October 31, 2007
Oh (my sweet Lord he’s her) Brother
A viewing of “the Great Pumpkin” or “That’s one Big Ass Punkin’” or whatever it is that the kids call it these days is a little different with a glass of wine. And an appreciation for just how odd it is that I enjoyed at 7 years of age a cartoon that employed polysyllabic words that I still have to Google about kids who clearly suffer from a slew of social maladies.

Naturally, I’m struck by just how much like Lucy I really am, making Linus carry the pumpkin from the patch and then stealing it out of his plump hands. And coyly suggesting the kids “bob for apples,” when you know she meant it as dude code. And fooling that dense Charlie Brown by telling him I’ll hold the football steady when he awkwardly comes to punt it. And topping the debacle off with an SAT word no child would know, like “notarized.” The doctor is in, bitches.*

It’s also clear that Snoopy is the only one of the penciled bunch who gets it. He doesn’t feel the need to stick with these losers, instead pursuing some psychedelic combat scene involving the Red Baron while donning a red pashmina. Let the record show that the World War I Flying Ace complete with Nicole Ritchie goggles is oodles cooler than the sheets with holes cut in them. I’d give those kids rocks too if they showed up in those lame JC Penney white sale costumes.

In the most important scheme of things, it’s clear that Linus is the one you try to get a promise ring from even if he does carry that damn blanket. It might come in handy in the back of his Cabrio. If you’ll allow me, I find him to be very George O’Malley, the befuddled and slightly gay man an Americanized Hugh Grant would play in the HBO version. If Linus thinned out he also might have a little Dawson to him, starring in the Schulz High School production of Damn Yankees while still managing to get laid. Yum.

Ugh, and the others. Mr. Brown is just too middle of the road, don’t you think? As an adult, I picture him religiously coming home from his job at the video store to a Tivod Wheel of Fortune and a Klondike bar. I’m pretty sure Schroeder still smells like Water Babies SPF 45 and shops exclusively at Van Heusen outlets. Sally most definitely ends up getting spiral perms well into the ‘00s and traveling statewide to craft fairs. And Pigpen probably runs for city council and does coke off of strippers’ backs. Or maybe just off of Peppermint Pattie’s.

I apologize for that last mental image. Good grief indeed.

* In all seriousness, I just found out that Linus and Lucy are siblings and not completely viable and chirpy love interests. No Pinot Grigio in the world can erase this horror. It’s probably best that I never had a brother.


October 29, 2007
Having a moment
As of late my father is more under the weather than usual. For those who know the full story, I recognize that this is the understatement of the year, perhaps second only to "Britney's having a moment." But thankfully denial isn't just a river in Egypt, and instead it often flows right past my apartment door. That is just fine with me.

Dad's recent battle with pneumonia has got the women of his life in even more of a frenzy than usual, prompting one daughter to cut short a trip to San Francisco and the other to cancel a Tallahassee weekend. He is the man in our lives, one of the only men in the family, actually, surrounded first by three sisters and then a wife and two daughters, as well as a series of Yorkshire terriers, domestic shorthairs, parakeets, hamsters, and hermit crabs that (we suspect) were females. He knows estrogen.

My father fell last week, giving him an awful backache and only increasing his confusion as to what exactly is going on with his body. I of course rushed over to their home equipped with the Bell, because it is well known that Taco Supremes counteract bone deterioration and help to assuage a child's guilt over not being there to catch him. We woke him up to eat and he obliged us. As we each unwrapped our dinner, my mother noticed something odd.

"Kris, your dad's lips are purple," she said, craning her head to examine them from different angles.

They were. His lips were a deep shade of purple, a sign to us that his constant O2 companion and his compromised lungs weren't doing their jobs. I dropped my taco, a feat that should indicate just how dearly I love this man, and walked closer to him, staring more intensely while he watched me with wide green eyes. He took shallow breaths, unable to speak.

"It's actually dried blood," I said, talking to him in measured speech so as not to induce panic. "Dad, you bit your lip when you fell. Let's see where the cuts are." My mother went into automatic motion, scurrying to the kitchen for a wet cloth. I rolled up my sleeves as I thought Meredith Grey might and examined his mouth and his nearly black lips. He looked confused. The ensuing frenzy only made it worse, part comedy, part we're into some serious shit here, a tornado of water and towels and a powerful flashlight with which to inspect our patient. He said nothing, still unable to catch his breath.

And just as I swooped in to rid his beautiful pink lips of their black invader, my father's oxygen finally caught up with his intent. "Guys," he said, raising a single finger to stop me. My mother and I halted dead in our tracks, hanging on his every weak word. I touched his arm. "Yes, Dad?"

