Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Online dating: a snapshot

So yes, I've taken the plunge into online dating. Why? Because it's just scary enough to give you an adrenaline rush and it's cheaper than sky diving. And some times you get a free dinner out of it.

I skirted the venture before, but couldn't quite get momentum and ended up bailing before ever really starting a conversation. Something about dozens and dozens of men spelling out exactly what they want their future wife and children to look, act, and smell like is enough to send me back to real life where I just result to shamelessly flirting with men in line at the grocery store. But this time I decided it was okay if I said "no" to nine out of ten guys- it is, in fact my right to turn down any man who is looking for a young, hot, no-drama woman who takes care of her body and wants to be a working mother of eight.

But saying "no" isn't really the issue anymore. It's stopping myself from saying "You're joking, right? No, seriously. Have the countless hours you've spent playing World of Warcraft destroyed all of your brain cells or have you just NEVER MET A WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?". I did ask one man if he had ever spoken to a woman before. He stopped talking to me.

Basically this is how my filter works though: if the majority of your photos are of your truck or your dog, you at a club, or you shirtless in front of a mirror, if you've listed "texting" and/or "drinking" as one of your hobbies, you send me a message with the word "hottie" in it, or you spell "college" as "collage"- stop right there. Just stop.

Maybe take a couple of minutes to scan my profile. Not just my photos, but the rest of my profile. Notice all of my pretty words that I took the time to spell correctly. Notice my punctuation (ellipses where periods should be DON'T COUNT). Notice my persistent mention of Jesus. Notice that I'm 5'8". Then ask yourself if we have ANYTHING in common. Like age, or religious preference, or the motivation to shower regularly. Because if we don't, it's really difficult for me to just say "no". I feel like your collage education should have taught you some rules of deduction. Or at least how to greet someone respectfully. I don't feel the need to let you down easily. I do however, feel the need to crush the fantasies you've masturbated to since you were 14 and let you know that you aren't going to find the Victoria's Secret model who wants to be the mother of your children online. Or anywhere else. So thanks for the "compliment" but I'd rather grease my ankles than go out with you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A word hug

I am in love with the power of words. Because it only takes one sentence to make me want to cry.

"So I offer up my humanness if, instead of a place to stay for the night, you need to hear that even with everything in its right place it's okay if you still don't know why it doesn't feel that way".

Credit: Dooce

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I don't know why I'm still explaining my blog- "I don't think it's a fashion blog", "I don't want it to be my public journal", "I don't want it to be too serious"- as if anyone reading this needs me to explain that I'm pretty much going to write whatever I want sans filter.  So I'm NOT going to preface this post with "I really don't want to rant about this" dot. dot. dot.


Because I am so sick of the drive to be thin.

As if there is no nobler goal for women alive today but than to be a single digit size.  Below the number six.  I know I know, how many times and by how many people have we heard this argument?  We're just one more pseudo-lesbian group away from being a generation of surly old maids, right? Except we're not.  We're still shopping at Victoria's Secret and wanting Gisele's ass.

I'm not a feminist.  Or shit, maybe I am- because I don't even know what it means to be a feminist.  Does it mean that I think every woman is more than a firm set of tits and a waist small enough to fit a dog collar around?  Well pardon me while I burn my bra and braid my armpit hair. What I do know is that I never again want to envy a supermodels body.  I never want to see another set of protruding hips, or another face photo shopped to the point of being WITHOUT PORES. What has brought me to this state of outrage is the labeling of inanimate objects as "skinny". It's a dangerous game- calling things "skinny". Skinny lattes, skinny jeans. Placing the word "skinny" in front of something does not in fact lead to thinness. All it leads to is a continued assurance that our society is obsessed with weight. Please recognize that wearing skinny jeans changes nothing about your legs and ordering "skinny milk" makes me cringe because it is nothing of the sort. It's non-fat milk and you know what else is non-fat?  Candy. Tons and tons of candy. Which also, WILL NOT MAKE YOU SKINNY. A food that is void of fat does not mean that it won't turn to fat in your body. So it's dangerous to wave this word out in front of us as if it offers some sort of protection to ward off fat. As if fat is the worst thing we could be. 

