My job gave all of the US offices the day off today and even though I am uncomfortable celebrating anything related to glorifying this strange and backward country right now, I am still happy to not have to go to work after volunteering to work yesterday’s holiday shift which exploded on me right out of the gates and I was pretty surly about that. So anyway, my point is, you would think that today’s Friday Five might actually be a good one since I’m home all day to write it but you better tuck that sentiment back into your pocket next to the Tic Tacs, Tammy Faye Bakker obituary, and severed toe because I am still just as disjointed and typo-prone as always!
- WET SIDEWALK
Hoo boy, last Tuesday I was in a real mood. I was power-walking some of the steam off around town on my lunch break and had just finished ranting to Henry about the people who won’t be invited to my G-Dragon Party (I never graduated middle-school, you know that, right?) when I had to pop into the post office to mail some orders because this is my everyday routine which is fine, I clearly live for going to the post office. There are three different ones around town that I split my services among because god forbid I should become a regular and they all have annoying things about them so better to be annoyed about different things than the same one over and over I guess.
On this particular day, I went to the one on the Northside which is annoying because the postal clerks sit behind protective glass and I can never tell which one is occupied or when it’s OK to come forth. And they are always super put out to have to do work but that’s fine, at least they’re speedy and all understand what a scan sheet* is.
*(The amount of postal clerks who scrunch up their noses when I hand them a scan sheet, say, “Yeah, this doesn’t scan for me” and then scan ALL OF MY ENVELOPES INDIVIDUALLY is….getting better, I’ll be honest, but there are still some stupid asses out there sporting the USPS emblem on their polos!)
I was annoyed right off the bat when I rounded the corner because the sidewalk in front of the post office was being repaved so I had to slalom around a path fashioned from yellow tape and orange cones. but whatever. I walked right past the cement guys and they didn’t say a word to me.
So I did my thing inside the post office and then called Henry back as I was walking out the door (TALKING ON THE PHONE INSIDE STORES, ETC IS RUDE) and thank god because he was able to witness one of the jackass cement guys yell, and I do mean, BELLOW, “DON’T STEP ON THE SIDEWALK!”
I hate being yelled at. I mean, who doesn’t, right? So this, how do you say, SET ME OFF. I stiffened and did this thing that I do where I get super loud and passive aggressive.
“THESE DUMB ASSHOLES LITERALLY JUST TOLD ME NOT TO WALK ON THE WET SIDEWALK LIKE I’M SOME KIND OF AN IDIOT. WHY THE FUCK WOULD I WALK ON A WET SIDEWALK WHEN IT’S CLEARLY BLOCKED OFF AND THEY ARE CURRENTLY LAYING THE CEMENT? WHAT FUCKING ASSHOLES!”
“They’re standing right there, aren’t they,” Henry asked rhetorically, with a sigh.
“MAYBE THAT CAN MANSPLAIN TO ME WHY I SHOULDN’T WALK ON WALK CEMENT,” I continued and Henry was like, “OMG please drop it” and so I walked away but I immediately experienced regret that I didn’t go back and slam my foot into their precious moist sidewalk but also I didn’t want to get cement on my shoe….
I just hate being yelled at by men. HATE IT. It makes me want to cull forth an army of Diva Cups and go full-blown reverse “Carrie” on them.
Then I started rattling off a list of all the men of AUTHORITY who have yelled at me and when I got to “and that fucking FBI agent,” Henry interrupted and calmly pointed out, ‘Yeah, but you made him flip his car over and nearly die, so…”
“HE DID THAT TO HIMSELF!” I screamed and then circumvented my wind tunnel of WOMAN SCORNED cursing onto our own Henry.
Then I purposely walked back to the post office, nearly causing myself to be late getting back to the office, just so I could take a picture of these douchebag women-haters who probably make their moms cry at the dinner table.
I went back there on Wednesday and there was a steady trail of shoe prints on their beloved sidewalk, and I could tell it was FROM A MAN.
Photo from A24
Last year’s “Hereditary” was one of the best horror movies I had seen in a really long time, so I have been eagerly anticipating Ari Aster’s second foray into the genre, and ever since I saw the first trailer for “Midsommar,” I was super amped. I love The Wicker Man (the original one from the 70s, bitch plz) and this looked like it hints of those creepy cult pagan themes. Horror movies that could really happen are definitely the scariest, in my opinion.
Chooch had no interest in seeing it so I was going to go by myself, but Henry was all, “OMG LET’S GO TOGETHER” and kept billing it as a date which was creepy in itself but whatever, I let him go with me even though I was like, “You’re just going to fall asleep” and “You’re not going to understand it!”
(Probably his least favorite thing of all the things I say.)
