Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

Special special needs December 4, 2008

handicappedI was musing to myself that it would be nice to have a little income stream during this intermediary period. Rest assured, I have some (I think) good ideas in me noggin, and I’m getting some irons in the fire, so things should start to shape up and some cash rolling in by spring. However, seeing as I left my job rather than wait to be laid off (which I now very much wonder if I might have been. I don’t know how much demand there would’ve been for our boutique banking consulting services), I’m not eligible for unemployment.

Then it occurred me to me: I’ve been paying into the system for a good, long time. Maybe a little disability wouldn’t be too much to ask for? Admittedly (and happily), I’m healthy and (I think) mentally stable, but I do have a few unique flaws that I believe should be taken into consideration by the fine folks at the disability claims area:

Stove Dyslexia – This is the kind of thing that destroys families. I cannot turn on the burner I intended to turn on, and it is not my fault. This disorder has caused me considerable pain and trauma: Meals have been late, caffeine fixes unnecessarily delayed, several dish towels have burn marks on them, and I have even suffered the unspeakable – yes, I have lost arm hair. The smell torments my dreams to this day.

Irritable Howl Syndrome (IHS) – my dog has innovated this horrific banshee scream cum wolf howl noise that he’s very proud of. He will go out onto the back porch and let out this blood curdling sound until I go and drag him inside by the the collar. Nine times out of ten, he runs downstairs, goes out his dog door, and resumes again within two minutes. It drives me crazy, and if crazy isn’t grounds for disability payments, I don’t know what is.

Verification Word Blindness – For some reason Yahoo thinks I’m a spammer, and it constantly makes me type in the secret word it generates to confirm I’m a real human being. And I can never get the word right. Never. I have been known to try and fail five, six, seven times…until I finally have to call someone else in to help me. This is as embarrassing as it is emotionally crippling, and leads me to fear I may be a robot or android and no one has let me in on this yet.

Obsessive Compulsive Spellcheck Disorder (OCSD) – Yes, I am the obnoxious friend who notices you wrote ‘too’ when you meant ‘to’ or that you used the wrong their/they’re/there or that you’re a bit, shall we say, apostrophe ‘s’ happy. Also, the rumors are true: The dish is broken, not broke and irregardless is illogical, and thus not actually a word.

Curlyhairophobia – I have naturally curly hair, but I am not a fan. At all. And I have invested hundreds if not thousands of dollars into lotions and potions and straighteners and other accoutrement to fight my Irish genes. Possibly also related (to the genes more than the hair), I’ve also been known to go a little berserk if I get caught in the rain in my recently straightened hair. Okay, not a little beserk. A lot beserk. This no doubt speaks to some kind of rage disorder worthy of a little income.

Chronic Fashionista Syndrome – I’m obsessed with clothes. I’m driven to read each and every page of Elle, Lucky, In Style, Latina, Essence, or whatever you’ve got in search of tips, tricks, and the latest styles. This in turn manifests as an insatiable need for new stuff, adorable stuff, sexy stuff, any stuff…so long as it’s more stuff. This disorder speaks to my inner sadness and unquenchable emptiness, as well as a desire to look cute.

Cash deficit disorder (CDD) – See Above.

Syphilis – I’m just kidding. I don’t have syphilis. And I hope not to. So if you have it, stop looking at me and stay on your side of the bar. That is unless it’s grounds for a monthly stipend. Then I might consider actually allowing my bare ass to touch the rim of a gas station toilet seat and seeing what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.

I’m certain by now you agree. I am more than deserving of a cash influx…stat.


Cause célèbre November 22, 2008

Me and Dozer over the weekend

Me and Dozer over the weekend

It’s official.

My dog, Dozer, is a celebrity, a sensation, and a canine rock star. I doubt Bono would’ve caused a bigger fuss than the Big Doh elicited today. Quite frankly, speaking as a regular non-famous and non-famous looking human being, I’ve never seen anything like this. Ever.

A million years ago I knew Weird Al Yankovic and we once went to get some ice cream before one of his shows. A few people came up and asked for his autograph, but (and no offense, Al), it was nothing like the response to my dog.

You walk him down busy city streets and people stop in their tracks, drop to their knees, and start kissing him. Actually, I find this extremely brave considering the number one rule of strange dogs (particularly huge strange dogs) is don’t invade their space unless you know it’s safe. Luckily for the crazed dog lovers stroking him, embracing him, and even sticking their lips millimeters from his mouth on every block, it’s safe.


