The Very Worst Thing – Monday November 30th

3777809806_177962b51cWhen the toilet stopped up I wasn’t too worried at first. It had happened before and eventually it succumbed to gravity after an hour or two. But this time things seemed a bit stubborn. I eyed the plunger as I kept trying to flush the toilet clear. “Ok,” I said to the long yellow handled device “I’ll give you your turn.” My more manly roommate was gone for the day, and a deep rooted psychological response made me prickle with terror that he’d arrive home any minute. So I called my mom.


In her typical calming way, she asked exactly what was wrong with the plumbing. I explained that it was clogged through normal use. She was unflustered and told me to plunge the toilet and the clog would go down. At 1:40 pm I said, “Ok Mom, I’ll give it a whirl. It won’t overflow right?”


“Haha,” she said “No. Don’t flush it, just keep patiently plunging.” We exchanged affections and I hung up. I walked back towards the one bathroom tucked into the corner of the tiny apartment my roommate and I shared. The floor was crammed with a waste paper basket, a scale, a box of old grooming products, a magazine rack full of SEED, National Geographic, Harpers, and the National Enquirer. I picked up the plunger and aimed it at the toilet.


At first I couldn’t get the right angle. I kept turning my wrist until I found the sweet spot and plunged slowly three times. The toilet gurgled encouragingly. Then the waters began to rise. Organic debris caught in the eddies of the powerful toilet water, which rushed towards and immediately over the rim. I began screaming. I screamed swear words that only people in prison know. Words came out of my mouth that immediately made my hair fall out. I stared in horror, paralyzed, as blue water poured out of the toilet like a faucet from hell.


The creamy tiles of the bathroom floor were covered instantly in toilet water and matter. Magazines, shaving cream and a sneaker floated past, carried by the flood to the deepest part of the bathroom. At 1:46 pm I called my mom again. She answered the phone: “How’d it go honey?”


onmyfloorsh*twaterahhhhhhfff*****CCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK.” I said.


“Where is your roommate?” She asked breathlessly. My roommate. He was going to walk in the door, whistling innocently, unaware that he was about to be confronted by two inches of toilet water and a completely hysterical poor lucky me. I’m talking about 1880′s corset-and-bustle-fan-waving-near-fainting-hysterical me.


A word about my hysteria: I’m not completely laid back but have been known to be slightly useful in an emergency. But when one is confronted by the sight of a previously clogged toilet spewing murky blue water in proportions that bring to mind the sinking Titanic, one has no choice but to go completely f*cking insane. I assume this is a primordial reaction that has aided in human evolution. There are some things that have to be hard wired into our fear centers, or we never would have gotten out of the cave.


The door opened as I filled a third garbage bag with paper towels and soaked bathroom accessories. My eyes rolled wildly and my throat was parched from keening. My roommate assessed the situation in a moment. “I’ll call the maintenance guy” he said.


My nervous system zinged back from humiliation to frantic self survival. “No! I can’t let anyone step in here until I’ve cleaned it and bleached it! Anyone who steps in here will be contaminated! CONTAMINATED” He nodded and set up a system to quickly bring cleaning products in and waste out.


When the maintenance guy arrived I had to hunch behind the couch as he and my roommate discussed the origin and tenacity of the clog. I imagined what I would tell the psychiatrist I would surely have to visit for the rest of my life as a result of this. I wondered if Freud had ever written an essay on having to sit in another room after overflowing a toilet while two grown men have a calm chat over how to clear the drain. I hoped that powerful drugs were available to survivors of such an event.


After a few more minutes I heard the squirt of the bleach spray bottle. The maintenance guy was gone. My roommate was on his hands and knees giving the bathroom another bleach once over. “It’s ok,” he smiled “you can tell people I did it.”

Managing Expectations for the Greatest Movie Ever – Friday November 27th

DF Int One SheetLook, I don’t want to be one of those people who tells you that I’ve seen THE BEST MOVIE and you HAVE to see it because it’s SO AWESOME. Then you get all excited and go see it and feel at least slightly let down because you were expecting a quality level like Star Wars meets The Godfather meets Paths of Glory meets Old School meets Deer Hunter. Then I feel defensive because you didn’t have the same passionate reaction that I did. I even start to wonder if we really have that much in common if you didn’t think the movie was as kick ass as I did. Things get awkward between us because you keep making a joke about how I exaggerate and probably think that Space Balls was the best movie ever and I kid that you went to Rome and saw the Colosseum and thought “Meh. It’s old.”


