Tax Time Again (Or the Ghosts of 2017)

It’s tax time again. That means I’m facing the sins of 2017 head-on.

IMG_8746.JPG

God, help me, I swear this mess makes sense.

So… yeah… I had my confession with my accountant this morning, and it went reasonably well.

I haven’t been too bad a girl in 2017… REALLY… honestly….

While adding up my receipts, I came across a few that were related to Phil. (I always write names on my receipts at the time so I don’t have to wonder months later why they’re relevant.) For some cruel reason the Phil pile was the pile that kept adding up incorrectly, so I had to count it three times. I didn’t break down crying. I didn’t lose my mind… but if I’m being honest with myself and you, it was a little sad when it set in that those receipts memories are all things of the past.

Phil’s name won’t show up on a receipt in 2018 — or any year in the future… because THE STUPID FUCKING DICKHEAD IS DEAD.

Sorry…

I was maudlin for a minute…

And I was mad. (I probably still am.)

But, since life is about picking yourself up and moving on, I’m going to eat my CPK salad, drink a glass of wine, and be glad I have all kinds of amazing people in my life.

IMG_8455.JPG

Like this cute crew…

They are everything.

Okay, that’s all.

The end.

Bye.

SaveSave

Advertisements

Phil

 

Somewhere in the middle of 2016, I met Phil.

It’s hard to know where to begin telling our story, and I’m not sure I can do it justice in a single post.

This is Phil:

IMG_7723

 He is a stupid dickhead for dying in 2017.

If I sound cold and callous calling him names, you must understand that dickhead was one of his terms of endearment, and it also sums up how I feel about him checking out on all of us.

Went big with the beard

It is a colossal waste. 

The world is a lot quieter without his big, boisterous laugh.

My phone isn’t filled with funny messages or pictures of his dog, and my life has been forever changed by another man who couldn’t see past his pain.

My feelings shift from rage to disbelief and from regret to sorrow, sometimes all in the same day.

Phil broke through the barriers to love that I had built over the years. He was the first and only man in five years who did, and even though I miss him every day, I will be forever grateful to God for sending Phil my way.

IMG_6609

He and his big heart opened mine.

So many songs have brought me to my knees since I heard the news, and perhaps no other one more than this:

See, it all started when Phil drove me home — or rather it all changed the first time he drove me home. It all started when he kicked open the swinging doors of the Saloon.

No one is easy to love, least of all me. I can be aloof. I can be opinionated. I can be intimidating, but Phil was never scared of me. He was a force of nature strong enough to meet mine.

I celebrated the first hours of my 38th birthday with him watching videos on his cracked iPhone screen. He was my first kiss at midnight in 2017, and my best hug of the year. The last day he held me was July 3. If I had known then what I know now, I would have chased him and his stupid Uhaul all of the way back to Minnesota. I would have booked that flight I kept pricing. I would have told him I loved him.

I’m not saying I could have saved him with my words or my actions, but selfishly, I think it might have made this mess just a tiny bit easier for me if I hadn’t held back here and there.

There are so many things that were left unsaid between us, and maybe the only thing I can do now is promise myself I will never hold back the important words from anyone else who means as much to me as he did.

I missed his funeral because I got the news a few days too late, and I’ve been looking for ways to find my own closure. I took up a collection from our friends to send his parents flowers. I’ve been trying for weeks to write his parents a letter. I bought Modelo tall boys from the liquor store where he bought them for us the night we rearranged the rulers and t-squares mounted on his wall.

It all sounds so small, but the best memories often are.

Phil never hesitated with me — or in anything — even death.

God, I wish he had hesitated just that last time.

IMG_8700

If he had, I wouldn’t have to sit on a sidewalk outside his office and cry in his favorite beer.

Cheers, Phil.

“Have good times” in heaven.

I love you.

Birthdays, Bows, and Banana Leaf Jammies (Or Hedy’s Birthday)

Monday is my Aunt Hedy’s birthday. (It also happens to be Tom Cruise’s birthday too — in case you care.)

Hedy’s leaving tomorrow for her annual holiday in Hawaii, so it was imperative that I deliver her present today.

IMG_7730.JPG

OK, technically it was presents, plural, but whatever. 

I put shells on her plunder because she’s planning to bask on the beach for two weeks like a boss, and I like to be thematically appropriate when I can.

IMG_7728.JPG

I may have used a glue gun… and paint pens.

Also?

