Paranormal Activity – Redux

I am not cuddly.  I will kill you if you touch me.

I am not cuddly. I will kill you if you touch me. 

Ah, our three Zebra Finches.  Lessons learned here abound.

First, when one of your kid’s friends offers you something for nothing, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Second, when one of your own kids passionately indicates to you they will also passionately care and feed for said free item, that declaration should simply re-emphasize Point Number One (see first sentence).  Third, little birds like these apparently live forever.  We expect them to be here long after the current crop of cats and our dandy dog climb that stairway to heaven — think archeological epochs rather than pet lifetimes.  Fourth, the sum total of their daily activity does essentially consist of eating, bathing, pooping, and fighting — sometimes concurrently.  They are a mess.

But rather than complain about the devil birds, I consider them a happy part of my day.  Why?  Because every morning I see a side of them no one else does.  Since I routinely rise early (more due to an inability to sleep in anymore than an actual desire to get up at the crack of dawn), I am always the first person the finches see.  Before undraping their cages, I carefully wait until daylight peeks over the hills to the east of us.  I think waiting for the light is more in line with their natural circadian rhythms, but that is probably a fairly bogus assumption on my part.  Having said that, each daily reveal launches a finch honk riot.  They honk (yep, that’s the best way to describe their chirps) and flit all over their cages.  To me, they seem to be conveying a hearty, birdy hello — a sort of avian thanks to me for, once again, eliminating the darkness and allowing them to eat, bathe, poop, and fight to their tiny hearts’ content.  That’s the way it appears.  On the other hand, could be they are just psyched about being able to see their food and water dishes again.  I don’t know.

Despite information posted elsewhere in this blog, I know of only one name having ever been assigned to any of them.  It’s Lazarus.  (Warning:  it’s a sad story and you’ll think less of me at the end of it.)   Here goes.  One warm summer a couple of years ago, we accidentally left the finch cage outside overnight.  The following morning, we realized what happened and ran to the patio to discover one bird completely missing — well, some parts were left behind; two other birds perfectly fine; and the third and (now) last remaining bird injured badly.  He had a broken leg, and had been roughed up quite a bit.  Seems a raccoon or opossum had squeezed a paw into the cage.  He (or she) managed to grab one of the finches, but couldn’t wrap up a second.  Fortunately, we knew a bird rehab/rescue lady close by, and ran our injured charge over to her quickly.  She took one look and said the prognosis was poor.  We gave her some guilt rehab money and thought we would never see the little finch again.  To our surprise, two weeks later he was back in his home cage, a little worse for wear, but in pretty good shape, actually.  In our minds, he had literally come back from the near-dead, hence the name.

The real transgressions of the finches?  They are not tidy; their vocalizations annoy everyone in the house except me, it seems; they sling seed husks hither and yon; and they aren’t cuddly.  To be honest, at various times those descriptions could apply to almost any living thing in our house.  But the finches — to me, they are okay.

Finally, paranormal activity in our house really does consist of a couple of spirits that we occasionally hear upstairs (and see downstairs), and our Matriarch Cat.  She’s the only true devil around here — she just looks cuddly in the photo above.  I’ve got the scars to prove that looks are deceiving.

- Dad

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The Unpublishable Piece I Wrote For My Internship

Me being serious.

Me being serious.

I have to do a bit of writing here and there for my internship. Sometimes, my ability to write is complicated by my utter lack of lucidity in the mornings. Mostly because I can never stop looking at cat pictures the night before. In the fog of sleep-deprived delirium, I believe – nay, AM – a comic genius who can turn anything into a humorous masterpiece. Homelessness rate up? I can probably work in a #nohobo joke. West Nile Virus threat? Kanye West seems a fitting punchline somewhere. Earthquake fears? No, it’s just yo’ mama taking a walk.

Anyway, during one particular morning, I had around 3 hours of sleep and 4 cups of coffee. The combination of caffeine and sleeplessness created a monster who refused to write about anything in a serious manner. I was shaking. Was it from the caffeine? Or were the very fibers of my being trembling with laughter?

My task that day was to write a little post about a housing competition. Simple enough for a sane, well-rested person, someone I was not at that moment. I did try at first but the blank page before me became too much, I gave up and unchained the crazy. Brilliance ensued: why not anthropomorphize the houses? Why can’t the housing competition be presented as a Bachelor-style dating show? Sure, I thought, that’d be hilarious. 

