a new cell phone, and now wants to take us to lunch. Are you fucking kidding me with that magic vagina? I get booted from somewhere miles away, sex-free and hungry on some horrible, child-infested torture-tube to find my way home, while Sara's magic vag gets to leisurely lounge through the morning alternating between sex, showers, breakfast, probably all the while in a temperature controlled environment. It is only then, after I see his eyes scan the situation in front of him, (namely me, in a state of the panic-sweats and smelling of cigarettes and vodka), that I realize a shower, maybe 3 bottles of febreeze for the clothes and some industrial-strength bleach for the mouth might be in order.  

To be continued...

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Social media is both a blessing and a curse. While it lets me reconnect with friends that I may otherwise not see on a day to day basis, say, people I've met in foreign countries... It also lets me reminisce about the good friends that I've had, and ultimately lost due to some flaw in my character that makes me unusually abrasive and irresponsible. Vain, with a dash of "I'm the only person in the world that matters" thrown into the melting pot of horrible idiosyncrasies, it emits a smell so unpleasant that no one could possibly stand the stench long enough to tough out being a friend of mine.

I think this is why I prefer travelling- brief, intense bonds form between people thrown into the in-betweens of the world. No one travelling really belongs to a certain culture at that point, but live together in a transitory period of unreality that forces the habitants to melt together in an unending and enduring friendship. Personal contact is limited, which is perfect for me since I seem to be better on paper than in person. Also because most of the time spent together is either drunk or committing some insane activity that for the rest of our lifetime interactions will most likely be spent reminiscing on said crazy activities.

My whole life I've been quiet, shy, totally introspective. My parents, worried that they may have some sort of serial killer on their hands, pushed me into anxiety-inducing social situations where they told me the key to making friends was to ask people about themselves. I still believe this to be true, I'm just not as good at it anymore. I blame my Mom for committing the horrendous act of abandoning me through death and therefore sent me into a tailspin of self pity and selfishness. It's hard to care about anyone else when you could give a shit less about your own self.

Anyway so back to social media- I was perusing Facebook, as I typically do for at least an hour upon waking up, and came upon a pocket of old college besties who I thought would be my friends for at least another ten years or so, long enough for us to drift apart. However, at some breaking point, and I'm not even positive how it happened, I was no longer welcome within the group. What causes a solid friendship with so many people to all of a sudden be shattered? We went through some tough fucking shit together, too. Like, death and shit. But despite all that, the bonds that I thought held us together were apparently unreciprocated.

The only thing I can blame it on would maybe be my alcohol abuse. (Thanks a fucking lot, Mom.) The mere thought that it could have been the cause of shattering friendships with these amazing people makes me so unbearably sad. I see pictures of them on Facebook now and they all look so happy and accomplished in pictures with each other. Traveling the world, holding good jobs, engaged to their college sweethearts, competing in Triathlons... when did these people completely eclipse me in the winning-at-life game? What the fuck have I done? Drank myself into debt and poor health, held a few service industry jobs, had a couple two week relationships... Fuck me. It's never fun to wake up and realize, no- it wasn't them being assholes, it was me and my stupid fucking addiction that drained my health, finances, and motivation to do anything positive in the world.

Good on them. In a way I'm glad they ditched me- they didn't need someone like me dragging them to Tryon Creek Bar & Grill every night so they could get wasted and fight with their boyfriends, like I did. In saying that- alcohol seems to be my over-21 crutch to essentially 'ask people about themselves'. Without alcohol, it is entirely possible that I may revert to being 12 years old without any friends. But at least maybe I'll gain some fucking self respect back. And maybe give these people that were once such a huge part of my life a little piece of mind. I don't know. I'm 24 years old. If not now, when?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Assholes.

I miss my mother sometimes so much it hurts my insides. I force myself to get wasted and watch P.S. I Love You just so I can validate feeling so shitty. I cry about completely unrelated things. I literally flip through pictures of my old life and take shots of tequila just so I can fucking feel something. Feel as sad as I did the day I found out. Sometimes I let myself go for a long time without crying about it, and I work myself into a deep depression that I can't find reasons or answers for. I don't even realize why I'm in such a funk, or in that state... Then I remember that the reason I am so fucking sad and difficult and bitchy all the time is because my subconscious is going, "Yeah, your Mom fucking died. She died and you are totally alone. Good luck learning how to be an adult, kid, because you are on your fucking own. I'm kicking you to the street. Sink or swim, you privileged fucking asshole."

It's been a little over 5 years since I suddenly and for no reason lost my Mother. I was 18, in my first month at college. It was like some sick joke. After 3 years, I still suspected that she would jump out of no where and say, "Just kidding! Did you miss me?" My dreams were consumed with situations in which she apologized for being lost and that she was home now. In my dreams my Mother comes back to me. The truth was that it was so sick and impossible to swallow that there was no way it could have actually been real. Things like this don't happen to people like me. In my world kids graduate from high school, go to college debt-free, meet nice boys, get great jobs at Dad's office downtown, start a family and have our kids repeat the same process. In my world, things like parents dying was stuff that happened in movies. After so long... well... I don't know. It feels totally disconnected while simultaneously staying at the very front of my thoughts. I guess it no longer feels like I want to kill myself. That was the first two years.

