Lonely Sock

I’d like to personally express my deepest and most sincere condolences for the mens no-show off-brand sock that was discovered without a mate on a cold and wet sidewalk this morning. Losing a mate is the hardest thing that one can live through. The heartbreak of being left behind stings. Perhaps some underclassman was hauling his laundry from one place to another. Surely it was an accident. It had to be, right? Who would throw a perfectly good sock away?  The future of this sock is going to be very different than the future of his mate. Sure, his mate will go on, have other mismatched mates, but the sidewalk sock will leave an indelible impression on the still wanted sock. Sure, they were off-brand, but they were off-brand together. Purchased by some penny-pinching mother in a time of duress. Her baby boy was leaving the nest and then he discards one like it means nothing to him. His mother means nothing to him.

What cruel human being would split up two socks that are clearly made for one another?

My poor, dear sock, I cannot adopt you. You are too broken. On the sidewalk you will remain until perhaps, and hopefully your mate comes looking for you. You were once useful and loved as much as an off-brand sock could be.

Good luck, mens off-brand sock. God speed.

Stephanie’s Golden Shower

So this one time. I was supposed to be living alone, at least that’s what my parents were paying for. I had somehow hooked up with this dude who I have talked about before, his name was Foley. So Foley was into some things that I really wasn’t. He liked to be burned and he liked to be placed in caged. His favorite, however, was being peed on.

I can’t pee by myself in the bathroom at my house without the faucet running if I know my husband is home.

He proposes it one day, like, super casual. “Hey, so Steph, you know, have you ever peed on anyone? It could be cool…”

I’m 21, sure, anything could be cool. What the fuck do I know?

So the blessed Saturday arrives. Like..look. I thought I could do it. I had peed in the fields of South Dakota, I peed behind the seating area at the Nebraska observatory with like people around, I’ve peed on dirt roads before. I got this shit. Let’s roll.

We stood in that bathroom that was covered in hair dye, by the way, because I had purple (ish) hair and I had no idea what kind of damage hair dye could do to drywall. We stood for like 30 minutes, both of us in our underwear. I had to pee. We stood and stared at each other.

I couldn’t do it. I peed in a glass and seductively poured it over his torso in my bathtub in which I cleaned promptly after.

He seemed to enjoy it as much as someone could getting sort of warm pee poured over them from a Beta Theta Pi plastic cup.

I didn’t see much of Foley after that. Which is probably good. However, any time I am in a public bathroom and it is dead silent, I think of my boy Foley and I’m like, “yeah dude, wasn’t gonna happen.”

The Punishment

Just define words you know Stephanie. Quit kicking the counter. I know what dad said, but what I’m telling you is to look up words you already know to define. I know this is stupid, but it was stupid of you to use the word “damn” where he could hear you. Yes, all summer. You have to write neater than that. Ok, I’ll get you a clean sheet. Lines? Let me see what I have. Here, use this. Oh yeah, pencil. Do you think he’s actually going to check this, Steph? I said quit kicking the counter. Just pick a letter. Stephanie, any letter. This doesn’t matter. I have stuff to do today, I can’t spend all day on your punishment. Ok, lets flip to F. No, you cannot define the word “fuck,” stop it. I really do have stuff to do today. Fine, do it yourself. I’ll be back in 30 minutes. You’re still not done? What the hell have you been doing? You have one definition written? Yes, sometimes letters are upside down, you don’t have to write that part. You know what? Just make up the definitions. He’s going to be home soon and he’s going to want to look at this. I don’t want to hear it from him. Not only is this your punishment, it’s mine too. P, ok. No, you cannot define “penis,” quit laughing, this is serious. You have to do this every single day this summer. Yes, he’s a jerk. Stop crying. How about I pick words and read you the definitions and you write them down? Ok, get your pencil. How about, “say?” Yes, it’s a small word, who cares? No you don’t have to go A-Z. I know he said that, but I’m saying you don’t have to. Just write down what I say. We are going to define the word “play” because that’s what you want to do right now. Ok, write this down, “engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” How about the word “golf” because that’s what dad is doing right now. Shit, that’s the garage door. He’s going to make you sit here all day. You should get a thesaurus and define all the synonyms for the word “damn,” that’s what got you here in the first place. A synonym is a word — hey, just finishing up. Yep it will be done when you are done with the shower. Now you’re stuck doing yardwork with him all day. Dammit.