It is dangerous to be so vulnerable as to think that we are only bodies.

I'm not suggesting that we disregard out health- quite the contrary. And I'm not proposing an agenda in which Rosie the Riveter is our mascot into the world of female-dominant leadership. All I mean to say is that thinness, being skinny and the pursuit of it, is wasting my time. Of all the things I love, enjoy, am passionate about- I couldn't ever say that the pursuit of thinness is one of them. In fact it makes me miserable. Is making me miserable. And let's be real, I'm not alone.

I'm not giving up my femininity or my health. I'm not giving up my self-respect or my desire to be attractive.  But I am giving up on skinny. Because I believe that my value is not measured by the circumference of my waist of the length of my legs in inches.  And if my value could have a numerical form, it would always be higher than my number on the scale.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Early morning mastery

Remember that one time I went to bed at a normal time and it sucked?

Yeah, deja vu.

But that's cool 'cause at 4am no one is around to judge interrupt my weekly fill of old Law and Order:SVU episodes or every single movie trailer that exists right now. Thanks, Hulu, for reminding me that I need to spend all of my income watching movies.

Also, how attractive is Michael Fassbender?

Again, I blame Hulu for that information.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ramblings of a grown up

Are you there Blog? It's me, Sarah.

I hope you got that Judy Blume reference because if you didn't, you missed out on so much solid literature as a child. A girl waiting patiently for her period to make it's first appearance could have no better friend than Judy Blume.

ANYHOW. I miss my blog. Which is to say I just can't get enough of myself. Oh, you can't get enough of me either? I'M SO GLAD WE'RE FRIENDS.

I work at a coffee shop. (No, I'm not judging you based on your drink order. Unless you order a 20 ounce breve, in which case it's less judgement and more wondering if you know what a breve is. I feel a deep compulsion to make a spectacle of the fact that it's HALF AND HALF. And then I wonder where the fuck you put all the fat because Lord knows I'd be the star of the next TLC show about bed-ridden obese people if I were drinking 20 ounce breves everyday). And I hang out with my house mates. Who are just about my most favorite people in the world to be awkward around hang out with. We do things like watch a cappella competitions, talk about our feelings, and drink herbal teas.

I can't believe how true that last sentence is.

Thank you, Judy Blume, for preparing me for adulthood. It is everything I could have hope for.

(Side note: I just googled "half and half". Why? Because I can. If I didn't miss the Waltons so much, the 21st century would probably get my vote.)

I have no idea what this post was about.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Life in photos

-The Monster Queen

Next, I'll be starting a drum circle

I know I've expressed before that I never imagined my blog becoming my interactive journal, and my innate introversion is still desperately hoping that it won't be, but it seems that my sarcasm to life ratio is a little unbalanced these days. And that's probably due to the fact that I'm getting extra doses of life these days. Or maybe I'm just finally paying attention.

A couple of weeks ago I drafted a lengthy post on what it feels like to be a stranger living in your boss' house, being accused of using poor judgement, getting yelled at, and then being expected to sit down for an amiable dinner (with your boss and their extended family). It was emotional and melodramatic, and then it mysteriously disappeared. Which I took as a sign that as much as I want all the wounded of the world (who read my blog) to know YOUR FEELINGS ARE VALID AND I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO THAT REALLY CRAPPY THING YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH AND YES, IT SUCKED! some times I guess, I just can't wrap the entire world in an imaginary hug. No matter how hyperbolic and heartfelt it might be. Also, maybe I don't need to dwell on the sad things so much.

So lately I've been trying to do just that- not dwell on the sad things. Now, my immediate instinct is to list ALL OF THE SAD THINGS I'M TOTALLY NOT DWELLING ON. Which is to say, it takes effort. It takes effort to let go of my anxiety and appreciate that I have been BLESSED to spend time with my family, laugh my head off with them, see unexpected and beautiful places in America, help my little sister with her math, enjoy so much good food, share moments and treasures and LIVES.

I can't decipher the last three months of my life. I can't determine why I am where I am now- so far off from where I ever imagined myself being. But honestly, I'm tired of trying to. I love where I am, as transient and out of my control as this place in my life is. I'm sharing my life with people. And I'm so blessed by the lives being shared with me.

