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Healthy People Are Freaks

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Seriously. Every single one of them needs to have their head examined.

Before any of you start rattling off statistics at me, allow me to explain. I’m not talking about people who purposely avoid food that make your arteries break down and cry. I’m well aware that one meal alone at your local Crack in the Box is enough to kill an entire herd of elephants.

Nor am I talking about moving your body until you work up a fine sweat, rather than just getting off the couch and waddling over to the refrigerator (although, and let’s be honest here, a lot of Americans do work up a sweat doing that these days).

I’m talking about the perspective healthy people have about getting and staying healthy.

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They’re Baaaack. . .

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

The Muffia has been spotted in the Greater Seattle Area.

Some of you may remember my first skirmish with the dreaded Muffiaso. I thought I escaped them when I moved out here a few years back. Apparently not, because this morning, the HR manager at my new job related a tale to me which, unbeknownst to her, informs me that they have managed to push past the Rockies. As a result, I feel it necessary to pass this tale on so that all of you in the area fighting the good fight can be on the lookout.

But first, in order to fully appreciate the story I am about to relate, you need to know something about its original teller. My new HR manager is a Russian immigrant (no, she wasn’t a mail-order bride), which means she’s hard-working, level-headed, and a sarcastic bitch. In a good way, of course.

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MINTY’S HAMSTER HAS FALLEN OFF IT’S WHEEL

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Normally, I try to keep my baseless, insane rage to a bare minimum.  Not only is it unattractive, but it creates a negative mindset that’s really hard to break out of. However, since I’ve been an unemployed loser for several months now, I’ve found that all I think about is negative shit, and if I don’t let some of it out, the dam is going to burst.  Plus, it’s a new year, and I feel compelled to start with a clean slate.

So, here is a brief list of things that piss me off:

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A Public Service Announcement

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Every now and then I feel moved to offer advice in situations where children are involved. I personally don’t have any children, but my own memories as a child occasionally provide insight as to why a particular course of action may or may not be a good idea.

For example, I once told a co-worker that her boyfriend-of-one-month’s reluctance to introduce her to his daughter probably was not a sign that he was ashamed of her. Rather, he might want to make sure their relationship was serious before bringing her into his daughter’s life.

My experience? As a child of divorced parents, I remember meeting several of my father’s girlfriends and really, really liking them, only to be crushed when they broke up a few weeks later.
So, here I am to offer some advice about raising children, based on my personal experience as a child:
Don’t force your very small child to watch a movie that’s obviously scaring the shit of them. Otherwise, your child will grow up to blame you for their bad subculture choices.

And now for my experience, just so you know I’m not talking out of my ass.

To start, let me just say that I love my mother, and at the end of the day, she was a pretty good parent. However, her one major screw-up resulted in me wasting my high school years as a Goth.
When I was a wee lass, my brother visited a friend who lived about an hour’s drive away from our home. Because he lived so far away that they couldn’t hang out more often, the plan was that my mother would pick my brother up late that night. Which meant I had to go with her, because no sane parent would leave their child alone for hours, and my mother was a sane parent (or so I thought). As a result, I got to stay up past my bedtime, since my mother rationalized that it would be easier to let me sleep in the car than putting me to bed, then waking me back up.

Also that night was the television premier of Aliens. My brother, being a stereotypical pre-teen male, really wanted to see it, but, as I said before, he was at a friend’s. That’s no problem in our house, though, because our mother is a SF-Fantasy junkie. (Seriously. She went to see X-Men all by herself not because she was even remotely familiar with the comic books, but because she heard the words “mutants,” “super-powers” and “Patrick Stewart” used in the same sentence). So, my mother decides to tape Aliens for my brother, and then sits down to watch it herself.

About two hours later, I’m that special kind of loopy that only comes from being really, really tired. Light-headed, cranky, maybe a little spaced out. I especially remember feeling that the hallucinations package was an option my brain was considering for the rock-bottom price of consuming another hundred calories of sugar.

Meanwhile, I was also pretty bored. So, I went to check out what my mother was doing.
My mother was in our finished basement with all the lights turned out, sitting—I shit you not—six inches away from the television. It was the scene where the camera focused on the alien queen, her mouth opens, the little tongue comes out and another mouth opens, all complete with slime dripping off every available surface.

This was the most disgusting thing I’d seen in my short life. So much so that I was convinced I was going to puke. I went to run into the laundry room to hurl in the sink, when my mother—without even looking at me—grabs my wrist and jerks me back to her side.

“No, watch it with me,” she whispered in a voice reminiscent of the demon in The Exorcist, her eyes bright with glee from the mayhem on the screen.