Henry actually did fall asleep but it was just while we were sitting there watching all the pre-previews bullshit and I was reminded of why I hate coming to the big theaters as I drank my $5 bottle of movie theater water and lamented the fact that it was being shown at the quaint, single-screen threater down the street from us which is where I see all of my horror movies, but whatever. It was fine. There were only 2 other couples there so at least I didn’t have to contend with rude movie-goers.
And it was 90 degrees outside so what a great reprieve!
OK, so I’m not wild about reviewing movies but I just want to say that this movie, while perhaps not EXCEEDING my expectations, at least lived up to the hype. To be able to take a movie that is filmed literally entirely in bright daylight and make me feel cold with dread, you are a master. And Ari Aster is just that – he juxtaposed blinding sunlight in a beautiful Swedish meadow with what could be deemed as gratuitous gore if done by anyone else, but in Ari’s hands, it was cinematic perfection and it added to the story. It wasn’t gore for the sake of shock value. It was more like, “Here is this thing that just happened and just so you know, this is what a person’s body would look like after that. Oh, and aren’t these flowers fucking beautiful? Sweden, man.”
I can see where the Wicker Man comparisons would arise, but it never felt like it was ripping anything off from that movie. It’s a modern take on ritualistic cult horror with moments of levity, haunting music/singing, and a subtle psychological study of human relationships that goes from a slow-burn into outright chaos.
I watched an interview the other day with Ari Aster where he says that this is more of a movie about a breakup and goddammit, it’s true.
When we were walking back to the car, I felt sick to my stomach and extremely uncomfortable, which was the same way I felt years ago when I watched Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, which is this really haunting Czech surrealist horror movie from 1970 that made me feel like I wanted to peel my skin off and hide in a dark hole somewhere.
The saddest part for me is that also in that same interview, Ari says that he won’t be making another horror movie for quite some time – DISLIKE.
This is definitely not a movie for everyone. If you like Jordan Peele’s take on horror, and if you thought “Hereditary” was a masterpiece that stuck to your brain-ribs like a hearty meal of meatloaf and family dysfunction, then you will likely walk out of the theater feeling satisfyingly disgusted and excited about the growth of a genre.
I’m obsessed and can’t wait for the Midsommar pins to drop.
This picture has nothing to do with anything but perhaps there is a market for pictures of Henry eating bananas because he is SO SUBCONSCIOUSLY SEXUAL ABOUT IT. I have a “Henry’s Sexual Banana Time” jingle that I sing every time he walks out of the kitchen, deep-throating one.
3. The Rice Krispie Treat
The weather has finally gotten hot and humid here in the ‘Burgh, not that I was excitedly anticipating it (the heat is fine but the humidity can go walk off a cliff with Taylor Swift). One day last week, it was particularly toasty out there so I decided to grab a Rice Krispies Treat from our snack table and take it to my favorite homeless lady. She is always sitting in a wheelchair on Liberty Avenue, usually outside of Images, and she is pretty friendly. She has complimented me on my coats and accessories numerous times over the years so if I have a dollar on me, I always make it a point to seek her out.
I passed Jeannie and Aaron in front of our building and tried to hide the Rice Krispies Treat behind my back, like they would even care if they saw it but I didn’t want to be like, “HELLO THIS IS FOR MY HOMELESS FRIEND” because it would be JUST LIKE Jeannie and Aaron to scrutinize the things I was carrying and then interrogate me about it because they live to make me uncomfortable, I swear to god. (Like, in a teasing sense, because they know how easily agitated and paranoid I can get.)
But I made it past them and my snack-hand went unnoticed.
On this particular day, my homeless friend looked pretty down and was definitely not her animated self. I started to hand her the snack and she waved it off. “Oh honey, I can’t eat that. My stomach hurts so bad, I can barely even keep down this water” and that’s when I realized that she didn’t just look like she was having an off day, she looked pretty sick. Even when I tucked a buck in her collection cup, she barely moved.
Look, my compassion only goes far, so I had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT. I nervously told her to take care of herself and then I ran away because I’m terrible when it comes to adversity.
But now, I was stuck carrying a Rice Krispies Treat in 95 degree heat, with no purse to put it in.
“Just throw it away,” Henry said when I frantically called him for advice.
This was a SITUATION, OK?
“I can’t throw away a perfectly good Rice Krispies Treat!” I cried, even though at this point, it was getting so soft from the heat that my fingers were starting to sink into it, wrapper and all, like a sweet, sticky cereal quicksand.
Is there porn that has a scene of guys sinking their dicks into a swimming pool-sized pan of Rice Krispies treats? Because there should be.
Henry would watch it.
Anyway, my backup plan was to find another homeless person to treat BUT THERE WAS NO OTHER HOMELESS PERSON ON MY ROUTE, for the first time ever! I guess the heat had them retreating underground, I don’t know, but none of the regulars were out. I did see this one older man sitting on the sidewalk with a service dog but I couldn’t tell if he was homeless and I didn’t want to offend him.
