A Stalk of Wheat and Some Little Chaffs

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I spend a lot of time alone.  Partly because of my crippling social fears, but also because I just like it.*  Tonight I went to the beach alone, which was very nice until I remembered that it's Saturday night in the beginning of Bonfire Season.

Disappointed at the crowds (because, as I mentioned...I hate other people), I went to make a lap of the parking lot and just drive PCH for a while, but some kids - some ten-year-old boys in girl pants and flannel - were running all around my car.  Faking me out, darting around, and generally being tiny snot wads.

I decided to be an example of maturity and responsibility for them by calling sweetly out my open window, "Really?  Running around moving cars?  You're gonna get killed, you little shits."

Then I drove huffily away, trying to ignore the shouts of "Sexyyy" and "Come back, baby!" trailing behind me.  I should have just run them over.

Still, on my way home I stopped at Starbucks and not only did they take my order even though they were closing, but the guy behind the counter gave me extra caramel in my fancy-pants drink and then charged me the price of a black coffee.  People aren't usually so nice without asking for anything in return.  Like my number.  Or a hand job.  So thank you, Nameless Starbucks Guy and Silent Hipster With the Waxed Mustache, for the most thoughtful yet truly awful-tasting cup of coffee I've ever had.

If only he hadn't been so nice, I could've just tossed it out the window.

* "It" meaning "not being around people, since I hate people."

Image via the aptly named Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee.


Don't you hate when you're out bumbling along and you come across someone who's so much better at what you like to do than you are?  I get the feeling that there are people out there who would be excited and inspired under those circumstances, but I am clearly not one of those people.


And don't even think about the Chinese checkers set.

Image via Reedy River Recessionista.


Things I Dislike


Oh, how I should very much like to die right now.

For a while they're really great and make you all frothy with excitement - until you find yourself with not enough edge pieces even though you were careful not to let any fall on the floor, and then eventually all the easy bits are finished and all that's left is the background which all looks the same, and after a while you start to wonder if maybe you've put some pieces where they didn't belong just because they seemed to fit and you were overly excited to make some small progress but now there's no way of really knowing which is the odd piece, and before you know it three weeks have passed and you haven't showered.

This shit blows.

Images via The Standard, Bete du jour.


It Had to Happen

I blame you, Pinterest.

All this pinning is OUT OF CONTROL.

I should have known that, eventually, pinning pictures from my own blog would mean trouble for me.  As more and more people I know look at my pins, a small trickle of friends and acquaintances is making its way here, and it's only a matter of time before somebody recognizes a characteristic turn of phrase or a unique detail from my life.  Pretty soon they'll realize who I really am, and then my cover will be blown and I'll feel all sheepish and self-conscious.

WHY did I think putting up twenty-four posts of
vintage Guinness ads would be a good idea?

I guess that means I should probably start writing stuff that's actually interesting, eh?

Images via I Love You Like, Ricnic.


...But My City Was Gone

I spent most of this past weekend in the air - either on a plane or being swept up by the surprising number of Very Tall Friends who went to school with me.  There were also daffodils and Mexican't food and Jenga and cloudy walks and old friends and laughter.  There was even a parade!

Or something like that.

However, I almost didn't make it for all that - Friday night was my red-eye flight, and Thursday morning I woke up with a slight sore throat and the tenderest of lymph nodes throbbing hotly under my chin as if pumping phlegm in steady, rhythmic globs up to my sinuses and into the back of my throat.*  By the time I got off work Thursday night, I had a temperature and the body aches, and at 4 am the next morning I staggered out of bed, plopped down on the bathroom floor, shivered and sweat for a while, and then threw up very daintily into the toilet.

"Yep," I texted The Boy, who was just waking up, his time.  "Definitely the flu."

He convinced me to call in sick from work, so I spent the entire day unconscious, not even putting in my contacts until the late afternoon.  I dropped off lesson plans for Monday and Tuesday, drove up to LA, and found myself in the middle seat after having booked a window seat for the express purpose of plastering my cheek against the window and sleeping from takeoff to landing.**  Instead, I sat between a silent, Asian man and a woman named Jordyn with very long fingernails and a stunning ability to reinforce all kinds of racial stereotypes.  It was the most racist flight I've ever been on.

