December 12, 2008

Laundromat Heaven

A few weeks ago I decided to change the comforter on our bed to my big, white, fluffy one--the one that doesn't fit in my washing machine. I grabbed the comforter and some detergent and headed to a new Magtag Laundromat* I had just discovered a few weeks before. I hadn't been in a Laundromat since my college days--a dim, dirty whole-in-the-wall place filled with grumpy people dressed in sweat pants and/or the last clean remnants of their closets.

I walked in after large automatic doors opened, as if I was entering a posh store. Inside were dozens of shiny new white machines illuminated by bright lights. There were huge LCD TVs hanging from the ceiling. There were benches, tables, and snack machines. There were smiling, happy people. Wow. Laundry heaven. I stood there, mouth agape, trying to figure out where to go when a guy walked up to me.

"First time here?" he asked.


"I could always tell. Whattya got there?" He peeked inside my laundry basket.

"Just a comforter," I said feeling somewhat inadequate for bringing such a humble load of clothes to such a nice Laundromat.

"Well, then use this one," he said while leading me to a washing machine. "It's large enough for that. Let me know if you need anything!" He smiled. What kind of Laundromat is this? I wondered. I would have had cleaner clothes in college if I had a place like this to go.

So I wandered over to the quarter machine by following the signs and got change. I came back and put $5 in the machine. Seemed pretty expensive, but Laundry God said I should use this machine and not the hundreds of other ones, so...

I put it in and pressed the button. A little window told me the cycle would take 19 minutes. Wow. Washing machines have come a long way since my college days. So I hung out for a while. I sat on a nearby bench for 11 minutes.

Then I noticed something in the washing machine window. I walked over and looked closely at my comforter. A dark stripe periodically flashed through the suds and water and it dawned on me: this wasn't the comforter I wanted to wash. I squatted where I was, looking into the window, trying to think of where I put the right comforter.


I looked up to see Laundry God's head surrounded by bright light. (Did I mention the Laundromat had nice lighting?) Then he laughed and laughed while a Laundry Apostle stood next to him. She laughed, too.

I realized how stupid I must have looked, mesmerized by spinning laundry like a cat following yarn.

"It's the wrong comforter," I tried to explain rattling off what seemed like random words in an attempt to appease Laundry God. "Stripe. Closet. White. Hurry. Wash."

So I returned with the right comforter the following day. No longer was I laundromat virgin. I walked in with purpose. (TVs? What TVs?) I knew where the change machine was and I headed right for it. I chose a different washing machine, not the anointed one--just because I could, so there--and put in my clothes. I smirked with confidence as I looked around for Laundry God. I needed to show him I knew how to wash laundry in his little Laundromat and that I didn't need his help. He obviously wouldn't have noticed me this time since I knew what I was doing...


I forgot detergent.

*Side note: Laundromat is always capitalized. When I worked as a copyeditor, I remember researching why it's capitalized (I thought it was a generic term and I think it looks stupid capitalized). The story is that it became a Copyright in the 1950's. Just thought I'd mention that.

December 08, 2008

Another American Friendship is Destroyed

Christmas is the Christian version of the Super Bowl. It's a time for fans to annoyingly brag and believe that they are the best and the only ones who matter. And if you don't like football, the painted faces and thrust index fingers exclaiming #1 are horribly aggravating. Most of the Christians I know keep their beliefs to themselves, but some like to remind me every chance they get of what their beliefs are and it has annoyed me for years. I try not to do that because I have a lot of respect for various beliefs, but I chose for once not to hide my lack of beliefs.

I should know better. I should know not to expect the same respect that I give to others regarding religious tolerance. I receive emails and forwards that explicitly speak of something I don't believe in, but I politely ignore them.

I sent a "Christmas Survey" out to a lot of my friends. I didn't stop to think of who I was sending it to, but judging by the responses I got to the following question, I should have eliminated those with a brain too small to understand my answer:

Question: Do you have a nativity scene?

My Answer: No. I don't celebrate Christmas that way because I'm not religious. I celebrate Christmas as a time to show the people in your life that you love and appreciate them and to see the peace that's possible in the world, no matter what your beliefs are.

