Here it is almost the end of November, a month chock-full of holidays (Yay Veterans! Yay Pilgrims! Run turkeys —  run like the wind!) and relentless, tireless revelations about how fucking grateful we all are.

Now this is where I’m potentially going to piss some of you off. And I hope you understand this comes not from a place of bitterness, but rather sickness. You see, the return flight from South Carolina found my flying-phobic boyfriend sitting on the lap (practically) of our third-seater, a woman we’ll call Hacky. And she was a sack. Of mucus.

Hacky Sack (o’ mucus) coughed up phlegm. For 5 non-stop, turbulent hours.

And now I’m doing the same. The day I’m embarking on an 8-hour drive to Las Vegas to celebrate Thanksgiving with my brother and his family.

But one bright spot: Hacky + the contents of this picture:

(Blurry -- because the damn airplane didn't stop bouncing the entire trip. You can imagine how Hive Boy felt...)

…equaled no hives for Brett. He was too busy focusing on how scrumptia-lee-dumptious (and I quote) his drinks were.

And we were too fixated on this dude in the Sky Mall:

Um. Whatcha doin' with that hand? Hmm?

So all this mucus is making me a grump — granted. But you need to understand one thing: I’m totally grateful for so much — in a global sense: the world’s most amazing children; a Hive-a-licious Hunk o’ Love in my life; my new career; my blog; you…

But I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon. I’m not going to tell you how glittery and sparkly and happy and oh-so-grateful I am for every aspect of my life (well, apart from the partial list right above in that-there previous paragraph). Because in my NyQuil-induced haze, some of it seems to suck — and I’m a firm believer in venting to make it feel better.

Instead, I’m using my platform this Thanksgiving Eve to bitch. About things that bug me. Because I can.

Now you know I love lists, right? Well here it is: My Top 10 list of things that have bugged/are bugging/will bug the living shit out of me this month. In no particular order.

1.  Cups boasting vacuous, disingenuous platitudes.

‘Tis the season…to buy a cup with stupid words on it. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

OK, so quick question: What came first: “Eat, Prey, Love”? Or “Live, Laugh, Love”? (And the latter is undoubtedly written in flowy, puffy, balloony script. Probably with a heart instead of a dot over the “i.”)

I’d like to create a line of cups for the disenchanted. Instead of “Live, Laugh, Love,” my cup will say:

“Die, Cry, Hate.”

Or instead of the opening image of me sipping my TheraFlu from my Post-it modified cup (the pre-edited version, BTW, bought lovingly by my mom, devoted blog reader that she is…), my snarky cup of awesomeness would say:

“The Universe hears…NOTHING. Because it has no fucking ears!”

2.  This guy. Because he freaks me the fuck out.

  • Did you see the movie Puss in Boots? Cuz I've had nightmares ever since -- and then this at McDonald's????

Do me a favor: Try looking at him from any angle. Do you see that? The eyes — they FOLLOW you. I shit you not!

3.  NaNoWriMo. Or NaBloPoMo. Or whatever cute little acronym you can make out of words ending in “o.”

To this endless parade of “I’m-going-to-make-you-feel-like-crap-because-you-don’t-write-enough” guilt trips, I have this to say:

Stop being so fucking annoying with your NaNoWriMo bullshit, mother fuckers.

Or, in their language:

StoBoSoFoAnnoWoYoNaNoWriMoBoSho, MoFos.

(Boyfriend Brett’s response to this paragraph: LOL…O.)

4.  Facebook. Because it recently sent me this cheery email: 

So instead of the black boxes above, those were full-color pictures…of my “possible relatives.”

Each was a cousin, until that final row. There, I found my brother…next to awesome Marilyn. In a picture from awesome Facebook. Arms wrapped around my awesome Ex.

Seriously? Marilyn is a “possible relative”???

Awesome. You can’t make this shit up.

Um, no disrespect Mark Zuckerberg: But back to the drawing board for you and your stupid “We’re related” app, methinks. When you start pairing ex wives with new wives, the algorithm may be a bit wonky. Just sayin’.

5.  Puffer vests.

What the hell is up with the puffer vests this season? I keep seeing ads for them, proclaiming, “Get the latest fashion trend, puffer vests, at Old Crazy…”

OK…quick poll: Who wants to look like an overstuffed marshmallow – or a fish that blows up in fear? Or even a penguin (yeah, I know that’s a puffin, but it’s close…)

Because I want to look like none of these, though this year’s batch of brilliant buyers seem to be suggesting that I’d look far more fashionable if I don something that adds 40 pounds and makes me look like a giant jar of Stay-Puff.

