Something Gross Happened to Me Today and I Cried

This week, I noticed a silver dollar-sized lump on my right shoulder. It was hard, uncomfortable and in the exact same place another had emerged five years ago, almost to the date. Quell your concerns that I’m cancerous: This baby was a sebaceous cyst. [WARNING: That link is gross and I am gross and ew, bodies. Anyway.] Basically I blame my greasy Italian genes for giving me a giant infected zit-like-thing on my back. I told you this was gross.

So after a few days of putting it off, I went to a doctor to have it removed. I’m going to keep the nasty details to a minimum, but feel free to change the channel now if you so desire (or keep reading and just don’t tell anybody, freaks).

I walked in to my local instant health clinic, and went to the receptionist. I gave her my name and THIS is when things started to get weird. She said, “Oh it looks like your account has been sent to collections.” Me: “Heh, oh, right, well I paid that like yesterday, so…” Her: “Okay, um, *looks at other receptionist on phone* just have a seat then.”

Turns out, I was RIGHT. I HAD paid my overdue account yesterday. So, raspberries to her! Then a male nurse practitioner or whatever called me in to an exam room. The lackadaisical pace of the waiting room was accelerated to “How many people can we make money off of in this hour?” speed, and in a minute, my blood pressure was taken by a female nurse and that guy nurse made a joke about my recurring cyst. “That little bugger! Hah, okay, put this gown on so we don’t get anything gross on your shirt and we’ll be right back!”  They tossed me a gown and I didn’t have time to ask if I should keep my pants on.

My thought process went like this: “This gown IS open in the back, but they DID say something about gross stuff and I definitely don’t want that on my pants, but what if they see my butt? Oh wait, there are a second set of lower ties. Problem solved.”

As I pantlessly tied that second set of ties, the door opened, the doctor gasped and flew backwards, shutting the door. “It’s okay!” I yelled. The guy nurse came back in and laughed at me. “You didn’t have to take your pants off!” he said. “I know! I just. I didn’t know! And so, I did, and now it’s weird! I’m sorry, I feel so weirdthisisweird,” I panted. “We’ll just get you a blanket,” he said.

Butt up, I lay down on the doctor bed. The doctor placed a pad next to me and it fell on my head. “This is my sterile zone, so try not to touch it,” he said. Check. He did some wiping motions on my shoulder and then went to stick me with something. Suddenly, stuff squirted everywhere. “Ah! Oh! Okay,” he tried again and liquid flew all over the room a second time. “Are we done?” I asked. “No that was just the anesthetic,” he said.

They got a scalpel and started to cut away at my shoulder. All I could feel was the picking sensation you get when you’re plucking a tough eyebrow hair. My face was buried in the gauze pillow, my toes were curled, I was biting my thumb and my eyes and nose are uncontrollably running like there’s any chance some part of me can get out of the room faster than the others.

Pluck, pluck, pluck. “Does this hurt?” the doctor asked. Pluck. “No,” I squirmed. “Well your toes seem to indicate otherwise,” he said. Pluck, pluck, pluck. “It just… *pluck* feels… *pluck* so… GROSS,” I squeal. The nurse guy grabs me a tissue and I try to stop myself from crying. Why the hell am I crying, you ask? I’m a weak-hearted woman, America, and I just can’t help myself.

They tell me that the “sac” (ew) has “ruptured” (EW) and the doctor is going to “pack” (EW?!?!?) my “shoulder” (ah). I’ll have to come back tomorrow and probably the next day, “and hopefully the gauze and pull the rest of that sac out of there,” the doctor said. EW.

“So I guess you probably don’t want to see what came out right?” the doctor asked.

“…No I’ll see it,” I said. It was like the biggest zit ever had popped onto gauze. Blood, pus and slimy, slimy sac. Yup. My body.

Then they left me like a broken woman, to put my pants back on and pull myself together. They informed me that I would also be getting a tetanus shot, but I forgot until the nurse knocked on the door again and I was still naked. He stuck me in the opposite shoulder and told me it would hurt tomorrow. He left again, I cried more and wiped the mascara off of my cheeks.

Feeling disgusting, bewildered and not unlike a cigarette butt, I stumbled out to my Jeep and drove to TJ Maxx. Out of some personal doubt and gross feeling, I bought two new bras. One of them is purple. Hopefully they do not infect my shoulder.

The end.

Oops, Zoinks, Needlezooks: Jamie’s Mom Is Here!

Hey Ya’ll! (I said that in Paula Deen’s voice.) Jamie’s mom is here this week, and that means I’ve been too busy to write something for you. So deal with it. SomeTIMES moms are more important than blogs. Get it?

