Star Trek

J: Maybe you were right about my tone. I’m slightly bothered by your level of interest in Star Trek and programming when it’s someone else. 😦  Not a big deal or anything, just something I have a little trouble processing.

C: I’m sorry you’re bothered. It’s not about you. Should I just not share these things with you?

J: Kinda makes me feel like your problem wasn’t with Star Trek, but with me, is all. I know it’s not about me, but that’s kinda what it feels like sometimes. It’s not that you can’t share them, it’s not a big deal for me. But do you ever ask yourself why you’re ok with watching things like Star Trek now when you complained for years earlier about it? And what that might mean?

C: It’s like I can’t win with you. If I change and do things you think I hated or whatever, you get mad. But if I don’t demonstrate that I’m growing and changing, then you Stini me. I do, in fact, ask myself these things and I have perfectly reasonable answers for why I am willing to watch Star Trek now and didn’t want to with you. Have you ever asked YOURSELF why I might be into different things now?

J: Then why do you like Star Trek now?

C: I don’t “like” it. I’ll watch if the group is watching. But some of the writing is absurd, and you don’t get to hear my commentary during the eps: “Who is that? Where did that person come from? How does that even work? What the hell kind of -onium are they talking about now? This is so sexist. That outfit is stupid. That make up and mask are terrible; you can’t even see the lips moving.” You’d hate it. I don’t take it seriously.

J: For the record, I never said you were the bad guy. I just want to make sure that you’re not changing yourself just to be liked, thus the self-reflection questions.

C: I will say some of the concepts are intriguing. And if you didn’t say things like such a Stini-dick, I wouldn’t take them negatively. Have you ever wondered what it is about your approach that turns people off? I’m not changing so I can be liked. I’m too damn old for that shit.
Also, I watch for Wil Wheaton’s sweaters.
Are we fighting?

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The right to bare arms

J: Did you hear about the most recent gun-related tragedy? The gun enthusiasts got confused and accidentally armed bears.

C: I support MY RIGHT to arm bears!

J: I want to show up at a gun rally with a stuffed bear arm.

BarearmsC: What if you showed up with bare arms? Which reminds me, I heard an ad recently from Trojan for their “bear skin condoms.” I was like, ‘What the hell is a bear skin condom?’ Then I looked it up. Bare skin condoms

J: Bear Skin Condom: Strong enough for a man, pH balanced for a bear.
Bare skin condoms: aka, not wearing a condom at all.

C: Bear Skin Condoms: Endorsed by ManBearPig! For real men who are half man, half bear, half pig.

J: I just saw two squirrels having sex.

C: Were they using a condom?

J: A bare skin condom.

C: So that’s why we have so many squirrels.

Worst Roommate Ever: The Sequels

I wrote an article for for their Worst Roommate Ever column. It was published. The gist was: I had a roommate who could see auras. She talked to the cat. In a past life, the cat was a warrior. She kicked my boyfriend out in the middle of the night, then after some back and forth and changed stories, she kicked me out. We’d lived together 6 weeks.

I sent a draft of it to J for him to review. This is the feedback I received:

J: I emailed you a rewrite of the story. Spiffed it up a bit. Your roommate was actually an alien bounty hunter and your boyfriend was a quadriplegic who you beat when he talked back to you. Sheba is no longer a cat, but the ghost of a great warrior who, spoiler alert, reveals your roommate to be an alien, possesses your boyfriend’s wheelchair and crashes into bounty hunter alien roommate, knocking her out the window where she crashes, loses her memory, and you convince a doctor to keep her medicated and isolated in a correctional facility for the criminally insane. You’re welcome.

C: That’s fine. Except I’m not sold on the bounty hunter thing. I think alien antique seeker? Snake oil saleswoman?

J: The sequel is about the “ghost chair” where Sheba goes riding around fighting aliens with unwitting quadriplegics.

C: Yes, that’s totally the sequel! Can you flesh it out more?

J: Since you’re a feminist, I was thinking the aliens could be trying to collect vagina lips as trophies. And the ghost chair is stuck in impound. So you, the protagonist, must bribe or manipulate the security guard but then you end up falling in love with him because he’s sensitive and respects your authoritah as a woman.

