One of the reasons I exist is because of a gypsy curse.
Many many many years ago, my great great grandfather was a wealthy man who lived in a castle in Hungary and traveled around Europe, doing fancy aristocratic things for the Austrian-Hapsburg Empire. (Unsure if I am a very long-removed Hapsburg… though my weak jawline is definitely passed down this way and that *is* one of their weird inbred traits. And if I am, I want my Hapsburg money… possibly to get a better jawline. I definitely want my family castle.)
They raised racehorses and were very rich.
One day, the gypsies living on his land had a donkey or a mule and this donkey or mule mated with one of their prize racehorses… which rendered it useless for either mating or racing or both, which makes no sense to me at all but I know nothing of horses and gypsy-related racism in Hungary shortly after 1900. I really don’t. So my great great grandfather came home from a trip to Russia or the like, found out what happened and killed the gypsy. He wasn’t punished because of serious racism and protecting one’s property or something to that effect.
Naturally, a price was put on the head of my great great grandfather and the rest of the Ferch family by EVERY GYPSY COMMUNITY IN EUROPE. ALL OF THEM. So they came to America. (It’s also rumored a curse was put on his head or their heads or maybe even my head to some degree, but I’ve yet to get exponentially thinner or date Justin Long so it may have dissipated by now.) They sold everything and immigrated through Ellis Island around 1908 (I know this because I saw them in the ship’s registry when I visited that place about 10 years ago with my mom).
Eventually they got to Chicago and my once aristocratic great great grandfather was now a window washer at the Museum of Science and Industry. America! The land of opportunity! How did they lose all their money? Well, the details on this are murky but gambling and the stock market collapse are hinted at and glossed over. (Because killing a gypsy isn’t something to be ashamed of, but going from rich to poor is… obviously.)
One day he was washing windows and fell three stories, landing on his feet. He survived but they sent him home. According to family lore, his heart ripped out of its socket and he died in his wife’s arms. Was this part of the alleged gypsy curse? Is it karma? I have no idea.
What I do know is this — it is the strangest and most Gothic and kind of romantic story I’ve ever heard. And it is part of my family history, which is just totally insane.
So I’m ending on 5 because I have to go back to work and you just can’t follow a story like this with, well, pretty much anything.
4. I found Oliver because of a terrible interview.
After that plane exploded, I moved to Chicago. It was a horrible decision, partially because I could never get a job in my field. At some point I attempted to temp.
I dressed up, went to an interview and was promptly told I would make “nine dollars an hour if I was lucky” (less than I was getting on unemployment) and essentially walked out.
I was so angry for wasting time and money in pursuit of what I hoped would at least get me foot in a door — any door — that I stomped around for an hour in my heels and fancy pants (for real, they were/are so very, very fancy) in awful slushy March weather. And then I found myself at the Anti-Cruelty Society exactly around noon, when the doors open. (I used to go here all the time as it was near my bus line and provided me with free dog kisses as needed — which is all the time.) I found Oliver in a crate with two sisters, one of whom we met two or three months later as she lived in the area. They were brand new, eight weeks old and totally perfect. Mister Puppy (as he was then known) and I bonded right away… and then for hours. I asked him if he wanted to be my dog and he french kissed me, including a little tiny puppy tongue in my nose. I took this as a yes, but later I learned it was how he needed to go out, that he wanted more food or just wanted to make out.
I wasn’t planning on getting a dog, but he was so perfect and perfect for me that it felt like the Universe was making up for everything wrong that had happened in the past 6 months or so.
3. I was absolutely convinced I’d spend the rest of my life in New York City… until November 12, 2001.
Remember when that plane crashed in Queens approximately two months after September 11th? I got laid off the day before. And if losing my gig wasn’t enough (second lay-off of the year, city just blew up, breathing toxic air, anthrax scares, further threats of terrorism, etc.)… I had literally asked — out loud — for a sign as to what I should do next.
2. I know every word to Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle and most early gangster rap albums from 1990 until about 1995 or so…
It’s been my cleaning album since 1994. I’m the whitest person in the world and I actually think this compounds that point. And I am fully aware of how hilarious it is to see my very blonde, very Aryan self with my blonde/white dog in a white Corolla (it was cheaper than the blue one I *really* wanted… because it was white) that proclaims my love of reading and liberal politics singing along word for motherfucking word with the urban rap music of Long Beach circa 1993.