Panel Interview at Benefit City

Hey Mike! Thanks for coming. I know our interview process is just really crazy. This will be the interview where we decide if you’re a good fit. Going from left to right you will see Zack, Mike G., Brad, Zach, Owen, and then myself, Mike M but as you may have noticed the guys just all call me Mikey.

Your last interview, you said your favorite beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon, solid choice. We usually let the new guy choose what’s on tap in the lounge. Since most of the guys we have working here also like PBR, that really worked in favor for you during that interview process. We really feel like you fit well in our culture. Come everyone, let’s walk. You said you were in what fraternity again in college? We have a lot of Kappas here at Benefit City so you may recognize some faces. Watch out for the flying helicopters in the hallways. Oh yeah, the foosball table was donated by Google we try really hard not to let the fact that Larry Page himself assembled it go to our heads.

Women? Yeah no, we don’t hire those. It’s not sexist, our HR team did a study and it proved that women are inferior and we’re the best so we can’t have any team members with uncontrollable bleeding every single month or an individual who could be out for periods of time due to a parasite. Bitches, who needs ‘em?

So you got a computer science degree from an uppity overpriced school in in the southeast? Cool man. We hire most of that school’s CS degree students right when they graduate and then we pay them a butt ton of money to sit in meetings all day.  What do we make? I really don’t know but somehow venture capitalists want to give us money. But it’s cool. Most of the guys on the team where you will be placed are making over $100,000 a year to respond to email and fix typos on websites. Are you still interested? Great! Let’s keep walking!

The reason we haven’t already offered you the position is because we have one final interview. We have these things called Healthy Points here at Benefit City. You can track them on your Apple Watch. You get points by doing physical activity, like running.  Oh this? This is just a storeroom. We call this a trust exercise, come on in. We are going to strip you naked, tape your mouth and put your head in a garbage bag. This is actually how you will meet our CTO.

I know it’s cold, just follow sound of my voice. We are going to round up the rest of the teams and we’re going to put on our sacrificial hoods now. I’ll take the bag off so you can see. Do you see what you have to look forward to?! We’re going to an open soccer field surrounded by woods. Our goal is for you to get away from us, if you do, you win and get the job. If you lose it means that you have been injured and you will be left to bleed out on the field. The one who killed you gets a new BMW.

On my count…1…2…GO!

Blurred Lines

Dear Robin Thicke,

In your song “Blurred Lines” we are still unclear as to what rhymes with, “hug me.”  So we have taken the liberty to compile a list of possible guesses:

  1. Fug me
  2. Rug me
  3. Tug me
  4. Pug me
  5. Mug me
  6. Plug me
  7. Thug me
  8. Smug me
  9. Jug me

My Husband’s ADHD

@jaredwsmith used to work together a lot.  When we moved to CHS that kind of stopped, and it really stopped when I went back to school because when I do school work I usually need to be left alone, and I find when Jared is with me and I am trying to do school work he tends to distract me.  Well this was proven true yet again yesterday at Starbucks when he was working on something and I was writing a paper.  I said to myself, sure, we can try working in the same room together again. Why not?

I have been telling Jared that he needs ADHD meds since I met him. I was formally diagnosed ADHD last year but I had been on meds for some time for it.  Now that I am on drugs for it though, I notice his….ADHD-ness more. Here is a list of observations that I had from the 60-ish minutes we spent together at Starbucks:

  • air drumming
  • forced focus and failure
  • ooo! a lady in a purple dress!
  • more air drumming
  • door
  • bouncy leg
  • phone
  • phone
  • phone
  • bouncy body
  • is my phone on?
  • phone
  • air drumming
  • nodding
  • phone
  • bouncy both legs
  • window
  • door
  • *sips coffee*
  • puts cup down pensively
  • adjusts where the cup is on the table with great care
  • window
  • phone
  • drums
  • drumming on the table – we put an end to that real quick
  • air keyboard – like the musical kind. yeah, that’s what I married.
  • door
  • door
  • door
  • phone
  • music
  • phone
  • nodding/”jamming out”
  • “whhhyyyyyy can I noootttt foooocuuusss????” head in hands
  • phone
  • window
  • window
  • window
  • dancing – and pointing at screen? wut?
  • air guitar

Needless to say, we did not stay at Starbucks very long because his distraction made me distracted so neither of us got anything done.