When I was in high school, I never did anything. Literally. I hung out with my parents every single night. I never went to a single party. I never tasted alcohol (until our family reunion at Christmas that one time...). I went on an after-dinner walk nearly every single night with my Mother (my best friend), and our dog, Tramp. Usually we would walk past her old home, where she grew up. I remember one time I asked her something along the lines of... "Do you miss your parents?" or something like that because they were both dead. Mostly because I was going through my teenage angsty phase, and mostly because I wanted to know if my misery was worth it. Also because I wanted to know whether she believed in Heaven, since I had never met either of her parents and was struggling with the concept of religion. My whole life I'd grown up United Methodist and I had always felt like I was watching a show. It never resonated with me, the whole, organized religion thing. It seemed like I was watching a play, a scripted show that I had never heard of.

How could there be a Heaven, when religion itself seemed so silly, so foreign and rehearsed? When I asked her about her parents, she rarely talked about her father. Instead she reflected about how much she missed her own mother. As a teenager, I felt myself rather invincible. I wasn't scared of dying because I hadn't lived yet. I had nothing to be scared of because I wasn't yet aware how cruel life could be. The only thing I worried about was whether or not I would ever get a date to prom, being the loser that I was.

While my Mother told me about her parents and her childhood home, I asked her whether she was scared of dying. Her response? "I'm excited to see my Mother again." So it became clear that while she may not believe in Heaven, she did believe that when we die, we get to see the people we've lost again. I'm not so sure of this. My brother thinks that humans are the perfect machine, and that when we die that's just it. We shut down. No higher power making sure we see the people we've loved and lost. No eternal happiness or hell-fire. Just pffft. Kaput. I don't know what to believe in anymore. I'm more lost than I've ever been.

When it happened I ran away. I ran away from everyone. I hid behind my cynicism and sarcasm. I boldly put on a mask to hide the growing anger inside me. I was fucking angry. And I still am. I am fucking mad as hell. I may never be able to shed the anger that I feel at the injustice of it all. That summer, I literally ran away to Central America to work at an orphanage. At a place for kids like me. Except they had it so much worse than I will ever have it. While I may have been a slight blip on their radar of an extremely difficult childhood, they changed me. It made me trivialize my own problems because theirs seemed so much greater. I wrote about connecting with these girls over the loss or absence of guidance, of a love that we'd never know again. I even got my little romp into pretending that I'd found strength to go on because of those little girls published. But I would be lying if I said it was still true. Maybe at the time it seemed like I could and should have the strength to 'keep calm and carry on', so to speak, but I am mad as fucking hell.

I carefully balanced my good, charity work at the orphanage with a much more unbalanced version of escaping reality. I was more reckless than I think I've ever been that summer in El Salvador. At 19, I drank two-dollar a gallon vodka every night, started 'dating' a 24 year old Englishman, went to strange nightclubs and partied with drug lords and cute waiters and took rides from drunk taxi drivers. Why not? Fuck you, God, or whatever is out there. If you did that to me, than I am doing this to you. I dare you. I fucking dare you to make it worse than it already is. I pushed myself to the very edge of reason in the hopes that it would allow me to feel something. That's the trouble with feeling too much at one time, I guess. After that, emotion is harder to muster up. Like when you take E, you'll never be able to have the amount of serotonin that you had before the E again. (For the record, I don't know what E is like.)  It was like so much emotion had been spent that I would never again be able to cry at a sad movie, because it just wasn't as sad as the saddest thing I'd ever experienced.

Something happened that summer. With my morals and religion totally in question... my friend Grace and I left for a trip to Guatemala and ended up in a tiny town only accessible by boat. San Pedro La Laguna. We stayed at a hostel right on the edge of the lake, where on the roof you could not only see the lights from San Pedro, but the other tiny, scattered towns along the edges of the small lake.  It was there that I received my first tattoo- my Mom's initials on my back. That night, I decided I needed a good cry and went up on the roof by myself.  I sat and breathed and listened to the loud steel drum inspired band a few bars down. I started crying, and it really picked up speed when I started thinking out loud, about the unfairness of the feeling of abandonment, and so on and so forth. I'm not sure where it came from, but out of no where I asked the powers-that-be, my Mother, to show me some sort of sign.... that I wasn't alone in the Universe, that she misses me too. I shit you not, right after I sobbed that last comment, everything went pitch black. Not my state of consciousness, but all the lights and electricity went out in San Pedro. The music stopped suddenly, and the lights from the towns around the lake went black, too. It was total silence. Pitch black. I'm not kidding. And no, I did not have some sort of religious experience, (it freaked me out, to be honest), but it made me wonder if maybe my Mom had been right. After all, what are the odds of a coincidence like that? I ask for a sign and there's a total power outage?

It's Mother's Day and once again I am consumed with undirected rage. I still lack any semblance of religion in my life (except, of course, if you count soccer, which I do). As much as I have tried religion never has resonated with me. Maybe I'm angry at God... if I thought one existed. Anyway it's been so long and I've experienced so much that I no longer have that desire to be as reckless as humanly possible. I am still mad. But I guess if you were to ask me whether I was scared of dying, I would say, "I'm excited to see my Mother again."