Now let's everyone hug it out.

-The Monster Queen

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Secrets make your clothes smell better

Who knew that my Mount Rushmore shirt would make such an impact on my wardrobe? I guess I should take back all the mean things I said about South Dakota. NOT.

In case you don't see me every week (you don't, I'm in a house with children one billion hours a week. Oh, a week doesn't have a billion hours? EXACTLY.) it makes an appearance each wash cycle. And by that I mean when it's clean, I wear it. And it would probably be clean more often if I was allowed to do laundry while on shift. But I'm not. I'm also not allowed to read books on shift. Or microwave any food for the children. Which, I would totally support if that didn't mean I was heating up an entire jar of store bought spaghetti sauce on the stove, just to use two tablespoons of it. And the rest that I'm putting in Tupperware to go back in the fridge? Yeah, I can't microwave that tomorrow either.

Other things I'm not allowed to do "on shift":
Be farther than 3 feet from the children at any given time
Let the children play unmediated games with their friends
Fold laundry on my lap (it needs to be folded on the bed)
Wash the cousin's swim things with our swim things
Deny the children their third daily Popsicle
Eat my meals w/o the children
Expect to get paid on time

All this to say, I'M DOING MY LAUNDRY IN SECRET. Yeah, that's right. When I say I'm going to the bathroom I'm actually folding my clothes. I never imagined that my rebellious nature would lead to secret laundry. I feel like such a fraud. When my bathroom breaks get taken away, I have no idea what I'll be forced to do.

-The Monster Queen

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Black market

Did you hire someone to watch your children? Congratulations, Wise Investor. Now, call up your brother and let him know that your nanny will watch his kids too. Then call up your neighbor and tell her that your nanny will watch her kids too! Then, if you realize there is someone you forgot to offer your nanny's services to, tell your nanny YOU NEED HER TO MAKE A PHONE CALL.

-The Monster Queen

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Big bear comfort

I have no idea what's going on with my life, but what I do know is that my panda dress makes me feel right with the world. Or at least right with myself. Because one day I walked into a gas station that had an entire wall full of majestic tees, and that was a good day.

Cool fact about NY: you can wear the exact same outfit three nights in a row and no one will notice. Probably because you won't see any of the same people. Even in your house. Did I mention that I live with six other people? Yeah. . .life.

Also, welcome to my new self timer wall.

-The Monster Queen

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The setting

New York is hard.

In so many ways. I wanted to be an exception (what's new?) and fall madly in love with New York the moment I set foot in it. I wanted to feel home and not ever want to leave. But New York is hard. I could list all of the things and ways in which New York is such a difficult place but I'm not going to. Instead I'm going to focus on the things I love.

I love the train ride. Not the subway- it's busy, and loud, and exactly as it should be- but the train. The forty minute ride from my town to NYC. The forty minutes in which I am allowed to sit still. In which I am given time to observe people- admire their clothes, determine if they are visiting or residential, listen to them comfort their tired children late at night. I love waiting to hear the inevitable can of beer being opened in the train car, and I love the smile that comes across my face when I do. I especially love when that person is sitting across from me and I get to watch them enjoy that small part of their day. And the train conductor. The train conductor is my favorite. Who, nine times out of ten has an accent so thick that you know he's spent his entire life in this state; a permanent native. In an instant you find yourself painting a picture of his life; he grew up in the ghetto, with half a dozen siblings and a working single mother. He graduated high school with integrity and good grades but too much responsibility to do anything after high school other than find a good paying job. Maybe he's been working the train system ever since. Maybe he's divorced. Maybe he has his own kids now. He's a man whose story you'd love to hear over a cup of coffee at 5 a.m.

You see, these forty minutes are the forty minutes in which I still get to romanticize about New York. I get to forget my own current circumstances and I get to dream about the place in which so many stories are set. I get to write my own stories here.

-The Monster Queen

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Are you thinking about taking a trip through South Dakota? Please allow me to walk you through how that trip will go. . .

