Monday, June 25, 2012

The Buddy System

The more socially ept and extroverted people of the world often fail to realize just how difficult it is for the socially awkward to handle large groups of novel people in a social setting. For me, a large amount of this difficulty stems from figuring out what on earth to do with myself at these gatherings. If everyone is playing a game or eating a meal it can be a little bit easier, but for me the worst case scenario is a party that involves a bunch of people standing around talking, even if I already know many of them.

If I'm lucky I'll be able to find friends or new people to talk to for long periods of time, thus minimizing those 'oh shit!' moments. I almost invariably end up gluing myself to some unsuspecting friend who seems to be able to enjoy those sorts of interactions. Hopefully this person does not notice or mind that I am relentlessly following them around all night.

However, unless that friend is as awkward as I am, it can be difficult to stay stuck. This is why I prefer to have an Awkward Buddy at parties. This is a friend who wishes to stay stuck to me just as much as I wish to stay stuck to them. An Awkward Buddy is a good solution for office parties and other situations where I feel obligated to attend but know I won't be capable of maintaining fluid socialization. Even if the people I was talking to have wandered off, Awkward Buddy will save me from standing there alone while I try to figure out how to start the next social interaction. If we cannot manage to join another conversation, we can still talk to each other and at least maintain a thin veneer of social normalcy. We can also feed off each others' anecdotes and knowledge of different subjects to keep the conversation from petering out for a while.

The Awkward Buddy: Great for weddings, baby showers, office parties, and even just large gatherings thrown by friends.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dress to impress

I like to draw myself as a relatively skinny person, but the truth is that I have enormous thighs. Disproportionately large thighs. I-have-to-alter-my-own-clothes-to-make-them-fit thighs. It's genetic. It's also a huge pain in the ass to have size 12 thighs on a size 4 body.

I'm told that thigh fat is also called "starvation fat" and that I will have to look like a famine victim before my body will give up the tiniest bit of that sweet, sweet thigh flab. I'm sure everyone has some part of their body that they hate, fortunately there are ways to de-emphasize those bits. There are also ways to emphasize them that make me look like a circus freak.

Long skirts are a great solution for most women who have trouble finding pants. I have lots of skirts, but I tend to shred anything that doesn't allow a full range of motion and isn't made of denim or possibly Kevlar, so I wear jeans most of the time. Nobody really makes an adequate jumbo-thigh style of  pants to I just buy a size 12 and alter them and/or wear a belt. Picking out the right jeans is basically the key to looking like a normal person vs. looking like a hippo.

The trick is to draw attention to some other part of my body. There are a number of ways to do this. I've found that anything that makes a line across my thighs is bad news. This includes shirt hem lines and shorts. Meanwhile, anything below my knees tends to make my thighs look smaller. I only ever wear wide-leg or flared jeans, or capri pants that do something exciting at the bottom.

I don't necessarily like being a "size 12", but it's certainly more flattering than cramming my thighs into a size 4.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crane flies aren't scary.

I used to be absolutely horrified of these fucking things:

They look like flying spiders, they fly unpredictably, and you never know when one is suddenly going to decide it absolutely must land on your face. They're called mosquito hawks or skeeter-eaters or daddy longlegs, depending on who you ask. They don't bite, unless they do, or maybe only some of them bite.

Actually, they are called crane flies and they don't bite at all. Some of them eat nectar, but for the most part by the time they get to a recognizable phase of life they are just looking for another crane fly to mate with before they die. Armed with this knowledge, I am no longer scared of the little flying freaks. Also, they make really excellent cat toys.

Sometimes I even open the screen door and shoo them in from the porch light just to give the cats something to do.

Friday, June 15, 2012


This is how I normally draw myself.

Note the total absence of freckles. In reality I am absolutely covered in freckles. Like, every molecule of my skin that has ever seen a suggestion of natural light is covered in freckles. I am so freckly that people assume my hair is red underneath the pink. The fact that I leave the freckles out when drawing myself is not actually because I am ashamed of my freckles, or even that I'm too lazy to bothering adding them. I just kind of...forget. Not just when I'm drawing, either. Pretty much anytime I look at myself closely in a mirror I am startled.