Here it is in full:

Bored of your own house and daydream about finding the One? Look no further. Three finalists from the San Diego area are competing for your vote (and affections) in Redfin’s Iconic Homes of America Competition.

Bachelor #1: 10292 Wateridge Circle. He enjoys watching the sunset each evening with a glass of red wine sangria. His ideal mate loves Real Housewives of Miami and rollerblading. Located in Sorrento Valley, this split-level home features beautiful Spanish architecture complete with palm trees.

Bachelor #2: 7310 Vista Del Mar Avenue. Long walks on the beach and playing ultimate Frisbee fill his leisure hours when he isn’t working his day job as an investment banker. It’s the second largest residence on the La Jolla coast and possibly the coolest. Private beach access and ocean views are framed by impressive Mediterranean architecture.

Bachelor #3: 816 San Rafael Place. His favorite activity is dancing to smooth jazz under the moonlight. He hopes his next romantic partner will share his love of waffles. This four-story house is located in Mission Beach and has 360-degree views of the coastline from the rooftop deck, a true Californian residence.

Voting is open from October 26 to November 2. Vote for your favorite on Redfin’s Homes of America page on Facebook. Who will get the final rose? On November 5, America will find out.

My supervisors told me it was “cute” which in editorial terms means that it will never see anything but the bottom of a trashcan.

- Daughter

Paranormal Activity 5 is Happening in My House Right Now

Bird… or minion of the Devil?

I’m pretty sure my zebra finches are the inspiration for the next movie in the Paranormal Activity franchise. Seriously, they are not of this earth; they are unholy amalgamations of terror.

Let me tell you a story, one that has shaped my life in profound ways. Once, when I was young and full of that je ne sais quoi, I had (and still have) a friend with small, beautiful zebra finches. Her finches had devil-spawn offspring and she asked if I wanted a couple. “YES!” I exclaimed in my naïveté. I had no idea I was making a pact with the Satan of birds.


In my enthusiasm for my new pets, I carefully christened them with names they would be proud to announce and proclaim as their own. I chose their monikers from the Lord of the Rings to remind them of their ancestry in New Zealand. As an adoptive parent, it’s important to recognize your child’s background. I relished the idea of being the most politically-correct, moral zebra finch owner in history. I could not wait to raise them and watch them grow into majestic adults, truly eagles among finches. But it was not to be.

I quickly realized the birds had passed the point in their maturity where they could be tamed. Instead of feathered joys, they would be festering manifestations of hatred, a hatred directed at me. When I pass by their cages, they furiously squawk and I’m sure if they had teeth, they would bite.

These are the demons’ finches’ main activities: pooping, taking baths and pooping in their drinking water, splashing said drinking water onto unsuspecting passers-by, squawking in un-melodic tones at the first sign of light, praying to their Satanic overlords, fighting amongst themselves, and pooping.

I have entertained the thought of making tiny roast finch complete with tiny poached finch eggs but the amount they defecate raised too many questions of possible toxicity. Instead of outright action, I thought I would just wait a few years until they kicked their mini buckets. Mais, non! THEY LIVE FOREVER: 15-20 YEARS. I COULD BE 30 WHEN THEY DIE.

If you don’t believe me, just take a moment to study the picture at the top of this post. That is an undoctored photo. They cast a red aura anywhere their be-clawed feet touch. These winged demons, these incubi of the night, strike fear into my heart even in the safety and comfort of light. Why? Because if light invades their dark territory, guttural peeps meet my ears until I rush over to cover their cages. But as I do – and despite casting them back into their preferred state, that of shadow and darkness – they show no gratitude, no, they know nothing of grace. Their black eyes flash at me, angrily, as I sweep the blanket over this picture of calamity, afraid that the sanctity of my soul is at risk if I stay too long. If eyes are the window to the soul, then truly, these are no birds but creatures that have been borne of the maw of hell: soulless, black, empty.

- Daughter

I Got Back into My Lesbian Cult

I have been taking a year off from school because I got really ill at college and became a tumbleweed of misery rolling whichever way the wind blew. The first six months of my year off included exciting activities like sleeping for the majority of the day, watching every season of 30 Rock, and dyeing my hair different colors. The second part of my year off was spent more productively because I got an actual job, two internships, and finally started to take care of myself like a normal person and less like a gremlin.

