Skipping Town

   Headed to a fake city which is basically a big conservative cowtown populated by ambitious egomaniacal power-junkie brown-nosing assholes from every corner of our great nation, almost all of whom have (at minimum) MAs or JDs.  Pop quiz: to which city do I refer?  (I am kidding with you, gentle reader.  I know that you know).

    Ha!  Ha!  Sounds like the perfect place for me to find a new boyfriend! (I jest! I jest!  Well, sort of….).

    Back in 48 hours.

New York Cockroaches are Truly Immortal

   I am revolted by most insects, especially cockroaches. (Incidentally, I realize that my fear of them is truly silly).  I have blogged about my encounters with Manhattan insects (should you feel compelled to explore these experiences for yourself) here and here.      

  The other night I got up around 3 AM to use the restroom. I hate flipping on the light in the middle of the night, because that is when I am most likely to see a roach, fleeing, usually out of the corner of my eye–those hideous beasts are fast.  Don’t get the wrong idea, please, my apartment is not a roach-festival–I lay down a million traps and keep a pretty clean place–but I cannot spray insecticides  because of my pet birds and fish.  So every now and then I come across a roach.  Why am I justifying this to you, gentle reader?  If you are from the tri-state area, you know that they are a fact of life here.  

    So, I’m sitting in the restroom, bleary-eyed, mostly asleep, and what do I see in the bathtub but a disgusting cockroach?  At least he was very small and relatively inoffensive.  At 3 AM, I was in no mood to physically engage him (as if I ever am), so I grabbed the bleach from underneath the sink, set the nozzle to ‘stream,’ and soaked him.  Soaked him.  If I soaked you with bleach in that manner, gentle reader, you would die.  I am certain of it.  

      The roach rolled over onto its back and appeared to be perishing.  

      I washed my hands and went to back to bed, thinking that I would wash his body down the drain in the morning.

     Well, guess what (I know that you know where this is going).

     I rolled out of bed later that morning and went to take a shower.  

      There was no dead roach in the bathtub.  Or the bathroom.  I searched and searched.

       Somehow, improbably, he survived.  Not only did he live, he managed to run away home.   

      How?  How? 

Happy Anniversary to Pieces of Margo!!! Thank you all!

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    I began this blog one year ago today.  Happy Anniversary to Pieces of Margo

     Blogging has become a very satisfying hobby for me.  It has afforded me the opportunity to correspond with fascinating individuals and has encouraged my personal growth, sobriety, and willingness to trust in others.  I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has read this blog; I find it very flattering.

      I was terrified to write honestly about my life because I presumed any readers would find me weird or perverted or even objectionable (I’m also paranoid about my anonymity, of course).  To my complete astonishment, almost all of the letters and feedback I’ve received have been positive or supportive in tone (note 2/28: I am, in fact, both weird and perverted.  I am okay with that, though that last is…well, problematical, as every perv trying to date knows). I realize that the readers of this blog do not compromise a random cross-sample of the general population (I know almost nothing about my readers, but I know that my traffic isn’t coming in through The New York Times online or Huffington Post, if you know what I mean), but I’ve still been pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback people have sent me. (Every now and then I do get hatemail–they NEVER post their sentiments in the comments section, always in email–but I’ve worked in journalism before, so I anticipated that.  Most of the haters sound cracked, which makes their insults easy to brush off.)  

       I am rambling, as I am wont to do.  I simply wish to express my gratitude for your interest in my blog.  For whatever it’s worth, this blog (AND YOU!) have helped me to change into a better person.  A year ago, when I published my first post, Miss Margo was like this: 

Image found at:

     Except that I had no crown.  And I did not drink EVERY night. I mean, I had papers to write. Oh, hell, forget it–it was bad enough; why minimize it?  

      Finally, for your enjoyment, gentle reader: I FOUND A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE OF A PARROT SINGING MOZART!  (he only starts singing halfway trough the video; please be patient) 

Sadder Girl

    Oh God, the Surgeon called me last night for the zillionth time and like a moron, I took the call.  Why, why, why?  Two. Hours. He did about 80%-90% of the talking, or shouting, or bargaining, or whatever it was.  Actually, I know what it was, because I wasn’t drinking, so my memory is unmercifully clear.  Wait, why did I like drinking so much…?  Oh, yeah…

    At least I had the maturity and clarity of mind to stand up for myself and interrupt his tirade whenever he told me that I was “wrong.”  Sorry buddy, you do not get to dictate to me whether my dissatisfaction in the relationship is “wrong.”  He also kept defending himself from things I never accused him of or that had even occurred to me (rather telling).  “I know I’m right!  I know I’m right!” he kept saying.  Right about what?  That you were the perfect boyfriend?  What are you talking about? I never said you were “wrong” about anything. Why are you talking crazily? (note: I was just thinking this.  I didn’t say anything).  Then he said that he bought me flowers on Monday (what?).  Then he said that I had hurt his feelings (you should have heard the metaphors he was using, gentle reader; they were more graphic than “hurt his feelings.”) and that it was my obligation to “make it better.”  Then he said that he could not trust me anymore. Then he said that I had to go on a trip with him next month to (Tropical Vacation Paradise).

      Then he said he loved me and got off the phone.

      This is a highly intelligent, highly accomplished man I am describing, gentle reader.  I’ve read some of his work.  Hell, I’ve edited it.  The little hamster upstairs is running in its wheel quite well.  He lacks intellectual curiosity and I know for a fact that I’m better-read than he is, but I think he could probably beat me on IQ score.  Probably.  I would also, incidentally, recommend his professional talents to anyone.  If President Obama needed surgery, I would say: get thee to the Surgeon.  If my Mom needed surgery, I’d send her to him.

     Unbelievable.   Can I pick em, or can I pick em?

      For what it’s worth, he didn’t act like this most of the time we were together.  Swear to God.  It’s just the breakup making him crazy.

     No mentally sound man who reads this will ever want anything to do with me.

      I will probably remove this post, but I won’t do it because I want to deny what happened or how it portrays me.  I’ll do it because I told myself that I would keep the breakup private. I don’t want to be trashy and complaining.  So why am I writing this now…?

     Who else can I tell…?  I am a lonesome girl.  It’s my fault that I am.  Most folks find me likable.  At my last job, I expressed my concern to a colleague that I was worried someone else strongly disliked me.  My colleague looked at me, surprised, and said: “I have never heard anyone say anything bad about you, Margo.”  

     Speaking of fault, there is something the Surgeon told me about myself that is absolutely accurate, zutreffend :  I do not, clearly and unequivocally, express what I need and expect from people in my personal relationships.

      My students get syllabi and bullet-point instructions and pages of editorializing on their essays; the masochists I control are dictated to and observed so closely that I sometimes become anxious (and thrilled) with the intensity of my focus.  I thrive under clear instruction from professors, employers, and Tops.  And it goes without saying that I know what I need in bed.  Structure, baby, I like structure.  Thank you, Mom (I am not being sarcastic).

    But boyfriends…?  Even close friends…?

     I seldom ask for a goddamned thing.  I assess them on what they offer or deny me of their own volition, of course, but I just don’t ask them for things.  Emotional support.  A sounding board for my complaints.  Favors.  Time.  Accessibility.  Attention.  Etc etc.

     The last healthy, loving guy I dated who was really into me once called me (TWICE CALLED ME!) on the phone on his way to Trader Joe’s to ask me if there was anything I’d like him to purchase for me, since I’d be staying over at his place (“Do you want a particular cereal or fruit or anything?”) .  I was astonished, as if he’d asked me if I wanted him to bring me back a rock from planet Mars.  We’d only been dating for three weeks, too.  He was Jeff, the Machinist.  You can look him up on the label menu of this blog if you want to read further examples of my moonbat craziness.

     I left Jeff.  The good guy before Jeff was Steven, the vet.  I did not feel as connected with Steven as I was with Jeff, and Steven was freshly divorced and still in a lot of pain, but he was absolutely a decent fellow and there were many things I admired about his character.  I was there with him through a cancer scare and the death of a relative.  He dumped me because, basically, he wasn’t there with me for anything.  He couldn’t give me a reason, really, for why he ended our relationship.  He said that I was funny and beautiful and smart (One time he told me–laying with his head on my lap, and we were talking about his divorce–and he looked at me and said, “You are such a kind person, Margo.”  I will never forget that compliment).  But the energy only ran one way–I gave, and I did not take.  I guess he didn’t feel like I was fully there.  I confused him.  Maybe my lack of need made him feel personally unneeded.

      Everyone wants to feel needed, but for men, I think, this is crucial.  Men crave to feel needed by women.  I understand this, and so I have tricks for it: I ask the man to open the stubborn jar, or lift the heavy thing, or something like that.  At the gym, I ask a stranger, “Excuse me, would you please remove this 40 lb. weight plate from this press for me?”  Even if I could do it (with difficulty) myself, I ask them to do it. They are so strong that they can do it all so easily–pop that jar lid right off!  It’s like watching a special effect!  I am fascinated by their strength, compared to my own.  Even small dudes, guys my size (well, almost, I’m tall but pretty lean) are stronger than I am.  Which is fine (except for the fact that it means I am weak little prey for whomsoever comes along,  And it’s not ‘fine,’ it’s a fact of life).  I think it’s Hawt.

     Where was I going with this?  I was distracted by the mental images of men effortlessly opening jars and moving furniture.  

      Oh, yes. I am in breakup anguish and I took the day off from work because I cannot conceive of searching for redundancies in anyone’s shitty SPSS dataset or being the avatar of their random whackadoodle (no blame! no blame!) needs at the Superstudio.  I am going to see my analyst, whose fee I cannot realistically afford right now, because I need to be told where my thinking is dangerous and wrong.

     And I need to know my needs, and why I am so reluctant to share them (but I already know why–logic dictates–I refrain because I assume, without even asking, that my needs will be unfulfilled and rejected.  This assumption is what requires examination).

     I need to keep away from the Surgeon.

     P.S. I know that men need more than to feel needed for opening jars and lifting heavy things.  I was being facetious, mostly. I know you are complex homo sapiens with emotional needs.  Please don’t be mad at me; I intended no insult.

    P.P.S.  Sorry for this self-absorbed drama-rama.  Fuck me, if I had something better to say, I would.

   P.P.P.S  I’ve recently re-read many of my previous posts; if I was hired as an editor I would revise the shit out of most of them.  Most of them need to be tightened up.  I would also remove practically all of the profanity.  For whatever it’s worth, I seldom curse in professional environments–public speaking, or when talking with an employer.  I am a polite person.  The blog posts you read here are raw first drafts.  

Sadomasochists: “Why So Serious?”

    I landed a modeling gig.  A clothing designer of vaguely fetishy gothy type clothing needs images to sell her clothing to retailers. Think Hot Topic.  It’s fine, nothing too scandalous that would compromise my reputation if they were brought to the attention of my employer in the future.  Nothing that I wouldn’t show my mother, in other words.  

    Anyway, I have to ask: why oh why do SM people always have to wear black, and why do we always have to dance to Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode at our parties?  Why?  Why?  I like The Cure as much as the next person, but must it be standard at every fetish event?  And if the male dominants must wear black Levi’s and t-shirts, can they please refrain from wearing white tube socks with them?  And toolbelts?  And mansandals?  And what’s with all the facial hair?  Are we at a Grateful Dead concert?  Do BDSM (god I hate that clumsy moniker) parties always have to resemble a Star Trek convention where everyone is wearing assless chaps?  Why?  Why, God, why?

     Defunct blogger Bitchy Jones once wrote something along the lines of: “This is the cruelty zoo that is my sexuality.” So, so true.  Bitchy, I salute you. 

    P.S.  I love corsetry.  I admit it.  At least most of it is COLORFUL.  Jeez.

Sad Girl

   I feel like the saddest, most lonely girl in the world right now.

   Breaking up is hard to do, as the cliche goes, and I knew that it wouldn’t be easy when I decided to finally do it.  It is still painful.  We were never monogamous, but he was definitely the most important man in my life for several years, and I cared about him tremendously.  I used to love him a little, back in the beginning of our relationship, but bitter experience made me pull back from that.  He’s not safe.