In that instant, my beloved mother became about a thousand times more scary than the film itself, the last fifteen minutes of which I was forced to watch, à la Alex in A Clockwork Orange.

Fast-forward about ten years. I am now a teenage Goth, full of piss and vinegar, convinced that I am where Humanity went wrong.

A friend and I decided the best way to freak out the Squares was to wander into the local Sharper Image (also, this was when the Sharper Image carried cool stuff, like little Porsche go-karts, instead of just the Ionic Air Purifiers and “personal massagers”). In the entryway was a life-sized statue of Giger’s Xenomorph, and that’s when it all came flooding back.

The Queen’s little tongue-mouth. Bishop ripped in half, snot-colored android guts spilling out of his torso. My mother’s Regan MacNeil impression.

And that’s when I realized I had been so mentally scarred that my brain and repressed the memory of a goddamn B-grade horror movie.

Meanwhile, I had coped with the trauma by turning myself into a pathetic little wanna-be vampire who really didn’t like herself all that much. I thought it was hormones, and I would just grow out of it like everyone promised, but no, my mother had done this to me.

My obsession with death and black lipstick and leather collars with spikes was all my mother’s fault.
As soon as I went home, I marched up to my mother and laid the accusation. How could she do that to me, her little baby girl?

“Well, I was scared.”

Babes In Toyland

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Some stories get their humor from a punch line, and some of them are funny just because of the situation.  This is one of those situational ones.

My friend, who I’ll call Josephine, is a really great person.  She’s generous, kind, intelligent, adventurous, interesting, and isn’t afraid to act silly once in a while.

Oh, and she’s extremely liberal.  Keep this in mind as we proceed.

A few years ago, I made the mistake of dragging Josephine into one of the local adult toyshops for shits and giggles.  After wandering around and joking about the displays, I finally realized that while I was just being an immature idiot, Josephine was truly embarrassed.  I was confused; this is a woman who’s been living in the gay district of an extremely liberal city for over ten years.  What’s the problem?  And that’s when it dawned on me that even ultra-tolerant, ultra-liberal people have comfort zones, and I’d shoved Josephine out of hers.  I immediately felt bad for putting her in such an uncomfortable situation, so we left and never spoke of it again.

About a month later, Josephine came over and made an announcement.  Namely, she had decided that it was time to get her first vibrator.  And she wants me to come.  This normally wouldn’t have bothered me, except it was less “I want to get a vibrator, and won’t it be fun for you to tag along,” and more “I am a fifty-two year old woman on her way to buying her very first vibrator, and there must be an experienced woman to witness this modern Rite of Passage.”

I guess in her mind, having the same BOB for a decade makes me the expert on all things that whir and jiggle, thus qualifying me for the position of “experienced woman.”

Now, the adult toyshop we went into before was one of those little boutiques designed to make people feel comfortable about getting off, turning their kink into a Lifestyle Choice.  In other words, the perfect place to take someone who’s not been all that sexually adventurous.

Apparently Josephine’s desire to liberate herself from the prison of sexual conservatism didn’t overcome her need to price-shop, because she wanted to go to the other adult toyshop.  The one with not just a wall of dildos, but a wall and three aisles.  And massive bins of porn with titles like “Virgin Brides IV” just thrown all together.  And an entire selection of lingerie that was in style back when beach balls were considered erotic.

You know, the skeevy one.

I, the “experienced woman,” am desperately trying to ignore the pasty-faced clerks quivering in fear and excitement at the prospect of not one, but two real women being within ten feet of them.  Meanwhile, Josephine, the inferred “inexperienced woman,” is bouncing around the store, loudly asking me things like why the DVDs are so expensive (“Um, they don’t exactly make their production costs back in ticket sales.”  “Oh, yeah.  I can see that.”)

And then I’m staring at the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen: The Rabbit Vibrator.

And it’s speaking to me.

“Look at me! ” it says.  “I’m so much better than that tired old thing you’ve been using for ten years.  I’ve got more buttons than a universal remote.  Push one, and watch me dance and sing! My shaft is double-jointed, with pretty shiny beads that run all through it.  I have a clitoris stimulator in the shape of an adorable little bunny.  And, I come in a wide array of colors perfect for matching your bedspread.

You want me.  I know you do.  Buy me.  Buy me, and you’ll never have to cruise bars looking for Mr. Right again, because I have been so skillfully engineered for your pleasure that I will RUIN YOU FOR MEN FOREVER. And then, World Domination!”

And Josephine is waving this thing under my nose, asking me if I think she should buy it.
“I dunno,” I reply, visions of Sinfest’s “The Matriarchy”

“Hm.  The floor model’s not working.  I think the batteries are dead.”