Because I was on medical leave, I had to re-apply to school and go through a re-admission process that can only be described as a bureaucratic nightmare. Eventually, the forces that be graciously allowed me to return so I can give them more mone- I mean, so I can get an education. Of course, it’s not that easy. Even though it’s my last semester and I’m done with my major, I don’t have enough credits to technically graduate… so this summer I will be taking more courses at home to get that damn degree.

I call my school a lesbian cult because it’s an all-girls private school. It’s tiny with only around 1500 girls (all the better for its cult-like atmosphere). Now, let’s be real, not everyone there is a lesbian… but pretty much, y’all. If you walk around, it’s not uncommon to see people naked save for a gay rights flag wrapped around their flesh.

I am excited to go back but weary of things that have become unfamiliar to me such as:

1) Homework: what is it exactly?

2) Deadlines: wait, things have to be done by a certain time?

3) Time management: wait, things have to be done by a certain time?

4) People my age: where did all these young-ish people come from and why are they all around? I MISS WRINKLES.

5) No pets: how am I going to live without my cat, Rambo? I’m freaking out right MEOW!

Don't leave me!

Don’t leave me!

6) Dining halls: barf.

Me, at the prospect of eating dining hall food. Also, I was an ugly freshman.

7) Snow: nooooooooooo. I feel so cold already.

Ew, snow.

8) Public transportation: I don’t remember how to use any of the trains or buses. Not even joking.

How I feel about using public transportation and giving up my car. Also, me un-ironically wearing a romper!!!

9) Reading: wait, books? Not blogs? WHAT.

Do I look like I read books? Exactly.

10) Professors: I know I will probably call them “Mom” or “Dad” at least once out of habit.


11) Dorms: why are there so many young people here? Is this a cult… oh wait, yes, yes it is.

How I feel about dorm-living.

12) Essays: I have to write about what the professor wants me to write about and not whatever I please? This is the winter of my discontent.

You want me to write about… WHAT?

And, for now, that’s it. Although, there is plenty of time between now and January when I head back to obsessively think about the things I am unprepared for, hurrah!

- Daughter

P.S. How funny would it be if it was actually my dad who posted this one?

P.P.S. Apparently, I really enjoy not wearing make-up for any and all pictures. This is what I look like without make-up, you guys. I’m sooooooo good-looking I can barely stand it.

P.P.P.S. It’s a little disconcerting that this is .0001 percent of the embarrassing photos I have saved on my computer. This is just the tip of the attractive-fail iceberg, baby.

My Mom Makes Me Take Shots When I’m Sick

Of medicine. But still, in a shot glass! I don’t like associating shot glasses with being holed up in bed, crying into my covers and wallowing in self-loathing. And by the way, this wasn’t just any old shot glass. It’s a shot glass with the letters from the frat she was associated with in college (????? I don’t know how Greek life works because my college is a giant lesbian cult sorority). I don’t know where that shot glass has been, you know? Am I crazy for being hesitant to drink out of it?

Filled with “medicine”.

Anyway, my mom is all into holistic health – or as I like to call it, witchcraft – so I took the medicine. And then I fell asleep for six hours. It makes me wonder what was in it, maybe it was whiskey. Who’s to say? I do sort of feel like I have a hangover but that’s probably because I’m sick and not because my mom was force-feeding me alcohol.

You never know though, moms are sneaky like that.

- Daughter

VW Convertibles and Three-Legged Dogs

I am a creature of habit.  I wake up at the same time most days, eat exactly the same breakfast, and head off to work usually within the same 10-minute window most mornings.  It sounds boring, but it’s three fewer things I have to think about in the midst of my daily challenges.

I commute in my non-descript, beater Miata, and my route never varies.  Evidently a few other folks maintain similar schedules, because in the midst of the thousands of lemmings driving to work, I frequently recognize the same two or three cars (and drivers) every couple of weeks or so.  My all-time favorite is an older woman (older relative to me, that is) who sits pressed close to the steering wheel of a faded red, mid-60’s VW Beetle convertible.  On nice days she motors along with the top down, wearing a bandana, with her dog (a smaller mongrel of indeterminate age) proudly perched beside her, propped up evenly between the front and back seats.  I always imagine they are heading over to Dog Beach for an early morning run (dog) and coffee (human).  Were it me, that’s what I would be doing.  Anyway, it’s quite a sight.