While you wait with joyful hope for the coming of our savior my next blog post, take a look at these shredding pictures taken by Mary Beth Isle, my producer Brandon’s awesome wife. They’re from the 5K FoamFest that a group of us ran last weekend, the most grueling three miles of my life. After running the whole race/obstacle course of mud pits, sand hell and giant wooden walls, you have to slide through this inflatable trough of foam. You’re not supposed to ingest it, but inevitably you do, rendering all your avoidance of BPA null and void. What is foam made of?!?! My taste buds tell me it’s plastic death.

See you next week when we’ll talk about why frozen pizza is an unavoidable evil.

Jeffraaay Cannon emerges triumphantly, lungs full o' foam

Me walking through the second foam run, yelling indignantly

CRAWLING THROUGH THE MUD PITS WHY

Brandon and I "fighting for nobility" through the mud. We were all winners that day.

Someone Explain To Me Why Jenna Marbles Is Funny

Jenna Marbles. What is she? People post her videos on Facebook and tell me she’s HIGH-LARIOUS. I watch them. Then I want to die.

It’s like, “AHHH!” *Collapse*

Self-Referential!!

At first, it was just that stupid “Give ’em the face!” video, that played off of my generation’s weird, dumb obsession with “awkward” things being HIGH-LARIOUS. Like, “Omg that’s SO awks! I’m laughing only because I don’t know how to interact with peoplez. Whoopsie!” Didn’t you guys see Funny Bot? Get over it. Also, I think it was supposed to be funny because she’s a pretty girl doing something unconventional and “ugly.” Which is great and all — I for one hope more pretty people start making themselves ugly — but neglects the fact that there are actual unfortunate looking people out there making actually funny jokes. Which highlights a bigger issue about female comics needing to also be “hot” or else they fade from the spotlight. Remember Rachael Dratch??? REMEMBER!??!?!

But I digress. Back to writing in the style of Jenna.

Also, it was a funny face joke. I’m pretty sure I stopped laughing at those when I was potty trained. PRETTY SURE.

“Mamma! Daddy! Pee pee!”

I saw once when I was up at 4 a.m. doing my JOB like an AMURRIKAN that some morning show did some story on her. It was this.

I just watched the story again, and I’m all, “HOLD THE PHONE… WHATZ??!!” Jenna Marbles is crusading against grinding?? THAT’S what this is? Call me crazy…

“WEEEE!”

…but I find that hard to believe.

Cause like, that’s a pretty lofty goal for an Internet video. The reporter goes on to ask a panel of normal looking women and ONE WEIRD NERD what the club scene is like.

They say they get ground on like, every night, but NOT ONE has thrown out “All The Marbles” and given a guy The Face. The weird dude says it would probably be pretty effective. I’m pretty sure this is the closest he’s ever been to an actual woman.

“Uh hey, do any of you wanna like, grind right here? We could. Make an example. For the cameras.”
“EW NO YUCKY!”

So I guess my point is, I don’t understand the point of the story. Jenna Marbles is fighting a crusade against grinding, but no one would EVER actually do her face, and grinding is like A MILLION YEARS OLD. This is a story? I don’t. Whatever.

“Awks! Whoopsie! *Slide whistle*”

And secondly, the video is obviously a joke. A sarcastic take on club life. A slap in the face to women who are just supposed to shut up and back it up. I get it. I know. This is the same with all of Jenna’s videos. They’re supposed to be ridiculous. They’re supposed to be SUPER sardonic. They are actually cut by Edward Scissorhands.

We’re supposed to say, “Oh isn’t that so funny? She’s being unconventional and is also hot.” It’s like when a popular girl makes an awful joke and people still laugh.

“It’s like, then my jeans ripped at the knee and people could TOTALLY see that I have skin under there.”

But Jenna’s material and style just feels old to me. It feels recycled. I think these are all things I’ve laughed about before with other people, and now you’re just putting them on YouTube with fast cuts to funny faces and weird sounds and I’m supposed to think you’re a comic genius? Pardon me for having taste, but just because you put something on YouTube doesn’t make it innovative. C’mon guys, step it up a little. You don’t have to think its funny just because someone says you should. I just have this grating feeling in my soul that, by laughing, we’re all doing something wrong. Something terribly, terribly wrong.

So please, anyone, tell me: Why is this funny?

Your Burning Facebook Questions, Answered!

Well hello and Guten Fritag to you all! This week, things are going to be a little different. On Tuesday, I asked for blog suggestions via Facebook, and because I liked all three of them so much, I’d like to address them all in a single post, right here, right now. Without further ado, questions.