I made sure the ribbons matched the card because I’m me — and I care about things like that.

IMG_7727

Please ignore the dog toys on the floor. 

My attention to detail only goes so far; sometimes usually there’s an errant dog toy in my pics. (I’m all about gift wrap, but photography and I are NOT friends.)

So that’s the latest in my life.

Well, that and the super important thing that happened yesterday: my Katie Kime jammies arrived!!! They are a banana leaf print with a pink monogramed breast pocket and they are the absolute PINNACLE of bedtime fashion.

More on that later… I promise.

Now I need to kiss my beast on his gorgeous dog face 14,000 times before I go to work.

IMG_7732

Enjoy your nap while I slave to keep you in kibble, kid.

Just kidding!!!

He’s the best baby ‘roo who ever lived, and I’d do anything to make him happy.

Sad Sushi and Book Recs (Or Random Procrastination)

I have a confession: SugarFish has basically ruined all other raw fish for me. Today I thought I’d make a feeble attempt at frugality, so I walked to the Sushi Stop up the street for lunch instead. I saved myself a sad $18 and ended up with salmon I wanted to feed to the dog because it just wasn’t on a bed of warm, sticky rice.

Albus will now have albacore for dinner because I just couldn’t choke that down…

IMG_7598

And because I love the goofy bastard more than I love people.

He really is, like, literally a bastard. He doesn’t actually have a daddy — a truth that troubles my grandmother during the rare, lucid moments when she remembers who I am.

She recently asked me no less than four times in the span of a 15 minute conversation if I had a boyfriend. Each time I simply answered, “no,” while my aunt sniped at her in the background a) for repeating herself, and b) for caring more about my relationship status than my career. My grandma finally said, “Hedy said I asked you that question five times.”

“It was four. Tell her she can’t count.”

We are not nice people.

I don’t mean to mock dementia because it’s awful watching the woman who used to send you care packages full of homemade cookies forget how to turn on her stove, but if I’m being honest I must admit we ALL feel like we’re losing our minds with the situation. It’s hard on everyone — including her.

The whole thing has given me an idea for a novel, though, so I’m starting to outline the story beats.

I have procrastinated by reading other people’s books long enough. It’s time to try to write my own.

But before I do that, here’s one last ditch effort at procrastination:

A short list of the best books I’ve read recently while not writing my own stuff.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter – This book is super disturbing and you may not want to be my friend any more after you read it, but I promise you won’t be able to put it down. I finished it in 24 hours.

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall – This is one of most delightful books I’ve read in absolutely forever. I devoured it in four days and was devastated when it ended. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Polly. The woman shoots blanks at squirrels, doesn’t understand why her daughter’s Jesus doesn’t let her drink margaritas, and brings a falcon to a parent-teacher conference. I want to be Polly when I grow up.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – This is not to be confused with Still Alice, which I can’t bring myself to read because of the whole-my-Grandma-doesn’t-know-who-I-am-thing. Coincidentally, it also deals with memory loss, but in a charming, Moriarty kind of way that leads to love and stuff.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – Yes, Liane again. This woman can write. Trust.

And now I really will work on my outline because I’m not trying to wait tables for the rest of my life.

Also?

I need to make more money so I don’t have to make any more sacrifices that involve cold sushi rice.

Not So Divine (Or I Become a Plumber)

You know how I promised these posts would be “Dedicated to All Things Canine and Divine”? Well, here’s what’s NOT divine.

IMG_7655

My sink situation.

My maintenance guy is out of town for a family emergency and this bog of eternal stench has been brewing since Thursday. This morning I decided to take matters into my own hands because I just CAN’T with the smell for another minute.

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about sink clogs, which obviously makes me a plumber, and then I set off for Home Depot with my assistant for supplies.

IMG_7652

He was mesmerized by the place.

Who can blame him, though? The Home Depot is made of amazing.

It was a successful outing until…

IMG_7654

Someone stepped in a broken bag of cement.

(In his defense, I did too.)

Once I solve the sink problem I may need to investigate how to clean the leather without accidentally making concrete on my seats.

Anyway back to the sink…

I drained the stagnant bog water by removing part of the pipe, but the blockage that caused the problem in the first place is somewhere in the P trap, and I can’t get the slip nuts off to remove it. I probably need a wrench or someone with bigger hands to get it off.

IMG_7658

Slip nuts and I are NOT friends.