He breathed in deeply. "I fell asleep eating Oreos."

I simply could not love that man more.

October 25, 2007
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
I went to the Kelly Clarkson concert last night. No, it wasn’t Hannah Montana, asshat. But I did feel slightly like a chaperone. A woman decidedly past her prime, one who plays the Partridge Family Christmas Album on vinyl, swirling around on the flokati with a martini while the kids describe the mashed potatoes with words like “rad.” I’m getting old.

My suspicions were confirmed when last night’s bartender called me “ma’am” not once, but thrice, while I was ordering my first Stella. I immediately swiveled around to view myself in the Bud Light mirror; a humid and rainy night, my hair was admittedly not worthy of a glamour shot, and my outfit was more Sandra Dee than Shakira. But ma’am? I saw no apron, no burgeoning moustache or breakfast of Jimmy Dean sausage to confirm my aging status. Maybe he did.

The conversation clearly irked me, as upon arrival at the 4x6 shoebox in which Ms. Clarkson would be playing, I asked the female ushers, “Are we the oldest women here tonight?” I spit only some of my $7 Bud Light onto her vest as she dryly replied in the affirmative. She later claimed she was joking. It might have been my tears that changed her mind.

I felt old. I cared not what I wore to that show, knowing full well that I wouldn’t be talking to any boys, save those who spilled fruit punch on me or the desperate and orthodontia-ed who wanted a Mrs. Robinson to take to prom. So during the concert I decided to toss the label, among other things, including my dignity. I chair danced and clapped my hands loudly (and above my head!) and jumped up out of my chair, causing the earplug-wearing “sir” in front of me to do the same. I shook it. Only my ass was decidedly looser than the one I donned in ‘93. How I miss you Toad the Wet Sprocket. And the days before the scourge that is cellulite.

I felt like an 18 year old when I trolled Constitution Avenue for 20 soaked minutes while trying to hail a cab. When I arrived home, I made a ridiculous bag of microwave popcorn and poured myself a Pinot-sized glass of 30-year-old port, both of which I consumed in my cotton underwear. Because, while odd and uncomfortable to imagine, it was just my rebellious self, my empty apartment, and the kids. Just the Kris and her old woman rules. No mom to force me to bed, no Geometry homework left unfinished, no panic about flushed condoms, no worries about Shawn not texting me after gym class. Ma’am indeed.

October 24, 2007
Best. Video. Ever.
Church was never so cool when I went.

October 22, 2007
Miss Matched
So, I have this friend who is making yet another foray into the world of online dating. This, of course, has forced myself and said friend to scrutinize at least 487 Match profiles in search of both the most likely to succeed in courting this friend and those that are ludicrous. And beyond the realm of anything remotely normal. Or desirable. Or of this Earth.

Like the guy who posed without his shirt on, fireside. I’m not sure if men know this, but this sort of photographic gesture is so very . . . Burt Reynolds. We don’t want to envision our men wearing only tube socks and we most definitely do not want to see his human hair dickie even before we know his real name. Truth be told, it isn’t any better to sneak the topless photos of yourself, even at the beach, into the array of shots you’ve attached to your profile. No matter what the boys told you down at the Auto Zone, no woman wants to see you flexing in front of your Jeep. Because we know you’ll inevitably end up looking more at yourself than looking at us. And we suspect that you might watch MTV Spring Break specials well into your 50s. And not really understand why they don’t give the Dateline predators a second chance.

I’m also going to give a heads up to the boys who don’t seem to know that women have seen cropped photos before. See, we recognize when you cut your ex-girlfriend out of a picture, or all of the 27 pictures you used for your profile. Because women worth their salt and their Lasik know that you don’t have blonde extensions on the right side of your head and that the perky breast eclipsing your arm probably doesn’t belong to your mother. Unless when that photo was taken you were bagging your mom. Which she of course is hoping you were not. And are not.

There also seems to be an overabundance of guys who don’t have the foggiest idea as to how one writes a paragraph about himself. In many cases, these men opt instead and not all that cleverly to pen something expressive along the lines of, “you’ll know when you meet me,” or “mere English words cannot capture the essence of my innards” or “let’s cut thru this and git her done.” I wish Match hired reviewers that wouldn’t only rule out objectionable profile content, but who would also offer suggestions to the guys who just can’t pull 250 words together. For example, a self-reference of “simple” just isn’t a mating selling point. Simple is great in recipes and vibrator instructions. In reference to humans, it’s pretty much synonymous with having to be fed dinner through a straw or not understanding just why sisters and brothers shouldn’t have children.

