Saturday, November 16, 2013

We were not cut out for Forestry Work

Tonight, as I was cooking dinner, I nearly burned the house down. And by "nearly" I mean "kinda lit a hot pad on fire but actually it was only smoldering and on second thought let me tell you a story."

Once upon a time, in the 1990s, my friend The Jerk and I were hanging out at her house with our little group of friends. Her mom wasn't home, so it as just the four of us; Jerk, myself, Bradley and Gomez.

We were in high school, so of course we thought we knew EVERYTHING. I'm pretty sure, if I remember correctly, we were sitting around discussing nuclear theory (or calling each other names. Same thing) and watching the snow fall.

And then the power went out.

No biggie. We grew up in the mountains. Winter power outages were routine and we knew how to handle ourselves.

Or so I thought.

Jerk (whose name I will now change to Wessa, since referring to her as Jerk is kind of, well, a jerk thing to do) went to go get lighting supplies while the rest of us sat in the dark.

Wessa had grown up in our tiny mountain town. I'd only lived there for a few years, and the other two yahoo's were recent transplants within the last year or so but when you live in a mountain hick town with not-a-thing-to-do, you learn things you probably shouldn't do, but do anyway. We totally knew what we were doing.

Wessa returned with the kerosene lamps and a box of matches.

"Hey," I said. "I think those lamps need to be filled."

You may recall that I said we'd been sitting in the dark. By now you realize I once had super-human eyesight and could see across the room in the dead of night during a blizzard. Don't tell anyone.

Bradley went to the garage to get the kerosene can.

Gomez approached the counter. "Are you going to fill those yourself?" he asked.

"Yup," I said. "It's easy. Wanna try?"


"Suit yourself."

Bradley returned with the fuel can and set it on the counter.

Wessa had already lit one lamp, since it had enough fuel to burn for a bit, which was good. Who wants to pour kerosene in the dark?

The four of us sat yammering on about God knows what as I took the wick or whatever off the lamp and set it on the table.

The rest happened in real-time, but I swear the whole world slowed down seven frames per minute as I watched Wessa's actions unfold before us.

She picked up the fuel can.

To take outside, I thought to myself.

She picked up the lit lamp.

I say again. The Lit. Lamp.


Also going outside, I thought to myself. Right? So she can see while she fills the UN-LIT lamp??"

She held the two together and tilted the can to the side as I started screaming NOOOO!!

Fire erupted from her hands like she'd morphed into a freaking demon magician.

I'm not even sure what happened or in what order after that because I have PTSD from that night, but I remember Wessa flinging the lit and flaming kerosene lamp into the sink, were the fire immediately spread to the curtains and up the wall.

Bradley grabbed his flannel jacket (it was the 90s, remember?) and started beating flames with it. I have no idea what I was doing, and Wessa ran for the phone to dial 911.

I'm not even completely sure Gomez was actually there that night, because after my earlier mention of him, I have no further recollection of him whatsoever (no, he didn't die, because I saw him at graduation later that year).

The end result: Wessa's mom got a brand-new kitchen, carpet and paint throughout the house, Bradley wasn't allowed over anymore (per his parents request) and Wessa and I were never again left without supervision as long as we lived.

Every time something catches on fire (like the time Elle almost burned us to death in mortar fire), I smile to myself and think of that night where my bestie almost killed us all in a house fire.



Monday, October 21, 2013

That an't how we do it

This morning, I stood in the kitchen, staring at the coffee pot as it slowly filled. I My 10 and 6 were sitting at the dining room table, chattering about pumpkin spice pancakes and whether or not peanut butter was an acceptable topping. I looked at my feet where the dog sat, perfectly still, with a look in his eyes that said, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO GIVE ME A COOKIE!! I patted his head. "No cookie," I told him.

"TWELVE! You're going to be late for school!" I called. "Again."

I muttered the last part under my breath. That kid had already been sentenced to detention for having more than five tardies to his first period class. We live directly across the street from the school.

"Sorry, Mom. I'm ready," he said as he rushed down the hall.

"Um, what are you doing?" questioned my 10.

"YEAH. MOM'S NOT GONNA LIKE THAT," added the 6 (who yells everything. Fear not, I've had her hearing checked. She's just got healthy vocal chords and likes to hear herself talk).

I wrinkled my nose at the coffee pot, which seemed extra slow today. Was it me, or was the coffee actually funneling itself back up into the filter? I tapped the pot.