“The Crow” by Edgar Allan Poe

I’m sitting in art history this week and we are talking about Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. If you look closely in the lower lefthand corner of the left panel, there is a bird.  It is a black bird.  My teacher called it a crow. She then makes some reference to the fact that the far right panel is dark and ominous. Then she makes a Poe reference.

“Yeah, you guys know that story by Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Crow?'” My heart skipped a beat. I paused.  My ears perked up.  I was wondering if someone was going to correct her.

One of the senior citizens auditing the class raises his paw, “yeah, like in the story by Poe, ‘The Crow…'” I was like, “aw…naw…” the next 2-3 people to comment on this thread kept calling Poe’s poem “The Raven” “The [motherfucking] Crow.” AW! AAW! NAW NAW NAW! I couldn’t even tell you what they were saying because I was too busy trying not to explode.

If I hadn’t had to stay after to turn something in, I would have packed up and walked out of the room.

I don’t care if you don’t know Poe, or if you failed high school English or even if you don’t know that it’s a poem, not a story. I don’t care, we’re not all English majors.  But at least know the fucking species of the animal in one of the most famous things ever written.

Poe rolled over in his grave on Wednesday.

Why Michael’s is the 2nd circle of hell

I am in this art history class and for our final project we have a paper.  Which, ok, this fucking paper. She has 2 (two) single-spaced pages of instructions but uses words like “visual analysis” and “visual summary.” Nowhere does it say you need a thesis. That’s a whole other conversation and we need to write this tonight with brevity because (1) I have to pee and I’m really just too lazy to get up (2) I’m tired because that 7am nap in the Walgreen’s parking lot just didn’t get me through to all day (3) If I think about this too much my head may explode.  But yeah, the other half is a 4″ x 4″ piece of “artwork.” I want to punch her in the face them vomit all over her for this.

A list of reasons why I, and you, and anyone who has hobbies outside of making useless shit should hate Michael’s:

  • Everything is expensive as fuck
  • Everything is covered in foam
  • They sell miles of string, but no scissors
  • Beads. Just…Beads
  • How in the fuck….how many kinds of mod podge do you need to feel important
  • Glitter. Glitter is the work of the devil.
  • Fake flowers, yet none of said fake flowers say what kind of real flower they represent, so they are made-up flowers sold only at Michael’s Flower market
  • What is up with all the glass flat-sided bead….things? You put them…where?
  • Flameless candles
  • Real candles that nobody buys so they are discolored and smell like shit
  • Framing that costs at least 1,000,000,000,000x more than ANYWHERE else
  • Another note on framing, I don’t fucking know what size anything is, don’t ask me these questions, you’re wearing an apron therefore you are supposed to hold the answers to my framing questions
  • Beanie Babies at the checkout. Come on.
  • Stale candy at checkout, because we all know stay at home mommies who make headbands for their Etsy stores can’t resist some stale M&M’s

Addlestone Library

I have this project due at the end of the semester.  Part of the requirement is that we have 7 sources, and 2 have to be physical sources.  We collectively groan and sigh and carry on like 9th graders learning that the cafeteria is serving sloppy joe’s again today.

Being that I am the opposite of a procrastinator, I start my research the day after the we get the assignment, and I find my 2 paper sources. Apparently these sources do not exist at the College of Charleston library and they need to be loaned from another library somewhere in space. Fine.

I get an email, “Dear Stephanie, your book is ready to pick up at Addlestone Library! Hooray! Love, The Book Fairy”

So the friday before fall break, I gleefully skip into the library to get my book so that I can successfully complete my project (early) over fall break.

There is a man at the counter, “Hello Library Man! Please! Assist me on my quest for academic knowledge and procure the book for which I have ordered and was told is currently on the premises!”

Then, Library Man sighs and says the following:

Library Man: “Name?”

scoccaro: “My! Name! Is! Stephanie! Ann! Coccaro! YAY!”

LB: “No, your last name…”

scoccaro: “Coccaro. c-o-c-c-a-r-o. Coccaro.  Used in a sentence: my name is Stephanie Coccaro”

LB: “You have nothing here. Be gone with you now, you’re annoying.”

scoccaro: “But you see, Library Man in the cut off sweatshirt and ponytail, I got an email and it says my book is ready for checkout”

LB: “Look, this is not Macy’s ok?  We don’t go pull books for students.  We are not elves. You need to go back and find the call number and go upstairs and find it yourself. All of you think that we have some magic bank of books and that all we do is go find books for students.  We don’t.

scoccaro: “…I…um…ok..I’m really sorry…”

LB: “What was the name of the book?”

scoccaro: “I don’t remember, something about magic and faustus.  f-a–”

LB: “we have nothing like that here.”

scoccaro: “ok? thanks?”