But I made it, and The Boy was waiting at the airport with flowers and breakfast, and I proceeded to spend the weekend in a haze of Dayquil, Theraflu, ibuprofen, and super-mentholated-anesthetized cough drops.  Makes old friendship seem all the more homey and warm.

On the plane ride back, I had a whole row to myself, but I accidentally left my e-reader in the seatback pocket.  So I guess that's a trade-off.  Or maybe my subconscious telling me to read actual books.

*Clearly, my knowledge of how the human body works is astounding.  But don't be intimidated.  I'm just like you.  Only smarter.
**Ah, Man Who Wanted to Sit With His Kid, you have bested me this time.  But fool me twice...and I stuff your kid in the overhead compartment and tell you to keep your damn middle seat.

Image via BU Today.  


Everything I Know About Diets, I Learned from Metalocalypse

When I first watched this episode with my sister, I laughed a little hesitantly, all the while glancing furtively at her to see if she noticed how forced my laughter sounded, because...this is basically the way I eat.

My eyes grew wider as the episode went on and my mind-hole was blown again and again:

Wait...so you shouldn't starve yourself all day and then eat one big meal?

And snacking on jellybeans all day long is what's making it impossible for me to lose weight?

You mean...exercise is a real thing?!  I thought it was just something yuppies do ironically.

Back when my metabolism wasn't just some disappointing myth, I never used to take body image too seriously - not enough to actually do something about it, I mean.  But I was always aware of it.  Of the six daughters my parents spawned, five blossomed gracefully into tall, willowy young women, while one just sort of hobbited up all short and stocky - but at least she made people laugh.

Guess which one I am!

A month ago when I was basically homeless and too stressed to eat, I was actually several pounds underweight and getting sick from living so unhealthily...but I had a perfect figure.  Then, once my living situation became more stable, I got the Depression Hunger and went back to the way I looked before--but now I knew what I could look like, and those few pounds that linger so noticeably on a petite frame were gnawing at my perfectionist tendencies.  However, as usual, my laziness and lack of self-discipline won out, and the result is an unhealthy fixation on food, constant disappointment in myself, and overwhelming shame and disgust over the fact that I've become a girl who complains to her boyfriend that she's getting fat.


Now that I'm days away from visiting my old college and seeing all my friends there, I have a vain, burning desire to look thin and waifish, but I haven't been able to lose a single goddamn pound for weeks.  Not just that, but I am taking it all really personally!  Past Tracy would have stepped on the scale and given a big, juicy raspberry to the number she saw before scampering off to eat seventeen shortbread cookies for second breakfast.  For some reason, though, I just can't handle the way I look anymore, and I pretty much melt into a blubbering, cursing ball whenever I take off my clothes or even stray into the general vicinity of a scale.

The sad thing is, I'm not even overweight.  I have a little extra flab 'round the middlish areas of my anatomy, but if you saw me on the street, you probably wouldn't even call me chubby (UNLESS YOU'S A BITCH).  I am just a sad, sad woman trying to starve myself as long as I can each day and then giving in to my sugar cravings and gobbling everything I encounter until I'm stuffed with carbs and regret.

I'm not saying that I spend my days wallowing in a great, murky puddle of self-loathing.  I do have some hobbies, too.  Like practicing my pan flute.  But when genetics gives you short legs, a love of cheese, and no natural affinity for physical activity, it's difficult not to find yourself occasionally sitting in a cloud of grey, idle drudgery, maybe working up the motivation to go for a run once a month and then remembering that you hate running as your lungs solidify and your brain seems to knock against your skull with each footfall.  So then, maybe you consider moving to a place where being overweight is a sign of prestige and wealth, heart disease and high cholesterol be damned!

Because when it comes down to it, I could work out an hour every day and eat only dry lettuce and clementines for three meals a day, but I've been trying that and so far it's made me a cranky, awful bitch.  I don't like myself.  I don't respect myself - not because of my weight but because that's my current basis for self-worth.  I seem to have temporarily forgotten that there are worse things than having some extra padding - a little more fluff than some people.  Like having no arms.  Or no sense of humor.  Or no sex.*  And I know I'll be much happier if I loosen up again and stop mercilessly berating myself if I eat schome popschiclesh or the occashional leftover birthday cupcakesh I wander acroshsh in the kitschen on my lunsch breaksh.  Thish ish not a posht with schome happy resholutionsh tacked on to the end.  I am who I am!  Scho my ashsh will schoon shwell to the schize of schmall whale and my middle hasch a jsholly little pousch!  Schcrew you, aschshhole!  Get me schome cheeshe before I  schqueeze your tiny head between my giant thighsh!

Murderface demands it.

*Or all three, in which case the latter may be caused by one or both of the former.

Images via All Posters, Raise Yer Fists!!!


Sunday Snark

Who's up for round two?

Happy hangover, to one an' all.

Image first printed in Life Magazine.


The Final Hour

And with this, the final hour before St. Patrick's Day, we end where we began: with the Toucan, the only animal that actually finds a way to drink his Guinness.

Well, don't just stand there!  Drink up!

Image via The Invisible Agent.

Hour 23

But we're gettin' no sleep tonight!  Another round, I say!

Image via Vintage Vixen.

Hour 22

There is currently a drinking chicken fight scenario taking place, and it is brilliant: Two girls sitting on their boys' shoulders, facing each other.  Each is holding a pint with a very, very long straw in it (regular straws joined together precariously so that the long straw might break at any moment, resulting in tragic defeat for one side and a Guinness shower for all!).  Each girl is drinking out of the glass which the opposite girl is holding.  It's a race, and they're not done yet, so I'm off to start taking bets!  Not about who will win, but who's going to end up in the hospital tonight, and whether it'll be from alcohol poisoning or a concussion.  My money's on both, for all of the above!

And the ladies like it, too!

Image via Brookston Beer BulletinTooft Design.

Hour 21

In a minute, this is how all writing is going to look.

Wait for it....

Image via Flyer Goodness.

At Last: Hour 20

Perhaps the most satisfying and well-deserved of all the Guinness-drinking occasions is the after work Guinness.

Even clowns need a day job.  Those giant shoes don't grow on trees*.

And now that my own day job is over for the weekend, I'm going to let my hair down and drink a Guinness, as well.  Just like this man, I am going to replace my entire torso with a pint of the stuff, and  then once I have painted half my face red and removed the skin from the other half so that my pink, stringy muscles are exposed to the world, I will take my first, long, cold sip of that thick, bitter beer and wipe off my foamy mustache with a contented sigh.  Then I'll ask the barkeep to keep 'em comin'.

"Tracy gittin' shit-faced ta-NIGHT!!"  I'll sing quietly to myself.

*But what if they did?!

Images via Brookston Beer BulletinThe Invisible Agent.

Hour 19

Is it that obvious?

It's so close.

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 18

Image via Andy Thornton.

Hour 17

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 16

This seal is too humble to clap for himself.

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 15

Somehow, this actually doesn't make me want to drink Guinness all that much.

Which is probably a good thing, seeing as it's 2 in the afternoon.

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 14

Why you so sad, crocodile?

Image via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Hour 13

High noon: Guinness Time.

Image via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Hour 12

The poor animals never actually get to drink the Guinness, do they?  The man in all these ads is probably from PETA.

"I can't!"

Images via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Hour 11

Which is just what I need to get me through this day.

Images via Brookston Beer BulletinDeep Sea News.

Hour 10

So go ahead, have another!

Image via Star Sunflower Studio.

Hour 9

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 8

Is it too early, d'you think?

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 7: Opening Time

Image via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Hour 6

Open the door and find a ice-cold Guinness on your front porch each morning?
That's the dream.

Image via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Hour 5

Image via Flyer Goodness.

Hour 4

It really is unfair.

Image via Printiques.

Hour 3

Like mother's milk.

I'm pretty sure this is what Mary Poppins was really giving to those Banks kids.  Sliding on banisters, indeed.

Image via Young and Poor.