A few months ago I borrowed my daughter’s VW Cabrio convertible for my morning drive.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I lowered the top before embarking on my journey.  Let me add that, if you’re a guy, you have to be pretty secure in your manhood if you are going to drive a Cabrio — but that’s another story. . . .

As luck would have it, that particular morning I spotted ahead of me my favorite red VW convertible motoring along at about 50 mph.  I could see her dog standing up in the airflow, clearly enjoying the ride in that particularly doggy sort of way.  Though it was a stretch, I felt a strange kinship to them both — I had my top down, too, wished I were heading to Dog Beach myself (instead of work),  plus, I was driving a 90’s version of that VW classic.  As I passed them on the left, I tooted the horn and gave them a quick thumbs up.  I was met with total indifference by the dog, and a curious stare from the woman.  I am relatively certain she didn’t get the connection.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  We spent a few hours on Saturday at Dog Beach, with our own pooch.  Our dog (whose dandyish photo is sadly prominent in some of my daughter’s posts) happily ran himself to exhaustion during our visit.  However, the defining moment of the day was when I passed an older gentleman (older relative to me, that is) who was flanked by his small, three-legged dog.  I turned around to my wife and simply pointed out his companion to her by saying, “He’s a three-legged dog.” I knew she would be interested, because we almost adopted a three-legged chihuahua five years ago, except that he ended up continually biting our then six-year-old during the meet-and-greet.  Instead, we went 180 degrees and brought home a stunning (or dandyish) White German Shepherd.  He has since become the love of my wife’s life (or she, his), but that’s another story. . . .

So, I kept on walking down the beach, and when I looked back I noted my wife engaged in a conversation with the owner of the three-legged dog.  The talk went on for quite a few minutes, but I couldn’t really tell what was happening.  When my wife eventually caught up with me, it turns out the owner thought I was somehow making fun of his dog by pointing out it had three legs, so she told him the story of our own near-adoption to set the record straight.  Point of fact, I think it’s great he adopted that dog, and my wife thought he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder, as well.  So, the best part of the story, at least from my wife’s perspective, is that during their chat he referred to me as her father.  Not that it happens all that frequently with us, but that reference certainly made her day, since we are both of a “certain age.” However, I guess my age is more “certain” than hers.

Me?  I don’t really care that much.  The way I see it, I have a happy dog, happy wife, and happy daughter with a VW convertible — all in the same family.

I guess in the end, knowing that made my day.

- Dad

I Love the Way You Lie

I don’t know if you guys know, but I’m a girl. Sometimes, this leads to professions of love from random strangers in bar-like environments. I never, ever know what to say when people compliment me so I usually have this weird face full of confusion when it happens instead of being gracious and saying, “Oh, why thank you!” It’s not as if I think I’m ugly, but rather, that I know that the compliments are usually coming from a place of drunkeness and beer-goggle-induced idealism.

Note: this does not mean you should stop complimenting me though.

If you really want to impress me, speak in lolcat language while giving me a hyperbolic compliment.

How I expect to be treated in bars.

- Daughter

Baby Jesus in the Rafters

He seems pretty peaceful, doesn’t he?

In the midst of post-Thanksgiving digestive confusion, I am now facing the annual dilemma, which attains truly biblical proportions in my house (at least with my wife) — when do the Christmas lights go up? It was frightening enough after supper Thursday evening walking through the neighborhood. A number — not just several — of our neighbors had not only already hung their lights, they could also be seen erecting Christmas trees (Yep, they were assembling them from a box. No sightings of real trees yet, at least). Sadly, I realized I was already behind and would be fighting to make up ground during the balance of the holiday. A part of me (okay, a really big part of me) has hit the wall regarding hanging lights, setting up increasingly rusty reindeer, and figuring out the whole extension cord thing. I’m no Clark Griswold, but it takes a full day to put up our meager display, the centerpiece of which is our manger scene, made in China, bought at Target. And outside of the give or take one month period he’s in the front yard, Baby Jesus spends most of the year buttoned up with Mary and Joseph in the rafters of the garage — except this year. A couple of months ago he mysteriously appeared on my workbench, wrapped not in swaddling clothes but, rather, still in his original plastic bag. Depending on who you talk to, he either fell, was forcibly ejected, or was divinely placed. I suspect our cats had something to do with it, but the fact remains BJ has been an almost daily reminder of my impending responsibility. Am I receiving an otherworldly message to suck it up and get with the replica manger program and the spirit of the season, or is something else at work? You tell me. I haven’t decided yet what to do. 