Anyway I suppose the purpose of this rant is to (moral of the story) is to let you know that you are not invincible. People die; and sometimes you have no warning. You never know how long you have with the people you love, so don't take it for granted.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fever Pitch: My Tribute to the Portland Timbers

My friends, the season is finally upon us. In 34 hours, my life can begin again. In October, I swear to god it felt like life stalled out... like entering into an unwilling and unending hibernation. I was lost with no one to turn to. I ended up alone in the dead of winter desperate and in the cold and uncaring embrace of a far off Manchester United game as the rain beat sadly against my windows. Unfortunately, these are what winters now consist of here for us: too many months spent waiting, talking about the upcoming season, and berating Sounders fans as we will it with all our hearts to be April.

In the interim, us few but proud soccer fans in the US converse about the amazing 23-year old Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo the crybaby, the maestro Ryan Giggs, and of course Didier Drogba, the total dickhead. (All of these, are true, by the way.) EPL, La Liga, Champions League... all may help to quell the anxiety of a life without live soccer, but when all is said and done, it is a Timbers game that provides the ultimate release of pride, glory, and happiness. I have the tendency to write about relationships in my life, but I only have one true love, and they are the Portland Timbers.

For most Timbers fans, life is football. It may sound a bit cliched, but I mean it with every fiber of my being. During the all too brief summer season, we lead passionate love affairs with the team and the wonderful people who share our pride. (Not literally of course...) We are the 12th man. Every single one of us, bound together in an everlasting love for the Timbers. In the words of the fantastic movie Goal, "The name on the front of the shirt is more important than the one on the back." And every single one of us wears the name "Timbers" with pride.

90 minutes is not enough. I crave week long games. I crave that part right at the end of the National Anthem when the stadium erupts in a "home of the Timbers!!!" roar, the stands a flurry of scarves and streamers. I want to yell at the referee as Stephen Keel picks another fight. I long to live forever in the moment when Ryan Pore scored in the final minutes while the Army held up sunflowers. When the stadium empties but for the Army that remains behind to chant for the players as they walk around and applaud us back. One is overwhelmed with a manic-happiness; a blind, heart pounding sense of magic not found anywhere else. The heart swells to a point that you think it might just burst right out of your chest. A dizzying sense of passion for a team... It just can't be found anywhere else.

I remember my first game, five years ago. I received home opener tickets for my birthday from my now exboyfriend- good tickets, at half line. We made it all of one half before moving to stand with the Army. And I've never left. Boyfriends may come and go, but the Timbers are for life. As we move on to the MLS, an excitement that I cannot describe overwhelms me when I think that soon our excitement and fever will be shared with the world. I am Rose City Til I Die. We are the Timbers Army- there is no greater pride.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Was That You, Me, or the Aftershock? A Christchurch Cultural Experience

Boys like me for three reasons: I do not possess the ability to control how much alcohol I drink, I am generally not out of anyone's league, and I'm easy. I have no problems with any of those three things, but do often find judgment and ill tidings radiate off of people when they find this out about me.  In saying that, maaaaybe stop reading this one if you do not want to hear about any of those three Grade A attributes of mine, because I am about to tell the story of the hottest man I have ever slept with. God, I love italics.

Act One: Setting: Christchurch; Activity: Trying to Fight Space Creatures

As I walked around the ghost town that now represents the earthquake-destroyed city of Christchurch, my heart pounded gently beneath my ugly travel sweater as I imagined myself in some sort of disaster movie- like 28 Days Later, I Am Legend... The city of CHCH is now the epitome of many of my apocalyptic nightmares, the kind where I wake up and think that I'm the last human left on earth and zombies are outside my window ready to eat my organs as I kick and scream in terror. I wandered around corners sharply, and goddammit if I didn't go "fuck-off-guns" first.  (In many a night terror, when scenes turn especially grizzly, I like to pretend that I have these guns that usually shoot everything between the eyes and generally kill on their own. They are... my "fuck-off-guns".) Even though I was wielding my gay little "I'm terrified and puhlease mister!, I swears these is only for show!" guns, (they are my hands in the shape of guns. It's fucking pathetic,) it did not stop my pulse from quickening at the very thought of every alley I turned down I might be whisked away by some hunky army man in his tank and driven across some army border, away from the murderous zombies lurking behind me. (The thought only turned into a steamy day dream about 7 times... that I can recall. While I know that New Zealand cops can't have guns, I will tell you that in the dream they have handcuffs.) I retreated, as I often do in times of faux distress, to the only bar I saw open during the FOUR hours of walking around near the downtown area. I walked into the empty bar, fully aware of being gawked at for my lack of company, ordered a 20 ounce cider, downed it in 90 seconds, and was thankful that no human there had blood or guts on them in any way. (Die zombies, die! Pew pew pew!)

With my second cider in hand, I left the slack jawed stares to the comfort of an empty patio. (Stop staring at me, assholes. I'm American. WE DRINK ALONE. A LOT. Also we understand how soccer is played.)  There, I sat down to write the predecessor to this story. It was entitled "Zombies, Dinosaurs, and/or Aliens", which was a pretty good description of what Christchurch was like, albeit pretty fucking boring. ("I am the only pedestrian around, and it seems the cars that do drive near the downtown area speed off in the opposite direction. Through one bridge, which has a <here I just draw a picture of what looks like an arch over a bridge because I am now not sober enough to think of the word "arch"> over it, and if I looked through it the buildings were toppled against each other for support") I know, very descriptive, but lacks the desired entertainment value.

