First Time? No, I’ve Been Nervous Lots of Times.

We’re flying to New York for vacation.  I like to repost this old story sometimes when I’m about to get on a *plane.  Mostly because posting it is a ritual, and OCD is not really “curable” so much as “treatable”.

I’ve also been touching a particular stuffed animal on the right foot eight times every day for the past week, but we won’t get into that yet.

So it’ll take a couple hours to fly to New York, which means a couple hours of me white-knuckling the armrest, rocking back and forth and saying, “What was that noise?!  Did you hear that?!  We’re crashing aren’t we?!!!  We’re crashing and you know it and you just won’t tell me!!  You would tell me if you knew something, wouldn’t you?  WOULDN’T YOU?!!!!  No, don’t tell me.  I don’t want to know –  unless you know something!  Why did you just look at the wing?!  Is there smoke?!  What the hell was that noise?!  What was it?!!”

This is after popping a tranquilizer (or two) before the flight.  Good thing, too, because otherwise I might become a real asshole on that plane. 😐

So I have a few phobias, flying is obviously one of them, but all of them revolve around some kind of hideous, improbable death caused by things like plane crashes, serial killers, and flesh-eating bacteria.

My New Year’s resolution in 1999 was to spend an entire year studying the world’s religions and pick one that I thought would suit me, so that I could finally stop being so scared of this stuff.  I was raised in the Protestant church (sporadically), but something about it never sat quite right with me.  Probably the whole “Jesus loves you – unless you don’t love him – in which case fire will rain down on your tortured soul for all of eternity” thing.

Man, talk about a guy who has a problem with rejection! Even when you have the misfortune of dying, there’s still all that judgment!

Just got decapitated on a ride at the fair?  Seems pretty bad, doesn’t it?  Well, you better pick up your bloody head, your list of sins, and get in line for the pain train straight to Hell.  You’re gonna be all, “I just got my head cut off!” and he’s gonna be all, “Remember that time you hit your thumb with that hammer and yelled out my name in vain?  Time to pay the fiddler, my child.”

Also the “no dancing” thing.  But not unlike putting Velveeta in literally everything, that’s really more Methodist/Baptist specific.

So I sought out a religion that would give me something to believe in, without the threat of burning in hell for all of eternity because I had an impure thought about the rhythm section of Duran Duran ONE TIME.  After much reading and research, I settled on Hinduism.  You know, like every other navel-gazing white girl asshole in their early-20s.

I studied every text I could get my hands on, started meditation classes, became a vegetarian, and visited the local Hindu temple.  I carried the Bhagavad Gita around with me like a newborn baby.  When I became tense or frightened, I would chant, “Amaram hum madhuram hum” which means,  “I am immortal.  I am blissful” – and after a while, and for the first time in my life – I believed it.

I no longer had an obsessive fear of death, because what was death but a doorway?  Was I afraid to walk through a doorway?  Of course not!  I became incredibly centered, calm, and really annoying to be around.  Nobody likes a 23-year old who thinks they’ve got it all figured out.

After a year of religious enlightenment, I had to take a five hour flight to Las Vegas.  This was going to be the big test!

Balanced, centered, and fearless – I refused a tranquilizer for the flight.  I said to my mother, “There’s nothing to fear anymore.  Does it really matter if I die?  What is this body if not a mere switch-plate for my soul?  You and I have found each other so many times in the past after being separated.  We’ll find each other again.”

She pursed her lips at me and said, “Uh huh.  How about you take one just in case, Maharishi?  You can crush it and sprinkle it over your tofu.”

I dismissively waved my hand at her, gave her a hug and a “Namaste” to which she replied, “Whatever.  Just try not to sell anyone any flowers at the airport.” I boarded the plane and placed my carry-on bag in the overhead compartment, sat down, and fastened my seatbelt.  I had never felt so in control…

…until the plane started down the runway.

Sometime between take-off and landing, the Bhagavad Gita became a paperweight, and my new mantra was, “I’M SORRY, JESUS!  PLEASE DON’T LET THIS PLANE CRASH, JESUS!  OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!”

