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Archive for May, 2018

Dear Apartment Complex Rule Makers:

I received your email (screenshot above) in preparation for Memorial Day weekend. While I appreciate the effort, we need to talk about a couple of these rules:

1.) In order for all residents to have a fair chance to enjoy the pool there is a 2 guest maximum per household. As an example, if your lease agreement includes a total of three leaseholders/occupants, the maximum number of people you are allowed to have at the pool would be 5. This includes your two guests.
I feel like this is the Whole Foods rule. I’m OK with that, but how are you going to check?

2.) When using the amenities all guests must be accompanied by the leaseholder they are visiting.
Even the bathroom? No. Not happening.

3.) Children must be supervised and accompanied by an adult leaseholder when using the pool.
Great idea. Can you also put a noise and/or whine limit on said children? Case in point, this little bastard who screamed bloody murder every time his brother squirted him:

5.) Alcoholic Beverages are not allowed at the pool.
Imma let you finish but
Nevermind. I won’t. What good is having a pool if you can’t have adult beverages around it?

7.) No Horseplay.
I need a definition. Does whacking a friend with a pool noodle count? (Asking for a friend. [A friend who is really my youngest son.]) What about a random dad taking all the kids for a ride on his back? You are going to have to be specific.

This is supposedly the dad of one of our kids’ friends. I don’t know. He could have been the complex pedophile. Were my kids happy? Yes. I was there just in case. Shut up.

8.) No Solo Bathing
What does this mean? I can’t come to the pool by myself? F that. I dare you to say something to me. I’ll sling a nonalcoholic beverage at you. (Or does it mean not washing your solo cup in the pool? Or that Han Solo can’t come over?)

10.) ENJOY!
How is this possible when you hit us with the rules above. Please.

Also, where is the no-doob rule that is clearly needed?

And what about rules for music?

And a loud talker rule?

This guy had a story for everything. No one could top his exploits.

You get an A for effort, but a C- for execution.

Bah.

I’m still going, though. I have stories to write.

See you soon!
Beth

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Dear William Shakespeare:

May I call you Wills (like a famous best man)? I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better over the past few days. (And you have a beard, which I like.)

My university has a special week-long “school” for professors to do a deep dive into a text to help us better teach it to students. I signed up for “Othello,” as it is even more relevant today (and I hadn’t read it since I was at this university the first time as a student). (Best part: Watching the Mekhi Phifer/Julia Stiles/Josh Hartnett movie version as homework.)

Anyway, you wrote certain lines in your other plays that people really love and quote all the time. Yet I found some in “Othello” that I’m going to start using regularly:

“Being full of supper and distempering draughts, upon malicious bravery dost thou come to start my quiet?”

I plan to use Brabantio’s line (Act 1, Scene 1) the next time Darryl rings the doorbell after 9 p.m.

“O, gentle lady, do not put me to’t, for I am nothing if not critical.”

I’ll channel Iago (Act 2, Scene 1) with Miles’ mom at the pool this weekend.

“I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was craftily qualified too, and behold what innovation it makes here!”

Cassio knows a good drinking line when he speaks it (Act 2, Scene 3). As do I. Speaking of drinking …

“I learned it in England, where indeed they are most potent in potting.”

Indeed. Iago speaks the truth (Act 2, Scene 3) about folks drinking in a big way.

“Ha, I like not that.”

Iago delivers a line (Act 3, Scene 3) that is perfect for a variety of occasions.

So thanks for putting words in my mouth. It may have been hard to be the bard, but your efforts still resonate more than 400 years later.

Yours in all kindness,
Beth

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Dear Music Lovers:

If you are like me, you have playlists for various occasions. In my case, these playlists correspond to very specific occasions. Here are some examples:

1. Playlist that keeps me from murdering my attitudinal oldest son and burying his body in the shrubs outside our door:

Notes: It’s hard to be mad at your 13 year old when 13-year-old Taylor Hanson is scatting. No, I’m not ashamed to have One Direction on a playlist. Yes, “1985” resonates (I too never got a hand on a member of Duran Duran. Yet.).