"Don't forget to turn in all of your homework today," I reminded him. "There's really no point in doing the work if you-"

"Yeah, Mom, I know," he interrupted.

"Good. And remember," I said as I turned around. "I'll be home around WHAT IS YOUR BUTT DOING HANGING OUT OF YOUR SHORTS?!"

My 12 was bent over at the waist, cramming books an papers into his backpack. He jerked himself upright and tried to yank up his pants, spilling everything from his hands in the process.

My child never, ever sags his pants. In fact, we had a few years where he yanked his pant up so high he resembled Steve Urkle from Family Matters.

Yes. You did do that.

And now my 12 is running around like Justin Dweeber.
I stole this poor quality photo from the internet.

"It's not, Mom. I'm... just... um."

I stared at him, narrowing my eyes.

"What did I tell you?"

My 12 looked back at me and smiled knowingly.

"Wipe that look off your face, kid. I will show up at that middle school with my smallest pair of pants halfway off MY butt, no belt, and a crop top. No one wants to see that, but EVERYONE WILL."

"Yeah, okay. I get it."

"Good. Go to school."

"Bye Mom."


"Okay, okay."


Monday, October 7, 2013

Even my First Grader knows you don't cut in line, Lady

Mumsie and I recently hauled off to the coast for an overnighter, complete with my three kiddos.

It would have been really cool if things played out the way we'd planned them. We were supposed to leave early Saturday afternoon, only my boss (did I tell you? I got a new job!) slyly had me work a 14 hour shift and he reappeared about 3 hours later than he had implied (who makes someone come in at 5am anyway? I mean, other than me when I managed Burger King. Haha, that was so mean. Anyway...) But I used to work those ridiculous shifts all the time, so this wasn't a huge deal except that I was trying to leave town.

Good thing my boss is a totally cool guy, otherwise that would have been grounds for some nasty looks and passive retribution (in my head, I'm like, REALLY mean. But I haven't been directly supervised under someone else's employ since 1999, so its hard for me to assert myself right now when I'm not calling the shots. It's like my 19 year old self was hiding and made a recent reappearance and I'm not sure how to get rid of her without calling attention to the fact that I'm currently dealing with split personalities. Also, I'm not as huge a wuss as I'm making myself out to be. Promise)

Mumsie and the kids and I did eventually get out of town, and hit the coastline right as the sun was going down. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, which is pretty amazing for the Pacific Northwest (where people are like, Sun? What's that?).

Except we still had to drive to the hotel so I missed all of the lovely photographic moments. But that's okay, because after hitting town late, and checking in to the hotel, Mumsie and I took the kids out for pizza.

What great set of mother's doesn't hit a pizza parlor until 8:30pm with three hungry kids in tow? Did I mention that two of them had also been up since 5am? Recipe for success, let me tell you.

Now, my kids and I have all been PMSing or something for the last few weeks. And only a few days ago did I feel like we were returning to normalcy. So what could very well have been the biggest disaster to hit that little town since the storm of '47 was avoided by my children being surprisingly well behaved. And when I say that I mean they were like someone else's kids: polite, happy, satisfied with two dollars each in quarters. It was amazing because I was dead tired.

I left Mumsie with the kids and stood in line at the counter to order.

This pizza parlor was a little weird because they don't have a visible menu. You have to kind of wander around the counter area acting like you're looking for napkins until you run across a pile of slightly rumpled paper menus. Then you snag one and quickly try to decide what to order before it's your turn. Only, the place was incredibly busy and there were only three people working that I could see, so I had some time.

I had done all of this and was patiently waiting to place my order when THEY showed up.

The older couple who was probably on their first romantic weekend together after three failed marriages. They'd obviously spent a few hours at the bar down the street because there was a lot of geriatric groping going on and the female kept yelling about WHAT SIZE DO WE WANT and the male keept kissing her ear only he was missing and getting mouthfuls of hair and having to spit it out of his mouth, all while attempting to goose the female's butt, but she couldn't stand up straight and he failed to notice that as well, so he looked like he was imitating Data from Goonie's with his Pinchers of Power.

It was all very annoying, but wasn't affecting me so I just looked elsewhere an tried to ignore it.


The female sidled up next to me in line. As in, she stepped on my foot.

I knew where that was going. And hell-to-the-no.

My kids were starving, the place was incredibly busy, an no WAY was I going to let them cut in line. Not when they were talking about ordering four pizzas (my earlier assessment about their romantic retreat was, apparently, incorrect).

The lady turned to me.