Thankfully, the nice old lady in the seat next to me was kind enough to give me her barf bag to hyperventilate into, and she even loaned me her crucifix-embroidered handkerchief, which I attempted to return to her after I’d wrung it out several times with my tears and sob-drool.  She politely told me to keep it.  I later dropped it into the trash at the airport, along with the bindi that was on my forehead under my bangs.

 

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“It was at that moment that I first realized Elaine had doubts about our relationship. And that, as much as anything else, led to my drinking problem.”

 

*I realize that by posting this before a plane trip that it’s going to make it double ironic if we’re in a plane crash.  You’re all gonna be like, “Oh my god – SHE KNEW!”

One of the most important things to know about dealing with OCD is that you do not have the ability to control things with your mind.  Seriously.  Here’s the treatment for OCD:  Stop acting like you can control things simply by thinking about them or saying them out loud or touching inanimate objects X number of times.  That shit will make you crazy.

I also realize that by pointing out said double irony that it’s actually going to be triple ironic if we’re in a plane crash.

Damn it.  See you in Hell.  I’m off to touch a particular stuffed animal on the right foot eight more times.

I was an internet troll.

I didn’t plan on it.  Not unlike breaking into a Wendy’s after hours because you really need to get at that Frosty machine, or rebooting the television show “One Day At a Time”, it was one of those things that just sort of happened.

Related, there is only one “Schneider” and his name is Pat Harrington, Jr.  So anyway…

The year was 2006, and the television show “Rock Star Supernova” had just premiered on CBS.   If you didn’t have the privilege to have ever watched it, Rock Star Supernova was a singing competition-type show, but instead of winning the title of “American Idol”, you got to become the lead singer of a made-up band called “Rock Star Supernova”, which was a supergroup that featured Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, Jason Newsted from Metallica, and Gilby Clarke from Guns ‘n Roses.

Now, this would have all been just fine because whatever, except that they also made these guys the judges, and there were two things they all liked to do:

  1.  Compliment the dewd singers on things like their voices and stage presence.
  2.  Compliment the lady singers on things like whether or not looking at them gave them a boner.

Tommy Lee had one thing in particular that he liked to do in addition to those two items:

  1.  Use the phrase “Off the chain!” more times than I thought I would ever be able to emotionally and mentally withstand.

And even that may have been fine in 2006, except they made one crucial error, in my opinion.  One un-fixable error.  They made Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers the host.

I think Dave Navarro is, what’s the term?  Grody to the max.  Super ew?  Whatever the word is that comes to mind when you have to reach down into the drain of your sink and pull out some hair and you’re pulling the loose hairs up and they’re all slimy.  That.

Disclosure:  I don’t know him.  Never met him.  I have no business registering an opinion on the man.  As most people will tell you with regard to most subjects, I should probably just shut up.  My feelings about him have no place in reality, I know.

Here’s my issue:  He just does the whole “rock star look” to the point that it makes me want to run screaming into the arms of rap-country just to get as far away from rock ‘n roll as possible.  Rap-country.

Rap-country.

Every episode of the TV show he was nearly-shirtless, in that while he technically had a shirt on, it was unbuttoned to his pubic bone, with some form of leathery pants, slicked wet-look hair, eyeliner, some kind of scarf or feather boa, had on tons of huge rings, and then the necklaces.

My god, the necklaces.

So many necklaces.

He looked like what would happen if they held the Mardi Gras parade inside a Hot Topic and made you exit through a car wash of Astro-Glide.

And maybe this look was fine, and even something I was thoroughly, thoroughly into when I was 16 years old, but by the time I was 30 and had dated more of those types than I care to think about, so the thrill was gone.   By the time I hit 30, I thought that particular look on a man was the equivalent of flying a flag on top of their heads that read, “This Guy Has The Clap and Don’t Even Get Me Started on His Ego, Which Also Has The Clap”.