2. Playlist that helps me get ready for work when I spent too much time the night before bingeing “Santa Clarita Diet” and drinking wine.

Notes: I dare you to stand still when you hear any of these songs. “Thrift Shop” is one of my youngest son’s favorite songs.

3. Playlist that allows me to let my redneck freak flag fly (and those moments I can ignore over-the-top objectification of women):

Notes: This may surprise you, but my first date with Eddie was a Tim McGraw/Sawyer Brown concert. I was a DJ for a country music radio station at the time. As I also worked as a TV news reporter, I couldn’t use my real name on air at the radio station. I wanted to call myself Moonpie Jones, but my boss wouldn’t let me.

4. Playlist to offer when someone asks you your favorite song from the ’80s.

Notes: How could I choose? So many great songs for so many good reasons. It’s shocking how Bow Wow Wow is undervalued and underplayed.

5. Playlist for when the kids are not in the car:

 

Notes: All great. All NSFW and NSFC. It’s surprising there’s no “E” next to “Crazy Bitch.” It’s definitely “E.” (Sarah K., don’t say a word to me about Buckcherry.)

6. Playlist for stress cleaning your habitat because your house in your old city STILL hasn’t sold.

Notes: It’s been a year. This is better than drinking.

7. Playlist for cooking complicated dishes like Mexican tamales, Puerto Rican pasteles and Japanese gyoza while wishing regular life could be as easy as following a recipe.

Notes: If I’m going to cook, I’m going to COOK (i.e., go all out). All-day cooking makes me feel very counterculture — counter to my usual routine — hence this throwback playlist.

I’m open to new bands. I promise! (I’m just too lazy to go searching.) Send me your top playlist and its best occasion!

Thanks for the recs,
Beth

 

From Instagram. Change 2000s to 1980s.

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Dear Readers:

I live in the South. That means it’s already summer here (91 degrees today). That also means it’s time for a new season of “Dispatches from the pool.”

Enjoy!
Beth

EPISODE 1: Oh what a tangled web we weave
Rated PG-13 for substance abuse and sexual conduct

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON, MOTHER’S DAY

About 20 people have arranged themselves in small groups around the perimeter of the pool. The only people in the pool, though, are FOUR CHILDREN: DOMINIC (13), GIDEON (11), MILES (11) and DARRYL (age unknown, possibly 8).

FATHER OF THE FIRST TWO and MOTHER OF THE THIRD have found themselves lounge chairs in the shade. (No one has ever seen MOTHER OF DARRYL.) MOTHER OF THE FIRST TWO arrives after making these:

Individual pineapple upside-down cakes. Thank you, Food Network!

The moment MOTHER sits down, FATHER and MOTHER OF MILES fills her in on all the pool gossip.

FATHER
You see that girl over there (points at TWENTYSOMETHING on her phone)? She apparently picked up some dudes at Whole Foods and invited them back to the pool.

MOTHER OF MILES
She said, “They seemed cool.”

MOTHER OF DOMINIC AND GIDEON
Wait … What?! Random guys?

MoM
I know, right?!

FATHER
But when they showed up, the girl maybe hadn’t told her fiancé.

MoM
Right. He seemed surprised when they shouted her name.

MoDaG
WHAT?!

Later, MoDaG spots canoodling among WHOLE FOODS DUDES and TWENTYSOMETHING’s friend.

Meanwhile, MOTHER (of D and G) marvels at other characters assembled at the pool, including PREPPY in a button-down long-sleeved shirt and someone who looks like SNOOKI. (Perhaps it is because MOTHER has been inside cooking and watching moreJersey Shore: Family Vacation.”

Isn’t he hot? (As in not dressed appropriately for the season and occasion, not as in hawt.)

Snooki (left) and friend enter the pool.

MOTHER also spies her NEIGHBOR reading an interesting book.

In case you can’t read the title, it is, “Why Men Love Bitches.”

