Sometimes I Find Myself In The Ninth Circle of Hell
By Tess Lynch
“Hello” — Lyrics Born (mp3)
When I think of hell, it’s always comprised of things that fit into two categories: the annoying, banal, light Chinese water-torture, parking ticket overload category, and the stuff that I only can draw up when I wear my Hunter S. Thompson/Ionesco hats. I’ve also just rented 1408, which nailed the marriage of these two elements really well: without ruining anything, the hero has a really awful time with his thermostat. Dude, I know, I also dealt with the hell of a malfunctioning tempbox, but then — because it’s not a hotel, my house — I had to deal with a bill which reflected the evil nature of that box, and then there was some other girl who had stolen my identity and was somehow charging her power to me, and I had to rinse the whole house in garlic and Native American charms and burn the box in a big bonfire.
“Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” — Modest Mouse (mp3)
“Directions” — Josh Rouse (mp3)
The ghosts cried, “Southern California EDISSOONNNNNNNN”
Most of that is true. Anyway, moving on. I knew that Wednesday’s ANTM Cycle 9 was, sadly, not the makeover episode. That’s next week. I was hoping, really hoping, that it’d be the episode where they finally bring out bugs and nudity at the same time; this also was not the case. If you watched, then you know, it was just the most typical, unremarkable episode evah, except for Bianca and Saleisha’s escalating tension which escalated into Bianca (tongue-ring, like Possible First Lady Kucinich!) telling Saleisha, while she was standing on a bed delivering a weird kind of sermon on something or other, that she was “borderline plus-size” and should check out her thigh’s backsides. Which is so harsh, especially if she had just been sitting on a wicker chair, softened with the bloat from being forced to quit smoking.
Spoiler alert (is a silly phrase): Kimberly got booted this week, and we’ve also lost Mila (who laughed at cancer). Ebony had a kind of close shave, and Bianca had ugly pictures but will be kept on as long as she supplies mean girl drama.
“Close To Modern” — The French Kicks (mp3)
“Pinball” — Brian Protheroe (mp3)
I am beyond upset that I didn’t see this Sims contest until just now, and that the submissions were only accepted until June. Fuck.
So, anyway, I screwed up my turnovers and Casey lost on Top Chef, so I figured I’d just leave the house a gross mess and go sit in the bathtub for an hour and then go to bed. We left out a garbage. That was our first mistake.
“The Saddest Story Ever Told” — The Magnetic Fields (mp3)
It is my boring domestic observation that our three animals go through periods of being adorable, well-cared for house pets. The dog learns tricks, just like we were sentient owners who could teach them to her, and the cats curl up in your lap, or by the fire, or bring you a freshly uncapped pen while you write your memoirs. One allows Peter to wear him like a stole (when we’re playing parlour games, of course), and one is my cat from a previous life who performs like a seal when we have a flashlight.
When they’re good, they play Casio.
But we have perhaps too many pets, and we live in a condo, and sometimes they are very bad. And we never knew until yesterday what that really meant.
“Punch Drunk Melody” — Jon Brion (mp3)
“Peg” — Steely Dan (my parents and I named a dog after this song (mp3))
The trash, to animals (if you don’t know, or you don’t have any, or yours are never weak-willed), is like water to Gremlins. You never know exactly what they ate, and you never stop smacking your head for being too stupid to know that they’d get into it. You wake up in the morning and they look at you with their small, blank faces and you never know what they’ve done, because they don’t have any eyebrows. Then you see the small hunk of chicken carcass, the rogue coffee grind stuck to a whisker, or six of the little rings you took off juice containers under the sofa.
Squirt guns cannot be used as training tools for Gremlins.
When I let myself, I know exactly what they’re all doing while we’re asleep, and I don’t like to think about it. The cat eats mint out of the window box with his fishy mouth, the kitten steals little plastic objects off any surface and rolls on them, then eats them and spits them up. The dog finds little crunchy things to eat in the kitchen and then she cleans herself with her dirty tongue (though, as I once heard, it’s clean tongue — the dog’s mouth, they say, is the cleanest place in the world). Hairballs are produced and vanish. It’s a lot like Delacroix’s “The Death of Sardanaplaus” to me, except worse. I love my pets, but they are some dirty criminals, in the end. They’d steal from us if they had thumbs, and I can see it in the little one’s eyes sometimes that he wishes he could slap me for not letting him sink his demon-teeth into my toes as they hide, fearful, under a blanket. What they do on their own time, I’ve decided, might be something I should put from my neurotic mind.
Anyway, yesterday I was at Chango with Molly when Peter called to tell me that our two cats, who are both male and neutered and one of which, by the way, is a kitten, were having sex in the living room. This news was delivered with, like, two-thirds ha-ha and one third boo-hoo. That day, I had already discovered that one of them (the bottom) had peed in the bathtub, which I think is because we shut him out of the bedroom (if he wants to do that kind of stuff, he can get a hotel or apply to be R. Kelly’s cat) and that the dog had, to spite me for telling everybody she’d stopped doing it, gone to the bathroom on every small rug in the house. And the dominant cat had at some point, with brute strength, thrown the window box to the floor and broken it. Never get pets. Do you hear me?
I know they ate trash, so they were totally and criminally insane. I’m sure I’ve peed in a bathtub or two after a really hard night of eating trash, but I’ve never had sex with someone humans told me was my sibling. My younger sibling, whose voice hasn’t even dropped yet. Apparently, male adult cats hump around when they’re feeling depressed, needy and insecure. And then they start sipping on trash, mainlining mint and tuna, and making out with every footstool and kitten they see. The fact that he feels neglected is especially sad, since literally all my boyfriend and I do is sit around talking and feeding little chunks of butter to various animals.
There are lots of morals to this story, like about leaving out trash and how I’ve let my obsession with baking rob my pets of personal attention, but really I just wanted to tell you so it wouldn’t be rattling around in my brain, haunting me.
“Genius of Love” — The Tom Tom Club (mp3)
“Shimmy Shimmy Ya” — ODB (mp3)
Tess Lynch is just 40 days away from the premiere of Project Runway, which gives her plenty of time to prepare.