Phil’s* supposed to call me later to walk me through solutions for the sink because I may have reached a bit of an impasse, so for now I’m taking a break and drinking a beer because it seems like a good thing to do now that I’m a plumber. #sortakinda

*He’s back in Minnesota, but that’s why God made FaceTime and stuff.

I Dream of Running Away (Or Ambivalent About LA Again)

I frequently feel the urge to flee LA — at least once a year — to be specific. When I’m gripped with the strong desire to go somewhere else it’s usually because I’m fantasizing about a “normal” life.

(My definition of normal involves a garden, proximity to men who own more power tools than I do, and a standing tailgate every Saturday in the fall.)

I was having one of those days on Thursday. I wanted to be anywhere but here. Then I got a message from my friend, Murph. He had an extra ticket to the Snoop, Cypress Hill, and Wiz Khalifa show at the Greek for 4/20, complete with backstage passes.

IMG_7492.JPG

Normal life, what? Who needs THAT when you can go backstage?!?

Murph is developing a pilot with Bobo, the drummer from Cypress Hill, because this is LA, and everyone is working on a pilot. Bobo hooked us up for the show.

Obviously, our seats were sick.

IMG_7498.JPG

Not a bad shot of Wiz and Snoop right?

But maybe not as sick as the backstage situation.

IMG_7504

Like duh.

Sure, I now have to dry-clean my entire ensemble so I don’t smell like a walking bong, but it was worth it.

So worth it, in fact, that I got over my need to flee for 24 full hours.

That is until I was in an uber with Dan on the way to his friends’ Purple Rain screening party the following evening. It was an ordeal to get someone to walk the dog at the last minute, and we had a LONG ride to the party. Those old feelings were coming up again. I swear it would be easier to invade a small country than to plan how to go out on a Friday night with friends in LA where no one gets arrested.

Since we had what felt like 42 hours in the backseat of someone else’s Hyundai, I shared my fantasy about moving to Austin to eat proper barbecue and grow my own herbs in a large garden.

“And I’d have room to throw pots,” he observed wistfully.

Apparently, my wanderlust was contagious.

It was news to me that he made pottery, but I guess we all have sides of ourselves we can’t (or don’t) express in LA — interests we’ve put on hold. Sure, you can find anything here if you search for it, but the pace and the cost of everything can sometimes cause you to shelve some of your interests while you’re stuck in traffic or working to feed your enormous dog the venison he deserves.

I sometimes wonder if I’m putting too much of myself on hold to be here, however.

Would I have more to write about if I went somewhere new and immersed myself in a different place?

The thought will plague me until someone else invites me to do something cool and I’ll probably be fine again.

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Gin, the Lawn, and the Crashy-Bam-Bam (Or My New Ouchy-Boo-Boo)

Tuesday night I had an accident… but not that kind of accident.

I didn’t crash my car, I didn’t soil myself, and I didn’t make out with anyone inappropriate.

I did, however, step into an unseen hole in my lawn. (It was dark and there may have been a bit of gin involved.) I lost my balance and went flying onto the sidewalk, whereupon I skinned my knee and gruesomely shredded the palm of my hand. I fell with such force that I also hit my chin on the ground, jarring my head and neck. Mercifully, my chin landed on the grass on the other side of the sidewalk, and I didn’t shred my face. (Thank the good Lord for small miracles and stuff.)

My dog sat patiently next to me as I lay on the ground. I explained to him, “Mommy went crashy-bam-bam and needs a minute to get up. She has an ouchy-boo-boo.” Crashy-Bam-Bam is a term he’s familiar with, given that he was an enthusiastic and rather clumsy puppy. And now that he’s sporting three-inch scars from his recent cancer surgery, he has heard a lot about ouchy-boo-boos from me as well.

(I like to think he understands me, but it may all be science fiction. Also? I’m quite aware that I sound like a lunatic when I talk to him.)

Finally, after a few moments passed, I managed to pull myself to my feet and we finished our walk with me feeling rather sorry for myself.

A large bruise has since formed on my kneecap, and my hand is mummified in gauze. It’s all terribly sad. (Or at least I think so.)

I’ve always been clumsy. It’s just not something you outgrow, especially if you’re fond of sapphire and tonic.

So anyway, I’m wounded.

Wanna send me flowers?

I like peonies, and they’re in season.

Dark-pink-peonies-at-Columbia-Road

This many would fix my situation. Source

And now I’ll stop wallowing in self pity and get some work done.

XOXO