Amber Peter Hugus is my former high school English teacher and play/musical director. She is generally awesome and has three adorable sons. Amber writes: “A peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss.” Let’s.

Not only is this an homage to the wonderful and verklempt Linda Richman, but it also calls in to question the element of confusion inherent in many English words. Sure, when you think about it, “peanut” makes sense. The fruit is found within the shell, much like a pea in a pod, and it sure as hell tastes like a nut. BOOM, peanut, answered. But Wikipedia tells me it is, in fact, a bean. This has the possibility to confuse children, adults and even foreigners, and yet, we all accept it as fact. And I would say, because of its name, the peanut is accepted as a nut itself. A simple misnomer has changed the way we think about an entire species of bean. Are nuts better than beans? Were they more valuable in olden times? Will anyone ever truly take the peanut for what it is: A lowly, dried out bean? The world may never know.

KC Andrew Hensley is my friend and owner of my favorite bar in Pocatello, The Flipside. He is a veteran and has a lip piercing. KC writes: “Is Jay walking really such a crime?”

Now, we can only assume that KC is talking about beloved southeastern Idaho news anchor, Jay Hildebrandt. And the way that he phrased his question leads me to believe that Jay has in fact been in trouble with the law for his walking before. But lo! This is news to me. I mean, I guess there was the time Jay was stomping all over that crime scene evidence, and I guess the police would consider that tampering, or whatever. And then there was the time Jay was walking, but while he was walking, he was kicking Karole in the back of the foot. I wouldn’t necessarily call that a crime, but I’m sure it was annoying. I’m no legal eagle, but I assume that Jay walking around isn’t necessarily illegal, unless by walking he manages to do something that is also a crime (like tampering with that evidence!). So I’m going to say, “No,” on this one, only because Jay is usually really nice when he walks. USUALLY.

[Disclaimer: Jay Hildrebrant never actually trampled on crime scene evidence and he has probably never kicked Karole Honas in the back of the foot on purpose. He is always nice when he walks.]

And FINALLY, Andrew Lericos is one of my best friends from college. He is Greek, tangy and his mother is named after a hurricane. Andrew writes: “What ever happened to Ja Rule?”

Hey Andrew, great question. Ja Rule was insanely popular in and around the time when MTV’s Spring Break was in its heyday. He added the rap vocals to such classics as “What’s Love? (Featuring Jennifer Lopez)” and “I’m Real (Also Featuring Jennifer Lopez).” The point is, he really liked Jennifer Lopez. He probably did some other stuff, but we’re not really sure what that is. Ja Rule was the white person’s answer to 2000s gangster rap. Maybe 50 Cent was a little too jail yard workout tape for you, maybe you didn’t really feel like DMX spoke to your feline side. Well, Ja Rule was there to pick up the slack.

But he dropped off the face of the earth sometime when time forgot, and we only really remember him when someone writes a blog post, like the LA Times blog, “Ministry of Gossip.”

In July, the Ministry wrote: “Ja Rule was sentenced Monday to more than two years in prison for failing to file tax returns for three years. The rapper, real name Jeffrey Atkins, had begun a two-year prison sentence in June after pleading guilty to a 2007 weapons-related charge.”

So he’s been in jail! BOOM. Answered.

Well everybody, this has been fun. Thanks to Amber, KC and Andrew for all of your questions, and if any of you other Loyal Readers out there want me to take a crack at your queries, feel free to post them in a comment or on Facebook. If not, next week will just be about my childhood again. See ya then!!

Where the Summer’s Sounds Will Take You

Some days, I walk around my life like I’m listening to an NPR piece. Every sound, every clink of the keys in the bowl, every woosh of a car going by, motivates your next thought. And it works with sight, too. The sun highlighting chinks in a dirty windowsill reminds you of waking up in a car 15 years ago. You get it. Lately I’ve been doing this in the context of the most inescapable thing about now: Summer.

The sun fills up the car with light on the way to work and suddenly I’m in the passenger seat, my mom’s pointy knees poking out behind the steering wheel under taut, tan skin. She smells like hairspray or lipstick and the windows are down because the A/C never worked in this damn thing anyway. She is beautiful and strange and wearing jean shorts. We’re listening to Tom Petty driving to a clothing expo. My brother and I will chase each other through the racks of fabrics, hiding quietly against the cool metal until it’s time to go get Happy Meals. We’re very close to collecting all of the Beanie Babies.

