Tag Archives: end of the world

When the future seems too cucumbersome

The other day, my 4-year-old daughter came tearing through the house, her tangled hair flying wildly all around. She slammed to a stop in front of me, her eyes wide and bright, and promptly shoved two strange green objects directly into my face. 

“MOM! We got gherkins!”

“Wow, that’s amazing, baby,” I said while internally giggling because gherkin has always sounded like a dirty word to me since it rhymes with merkin and deep down I am forever 13-years-old.

“We’re going to eat like cakes tonight!” she proudly declared.  

“Or maybe like kings,” her 6-year-old brother deadpanned. 

“EAT LIKE CAKES!” she bellowed excitedly again while running manically around in circles with the gherkins held high above her head.

The point of this adorably heartwarming story? My family has successfully gardened. Like some kind of coven of dirt wizards. We took a bunch of tiny seeds and stuffed them haphazardly into the ground and remembered to water them like three times but mostly ignored them and BEHOLD. We have grown our own food! Well, gherkins. And cucumbers, which are technically food even though they taste like water that is whispering the word “lawn.” We also successfully grew some sunflowers, so if you are ever in the mood for a pickle and cucumber salad sprinkled with sunflower seeds, come on over. But hurry. I only have enough for like three of you. Maybe two and a half. Also the lettuce never sprouted, or the tomatoes. Or the dozen other seeds we stuck into our much too small gardening box so they had to fight for survival Mad Max-style. The pumpkins thrived for awhile but then got a fungus or something according to the half-hearted Googling I did. 

Anyway, back to the point. 

There is one. 

I’m assuming. 

We’ll see.

Anyway, all in all, it weren’t too shabby for our first time gardening, if I do say so myself. (You can read about how it all began here). In fact, all this successful mastery over the land makes me wonder what else I could learn to do for myself. You know, if civilization eventually collapses or something (not that it will *hysterical laughter hysterical laughter hysterical laughter tiny sob*). I mean, I read “Little House on the Prairie” as a kid. And “Hatchet.” And spent an entire summer obsessed with “The Island of Blue Dolphins.” AND I’ve seen the 1985 Canadian made-for-TV-movie “Anne of Green Gables” starring the inimitable Megan Follows no less than 140 times. I’m practically a pioneer woman already.

All you really need are the basics. And there’s, what, like only four or five of them, right? 

For instance, food. BOOM. Done. Pretty much mastered. 

Oxygen? Already know how to use it. Next. 

Shelter? This one does seem a bit more involved. And possibly out of my league. Mostly because of the paperwork involved. I can likely figure out four walls and a roof and a massive walk-in closet. But I’ll probably have to get a permit or something. Something will likely have to be notarized. Which sounds like a whole thing. Also I don’t have money. Maybe I’ll just keep renting for the moment.  

Now clothes on the other hand, that I know I can handle. I’m old enough that I was forced to learn to sew by public educators. Of course, I only learned how to sew one thing so my family will all be wearing ill-fitting shorts that fall unflattering just below the knee. But they WILL be clothed. Partially. 

And, perhaps most importantly of all, alcohol. Because if the apocalypse does come, and I somehow manage to survive, I cannot make small talk with a bunch of smug doomsday preppers while sober. So, let’s see, I’d need grapes for wine, potatoes for vodka, hops and barley(?) and wheat(?) and organic carbonization(?) for some craft beer. All of which I assume you just mash up together and wait a hot minute and it magically turns into quality libations. 

So, see? We’re all going to be fine. FINE. Just fine. If my family can make it, so can yours. 

But, just as a back-up plan, please vote this November.  

It’s the end of the world as the Mayans know it

Even though technically I’m writing this before the supposed end of the world on Dec. 21, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that we didn’t all meet our fiery doom simply because the Mayans got lazy with their math homework. And if I’m wrong, well, pffft…what are you going to do about it? Judge me? Shove it in my face? You’re freaking dead.

But even though this prophecy is complete bunk (unless, again, I’m wrong, in which case, who cares because I doubt there is an Internet comment section in the afterlife…unless you end up in Hell where you are forced to read “c0mn3ntz buY peepz wh00 truely h8 da Englesh langwuid” all day), it does have the interesting effect of making one reflect back on their life. This is also amplified by the fact that we are staring straight into a bright, shiny new year, which always casts a magical spell on us and makes us promise to do things we actually never, ever intend to do.

So, with this in mind, I’ve been wondering how my life has stacked up so far.

Childhood? Happy. Or, at least as happy as any childhood can be in a world where wearing floral leggings in fourth grade will get you the nickname “Petunia Butt.” And, sure, I still had to deal with bullies and insecurities and childhood fears (I’m still convinced those troll dolls from the ’80s come alive at night) and boo-boos and disappointments (ahem…Kent Blackford likes me but doesn’t “like” me like me) and that horrible process of trying to figure out your place in the world. But at the end of the day, I always knew I was loved.

Adolescence? Ugh. Let’s just say it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Or better yet, if we take out the years 13 through 15 (and any and all photos taken during that period), it was actually pretty damn good. Although there was some pretty awful poetry produced in the remaining years.