No matter.  BJ waits patiently in his bag, tucked away in his plastic blanket, still sleeping sublimely whenever I walk by.  I think he’ll be okay with whatever works out.

- Dad

Post-Black Friday Post

Black Friday wasn’t too bad despite a few surly customers. The concept of a line was once again lost on most people but yelling and shaming seemed to herd them into a more linear shape. I think next Black Friday we should have a sheep dog nipping at people’s heels until they get into the proper formation.

After my long Black Friday shift, I went out with some best friends for drinks who were back in town this week. I tend to stay away from bars because there are people there but I just followed my advice for staying single and survived. Despite the presence of other people, I was elated to be with my friends after being separated for so long because of that stupid thing people do where they go away for a college education.

No, but really, I was very happy.

The whole night, I constantly hugged my friends because I felt like the only way I could truly believe they were really there and not extremely detailed hallucinations created by the Matrix was when I was crushing them into a reluctant bear-hug. I’m a hugger… is that even okay to admit on the internet?

Me, alllll night.

- Daughter

Another Story from the Uncool Pool, Plus Pre-Black Friday Thoughts as a Retail Worker

Working Black Friday forces me to spend time away from my family (my cat).

A Story from the Uncool Pool

During my year off from college, I have done really important things like tweak my style. One such tweak has been putting more “edgy” pieces in my wardrobe: hardware, black, and rippy/holey things.

I think my style has more holes personality but it has not upped my cool quotient which is resting comfortably between negative four and zero.

Case in point, I walked into work a few days ago wearing some manly really awesome combat boots that my mom hates (if your mom hates them, they have to be cool right?). They’re actually men’s boots which I only realized after I bought them (thrift store for the win).

Quick, relevant back story: every time I go to work at my retail job, I drink as much coffee as I can possibly ingest before I start. If I’m only slightly trembling, that’s not enough. I like to have a nice tremor going to completely obliterate my fine motor skills. Anyway, I was prancing like a show pony into work, extremely high on caffeine and wearing my combat boots, which I thought made me look ridiculously cool… James-Bond-level cool. But no.

I’m walking like the happy idiot I am and trip by hooking a metal latch from one shoe onto the other shoe’s shoelaces and take myself out. Luckily, after doing an Irish jig move I pulled out of my back pocket to save myself from falling on the floor, I was able to regain my upright, bipedal posture. Unfortunately, this was in full view of customers and co-workers. They had the decency to ask if I was okay before laughing uproariously.

Even my boots know that I’m not cool. (And now my co-workers.)


Today is Black Friday. These are my thoughts about working in retail during it:

1)      OH.

2)      MY.

3)      GOD.

4)      HELP.

5)      ME.

- Daughter

Public Service Announcement: My Blog is Now a Father-Daughter Project of Hilarity

I inherited my penchant for the LOLs from my senile dear father. Out of respect for his feeble mind, I have allowed him to publish posts here. I’m also a shameless, greedy blogger who wants more traffic and hope that my dad will rake in the coveted older reader demographic. However, his rights as author can and will be revoked at any time if he is not the funny court jester that I expect.

- Daughter

My dad and I. Well, that's a little boy but just pretend it's a girl.

My dad and I. Well, that’s a little boy but just pretend it’s a girl.

Thanksgiving Always Makes Me Look Like This

The Holidays Make Customers Dumb, Vicious Animals

Customers during the holiday season.

Today, at my retail job, I asked customers to stay in a single-file line. Yes, I had the audacity to ask them to stand in an orderly fashion and not like a pride of lions fighting over a corpse on the Serengeti. You would have thought I was asking customers to burn the flag or murder kittens because of their reactions.

Besides the many under-the-breath comments regarding the line, there have been other ridiculous customer comments or requests.