Anyway, from my left walks hands down the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life. I nearly fall off the bench, looking as fucktarded and slack-jawed as the Kiwis inside were at me. "Well count my lucky stars, ain't he a bartender here! Have all my wishes just come true?! A real live brown boy for me to seduce?" What a difference a little Dutch courage does for a girl. Not only does it make me think ridiculous statements like those, dripping with a disgusting southern bell accent, but it also lets me hit on guys who are clearly out of my league. The Monteith's cider, which is a delectable "don't have more than one" blend of crushed apples and champagne, has now been working wonders on Miss Drinks-a-Ton, and I sauntered in with my big, lesbian, travel backpack and sit down at the bar.

Act Two: Setting: Pegasus Arms Bar; Activity: Seducing a God

Inside, I am acutely aware of the wicked sunburn that now covers most of my chest, shoulders, and face. But not my entire face. Just the area around the hipster sunglasses. As I slip gracefully onto the bar stool (not gracefully at all) I stare deep into the eyes of this gorgeous boy... some sort of ethnicity I have yet to encounter and am insanely attracted to. He mostly stares at my Red Lobster skin tone and my hair that just happens to look like Jack Nicholson's when I forget to bathe in the morning. But luckily for me, I have in my flirting-arsenal of talking to boys the ability to pretend like I do not understand some sports while managing to not seem like an asshole. My super power is taking fake, genuine interest when someone enthusiastically explains their favorite sports team to me. If they are hot enough. And it's not the Sounders. Luckily for me, it happens to be rugby today- a sport that puts American football to shame..

As we flirt, I continue to drink, and thus my level of girlish charm shoots through the roof. (I swear at will and loudly insult people). I can't believe what happens next- his manager, who has been drinking at the bar unbeknownst to me, decides to let this brown god close early. Mostly because this bitch is now the only person in the bar, and she's also not exactly allowing the bartender do his job. Then.... I'm not kidding... he offers to drive me home. (!!!) At this point I am just plotting... It's about 5pm, and I've got nothing to do that night except try and continue to drink at home without getting sloppy around my gracious hosts. The kind of, "hide the fact I want to be intoxicated while not letting you know I'm intoxicated" kind of drunk, which is just more pathetic and embarrassing than just about anything. While in the car, and I literally have no idea how the phrase managed to come out so smoothly, I say, "So, I know you aren't supposed to tip in this country, but how about I buy you a drink?" He answers with a cool, "Yeah, we could do that," or something along those lines, and I realize if I play my cards right, I could get this guy drunk enough to let me take his clothes off.

We drink and drink, and I am worried because the conversation is not flirty and light and humorous, it's actually really deep and intellectual. And fascinating. Huh. Holy shit. This guy is more than just a pretty face, he's awesome. And no real signs of flirting, not the usual touches on hands or smiling coyly, none of that bullshit. Who could blame him, with the level of gringo heat radiating off my face and shoulders, and the blatantly obvious "I haven't showered in a day or three".

Act Three: Setting: Hot-Man's Car; Activity: Disappointment 

Ah well, at least I made a rad friend from Christchurch. He explains to me that after the initial earthquake, he and all his university friends made drinking games out of the aftershocks. They would be watching the news and the news crew would feel one. After that they had to chug their drinks until they felt one, since it would probably be seconds away. Is this the most epic natural disaster drinking game of all time? Yes- and probably the only natural disaster drinking game, too. After much very drunkenly intense conversation, the night ends quicker than I'd like, as the few bars in Christchurch now close pretty early. The smokin' boy gives me his phone number, and soon we are in his car to drop me off.

At this point I've lost all hope, and as we pull up to the driveway I go in for the innocent and sorta drunk, "nice to meet you" hug. And here, my friends, is where the night turns fucking AWESOME. Said beautiful brown boy proceeds to maul me in his car, and then comes up for air saying, "Well, that was overdue." ... ... ... alright Kiwis, jokes on me- is this how you flirt in your country? I don't normally have 45 minute conversations about how George Bush fucked up America and then felt like boning afterward. Mostly I just feel sick. And angry. "Are you up for something a bit... naughty?"

I no longer feel sick or angry. Haaaaa. This girl?!?! The magic words were 'are you up for'. "Yes I am," I reply, hiding my personal celebrations (involves a lot of high fives). We proceeded to a house that had received a beating from the earthquake. Deemed unsafe at the moment for living, it still did not have electricity or running water... and was also not owned by my gentleman caller. Let's break this down a little bit. Sure it sounds rustic... but this meant that I had to unceremoniously pee in the backyard, and when that drunk to sober "fucking dying of thirst" feeling hit, whooo boy was that just about the worst thing ever. This also meant that we had to leave at the ass-crack of dawn because the owners of the house would be back around 7 am. And with no electricity, I could not see the beautiful face of my first ethnic conquest and made the whole thing pretty null and void. Here's why.