Most of the story can be lame conversations about how you feel about each other, instead of explosions. Then the relationship doesn’t work because you have goals and he lets you go, reluctantly. The story closes with you eating chocolate ice cream and saying something like “I’ve earned this,” or “Who would have known those alien bastards were sitting on decade’s worth of weight-reducing ice cream?!”

C: They were? Bastards!


How aliens get dates: Ice cream.

J: The third movie is about evil ice cream makers trying to silence everyone who knows about the alien ice cream so they can continue their evil plot of making ladies feel bad about themselves do they’d say yes to the dates with evil ice cream owners.

C: Making all of us fat!

J: …only, they forgot one thing: A wheelchair possessed by a warrior ghost. “Wheel you marry me?” “Oh yes, a thousand times yes! During the downhills and the uphills!”

C: Does ’til death do we part apply?

J: No.

C: Figures.

J: It’s a ghost chair.

C: I know. How’d it die?

J: That’s the prequel!

C: Oh man. Are we Star Wars-ing this?

J: Star Wars wasn’t a prequel. They skipped the first trilogy initially.


Ghost chair.

C: You’re still not saying how the chair died.

J: The chair didn’t die. It’s possessed by a ghost warrior. A ghost warrior who died while protecting the throne. Part of the story will explain the secret origins of Musical Chairs. It’s actually how we chose kings and is far bloodier than our childhoods would have us believe.

If Hollywood gets a hold of this story, they’ll ruin it, calling it “Ghosts vs. Aliens,” but it will break box office records, to my great angst, as crowds will remember someone screaming during the movie “The book was better!” And then I can write a piece “It Happened to Me.” (full circle)

C: Um…wow.

Nebraskan Christian Radio

C: Llama llama. How’s the drive with your mom going?

J: Pretty hilarious. Left at 2 am. Nebraska is not for me. Too many Christian radio stations talking nonsense.

C: Yes, Nebraska has that going on. There’s also country music. My dad listened to Shakespeare on tape the whole time I drove with him through Nebraska. All I remember is Caesar: “Read the will!”

J: We listened to talk radio for hours. It took a lot for me to not call in.

C: Did you tell your mom why talkers were wrong? I could send you funny memes.

J: A little bit. She was laughing at me listening to it. It was pretty ridiculous. It went like: ‘God is called excellent; therefore, God is excellent.’ That logic alone is evidently enough for some people.

C: Evidently. The circular logic is astounding.


J: More shark attacks in North Carolina. The coward news media refuses to call it terrorism.

C: Who’s the terrorist organization claiming credit?

J: S.h.a.r.k.s. Sharks Hate All Races, Kindergartens, and Species.

C: Oh no! Not the kindergarteners? They’re only bite-sized!

J: Why did the shark cross the road? …to eat you.

C: The people the sharks attacked didn’t even die.

J: WTF?! Are you a shark apologist? If not for the actions of the civilians on the beach, they’d be dead. The sharks bit off their arms. That’s like Sharia law, only without the stealing! And humans are primarily on land. Once we move to the waters, there’ll be way more shark attacks!
I mean, squirrels run and hop fences and we kill them. We kill bears and wolves if they get too close. Sharks are no different! But much worse. We just don’t realize it because they’re out of sight and out of mind. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something about it.

C:  ConfusedFace

Needs more pizzazz. No, more pizzas.

C: Am I pretentious?

J: About what? Your medical opinions on gerbils MAY be a touch pretentious.

C: Like, in general. About grammar.

J: Oh, for sure. But you’re a linguistics masters person and worked at a newspaper. Most grammar people ARE pretentious and people find them insufferable—like almost every copy across the board. I think it has something to do with the job, correcting mistakes in basic writing.

C: I also have a soapbox rant about “rules” being a product of upper classes oppressing the lower classes in response to increasing literacy throughout England (you know, since we speak English).


More pizzas or more pizzazz?
Why can’t we have both.

J: Copy editor: You’re not using that word correctly.
Writer: Step off, or I’ll use the word incorrectly on you!

Writer: I need something with a little more pizzas.
Copy editor: You mean pizzazz.
Writer: No. I mean pizzas.

C: Too many adjectives! Show, don’t tell.


C: My feelings on poetry haven’t changed. :/

J: Says the person whose default disagrees with the Stini.

C: What does that have to do with anything?

J: You probably do like poetry but are too stubborn.

C: I’m not stubborn!