In order to adequately address my feelings on the subject, I started trolling the comment board on the TV show’s website.  Like any troll, I did it because I had a lot of free time on my hands, and my personal life was fucking miserable in every conceivable way, so I took it out on people who had nothing to do with my problems.  It was a dick move.

For reference, this was also around the time I used to start fake Myspace flame wars between several accounts that I actually controlled, to make it look like people were fighting when it was actually just me working both profiles.  This was when I ran an advice column as a fake nurse who was into BDSM just so I could make fun of other bands.  I used to hate-listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio during my lunch break so I could yell at the radio while wagging a Burger King bacon double cheeseburger at it, and then blog about in open letters to him.  This is pre-therapy Maggie we’re talking about here.  Pre-Bobby Maggie.  Asshole Maggie.

Don’t be a smart-ass.  Yes, there is a difference.

I started by going onto the comment board for the show and posting a thread titled, “Dave Navarro Needs to Put On a Shirt”.  As you can imagine, this comment board was filled with people who were actual fans of the show, rather than me, who watched it merely so I could hate it.  Most of the responses to that thread were along the lines of, “Are you crazy?!  He needs to take that shirt all the way off!  He’s hot!!!” and then I would comment something back like, “What he needs to do is set up a termite tent around his body so he can fumigate whatever is surely living in his crotch.”

I found my way into as many threads as I could just so I could act like a dick to total strangers.  I made it my job to make fun of people for liking the things that they liked and, as an asshole, it made me feel better.  This is the very definition of an internet troll, by the way.  Did I mention that it was a dick move?  It was a dick move.  I feel really bad about it.

I kept posting threads, and making fun of everyone on there, until one day when a commenter flat out asked something to the effect of, “What is wrong with you?  Why do you spend so much time commenting on here if you don’t even like the show?”

Hmm.

It was a real wake-up call for me.  Why was I spending all my free time coming up with newer and better ways to be mean to people who I didn’t even know?  What was wrong with me?  I stopped commenting on the board that day, and stopped hate-watching the show.  I didn’t want to be that person anymore.

So maybe there is hope that you can say just the right combination of words to a troll to make them go away.  Maybe?  Hell, this was 12 years ago.  Trolls have only gotten stronger.  You probably have to pull some of that magic powder out from Weekend at Bernie’s 2 if you want to stand a chance against them.

That being said, it was with great pleasure that I read the part in Bobbi Brown’s memoir “Dirty Rocker Boys” where she basically described her first meeting with Dave Navarro as him answering the door completely naked, telling her he was having sex with a fan in his basement and filming it, and then he sat her down in his living room and told her to wait for him until he was finished.  Before he left the room he said, “Oh, hang on,” and put on a videotape for her to watch.  The videotape was of him wanking it.

So.  Internet trolling?  Wrong.  My opinion on Dave Navarro.  COMPLETELY ACCURATE.

Cookin’ Up Attitude!

Rather than post another riveting tale of something that pissed me off that one time, I thought I’d take some time to fill you in on what’s new around these parts.

If you’re short on time, here’s the Cliffs Notes version:  I’ve been busy.  You may now continue your very important day of hating yourself while simultaneously hitting the “Heart” button on Kardashian Instagram photos.

I’ve spent the last few months writing a book.  Dun dun DUNNNNNN.

What’s it about?  I’m glad you asked.  It’s about the economics of the royal court of Louis XIV and its impact on modern day currency trading in Western Europe.

Wait.  Hang on.  Let me re-shuffle these index cards that I wrote up ahead of time, you know, pursuant to the way they taught me to write essays in school.

Who the hell decided making teenagers use index cards as a required step in writing was a good idea?  I have a feeling someone in the index card business was married to someone on the board of the school district and they were just in cahoots to sell more index cards.

Holding onto index card conspiracy theories, by the way, proves that I am my mother’s child more than any DNA test on Maury ever could.