Act Four: Setting: Earthquake City, Population: Us; Activity: Breaking and Entering

While getting down to business, I notice pretty much from stroke one that it is... well, mediocre. So, I have this theory... Why is it that hot guys are generally just so-so in the sack? Let me tell you- it's because they've never had to work for it in their lives. They get so much vagina thrown at their faces that no woman has ever bothered to tell them that they haven't totally figured out how a vagina works. They can get it whenever they want, so why bother being good at it? On the flip side, just so-so looking guys are generally way better in the sack. Now that they've FINALLY convinced a girl to get naked around them, they are going to make sure that this girl comes back for more because who knows how long it will be before they can lure another specimen into their bat cave. Thus, he makes sure she is one happy camper.

Unfortunately for me, my beautiful man had the hot-guy syndrome, but apparently not the "quiet guy" syndrome.  He wanted to talk all about how I was his first American, rah rah rah. Here is where I did two extremely offending and embarrassing things. I was pretty bored at this point, but when someone talks at me during sex I usually feel like it would be pretty rude not to respond. I manage to say, "You're the hottest guy I've met in Ire..." before I realize I have now forgotten where I am and am about to say Ireland instead of New Zealand. Now, I have the self control of a SAINT (when it comes to stifling certain thoughts that cross this twisted mind). I once hooked up with a white guy named Chris Brown and didn't giggle ONCE. So, having already broken my normal smoothness, I do the next logical thing I can think of, which is to burst out laughing. Then- you won't believe this- we experience an aftershock that literally shakes the windows and bed. It was the best part of my night. And, thanks be to sexjesus, at the exact right time to distract him from the fact that I am laughing at pretty much doing the equivalent of screaming out the wrong first name.

We stop for a while and I manage to make up some more ridiculous phrases to keep his spirits up, and then  he tells me about his rugby accident that left his junk slightly... desensitized. "It's ok though, because we have all night!" he tells me enthusiastically. Are you fucking kidding me? Now I have to do this all night? UGH dammit you boys and thinking that all girls want to do is go "all night". If you aren't doing it correctly, I don't want it to last 5 minutes. So I pull my best act out and get it a little under the "all night" time frame. To which he turns to me and says, "So... best Kiwi you ever had?" ............ This is a little bit like a girl asking a guy if something makes her look fat. It's just setting you up to lie. And what kind of answer was he expecting, anyway? Did he want some ridiculous, elaborate story about how he rocked my world? Once you go Kiwi you never go American? "Well... ... ... first Kiwi," I wanted to say. Instead some sort of "Yeah...." came out, which wouldn't have convinced even the vainest of guys. I was then glad to not be seen in the light so I could hide the blushing.

Act Five: Setting: Homeward Bound; Activity: GTFO

The next morning, a pair of headlights in the driveway startled us awake, and all I could think about was getting arrested by cops that aren't even allowed to carry guns. I would surely be hit with a baton, and crying like a fucking girl was not on my agenda for that day. So we booked it out of there, made our escape and back to his car, where both of us whine like children the whole drive back about how early it is. A great way to end our fantastic date. Upon entering the house where my married friends Grace and Spencer are waiting for me, two comments greet me at the door.
"So, first case of Jungle Fever?"
"We hear you got your flightless bird wings last night."
Thank you, Christchurch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

So this one time at the hostel in Queenstown, New Zealand where I was in the room with two Canadians that I wanted dead...

I was having this nightmare about having to fight a shark and just almost kept evading the shark by yelling "NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER!!!" As it would turn out, much to the chagrin of my bunk mates, and my intense happiness,  I was yelling out those exact words in my sleep, in the middle of the night, scaring the shit out of some stupid fucking idiot Canadian 17 year olds. (They kept arguing with me about how hockey was better than soccer. Never start that argument with me unless you want to get a mouthful-a-farts while you are sleeping). In any case, here is what I have decided to take from the dream, considering the amazing and life changing events that have occurred over the past three weeks. Pictures to follow.

NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER

Never surrender to a stupid life. To boredom, monotony. Never surrender to routine, to silly rites of passage and tradition. Never stop exploring which, for all intents and purposes, seems totally implausible. Enjoy every moment... because- well Goddammit you fucking can. Never surrender to the anxiety of being alive. Everything is  precious. Everything is fucking beautiful. Never give up on the life you have always wanted to lead. Never surrender to society's version of what living is. It's not. No one can tell you what living is except your own heart. You know in your soul that you should experience adversity, change... things that are beautiful, inspiring, magical. Never give in to the everyday shrugging of shoulders and saying "meh". Live passionately, love hard. As it is most relationships don't last longer than 6 hours. Make the most of them, dammit. Never give up on living life unabashedly happy. It's what we all deserve. If life says that you are supposed to live one way and you don't want to... then don't fucking do it.  Why live a life that you were not destined for when the actual time on Earth you are allotted is uncertain? NEVER give up on "impossible" dreams. NEVER surrender to what everyone else tells you to do. Life is uncertain. Life is awesome. Live it that way. And fight that god damn shark.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crippling Anxiety and the Fear of Monotony

So you may be asking (all 3 of you regular followers), "What's with the radio silence, Magnum?" Well, I'll tell you. For the past 3 or 4 months, I have been oddly suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. I have always been susceptible to the panic attacks; anytime I stood up in front of a class I would shake and stutter until I eventually had tunnel vision- one of the reasons why I never liked or have done well in school. While these episodes limited themselves to when under extreme social pressure, they have been appearing with awful regularity and usually without any sort of familiar social trigger.