And men of Henderson, NV and Nacogdoches, TX, why wink at a woman who lives 1,000 miles away from you and your beloved motocross? Although it’s tempting to start up a late night IM relationship with you, talking in splendid detail about just how late “u” played nickel slots and debating the acceptability of the male denim vest, most women will likely want a man close enough to follow up in person on a wink or an email. Or a 3 am booty text. Because that, decent conversation and a clothed profile pic boasting a full set of teeth might be all she’s looking for at this point anyway.

October 16, 2007
Oh, Senator Craig
Oh, Senator Craig. Matt Lauer is being so nice to you, so gentle with his words, just as he did with the glib Mr. Cruise, but let’s be honest. You’re that guy.

For me to believe that you didn’t do this, I also have to believe that every guy who didn’t call and later explained it with an “I dropped my cell in the toilet” or “I spent the night in the ER with one ruptured testicle after I caught it in the oven baking brownies for the homeless” really did so. I haven’t believed them since the 8th grade. And neither has your wife. You know, the woman you hid your arrest from.

For me to believe that a local Minneapolis cop set you up for this, somehow mistook your foot tapping and wedding-ring laden jazz hands for something other than an invitation to the naughty side, I’d have to buy a Cafepress “OJ was Framed!” junior ringer tee, and I’m quite sure my money would be better spent on your children’s therapy.

Sir, for me to believe that you actually don’t remember employing a well-established, synchronized series of movements a la Dancing with the Boys, I’d also have to believe that Clinton didn’t remember that Cigar in the Conservatory with Colonel Lewinski. Please don’t insult our collective intelligence. We Americans are a bright people, even if some of us did buy into the Bush sale items that were those elusive weapons of mass destruction. And “I don’t recall?” I don’t recall who worked as the puppeteer for Alf. Or where I was for Arbor Day 1974. This, Senator Craig? Like our first yeast infection, this we’d all recall.

You see, as hard as it may be for you to believe, 10 out of 10 of us have indeed used a public bathroom, and in the vast majority of cases we weren’t catchers calling fastballs to the pitchers next to us. If my foot ever were to slip into a neighboring potty area, which would take quite an extension of my squatty legs and yours, it would be followed with an “excuse me” or an “I’m sorry” or at the very least “my apologies, I’m not attempting to have the oral sexuals with you before my evening shuttle to National Airport,” things I’m pretty sure were covered in your freshman Hill manual.

I don’t know how to guide an airplane in for safe landing. I don’t know how to tell someone I’m angry using American sign language. And I certainly don’t have the foggiest as to how I might ask a stranger to have sex with me in a neighboring bathroom stall using just my feet and hands. Seems you did.

Land any planes lately, Mr. Craig?

October 15, 2007
Although I may go back for the Macaroni Grill
I spent a good amount of time in the suburbs this weekend. Six hours at least. Which is a long time, people. Longer than a flight to London or my perceived length of any Ethan Hawke movie. And I’m not talking about Arlington or Alexandria, which in many spots are pretty much pseudo-suburbs, but the burbs farther out, the ones that make you reset your trip odometer to see just how deep into the wilderness you’ve really wandered, and then leave you surprised when your ailing car makes it there and back in one piece. I’m talking the real deal.

I’m not sure where it came from, but just as I do for minivans and people would vote for George W. again if they could, I have a hearty bias against the burbs. To me, they just scream PTA and lots of teenagers with headgear and eating at chain restaurants. Although those are great things – maybe not the headgear? – for the folks who choose them, I just cringe when I think about living there. I grew up in a town within an hour of New York City, a quiet place with oak tree-lined road where kids could play Kick the Can in the front street after dark. You couldn’t pick up eggs at the supermarket without running into someone, or several someones, you knew. It was a wonderful and nurturing place to grow up and I wouldn't trade it; I’ve just always known I didn’t want to live there as an adult. Being too far away from a city represents suffocation to me, like being with a boyfriend who doesn’t let you go out with your girlfriends anymore.

And so it was yesterday that I went out to a well-known DC suburb, prepared to hit golf balls and watch the Redskins lose and then get right on back to civilization. Kim made fun of me several times given that I wasn’t familiar with any of the major highways one would travel to get there from the city. I felt a tinge of pride at that.

And then I spent the rest of the day feeling somewhat like an idiot. Because contrary to what I’d pictured, people in these wilds weren’t carrying around multiple babies at a time, one strapped to the front of the mother, another squirming in a harness on her back, and yet another on her head. The landscape, although riddled with SUVs, wasn’t covered in minivans, and natives were eating more than string cheese and pudding cups. Those in their Sunday best didn’t try to recruit me for mass. The town was just like my beloved city, but with long-lost space and convenience. And more than two lanes of well-paved roadway to get you from A to B. Ingenious.