    I don’t want to write about the breakup details on this blog because it’s undignified to do so (constant readers may notice I pulled two posts already–I’m sorry about that; I’m not trying to deny or revise anything, I just don’t think it’s fair to talk about him much).  

     The Surgeon finally got me on the phone this morning.  Basically, he was unkind.  He called me inhuman (among other things) because I was trying to remain calm and, uh, professional, if that makes sense.  Then he blamed me for being late for work because he was ranting and raving on the phone outside of Central Park.  Then, later this afternoon, he called back and invited me to go to (Tropical Vacation Paradise) with him this weekend.  

     He’s like a man with a bunch of keys on a keyring in front of a locked door, trying one key, and then another, and then another, to find one that works.  

    I cried in the shower and I cried in the bathroom at the library now I am sitting with Parrot on my desk crying.  I fucking hate to cry and I almost never do it.  

     I just want it to be over, but I know it’s not.  

Ash Wednesday

    Why is it that even though I am a casual and unapologetic atheist and I despise practically everything about the institution of Roman Catholicism, I still feel guilt–as if I were a traitor–when I see the faithful bearing ashes on their foreheads…?

   Already into Lent.  Fasting is easy, but what shall I sacrifice?

    Yahweh is capricious and cruel, and the nuns told me that His cruelty is refining, but I never believed that bullshit for a second.  Even when I was ten years old, I didn’t believe it.  It has to be one of the most transparent lies ever concocted.

  I’ll attend Mass on Palm Sunday.  It’s the only service I go to voluntarily.

Quoth the Masochist: “How Did You Get that Bruise?”

    People sometimes inquire as to how I get the bruises on my skin.  I do not find the questions rude or intrusive because woman-beating (I refuse to call it by its euphemism, ‘domestic violence’) is a serious problem in society, and so I think it is a good thing when people want to know how a woman was injured.  

    The number and severity of my bruises depends, of course, on how frequently I have had the good fortune to be played with (for the last few weeks, it has been ZERO, and I am going insane, thank you very much).  Most of the fun-time marks are hidden by my clothing anyway. I also get bruised because  I am clumsy and constantly knocking into things at the gym or in my apartment.  I seriously think that my coffee table may well be the death of me one of these days (imagine the obituary: “DEATH BY COFFEE TABLE.” How dignified).  I’m also fair-skinned (my ancestors did not exactly hail from the sunshine capitals of Europe), so that doesn’t help, either.  

     Don’t get the wrong idea, gentle reader, it’s not as if I look like a car-crash victim as I run about town (most of time, at least).  I don’t look beat up. I just have, usually, a random ding here or there.  Usually one on my legs (that coffee table.  I’m telling you.).  

   Anyway, this essay has a point, so let me get to it (as I always told my freshman students, repeatedly, in caps,  on their syllabus: “YOUR PAPER SHOULD HAVE A POINT.”).  A student, a friend, a random dude chatting me up on the train–they ask: “How’d you get that mark on your leg? Ouch!”  Okay, fine, understandable.  

    What boggles my mind, though, is when a masochist, a real player, comes into the studio and wants me to land on him like a ton of bricks, and then asks me, in all sincerity: “How did you get that bruise on your thigh?”

    This happens all the time. All.The.Time.  It’s a real head-scratcher.  

Bank of America is a Corrupt, Unethical, and Revolting Corporation

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TyRANTosaurus Margo!

          I rolled out of bed this morning and consulted my online account at Bank of America.

   Check this out, friends and neighbors: my defunct credit card, which expired a year ago and which I have not used for any purchases in a year, and which carries no balance whatsoever (I do not owe a penny!) has been charged an  “annual service fee” of $59.99.

    How can this even be legal? I know that some jackass out there who is reading this is going to say, “You should have read through the 12 pages of fine print in the contract and formally cancelled your card (despite the fact that you could not use it and did not renew it) if you didn’t expect to get ripped off!”  But you know what?  I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops of fire in order to expect not to be stolen from.  Just because I don’t lock my bike up with 2 kryptonite locks and a sentry bodyguard does not make it my fault that someone steals my bike.

    Screw you, Bank of America.  I wish to Christ I could find the individuals who decided to implement these obscene exploitative IMMORAL policies and put them in the stocks, in public, like they used to do in medieval times.  Optionally, burning at the stake would be a just alternative punishment for these scum.

    Now I am going to have to go in to my local branch and FIGHT with them, and the sad thing is that the person I will be fighting with will have NO personal responsibility for charging me with this fee.  He (or she) will just be another corporate slave, trying to bring home the bacon and get through the day, like we all are.  I cannot be uncivil or cruel.  It’s not his fault that the Bank is doing this to me.

    I cannot get my hands on the people responsible.  I cannot even write to them, or find out who they are.

    Banks are truly disgusting, evil institutions and I hate them with all my heart.

    Fuck you, Bank of America.  I am not going to pay your fee unless you sue me and I am going to COMPLAIN until you drop this fee, and I know it will take hours and hour and hours of my time before you relent to do this.  I resent you tremendously and you ought to be abolished.

Miss Margo’s Honorable Breakup Protocol: The Surgeon Edition

(note: I posted about this earlier in the day, but I took it down for the time being because I’m worried he might find it, and if he finds it, he finds this whole blog, and, well, I don’t want that.)

    Or, I should say, I initiated breakup proceedings with the Surgeon.  I have no illusions–this is going to be a process.  Hopefully it will only take a week or two.  I know how his mind works.  He has to convince himself, somehow, that he is the one who left me.  Fine, whatever.  If I could encourage this fantasy without actually having to engage with him any further, I would be happy to do so.  Whatever it takes.  I am a lesbian!  I’m moving to Boise, Idaho! I faked being a masochist all along!  

     I am being facetious, mostly.  This is Miss Margo’s Honorable Breakup Protocol: Just say “I want out, effective immediately.  That is all.”  Do not blame him for anything, even if he deserves it.  Do not fight or defend your decision.  Receive all insults and blame with stoicism (but do not acknowledge or validate them, unless they are, indeed, accurate and truly egregious–then just say “You are right. I am truly sorry.”).  Express appreciation for the good deeds and contributions he has made in your life, but don’t get sentimental or maudlin.  Abandon whatever possessions you have left in his apartment unless they have profound monetary or sentimental value to you.  Return, via insured mail, any expensive jewelry he has given to you that is less than six months old, or any of his family heirlooms.  If he wants the sweater or DVD he left at your place, return it promptly and without comment, but always via post, never in person (you know he’s only bugging you about that copy of Black Hawk Down so that he can talk to you.)  Unless he gave you HIV or slept with your sister or something equally heinous, do not speak ill of him to anyone might even remotely know him.  Do not disclose his sexual peccadilloes or insecurities.  Do not try to poach his friends.   

     And now, for your entertainment, Gentle Reader, I will break my own rule: years ago, I dated a poet (yeah yeah, laugh it up, buddy.  Better than a disturbed surgeon, I’ll tell you that).  The poet was an all-around good egg.  He was probably the best boyfriend I ever had.  Anyway, he took poetry very seriously, as poets are wont to do (I dig poetry myself, though I don’t write it).  He would buy lovely cards for me and write sonnets in them, and give me poems attached to birthday gifts.

       This is The Awful Truth: I thought his poetry was dreadful.  Horrible.  Cringe-inducing.  A full-on assault on my sense of aesthetics.

     Nevertheless, wild horses could not have dragged this disloyalty from me.  I raved over it all, and kept every card.  I still have most of them.  I mean, it’s really sweet, isn’t it?  When’s the last time a fellow composed a sonnet just for you?  That’s truly romantic!

     Am I a hypocrite for telling you this?  I think it’s safe because he will never, ever know.  There is no way he could find this blog.  He lives on the other side of the universe.

     I am joking around because I am scared and anxious.  The Surgeon is going to be really really….not good.

     I will be a healthier, happier person when he’s finally gone, though.

     Wish me luck.  I feel kinda sick to my stomach.