But this time it’s different. I’m going to be careful, I’m not going to overdo it. I’ve done breathing exercises to rid my brain of hyperbolic terms and try and keep calm.


It’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.


I enjoyed it so much I would go back and see it again at a crowded theater. On a Saturday night. I would wait in line and sit in crumby seats next to teenagers who alternate between cooing at the screen and making out furiously.


Did I talk it up too much? I won’t say anything else. I just hope you like it as much as I did, because if you don’t I’ll wonder about our relationship.

A True Story – Thursday November 26th

At Dominicks; Thanksgiving Day.


Poor Lucky Me
: Excuse me, can you tell me where to find the 7 Layer dip?


Dominick’s Employee: (Blank Stare)


PLM: Er, like the Taco dip?


D.E.: Oh we don’t have anything like that here. We have salsa, and pico de gallo. Also, we have this 5 layer dip. No 7 Layer dip though.


PLM: Ok. I’ll take that.

Reformed Insomniac Questions New Found Sleep – Wednesday November 25th

unknownDear Poor Lucky Me,


I’ve always had trouble sleeping- ever since I can remember I’d be up at 3am for at least two hours. It’s maddening. I’ll be very very tired but unable to fall asleep. I’ve tried a lot of natural methods and even delved into the scary world of prescription sleep aids. Nothing helped.


Then this fall I got the blues. It’s not because of anything really, I’m just sad a lot. I think it’s chemical.


Well the exciting news is that now I can finally sleep all the way through the night! Physically I feel better than I have in my whole life. I’ve even lost a few pounds! It really feels like a miracle.


My question: Do you think depression is a fair trade off for a full night of sleep?


Finally Refreshed


Dear Finally Refreshed,


If your blues are cyclical and you know you’ll come out of it eventually, I definitely think it’s a fair trade. Sadness gets such a bad rap. It’s like after 1950 everyone in America decided that if they weren’t insanely happy all the time there was something wrong with them. Sadness and angst are so visceral- they make you see your world differently. Remember how keenly alive you felt in junior high when a love went unrequited? Or the terror you felt before asking some one on a date? Those self-centered adolescent years when I was in a constant state of angst contained some of the most exhilarating times of my life. Happiness is fun, but it’s not the only game in town.


Sleep, on the other hand, is one of my favorite hobbies. When I’m in a position of global power, I’m going to lobby to change the hours of expected sleep from 8 hours to 12 hours. Sometimes on the weekends I challenge my dog to a sleep off. We both get on the bed and see who can sleep longer. The loser has to make the winner sandwiches. It’s not completely fair though because she makes the worst sandwiches. I mean don’t tell her I said so but American cheese? Ugh. And I don’t like meat combos- Turkey and roast beef in the same sandwich? Yuck. Sometimes I throw the contest so I can make the classic grilled chicken and cheese on a baguette.


Poor Lucky Me

Commitment-Phobe Adds Math To Subtract From Relationship- Tuesday November 24th

3088780713_f631c9e901Dear Poor Lucky Me,


Hi. I needed great courage to reach out to you about an issue that has been plaguing me.


Third grade was a difficult year for me. At eight years old I got a D in Math. It wasn’t just a regular D though, it was a D obtained by enduring hours of taunting and psychological trauma. During the timed math tests- remember the ones with 100 questions, and everyone raced to finish- I would always be last. The teacher would tell the children that everyone had to sit quietly while I finished my test. It was torture. All those eyes staring at me, all those little brains composing mean names to call me at recess.


The thing is, I’m still haunted by people pressing me about timing. That’s why I don’t want to propose to my girlfriend- she’s always like: It’s time to get married, we’ve dated for 8 years. But all those numbers and mentions of time just wig me out.


You get me right? You understand that I can’t be pushed right? Because of the Math thing?


Scared Squared


Dear Scared Squared,


I remember those timed tests all too well. Row upon row of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and worst of all division. I still have nightmares about division. Like I’m a subject in a science lab and I can’t take a breath unless I solve a division problem. I’m gasping and choking and the scientists are yelling “Twenty Eight divided by four!!! Twenty Eight divided by four”. Then it turns into this weird sex dream with Lou Farrigno. Those tests were bad news.


In regards to your relationship: no one should be pushed into getting married. On the other hand: are you sure you’re not channeling your childhood math trauma to stave off committing to this woman?