Hour 2: The Guinness Ad Countdown Continues!

You're doing it wrong.

Image via The Invisible Agent.

The Countdown Begins

Since it's the day before The Big Day, the drudgery bin will celebrate by posting a different vintage Guinness ad every hour in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day.  And while I'm teaching kindergarteners, I will be wishing I could also be drinking a Guinness every hour to countdown to the holiday.

I'll just have to make up for it after I get off work.

Thus, I give you Hour 1: The Toucan, Himself

Indeed, sir.

Image via Dave Cushman.


It's Thursday Night. You Know What That Means.

Time to get drunk and have a first-rate screw! 

Then tomorrow night, the real fun begins.

Image via Vintage Gal.


A pahty? Oh, luffly!

I take St. Patrick's Day very seriously.  Maybe a little too seriously, for someone who's only half Irish.  On the other hand, that dedication is probably the reason why I've never had a bad St. Patrick's Day.  Birthdays, Christmases, Arbor Days (don't get me started on Fourths of July [HOW do you properly pluralize that?!]) - they've always fallen just the tiniest bit short of the hype, but St. Patrick's Day has never let me down.

This year, though, I don't have any plans yet, aside from very fuzzy images of empty whiskey bottles and a tottering Tracy holding shamrocks over my head like mistletoe so cute redheads will be bamboozled into kissing me.  (Androgynous-looking straight women: I apologize in advance.)  But whatever I end up doing, I want to be wearing a little somethin' like this:

With or without the young laddie

with this hair

and these shoes:


And I shall be the grandest lady in all the land.


Make Your Choice

You probably know this, because you are very clever and worldly (and I'm a sycophantic boob), but   Any Other Woman was celebrating International Women's Day yesterday with hourly guest posts on the topic of choice.  It's lucky for everyone involved that I would never ever have been asked to contribute, because I probably would've written something that sounded vaguely like a late-night infomercial.  Like:

TRACY, LOOKING FLY YET DIGNIFIED IN A PUSSY BOW BLOUSE AND BLAZER:  I've spent most of my life suffering from indecision.  Even the smallest choices left me baffled and disappointed in myself.  Friends and family tried to help, but it only made things worse.  I tried to tell myself that I was just that easy-going, but that wasn't it.  Something was missing.

But finally, thanks to the POWER OF SELF-ESTEEM, I realized it was because I worried too much about what other people would think of my choices!  Now, I just force myself to make decisions and state opinions or preferences!

(Shots of Tracy asserting herself in various situations, flashing a glinting, debonair smile at the camera)

I hate pineapple on pizza, but if you're set on it for some freaky reason, we can go halfsies on toppings!

No, I do not want to play chess; it is boring and snobby and I'd really rather step on a fire ant hill while grizzly cubs lick honey off my bare flesh!

I understand that a daily diet of jelly beans, Taco Bell, and energy drinks will lead me to an early grave; but at least I'll die with a contented, bloated belly, dammit!

We're gonna need a bigger grave.

I tried to celebrate International Women's Day by planning a lesson for my kindergarteners to switch basic gender roles.  But the kids ended up taking too long eating their afternoon snack, and then they chattered through Never Spit on Your Shoes like little, squawking birds that wake you up at ungodly hours on weekend mornings and you wish - oh, how you wish! - you could just reach out the window and wring their tiny, brittle necks!!

...Anyway, I had to keep stopping to shush them with my sternest hiss, so all I got to tell them about International Women's Day was that they should give their mommies and grandmas an extra hug and kiss when they went home.  Another day for that lesson plan, maybe.  Although in general, they really seem to like play-dough a LOT more than exercises in social justice.  So we'll see.

Image via eportfolio.


International Women's Day, Bitches!

Today I saw a woman I know crying alone in her car.  She didn't know anyone was watching her, but I just happened to glimpse her out of my rearview mirror while sitting in the adjacent parking lot during my break.  After a moment, she wiped her eyes, adjusted her sunglasses, and went inside to pick up her son from school.

I still don't think I'll ever really be badass enough to be a full-fledged woman.

That's the dream.

Image via One Man's Blog.