Last night, a group of Japanese tourists ran out into traffic, their eyes shining as they frantically dug out their cameras. This is a testament to his northern beauty, a furry siren song, as these folks were risking death or at a least a head-on collision with a bus in order to meet Dozer and have their pictures taken with him. I’m starting to think if this writing career idea doesn’t pan out, maybe I’ll just set up on the corners of popular tourist attractions like Times Square, Las Vegas Boulevard, or the Embarcadero and charge $1.00 per hug? $3.00 for photos.

Either that or take him to Hollywood and get this pretty boy an agent. I foresee a bright future selling Eukanuba or Kibbles and Bits and Bits (with more Bits!).
It worked for Benji, and he wasn’t even all that cute.

The look on his face in this picture makes me laugh

The look on his face in this picture makes me laugh


Ultimate fighting or blogging: Which causes more brain leakage? July 30, 2008

If this isn't both the saddest and the cutest thing you've ever seen, you need to get your head checked!

If this isn't both the saddest and the cutest thing you've ever seen, you need to get your head checked!

This was the debate topic posed by Lewis Black tonight on his Comedy Central show. Patton Oswalt was called upon to argue that blogging is the root of all evil. Alongside some weak attempts at amusement, he did point out rather accurately that the average blog contains useless personal minutiae peppered with pictures of the blogger’s cat dressed as Harry Potter.

My own cat, Siddhartha, has way too much self-respect and street cred for that. This is what I get for naming him after the precursor to a deity.

However, Dozer, my Alaskan Malamute, is not so fortunate. Or bright. Or feline. So it is in that spirit that I present you with a photo of him dressed as Superman. Sit back and enjoy the warm, milky feeling of the brain melt…


I did enjoy the potential blog name proposed by Patton: “Random Thoughts By a Disorganized Douche Bag.” I wonder if that’s taken???


Running to Stand Still June 16, 2008

Filed under: Self-analysis — wideawakeinwonderland @ 9:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been reading this book – ‘What to Do With the Rest of Your Life’ – about finding or creating the “job of your dreams”. The author challenges you to come up with a list of things you enjoy, and then pare it back to things you love, and then hone that to four or five things you wouldn’t mind talking about, thinking about, learning about, and doing for the rest of your life. That last element makes provides the “Whoa, Nelly!” factor, but I’m pretty sure my list is:

  • Writing
  • Cooking
  • Dogs
  • Philosophy/”The meaning of life”/therapy in that vein
  • Health/Exercise

I’ve nixed dogs and health on the impracticality factors of one and likely poverty of the other. I’m probably too old to go to med school or start a decorated career as a personal trainer. Similarly, I know some wonderful and dedicated people that have helped me train my dogs…and it’s pretty apparent that they just scrape by. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure you can have a remarkable and fulfilling life despite ‘just scraping by’ where salary is concerned, I just figure if you’re going to bother to dream big, you may as well start out with the bar a little bit higher than that.

I went for a long run today and was thinking about this “carpe diem” pressure some of us put on ourselves (such as me on myself!): The call or challenge to make every moment matter and live as if this were the last day of your life and if you can dream it, you can do it kind of stuff.  I think, in the mix of being a very sick and twisted society ripe with celebrity adoration, breast implants, reality TV, and athletes making millions of dollars a year while so many people can’t even claw their way above the poverty line, we’ve also created this culture – or at least expectation – of super lives. Look at me, I’m doing it all, and I lost 15 pounds, and I have my own line of frozen cuisine and high heels coming out in the fall!

However, I think in the big picture, it’s not so important to be jumping out of airplanes and have a reality TV show focused on you and fill every single second with really cool, enviable things, as to try to find a way to spend less of your time doing things that don’t matter to you, that don’t make you one bit happier, or that really add no value to your life or anyone else’s. If you look at other cultures, there doesn’t seem to be the zeal to live in multi-million dollar houses or walk red carpets or have everyone else agree that you’re beautiful and extraordinary. In fact, having dedicated rather too much time to wanting everyone else to agree that I’m something special, I can see how empty – and strangely not healing – it is. Even when you get there, it doesn’t work.

With that in mind, my list takes on new meaning. If I were to try to find a way to bridge some middle ground between things I enjoy enough to possibly dedicate a sizable chunk of every day to them and NOT fill the rest of my life up trying to achieve some kind of societally assigned status, chase material things, and worry about what everyone else thinks…then I’d really be onto something.