He was already walking away as I thanked him.

What a fucking prick.

But now I know.  The library is not Macy’s.

Homeostasis Beagle

I have had Maggie about the same time that I have been bipolar (I didn’t just wake up one day and all of a sudden my hair is alive and I can taste color. I have been bipolar my whole life, but it wasn’t super prevalent until about 10 years ago).  We weren’t really on the same page for probably the first 5 years of her life.  She was just a dog, and I was just a person, and once in awhile we would go to the dog park where she would stand around like, “dogs? Why am I here with…DOGS?”

In 2008, I was officially diagnosed bipolar I rapid cycle with all kinds of other “disorders” and “syndromes” following behind it, but my chief diagnosis is the whole bipolar thing.  So anyway, around that time I was moving in with @jaredwsmith and Maggie was coming with me, and we had Charlie of course.

Charlie has a big personality, which most dachshunds do; well he rubbed off on Maggie.

Let’s talk about how smart Maggie is.

As a puppy, she was in the garage drinking her little filtered puppy water out of her little metal puppy bowl, and my mom and I were standing there doing…whatever, and she was almost out of water in her little puppy bowl, so she picks up her paw and places it on the side of the bowl so that all the water can pool to one side.  She finishes drinking, puts the bowl down, and walks away, like no big fucking deal. Later that week, she was behind me coming into the house and I didn’t know it so her right paw got caught in the door and she cried because I think more than anything, it scared her.  Well, Maggie was queen for the day, she got whatever she wanted because we all felt like total shit for slamming a fucking puppy’s paw in a big scary door.  Maggie is 9.  Maggie still holds up her right paw when she wants something. She has taught the other 2 to do it as well.  So when 5:30 rolls around and I have not made my move to prepare dinner for them, they all stand around with their right paws lifted telling me to go make them dinner.

If I have been anywhere near a Publix, she is all over me. If there is a Publix sub anywhere in the house, or even just a wrapper of a Publix sub, she is beside herself.  She paces, she cries, and when you leave the room, she attacks.  She will chew through drywall just to be able to lick a Publix sub wrapper.  Now, if I go to Publix, I come home with chicken fingers for the dogs. She has trained me to do that for her, because if I get them just for me she wails like it’s the worst thing in the entire world to happen to her if she does not get a single crumb from a Publix chicken finger.  It is worse than the door thing from 9 years ago.

We had a “dog proof” garbage can.  When we lived in DC we did not, so we just threw the garbage away with the can on the counter-height table after we would come home to butter wrappers on the leather couch and raw ground beef trays on the carpeted floor. She learned that she could tip it over by somehow getting the bag out of the little bag holder and pulling it down and then somehow opening the lid. The first time that she did this; she had gotten the entire garbage can into a totally different room of the house before she could plunder. She actually threw out her back doing this.  It cost us hundreds of dollars; she was on medication for like 6 weeks, we thought she needed surgery.  Now, we keep the broken dog-proof garbage can in the garage, which is one of the only doors in the house that she can’t open.

Maggie has always kind of been clingy with me, and I think that’s because when she was a puppy, the first two nights I had her I put her in her little puppy crate and she cried, and cried, and CRIED probably because she was alone and not on the Beagle Farm where I got her anymore, so being that I was like 22 years old, I opened her little crate, and we snuggled all night.

Then my mom found out and told me she has to sleep in her crate.  This is probably why she’s crazy like that; I think Freud would have a field day with this topic.

Maggie doesn’t like crates.  When I lived with my parents and I had her, my mom wanted me to crate her, well it never worked, and she would hide until I eventually gave up. So when I moved out, we bought a crate. Like all of a sudden, Maggie would be totally cool sleeping in a box.  This dog would rather sleep outside with the squirrels and deer in the rain than sleep in a fucking crate.  This crate is a palace.  When we put it together, and put it in our bedroom so she wouldn’t be lonely, me, Jared, Freakin and we got Maggie in there, we all fit, and we closed the door. And we hung out for like 30 minutes in the fucking crate.