And in an old life, when I used to write unfunny comedy pap for morning DJs (surprise! that terrible banter is usually scripted!), I was put on the rap beat because I admitted that I had turned off NWA’s Straight Out of Compton in order to conduct my interview. This girl knows what I’m talking about.
I also know all the words to all Beastie Boy albums created until about Ill Communication, but that’s neither a secret nor surprising.
Decided to do one of those things you don’t know about me posts… but in chunks because I’m cleaning my place and will feel the need to post as a break while I turn my home from slightly dirty to messy to clean.
1. Procrastination is my primary motivation.
I’m cleaning because I’m going to write later but I can’t write unless my writing space is not distracting me. I’m writing because I have a lot of day job stuff to do. I have a lot of day job stuff to do because I’m putting off running. Take away one of these factors or make one of them terribly lop-sided and my productivity falls faster than a house of cards.
I forgot my parents’ anniversary today. First time since I was seven or eight. Thirty-six years together is very impressive, plus they still like each other and seem very much in love. I am very lucky. I’d make a joke that the traditional gift for 36 years of marriage is bone china but… gross, it’s my parents.
That being said, my little dog had surgery this morning to remove suspicious growths on his forehead. He’s fine, but currently very stoned on sedatives and pain meds. I’ve been a little (incredibly) preoccupied with the thought Oliver might have some kind of creepy cancerous tumor cluster that seemed to grow very quickly since about March or April. But everything went well and whatever it is that they removed didn’t have roots or other terrifying warning signs (though some new ones showed up in July, which is why he went under the knife today).
So, essentially, I now have to admit that I’ve gotten cosmetic surgery for my dog. But surgery cost as much as an official biopsy, so I’d rather just get those little fuckers off Oliver’s head before I had to wait for terrifying and terrible news.
And now my little guy keeps thinking he needs to do something, getting up to do it and forgetting what it was. It took him three tries to remember he was thirsty. Fortunately he has been on the same sedatives before. So at least I know I just need to wait it out, hold him, tell him I love him and he’ll eventually sleep it off. (For whatever reason, Oliver fights sedatives like an anxious and overtired child… probably because he only has had to take them when things seem very scary — nail guns, fire crackers, surgery.)
I’ll post photos when he’s out of the cloud and it’s a funny story. He’s fine, but it feels mean to post photos of his bald spot when he’s still in recovery.
But I swear, this day has been 79 hours long… and this week has been a month and a half.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from marijuana, it’s that I’ve learned from marijuana. In all honesty, I rarely partake in blazing up the more bohemian botanicals, but when I do, it always leads to the acquiescence of knowledge that sober-me would never bother to look up.
The last time I…
I just had a conversation today about how my long since abandoned affinity for the aforementioned material has led to my incredible ability to deconstruct and reconstruct Beavis and Butthead as characters, as parodies, as existing commentaries on Western culture, as living entities to the point where I can write eerily accurate dialogue… possibly for a spec script now sitting in my head. And how said indulgences have led to my freaky ability to read others’ body language and posturing convincingly enough to essentially recreate a conversation word-for-word that I have seen from across the room. (Once totally independently verified in college for giggles.)
And by this I mean ABC’s TGIF lineup. Obviously.
Sir, if you have not done so, I would highly recommend a career in American Studies if your comedy pursuits ever go sour.
I hate Rose Tyler. I can’t help it. At first I thought it was her overprocessed blonde hair and eight pounds of eye makeup, but it goes deeper. (That being said I have a natural aversion towards women who attempt to recreate a Nordic look, fail miserably and subsequently turn my genetic code into a cultural shorthand for hussy.)
1. She’s an idiot. And her street smarts are pretty lacking too, which is ironic considering she’s kind of billed as a rough-around-the-edges, knows-her-way hooliganesque working class bird. (I don’t know what the UK stereotype is called but I know it exists and she is it. A girl soccer hooligan… only not really into soccer and not actually a hooligan, though I still look for her in riot pics.) She gets better as the show progresses, but not by much. Think about it — could they have done the Shakespeare episode with Rose and have it make any sense or seem a bit least realistic in a Dr. Who universe? No. Not at all.