Without a thing to do all day, I sit in my bed and shake and sweat while my heart pounds out of my chest and all I can think is "I'm about to fucking die. The apocalypse is now and an earthquake is about to tear my house in half".  I wake up in the middle of the night sweating with fear as I hallucinate strange men in my room. If you can imagine it's even worse when I actually have to be a productive citizen, like say for instance, make a living. At the restaurant, my heart starts to pound so hard I get tunnel vision and feel as though I'm going to pass out. My heart, gripped with fear, threatens to beat a throbbing SOS until it's final sob and eventual surrender to the impending blackness. My table waiting for me, their server, my hands shake just as hard as they can, and I approach them in a form of half consciousness. I barely comprehend what they ask, and this is obvious because I reply in half sentences, breathless words that don't make any sense and stutter when they come out. I shake so hard I can't carry martini glasses. When I think about the end of my shift, which is uncertain judging by the amount of people walking through the door, it honestly feels like the end of the world. Like there is absolutely no possible way that I can do any more than I am doing to stop my final breath from approaching.

Back in November and December, these instances were predictable because they usually came after a night of heavy drinking or from too much coffee. Since probably January, they have been increasing to the point that no matter what I do, every day is a struggle to overcome an anxiety that prevents me from being who I am.  Instead of thinking about how to make people laugh, or carrying a conversation, I am quiet and reserved, and have to constantly think to myself "one step at a time" in order to quell the growing and overwhelming fear that has taken root somewhere inside my brain. I lead a generally privileged life. I have a good job, friends, two a-freaking-dorable cats, possess slightly better than mediocre looks, an amazing family, a good sense of humor... In short, there is nothing in my life to be anxious about. So what the fuck is happening to me?

When my daddy was in town, I could barely function. I would have a sip of coffee and all of a sudden I was crying at lunch. The anxiety would be so great I could not even laugh with my favorite friend in the world. I got sick while he was in town, too. Prone to tonsillitis, I developed a weird condition that prevented me from swallowing properly. Eventually it started to feel like I had something stuck in my throat, which, while at work, I started freaking out so bad I got- you guessed it- crippling panic attacks. I had read earlier in the day about how sometimes people get stuff stuck in their throats and fall asleep and asphyxiate. This did nothing for the hypochondriac fear of dying that I now have the fucking privilege of understanding.

So I went to the doctor the next day. Zoomcare, a magical clinic where you can get an appointment anytime you wish, as long as you are willing to pay out the ass for it. I saw Dr. Klein, a flaming gay man with no social filter, who determined that I probably had Strep Throat. While swabbing my throat, and I swear to you this was the 3rd sentence that we had said to each other, he said to me, "Wooow! You don't have much of a gag reflex! Good for you, honey!" 
"Umm... would you mind if I took juuust a quick look at your medical license Mr. Zoomcare?"

He could not find a single thing wrong with me, even though doctors in the past have said "Tonsillitis!" And promptly given me anything I wished for including, but not limited to, antibiotics, notes to miss school, and Vicodin. By now I have convinced myself that later that night I was going to choke on whatever I had caught in my throat and die a slow, painful and silent death in which no one could hear me scream.

We bought a book on Anxiety, my Dad and I, which turned out to be even worse than not having it, because each story I would identify with would give me the same fucking anxiety that they were describing. The only other solution I can possibly think of is to go see a doctor, a non-Zoomcare doctor, to see if this isn't a side effect of some greater condition, which really turns up the fun-filled terror-notch. In a best case scenario perhaps we find something wrong with me and fix it, because I swear to you if I have to live with this anxiety every day... well... I'm not sure what to swear but I will tell you that this is no way to live. No one should have a great life and be fucking scared of it. To be terrified of nothing, day in and day out.

While talking with my friend Jeanot, he noted the prevalence of anxiety these days. He said he has been seeing more and more Facebook statuses of how anxious people are, even when they have nothing to be anxious about. If this is a general feeling becoming exponentially more noticeable? What is it about our generation that spurs this unreasonable panic? Many of us have never been in a national or natural disaster, and lead  responsible lives. As compared with people who have to fight to eat every single day, or have to walk 2 hours just to gather water, we have it fucking easy. I have it fucking easy. In the Anxiety Book, it talks about panic attacks occurring because the body isn't responding to "fight or flight" appropriately. With panic attacks and anxiety disorder, your body goes into "fight or flight" for no reason, or silly reasons, like being out in public. Maybe I am constantly in a state of "fight or flight" because I no longer have a reason for my body to actually utilize the primitive response. Could it be that the root of my anxiety is the lack of having anything to be anxious about?

My life has become ruled by monotony. Every single day I wake up and at some point have to work. The restaurant is horrendously monotonous, requiring little to no creative thought. It is the same thing, every single day. The only escape from the monotony for a loner like me are things like drinking, movies, television... Over the summer I was creative. I had a fucking amazing internship that allowed me to utilize my creativity for something I loved. This is no longer the case. My work is not creative and my mind has gone blank from boredom. How could this tie in with the anxiety?