Back in my car, a song that sounds like Pearl Jam (but ends up being Matchbox 20?) comes on the radio. Now I’m looking at the giant silver boom box on our deck. The wood is bare — it doesn’t have carpeting or an awning over it yet. My dad, skin yellow-brown and freckly, ties a bandanna around his curly hair and pushes the mower in an arbitrary yard. It could be anywhere, it doesn’t matter. He always smells like sweat and is simultaneously grilling. He lets me take a drink of his cold, silver Coors. It tastes like gasoline smells. There will be hot dogs, and they will have bacon on them.

Then I’m upside down, the grass swaying below me as I swing alone, waiting, the blood filling up my eyes. My left foot is stuck in the grooved black plastic of a playground hand ring and I wonder if I’ll die here, my neighbors and family completely unaware of my absence until it’s tragically too late. It’s quiet and strange: How can I be the only person outside in all of these interlocking backyards? Don’t people live in packs for a reason? A neighbor finally comes out, joking to me in the language of a “Peanuts” adult. He grips me around the waist, takes off my shoe and lets me plop to the ground.

When does your butt stop sticking to plastic? It’s never, even if you’re not 8 years old. I peel myself off of the green plastic covering my Nunnie’s porch glider and go inside. I lay on her brown carpet, the same as I have in my apartment now, and talk into the fan, the same as I do in my apartment now. My brother comes to get me so we can catch toads in the rocks in her backyard before Nunnie calls us to the backdoor to give us meatballs on forks.

I’m back at my kitchen table, looking across at Jamie, eating cheese and crackers feeling the sun bleed through the blinds. We hear the knock of a hammer on wood above us — they’ve been doing construction on the roof for weeks. We go back to our conversation about which one of us is less annoying, at our table, in our apartment. Or are we in the woods by the creek? That knocking? It’s just the sound of a new tree fort being built. Club 2000. It’s supposed to be the biggest one yet.

WHY ARE YOU ALL HAVING BABIES??

This post has the potential to offend some people and make me sound really crusty, but I have a bone to pick with you, My Generation.

On any given day, I can log on to Facebook and find someone new who is getting married or having a baby. Then, I yell into the caverns of my empty apartment and flail my arms, running about my kitchen like there’s a hobo spider on my back. Why are you guys all doing this to yourselves?!? Why NOW!?? Sure, purple placenta poppers are great n’all, but last I checked, the people I graduated high school with are all 22 or 23, far too young for this nonsense! So what gives?

You can’t tell me, Generic Millennial, that you weren’t watching the same romantic comedies and TV shows as a kid where the woman could be successful only by forgoing babies and hubbies as long as biologically possible. Monica, Rachel and Phoebe all taught us that if you want that sweet Manhattan apartment and chef job you have to screw up a LOT of relationships. And even the men were the same! “FRIENDS” did not discriminate! Toward the end of the series, we saw weddings and births, yes, but the characters were all in their 30s by then, a reasonable time to start the terrifying part of your life.

Even in school, which I’m pretty sure we all went to, teachers told us that the progressive young women and men of today were waiting longer and longer to get married and have kids. Then they strategically show you that real live birth video — GROSS! SCARY! Who wants to turn inside-out when you could be eating a DiGiorno watching “Rope” not splitting in two? Sweating in my chair/desk combo, I thought to myself, “Yes, Mr. Macedonia, screw these boy losers. Getting married early is for the birds!”

Didn’t you guys do the math? My mom got married when she was 28, and that was in like, 1980-whenever. Adjusting for inflation and seeing the world, I shouldn’t get married until like, 32? Or? At least a while!

Aren’t you guys having fun in your 20s? Don’t you know that kind of ends when you get married? I may have an absurdly high number of divorces in my family, but I think I sustain a very healthy fear of institutional commitment. I may live with my boyfriend, but we still drink Four Loko. It’s great to find someone you really love, but it’s also great to not know what’s coming next. And at night, when he’s talking to me in his sleep, we both agree that getting married this young IS for the birds!

So it boggles me that, anecdotally, I see more and more guys and gals saying, “I do,” and poppin’ out pups. Don’t you guys want to go to Europe or get a little addicted to something? Don’t you want to live in a shitty apartment where you shouldn’t sit down in the bathtub? Don’t you want to do a bunch of weird stuff first so you can get drunk and tell your 14-year-old’s friends about how you ripped a tree out of the ground in a suit?

Babies and vows can wait, but there’s so much life out there that can’t. Plus they’re making birth control free in 2013. Get on that gravy train and out of the swan boat and quit turning Facebook into Old People’s Playland. Gross you guys. Gross.

Gay marriage is cool though, cause, get it while it's hot, ya know?