How to Date That Elusive Man


It’s often said that we are wise when we’re able to learn from the mistakes of others.   So, in that vein, let’s be on with it… you’ve met that guy who expresses pretty intense interest, you’ve been on a few dates, he calls, you want to be proactive, to reciprocate, and to reach out to him, but whenever you do, you don’t hear back for weeks.  In this day and age you have to be hip. I would suggest perhaps an e-mail such as this one:

Date: Sometime in December
Subject: Cheeto-Chompin-Communication-Cruncher (a.k.a. Your Answering Machine)

Tried to call you this eventide, but couldn’t bring
myself to leave a message. Could only imagine an obese
answering machine monster (akin to Pizza the Hut from
*Spaceballs* fame) sitting on your couch watching
re-runs of Seinfeld and garbling my scattered words like so
many crunchy Cheeto’s, chuckling at his own genius and
spewing forth bits of my orange dialogue onto your
brand new television, wiping my stained expression on
the sofa. That just wouldn’t do. Read more

54 Miles to Empty


It seemed I’d been driving down the proverbial highway of my life; eighty-five miles per hour, conditions were fair, my windshield was devoid of mashed gnats and the freshly laundered air traveled through my window in gusts that pelted the top of my seatbelt. One hand on the wheel, the other fumbling for a station on my Pioneer, I just drove. That is, until recently. Now my windshield is smeared with innards, my stereo is playing fuzz, and my engine is in dire need of an overhaul.

I’ve always been passionate about the open road and I like to travel alone. Just me with my stereo cranked up, my timber off-key, perhaps a bag of sunflower seeds, a cup of java, and three or more packs of cigarettes (to give me that Joan Jett effect.) However, I noticed a few months ago that my treks were becoming less and less enjoyable. I can’t really blame the Pioneer, my am/fm CD player has been trustworthy for the last 163,742 miles. It is what’s coming out of those 50 watt speakers that’s vexing me and lately those same melodies have followed me into the grocery store, my place of employment, even the gas station. I’m talking about love songs and they’ve made me question such utterly deep issues that it’s as if I’ve moved from merely checking my oil to taking apart the most detailed part of my engine. Read more



According to my personal psychologist, priest, and physician Google, I am not a germophobe.    I know this without a doubt because Google has informed me that to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder it has to be intense, it has to last a long time, and it has to severely interfere with daily living.  I don’t have vats of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer strategically placed throughout my apartment.  I don’t wear a SARS mask to the grocery store, though I received one for Christmas.  I only take Airborne once per day before school and each time I enter an airport.

I do wash my hands after every bathroom visit because I learned in kindergarten that this is basic hygiene.  Washing my hands seven times during the process of handling raw chicken is a different phobia called Alektorophobia.  I will cop to that, but I am definitely not suffering from a fear of germs, otherwise known as Mysophobia.  Aside from my admitted phobia in relation to fleshy naked fowl I also endure an almost crippling case of Coprophobia, a fear of toilets.  It’s the closest term Google can find to describe my crushing anxiety over self-flushing toilets. This does not mean that I have an anxiety disorder, however, as my most recent trek to a public restroom will clearly demonstrate.  While this experience was indeed intense it only took a half an hour of my day, therefore it doesn’t qualify for duration, nor did it severely affect my daily living as I was only at school for two hours that day. Read more

Buffet o’ Life: The Commandments of the Broccoli


One of my favorite quotations in life is by an author unknown to me and yet it has helped to guide me with its simplicity. It is this: “At the great breakfast buffet of life, most of us prefer to waffle.” A slice of wisdom that inspires me every time I read it. It reminds me of one of the happy memories with my step-father when we made our trek to consume the buffet of Little America in Cheyenne, Wyoming every Sunday. The excruciating pain of dressing up and dealing with ridicule was soothed with a balm of syrup on my cinnamon french toast. It reminds me, almost daily, that I don’t want to be the waffle. I want to be the bacon, before slaughter, running around squealing with abandon.  I don’t want to waffle.

For whatever reason I gravitate towards the word buffet.  It’s pregnant with choice, with possibility and, as a verb, a word that tells of making one’s way under difficult circumstances. One powerful small term that sends a thousand images through my head. I like to play with it. Buffffaaaay. I like to do the Mr. Furley-ism of Three’s Company fame to it: Buff-ETTE.  I seem to find great analogies to life by thinking of it – you’re welcome to dine on my latest: Read more

Facebook: It’s Been Three Minutes Since My Last Confession


(Note:  To my more, perhaps, delicate or easily queasy readers you may want to skip this one as it is quite graphic – although therein lies the point.)

