Monday, July 24, 2006

scary bad: short fic

My pal gwennie told me about a dream she had the other day. She said that the two of us were being stalked by some sort of demon, toy cat. This in itself is sufficiently freakish. Of course, I had to push it one step farther into what can easily be called "demented." I had to write the whole thing into a short story.

The hazard of being friends with a writer is that we put our whole lives on the page. Any writer that tells you different is totally blowing smoke.

So this is my scary-bad story re: her dream. Be afraid. Very afraid.

A Disturbing, if not Horrifying, Series of Sort-of Scary Something’s
leslie joan linder
(Who should not admit to it)

For every litterbox left unchanged, there shall be vengeance.
Gwen and Leslie each tried to act calm, but the shaking beam of the flash-light that they waved across the attic was not giving them much peace of mind.
For every hairball left ungroomed, there shall be vengeance.
“I don’t see anything,” Leslie insisted. “It must have been squirrels.”
“Only if there were about fifty of them,” Gwen said. “Let’s at least look around.”
Leslie sighed. “Whatever. Why are we doing this, again?”
“Because I lost my third realtor and I’m poor,” Gwen said. “I have to be able to explain this or exorcize it or something.”
“We’re the only one’s getting any goddamned exercise. And it’s hot up here.”
“Just a couple more minutes,” Gwen promised.
They split up – each carrying a dollar store flash-light that put out a dollar’s worth of light.
They were in an attic bedroom that had not been in use for several years. The bed was stacked with cardboard boxes and the corners were full of spider webs. A few grains of petrified cat chow were still packed into the gray-painted floorboards.
For every can of ashy horseguts that you called our "num-nums," there shall be vengeance.
“I know why we’re really here. Gwen, the guy was out of his mind,” Leslie said. She spoke too loud, as if trying to convince herself. “That’s what you get from sideshow bullshit like that. Psychic fair, my ass.”
Gwen shrugged – a gesture Leslie could not appreciate in the pitch black room. “He was right about my car needing a new battery.”
“Whatever,” Leslie said again. She was allergic to dust and her itchy eyes were making her grumpier than ever.
For picking up the mice before we can eat them, there shall be vengeance.
“What about the dead mice and birds we found all over the stairs?”
“I don’t know. Stray cats?”
“Or the missing meter-reader?”
“Like anybody cares.”
For putting plants in our windowsill, there shall be vengeance. Yes – especially for that.
Both women stopped talking and screamed when a sharp rattle emitted from the corner behind the bed.
“A squirrel!” Leslie shrieked hopefully.
“More like a terrier,” Gwen said. “Come on; put your light over here.”
They each moved to the bed and shined two dollar’s worth of light under the edge. There was nothing visible save a clear Tupperware that appeared to be full of old dresses.
Leslie’s voice shook, but she tried to sound calm. “What did that asshole say, again? I mean – exactly.”
For calling the pet psychic an asshole, there shall be vengeance.
Gwen sighed. “That the stuffed cat was under a voodoo curse and it would kill everyone in the house.”
“That’s it?”
“Yep. That’s all he got time to say. I was kind of running away, at the time.”
“That’s pretty specific, all right. Specifically ridiculous. You don’t have any stuffed cats around here. Your folks hated taxidermy.”
“What about toy cats?” Gwen asked. “He didn’t say anything about taxidermy.”
“What the Hell is an inanimate, toy cat going to be pissed about?” Leslie demanded. “Like – both its eyes are sewed to one side of its fucking head?”
“I did hear a story once,” Gwen said, “about a toy that was cursed because it was made by slave labor. Or, you know – the Parker Brother gameboard factory in Salem is totally cursed because all the kids that worked there got burned up in a fire.”
For buying catnip that is all stem and no leaf, there shall be vengeance.
“So which is it – a possessed plushy or a demon-Yahtzee board?”
“Hey, Parker Brothers made Ouija Boards. Or it could be a voodoo toy from Haiti, or something – have a monkey paw sewed into it, or some shit.”
"Monkey paw? Are you high?"
"I wish."
For disbelieving voodoo’s dark queen, Marie LeVeaux, there shall be vengeance.
“I don’t care,” Leslie said. “I’m going down….”
She had just clicked off her flash-light when both women screamed again. The room was filled with a thunderous noise. It seemed to be coming from everywhere and nowhere.
“Run!” Gwen screamed. Her own flash-light fell to the ground and rolled into a corner before flickering into darkness.
The sounds in the room were truly horrible. Screams and scuffles were combined with a sickening, squelching noise. The room was filled with a busy rumble long after the screams died away. Yet the morning came upon a silent, grisly sight.
The police that responded to the abandoned building had arrived in the attic last. When the got there, a part-time deputy quickly vomited and then ran down the stairs.
The detective in charge put a glove over his nose and mouth while fiddling with his radio. When he was able to speak into it, he said, “Affirmative on the Route 15 call. It’s a double.”
For refusing to get cats out of trees, there shall be vengeance.
He stepped outside the doorway and waited for the sound of the ambulance. Not that there was any hurry.
For telling your wife to “get that hairy thing off the goddamned couch,” there shall be vengeance.
In twenty years on the job, he had never seen a scene like this. When the paramedics came, he walked them through the room – the glove over his face, again.
The room was baffling. Two adult women were eviscerated and then sewn back together. They were posed in separate corners of the room like bloody mannequins.
One woman was posed as if she were scratching her ear with her right foot. The other was licking the back of her hand. This was some of the strangest shit the detective had seen or heard of. Ever.
There was very little blood over the rest of the room. This was a mystery, since the women were clearly butchered right there. The only other item that was covered in gore was a small, stuffed toy – a cat posed on the foot of the bed as if it were sleeping in its favorite spot.
The flat cat was black, with a red and white checked lining in its ears and tail. The tag that stuck out of the seam on its rear said only, “made in Haiti.”
“Careful, guys,” he said to the EMT’s. “We got some kind of crazy cat freak out there.”
Ah, you dog-rubbing infidel – I shall lap up your blood like warm milk.
The detective shrugged. None of it made any sense. Yet, as he turned away from the bed and faced the corpses in the corners, he could have sworn that he heard the faintest purr.
His men screamed as, in broad daylight, the bloody darkness descended again.