The suburbs were comfortable. They were easy. While there, I didn’t triple check that my car doors were locked (admittedly, I did check once). Things were just so spacious, so green, and so pristine! Where bees and pansies share the frame, why would you need to put a Club on your steering wheel? Do you need to be reminded, as I apparently did, that in this wonderland you can buy lettuce from Giant and Band-Aids from CVS and a fifth of Beam, all in the same shopping complex? And that even the teen salespeople know what customer service is? And that there’s parking? Sweet baby Jebus, the parking.

It’s a beautiful thing. All of it. And I stand corrected. But I’m still not moving there.

October 11, 2007
Even better than Cats
I ate some of the cats' kibble tonight. Don't judge.

Let me preface this moment of TMI with an acknowledgement that I'm going through some heady stuff right now, some unbloggableness that is neither pleasant nor admittedly of a nature that would actually cause one to taste one's cat food. It has, however, caused me to be unusually on edge and snip-happy. Which led to my grandma-like tirade about the quality of the products I've been purchasing.

Junk just seems to fall apart, unraveling at the seams faster than the first two episodes of this season's Heroes. I feel forced into a corner with everything I buy. On my last trip to the Red Bullseye, I couldn't find one brand of toilet paper that a) came in normal, non steroid-enhanced sheets, and b) was offered for purchase in rolls numbering fewer than six. WHY MUST I BUY SIX? HOW MUCH WASTE CAN I POSSIBLY PRODUCE?!?!? I was lamenting this purchase, and not for the first or even the second time, when my extra-fluffy-for-no-good-GD-reason TP clogged the damn toilet. I cleared it with my Michael Kors plunger. It was the only one they had.

Later in the evening, as I poured the cats' kibbles and bits into a storage container given Cricket's penchant for chewing through its God-given bag, I couldn't help but wonder if my purchasing had again failed me. Maybe I was giving the seven cat legs of the house substandard feed, a combination of toucan bills and marmot feet and (gasp!) fellow feline parts. So before I even thought to read the label, before Google was even a glimmer in my eye, I ate a morsel. And then another. Dry. Brittle. And then I scarfed yet another, because I wanted to remember later just how it tasted. Because I knew I'd blog about it.

Surprisingly, that wasn't the saddest part. That honor is reserved for the fact that, should the phone not have rung, I might have had another. Turns out crow claws are surprisingly tasty.


October 10, 2007
Isn't she just the cutest?
I have a case of blogstipation so severe that it’s driven my damn hives away. Nothing to write, no appealing situations involving me falling down or in love while intoxicated (that I recall). Nothing interesting is happening with the cats, other than me forgetting to give them their second dose of deworming meds, which is neither funny nor newsworthy, save the distinct possibility that one freakish lurker will probably call DC Feline Services on me now. At least then I’d have something to write about.

I could tell you how, while lounging on my couch on Columbus Day and watching Biography, I first found out at the seasoned age of 33 that Katharine and Audrey Hepburn were not sisters, but retelling this evidence of my stupidity in great detail only hurts this tender ego. I also thought about reposting an old entry and waiting to see if any of you noticed, but all of the ones I randomly chose were about old relationships, and I figured my spinster status would clue you into my feeble attempt at trickery.

This leaves me wishing I could rent a kid. I know that lots of you will balk at this, but children produce great blog fodder, and great marketable blog fodder at that. They are reliable in their curiosity, in their uncanny ability to say those darndest things, in their need to cut their own bangs and then lie to you about it. I’d probably rent an unattractive child, not a terribly ugly one, but at least one who’s peculiar in the face, and one with some interesting yet simultaneously revolting ability like being able to throw up Doritos on his or her own command. It would also have to be able to talk, even caveman-like, so I could include accounts of our witty interactions in supermarkets and at playdates. Bonus points if the child is old enough to speak but not yet understanding of social graces. “Are you mommy’s fat friend?” Ah, the beauty of it. You’d never hear anything so gorgeous out of Cricket.

It would also be preferable if my tiny one unwittingly kept nearly killing one of the cats, maybe by shutting it in the refrigerator or the dryer. Writing about this would enable me to join my love of humor (“Oh yes little Joe did!” accompanied by laugh track) and crime (“Yes, I’m pretty sure it is predictive of future violent crimes against persons.”) Or maybe we’d find out that my hives were a more serious allergy than once thought, and that I was allergic to my own child. Seriously, the possibilities are almost endless.