Drunk B*tch: Wur juss grabbin' a MEN-YEW [hiccup] [not moving]

Me: Yeah [smile that doesn't reach my eyes]. Sorry, but the end of the line is actually over there.

[man leaves for the restroom. Female scoots in front of me]

Me: Hi. I noticed you're still here. Sorry, but I have four hungry kids and a grandma to feed and I've been waiting a while.

I actually only have 3 kids. I guess I lie when I'm pissed.

The drunk female turned to look at me, only her eyes never exactly located mine, so she just swayed a bit and stumbled forward into the counter.

I shot daggers at her back but decided to let it go. After all, she was stupid and what was I going to do, start a fight with her?

I placed our order (a 17" pizza and 12 bread sticks: the chick behind the counter handed me two plates. I looked at the plates, down at myself, and back at the chick. I've been kind of lazy with the healthy eating lately and sort of stressing about it. So for this woman, whom I don't know, to hand me only two plates freaked me out. I think she called me fat without actually saying it. Needless to say, I'm off the carbs again).

I stood at the wall of photos showcasing over 50 years of pizza making by this family owned business while waiting for the order, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a different woman walk up to me and just sort of lean in. So I turned to her, smiled awkwardly, and said hi.

Me: Hi.

Her: Hi! [blinks. Smiles. Stares]

Me: Um. [clears throat] Hi there. You.

Her: Do you live here?

Me: No. [pause] Do you?

WHAT? I didn't know what was going on, so I just sort of morphed this weird moment into a conversation.

Her: No.

Me: Okay.

Her: I thought you were someone else.

Me: Nope. I'm just... me.

Her: Okay [walks away. Turns around to wave good-bye]

Dude. The people in that town were weird.

My order was called before the people ahead of me who had cut in line. Which is good, because for a while I had entertained myself by coming up with different ways of ruining their food and/or night:

  • "Accidentally" running  into them as they picked up their order from the counter and watching as their pizzas bit the dust, then offering them a single napkin with which to clean their soiled clothing
  • Stealing their order, and flinging their pizzas all over their car except I didn't think they'd driven on account of how sloshed they were
  • Anonymously sending a roofied beer to their table 
  • Kicking them in the shins

But I didn't do any of that because I'm not that extreme, and also because they disappeared and I never saw them again.

Mumsie and I really enjoyed ourselves on the remainder of the trip. The kids did, too. All in all, it was a good weekend.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Winter Coat?

Conversation between the 10 and the 6 this morning while they were making their school lunches:

6: There's this girl in my class with like, REALLY hairy arms. She touched me on accident and I was like, GIRL. You need to shave those things!

10: That's not very nice... Even if it's a little funny.

6: Neither is being scratched by a saski.

Me: (rushing into the kitchen with my toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, still in my pajamas, hair all wild and falling out of a ponytail. You're welcome for that mental image) WHOA! Stop right there. Let's talk about ethnicity and things people can't help.

Except it came out more like, Hrr. Stop rut thur. Less' talk about ef-nithity and things purple kint herp.

6: It's not her ethnicity, it's her arms. They're really scratchy, but that's okay because she's nice and I like her anyway.

10: Last year, there was a kid in my class who had really bushy eyebrows. Sometimes they would get stuck in his hair.

Me: (pausing to let that image sink in) Really?

10: Yeah.

Me: Wow.

6: I put Petey in the toy bin because he left hair on my bed. What if PETEY HAD NO HAIR, MOMMA?

Me: (turning to 10) Hide the clippers.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hey look. I never posted this. Good job, Self.

The Fourth of July.

I really kind of love that holiday.

Or did.

Now that the entire family is shell-shocked, our brains don't function properly and we lost what little ability to experience feelings we had.

But I digress.

I always barrel into this holiday with ideas for fun (everyone remember the Tractor Rides with the wedding dresses?), food, and entertainment.

And this year started off pretty typical. Mumsie called me up, asked if I'd planned a menu (which I had), we decided who would bring what, I gathered everything and promptly stopped planning.

Look, I've had a lot going on. I'm no Martha Stewart. In fact, I hate that beezy so if you were ever to attempt to refer to me as such, I would bury your body in a very shallow grave where the vultures would pick your bones clean after a deer dug you up and ate your face.

I don't like Stewart.

But I did have this stellar image of using the old-fashioned coke bottles with those super cool red and white striped straws that all the super-crafty moms are using for their perfectionist summer parties.