You have to be really honest with yourself here, and then be really honest with your girlfriend. We can use calculators now, so you have nothing to worry about as long as you’re truthful.


Poor Lucky Me

Dear Readers,
A strange thing has started happening in my apartment building. Almost every Friday and Saturday, between 4-5 in the morning, some one starts knocking on the door across the hall from my apartment.

The knocks are polite at first. Tap. Tap. Tap. Sometimes I hear a stage whispered “Heeeeeeeyyy”. But the person becomes more insistent. Pounding fists give way to kicking. The kicking gets so hard that it rattles the owners door knocker. Then abruptly, the door opens. No one apologizes. I can’t hear any explanation. The door opens, the offending visitor is let in, and we all pretend nothing is amiss.

My greatest frustration is that because of the angle of the door, I can’t see who’s rapping on the door from my peephole. I’m too weirded out to open the door and check out what’s happening. And I’m way too cowardly to fling open my door and yell “Shut the hell”. Also I wear unpredictable sleep-ware: I’m not always in a state to be seen by strangers. I don’t feel right taping a note on this person’s door, and I don’t feel right about complaining to the building manager without confronting the resident.

Should I switch to full length pajamas and go bananas on these fools next Friday night? I think my temper has simmered just enough.

What would you do?

Poor Lucky Me

List – Monday November 23nd




10 Things That Make Me Anxious While Dining At A Restaurant


1. Being seated near the bathroom, kitchen, bus station or front door.


2. Being perceived as high maintenance when I refuse to sit near the bathroom, kitchen, bus station or front door.


3. Not being sure if I’ve clearly conveyed to my server that I’m cool, because I used to be a server too.


4. Anticipating the water up-sell: “Would you like sparkling water, still, or tap” (read: tap is for turds)


5. Sending the server away because I’m not ready to order then fretting and fretting that they won’t come back.


6. Wondering if the server likes me, thinks I’m funny, and is impressed by my knowledge of vernacular like “86′ed” and “four-top”.


7. Watching a bar-tender handle cash then garnish my drinks without washing his hands. Wondering if the bar-tender has ever been to a strip club or watched “Locked Up Abroad”. If he did he’d know that cash and food should not touch each other.


8. Calculating how dim the lights are on the Low Lights = Unclean Dining Area scale. Calculating how much it really matters to me if I’m waiting for Truffle Fries or Lobster Mac and Cheese. Realizing it doesn’t matter to me as much as I know it should.


9. Getting up to go to the bathroom, not paying attention and smashing into a server who’s carrying two bowls of Linguini Vongole. He goes down, the pasta’s everywhere, then the busboy rushes over to try and help and he slips, tries to grab a table to steady himself and crashes to the ground pulling the entire contents of the table behind him. The server and the busboy are on the ground, moaning and clutching their backs, there’s food and broken dishes covering the floor. Everyone in the restaurant is looking at me. I still desperately have to go to the bathroom.


10. Telling a joke loudly to be heard over the din of a busy dining room then dropping the punch-line-essential F-word just as the room quiets down inexplicably for a moment.

First Impressions: 2012 – Friday November 20th

3749997268_d437ec3609I am really intregued by the previews for the movie 2012. I went through a phase where I watched all the 2012/Mayan Calendar/Mega Disaster shows on the National Geographic and Discovery channels.


If you watch enough science shows about mega-earthquakes and mega-tsunamis you can overcome the need to sleep all the way through the night forever! You will have so much more time on your hands to worry about how well-stocked your bomb shelter is. My bomb shelter is full of Effen Black Cherry Vodka, Cool Ranch Doritos, Super pretzels and Nacho cheese, and cyanide pills. I figure any disaster that would make me wait in the bomb shelter long enough to get sick of this fine spread isn’t going to be something I want to survive.


Anyway, the point is I can’t wait to see 2012. I’m assuming at some point Cusack will call upon his classic “Say Anything” acting style and Amanda Peet – a known badass – will karate chop someone. I’ve watched all the trailers and teasers I can find and there’s clearly a place that will save the family from doom. I just can’t figure out where their destination is if the ground is detaching from the earth’s core. Are they flying to a special sky city? I think I would have seen a show about that on NatGeo if it already existed. I saw the one about the floating city. And will John Cusack and Amanda Peet fall back in love?? I hope so, because a disaster movie without love is like cheese-fries without the cheese.