Social Networking?  Really?  Or is it just too much information?  I wholeheartedly admit that I am as addicted as the next guy.  Every morning, after grabbing my cup of coffee and my first cigarette of the day, I log in to Facebook and proceed to spend the next hour or so reading comments, watching funny video clips, wishing people happy birthday, and just moseying around.  At night, while I’m in bed watching re-runs of L.A. Ink and puffing on my last cigarette of the day, I catch up on my Tweets.  More and more often lately as I’m reading status updates I am utterly shocked, mid-drag, over what is shared.

Does social decorum not exist in social networking?  There are certain things that I just don’t want to know.  I definitely do not want to read that, “while douching a pungent odor came wafting out.  What could be wrong?”  I don’t know!  But book the appointment now.  Don’t bother with logging out of Facebook.  You don’t have time.  Leave that survey “What Kind of Pus-Filled Boil Are You?” undone.  It will still be there when you come home with that prescription cream and a healthy round of antibiotics. Read more

Fiddler on the Quad


I have been called a Non-Traditional student many times over the past sixteen years and I have yet to figure out exactly what this classification means.  Traditional, or tradition, implies something that has been done for a very long time.  According to my proverbial right arm, the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “tradition is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior.”  Religions have traditions, cultures have traditions, families have traditions, even Tevye the Milkman (of  Fiddler on the Roof fame) lived a life based on traditions, but apparently I do not, and am therefore labeled as non-traditional.  WTF?  Should I be offended?

Every morning I stumble to the coffee pot, fill up the well until it comes dangerously close to overflowing onto the counter, and shovel in six heaping scoops of the strongest java I can buy. Every day it’s the same, well, except for that occasional exuberant overfill when I’m thinking I might get an extra 1/4 cup out of the pot.   Is that not a tradition?  Traditionally I drink seven cups of coffee throughout the day.  I’m traditional.  I have traditions.  In fact, I’m at my most traditional during the Christmas season.  Traditionally I put up my Christmas tree right after Halloween because I can’t wait any longer and then I proceed to  gorge myself on my favorite holiday fare for the next two months. Tell me that isn’t a tradition. Read more

An Ice Cream Carol


“Wake up and piss, the world’s on fire,” my step-dad used to yell up to me every morning through the railing of my bedroom loft. I would simply roll over and wonder what my mother saw in this vile man whom, with bitter irony, would get so plastered drinking Milwaukee’s Best that he’d forget where the bathroom was and piss next to the coal burning stove. Had I had more balls at age fourteen I would have hollered back to him that he had already put out the fire the night before. Alas I did not. It seems for my whole life the universe has been coming up with new and sardonic ways of getting my ass out of bed.

To put it mildly, I’ve never been a morning person.

After my step-father had urinated his last in our home, the task of waking me was once again set upon my mom’s shoulders. She’d shout at me to get up. And I – thinking myself rather crafty – would shout back, “I’m awake!” Then I’d quickly go back to sleep for fifteen more minutes. Read more

Does Jesus Pee? – A Treatise on Self-Love


Woke up today with another hangover. Truth be told hangover doesn’t really do it justice. If I have to call it a hangover then you’re going to have to imagine that I’m dangling halfway down the Eiffel Tower held in precarious position by a thin cord of Silly Putty wrapped around my left ankle. Going on three hardcore days of the hangin over and the putty string is stretching so thin that I thought it imperative to have a mental health day.

Melanie’s mental health day consists of comfort food, candles, my bed, Van Morrison, and the second and third seasons of Sex & the City on DVD. (For future reference in all blogging done by me I do nothing in moderation. Food, alcohol, smoking, twelve hours of Carrie and the girls, even masturbation. To say I’m an extremist is to say hangover rather than dangling by silly putty.) With those things in my muddled mind I head to the market on West 9th to visit my friend Costas who hooks me up with the best cuts of roast beast in the city. This man is my comfort food savior. They don’t sell roast beef on the shelves of Constantino’s Market, but I ask with my pleading bloodshot eyes and he kindly goes to the cooler and cuts a slab right off of the cow, or so I imagine. He also brings me a baggy filled with a smear of tomato paste, a few bay leaves, a stalk of celery, a couple sprigs of thyme, and instructs me on how to prepare the beast. I leave with said heifer and sixty-four dollars and some odd cents worth of comfort. Read more