The end!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


LADYHAWKE HAS A BABY! If you don't know who the hell ladyhawke is, check out my post called "hawk eggs." The egg she was tending was not "live ammo," so to speak. It is still there, unhatched. But three fledglings were blown out of their nest recently, and the raptor rescue groups have been trying to deal with them. They put one of the babies in with lady's to see if she would take her maternal instinct to the next level. Cross your fingers! So far, so good.

Anyhow, I'll start from the beginning. I had a "play date" scheduled with a eleven-year-old girl that I work with. As "youth educator," I have taken play-therapy seminars and generally don't mind being tugged at, run around, peed on, etc. So I usually get "kid duty." That's how I got to know Kore (obviously can't use her real name), and it was a privilege.

I first "met" her on the telephone when I was covering the night shift on our hotline. Her mother was on the cell, driving through the rain, and I was trying to route them to a hotel. They were fleeing a guy who had prince-charming'ed his way into their lives after the abusive marriage ended, and turned out to be at least as bad, himself. He was a licensed counselor and a complete piece of shit. I could hear the girl screaming bloody murder in the background.

If you know where I get the alias Kore, you know where this story is headed. Persephone, who was dragged to the underworld and raped by Hades, rises again every year while bringing the spring to the land. There are different versions, blah-blah. But those are the basics.

My Kore was severely sexually assaulted by a male family member. I do not just mean "inappropriate touch." I mean the sort of stuff that had the girl sleeping in her closet -- all her furniture piled up to bar the bedroom door. I saw her in court and at school a couple of times. In those contexts, she tended to resemble a stick of firewood. Well -- if not for the terrified, sky-blue eyes that kept darting from side to side -- or the fingers that would nervously grab a pen and start drawing faces with huge, down-turned mouths.

The kid is smart as a whip. She knew that her mom's abusive boyfriend was a counselor, so she hated all counselors. She refused to see one or to verbalize her "problems" (i.e. her experiences and how she was dealing with them). That's why her mom came to us, and I was chosen as the "youth advocate" who would try to work with the little girl, somehow.

When I first began having "sessions" with her, she was nine. She had been sleeping in her closet for a year. She would not verbalize anything to anyone. She would internalize her stress to the point where she would often go home from school and spend an hour vomiting. So I never tried to talk with her. I simply engaged her in play.

We started getting to know each other by playing soccer. Her mom was amazed that Kore was willing to play and be extroverted during our time together. That's actually an understatement. She KICKED MY ASS. After our first "playtime," there were pieces of my posterior scattered to the four directions, and my panting torso was laying somewhere near the equator.

After that first soccer game, she threw her arms around me (meaning my dirt smeared, bent-and-sweaty-remnants). Her mom told me how shocked she was because Kore was very rigid and shy around most people. So we were off and running. Literally.

Over the next year, Kore worked with me and with child services -- as well as her school and, unfortunately, the court. She went through shit that would make a lot of adults check themselves into a "quiet place" -- all the while expected to continue school and normal life (whatever that is). She KICKED ASS, as usual. Her fear-responses and sense of saftely in her daily surroundings gradually improved. She adjusted to school, even if she had a high rate of absence. She stopped sleeping in the closet. Then she stopped barring the door. Then she was down to one butter knife under her pillow. Then her mother got her to sleep without that, as well. Her mother is a real champion, as well. She just never quits.

I only saw Kore every once in a while, but I was her poor-woman's substitute for "counseling" during that time. I have not seen her for a couple of months, lately. Her family is seeing the agency less, and school is out. So I haven't seen her -- until today.

Her mom called and set an appointment for a play-time. She told me that Kore was doing really well -- that she had increased in confidence and had become a lot more active. I knew it was true when I saw her.

Kore's whole physicality had changed. She was assertive and funny in social interactions with people she did and did not know. She had taken up several sports, and had toned her body. More so -- she moved in it with real confidence. It made me really happy to see.

Not that the sexual abuse is "gone." It is a part of her forever. Like the telltale heart in Poe's gory story, it will always be beating underneath the floorboards. It is beautiful even as it is ghastly -- a spirit as well as a spectre. As bloody and depressing as it may seem, it beats "truth-truth." It endures.

Kore has harnessed this brutal power. Like Persephone, rising from the realm of death, she harnesses the heat to grow flowers.

I took Kore to the bird sanctuary and to the pool. When we were at the sanctuary, she spent a long time looking at the fledgling. There was a local artist there, making a pastel of Ladyhawke. She was very nice, and showed Kore "how to draw."

"Bless your heart, Honey," she said, in a soft, southern-earth-goddess sort of way, "you just draw. Just start with something you love, sweet-heart, and go from there. Never stop."

Kore looked at the lady like she was crazy - a look I have seen a time or two before. But I knew she was soaking up every word.

Then she showed me how well she could swim. I sat in a deck chair and waved while she moved down the list - breaking every rule the pool had posted, and probably a few that they were frantically making post-boards of as we drove out of the parking lot. I and the "pool-moms" corrected her from time to time, of course. But she was not beating other children senseless with the noodles (like some of her peers were), or anything. She was just fearless. She dove. She did headstands. She somersaulted over and under the ropes. Her confidence was a symphony to someone who had once heard the screams.

When she came out of the shower room, she was wearing a black dance leotard with a pink ballerina skirt. Her confidence in the pool and in the outfit were amazing. Though still a fledgling -- gangly in her pinfeathers -- she rises out of Hell and brings the Dawn.

Friday, July 14, 2006

who guards the door?

Head hurts. Must blog.
I have had a headache for a couple of days – what I call a “slow burner.” Hurts like hell, but I generally ignore it. But I had that going on and I left for work early because I knew I would need to stop for coffee.
All of that put me at our main office ten minutes before we open. Unusual, though not unheard of. I opened the door and entered.
We have only been at this new building two weeks (a little less, actually). The security system has the same code, but it is a little different.
I started punching the buttons and I punched one wrong. On our old system, you had a few seconds to correct that sort of thing. Apparently, you no longer do.
This HUGE SHRIEK started in the thing – right next to my ears. It was physically painful. We just had a big staff meeting on brain injury the other day, so it made me a little paranoid – choking, throwing, hitting, and LOUD NOISES can do it. Not good. Yet I pushed forward into the breach – desperate not to be told off by the cops (who reamed out the last advocate who made a boo boo).
I kept my head (and ears) right next to the SHRIEK and kept pushing in the code. I had all but given up when the fucking thing stopped.
Hands shaking, I took down the rest of my coffee, a cookie, and two Excedrin. Then the phone rang.
“Maine (incomprehensible babble) Security. Who guards the door?”
I knew it. I’m brain injured. I have no clue what this over-polite bitch is saying.
“Who guards the door?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” I said – thinking remorsefully back to heckling Percival because he couldn’t tell the Fisher King, “Whom the grail serves?”
She said it again. “It’s the challenge question. Who guards the door?”
“Well, they didn’t tell us the challenge question,” I said, feeling like an ass.
Long pause. I know I sound more and more like the psycho-burglar that she already believes me to be.
“Is there anyone else there?”
“No, (holding back from sarcasm quite admirably) I got here first. That’s why I opened the door.”
Long pause. “Okay. Can I have your name?”
Gave it to her. She hung up. Three seconds passed, and I REMEMBERED WHO GUARDS THE DOOR!
It’s a teddy bear that we refer to as our “mascot.” Obviously can’t put our security question on the internet. Need the job. So let’s call the bear Q (even though I abhor James Bond).
Didn’t have over-polite bitch’s number. *69 for number. Track down over-polite bitch. As soon as she picks up her connection, I shout like a mad woman, “Q guards the door!”
“Thank you,” she said, Sphinx-like. “That is what I needed to hear.”
There. Hung up on the weirdest moment ever. And we still weren’t open for another three minutes.

Gotta go. Presenting on “power and control” to deferred-sentence substance abusers. Rrrrrrrrrr. Need another cookie.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

ken's bitch

Gwen and I were at the movie store the other day, and we saw the most interesting thing. This biker-dude and his smiling, barbie-esque automaton were entering the store. The guy's shirt said, "If you can read this, the bitch fell off."

Charming. Speaking of ken's bitch, Gwen and I were engaging in one of our fave recreational activities -- heckling the merchandise at the local drug store. We always find great stuff, and this time it was "Cali-girl" dolls -- a barbie/ken knock-off.

The "Cali-girl" dolls at the store featured two guys. They were wearing flower-print speedos, bead necklaces, and they stank of some sort of coconut based lotion. The box said that the Cali-girl guys were "scented." That's swell.

One had brown hair with highlights. The other had bleached-out blonde hair. We looked all over the shelf for a female Cali-girl. We finally found one -- looking more like a fifth-wheel than any chick I've ever seen.

That is one frustrated young woman. Not least because she reeks of coconut and is made of plastic. Of course, we all know that studies have been done indicating that the poor thing couldn't stand up if she were really created with those proportions. She'd be crawling after the Cali-girls, flat on her face like some sort of big-breasted crab (and probably pulling herself along by her french-tipped nails).

PS: PLEASE check out the "Barbie Liberation Front" at

peace, bug-bites, and leftist reds

First, I have to say that I was net surfing for a peace sign and I got this info from a lovely, Christian Resource center in Bermuda:

The signal "actually began as a symbol of Satanic benediction during the rituals. The Leftists, radicals, and Satanists who have popularised that sign...know its ancient significance very well. In fact, that 'V' sign is now used extensively by such Communist organisations as the Young Socialist Alliance, Vets for Peace in Vietnam, and the Students for a Democratic Society."

Hmmm. Fascinating. Now, back to my original thoughts (scary as they may be, I think the aforementioned web site has me beat):

Every Thursday, I do “outreach hours” at a local church. It is in a town about thirty miles from our main office in this county (but ten minutes from my house – yay!).

I love going to the church. It’s always really peaceful. Especially lately. The main office has been feeling really busy. And hot. And smelling like a Barbie bonfire, as I believe I mentioned before.

I had a client in yesterday who got a restraining order against her husband. The cops had recommended it, even though there was no-contact bail for him, too.