MOTHER thinks whatever NEIGHBOR is doing is working because men are lined up outside her apartment constantly, including a dude in a Ferrari just that morning.

MOTHER is vaguely aware of a large group of people at the round table over her left shoulder. She becomes more aware thanks to MOTHER OF MILES.

MoM
Oh. My. God. That woman is rolling a blunt.

A few moments later, a particular, recognizable smell wafts over the MOTHERS. They look at each other in surprise.*

MoDaG
Really?! It’s a Sunday afternoon at a pool filled with people and kids!

Weed Central (Woman in orange is the Roller in Chief.)

MOTHERS (in unison to the CHILDREN)
Let’s go.

FATHER
What?

MOTHER
I’ll tell you later.

They exit.

* Only low THC oil is legal in Georgia at the moment.

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Dear Union EAV:

Thank you for being the bright spot in an otherwise dim evening. Mistakes were made.

Mistake No. 1.
Going out on a school night. My friend Kalen and I thought the Star Bar would be hopping with people grooving to DJ MP3PO and Quasi Mandisco. Yeah, not so much.

Mistake No. 2
Thinking 529 or The Earl might be more lively. They were as dead as some of my favorite GoT characters.

Seen in the Star Bar ladies room

Mistake No. 3
Investigating Mary’s. It was voted Best Karaoke in Creative Loafing but I’m not sure why. We walked in the door then right back out.

But you, Union EAV, lured us in and salvaged the night. I never would have chosen a rap open-mic night, but there we were, packed in a 20-by-20-foot room with about 30 30-something black men. I’ve never felt so white. But also I felt welcomed, as we all were there to see young artists perform.

The first rapper we saw was this guy:

It was like “Showtime at the Apollo.” He introduced himself in a thick Eastern European accent. The crowd was prepared to boo this dude. But then he began rapping and earned respect.

Me: Where did he say he was from? Belarus?
Kalen: Bosnia!

This woman was one of the best of the night: a true master of the form:

Everyone was clearly having a good time. It could have been the performers. Or it could have been the result of something that formed a cloud with a distinctive odor. Or it could have been the effect of what we suspect was in the container guarded by the Punisher.

Didn’t matter. Still chill. Great fun. Like “8 Mile” without the conflict.

Then the Lyft driver for my ride home turns out to be a Peruvian opera singer.

I always have the best time when I say, “Yes, and …

So thanks, and maybe I’ll see you again.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear MTV Programming Honchos:

I was sick for days, but now I’m cured. You get the credit.

Without you, I moved slowly through the five stages of illness (yep, just like the stages of grief).

Denial
My throat is not sore. I’ve just been running my mouth too much.

Anger
I refuse to get sick.

Bargaining
Please, I can’t get sick right now. I have too much to do. I’ll take NyQuil tonight and be fine tomorrow.

Depression
Why now? Why me?

Acceptance
This is where you come in. I cancelled all plans and did what I should have done in the beginning: Curl up on the couch and binge-watch “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.”

Yes, y’all: Almost 10 years since the debut of “Jersey Shore,” but some things haven’t changed (including Pauly D‘s hair).

I’m your target audience. If it’s reality TV, I’ll watch it. As you know.

In case you gave the green light but stopped paying attention (and shame on you, if you did), let me recap my favorite episode of the marathon:

Ronnie was grinding on slop tarts all night, but in a 2018 development, there is Instagram evidence. His girlfriend isn’t answering the phone. He assumes she is pissed off at him. He finally gets her on the duck.She hasn’t seen the photos/videos and isn’t upset. He instigates a fight. The rest of the guys can’t believe it.

Then they act it out in the interview room like The Roots do “The Bachelor.

I’m on the edge of the couch, phlegm forgotten: Will they work it out? We’ll see when she comes to visit.

In the next episode, Deena crashes guys’ night out, gets drunk and starts falling like she does. Best line from Vinny, who did not want her to come with them:

“She’s a drunk little meatball. You have to contain her or she’s going to roll off the plate.”

I love this show. So much.

Trish, who stayed with us this weekend, was mortified.