College? Two degrees. No STDs. Sixty percent of memories still retained. So, overall, successful.

Career? Currently not where I want to be. I mean, I never really achieved my 7-year-old self’s dream of being a model-doctor-marine biologist-author-female Indiana Jones. But I did become a writer and a journalist, my 15-year-old self’s dream. I’ve seen my byline in multiple newspapers, including the Boston Globe, won some awards and was once told by an 87-year-old woman that I was funnier than Carol Burnett, which, let’s be honest, is by far the best compliment one can receive. I even achieved my goal of becoming a paid photographer, my 25-year-old self’s dream. Sure, I still haven’t written that book that is destined to make me rich (or at least get me out of the Ramen Noodle bracket of the middle class) or become syndicated yet, but the fact that I often write currently for publications for free proves that I really am doing what I love.

Love life and other grown-up relationships? My husband tells me I’m beautiful when I just woke up and resemble Wednesday Addams (both in looks and attitude), my family supports me to an embarrassing degree, my in-laws are straight out of some magical Hallmark Christmas movie and my friends, both life-long and recent and everything in-between, are the new, improved Algonquin Round Table.

Hmm…somehow I thought this post would be more cynical. But as it turns out, when you reflect on your life, somehow the good always outshines the bad. Which leads us to the most important question of all:

What would I do if I knew in advance it was my very last day on Earth and that I would shortly be forced to read the worst, most ignorant comments the Internet has to offer for the rest of eternity?


Or more specifically, the same thing I can be found doing on any average Saturday. Cooking breakfast with my husband, yelling at the dog, talking to my mom and cousin on the phone, heading into the city and stopping for a beer at some dive bar and at the end of the day, writing it all down.

Because, as it turns out, it’s in the every day that the magic of life lives.

The Zombie Apocalypse is worse than we thought

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but the fact there has been an influx of news stories about people eating other people’s faces and cooking their roommate’s large intestine with onions and a nice herb butter is the least of our worries. It has come to my attention that this whole looming zombie war has taken on a thoroughly horrifying new turn.

It all started last week when upon innocently entering the kitchen, I was assaulted by what can only be described as a giant, icky, furry, black, gross, evil, huge, nasty, hideous, monstrous, hairy, possibly more dark brown than black, gigantic, dirty, sneaky, ugly, beastly minion of Satan hellbent on the destruction of humanity. Or, in other words, a big-ass spider. And by assaulted, I mean he was on the kitchen wall, moving three inches to the right and then two inches up and than four inches back left before sitting in the same spot for five minutes and starting the whole pattern over again.

But trust me, he was plotting his vicious assault on my face, which he could have initiated AT ANY POINT.

Naturally, I did what any idiot with a crappy computer and spotty Wifi that they’re stealing from the guys across the street would do, which was to throw on my spider-killin’ gear– my husband’s thickest boots and his motorcycle helmet (which is ANOTHER blog entirely…SPOILER ALERT: We don’t own a motorcycle), and oven mitts, one of which was clutching a bottle of Febreze and the other a flip-flop– and prepare myself mentally for a lengthy battle.

An hour later, I was still standing in the furthest corner of the kitchen away from the arachnid-occupied zone, tracking the enemy’s movements and trying to stifle my scaredy-girly screams every time it moved more than six inches at a time so the neighbors would stop calling the police (out of a genuine concern I might be getting murdered, I’m sure).

Realizing how ridiculous this was (but probably not as much as I should have), I began my attack, spraying it down with Febreze while emitting a high-pitched squeal that set off every single dog in the neighborhood to barking. Unfortunately, this failed to actually kill it (but did make it smell amazing) and so in a Hail Mary tactic, I flung the flip-flop at it, which knocked it off the wall and onto what I’m assuming is the stairs in the kitchen that lead to the basement.

I say “assume” because I refused to actually double-check if it was dead and consequently haven’t gone down to the basement since (despite the fact the washer and dryer is down there…although this could eventually become a problem considering I’m currently down to my last pair of giant, old lady undies).

It should have ended there. But then three days later, lo and behold, I encountered ANOTHER giant, icky, furry, black, gross, evil, huge, nasty, hideous, monstrous, hairy, possibly more dark brown than black, gigantic, dirty, sneaky, ugly, beastly, minion of Satan hellbent on the destruction of humanity, big-ass spider.




This time, I decided to change up my battle plan and try to kill it with my Swiffer Sweeper (leaving a wide berth between me and it so the chances of it jumping on my face and brutally devouring said face were lessened). I nailed him on my first try but unfortunately, the idea that we were both touching the same object made me immediately drop said Swiffer onto the stairs below.

Having learned my lesson, however, I did timidly peer down the steps to see if I could locate the spider’s mangled corpse but then a loose hair from my head tickled my upper arm and I ran screaming out the house, a cartoon cloud of dust left in my wake.