So basically we were safety-planning around her domestic situation, and she lives way out in the woods (this is Maine, so, go figure). It reminded me of this call I got about two years ago. The woman was on her cell and she had run out the back door of the house because he was after her, and they lived in the middle of nowhere. She was on the phone with me, barefoot and crying. She said the police were on their way, but it might take an hour. She said the bugs were biting her and she was cold. I talked to her until her cell went dead. Not a fun call. Never found out what happened to her – usually don’t. At least she didn’t end up on the news.

So the safety plan for this new woman seemed to be heading in the same direction. She lived in the woods. No neighbors within eyesight of the house. At least she has a car and a license to drive it. Not all of our clients have those advantages – especially the ones that were in these relationships before they were old enough for a driver’s permit. But a lot of the time, it is just due to the fact that they had previously been a one-car household.

This woman has the car, the license, a cordless phone and a cell that actually gets reception – all very good. She has a don’t-be-murdered trifecta.

We talked to the cops and RD, our in-house lawyer (and one of the good guys, big time – we’ve written numerous grants, trying to have him cloned), to find out if it was legal for her to change the locks on the marital residence.

The end result was yes, but she may have to “answer for it” in the divorce. That’s how hard it is, sometimes, with domestic violence. Half the time the victims aren’t even “allowed” to lock their perpetrators out. And don’t even get me started on shared custody of the kids. This guy still has visitation and “reasonable contact regarding custody,” despite the bail and the restraining order. This is somebody who has used pushing, slapping, choking, throwing, reckless driving, and threats with weapons in the history of the “relationship.” (Those are the daily specials at our place, anyhow. The thing that makes this one an odd duck is that he got arrested for some of it).

Anyway, this woman has no internal rooms that lock. She has a cordless phone, but nowhere much to take it in order to buy herself some time. Her primary plan in a worst case scenario is to change the locks (and “answer for it” later), lock the doors, and hope the police get there before the hinges give way. So we started talking about what might happen if she had to grab the cell and run out the back door.

I said, “As crazy as it sounds, you may want to keep some bug spray handy.” I was thinking back to how many times that other poor woman had complained about the bug bites she was getting.

The new woman gave me a weird look and said, “Well, I think mace is illegal here, but I could use pepper spray.”

We had one of those grim laughs that happen in those sorts of moments when we realized that I was talking insect management and she was thinking about what she could spray in her husband’s face if he charged in and attacked her. It is crazy -- the kind of conversations I end up having.

So, no, I was not advocating chemical warfare. Especially not with DEET.

I’m out. PEACE!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

hawk eggs

Hot day. We just moved our offices into a new building. It is a little hot-box. They put a shower curtain in the new bathroom and the whole upper story smells like that cheap plastic they make those things of. It smells like that Barbie doll bonfire I've always fantasized about -- and I WASN'T INVITED!

There is a bird sanctuary in town that I like to go to when I'm wholly traumatized by work. There is a red-tailed hawk there who just had an egg! She showed it to my co-worker, Boots, and I when we went over there.

"Ladyhawke," (duh, I was raised on TV) was on the ground in her habitat. She was down in the dirt on her side and she was doing something with her feet. At first we assumed she was cutting open her dinner. There were dead mice scattered all over the floors of all the aviaries.

She turned in our direction after a minute or so and we saw that she was using her talons to gently turn her egg. It was awesome! I love raptors -- as long as they aren't after my cats.

Gwen and I took her three-year old son to the sanctuary a couple of weeks ago, too. He was less impressed with Ladyhawke's egg. He was more into chasing the geese. But I picked him up to my shoulder level so that he could see the eight barred owls in their habitat (a lot got hit by cars, but some were shot. Lots of eye and wing injuries. Like Ladyhawke, who was shot, and has only one eye).

I talked to Z (said three year old) about being quiet and not scaring the birds. I wouldn't trust a lot of three year olds to be that close to the birds, but he is a very good kid. He just looked at the owl closest to him (eye level and about three feet away) and then he looked down to me and whispered, "Don't scare birdies."

There are two ravens in the back, too. They are hilarious. They have a tower of an aviary so that they can get really high in the air. They have some metal sheeting up there that they stomp around on. The keepers give them hollow dog bones full of scraps so that they can spend several hours harvesting their food.

Boots used to work for the Audubon, and she knows tons about birds. She can do a lot of bird calls, and she is really good at talking raven. She got them chatting and it was so cool. They make such a wide range of noises -- some clicking, some croaking, some cawing. Awesome!