Heeeere fishy fish…

whiterabbitJ: I have the foo chu fou shoo. 😦

C: What’s the foo chu? Are you going to survive?

J: The foo chu fou shoo is kinda like that feeling a zombie gets when it realizes it’s full and needs to take a nap. The foo chu fou shoo is kinda like what a dragon feels right before it breathes fire.

C: Hm, interesting… Is food related?

J: No, it’s not food related. Though it is kinda like that feeling Gargamel gets when he eats a Smurf.
Foo chu fou shoo is kinda like that feeling the Queen of Hearts has when she yells “Off with their heads!”
Foo chu fou shoo is also kinda how the White Rabbit feels when he shows up somewhere early.

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Learning Not to Cry Over Spilled (Sippy Cups of) Milk

spilled_milkJust as I got home, my mom called to tell me the sink was leaking again. She wanted me to ask our neighbor, who is also our plumber, if he could come over and fix it. I crossed the street to find him with his head poked inside the back of his truck while his kids, Kid and Kid Brother, ran around the yard.

“Hey, Matt… so, our sink is broken and leaking. Could you come over and fix it?”

“Again?! Goddammit! They’ve been breaking throughout the valley!” he yelled not at me specifically as he pulled his head out of the back of the truck.

“Oh. Bummer. Like, the piece itself?” I asked. By his tone, it was clear now was a bad time.

“Yeah. The damn manufacturer used cheap shit and they’re breaking after 6 months!”

“Oh dear,” I said,  unsure of what the right response was. “Well…whenever you have the time, we’d appreciate it if you could swing by.”

“I’ll be over in a minute. I just have to find my damn wrench…”

“Okay. Thanks!”

“In the meantime, you should go into the crawlspace and turn off the water!” he called out from halfway back inside the truck.

“Will do!” I said.

As I walked back to my house, KidBrother followed after me. He wanted to find the cat, Sheba, who hated him and who’d scratched him earlier in the year. He wasn’t phased by that, and in fact talked about it like a badge of honor. “Where Sheba?” he asked when he toddled in the door.

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Beware the puddles: Part 2


“GOTCHA!” ~the puddle

J: The damn puddles!

C: Oh no! The damn puddles again! You’re getting puddled! Normally in our family, we do the puddling.

J: Like five puddles jumped me on my way from class to my car.

C: Oh nos! What did they take? Your dryness? Your sense of dignity? Your socks?

J: Got my shoes and socks pretty good.

C: What did you do to the puddles?

J: I couldn’t DO anything! I was out numbered and they were calling for their friends in the clouds to help.

C: What do puddles sound like anyway?I would have thought they sounded all splooty, or splashy… And what did you do to them to piss them off that they ganged up on you?

J: They go plop and splish. I didn’t do anything to them! They’re bastards, like sharks and spiders.

C: The half-frozen ones go froooosh and splooobt.

J: It’s all part of the conspiracy. I think the lesson here is never trust a puddle.

Beware the puddles: Part 1


Sharks in our puddles! Beware!

After receiving a voicemail that Stini had successfully not stepped in a puddle this time on his way to class.

C: So proud of the Stini for beating the puddle! You’re a good Stini.

J: Duck you puddle! Puddles are on the list, joining sharks and spiders.

C: Ducking puddles! Being all wet and shit. Sharks probably live in puddles 😦

J: They make mosquitoes and freeze the tires and swamp our footwear. That’s so something a shark would do! Classic shark.

C: They’re trying to hurt hardworking Americans with their wetty wetness!

J: They just sit around all day doing nothing, the lazy puddles! Most people drown in 2 inches of water! Ducking puddles.

C: Two inches?! OMG! All those water glasses you used to leave around the apartment with 2 inches of water in them—are you saying I could have drowned in any one of them!? You put my life in danger!

J: …

All the nuance of Meh.

meh-catJ: Mehnal = someone who is in a state of “Meh.”
Phenomehnal = an event where someone’s mehness makes other people suffer.
Used in a sentence: Are you mehnal?! First you wanted to go out for dinner, and not you want to leave? That’s just phenomehnal.
Phenomehna = the event which triggered a bout of mehs.
Also, I just saw a cat on a leash.

C: Meh.

. ?


Does menstruation concern you?