I guess my all-should-respect-others hippie thinking when it comes to religion is a lot to ask for. My point was that no matter what you believe in or don't believe in, you should be able to do so without persecution. Silly me! After all, why should we respect others? Why should we think that there could be more than one way to look at things?

I'm glad she showed me what a true friend is...and why she shouldn't be considered my friend any longer.

There's nothing like a little anger and hate to remind you of the real reason for the season... ;)

December 05, 2008

Another American Family is Destroyed

I looked this up after reading my friend Jason's blog.

Here is a snippet from Lewis Black's HBO comedy special, Red, White & Screwed:

"Homosexuality is a threat to the family. Are you kidding me? How? No one ever explains it. How? It's not like there's a Jehovah's Witnesses of gaydom. 'Hi, we're here, we're queer, we're here, we're queer. I brought swatches! I brought swatches!'

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are a group of gay banditos who get into a van every day and wander from village to dell. And as night begins to fall, they go back into a suburban neighborhood to that cul-de-sac where only one house stands. And in the window this young American family is setting down to their first meal and these queers don their black cloaks and hoods and matching pumps--very tasteful--and they charcoal up their faces and sneak up to that house...and open the door...and START FUCKING EACH OTHER IN THE ASS!


Isn't that the funniest?

December 03, 2008

I Saw a Tool at Home Depot

I just got done with my outdoor Christmas decorations. Yes, it took that long. First I got a 6-outlet power stake with a timer that turned on at dusk. So I spent last night stringing lights along the ground on flimsy little plastic spikes after plugging them in to the timer. I was derailed when I lost a few plastic spikes (I found them with a flashlight), but I finally finished. I stood back to critique my work and then the lights went out. Then they came on. Then they went out. Then they came on.

I tapped on the living room window and yelled in to Dan, "Is Katie playing with the switch?" (My dad hooked us up with a switch on our outlet so we could turn the lights on and off without going outside.)

"No," he answered.

Then it dawned on me.

They turn on at dusk. My breathtaking lights were making it think it was daylight!

For some reason, it didn't turn off until I was completely done rigging them up. Frustrated, I turned off everything and went inside.

So today I went and got a new timer that turns on and off without a light sensor. So there, stupid timer.

I thought I was done but I realized I needed an adapter for my other set of lights, so off to Home Depot I went. Again. I was seriously beginning to question my need for outdoor lighting.

So I went to Home Depot by myself. I never know where anything is in that place, so I was wandering around aimlessly for a while. Then I remembered where the electrical stuff was, so I headed there. As I walked, I suddenly heard a squeak-ish, tap-ish sound and a loud "GASP!" to my left. I turned my head and saw Dan's father--who looked like he had stumbled upon a mountain lion or something. I just scoffed at him and kept walking. I kept walking and didn't look back but chuckled to myself. It's amusing that I could bring such fear into a grown man that he would feel like he has to scurry away from me.

The funny thing is that if he hadn't made such an awful "GASP!" sound and squeak his shoes from stopping, I wouldn't have even noticed him there.

Why was he so afraid of seeing me? The smartass I'm married to said it's probably because Home Depot has a lot of heavy objects that could cause physical damage if thrown and I have been known to throw objects at in-laws.

Hmmm...I guess I could picture myself wielding numchucks that I made out of nearby broomsticks.

I brought up the fact that the Home Depot was on my turf. Yes, I live in a West Side Story kind of universe where you don't cross into your enemy's territory. Home Depot is 2 miles from me and much further for him. I win.

Although I would have loved if I NEVER saw him again in my life (as I told him the last time I had contact with him two years ago), seeing that man made me feel powerful. I went and got my plug and all the while I was feeling victorious because I know that his failed relationship with his son is his fault. He and his family may have accused me of doing horrible things and think I ruined their family, but we both know the truth. That is why he shit his pants when he saw me and wanted to run away. That is why I smirked at him and laughed--because he's pathetic. That is why I blasted Pink's "So What" all the way home, singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs, laughing at my own little joke: "Guess what?/I'm having more fun/and now that we're done/I'm going to show you tonight/I'm alright/I'm just fine/and you're a tool."

Anyway, the plug fit and my lights are done. They shine brightly on a house filled with love. I'm alright and he's a tool.

December 02, 2008

Our DVD Collection

THIS is what our DVD collection is being used for these days: