March 5, 2014
I love remembering.
I love how a story or a smell or a photo or a song can take you right back to a time and place.
Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street was on the radio today. For those of you unfamiliar with Baker Street, it is a cheesy 70s ballad featuring a saxophone riff between each verse, and lyrics such as: “He’s got this dream about buyin’ some land / He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands / And then he’ll settle down, in some quiet little town / And forget about everything.”
Most couples have a special song that is an expression of their romantic feelings for one another. They might play their song at their wedding, or when they want to “get jiggy wit it”. The song might even be “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”.
Baker Street is “our song”.
You might be wondering how Baker Street, a song about buying land, alcoholism, and sexual promiscuity could be “our song”.
September, 2011. Rhodes, Greece. Aegean Sea. The aroma of ripe peaches, sea water and romance was in the air…
Every morning we would trek up to the restaurant for breakfast, hand-in-hand, and every morning we would sip orange juice and prosecco, feed each other fresh fruit, kiss, cuddle, touch each other’s knees, etc. (we were the people you hate), and every morning the restaurant would have the very worst “classic rock” playing in the background.
I remember the saxophone intro. (It is so cheesy.)
I asked the husband what song it was (because the husband has an uncanny ability to recollect useless information. It is one of the reasons I married him).
Shockingly, he did not know. He took out his phone to google: “cheesy saxophone solo”.
Baker Street was the first result.
We both started playing air saxophone solos. We both started laughing. We both agreed this was the best vacation ever. We also both agreed that downloading music and movies without permission is morally equivalent to theft. I digress (as usual).
Weirdly/strangely/oddly, when we got home from vacation we started to hear Baker Street everywhere… all the time. Banks. Grocery stores. On the radio. While holding for the cable company. A fellow commuter’s ringtone. We would look at each other, laugh and remember: Rhodes. Sea air. Hand-holding. Making people jealous. That’s us. That’s Baker Street.
February 26, 2014
I love jet lag.
You might be asking yourself, Why does Kim love jet lag?
Or, you might be asking yourself a bigger, more important question, like… WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
I can’t help you with the meaning of life. I mean, I suspect it’s something about love and kindness and making the world a better place, and the love you take being equal to the love you make, but I can’t say for sure.
As for the first question:
I love knowing that I have at least two days of watching TV ahead (for transatlantic flights). This is exciting for me, because I don’t allow myself to watch TV during the day. I “work” from home (I don’t know why I put work in quotations – I’m not trying to minimize my efforts. I work very hard and I want everyone to know it), and I have found that TV is like meth, or like Lays Potato Chips™… once you start, it’s hard to stop.
I love feeling sleepy, and being allowed to feel sleepy. This is exciting for me, because I don’t allow myself naps. Again, I “work” from home and napping takes away from the working. Naps are also like meth and Lays Potato Chips™.
I love having zero expectations. This is exciting for me, because I place very high expectations on myself. I love knowing that my brain is not working at 100%, so I should just sit back, relax, watch some TV and eat some Lays Potato Chips™, while waiting for my circadian rhythm to adjust.
I love doing laundry. Is there nothing better in this world than folding laundry while watching a Golden Girls marathon on the Hallmark Channel? Answer: No.
I love slowly unpacking the souvenirs collected on the journey. I have learned the hard way that it is better to unpack your leaning tower (of Pisa) statuette slowly.
I love being able to take sleeping pills, without it being a “thing”.
I love feeling disoriented and fatigued. I love not having to do meth to get that “disoriented” and “fatigued” feeling.
Now to book another trip!
February 19, 2014
We’ve all been there. Queued, or “lined-up” in a bathroom, waiting patiently to use the facilities. (And, as we know, the lines are always longer in the ladies room, but that doesn’t stop us from mentioning it to everyone single person in line… every. single. time.)
A woman comes out of a stall, looks in the mirror, examines her pores, pouts her lips, applies lip gloss, flicks her hair over her shoulder, and then exits the bathroom.
And you’re like… WHAT.
She has just been in a shared, public restroom doing her “thing”, where many other people have done their “thang”… which could include many different situations and circumstances.
When one “uses” (or “abuses”) a bathroom (let alone a shared, public restroom), one touches what other people have touched (door knobs, dryer buttons, faucet taps, soap dispensers, toilet seats, flushers, latches, and – possibly – their genitals…). Germs are passed around, bacteria are shared, infections are spread.
It’s like one big germ/love fest! But, why not go and get a communicable disease the fun way (making out)? (Picking up a disease in a bathroom is so 1987.)
Why don’t people wash their hands? WHY?
Are people just lazy?
How hard is it to get your hands wet, use soap, work up a lather, and then rinse?
Answer: NOT VERY.
I wish that there were signs over the bathroom doors that would light up and announce to the world (or, at least, people in the immediate vicinity): “Didn’t wash hands!” Because I want those non-hand-washing disgusting perverts to know, and to feel… shame.
February 12, 2014
So I was bullied.
You might be thinking to yourself that being bullied in middle school or high school (or both) is a rite of passage and happens to everyone. You might have also been bullied, or have been a bully… and you might be of the opinion that whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I agree with all of these statements.
But, no. This was just a few months ago.
I signed up for a comedy writing class at a popular comedy school in Los Angeles, to learn more (not less) about comedy and writing.
The first class went well. Everyone was shy, and on their best behavior. We all said our names with a sweet smile, and sipped our drinks softly.
Our teacher was a dude. He was in his early 20s, and claimed to know something about comedy. He drank a lot of soda and burped at least 50 times every single class. He would be in the middle of a sentence… “I want you to establish the who, what, (insert big gross BURP here) and where.” Then he’d move on, like it was no big thing.
The second class was less good, because it soon became clear who the Heathers* were.
Let’s call them Karen and Angela (because those are their real names and I’m definitely not trying to protect them). Karen and Angela were both in their mid to late 30s. They knew each other. They sat together. They shared snacks and drinks with each other. They knew why the other one was late (“flat tire”). They also passed notes, whispered and laughed out loud throughout the class, which I found incredibly distracting and (also) rude.
Each class would begin with the dude talking about comedy writing for several minutes, then we would take turns reading our comedy sketches aloud and give each other “constructive criticism”.
While my sketch was being read aloud by other members of the class, I looked over at the Karen and Angela. Karen jotted something in her notebook, and then drew an arrow pointing directly at me. She then nudged Angela, who read it, laughed, and followed the arrow with her eyes… directly to me.
I stopped paying attention to my sketch being read aloud, and started wondering what on earth these two ladies (I use that term loosely) had to say about me? What had Karen written, and why had Angela laughed? Why were these ladies (or: sea cows) targeting me?
1. They are talking/pointing/laughing at something just behind me (the wall????)?
2. They are jealous of my comedic and writing abilities.
3. They are mad because I am way cuter than either of them.
4. They have never been loved by another human.
5. I have something on my face.
After checking my face in the mirror on the break, I resolved that the next time those b****es drew an arrow in my direction, I was going to call them out.
I mean, come on! I’m over it. I’m over being self-conscious. I’m over feeling intimidated by other women. I am over. IT.
For the remaining six classes, Karen and Angela continued to be terrible. They took turns writing notes, drawing arrows (seriously), and laughing out loud at different people in the class. They were overly critical (read: mean) about people’s sketches and had a bad attitude when they received constructive criticism from others. The dude teaching the class didn’t seem to notice, or care (unless he ran out of Coke Zero).
Strangely… I started to feel sorry for Karen and Angela.
Obviously, Karen and Angela are very sad, lonely people. They have probably never been loved by another human. They probably pick on people to make themselves feel better about their sad, lonely lives. They probably look in the mirror and cry (because to be honest, neither of them are very attractive).
I realized that Karen and Angela didn’t deserve contempt, they deserved pity. (They also deserved a good spanking, but I digress.)
If you are a Karen or Angela, please STOP being a Karen or Angela.
If you know a Karen or Angela (obviously not just people with the names “Karen” or “Angela”, but people with the aforementioned traits), don’t let them get to you! Remember that they are sad, lonely people with sad, lonely lives and they deserve your pity.
Try giving them a hug, or spanking (or both).
*If you don’t know the term, Heathers… OMG, what? Heathers is a 1980s classic movie starring Winona Ryder about a clique of mean girls all named Heather.
February 5, 2014
Willie was a birthday present from my parents a few years ago.
Now, it may seem strange to receive a ventriloquist dummy as a gift on one’s natal day… (and I would not argue with that), however we Mankys enjoy the bizarre and curious (just look at our friends… zing).
As I unwrapped Willie from the tissue paper, I was (of course) thrilled, as I love puppets and Muppets and all things quirky (again, just look at my friends… zing). I am also a bit of a connoisseur of junque and collectibles, and Willie is certainly a showpiece.
I also appreciated the fact that my parents didn’t just get me a gift card. They took the time to think about what their daughter likes (weird stuff, and people… zing) and then went out and bought a ventriloquist dummy. I was touched.
The husband on the other hand, was not touched (and did not want to be touched).
I informed the husband that as my spouse and partner in life, he was now the co-owner/sharer of Willie. That did not make him feel better (I think it made him feel worse).
The husband didn’t (and doesn’t) like Willie.
Let’s just say if our house was burning down, the husband would not run back inside for Willie. The husband will not make direct eye contact with Willie. The husband will not lift or touch Willie. The husband will not say (or utter) Willie’s name… Willie Talk (ha ha).
The husband gets the willies from Willie.
January 30, 2014
My name is Kimberly Manky, and I am pogonophiliac.
Before you start worrying and tell me to take an iron supplement*… I should tell you that a pogonophiliac is someone who is fond of beards. That’s me.
I love beards.
Just so we’re clear… I don’t mean the people (male or female) who are used to conceal someone else’s sexual orientation, by pretending to be a romantic partner… (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I mean the hair that grows on the face of men.
There is something very manly/macho about hair on the face of men. I’m not the only one who thinks so…
According to a study in the Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, women dig beards. Women were shown photos of men with shaven faces, light stubble, heavy stubble, and full beards, and were then asked to rate the men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity, and parenting abilities based on the photos. And I quote: “Masculinity ratings increased linearly as facial hair increased.”
To summarize… the bigger the beard, the more women want the bearded one to be their baby daddy.
To summarize more succinctly (and in French), women like their men aver pools du visage.
Maybe it’s because it’s clear that the men are in fact, men (not boys)? Maybe it’s because it makes a man look smart, like a professor? Maybe it’s because it makes a man look like (“Honest”) Abe Lincoln? Maybe it’s because it covers those butt chins (the chin dimples that look like little butts)? Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that women prefer men who look like their dads?
According to the Durham University study Women Prefer Men Who Look Like Dad, I was predisposed to like beards. The study found that women who had good relationships with their fathers were attracted to men who resembled their fathers, because human brains build an ideal face based on those with whom we have had a positive relationship. This includes facial features and facial hair…
I am going to go with the Abe Lincoln thing.
* And, I am taking an iron supplement. Get off my back.
January 22, 2014
When I was about 18 or 19 years old I was given a game for Christmas.
I love games. I love making merry. I also love a good diversion (to help me forget the reality of this cruel, cruel world).
The game was Truth or Dare Jenga.
Truth or Dare Jenga is similar (pretty much exactly like) the original game of Jenga… a game that tests one’s mental ability and physical dexterity. There are 54 wood blocks, and players take turns removing them from a tower formation. The winner is the last person that removes a block without toppling the tower. In Truth or Dare Jenga, the blocks are red (dare), green (truth) and plain wood (blank).
On that Christmas morning, I was very excited to receive such a gift… I like games (some would say love), I like answering questions accurately, and I like displaying my courage.
I suggested we all play the game. However, my mother was busy preparing the Christmas dinner, and my sister was on the phone with her boyfriend. My father was the only available family member.
I don’t think either of us knew what we were in for.
We stacked the tower and I went first. I pulled a wooden block from the tower. It was red. It said, “Dance with a Broom”. That seemed easy enough. I went to the closet, grabbed a broom, swayed a little… Dare done.
My father pulled a block from the tower. It was also red. It said, “Yodel.” My father was very happy to yodel.
We took a few turns pulling blocks from the tower. They were not red or green.
Then it got awkward.
I pulled a green block… “What is the most fun you’ve had in the dark?” Well, if I had answered that question truthfully, it probably would have involved playing tonsil hockey with a boy in a darkened theatre. But I wasn’t about to tell my father about that! Instead I told him the most fun I’ve had in the dark was chewing Wint-O-Mint Lifesavers™ and watching them spark (A BOLD-FACED LIE).
My father then pulled a green block: “Have you ever been skinny-dipping?”
I did not want to know the answer. I also didn’t want to play the game anymore.
Before my father could saying anything, I quickly adjusted my position on the floor, purposefully jostling the table, thus knocking the tower down, and forfeiting the game… all for the sake of our relationship!
I quickly packed up the blocks, and tried to block out (pun intended) the whole awkward ordeal.
January 9, 2014
I saw the word in The New Yorker. That makes it sound like I read The New Yorker, doesn’t it? (“Look at me. Reading The New Yorker like some highfalutin, cultured, learned intellectual.”) In reality, I only like the cartoons.
When I was scanning The New Yorker for cartoons, I saw the word “entlistungsfreude” in an ad. The ad said it’s a German word meaning, “the sense of satisfaction afforded by crossing things off lists.”
I have a serious case of entlistungsfreude.
I like lists. A lot. I like lists probably more than I should (more than chocolate pudding, less than my husband).
When I write something on my list, I feel like I am already halfway there… because if it’s on my list, it will get gone. Eventually. (Hopefully.)