C: Do you ever wonder sometimes if the woman you’re sitting next to on the bus or in a meeting is on her period? Like, do you ever think “Is this person actively bleeding out of her vagina right now?”

J: No, not usually. Unless I’m swimming in the ocean. Then I do because sharks.



Too sexy?


Sexy toothbrush time.

J: Oh no! My animal magnetism and tragic story line, coupled with my good looks and irresistible charm, may be getting me in trouble.

C: Oh no! Are you being trailed by a herd of rabid llamas? I’m sorry I set this in motion for you so many years ago…

J: Wait, what? …should I be worried about rabid llamas? …and them trailing me? WTF did you set in motion so many years ago, Claudia?

C: Your animalistic attraction! You attract rabid animals, like llamas, to you. I’m so sorry Stini 😦

J: Oh no. 😦 Maybe we can…reverse my polarity? That sounds like a thing, right?

C: I think so. Seems legit.

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On the campaign trail


One tough cookie. The biscotti this country needs.

C: My campaign slogan: One tough cookie. This cookie don’t crumble. Claudia: The Biscotti This Country Needs.

J: Are you running for election? One tough cookie is my campaign slogan. You steal my thunder.

C: It’s MY slogan. I’M the tough cookie!

J: Beware those who would mess with the Stini! I will dunk you in milk!

C: I will soak you in coffee!

J: Says the candidate beholden to “big coffee.” I want strong, healthy bones for my town. My opponent wants you all jittery. I think the choice is clear. Support American milk and not foreign governments’ coffee beans. It’s time to put America first!

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All at once…

HurtUterus1J: It could be worse. All that tissue buildup and those under-utilized eggs could just sit in there… Imagine giving birth to the number of babies equal to the number of previous periods all at once. We have billions of sperm in one shot.

C: Yeah, but for you it feels good when you unload the sperms. We have pain when we lose the tissue, although I can’t feel the ovulation.

J: But the pain is minimal compared to shooting out thirty babies in one go. It would literally kill you.

C: Yes, I suppose. Also, all the periods at once would be the worst case of period shits ever.

J: Not periods at once. Babies at once.

C: Or no babies. What if I don’t come in contact with any sperms?

J: Then you’ll really know what the term “bloated” means.

Things Said While Babysitting


Maybe it’s destiny for milk to be spilled. Perhaps that’s where tears come from.

I was hired to watch three kids one Saturday while their parents went to the local Oktoberfest. I supervised my kid best friend, named Kid, his younger brother, KidBrother, and the child of a friend of the parents of the first two, we’ll call him Tom.

Kid is seven, KidBrother and Tom are both three. During the course of watching these kids, I said things to them I never imagined saying to anyone in my life. I hadn’t imagined saying those things because what I was saying were things said to me as a kid, things adults would say when they sucked the fun out of stuff by regulating everything my kid self would do.

And yet I found myself saying these things:

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Very, very quite contrary


“Rabble rabble!”
“Rabble rabble you!”

Note: Parentheses are summaries of long conversations and are also designed to preserve anonymity.

(C: Finding out the other person’s side won’t actually change the circumstances.)

(J: Yes it will.)

(C: No. Besides, I believe this person. Sometimes you just trust someone.)

(J: No. You can’t do that. You have to make sure they’re telling the truth.)

(C: You trust them through life experiences; there’s enough here to establish a clear pattern of truth and trust in people. There may be another side, there’s always two sides, but seeking the other side will hurt the person close to us. I can’t talk about this anymore because it’s upsetting me and I have to go to work.)

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We Need A Boat


Rough idea of the kind of boat we might want.

J: We need a boat.

C: We need a motherfucking boat. And some flippy flops. And sunny shades.

J: We’re not going to sell pizza on a boat, but we are going to play Johnny Appleseed.

C: Sandwiches!

J: Maybe. I might be ok with that. I just think it’s dangerous making wages off food with a Stini tummy nearby.

C: Good point. Could be a financial loss scenario.

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Limbs for Fins!


Are the sharks finally fed up?

C: The sharks are fed up. So they’re going to feed on us. We take their fins, they take our limbs. “Limbs for fins! Limbs for fins!”

J: “sharks are fed up.” – may want to rethink that word choice.

C: No. Was on purpose.

J: Their problem is they are too fed up.

C: Limbs for fins!

J: Gills for thrills!
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