Well we put the crate in Jared’s office because she cried all night.  She would keep us up for about an hour or two crying, and then she would stop.  We figured she just got tired and gave up.  Beagles never say die. Ever. The next morning we would wake up, and Maggie would be in bed with us.  We would go into the other room, the crate would still be intact, door closed and locked. I actually even made her a bed; it was one of exactly five things I have ever used my sewing machine for.  She shit on it, and then rolled in it.  So I guess she didn’t like the bed.

Beagles usually aren’t picky eaters, she is. As of this last month, she has decided that she no longer likes American cheese.  No American cheese, singles? Boars Head? No, no American cheese.  I learned this by putting half a Kraft white American Single on her food.  She wouldn’t eat.  She walked away. She knew there was pork tenderloin the refrigerator because that is what I gave her for breakfast. I took the cheese off, she ate. The next night, I let her pick her own cheese; she wanted Boars Head imported Swiss. She ate that. The next morning, I put Boars Head white American on her cheese.  Without skipping a beat, she picked up every bit of that fucking cheese and put it on the floor and then ate her food and then went and drank out of the toilet.  In fact, I gave her cheese this morning to see what would happen and I closed the lid to her favorite toilet, she spit the cheese out then went into the bathroom and cried because the lid was closed. I told her to get out of the bathroom which she did, then she went back in and I heard her drinking from the toilet. Somehow she got the lid open.  And like what am I going to say?  I can’t get mad.  That’s like telling your kid the A she got on her paper about why school sucks is bad.  Good thinking, Maggie, keep that brain sharp.

So, why is it relevant that I told you my psychiatric diagnosis? Because I keep very detailed charts of my mood, how many hours I sleep, my daily activities, et cetera.  About once per month, I go back through, usually before an appointment, and I read through my notes and charts, just to get a feel for any kind of pattern that might be happening.  I write a lot about the dogs, especially Maggie because she is so weird and she is always kind of in trouble. And I am noticing days where I am getting up around 3am and being hyper productive, or just manic overall, she wakes up with me and I note it on my chart.  I don’t think anything of it; I think she is just being clingy. On days that I am getting 8-9 hours of sleep and feeling totally normal, she doesn’t get up with me. I have to go make sure she is ok and like not dead or pouting because of the fucking American cheese.

She knows when I am manic.

And it’s really scary.

Think back to your ab psych class, I told you I am bipolar I which means I am primarily manic and I am prone to more severe manic episodes than someone with bipolar II who is more likely to have depressive episodes and an occasional hypomanic episode.  I am hypomanic probably 70% of the time, a lot of that was suppressed with the drinking and drug use, now that I am sober we are trying to find a new normal.  And that’s what is going on with this dog. She knows something is abnormal with me, maybe she can smell it?  I read that beagles have noses that are 1 million times stronger than a human nose. I need to pay better attention to her.

From the drinking and drug use I have gotten myself into some chronic GI distress. It was really bad when I first quit, Maggie was right there, she was like a bad habit, I couldn’t shake her. Even right now, as I write this, she has a big, tasty bone that she was working on in the living room; I sat down to write this with a headache, she’s currently snoozing under my desk.

I had heard about a service years ago for dogs for people with mental illness and I thought to myself, “yeah! For people who have depression, animals will make them happy and stuff! Great idea!” My therapy dog tells me when I am about to have a manic episode.

Let’s also make one thing clear, she pats herself on the back a little bit for being Therapy Dog of the Month in our house because when I am not sleeping and I am manic, she sleeps on Jared’s side of the bed.  Not like, “aww, Maggie, ok, let’s snuggle,” but like she is saying, “fuck you, you’re sleeping in your office tonight because we have a 3am wake up tomorrow and I need to be on point. Go away.” Like if I sleep vertically in bed, she sleeps horizontally on J’s side so there’s no slipping in and spooning. She probably wouldn’t let you spoon her anyway. And don’t think about moving her, she rolls on her back, gives you a dirty look, and if you persist, she growls. If things are going to be kosher the next day, she permits my husband to share the (king size) bed with his wife.

She is my homeostasis beagle, she is my therapy dog. I need to listen to her a little more carefully. I have been talking for the last year on my charts about triggers and patterns, well the barometer for that is currently snoring under my desk.