In a week I leave for New Zealand, for three entire weeks. And by myself!!! Finally, back to my element. One of the happiest times in my whole life... (the happiest time?) was when I flew by myself and for the first time out of the country to live and volunteer in El Salvador. There, a few weeks in, I met one of my best friends I will ever have the privilege of knowing, a New Zealander named Grace. She visited me a couple years back, but it has been far too long and I can't describe my excitement in seeing her. Even the thought seems to stifle the anxiety and helps get that 'excited' feeling back that I have been lacking the past 4 months. Although Christchurch, her hometown, has just suffered a terrible tragedy with the 6.3 earthquake that shook it loose, I believe that good has to come from this trip. Whether it be disaster relief or oogling New Zealand's beauty or enjoying Grace and her new family's company, I firmly believe that it is better to live in a state of 'new and uncertain' than boredom, at least for me anyway. And I might also be hoping that it will take my persistent panic away.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, if anyone's reading... I promise the radio silence will not continue. I will have stories for you. Glorious and horrible and hilarious and ridiculous and awesome stories for you. It just might have to wait until New Zealand.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions and the Perfect Man

In an effort to break away from my usual type (skinny, wildly effeminate, complete and total douche bag), I've begun compiling a list of all the things that a man could do to make me happy, leaving out the usual top-of-the-lister: An incontrovertible desire to emotionally destroy me. I'm not saying I am karmically worthy of the following traits, but honestly believe that at some point everyone should have something good happen to them, and gosh darn it if my number isn't up by now. But before we get to the list, let's take a dip into the shallow end of Lake Flaccid.


2010 was the year that life decided to serve me a big heaping portion of crap chowder, and at midnight between the two years, I hoped that 2011 might serve me something a little less steamy. January marks my attempt to control my alcoholism and so far I'm at day 3 and all I can think about is booze.  Last night I went through what I would describe as purgatory; my body would not fall asleep, AND was riddled with panic attacks and night terrors, (or, alcohol withdrawal). Annnnnd- oh happy day! The root of the anxiety turned out to be true in real life the next morning! Thanks January, so far you've proved only that you are the bastard, fetal alcohol poisoned son of December, and fuck that guy. My usual response to being hurt is to drink copious amounts of alcohol every day until black out, but obviously this is not an option at the moment. I have no shame in admitting that the past two days I've consumed one to six whole pints of Mint Chocolate Pity-Party, mostly because, well, I have no shame.

It's crazy after three days of not drinking the childish emotions that I've tried to sedate and numb out of me for the past 5 years that flood back. "Boo hoo life is so hard, people are like, so unfair." Rather than the drunken wrath of Maggie that would normally know how to utterly mishandle and drunkenly text this situation at 3am, we've got Maggie from before she started drinking- 14 year old Maggie who still had braces and a hymen. How would she handle it? Light candles, write poetry, and cut herself? Instead of that youthful glimpse of angst, I'm resolved to continue not drinking and get the fuck over it already. I'm Maggie fucking McCombs, and I've dealt with far greater shit than this.

I've never been one for drama, (I like to save my mean, degrading, and occasionally racist thoughts for writing humorous stories), which is why I have never understood how people legitimately and passive-aggressively do things to hurt people outside of the literary realm. Thus, I'd like to start the list with the number one deal breaker in any relationship from here on out.

1) Do not, under any circumstances, do anything to maliciously, intentionally emotionally hurt me- making me jealous and flirting with girls in front of me is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Especially post-break up when the shitdick decides to sleep with friends/people I have to work with.

After that, the list is pretty simple. 

2) If you don't like soccer, you can stop reading now. If you are a Seattle Sounders fan, stop reading and drown yourself.
3) Be %100 stab proof. This is to say that when my Italian rage bubbles up and spills onto surfaces around me, be able to withstand the burns.
4) Drop everything at a moments notice to make me guacamole- and not that pussyshit mild kind, I mean the kind that lights your mouth up in sun flares.
5) Have the comedic timing of a fucking legend.
6) Be able to clean up cat shit, and not complain about it. Listen, she's almost 9 years old, she has earned the right to crap wherever she wants to.
7) Be able to co-captain my official title, "Ambassador of Fun".
8) Have at least 7 different funny voices and/or accents in their arsenal. 
9) Enthusiastically share my passion for judging people.
10) Must possess GREAT ass. Bitch gotta have something to brag about to her girlfriends.
11) Knows, and will perform in front of a crowd, the boy part in Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow's 'Picture'.
12) Let's be honest, if you have any sort of accent (ok let's narrow that down a bit, I'm talking about Irish, Scottish, English, Australian, New Zealand, etc. [the hot ones]) you get a free pass to my panties.
13) If I say, "Get up, we're going to Spain." You better have your fucking bag packed in less than 15 minutes.
14) Must love sex, but that's a given.

And that's about all it takes, really. Alright, so I'm a bit picky. Basically, I'm looking for a guy who can entertain me more than I already entertain myself. So... the bar is set pretty sky high.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Long Awaited Yet Thoroughly Consistent Account of How I Am an Asshole

Well, it was a speech impediment. I should know by now, and let this be a lesson to future suitors; if blacked out Maggie will not sleep with you, you can be sure as shit that sober Maggie won't, either. According to my phone book, I have gone on dates with approximately 5 Chris's, all of which ended almost as soon as they began. Sorry to all the Chris's in the world, but you're out. (Let me just tell you now, in case you have trouble reading his quotes- I've replaced all the L's and R's with W's, which in real life was even more difficult to figure out.)