The anticipation about seeing Mount Rushmore will get you to Mount Rushmore without too much thought. I mean, dead Presidents carved into a mountain- nothing else quite says "this is America bitches!". You will note that from the initial angle Abe Lincoln and Ted Roosevelt look like they're about to embrace each other in a kiss. But from the designated angle they're much more heterosexual. You're favorite part will be Roosevelt's mustache, and the smirk on Jefferson's face will likely cause you to try and determine what he is thinking. One of the things you come up with will be "I just farted".

After about seven minutes of photos with all of the pose and angle combinations you can come up with you'll begin to wonder what you're suppose to do now. Leaving seems a little anticlimactic. You'll probably buy a t-shirt and a magnet so that you can often and fondly remember the time you spent with America's stone fathers. As you leave you should probably thank them for their contributions.

By this time you'll have likely seen brochures for Crazy Horse, another stone monument that is a mere twenty miles away. And if you've spent ANY time in Wyoming you know that our Native history is just as (if not more) important than our American history. Now I mean no disrespect to our Native ancestors but I'm going to give you a heads up right now- the monument is not finished, costs $10 per person to view, and will make you wish you could have those twenty miles back. Take a good look at that brochure because I promise you that photo is more satisfying. And it's free.

Next on your itinerary is The Badlands National Park. The fifty mile drive and $15 fee is worth it. At just about any time of day I would imagine this incredible creation reminiscent of The Land Before Time is always as breath taking. Take your kids.

Since South Dakota happens to be deceivingly wide, by this time you will likely be looking for a place to sleep. Now believe it or not, motels WILL be booked, so you will need to reserve a room online ahead of time and if you happen to stay in Kadoka, please stay at the Dakota Inn. If for no other reason but that the old man at the front desk will know who you are not because he asked for your name or ID (he will do neither) but because you will be the only person who has reserved a room online- possibly ever. The carpet is alarmingly red but I'm sure they clean after every time someone is killed. There may or may not be dead crickets in your room.

In the morning you'll be glad that there is a cafe, called CAFE, right across the gravel patch from the Inn. Don't get too excited though, they only take cash. Just continue onward until you see the next stop for a restaurant. This will bring you to a town that displays more signs reading "An 1880 town!" than signs displaying the town's actual name. Upon entering this restaurant you might be fooled into thinking you're about to have an amazing, home-cooked, diner-style meal. And you might be- as long as you don't confuse them by ordering ANYTHING that differs from the six items on their menu- this includes asking for any item without the meat, expecting cheese, asking for your breakfast sandwich on an English muffin, or drinking the coffee. DON'T DRINK THE COFFEE. And don't worry, their neighbor doesn't take as long as you think to deliver the cheese. The American Kraft Singles cheese.

Now South Dakota gets exciting.

South Dakota doesn't ever get exciting. They have a lot of Amish people (Driving cars. Yes, it seemed weird to me too.) and people who reenact old saloon robbery scenes JUST FOR FUN in fake old towns, and you might think they have a lot of corn BUT THEY DON'T. So now, NOW, you get to drive. Miles and miles and miles. With nothing to look at except for fields. FIELDS OF NOTHING. Seriously, if South Dakota is growing something I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS. And if you're lucky like me, the rain in south Dakota will tear the paint off your car and then you will have car trouble in Sioux Falls, the only place in that state that even resembles a city. And you might think "I bet they have a lot of mechanics here because they probably have to fix their own cars a lot", but you'd be wrong. In fact, the repair shop that everyone recommends to you (which also doubles as a home and garden store) will strangely misplace their mechanic from time to time. The next mechanic you find won't have time for you. But don't worry, three hours, $300, and conversations with strangely friendly local ladies in the auto repair lounge and you'll be good to go.

And go you will. Miles and miles and miles. There is one last site to see in South Dakota. The Corn Palace. And if you have more sanity than I did by the time you get there, by all means, stop! I hear it's a gymnasium on the inside. Which is cool. You know, if you have nothing better to do but shoot hoops in a gymnasium in South Dakota. Possibly with Amish people.

So I get why South Dakota is called the Mount Rushmore state. Their other options were The Amish State, The State That Pretends to Have Corn, or The So-Boring-You-Might-Stab-Yourself-For-Fun State.

Enjoy your travels and God bless America.

