Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dog Park Divas: Shaved Pomeranian

One hell of a funny gal, The Queen of WTF? does this and I have to give her mad props for providing the inspiration.  She may have created a monster here! 

I made that!  Yes, yes I did.  Fun and cathartic at  the same time.  Try it!

P.S. Update! Yes, Bella is my Pomeranian. Yes, she stars here in her cartoon form. No, I did not shave her! See?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

License to Drive: The Photo, The Papers & WWBOD?

After ranting at God and the Fates and breaking glass and exploding leftover cherry bombs in the back yard until my Arab neighbor came out and said, “You must stop that now crazy lady” kicking myself in the ass for a reasonable amount of time, I fired up my bestest friend who is always there to play poker with me in the cold dark night when 3 a.m. comes and my mind is revving in a frenzy of unbridled somewhat destructive thoughts trusty laptop and diddled up the Florida DMV website and, yay, I made an appointment online for the next day, midday, to renew my license. The poop is in a pile. I’m going to fix this, I thought to myself, I am going to feel so much better being an organized law-abiding citizen of the roadway.

News flash! Renewal of license includes getting a new photo taken. I am phobic about it. We all know that this is likely to be the most hideous soul-stealing depiction of my very being ever, surpassing even the one from 3rd grade with the black plastic Buddy Holly glasses and the buck teeth unkind image so I spent three hours the next morning starting from bare-ass scratch to groom myself into something acceptable for this portrait that will haunt me for almost a decade to come the dreaded license photo. I primped with the malignant self-absorption of reality show “star.” I practiced smiling in the mirror, the head tilt, the taming of the double chin by flexing the muscles, all of it.

I got in my car and “snuck” out to the DMV Driver’s License Office near the University. I was unbelievably freaking lucky to get by with this what with my Law Enforcement pheromones on tilt these days not noticed by any of the police going there even though I sweated and creeped and looked like I was up to something sinister may have looked a tad nervous. Tucked back in a dowdy strip mall and fronted by a (yum) Dunkin Donuts, the DL Office was gyrating like a flaming Santeria ritual sacrifice of small animals in a Miami suburb salsa dance marathon on a Saturday night in San Juan.

Now, understand that I don’t judge this phenomenon and, in fact it is kind of cute a giant pain in the ass that they do this, our Hispanic brothers and sisters here in Central Florida never go anywhere alone. From the 6 week old newborn to the 99 year old “abuela,” they roam in packs travel in groups talking, laughing, arguing and gumming up the works taking up lots of space. Wal-mart is an adventure on Saturday, oh, about 10:00 a.m. I love it when they talk trash and don’t think I understand. But that’s another story…

And, holy shit saints and all who protect us, they can argue! The reception desk at the Driver’s License Office was hoppin’ and bobbin’ with unhappy agitated Spanish speaking folk with a few Middle Easterners and a smattering of Germans from Canada sprinkled in to make it a seething hot mess of a Babylon a fine international stew.

I soon knew why.

When I stepped up, all smug exuding my “born in the USA, I got this knocked” mode ready to rock, I casually flipped my expired license to the grim-faced dead-ringer for Rev. Jesse Wright African American elder sitting there and said, “Here to renew.”


“Yes sir. 12:45”

“Don’t see it. But we take walk- ins. About two hour wait.”

Gaack! “Ok I guess.” What the hell happened to my online appointment?

Then he asks me in a flat tone of voice that betrayed all the abuse he has received of late, his body language perfectly arranged in pre-flinch anticipation -

“Original Birth Certificate?


"Social Security card?"

"Nuh uh."

"Marriage license?"


"Two forms of I.D. other, like utilities bill, insurance card or mortgage statement?"




Then he pointed to the not very well communicated new rules promulgated by some helium-headed politician just to make everyone’s lives more difficult small print-out taped to the wall. January 2010, the State of Florida now requires any and all of this paperwork to prove that you are who you say you are to get a license.

Really? NO, REALLY?

I had none of it on me. Nor did a lot of people applying for a license, apparently, hence the homicidal tense atmosphere there amongst the folk who don’t speak English as a first language and perhaps were not here legally but were hoping to tip in by having at least a Driver’s License.

At least I have “my papers.” Just not with me.

Crump! BLAM! I felt my head exploding. I was going to go all bitchy and stabby on everyone dissolve into a puddle of tears and whatever other liquids that could leak out of me, so I stomped out of there in a histrionic huff fled.

Slinking back to the car, I drove back home, again blessedly eluding the smokies and gathered all the documents I needed. All the while I heard the snarky Nazi of lore just before he is going to make my life hell, “Your papers? Schnell! Mach schnell!” told myself all this fuss has got to be a steaming pile of manure manufactured by dumb asses for a good reason.

Regroup! Got a ride next morning at the butt-crack of dawn to stand in line not needing no damn disappearing appointment and be first up to bat. I ended up being third up to bat. Dunkin Donuts catered the morning. The line outside was a smorgasbord of people once again, Latin gentlemen chattering away, wide-eyed Middle eastern ladies in full burka, black teens with low-riding pants and blinding bling in the light of the sun rising, elderly Germans with their Bermuda shorts hoisted up high upon ample tummies, nurses in scrubs, and little old bright white Anglo glow-in-the-dark me.

After two of them asked why I had so much paper with me, I gave a loud annoying rant a helpful tutorial to everyone there about the documents and half the people scurried off never to return the line thinned by half. So glad I thought to speak up since I leveraged it into being first in line, Yay me! could help.