(Totally jacked these images from Pinterest. They were both dead links, so I don't know who owns the photos. Sorry)

Mumsie ordered the straws from Amazon (whom I hate, in case your forgot), and the straws were supposed to arrive on the 3rd. I looked in to acquiring the coke bottles, and found a whole case of them at Costco.  Except those coke bottles are expensive, even at Costco, so I abandoned that idea and instead went with re-purposing Starbucks coffee bottles, which are just the same as old-fashioned milk bottles. Of course, I had to buy a flat of those and drink all that coffee before I could even use the bottles, so I was VERY caffeinated for two days as I emptied those bottles in preparation for the 4th.

But they turned out cool, right?
Uh. Ignore the sunglasses. One of those has alcohol and you know... 
things just look better through the telephoto lens of Malibu rum.

What was that? Where is the red-and-white super-patriotic straw that I was talking about?



It never arrived. I had to use clear straws. CLEAR. Can someone explain to me how INVISIBLE STRAWS enhance this nation's holiday?

The straws did arrive, however, two days after their promised arrival date, which did me no good at all. Now I have 250 paper straws that I don't currently have a use for. I've been trying to pawn them off everywhere I go, like using them for tips at restaurants (which, apparently, cannot be substituted for currency. Whatever).

So the 4th was obviously ruined without the straws, so everything after that initial letdown was just par for the course.

If you read my Facebook page, you'll know already that Elle tried to kill us all.

Just as it was getting dark, we gathered the children around the fire pit out in the yard and set about preparing for the pyrotechnics.

Elle and I decided to be conservative this year, and by that I mean she bought all the fireworks and I JUST NOW realized I never paid her for my share.

That's ok, because the way I look at it, the money I spent on burn cream and skin grafts sort of evens that out.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

Elle assumed the role of Punk and the rest of us sat there in anticipation.

Well, I did because I was dog-tired. The kids ran around shoveling marshmallows and chocolate into their faces while chasing each other with glow sticks, and our parents watched the mayhem with satisfied expressions that said, I am SO GLAD I don't have to actively participate in attempting to control this mutiny.

All was well until we reached the last set of mortars. I could tell Elle was pretty much done with the fireworks. My 11 (who is now 12, BTW) graciously offered to finish up for her. Elle turned him down (wise move. Who hands a pre-teen a set of matches and access to explosives?).

As we watched the last of the mortars blow up the sky, we vocalized our appreciation for the things we had, the fact that we could watch explosives light up the sky and not worry about being killed, and yelled to the kids to quit running so close to the fire.

I stood up and began to gather the trash from the s'mores. I remember looking across the fire pit and watching Elle as she shook out the last box of mortars.

It was like a slow-motion action movie where Rambo takes his empty clip from his big fat gun, looks twice at it, shrugs and throws it into the fire just as the camera zeros in on the clip hitting the flames and that's when you know: everyone is going to die.

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out because at that same moment we were all blasted by a firestorm that would rival Dresden.

Or maybe the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

*Note: Totally not making fun at anyone's expense. I just thought I was going to die and the first thing that came to mind was, Oh. This is how it feels right before you burn to death.
Simultaneous with the firestorm was a BOOM so loud, it both rendered me deaf, and increased my hearing to a dog-like level. I could hear both nothing and everything at once. I think my brain shook inside my skull.

Kids were screaming, the dogs were dead (which later turned out to be a false assumption), everything was covered in embers, INCLUDING MY FOOT, and I think my parents and their lawn chairs were launched into the sky for a period of time because I don't remember seeing them for like, five entire minutes.

And Elle.
Elle was standing there, across the battlefield with the most bewildered look of terror and instant recognition of what she'd done.

I started laughing because honestly, I knew what Elle was thinking.

"OMFG, I killed my family. Gary is going to be PISSED that he missed this."

This all happened in a matter of seconds. While I was laughing, I was also grabbing kids and throwing them away from the fire pit, just in case there were any more surprises Elle wanted to shell on us. Elle was running toward my parents, or something, I don't know BECAUSE MY FOOT WAS ON FIRE, and we tried to calm all five of the kids.

Elle looked sheepish. I couldn't even give her shit over trying to murder us because I knew she was embarrassed.

So we started making fun of her, which is what we do in this family to make each other feel better.

No one was actually hurt (EXCEPT FOR MY FOOT, which still has melted skin and blisters a month later) and the kids quickly quieted down. Elle's girls were first to stop shrieking, I think because they are used to their mom's antics (Note* Her kids are never in danger. Elle is a helicopter parent. Okay, she is not, but I jut wanted to all to rest easy that Elle does not routinely try to burn people to death).