-The Monster Queen

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Did you think that Montana was just mountains, and horses, and an extra tall sky? Well shame on you, because it also has sheep. Also, IT'S GORGEOUS. I kid you not, I seldom get romantic about landscape but apparently the settlers forgot to go through Montana because it looks virtually untouched after God painted it beautiful. And my favorite part of my first day in Montana might very well have been hearing this question:

"So, are you a shepherd?"

-The Monster Queen

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pants less painter

I recently participated (am participating) in a scarf swap. When the scarf I would be receiving was on it's way to me I saw a man at my local coffee shop and this man happened to be a house painter. I've noticed here and there that house painters often tie hankercheifs losely around their neck. (For sweat reasons maybe? This gentleman was using it to hold his sunglasses.) And as soon as I saw it I thought "I hope the scarf I'm getting is little so that I can do that!" (Not use it for sweat, but fashion around my neck like so.) And low and beyond, this fine lady sent me this fine scarf! Let the haters hate, but dreams really do come true.

Also, I'm wearing a swimsuit. Thus, the no pants. I can't account for the guy at the coffee shop. . .

Saturday, July 2, 2011

An ER farewell

(If you came here to see George Clooney, I apologize, but unfortunately he isn't here.)

I have spent the last nearly five years working in an emergency room. It has always been a great conversation piece, I love that pace of work, and I have had some of the funniest (and saddest) times there. Not to mention, the relationships you develop with people who understand what it's like to be on this side of an emergency really can't be beat.

All that to say, there are DEFINITELY some things that I will. not. miss

The sound, smell, and appearance of vomit

The sound of a drunk man's head hitting the very solid floor
Urine that, based on resemblance, could be confused with mountain dew, mountain dew code red, or lager
Mean parents, offspring, and spouses (hey, control freaks! Your loved one is ill, chill the fuck out!)
Guys who give their girlfriends venereal disease and act like it must be in the water
People who have no shame and/or modesty. Even while pooping. Especially while pooping.
Homeless feet smell
Morbidly obese smell
Pediatric cancer patients, stroke victims, farmers with debilitating hand injuries, and all other things that have made me want to cry

Stinky transient couples who apparently came to the ER to make out

The constant and fairly legitimate fear that I will get excrement splattered on myself

All in all, it has been great. But yeah, it would have been better if George Clooney had shown up.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

And now I compare the flu shot to venereal disease

What do venereal disease and the flu vaccine have in common?
You can get both of them at Walmart, most health care facilities, and the back of a touring bus.

So why do I not get a flu shot each year?

Okay, that's not the only reason but I'm not going to get into the medicine of it (if you want to give your kids autism vaccinations that's your business) but once you recognize how THEE ENTIRE NATION is trying to get you vaccinated from the flu, you become a little paranoid. Like, when was the last time the entire nation tried to give me a scoop of ice cream? Or when was the last time the entire nation tried to help me get my car tuned up? Hmm? Yeah, that's because the nation isn't just this helpful selfless entity trying to keep everyone healthy and happy. But the nation might try to give everyone venereal disease.

And I'll admit it, I typically get the flu every year. For about a week in February I get sweaty and whiny and I venture to my local grocery store in my pajamas for my annual overdose of Zicam. This is the lot that I've accepted in life. One week of the flu in exchange for avoiding the nation's venereal disease.

But this year, this year, I got duped. Since I do in fact work in a place, the place, that people are going to go if they contract the flu, all employees are strongly encouraged to get the flu shot. And by encouraged I mean harassed. Which is how I ended up getting vaccinated this year. So sure enough February rolled around, I ate my humble pie, and I didn't get the flu.

Way to go flu shot, right? Like, way to do your job. I guess there is something to be said for not getting the flu as long as I can ignore the imagery of horrible things being injected into my body, right?

Which brings us to June 30th. JUNE. FREAKING. 30TH. As in almost July.
(Please pause and consider all of the wonderful things that you would like to do in July. Such as: enjoy the sun, go swimming, have a picnic, NOT GET ROMANTIC WITH A BOX OF KLEENEX AND A NETI POT.)

Which also brings us to Why. The hell. Do I have the flu. IN JUNE?!
It's like giving someone venereal disease and then breaking their heart just for kicks. On their birthday.