Trish: How can you still be smart when you watch crap like this?

Me: It’s because of crap like this. It’s a palate cleanser!

So thank you, MTV people. I wouldn’t say I’m mint, but I’m not jacked hideous.

Yours in neutral,
Beth

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Dear Handy Ladies Who Want Certain Spa Treatments at Home:

Interested in the unique services at Jeju Sauna but are strapped for cash? Here’s a low-cost way to set up shop in the privacy of your own home!

Things you will need:
Four hand towels
Two shower curtains
Card table
Dish sponge with pot-scrubber
Garden hose
Crock pot
Coffee table
Saw
A handful of grass, weeds and any herbs that have been in your spice cabinet for two years or more

Instructions for the “body shampoo” portion of your home sauna:

  • Set up the card table in your garage or back/side yard.
  • Place one shower curtain over the table.
  • Hook up the hose to the nearest sink that can deliver warm water.
  • Go to the grocery store and bring home with you the first 10 women you see. (You’ll have to spring for Uber XL.)
  • Once they get to your house, you and nine of them will disrobe and try desperately not to look at each other while you take a shower with the hose. The 10th will wait patiently fully clothed. (If you are a Never Nude, stop here, and go read something else. This won’t work with cutoffs.)
  • Put one hand towel across the room/yard. Hold onto the other one.
  • Get up on the card table while the other ladies watch you.
  • Instruct the 10th lady to rub you all over with the pot-scrubber side of the sponge. She is allowed to say only these words/phrases: Face down, face up, turn, hair wash.
  • Tell the lady to make sure she scrubs all of you (yes, every single scrap of exposed skin), contorting you as necessary to get those hard-to-reach places.
  • Explain to her that she needs to rinse you off occasionally by pointing the hose directly between your legs.
  • Place the hand towel over your face.
  • Weep quietly as the woman sands off your nipples.
  • Flip around so she can wash your hair on the other end of the table. Try not to slide off:

  • Make sure the lady shampoos your hair like Bugs Bunny washes Elmer Fudd in “Rabbit of Seville” (3:59 into the link if you don’t get that reference). Then she should drag a brush through it without regard to your pain threshold. It will remind you of your mom getting the ponytail-prep tangles out of your hair. She didn’t care about pain either.
  • When she is done, creep delicately while tingling and raw over to the second hand towel to dry off.
  • Ask the 10th lady to stay while you send the others home. You’ll tip her later.
  • Bask in a job well done while you lather lotion on your abrasions.

Instructions for the “hip bath” portion of your home sauna:

  • Cut a hole in the middle of the coffee table with the saw.
  • Ask the lady who stayed to fill up the crock pot with the yard clippings and other greenery.
  • Also ask her to add water from the garden hose.
  • Then she should plug in the crock pot, turn it up to high, and stick it under the hole.
  • Finally, she needs to place the remaining two hand towels around the opening in the coffee table.
  • Tip the lady and send her home.
  • Wrap the shower curtain around your naked body.
  • Sit over the hole. That’s right.
  • Make sure the shower curtain covers you and the coffee table to form an impenetrable seal. You, the table and crock pot will become one under the plastic tent.
  • Vaporize that vajayjay for at least 45 minutes while watching the news.
  • Lament the state of the world.
  • Sweat like a mofo and marvel at the 100-degree temperature difference between your head and your bits. Also wonder if it really will do the 12+ things it is reported to do.
  • Reflect that you didn’t need any of the outcomes; you were just curious.
  • Consider that this is not the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your life.
  • Ask yourself why you are like this.
  • When your time is up, get off the pot, and hose off again.
  • Get dressed in the most comfortable clothes you own. Perhaps a Mrs. Roper-style muumuu.
  • Put away all the materials, and get ready for the next time. (Unless there won’t be a next time, of course.)

Hip bath setup: Fancy version

There you go!

A DIY dream. Ty Pennington would be proud. (Yes, he’s back.)

Best wishes to you and your freshly steamed cooter,
Beth

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