“He might just be a grifter,” was my exact play-by-play commentary to Henry, who, let me tell you, LOVES THESE AFTERNOON PHONE CALLS.
“Isn’t that the same thing as a homeless person?” Henry asked.
“No, I think it’s, like, a guy who ran away from his wife,” I said, giving Henry ideas BUT WAIT HE DOESN’T HAVE A WIFE.
Then all of these sidewalks were closed and I couldn’t go the way I wanted to go and I had to jaywalk, and this RICE KRISPIES TREAT was still in my hand, which was now cramping from holding it, and I cried to Henry, “WHY CAN’T ANYTHING JUST BE NORMAL FOR ME?!”
I ended up leaving it on a bench at the Point, but first I had to be all awkward and “pretend to sit on the bench” for a whopping 2 seconds so it didn’t look like I was just littering, and Henry was like, “I hope someone sees you leaving it there and returns it to you” and let me tell you, I would not have been shocked at all if that happened, because: my life.
4. Dinner with BARB
It’s so difficult to organize group dinners, even for just four people, but the stars aligned and Jupiter was sniffing Uranus at some precise moment, enabling Wendy, Jeannie, Barb and me to convene for dinner Wednesday night. We chose Proper and miraculously got a table after work. Jeannie and I walked over together and had enough time before Barb and Wendy showed up for Jeannie to peer pressure me into ordering some blood orange gin and tonic and I usually steer clear of gin ever since the time Psycho Mike and I took a whole bottle of gin from my Pappap’s basement bar and downed it on a hill in South Park and I SHOCKINGLY got SO SICK. So I usually avoid drinks with gin but Jeannie is convincing so we both ordered one and I was drunk before sipping even a quarter of it so you can imagine how I was feeling after slurping the last few drops.
Meanwhile, Barb had arrived and realized she left her glasses in the car so the waitress was like, “Oh, we have some cheaters behind the bar, BRB” and came back with a Moscow mule for the vision impaired.
Then Barb had to also turn the flashlight on her phone to help her see the menu and Wendy took that as her opportunity to hitch a ride on Barb’s poor eyesight train and get a good view of the menu. I can’t even laugh about it though because my eyesight is pretty terrible too.
Anyway, we had such a nice dinner! Group dinners can usually be chaos, with numerous people vying for a piece of the conversation spotlight, but I think 4 is a good number and we’re a really good mix! I’d like to think that no one walks away feeling left out afterward, and I just wish we could do this more regularly! I barely see Barb anymore and Jeannie is so busy at work that even though I see her everyday, we don’t get to talk very much! I can’t shake Wendy, though. (Just kidding, Wendy! You’re the best!)
Barb dropped me off afterward and it’s a good thing too because I was pretty drunk! I may have walked off the trolley platform if I tried to take the T home. Henry was just like, “WTF, seriously?” when I came into the house and then spent the rest of the night making sure I didn’t fall and hit my head.
Jeannie even texted me the next morning to see if I was hungover. NO, I WAS NOT.
Man, I cannot drink liquor anymore!
5. Summer Breakfast Club Week #4!
I love Summer Breakfast Club! Luckily, since I had the day off of work today, we were able to breakfast-it-up this week. I wouldn’t have been able to do it yesterday since I was working. :( Originally, Henry thought he was also going to have today off so Chooch and I had a secret huddle to discuss whether or not we should invite Henry, and if so, if we should go somewhere outside of our walking radius. But then Henry had to work so it was moot.
We were originally going to walk to this diner in Mt. Lebanon, Simone’s, because they have crepes, but Chooch got REALLY BAD SUNBURN on Monday because he’s a moron and did a piss-poor job applying sunscreen at the pool and then NEVER REAPPLIED even though I told him to (I wasn’t with him) and he also completely forgot to put any on his face, so he is a fucking mess right now. He’s finally past the shivers/fever/pain stages, but now he’s advanced to the “does that kid have a skin deformity?” stage of peeling, and it’s especially bad on his face because he had literal blisters so his face is like tri-colored right now. He looks like Freddy Krueger’s half-human son, and decided that he didn’t want to walk all the way to Mt. Lebanon looking like this (hello, teenage vanity) so we kept it local and went to Tom’s Diner which is always fine with me because I have never had a bad meal or service at Tom’s. It’s a classic! And if you go during the day, chances are the same older lady waitress will be there and she kind of reminds me of if Reba McIntyre was from Greece, maybe? I think that is what he accent is?
Then we spent the whole time googling sunburn remedies on our phones which culminated in Chooch insisting that he needs a mortar and pestle so that he can grind Aspirin into a paste and spread it on his skin.
I bet those weirdo Swedish cult members have excellent sunburn remedies.