These are actual words from customers, followed by my actual response, and then what I really wanted to say.

Customer: “You should make the sign pointing to where the line is bigger.”

Response: “Totally!”

What I wanted to say: “Well, the sign assumes you’re literate.”

Customer: “Are you getting in [obscure German wine I can't pronounce - stein]?”

My response: “I’m not sure, I’ll have somebody check for you!”

What I wanted to say: “NEIN!!!!”

Customer: “This chair says no assembly but it looks like I might have to put a single screw into a leg. THE CHAIR IS LYING. BUILD IT FOR ME RIGHT NOW.”

Response: “Of course, I would love to!”

What I wanted to say: “[Angry diatribe against grumpy old people].”

Customer: “You didn’t have a mini apron for kids or a chef hat. I’m so disappointed.”

Response: “I’m so sorry about that!”

What I wanted to say: “I’m sorry that I’m not sorry.”

Disclaimer: I chose this job, so yes, I signed up for this. Most customers are awesome and make my day better but unfortunately, they don’t provide good fodder for entertaining blog posts.

- Daughter

Performance Art: Me as Grumpy Cat

Yesterday, I had a piece of cake but the icing stuck to the top of the container so when I took it off, all of the icing completely separated from the cake. It was also the most disgusting cake I have ever had the misfortune of eating. It tasted like what death must feel like.

In other news, I have an uncanny resemblance to Grumpy Cat.

- Daughter

7 Hot Tips for Singles (to Stay Single)

Approved facial expressions for social spaces at the top. Prohibited facial expressions on the bottom.

You know what’s annoying? Dating. Just don’t even do it, guys. People have flaws which turn otherwise nice people into awful creatures bent on your destruction. Avoid the mess entirely and commit to being permanently single (aka perma-single), which I consider to be the new “married with kids”. Here are some tips that have personally helped me retain my life of solitude; a status I proudly check on any and all government and medical forms.

1)      When out at a bar or other social space, do not make eye contact with anyone. Ever. Stare at your drink. If you feel awkward just staring at it, you can start talking to it.

2)      Accidentally make eye contact with somebody? Do not smile. Grimace and imitate medieval-style gargoyles in both facial expression and posture.

3)      When somebody attempts to converse with you, do your best impression of Kristen Stewart. Hint: just assume the position and sound of a dying whale.

4)      If people are forcing you into conversation, use the information they provide to explore and then exploit their weaknesses. Cried during a Disney movie? Shame them. Never been out of the country? Shame them. Dislike cats? Shame them. Slowly tear a person down until he or she starts sobbing and then say, “You’re just like your father,” and walk away.

Um, how can you not like cats? This is my cat. His name is Rambo.

5)      Avoid laughing at all costs – laughter is code for: “You are a beautiful specimen of the human species and I would like to possibly converse with you when I’m sober and in unflattering, bright light.”

6)      Ideally, fall asleep. For narcoleptics, this will come naturally, but others who are not skilled in the arts of sudden sleep while in loud, crowded environments should practice on public transportation first.

A really unflattering photo of me “sleeping”.

And then, presto, you’re single. Congratulations! There’s other fish in the sea but they’re all ugly anyway. Finding Nemo? No, Finding No One.

- Daughter

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want to (Death Countdown)


Today is my birthday or, as I like to think of it, my yearly reminder that I am creeping ever closer to the grave.

I looked in the mirror today and realized I have slight smile lines. I’m only in my 20’s but that won’t stop Father Time from etching his signature into my skin. I’m a little confused about the smile lines because I don’t really know why I’m smiling that much, literally enough to create permanent folds. And honestly, I’m a little upset because people who smile all the time are the worst. They’re the type of people who, if trapped in a burning house, would give you great pause as to their worthiness of saving. To remediate this, I pledge to stop smiling. I’m going to take a note out of Tyra Bank’s coloring book and just try to smile with my eyes when I’m happy and flap my arms around enthusiastically.

Decisions, decisions.


My other option is to inject toxic botulism into my face to freeze all of my facial muscles so I can become a living, breathing record of what it means to be young. Unfortunately, I am a poor college student so that’s out of the question for now.

Anyway, it’s my birthday and I have a lot of crying to do today over my lost youth so I’m going to go ugly cry into a pint of ice cream now.

Existential void tear.