My book is an 80,000 word collection of funny stories about my life, about growing up poor, being a tiny criminal, dealing with druggies and weirdos and pedos, my failure to become a hair metal video slut, and winning Black History Month as the whitest girl in the world and using the prize money to never become a rock ‘n roll star, among much other silliness/misdemeanors.  In short, it’s a collection of the more interesting stories of my life.

Who’s publishing it?  Glamour & Shame Publishing!

Who’s that?  I’m glad you asked.  It’s an imprint of Random House that specializes in stories that touch the heart.  Some of their better known titles are “Did I Do That?” by Urkel and “Ranch is Not a Sauce” by that waiter who hates you.

Wait.  Hang on.  Index cards are all mixed up again.

Glamour & Shame Publishing is mine.  Allllll mine.  I decided that writing a book wasn’t taxing enough on my sanity, so I went ahead and started a real deal, fancified, tax-paying publishing company, with all the bells and whistles to go along with it.

This means I am now legally a business owner, so feel free to throw tomatoes and yell, “Shaaame!  Shaaaaame!” at me as I leapfrog over hobos on my way into the bank wearing a monocle and carrying huge bags of money.

I’m hoping that down the road I will be able to sign my very own little stable of writers, because there are plenty of writers out there who don’t fit neatly into a big publisher’s box.  I want to eventually foster a sort of writers’ collective for my *harmless weirdo friends, where we can write and create and support each other and be awesome together. (*Please note that I said “harmless” weirdos.)

Having my own publishing company allows me total creative control over my work, which means the odds of having a book cover with me wearing nothing but an apron with a title like, “Cookin’ Up Attitude!” are pretty slim.  I am fiercely, almost frighteningly, protective of my writing, and even the thought of someone who I don’t know coming in and taking creative control makes me want to cut a bitch. I know this about myself. I have limitations.

Why don’t I just hire a literary agent to go get me a big book deal?

Getting a literary agent is not like hiring Tony Micelli as your housekeeper on Who’s The Boss.  It’s like trying to hire actual Tony Danza to be your housekeeper, in that Tony Danza neither wants nor needs to be your housekeeper and is like, “Stop calling me.  I don’t want to clean your house.”  You basically have to audition for literary agents and then in 2 to 26 weeks they send you a form letter that politely says they’re not interested unless you already have 100,000 followers on social media.  I totally get that, too.  Their job is to sign authors who will make everyone some money.  There’s no shame in that game.  They’re busy people and they need to focus on stuff they can readily sell to the masses.

What’s even scarier than when they say no is when they say yes, and then subsequently tell you to rewrite ¾ of your book and cut 25,000 words out of it, and that instead of writing nonfiction, you need to start writing the next Hunger Games-type franchise ASAP.

Do you think I would be writing about cleaning doctors’ offices when I was 12 if I had a Hunger Games swimming around in my head?  I write what my brain writes.  If I could make my brain write stuff that eventually gets turned into a film franchise that nets hundreds of millions of dollars, believe me, I most certainly would – especially given my champagne taste when it comes to lip gloss.

So what’s next?  I’m going to spend the next couple months editing and polishing my book, making a totally awesome cover for it, setting it up for paperback and e-book formats, coming up with a good marketing plan that doesn’t involve a sex tape, and squeezing in time to do things like work forty hours a week at my day job, eat, and maybe even sleep on occasion.  If I don’t respond to your messages in a timely fashion, it’s not you.  It’s me.  Unless you’re Becky’s Mom, in which case fuck you.

I’ll still be posting here on Romcom Dojo around once a week or so in the meantime, and the same goes for the cartoon blog over at TMIOMWHDM.com.

I promise, you will be the first ones to know when I hit that “Publish” button, and then you’ll be able to buy your very own piece of me on a little site called “Amazon”.

If you want to find out the very second that happens:  First, you need to get yourself a life and, second, please click on the “Follow Blog via Email” button on this site.  That way you’ll get emails delivered automatically to your inbox anytime I post something on here.

Unless you’re Becky’s Mom, in which case fuck you.