Then the thought hit us both at the same time: WWBOD?

What would Barack Obama do if he wanted a Driver’s License in Florida?

That pesky original birth certificate requirement could sure leave him scrambling to produce it walking!

And, of course, my new license photo looks like unadulterated crap just what I thought it would.

Friday, April 16, 2010

License To Drive: Permission To Rant

The birthday came and went without the remotest synapse firing in my brain of whether my driver license was in need of renewal. Last time I renewed it, I was 10 years younger than now, a helluva lot more organized, lucked into an actually kind of cute photo on it, and better at meeting deadlines. So, naturally, now that I have an All Destination VIP Pass on the Flaky Train, I hear “whoop, whoop” all up in my car’s rear end.

“Am I getting popped?”

“Yes, Mom, you are,” comes the reply from the backseat. Déjà vu all over again. What is it about me that attracts law enforcement? Very fucked up craptacular. This time, a female Officer Krupke materializes in my rearview mirror just as I was pulling into my destination.

Now, driving alone and being snared by law enforcement’s finest would not have been, in and of itself, humiliating. No, it would have been an angry, slap-myself-in-the-forehead episode, and after beating myself up for a couple of hours and that third comforting cocktail, I’d be back all balanced out and smiling.

I’d just furtively pay the fine from my secret manicure/pedicure/wine/facial/clothes  Church Tithe fund and vow to tell no one. NO ONE! Humiliation averted for yet another day! Huzzah!

But NOOOO, the fickle fates just HAD to have me transporting teenage girlies who thought this was so damn funny witnesses. To wit, my flipping’ inappropriately giggling daughter and her wait until my Dad and Twitter hears about this BFF, the daughter of a county sheriff’s deputy.

Humiliation thus amped to the tenth power, tears and slamming things around to follow.

Nervous fidgeting in the back seat and suppressed hysterical laughter anxious whispers –

“Go get your Dad!”

“I can’t. He’s not home!”

“Oh damn it. Mom you’re on your own.”

Cha-CHING! Expired License by two weeks. Citation. Bloody hell, I was so close to getting that manicure.

And the Officer wanted to know how I was going to get my car home, about two blocks away, since “you can’t drive with an expired license.”

“Does the girl drive yet?”

“Yes, I can drive!” chirped “the girl” oh shit she didn’t just say that helpfully from the back seat.

My head snapped around and I transfixed Little Miss Loose Lips with a volcanic stare –

“She does not have her permit yet, so no she CAN’T drive even though I am a bad, bad Mom and let her tool around her grandparents gated community quite often just for fun.”

“Ok. I am going to go now to where I picked you up on that street back there where I will be picking off more soccer moms until my monthly quota is met and the Sheriff can buy that shiny new helicopter he's been wanting  and I don’t want to see you driving this car. You get it?” *wink*

“Got it”

I snuck the Cruiser home avoiding “that street back there” so she wouldn’t have to compromise her integrity, and plotted my trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles Driver’s License seething lava pond from the depths of hell office to renew my license.

To be continued…

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nun Of My Business

Dom Spinelli had finally worked Sister Kathleen Marie's last nerve.
She was a gigantic Irish woman decked out in full parade float nun's habit including a floor length veil attached to a big cylindrical starched linen box on her head that creased her ever-perspiring forehead like an inquisitioner's torture gadget.

I thought it a good place to store cookies.
She spoke with a thick brogue and I thought she must've done something awfully wrong since the Church assigned her, a woman of great heft and in all those robes and veils,  to the hottest un-air conditioned elementary school in Florida.

This had to have been her Purgatory.

She was well known for her  impeccable aim when she swung her oversized rosary beads, which were always ready at her waist tucked into her belt.  Dom was the smallest joker in 4th grade and was what we probably now call "hyperactive."  For that matter, we were all hyper.  Dom was special though.  His particular style of fidgeting and whispering made Sister lose what marbles she had left underneath her cookie tin headgear.

"Stand up young Spinelli!"

He stood and grinned at all of us.  With a whiplash so fast the eye couldn't follow it, she caught him just below the knees with those beads laying him out flat on the floor.  She stood over him and shouted:

"Who made you Dominick?"
And Dom said, "Mom and Dad did Sister. Wanna know how?"

Wrong answer. 

The Baltimore Catechism was her mainstay, and Dom was being what we now call "oppositionally defiant"  by not barking out the right answer:  Right answer:  "God made me."

Sister Kathleen Marie, red faced and hyperventilating, cleared the classroom.  We stood in the hallway outside listening to her shout in English and Gaelic as she chased Dom, the "demon spawn imp who will burn in the unending fires of  hell" from one end to the other.  Her shouts were punctuated by the sounds of furniture being displaced violently, and yes, Dom laughing as he eluded her.

Got to love Dom.  Last I heard, he ended up a huge success owning a couple of "gentlemen's" clubs. His destiny was locked in 4th grade.

And Sister Kathleen Marie I will never, ever forget.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cats Just Want To Eat Us

At first, the cat perched on her head “making biscuits” seemed of little import. Kind of cute actually. The sweet-faced Siamese cat crouched on the back of the recliner, eyes closed in feline concentration.

She worked on The Girl’s blonde teenage scalp like an Asian masseuse, purring and flexing her paws with pleasure. She applied her wash cloth raspy tongue, teasing The Girl’s salty ocean-kissed mermaid hair into a stiff peak whilst the subject of her ministrations dozed below.

We all watched in bemused horror as the cat casually gnawed a hank of the hair completely off.

The cat smiled triumphantly.