- Daughter

My Childhood Speech Impediment: An Illustrated Comedy

When I was a toddler, I could not say ‘r’s properly. If an ‘r’ managed to sneak its way into my vocabulary, I spoke with a heavy Boston accent. A small, female child speaking with the twang of a grizzled, 40-year-old Boston man may seem funny but it was also a source of shame.

Me, as a five-year-old, trying to say ‘bird’.

Me, as a five-year-old, trying to say ‘pumpernickel’.

Me, as a five-year-old, trying to say ‘burger’.

Happily, I grew out of my Boston accent and today, I can basically say the ‘r’ sound. According to my brother, I still say my ‘r’s weirdly which has naturally given me a complex.

Me saying ‘burger’ completely normally.

Ignorant plebeian.


- Daughter

I’m Not Cool Enough to Do Drugs

This is a picture of me not doing drugs while wearing a lion suit.

I guess this should have been my first post but logic is not my strong suit. Nonetheless, the time has come to explain the name of my blog. It has nothing to do with drugs, guys, so stop sending me links to your underground drug cult/pagan revival group. Let’s be real, I’m not cool enough to do drugs.

You don’t see bookish, bespectacled people being presented in the media as cool. No, it’s the drug-addled musician and coked-out painters who get the biggest share of the cool pie. I don’t care what the D.A.R.E. program says – all the cool kids ARE doing drugs.

A helpful pie chart of coolness.

Drug addicts have tried to tell me I could be cool, I just need to “take a hit of this”. But I think they’re just telling me that because they’re high and not because they believe it.

The only addiction I have is posting LOLcats on Pinterest. (Yeah, I’m single, why do you ask????) Unfortunately, this addiction is not well-respected or researched so it will remain a life-long personal battle. This is my cross to bear.

Grumpy cat, one of many LOLcats I have in my collection.

For the record, I chose “The Daily Trip” because of my propensity to test gravity by falling constantly. It was also shorter than “Funny Stuff That Happens to Me That I Write About on the Interwebs in a Slightly Exaggerated Style”.

- Daughter

Overthinking Things at the Valet

For my internship, I have to do work-y things like drive around to random events and talk to similarly random people. I was required to go to one such event on Thursday. But this wasn’t just any event because it was at a fancy hotel where people permanently have an eyebrow raised in an aristocratic fashion. And, most importantly, people there can’t be bothered with parking their own cars; that would make them one of the peasants. Instead, they have valet drivers do the dirty work.

I was understandably excited because of this. Me – a mere plebeian getting to valet park? I could barely contain myself. But the excitement was eroded away by anxiety as I realized I had no idea how the whole thing actually worked.

When I’m in a situation where I feel awkward or unsure, my first reaction is to overcompensate. So, as I pulled up to the curb to the valet parking spot, I assumed the most upper-class countenance I could manage and stepped out confidently from my slightly rusted 18-year-old car as if it were a yacht. I almost successfully mimicked the way normal humans act until I had to speak to the valet driver. This is where it all went downhill because I said something like: “Salutations, fellow human! This is my car, a ’94 Cabrio convertible of which has been in my possession for four-score and seven years. I am here from a magazine to report on an event that is happening at this place of your employment. I am also here presently because I believe – if I am not mistaken, good sir – that this is valet parking of which I have the greatest need.”  Luckily, the valet driver just took my keys to save me from further embarrassment.

Although it was too late because the valet driver was already driving away, I tried to remember if my car was in a respectable state on the inside. To my horror, I realized I had failed to clean up a hideous coffee stain on the passenger side.  Instead of being the useful sort of stain – the kind that Jesus or some other deity appears in – it was a hideous, brown mark that said “DON’T LET THE RELATIVE NEATNESS OF THE CAR INTERIOR FOOL YOU, THIS PERSON IS A SLOB.” I decided that the valet driver would survive the experience and carried on with my day, trying to forget my slovenly ways.

When I came back out to get my car, the valet driver didn’t say anything to me that suggested he was disgusted. I did, however, discern an expression of repulsion when he accidentally brushed my hand as he returned my keys.

This is how rich people look to me. (I guess sorta like the guy on the Pringles can?… Or maybe the Planter’s Peanuts guy? I’m sorry to all the people I am ripping off.)


- Daughter

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