Gonna try to blame this one on the ADD...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We have a couple of long runner rugs that are perpetually rolled up, wrinkled, and very rarely stay where they belong. Both rugs have heavy rubber backing and are designed to stay put, so their continual disarray was something of a mystery.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dog Breed Fangirl.

Every time I see an unusual breed of dog I feel compelled to squeal about it like a teenager at a boy band concert.

I can't help it, I've been reading about dog breeds since I was a small child. Seeing a rare breed in person is like meeting a celebrity.

Except that the dogs don't really know why I'm so delighted to see them, and the owners usually appreciate it when somebody actually knows what kind of dog they have.


This happens every day.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our Sweaty Mailman

Despite my best efforts, Awesomedog has an undying vendetta against the mailman. It's hard to blame him when this individual invades every day and is then successfully warded off with an explosion of barking. Awesomedog can identify the official uniform of the U.S. Postal Service.

And also postal vehicles.

But these pale in comparison to our sweaty mailman. Normal mail carriers travel their routes at a fast walk, but not Sweaty Mailman. No, he runs. Always. The only thing more exciting than a mailman is a running mailman. I'm not sure if Sweaty Mailman is trying to finish his job early, or has too much to do in too little time, or is trying to get into shape, but he's definitely ...odd. Every day he comes panting and gasping down the street, bag trailing off one arm, long greasy hair plastered to his forehead, shirt buttoned lopsided, sometimes with an undersized cardigan sweater stretched around his shoulders. Awesomedog is convinced he's going to kill us all one day.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The other day while a friend and I were playing Diablo 3...

And then he suggested I could prevent this sort of occurrence by simply having less stuff. This sort of thing is exactly why I have so much stuff. I have some really cool stuff.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Babies twitch.

My sister has a baby. He's about two months old, meaning he is pretty much just an external fetus. Newborns creep me out.

They twitch. They gurgle. Their eyes don't focus, and every body movement they make just screams "SOMETHING IS NEUROLOGICAL IS WRONG HERE!" Of course, they move like that because their brains aren't fully developed yet. It probably says something about my life experiences when a newborn immediately sets off the 'brain damage/defect' bells in my head rather than the reverse.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

When Evilcat Almost Died

The end of 2009 sucked for us. A lot. Z got sick, I got Swine Flu, my horse colicked, cars broke down, and we had a disaster a week for almost three months. In the midst of all this, our townhouse was going into foreclosure and the owner was desperately trying to sell it, so we had realtors attempting to show the place and occasionally trying to break in. We were house-hunting and then packing and moving while trying to cope with everything else, and that is probably why we didn't realize that Evilcat had stopped eating until she was very, very sick.

When Evilcat collapsed in the middle of the night we realized something was wrong and rushed her to the state-of-the-art emergency vet. They got her stabilized and hydrated and then came in to talk to us.

Evilcat's food strike had led to fatty liver syndrome, and the only cure was to get her to eat. Although we could convince her to eat one bite from a freshly-opened can of food, it wasn't enough. The vet wanted to surgically implant a tube that would extend from her stomach to an opening in her neck, so we could tube-feed her for the next 8 weeks. This sounded like a recipe for horror and disaster. I had just begun a two-week vacation from work, so I decided to try force-feeding her.

It took a little bit of adjusting, but I quickly figured out that she couldn't spit out wet cat food if it was watered down sufficiently and squirted into the back of her mouth via syringe. If I gave her more than a teaspoon at a time though, she would puke it back up almost immediately. In order to get a can and a half of food into her every 24 hours, I had to pry the cat open and shove food down her every 30 minutes around the clock. For a week.

My sister and her newborn baby got more sleep. However, Evilcat's strength returned, and soon she was able to fend off my attempts to cram calories into her. Fortunately, this was also when she started eating on her own again. Clearly evil is directly proportional to health. Evilcat has made a full recovery, but Z is now convinced that she is on the brink of death every time she ceases her ferocity for a moment.