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According to the website, if I ordered this “acupressure mat,” I’d be able to feel restored blood circulation and endorphins which are like the sex hormones, and WOAH, who doesn’t want more sex hormones? Also: increased blood circulation is probably good, although I admit that my back hasn’t felt particularly necrotic.

So I ordered one. I figured, “like sex but without condoms and conversation” + “increased blood circulation” would equal a whole lotta RADNESS.

When it arrived in the mail, I clapped with glee. My back blood was practically NOT circulating (lies) and I hadn’t had sex in forever. I just KNEW this mat would change my life. It’s like one of those As Seen On Television Products, where you’re all, I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A LIFE CHANGING BOOGER CLEANER, and really, it’s just a bulb syringe they give new babies at the hospital, when they should be giving their MOTHER’S more pain meds.

Alas, I digress.

Carefully, deciding to take a break from The Job Hunt, I laid the mat on my bed, ready to get my endorphin on. Being the sort of idiot who hears “don’t do this,” which somehow translates into my three remaining brain cells as “you should totally do this. All the COOL kids are,” I touched one of the spiky things figuring, “hey, if Imma lay on this, I should know what I’m up against.”

The motherfucker totally scratched my hand.

Oh well, I said to my cat who was sitting on the other half of the bed, staring at me as though I’d suddenly turned into one of the Olsen twins, let’s get my endorphin on.

I stretched and squinched, trying to figure out the best way to mount such an obstacle without scraping the skin off my back entirely, eventually deciding that log rolling onto it was probably the best course of action. I was wrong. The acupressure mat, now covered in bits of my skin that were, moments before, minding their own business, won. But because I am not only annoying, but stupid too, I decided to lay there, shirt off, on the thing for the ten minutes the instruction book suggested that newbies try.

The pain wasn’t as immense or intolerable as I’d expected, considering how damn sharp the things were, and I was pleased that I hadn’t tried acupuncture – not because I’m afraid of needles (see also: large tattoos) – but because I was afraid that the ancient acupuncturist* would be all, “OH MY STARS – YOU HAVE NO QI! GET OUT DEVIL WOMAN!” I figured that since acupuncture and acupressure SOUND the same, it was probably similar results… minus the ancient man yelling about my Qi.

I laid there on a mat of plastic nails for awhile, waiting to feel the rush of endorphins. Instead of feeling all “I just had an orgasm,” my back began to feel as though it had turned to liquid. I half-expected the blood to begin seeping onto the sheets, especially once Basementless Kitty decided that now was a mighty fine time to splay his 35 pound body atop mine, pushing me further into the plastic nails.

When I finally peeled my warm back off the mat, I was particularly shocked to discover no blood.

Cools, I thought. I gotta use this motherfucker AGAIN. My back is NICE and toasty and even though I don’t feel as though I’ve had an orgasm, I bet it’s helping with my non-existent Qi.

And so I have. During the day, I’ll take a 15 minute rest on it while I meditate about cheeseburgers and before bed, I lay on it, waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in. I’ve yet to feel endorphins, but I’m hopeful.

A couple of days ago, after a particularly long and brutal day, I set up my mat, as always, and laid down upon it, day-dreaming about a particularly delicious cheeseburger. And like BAM, I was out. Down for the count. Fast asleep. Probably the deepest sleep I’ve had in years, which = rad.

….except for the part in which I’d forgotten to remove the mat from underneath my body.

Because four hours later, I woke up, my squirrel bladder tap-tap-tapping me to empty it, and realized I was still on the thing. When I sat up in bed, the mat sat up with me, clearly affixed to my back, which was now thudding a dangerous-sounding thud. I’d clearly over-circularized my blood, which is probably not even a real word. With great pain, I peeled the mat off my back, inch my inch, like the world’s most painful band-aid, and put my shirt back on.

It was all I could do not to shriek like someone had suggested that my boobs would make an excellent table-lamp. I limped to the bathroom, the blood clearly dripping from my back, and examined my back. I had a perfect representation of the mat done in black and blue and red. I’d have been more impressed if I’d seen the Virgin Mary, but still, it was pretty awesome. If I’d had my wits about me, I’d have taken a snap of it just because.