Next year America, I'll take the flu. And I hope you get a herpes outbreak.

(P.s. That bit about autism was a joke, please don't try to beat me up.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Etiquette Shmetiquette

Because of all the times I've heard ambiguous, or even back handed, comments about my attire or sense of style, I've sincerely begun to wonder if some people would even be able to recognize a compliment if it included the words "I like". And adversely, if they could recognize an insult of it came out of their mouth, bounced off of me and then hit them in the face, leaving marks that might resemble my left fist.

So I've come up with a few simple guidelines to determine if what you're about to say is a compliment (and thus, if you should say it).

Rule #1 
If you are making a comparison (i.e. "that reminds me of [actor/actress, movie, decade]) make sure that you find (and specify that you find!) the object of comparison agreeable. For instance "Hey, that reminds me of Madonna. And I really liked when she did that!". You see, if you don't specify that the comparison is good I'm forced to say things like "Oh, well. . .I guess I will just chose to take that as a compliment" because I'm not quite sure that the fact that my haircut reminds you of a ten year old is a compliment. And if it isn't a compliment, I'm not sure how to respond. Because I don't know why anyone would walk around giving their unwarranted and unflattering opinion to persons who don't care. But that's just me. . .

As a side note, if your compliment ends up sounding like "Hey, your haircut reminds me of a ten year old, and I really like ten year olds!" you should know that I'm inclined to protect children. Particularly with dumb bells to the groin.

Rule #2 
If your intention is to say something flattering to someone, it helps if you say it to them and not just near them. Because if I walk into a room and you look at me and say to someone else "Don't you wish that we could play dress-up at work?" I might not know if you're just being a BITCH of if you really think I've dressed up nicely. And confusion is what we're trying to avoid here. (We are also trying to avoid you getting punched in the face).

Rule #3
I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating- if at any point you question whether or not what you are about to say is a compliment- it isn't.

*In conjunction with Rule #1 make sure that your point of reference is positive as well. In other words, if you ask me if my tattoos were a result of drunken decision-making, I would like to thank you for helping me determine that I would not like to ever be your friend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I know things

When I first started this blog I would keep little notes on my phone of topics I wanted to write about. I pretty much forgot about those notes (turns out having too many posts drafted actually creates anxiety) but I recently rediscovered them and found one titled "Things Men Need to Know About Women".

I opened it, and it was completely blank. Which I found hilarious.  I just imagine myself coming up with the post title and thinking ha! Where do I start?! Then the next second getting a little nauseous, looking confused, and thinking Uhh, maybe I'll come back to this one later. Not only that, but the fact that I had arrogance enough for at least half a second to think that I could compile an adequate list of all the note-worthy differences between men and women is kind of charming, right? I mean sure, having embarrassing amounts of estrogen for all these years should have taught me a thing or two about us vagina-card carriers, and wouldn't I be sweet to give helpful tips to the other gender, but if you've been reading this blog for any length of time you've probably already guessed that said tips would be less helpful and more STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE, FUCKER. Which. . .come to think of it, is something men need to know, and since I do know so much about the things men need to know I probably should write a post on that.

Other upcoming blog entries on topics I also know a lot about:

Feline HIV
Everything New Mothers Need to Know
Polygamy; it Teaches Sharing! 
How to Have a Happy Divorce
How to Tell if Your Kids Will Be Serial Killers
Life Without Shopping
Transgender and Dating

Please stay tuned.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

College degrees are awesome

Had this conversation at work today:

Co-worker: So when is your last day of work?

Me: July 1st.

Co-worker: That's in July.

* * *
Oh, I have a new most favorite outfit? WEIRD.

-The Monster Queen

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Where the lilies always bloom

I don't know how many homes most people grow up in. Two? Three? Half a dozen? I can recall nine places that at one point in my youth I called "home". And because most of those places don't conjure up the warmest of memories, I'm adding an honorary tenth home. I was there often enough in my earliest years to establish many memories, all of which I recently discovered, I treasure.