Now all of this could just be a coincidence or, if my worst nightmare has come true, we have a nest of spiders somewhere in the house. It could be…except…

TODAY there was ANOTHER giant, icky, furry, black, gross, evil, huge, nasty, hideous, monstrous, hairy, possibly more dark brown than black, gigantic, dirty, sneaky, ugly, beastly, minion of Satan hellbent on the destruction of humanity, big-ass spider.




Which coincidentally is RIGHT BESIDE THE KITCHEN.

I hate to think this, let alone say it, but [glances nervously back and forth] I think [lowers voice to frantic whisper] it’s all the same SPIDER!

Think about it! They all looked exactly THE SAME! They were all hanging out in the same relative AREA! I never found any of the actual dead spider BODIES! And every three days, it would RE-APPEAR! (like JESUS!!!).

While I don’t want to alarm anyone, I think we need to stop focusing so much on what to do to prepare for an attack of human zombies and instead start stockpiling and training for the spider zombie apocalypse that is evidently already here. Cause, yeah, sure, human zombies want to eat your still living flesh and suck your brains out of your skull, but spider ZOMBIES!? They are wicked icky and gross and move weird and are stupid and ugly and I hate them.

So, I think we can all agree which one is worse.

Alas, it may already be too late.

It may already be too late.

A new year, a new me…at least until Thursday

Sooooo…you may have noticed that I never finished my Christmas countdown. And I have one very good reason:

My family sucks.

Unfortunately, they suck in that functional family way, giving me unconditional love, support and other touchy-feely crap. Awesome if you like to be mentally stable. Horrible if you’re a humor writer. So, when I drove home for Christmas, it was like a Norman Rockwell painting, only with more booze (which actually made it way better than a Norman Rockwell painting). And, come on, no one wants to read about my brother and I playing Uno with grandma, my mom and I “cooking” but really drinking martinis and my husband showering me with affection.


They couldn’t even muster up one single condescending “so, are you ever going to get paid for your writing?” quip or snide “where the hell are my grandbabies?” comment.

So, I stopped the countdown. But you know what? It’s a new year. Out with the old and in with the snarky. Because I think we can all agree that 2011 was overstaying his welcome, what with all the natural disasters, civil unrest and hogging the remote while eating all our Triscuits.

But now it’s 2012, a bright new shiny year full of wonderful new opportunities and bright new shiny predictions of a fiery and violent end of the world as we know it.

For those of you who haven’t heard because you’ve been too busy fist pumping your brain cells away (I’m assuming this only includes the cast of “Jersey Shore”), the Mayans made this wicked long calendar back in the day and it ends on Dec. 21, 2012, thus making a certain portion of the population believe the Mayans knew the world would end on that date. Personally, I think it’s much more likely the Mayans just decided to blow off the rest of their math homework. But the theory does have some credible evidence behind it. I mean, according to the “official” Dec. 21, 2012 website, both Britney Spears AND Montel Williams are among the supposed celebrity believers, so…yeah…

But, BUT, if it is true, forget the future worries of a horrific death of all living creatures. This brings up a much more immediate concern. For days, I have been trying to come up with my New Year’s resolutions. And I have to tell you, I am downright stumped. I mean, if this is my last year on earth, I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend it getting organized, being nicer to people and finally losing those pesky extra five pounds (OK, fine! 10! Not that it matters. Just more for the apocalypse to love).

For example, if the world is going to end, one of my resolutions is to stop paying my rent and then use the money to go on an exotic trip. By the time the landlord goes through all the proper channels to get me kicked out, we’ll all be dust (as will my rental, actually, thus making rent moot). HOWEVER, if the world does not end, that means I will be homeless.

Likewise, if the world is going to end, I fully intend on eating bacon and drinking Scotch for breakfast every morning. But if Dec. 22 does dawn, that means I’m probably destined to die a painful and disease-riddled death at age 37.

It’s a very delicate balance here. I want to live it up during my last year of existence, but I can’t discount the fact that every single other prediction of the end of the world has been…hmm…how to put this…100 percent wrong. So for days I’ve been stuck weighing the possible repercussions of my potential resolutions. Such as:

Finally buy that pet monkey and name him Winston/Be stuck changing Winston’s diaper for, like, 40 years or however long those wretched creatures live.

Finally tell my high school nemesis how I really feel and how stupid her face is/Spend the rest of my days avoiding her both online and in person.

Stalk, kidnap and force Ryan Reynolds to make out with me on a daily basis/Have a very awkward conversation with my neighbors about how I am now classified as a “sex offender.”

Don’t bother with voting because it won’t really matter or change anything/Don’t bother with voting because it won’t really matter or change anything.

Finally let my husband buy that 72-inch HD plasma flatscreen with pixel-something or other so we can watch the world burn on CNN in crystal clear clarity/Live inside the box the TV came in in some scary alley behind what used to be our house.

Don’t bother buying Christmas gifts for anyone/Be stuck shopping on…(shudder)…Christmas Eve where my chances of being trampled to death inside Kohl’s is fairly high.

Like I said, this year is a particularly difficult year for resolutions. Luckily, if personal history is any indication, I’ll forget and/or give up on all of them soon.

But just in case, Ryan, if you are reading this, you might want to invest in more bodyguards. Soon.