Sometimes I will write, “write a list” on my list because then I can cross it right off
An example list:
- write a list
- delete Candy Crush off my phone
- mail fan letter to Biebs
- buy eggs
- buy egg whites
- look for missing cat
- collect reward for returning cat
Sometimes I put easy things on my list because then I know I will get to cross them off.
(Done and done!)
Sometimes I put hard things on my list because then I have something to strive for. If it’s on my list, I can keep it in focus.
- write for Saturday Night Live
(This may never happen. But it’s on my list, isn’t it? So really, I’m halfway there.)
I do get a weird (and possibly unhealthy) thrill from crossing things off a list. I feel a sense of accomplishment with crossing things off a list that isn’t afforded to me in other areas of my life (Yes, it is very possible I am compensating for something with lists).
Here is today’s list:
- write a blog
(That felt good.)
January 2, 2014
I went home for Christmas this year. “Home” being where my parents live, and where I once lived. Home also being Quesnel, a small town in northern British Columbia with a population of 10,007 people.
I hadn’t been “home” in almost four years. I had lived in England for three of those years, and then moved to So Cal*, and found it hard to find time to make the jaunt north, and then north again and then (more) north.
Four years is a long time. (If I was a walrus, I could have had three offspring during this four-year period, because the gestation period for a walrus is approximately 15-16 months. Sometimes I sing “I Am The Walrus”, and I think about how different things would be if I was a pinniped. This is appropriate information because I love The Beatles.)
I was very excited to see what had changed in the (nearly) four years since I last visited (I knew my parents had renovated their kitchen, so I was prepared for that).
We arrived by plane. Calling it a plane is actually very kind because it was actually a sardine can with tin-foil wings. I was very excited when the “plane” landed and I saw my mom and dad at the gate.
I was not as excited when the airline told me they lost my suitcase.
“What do you mean?” I enquired, trying to keep my $@%# together.
“It’s lost.” She pushed a form toward me. “Fill this out. If we find it, we’ll call you.”
“If?” I said, remembering that I packed all my finest things on this trip, including expensive face serums and underwear from Marks & Spencer.
“It should show up.” Jackie said this as though it should have made me feel better, when in fact it made me feel much, much worse.
I filled out the “form”**, which was actually a hand-printed piece of paper that they photocopied. Apparently, typing is too much trouble for the “airline”***.
I wasn’t sure if I would ever see my suitcase (or my serums, or my underwear) ever again. My mom suggested we stop by Wal-Mart to buy me some underwear.
I am not a person that shops at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a multinational corporation that likes to swoop in like a hawk, killing off small businesses like mice and other small field animals, and devastating the local economy (like all hawks do).
Saying that, it’s the only place in town that you can buy underwear.
So we went there.
As I made my way to the “Ladies Intimates” section, I saw a guy I once knew. I got very excited. I walked right up to him and gave him a big hug, because I knew this guy. Yes, it had been nearly 15 years since I last saw him, but I “knew” him. Once.
It got weird.
He was all, “Hey….” and then he looked up at the fluorescent lights on the ceiling and then we had a really awkward conversation as he backed away (rather awkwardly), and told me to have a “Merry Christmas.”
Before I could even understand what had just happened, I saw someone else I once knew… a girl I went to high school with. I waved. I saw her glance in my direction, and then look away. I kept waving, because it’s been like 15 years and I want to know what she’s been up to. Though from her cart full of children, I’d say she’s been busy having children. I smiled. She glanced over at me again, our eyes met, and then she turned away.
I wondered if I had so improved with age (like a fine wine) that these people didn’t even recognize me. Perhaps they thought I was a stranger and therefore did not want to engage in conversation? Because, obviously, if they knew who I was (Kimberly Manky), and how long I had been away (four years), they would certainly want to engage in a conversation!
After I grudgingly bought my underwear at Wal-Mart, I met my high school friend Betty**** for lunch. I told Betty that I had “run into” two people we both knew from high school at Wal-Mart. She shrugged, as if it was no big deal.
I rarely (if ever) have run into someone I know. When you live in a very large city you may see the same supermarket cashier or gas attendant, but YOU WILL NEVER run into someone you knew from high school, unless they live in the same large city and then you will DEFINITELY have a conversation (and you might even get a hug).
Betty said that she sees people from high school ALL THE TIME, and that she usually ignores them and they ignore her. They have an understanding… an unspoken, implicit understanding.
As Betty and I hugged good-bye, my cellphone rang. They had found my suitcase.
I went straight back to Wal-Mart to return my underwear for a full refund.
I didn’t see anyone I knew.
* Southern California, for those “in the know”.
** I use the term “form” loosely.
*** I use the term “airline” loosely.
**** Name changed to protect the innocent.