Do you see this apartment complex? It was never one of my homes. But now it is a home to many, and what I have a painfully difficult time wrapping my head around is the fact that NONE of the people who live here know that where their home now is, one of my homes once was. Where this pavement is now, where these apartments are- there used to be two houses. On the same stretch of property, only separated by a small paved walkway. That walkway had handprints in it. The handprints of my cousins, my siblings, and myself. About ten hands in all. Next to that walkway there was a clothes line between to concrete posts. Next to that, there was a plum tree where you could almost always find half a dozen bicycles lined up. There was a pomegranate tree that, unless you wanted to get in trouble with Great Grandma, you didn't ever touch. Besides, pomegranates are a lot of work for little pay off- especially for a five year old. Next to the houses there was a rusty old swing set, and a cage that one of my uncles kept pigeons in. Behind the houses the was a chicken coop and a fig tree, and large garden that I'm not really sure we were allowed to eat from, but if you've ever had fresh strawberries, you know we did.

This home- both houses- is one of the places I hold dear. I remember getting ready for church and grandma combing the cowlicks out of my hair at the kitchen sink. I remember her peach cobbler, and the iced tea that could always be found in the fridge during summer. I remember the time my siblings and I rode bicycles up a hill near the creek, I hit a large rock at the bottom, and wondered for a long time afterward if all the freckles on my shoulder were caused by that accident. A few years later I remember going back to that home in the summer with my older sister, and watching movies on repeat; Driving Miss Daisy and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I really don't know if we ever watched any other movies, those are the only two I've preserved in my memory for all these years. I remember dinner always being an open invitation and never knowing who to expect, but the evenings I loved most were the crowded ones.

It's an odd thing, recalling this home, validating my memories, when there is nothing tangible left of them. It could be a lie. Or just an error in my recollection. Maybe the hand prints were never there. Maybe the pigeons weren't either. Something about those houses not being there, about none of it being there, feels eerily like someone is grasping at my memories, trying to tear them down as well. Threatening to take them, lest I bury them somewhere untouchable. Maybe that's why this is so painful. I'm worried that I won't be able to bury them securely enough. That one day someone or something, or maybe just time itself, will come along and pull up my memories, and build something on top of them as if the ground had never before belonged to anyone else.

If these memories are not always going to linger, then I pray that whatever one day replaces them will be even sweeter.

My great grandmother used to have the most beautiful array of lilies lining the dirt driveway. Every time that I have smelled lilies since my early childhood, I immediately picture her garden.

-The Monster Queen

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Vanity, all is vanity

Obviously I've signed my mom up for taking my vacation outfit photos because what has this women ever done for me before? I mean, stretch marks and five hours of hard labor? PA-LEEZ.

However, this genius had the camera set to video instead, so now I have a dozen videos of myself trying to look sultry while directing photos under my breath. They are a treasure.

YouTube Video

-The Monster Queen

Monday, June 6, 2011

You will be fortuitous in your closet this month

I decided to take a page from B. Jones' book and prepare entire outfits for each day of my vacation.

Which, on the one hand seems super efficient and thus, something I would totally dig. But on the other hand, my daily attire is typically assembled each morning (read: late afternoon) by playing Yanni's Greatest Hits, standing in front of my closet, closing my eyes, and listening with my heart to which items are most presently in sync with my aura. So- what if, come any certain vacation day, I go to put on an already prepared outfit and IT TOTALLY CLASHES WITH MY SOUL? I really don't know how to prepare for that kind of travesty. So I'm going to pack some valium a couple extra outfits and hope that increases my chances of not dying and/or killing someone (I'm pretty sure that's what would happen if I wear the wrong outfit). Normally I would just read my daily horoscope and look out for advice like "be wary if you are not in tune with your spirit today, you may hurt a loved one" and then I would lock myself indoors and not get dressed. But after the whole OH BY THE WAY, WE'VE BEEN WRONG ABOUT ASTROLOGY FOR THE LAST CENTURY, SO HERE- WE FIXED IT, I don't know what my sign is any more! Am I a crab now? After I thought I was a lion all these years?! That is a big adjustment people.

So, someone should probably warn my mom that for the next seven days the Lion-Crab Woman is going to be living in her guest room and if she appears to remain naked for any length of time, give her equal amounts of compliments and dark chocolate. Or lock the door and back away slowly.