A baby perched on mama’s hip at a bar while she steals all but one of the olives from the bartender’s stash isn’t really funny or endearing, I don’t think, so I probably would have to return the child before the weekend. Then again, someone might snap a great picture of that little munchkin with a neon Bud Lite sign just above her head. I’m betting I could squeeze at least two posts out of that one.

October 8, 2007
I'm pretty sure Vespucci is making movies with Steve Guttenberg now
Dear Christopher,

Thank you, thank you my dear man for being brave enough to set out into the unknown and discover the Federal holiday. Sleeping in yesterday's clothes until 10 and eating Cheez Its for breakfast hasn't felt this good since 1492.


October 5, 2007
guinea pigs
I'm doing a little research, and I hope you'll participate. It's nothing scientific, much like the rhythm method or my current experiment with leaving a marshmallow Peep exposed to the elements. I may actually share pictures. Of the latter, of course.

If you would, indulge me, and answer the following:

What constitutes being a mother? What attributes, what actions? I’m talking across the lifespan here, from childhood to adulthood.

Unlike being able to clean a bathroom properly, you don’t have to be a woman for this task. And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with yesterday’s post. Many thanks, sweet party people.

October 4, 2007
This rant brought to you by PMS and years of being the two-headed woman
Please tell me, dear friends, what the big freaking deal is that a 28-year-old man had a vasectomy. He’s one of the media darlings of the moment, showing up on MSN’s home page and on the Today show to discuss in great detail his vas deferens and the decisionmaking behind The Snip. I understand that this is a stark departure from the norm, the norm being to keep access to your little men intact until much later in life, at which point apparently A) you have done your intended human duty and left a legacy in the form of little human beings who have both your Geometry wizardry and your monobrow, and B) you are finally old and wise and lucid enough to make the decision to have said surgery. But it really isn’t newsworthy, is it? Isn’t Britney drinking again? What about that little war that’s going on someplace . . . over there?

Now we all know that I’m biased, in that I too knew early in life that I did not want to have human children. Over the years, folks have looked at me as if I have horns when I tell them the news, some asking with dropped jaw just what my parents did wrong, others assuring me that I’ll change my mind. You know, as if deciding to have children is as simple as picking that everything bagel over the honey grain.

Actually, now that I think about it, it is. This guy had his tubes cut because he knew he would never, ever be a father. Like nehhhhhhhver. Think about it for a minute – for lack of a better example in my current state of mind, imagine yourself marrying someone of the same gender (or another gender, whatever is your departure from the norm). Seem strange? Can’t fathom it? There it is. So when cries of “Gah! He didn’t even freeze his sperm for later?!? I mean OMsweetbabyjesusG what if he changes his mind and wants to have the baybeeeeeeees?!?!?” He’s 28, people! By 28 he could have been the ugly one in a boy band and now be a practicing patent lawyer! He could have had calf implants inserted . . . and removed! AND CRIPES! In a few years this mere fetus will be of age to be our Commander in Chief! Now how could he be mature enough to make such a dramatic life-changing decision with his own body?

I’m tired of us being the circus freaks.

October 3, 2007
Regrettably, no. No it isn't.

October 1, 2007
Perfect weekend leaves blogger without Monday post
WASHINGTON, DC – Surprisingly temperate September weather, the absence of PMS, and some kickin’ sesame chicken aligned to create an unusually enjoyable weekend, leaving local blogger Kris Likey with absolutely nothing about which to snark.

“I mean my hives were back and all, and I did have to give myself a sponge bath with this liquid hydrocortisone stuff, but that didn’t break me,” reported Ms. Likey, erasing from a family photo the horns she drew earlier on her mother’s head. “Worse was that lame deer storyline in the Grey’s Anatomy I Tivo’d from last week, but even that didn’t bend my spirit.”

Likey’s friends echoed the sentiment. “She is usually an incredible f*cking b!tch,” offered half-Asian, Northern Virginia friend and local blogger K., who preferred not to give her full name for fear of incurring Likey’s notorious wrath. “Seriously. Rumor has it Bug chewed off his own f^cking leg just so she’d be nicer to him.”

Bug's veterinarian could not be reached for comment.

Likey expressed a belief that the weekend was a veritable “perfect storm” of factors, including her mother not commenting on her flat, overprocessed hair, huge ass or inability to achieve golden child status, and does not expect to see this inflated mood for years if not decades. “Even Mad TV was funny,” Likey chirped while hugging our reporter goodbye. “How often does that happen?”