One should always attempt to capture their stupidity on camera. Or so America’s Funniest Home Videos tells me.

By now, most of the bruises have subsided, and the cuts have formed delightful looking scabs, so I look sorta like a recovering plague victim, which is why, from now on, I plan to keep my camera on and charged at all points in time. You can’t let an opportunity like that pass you by.

And I’ll continue hoping, in vain, that I’ll feel those “endorphin” thingies, because obviously.

*All acupuncturists are ancient and shriveled in my mind.

—————

What was the dumbest thing YOU’VE done lately, Pranksters?

Dear Christopher Ashton Kutcher,

Did you know, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, that your name is not spelled “C-R-O-T-C-H,” but Christopher Ashton Kutcher? I do now. Wikipedia told me so, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and we all know that Wikipedia NEVER lies. When I Googled “Crotch,” Christopher Ashton Kutcher, the Wikipedia entry showed two pictures – one of you and one of me. THAT is how I know that Wikipedia – and the Internets – never lie, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

UNLIKE YOU, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

Anyway, I’m not here to discuss your name, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, although I do find it odd that you’d not go by your full name – Christopher is a FAR less douchey name than “Ashton,” which just makes me think of THAT GUY, you know, Christopher Ashton Kutcher? THAT GUY is who you’ve played in every movie, every television show. In fact, I couldn’t watch That 70’s Show without evoking night terrors because we all know THAT GUY, and *shudders* and you Christopher Ashton Kutcher, play him to a “t.”

(whatever “to a t” means)

Now, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I was willing to cut you a break on playing THAT GUY because we got married around the same time and I thought it was pretty rad, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, that you’d married an older foxy lady. Demi Moore – she’s quite the catch.

So I knew we’d gotten married around the same time, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, because I remember going to see a movie with my new husband, back when saying, “husband” was a total novelty because OMG I’m A MARRIED LADY. BEFORE the previews, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I recall that there were commercials and shit, which dismayed me, because then I had to wait through 47 minutes of commercials + previews to watch the movie. But in those commercials, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and you told me about a camera. A camera so fool-proof, even my dumb ass could use it. I mean, you even showed a BABY taking a picture.

If a BABY could do it, I could, too, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

I mean, photography is sorta in my blood, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and I figured you weren’t lying to me about my newly acquired Nikon D50. See, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, with my father, grandfather, and brother all fighting over the light to get the angle justright for every fucking family picture, I’d sorta thought that I’d be blessed with the photog gene. Like osmosis and shit. Okay, so it has nothing to do with excrement, but you know what I mean, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

Turns out, for all the fancy doodads and whirlygigs on my new camera, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I was still a shitty photog. Sure, I LOOKED radder when I was walking around with the camera, but I could pick up a smoking habit and look just as cool.

But then I had a baby of my own – not like the one in the commercial who was a fake baby – Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and I was all, I BET IF I TOOK MORE PICTURES OF HIM, I’D BE AN AWESOME PHOTOG, JUST LIKE MY DAD.

I clicked and whirred and adjusted buttons, always screaming about “the LIGHT HAS TO BE RIGHT,” even though the only beings nearby were a baby and a cat. I just wanted to “get in character,” and my character was “photog genius,” naturally, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

christopher-ashton-kutcher

THIS IS NOT THE WORK OF A PHOTOG GENIUS, Christopher Ashton Kutcher!

It was then that I realized how you’d lied to me, Christopher Ashton Kutcher. Not only were my pictures atrocious, but no one seemed to care if I screamed about the light or bought a fancy-pants camera bag. You know why, Christopher Ashton Kutcher? It’s because you can put lipstick on a pig but don’t just BECOME rad at photography.

My inability to be a photog was made worse by becoming a blogger, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, (blogging, Christopher Ashton Kutcher,  is just a fancy way of saying, “I write drivel on the Internets.”). Apparently when one becomes a blogger, they should also be a fabulous photog and take pictures of their perfect families doing perfect things, while I take pictures of my kid’s boogers.

WHO WANTS TO SEE UP MY BABY’S NOSE? Answer: NO ONE. See, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, the kid is not even flicking me off, which would’ve made the snap eminently more tolerable and handily proved maternity.

So, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, while I appreciate your role in such cinematic masterpieces as “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and that show about pranking rich people, I’m never going to believe you again, even if you DO tell me that next point-and-shoot is going to be life-altering. BECAUSE IT WON’T. PROBABLY. AT LEAST, I THINK IT WON’T.

Forever Yours PROBABLY ONCE I FORGIVE YOU,

Aunt Becky

The morning of my eighth birthday, I woke up to the sounds of my tone-deaf brother’s singing. See, when I was a kid, my brother’s favorite game was to wake me up as obnoxiously as possible, which meant that that day, I awoke to the lilting strains of “Rise and Shine and Bring Out The Glory-Glory,” accompanied by two pots being banged together for the rhythm section.

Getthefuckouttahere,*” I mumbled, my mouth still full of pillow.

“OH NO!” he exclaimed. “It’s YOUR BIRTHDAY! You don’t GET to sleep in lazybones!” He then launched into a a-Capella version of “Lazybones” accompanied by one of our dogs howling.

I paddled my way downstairs in my footie pajamas and threw myself on the couch with the funny pages from the Trib.

“Happy Birthday, Rebecca!” my dad boomed cheerfully as he read the sports section of the paper.

“Thanks,” I mumbled, my head still full of The Sleeps and dreams of reinventing the Babysitter’s Club books so that the characters were all mutant zombies that looked a lot like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“How do you feel?” He boomed loudly, always trying to annoy me with his loud-ass voice first thing in the morning, when all I’d wanted was five minutes of peace to wipe The Sleeps off my face.

“Uh, okay.” I replied, wishing he’d shutthefuckup already.

Knowing he was annoying me, he kept going, “How does it feel to be EIGHT years old? Do you feel any different?”

Finally I put down the funny pages, which had been obscuring my view of my father, in the vain hope that he’d forget I was there and assume that one of the house plants was reading the comics. I let the question bop around in my brain awhile.

Did I feel different? Was I supposed to? Was there some climactic event that happened on one particular day that I should be aware of? What was different about today as opposed to yesterday? I mean, I guess I’m older, but that’s not really much of a deal. Over and over I mulled the question - did I feel different?

At last, I replied with the only answer that seemed appropriate. “Well, I only have one more birthday until I’m in the double digits.”

He laughed before handing me a present to open – more Sea Monkeys for me to experiment upon.

And I went about my day, not feeling even one stinking inch older.

That’s, I think, what bugs me about New Years so much. Not only is the age bracket for having fun between 15-23 (the ages in which puking bar pretzels out your nose is considered “quality entertainment”), but it’s this big pivot point for most of the people I know. This year, I’m going to lose X amount of pounds, or quit smoking, or breastfeed llamas in the Swiss Alps. The resolutions range from the sublime to the absurd.

Take for example, last year’s resolution for me: “DO NOT BECOME LIL WAYNE.” Perhaps this year, I should aim to “BECOME LIL WAYNE,” just to be contrary.

I woke up yesterday feeling exactly the same as the night before, with the exception of my eyes – the sun was being too loud for them. I’d gone to sleep after drinking wee champagne bottles with my friend Paul, who was visiting from one of those states that starts with a vowel. Ohio? Iowa? Kansas City? I didn’t know.

I’d watched both The Facebook and The Twitter exclaiming how they were “so happy 2012 was done” and “2013 was going to be OUR YEAR.”

Since I’ve been using “this is going to be our year!” every year since I was a wee tot to describe my beloved Cubbies, who haven’t won the world series in 104 years (if Jimmy Wales is to be believed), so when I see it applied to the new year, I’m always baffled. If the Cubs can’t break a losing streak for 104 years, how the nuts are we supposed to believe that this year will be any different?

I’m not even wearing my pessimistic pants today – I’m just not sure that the changing of the calendar will do anything to make us different and/or better people. I woke up today in the same shape I woke up yesterday and the same shape I’ll wake up again tomorrow. Life goes on. The calendar changes. We keep on keepin’ on because that’s what we do.

Only thing different is that I’m going to have to stop signing checks 2008.

And come up with another absurd resolution, natch.

*As my brother was ten years my senior, my parents allowed me to swear in the house after I’d complained bitterly that he could swear but I could not.

————–

Do you make resolutions, Pranskters? If so, what are they?

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