While I definitely knew that the date was doomed from the beginning, I had not entirely prepared myself for the crash-and-burn strategy that was apparently his way of 'flirting'. We met on the corner of a busy sidewalk, which terrified me because, if you remember, I have no recollection of what he looked like. What sauntered up to me was probably the epitome of someone I would not only never give the time of day to, but probably would have made fun of. Great job, drunk Maggie, always picking up the charity case. It's like drunk Maggie already knows she's the wing man so she just goes straight for the DUFF (Dumb Ugly Fat Friend). He had obviously just ran his fingers through his greasy hair, which created a sort of, white-boy corn rowed look of finger mark lines. Chubby, acid wash jeans, and wearing a leather jacket- he also possessed what I think no boy should ever, ever yield- a goatee a la Evil Spock. The kind that is a full oval of gross hair all over upper lip and splattered over the entire chin. Blech.

In my head, I was thinking about Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother. What I wanted to say was, "Oh God, I'm so sorry. I had no idea my friends were filming a prank on me." And proceed to Lemon Law him and get the fuck out of there. Instead, because I have a fear of confronting people and hurting their feelings for something that is quite obviously not their fault but the nature in which they grew up, we walk along the side walk while deciding what to do on this date. Here's the thing- I'm an indecisive person. I love when a guy says, hey let's go here, or let's do this, and surprise me with something fun/new/interesting/adventurous. This characteristic of mine was brutally taken advantage of when he said, "Gwow in the dauhk mini gowf?" Nothing says 'adventurous' like the redecorated basement of a Taco del Mar.
"........sure."  Oh, and he knew it would be oodles of  fun because he had taken his 8 year old nephew there the week before. I found myself in a rare position. Already I was getting annoyed at having to try extra hard just to understand what he was saying. Normally I am the kind of person that will give people a chance to at least attempt interesting or witty conversation. But in this instance, I honestly had zero desire to listen, understand, or share anything with this wholesale flower distributor.

So, we descend into the dungeon below the 90's Mexican greasery to be greeted with (imagine the music right at the beginning of Shaun of the Dead), black light, dilapidated scenery from Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride. The two high schoolers manning the front desk look at me, then look at him, then back to me. It was the single most humiliating second glance I've ever been given. We spend the next 45 minutes awkwardly trading my purse back and forth between shots, ("I have no pwobwem howding a puhse, I gwew up with thwee sistuhs,") while I completely destroyed him at mini golf. I even black-heartedly convinced him to bypass the family of Mexicans who had been slowing down this whole process. Throughout the torture he kept asking "What we wuh playing foh". In just about any other circumstance, I would have said "a drink", because I usually win at things and I also like having free alcohol. He had already mentioned that he, "doesn't nohmawy dwink," which is an obvious deal-breaker for yours truly. Plus the thought of spending more time with him was overwhelmingly distressing.

He suggested getting a bite to eat, (me: "How about coffee?"), so we go to the Starbucks around the corner. My friends keep feverishly texting me for updates- "How's it going?" "Awful." "Get out of there!" "On my way." Forced, awkward conversation in which I was rudely texting my friends about where I should meet them- classy. Although to be fair, about half way through my chugged coffee he did level with me: "I'm what you might caw sociawy inept." Right.

The poor boy didn't even know how to order coffee. After ordering his Mocha, (I take my coffee black and will judge you if you order anything with whipped cream on it), he did not leave a tip AND made a snide comment about the barista. I'm a fucking waitress, buddy, and barista'd my way through college. Eat a dick. He didn't even know where to stand after ordering, just sort of waited (hovered) around the counter for it. Who in the 21st century America does not know the rules of a coffee shop? While waiting (as I tried to get down as much coffee as quickly as possible without suffering esophageal burns), his sparkling conversation consisted of, "Have you seen those commuhciaws for that cwazy bwenduh? It was devewuped by a guy fwom NASA. It bwends anything. Wike wocks, wood, a twig... You name it!"
Are you fucking kidding me? Where did this guy come from? To be fair- I'm a level-10 crazy, nightmare of a woman, and he was trying his hardest, but... weally?

I even tried to sound understanding when he said to me, "Do you evuh find yowsewf wawking awound and feew wike you just don't fit in anywhewuh?" Maybe back in high school when I hadn't gotten the lasso around my hormones yet, but come on- this is Portland, there are freaks everywhere. In my head I was planning my escape route to my friends, who were literally a half block away, drunk and merry at the Portland Beerfest. I swear to christ I could hear my friends, the beer, and the city of Portland calling my name.  I made some lame excuse about needing to catch a ride out of downtown with my friend, and she was leaving at 8, so... gotta run! Outside the Starbucks was even worse, I didn't know how to end it with Cassanova, but he was obviously optimistic. "So, wouwd you want to do this with me again sometime?"
"No. ... ... ... Sorry."
A handshake later and I was free again. Free from the restricting ties of boredom. It was like pulling off a band aid. Except I would do anything for those two hours of my life back. So I circled the block, joined my friends at Beerfest, and thus the night was saved.