Because I’m phobic about strange crowds and annoying people, I may have to wait to see this movie when it comes to my local video store. Or maybe I could take a sick day from work and see a matinee. Really, I could take the day off to see the movie and cite religious reasons. I don’t believe in the apocolypticism that was used for 2012, but I am really paranoid.

Let The Holidays Begin! – Thursday November 19th

2060541012_bcc660e2d3Dear Poor Lucky Me,


Help! Thanksgiving is practically tomorrow and I am completely unprepared. I’m running out of time so I will get right to the point:


1. Money is crazy tight this year so I thought I would hunt a turkey rather than buy a frozen one at the store. Do you recommend bow hunting (I’m thinking this would be cheaper) or using a hunting rifle?


2. I love deep fried anything. How hard it is to oil boil a turkey? Other than a fire extinguisher (stolen!) is there any other special equipment I will need?


3. I’ll be frank: Small children, nay, all children annoy me after about five minutes. Can you please tell me how to gently word an invitation that says leave the kids at home but bring whiskey?


Thanks Poor Lucky Me.


Tom Turkey


Dear Tom Turkey,


Tough economic times call for tough food gathering measures. Your ingenuity should be lauded by your friends and co-workers. Turkeys are scary looking beasts though. I imagine the stronger, more delicious ones could peck your eyes out in five seconds flat.


According to hunting a turkey is very difficult. I didn’t read the whole article, but maybe once they spy your drunk ass hiding behind a tree they use their wings and talons to rain holy terror upon you. Actually, I just went back and read more of the article. It turns out that using a blind to hide from your target can be great fun for new hunters and children. Using a series of gobbles, clucks and purrs, you lure the unsuspecting turkey towards you. I guess he thinks that you’re insane, so he’s not too scared. Then you try and bust an arrow in him.


Check with your local hunting laws first, but why not just set up some booby traps. Like throw some corn in a hole and when the turkey goes to check it out chuck a hand grenade in there. It won’t be pretty, but you’ll definitely have a dead turkey. Then you can scoop up what’s left and easily fry it in oil. Voila!


Children are a lot like raccoons: it seems like a good idea to invite them into your house but the next thing you know they’re rooting through your garbage, releasing their scent glands, and unpredictably defecating outside of the bathroom. If you don’t want children in your home you have to really commit to a child-hostile environment. Leave exposed wiring and broken glass around around the house. When your guests with children call, say “I hope you’re bringing Taylor, because our chimney is filthy and I’d love her to scramble up there and knock a few of the dead birds loose.” Then laugh in a sinister way.


Poor Lucky Me

Seeking A Way Out of A Sucky Job – Wednesday November 18

2864352010_ba399a70511Dear Poor Lucky Me,


There’s a tipping point where your job sucks more than looking for a new job sucks. I’ve hit that point, and I’m starting the annoying, time-consuming crappy task of looking for a new gig. Resume, hair cut, pants without holes, shoes that match, sober for hours at a time, pretending to be an upstanding and productive member of society… It all just sucks.


I’ve heard that nepotism makes this whole process waaaay easier, but the problem is I’m not connected and have no Uncle / Parent / Second Cousin I used to sell weed to that I can call to get in somewhere good with little or no effort on my part. How can I get some of this nepotism stuff on my side?


Thanks in advance for your help,


No One Special


Dear No One Special,
Looking for a new job is the absolute worst job. If you’re lucky and still working you can send out a few resumes and a few phone calls everyday between writing personal emails and checking your Facebook page. If you’re not working, you might be able to send one resume a day between Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy, and depression-inspired naps. Either way you can’t stop obsessing about it.


But since you’ve made the decision to look for a new job, committing to matching shoes and daytime sobriety is a great start. Exploiting nepotism is second only to trust funds in the “Ways My Parents Screwed Me” list that we all have tucked away in our back pockets. How dare they not think ahead and be sure to be related to some one who could help us get a sweet sweet government job. I’d like a job in the defense department, like the kid from Falcon and The Snowman. But I wouldn’t sell secrets to the Russians, obviously, since Putin and I have been enemies for like 6 years. We were on good terms until he stopped replying to my email requests for cash and jewels. He is so weird.


Anyway, the point is it never hurts to call all your relatives and tell them you’re looking for a new job because you really never know who has a connection. It’s important to get the word out and it makes you look like a go-getter. Maybe you’ll discover that your Uncle Phil is bowling buddies with the local postmaster general, then BOOM. You’re in.


Good Luck.


Poor Lucky Me

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