She said that, when she worked for the Audubon, people used to call them and ask them to get "their" crows out of said so-and-so's yard because they were noisy/eating the bird seed/etc. Of course, I know that a lot of "bird-watchers" shoot at crows, ravens, and jays for the same reason.

People just frigging amaze me.

what I did last nite: short fic

PS: I reiterate: this is short fic. NOT ME!!!!!

I’m such a stupid, fucking bitch. He’s right. He’s always right.
For one thing, he says I shouldn’t have married him. He agrees with my mom and my friends, on that point. Well – my ex-friends. No one comes around, any more.
“I would never let a man do that to me,” my best friend said. “And he treats us like shit. He hates women. You just let him. Whatever. I guess some women are into that – or they think it’s worth it to have a man. But I’m not dealing with his bullshit. It’s like – you chose him over all the rest of us. Even your kid.”
I wouldn’t have any friends at all if all his buds weren’t over here, drinking and doing Christ knows what in the can. They say they’re my friends, too. Especially when they need me to run out for beer. Even if I weren’t the only one with money, I’d still be the only one with a legal driver’s license. Popular me.
So I know he is right. I’m a stupid, fucking bitch. I have no class. I’d do anything to get some man to take care of me. Just like his mom – I’ll put up with any sort of shit. Yes – even in front of my kid.
“You know I have a drinking problem,” he said – peering over the roses with his teary, blue eyes. “You know my Dad treated us like shit. Mom just let him. Now I’m fucked up for life.”
Last nite, I did it again. I got twenty-seven stitches in my hand. I don’t know why I let him treat me this way.
Of course, he didn’t mean it. I don’t mean to sound like a bitch. He was drunk and he just flipped out. Again.
He broke a mop handle over his knee. I was the one who tried to grab it from him. I didn’t know what he was planning, see?
The doctor said he’d never put that many stitches in a hand, before. He took pictures for some paper he was doing. Then he patted me on the back and said, “some life, huh? You take care.”
I saw the look of pity in his face – the look of disgust. “This isn’t me,” I wanted to say. “This isn’t him. It isn’t us. You don’t understand. I just messed up.”
I didn’t say so out loud, of course. I’m too much of a fuck up. I just sat there like a deer in the headlights – dumb as a post. Then child welfare showed up.
The nurse had called the cops and child protective on us. When I drove to the ER, my car and my baby were covered with blood. It wasn’t like the baby was hurt, or anything. And I never would have driven if I didn’t think that I could do it, well.
The child welfare lady is “calling back.” She says I should get a restraining order and have my husband thrown out of the house.
“Failure to protect falls under neglect,” she said. She was scowling at me and I could hear the stuff that was in her head, even though it never came out.
“Stupid, fucking bitch. What kind of mother are you?”
I know exactly what she was thinking. I was thinking it, too.
I filled out the restraining order, but I didn’t take it to court. It looked so scary in my hand. My good hand, obviously.
What kind of bitch was I? Should I kick him when he was down? Why get him in all this trouble because he has a drinking problem, he was abused as a kid, and now we had this stupid mistake with the mop handle?
No way. No restraining order bullshit, from me. I’m not some Springer cliché. I may be a fuck up, but I’m not mean. I’m not out to ruin his life.
He didn’t mean it, after all. I was the one to reach out my hand. The welfare lady was just freaked because of all the blood. That’s all.
But the truth is that it never would have gone through the fleshy part of my hand if I hadn’t interfered. Stupid, fucking bitch. Worthless cunt. You did it again.
It was all the way through – like in the pictures of Jesus. It never would have happened if I hadn’t reached out my hand.
I’m such a stupid, fucking bitch. He’s right. He’s always right. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t reached out my hand.
*To give help, get help, or get info, check out the national coalition against domestic violence at

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

grumpy eyeball

I have a swollen eye, today. I'm very grumpy about it. It seems to correlate to the lawn-mowing I've been doing -- but this time it's really sore. I've been soaking it with essiac tea today. rrrrr. Grumpy.

Time to catch up. I recently had what I like to think of as the "sophomore slam" -- two days of back-to-back, 80 minute gigs for 15/16 year old students at the largest local high school. This year it was about 170 kids. I usually split the 80 minute blocks with a colleague from the sexual assault prevention program, but she was unavailable so I did ALL of our parts (meaning the boring, old-person parts -- say what you mean, mean what you say...break up doesn't mean break legs...don't incapacitiate your date with controlled substances and then call it "making love"....). If we didn't have peer educators (juniors and seniors who have learned how to lead some of the interactive activities with us), I'd probably be dead -- grumpy eyeball and all.

The fun part of those gigs is collecting the feedback. I ask them a lot of written questions -- partly because I work for a "non-profit" and we have to give feedback to our funders -- but mostly because I like to know what the youth thought about the programming. So here are some samples from the "sophomore slam":

The question the kids were answering for me (in writing) was "what is one respectful, healthy sentence that you could use to begin a conversation with your dating partner about something you would like to change about the relationship?" -- it is explained that a) this is hypothetical and b) it can be any kind of change -- stepping up, breaking up, etc.

May I have the envelopes, please? Or in this case, the shredded and spit upon bingo cards that I asked them to turn over and write on? Thanks.

For the award category of "I'm really going to freak this bitch out," the "shocky" award goes to:

"You fucking bitch, you better straighten your shit out."

For the award category of "For god's sake, please get hip to the twenty-first century," the "clingy" award goes to:

"Hey, babe. You sound cute. My IM handle is rocknrollbabigirl. Du u have a car?"

For the award category of "Fuck you for asking me this question," the "flippy" award goes to:

"You complete me."

Kids are fun, but I still have a grumpy eyeball.

Monday, July 10, 2006

"Dude, I lost my pants (and ten points right off the top of my IQ)"

Catching up. Spent last Friday with my best friend, Gwennie, watching late nite TV and drinking truly puke-worthy quantities of soy-based cappacino.

By about 1AM, we started noticing some really blatant changes in the quality of the commercial-break material. You know, as if that stuff is ever any good. But it was just getting DIRTY.

I didn't find that part offensive. I enjoyed the guy-on-guy stupidity of "Heat Strokes," and "Dude, I lost my pants." Trying to be studs, and not a girl to be seen. Anywhere.

The thing that bugged me was the blatant lack of creativity in the girl-porn. I mean, I'm sure it sells really well -- but does that mean they can just stop trying? The names were like, "Girls gone wild," or "Extreme Coeds." Come on.

I have some suggestions (as a post-modernist feminist who can talk about this stuff tongue firmly in cheek and not in somebody's pants -- lost or otherwise):

Bushmasters! (Simple, but solid)

Dude, I lost my thong (up my ass!)

Come on! (why not?)

Hmm. Never mind. I'm not cut out for porn. Not even 2AM-cable-porn. Sigh.

Is it still Monday?

Another day in domestic violence prevention is nearly behind me. Ever feel completely useless? Ever try to bail the Titanic with a chewed-up paper cup? Nope. That's just me being negative.

Spent the first half of the day helping a women to file a restraining order that she was so scared about, she came back to the office to edit it, three times. She kept saying, "a piece of paper won't stop him," and she was right. What could I say? But it was the piece of paper or nothing.

The second half of the day (after a truly crappy lunch and no -- I said NO -- coffee) was spent writing a restraining order with a sleasy-gross-bag (that's a legal term) who was hitting on me for the last half hour. When he got to the physical description of his "perpetrator," he started saying, "actually, she's exactly your height (smile)...she's exactly your build (giggle)...she has the same color hair (full-blown leer)...."


Like, he's lost his woman, so he can go pick one up at the corner domestic violence project?


If he had a success-mentality, he'd go pick on the freshly-shredded, post-traumatic-stress-afflicted victims down in the waiting room at the district court. Instead he goes after the under-caffienated advocate who's packing a fake lipstick pumped full of pepper spray. I guess that's Darwinism at its best.

Life. Then some of the other advocates were teasing me because the guy was so sleasy. It was like we were in school, or something. I think if Charles Manson had asked for my digits, they'd have been dancing around us in a circle, singing, "Charlie and Leslie up a tree, H-A-C-K-I-N-G!"

So -- is it still Monday?