And with people like Elizabeth I to XI on speed dial, I still find it incredibly hard to believe that a brilliant Time Lord wants to hang around with her… What the fuck do they talk about when they’re not saving things? Which leads me to…
2. Nine is a total dick to her and she just kind of takes it. It’s rough to watch what could easily be construed as an emotionally abusive relationship, especially knowing she’s got a very nice actual boyfriend at home (point 3) who will follow her to the ends of the universe. Ten is nicer (and cuter… which she very much notices), but by the time she’s with him, she’s already established herself as clingy and irritating.
And, yes, all the Doctors are pretty much surly abusive jerks… but at some point *every* *other* *companion* has told the Doctor to FUCK OFF when he deserved it. Rose just hangs on him in a way that is so frustrating to watch, especially as she is very much supposed to be an audience surrogate.
I’d be okay with her lack of knowledge or intuition if she brought something — anything — to the table beyond her blind loyalty. When the show turns romantic, I’d be able to look beyond the comical age difference (900something to 19?) if she was anything more than a stray puppy.
3. This being said, Rose is SUCH a dick to Mickey. You know your girlfriend sucks when you *choose* to move to a nightmare parallel universe filled with Cybermen. At some point this guy compared himself to a robot dog, which is ironic considering Rose is a much better replacement for K-9. That being said, the dialogue of this scene was so hard to take in because Mickey… Poor Mickey. At least things seem to work out for him in the very long run.
4. Jesus Christ with that makeup and bad hair. Just stop. Just fucking stop.
5. And those clothes? Everything she wears feels like it was stolen from Audrey’s European Vacation wardrobe shopping montage in Italy — only louder and with a worse cut.
6. She’s no Sarah Jane and yet had the audacity to be comically rude to her — let alone every other companion she’s met (minus the time alt-world Rose (wearing significantly less makeup and having more insight — coincidence???) interacting with Donna Noble). Also… she never managed to figure out that someone who comes to Earth a lot and systematically takes the first woman he meets out with him to space may have prior companions? Really?
(Oh how I would have loved to see her interact with River Song. Oh how that would have been, well, brilliant.)
7. When she finally gets a Doctor that loves her and can live out his life with her, she still wants the attention of the Time Lord Doctor (from this point on to be referred to as Doctor Classic), even if she probably couldn’t tell the difference between the two without overt narration. And she gets to live happily ever after (more or less), when no one else does… and she’s the worst.
And even if the human copy of is ready to settle for the modern day version of a Dickens street urchin, Doctor Classic still imparted memories of River Song into this guy’s head — so shouldn’t he want to wait, in case? River is fierce and awesome. Of course then you could then ask why he soon married Queen Elizabeth I or did anything else. Yeah, Team River Song. They should make shirts for that. No they should. Get on it, Internet.
8. If she was so goddamn great, the 11th Doctor would have mentioned her (as 10 never shut up about her) at least ONCE. And as much as I like looking at David Tennant, the 11th incarnation is the perfect match of the Doctor I remember from PBS as a kid coupled with my very specific brand of ADHD… so he may very well be my favourite (no idea if that’s the officiual Brit spelling, at this pouint I’m just adding u’s where I feeul like). Then again, Amy and Rory are the best. And the 11th doctor is in love with them as a couple and it’s totally reciprocated back at him (but not in that swinger Captain Jack way) and that’s kind of sweet.
8a. Note: Amy is way cuter than her version Doctor. There’s something to this, but it’s a subthought right now and will be expanded on later.
All of this being said…
I might go as Rose for Halloween because then I can justify not cutting my hair and letting my roots grow out until they’re tacky. And I can use up ALL my mascara before it goes bad (3 tubes). Unsure where or how to procure loud leather clothing, but if it is ill-fitting, loud and trashy… it’ll work.
— How much eye makeup did Rose have to carry with her on that Tardis? Yeesh. — Why don’t the people of London fear Christmas if messed up things always happened? — Was the Doctor *ahem* sharing his Tardis with Rose the whole time because she was really lame and yet he was so very entranced… And a lot of those adventures very much started out as dates. And she seems like a, well a much more friendly girl than other birds he’s flown with. So I’m just going to say yes to that. (Especially since it’s well-established that the Doctor had some pretty interesting daliances with historical ladies… so if you’ve got Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth I or XI on speed dial, why waste your time with Rose?) But as much as he spent too much time on that boring girl who looked like a blonde raccoon, River Song is pretty badass. So there’s that.
And then I love reminding myself that I had a secret, totally age-appropriate crush on Barty Crouch Jr. from the old Harry Potter days so… that.
And Daleks are hilarious. Not a question, but they totally are.