Or like someone covered me in a canister of caulk.

Pass — thank you very kindly.

6.  “Cool Touch” Kleenex. And this baby doll.

The baby doll? Just because.

But the Cool Touch Kleenex? If you haven’t tried these for yourself, please…indulge. When you press your nose to them, they instantly go cold.

Like, arctic-wind cold.

Leaving me to wonder: What the hell makes them cold? WHAT THE HELL MAKES THEM COLD?????

7.  Marathon runners.

Just stop, people: Stop running!

I don’t know exactly why I seem to be surrounded of late by hordes of well-intentioned friends doing their 26.2 miles for the greater good, but I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want to see your pictures of your exhausted/elated/relieved/oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-I-really-did-it selves.

I don’t want to read about it (AGAIN) on Freshly Pressed.

Because you’re just showing off, and that just makes the rest of us feel inadequate.

And I may be jealous. But whatever.

8.  Grits.

You knew it was coming, right?

I mean, how can a girl who has endless disdain for tapioca pudding and tomato jizz possibly like grits?

They’re unnatural, these little bits of grainy granules. They’re nubby. And gritty. And sandy. And they taste like – well, wheat-infused nothingness.

So here’s the picture of my grits, before:


And here’s after:

See that line of eggs? Appropriately, that's my line in the sand. If it so much as touched a grit, it was NOT to be consumed.

I reflected in my last blog about the South. And how there, the Civil War seems to rage on.

Well now, personally, I can understand the Mason-Dixon line mentality. Because those eggs above? They were my edible Mason-Dixon line. What happened to the north of them? I just don’t understand. To the south? Yip, totally righteous.

And you can even tell I tried ’em. They’re all mashy…and there’s even a wad of eggs that was spastically flicked into the northeast of the grits (between Pennsylvania and New York), probably post-first-bite.

Never again, friends. Never again.

9.  Fire. And wind. This one’s serious, friends…

My hometown of Reno, Nevada: Caughlin Fire, Nov. 18, 2011; photo by Alexander Hoon, NOAA

You may have heard last week about my city being all on fire and all.

I’ll admit to being relatively hysterical dramatic on a routine basis, but the photo above tells the story: 32 homes completely destroyed, dozens more uninhabitable, 10,000 locals evacuated, one dead, many injured.

Heroes that day saved thousands of homes and lives. Winds were gusting to 80+ miles per hour, making it literally the perfect storm.

And while I was safe watching the news from my home in the northwest quadrant of town all day, many of my friends in the southwest were fleeing.

Yeah. Last Friday sucked ass.

10.  Did I mention I’m sick? And driving to Las Vegas today?

Or at least partially (driving, not sick. I’m partially driving, but totally sick. Get it? Good.).

So today we drive halfway to Vegas to the megalopolis of Tonopah, NV, home of the recently renovated and reopened Mizpah Hotel. Which is, like, way haunted.


Me? I’m about as skeptical as they come…but Boyfriend Brett is a huge believer. So I got us a room on the fifth floor — the haunted floor. Where the Lady in Red, a prostitute murdered in the 1800s, is said to roam the halls…

Wish me luck. I’m afraid my phlegm may just scare her away.

(And I’m totally winning Mom of the Year for this trip, right? Vegas. Dead hookers. Ghosts. Ah well, what my kids don’t know won’t hurt ’em — or so I hope…)

Anyhow, there you have it: My Thanks(not)giving list. In all seriousness, I hope you receive this post in the spirit (get it? spirit?) in which it is offered: as an ungrateful rant from a heavily medicated Hacky Sack o’ Mucus.

Sexy, right?

So do you want to vent — just for a moment, a quick departure from the gratitude seeping from all of our pores on this turkey-tastic holiday?

Go ahead. Do it. I dare you:

  1. What are you (un)grateful for this month?
  2. Do you have any sayings to contribute to my snarky cups of awesomeness?
  3. Can you believe Facebook thought Marilyn and I were related?
  4. Do you believe in ghosts? Puffer vests? Creepy Egg Men?

And Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Seriously. I may be medicated and moody, but I know I have much for which to be grateful. And you are all on my list. 🙂