“It’s a vibrator, Josephine.  I’m sure it’s fine.”

“But I want to see if the action’s smooth.”

Josephine heads over to the service desk, where, like the competent professionals they look nothing like, the staff have batteries lying around for just such an occasion.  After playing with the Devil’s Prosthesis for a few minutes, Josephine decides it’s perfect and buys it.

Five seconds later, we’re out the door and on our way home.  She holds her head high, proud to have completely joined the ranks of the Modern Woman.  I, on the other hand, am dragging my feet in shame, my head hanging.  Apparently, I am not as ultra-tolerant, ultra-liberal as I thought.  I have shamed my fellow women.  The terrorists have won.

For five minutes.

I shrugged off my embarrassment and went back to work.  Now, every time I think about my reaction to vibrator-shopping with Josephine, I giggle like an idiot at my own hypocrisy.

Except when I think about The Rabbit.  Then I flinch.

The War Against Organized (Social) Crime

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

For those of you Skippy readers safely ensconced within the loving embrace of a military base, you may be unaware of a dangerous subculture that threatens our civilian way of life. That subculture, dear Skippy readers, is the Muffia.

The Muffia is a foul underworld organization, staffed by soulless Caucasian housewives so uniform in their upper-middle class mediocrity that a Stepford Husband would flinch in horror. Members of the Muffia (also known as ‘Muffiaso’) are convinced that they alone are the true paragons of femininity, espousing 1950′s rhetoric about a woman’s place being in the home while remaining totally incompetent in any of the “home arts”. They rule their families with iron fists, forcing their poor husbands to slave at the office for 60+ hours each week to support their designer label habit while reinforcing the stereotype that fathers who enjoy spending quality time with their children are secret pedophiles, and claiming that everything they do is “for the children”.

As each day passes, more harmless toys are kicked from the market, innocent television shows are ripped from the airwaves , and fathers become more confused about child-rearing. But we will not go down without a fight! Even as we speak, civilians risk their lives to take back those privileges the Muffia has claimed for itself.

My father is one such brave soul. A quiet man, he was raised to accept the status quo by humble, God-fearing Lithuanian Midwesterners. Yet even he could not stand idly by and watch the Muffia destroy all that is Wholesome and Good about America. This is his story, and I, as his beloved child, am proud to relate it here:

A few years back, I was visiting my family for Christmas. At some point, my stepmother asked my father to run to the grocery store for her. As there wasn’t a golf tournament to nap through that afternoon, he readily agreed and invited me along. Twenty minutes later, we were crawling up and down the parking lot rows, looking for a spot to park. At last, he spotted one, an ideal spot, not ten yards away from the doors to the grocery store. However, as we approached the spot, we realized that it was reserved. But, as we drew closer, we could see that it was not for the handicap, but for parents with children.

Yes, it was reserved parking for the Muffia, and, by coincidence, was on the verge of being claimed by one of its members.

With a strange glint of determination in his eye, my father gunned the engine and cut off the Muffiaso, stealing the spot from right under the nose of her minivan.

“But we can’t park here!” I protested, trembling at the thought of the Muffiaso’s wrath.

“In my day, we didn’t have special parking spaces awarded to us just because we reproduced,” he stated in a tone of voice I hadn’t heard since the Cookie Jar Incident.

I got out of the car, swallowing back a counter-argument about the substantial decrease in parking space size over the past two decades, and braced myself.

The tinted driver’s side window of the minivan rolled down, revealing the Botoxed visage of the Muffiaso.

“Excuse me, sir, but that spot has a Parent & Child Parking sign,” she whined nasally, while in the back seat we could see one tiny, innocent future victim of bad parenting gummed the lid of its Vera Wang sippy cup.

“Yes, I know. I’m a parent, and this is my child,” he explained, pointing to then-twenty-something me. The Muffiaso’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired makeup was not thick enough to conceal her rage, and her French manicured-talons were poised to rend the flesh from his body.

“Excuse me, sir,” she hissed, “but Parent & Child Parking spots are bigger to make it easier to get children out of cars.”

“Yes, I know,” replied my father, his tone still calm, “but my child is bigger than yours, and my car doesn’t have a sliding door like yours.”

“I can’t get into a regular spot!” she shrieked. “What am I supposed to do?”

My father pointedly looked at all the minivans in the lot not parked in Parent & Child Parking spots, then just as pointedly looked at the dents and scrapes on the Muffiaso’s vehicle.

“Well, you could always learn how to drive,” he suggested.

At which point we ran for it.