I think my 10 has PTSD, though, because she told me that night as she was going to sleep, "I just can't keep my eyes closed, Mom, because it keeps happening over and over again."

She still refuses to talk to her auntie.

At least my sister finally gets to use a line from her favorite movie, Better Off Dead, where Lane Myer says, Gee, I'm really sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.

Next year, we'll go with non-flammable glow sticks.

Elle, attempting to get the cousins to post for a photo early in the day.
Who knew it was almost their last picture together?

Grateful to be alive and embracing this glorious 
new day that has been bestowed upon them

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'd rather be alive than healthy!

Four years ago, I went a little crazy and sort of joined a health group and kind of started running and basically turned into a crazy person who ran around (literally) leaving a trail of health smoke in my wake.

It was absolutely as weird as it sounds.

If I REALLY wanted to freak you out, I'd post a before-and-after photo of myself. Luckily I had enough foresight to keep myself out of every photo anyone I knew had ever taken, beginning at age three and lasting until age 29, so nothing like that exists.

Two years ago I quit my job, left my network of friends and support and moved to the Pacific Northwest.

I then developed a network of neighborhood Mom-Friends and I had way more fun hanging out with Elle, Rawr and Shenanigans so I sort of abandoned the whole running regimen and instead spent my mornings hanging out with The League and guzzling gallons of coffee.

I hate running. HATE IT.

Unfortunately, when I was running, I felt incredibly healthy, ate healthier and basically morphed into a super-human with magical powers. Like, not only could I totally climb stairs without my knees cracking, but I could also boss my kids around for longer periods of time due to increased lung function.

It was like a HUGE win for Team Mom.

Over the last few months, I've been toying with the idea of resuming self-inflicted exercise.

Last night, as I was falling asleep, I told myself that I would get my butt in gear and go for a run.

This morning, I did it.

I pulled my running clothes out of the drawer and gave them a look of disgust. For good measure, I threw them on the floor so they knew my hatred for them was still strong.

I shrugged them on, grabbed the dog and the 6, and bolted out the front door.

Well, I stretched first (OWMOTHEREFFEROW).

Then we walked for a warm up.

And then we ran.

About six steps into the run, I had a sudden bout of clarity as to just exactly why I hated those running clothes.

The pants are spandex, and they fall down.

Some might say it's because I have no ass.

Those people would be correct.

I bought the pants small so that, when I was getting fit the first time around, I would still be able to wear them as I lost weight.

Even when those suckers were inappropriately skin-tight, they slipped down. The only plus (if you can call it that) was after a while, when I was disgustingly sweaty from running, the pants would plaster themselves to my body. Then, and ONLY THEN, would they stay in place.


Sooooooo, y'all will be excited to hear that I was running along a levy holding the dog's leash and a water bottle in one hand while awkwardly yanking my pants up with the other as my 6 rode her bike alongside me yelling "MOMMA, I SEE YOUR ZEBRA PANTIES!"

I'm pretty sure everyone there thought that was super-sexy.

Wait for it, because it gets better.

We ran into a lady and her dog. Naturally, my 6 NEEDED to pet that other dog, and then both dogs had to sniff each other, and I had to make polite chit-chat while my drawers kept slipping. I wondered if I should say something, like, "Don't worry. My pants just want to hang out around my ankles," but I decided maybe just remaining silent was best.

The dogs sniffed good-bye, and my 6 and I set off. When we were far enough down the path and no one was near, I dropped the dog's leash and let him go (he's very well trained and would come back if I called him. Unless there was a squirrel, and then all hell breaks loose).

I kept up my trudge along the path, gasping for air and praying to God that I didn't pass out from lack of oxygen, and called the dog to keep up. He'd stopped to sniff something (probably some dead carcass of some gross animal) and came running up behind me, tongue lapping in the wind, a joyful doggy grin spread across his face.

Note to self: don't run forward while looking behind you.

I tripped over a rock, and tried to steady myself. Unfortunately, at that moment I was also trying to yank up my pants, and the dog chose that exact moment to side-swipe me and my foot got trapped in his leash.


Let me just tell YOU something.

Ever see a cartoon where someone is spinning out of control, cartwheeling with arms and legs flailing and you laugh because they look like such a jackass, but you know it's going to hurt when they crash and burn so you sort of wince and wait for the impact?

By some miracle, I was able to catch myself before hitting the ground, but I think I bruised my chin in the process. I'm not even sure how that happened, unless I unknowingly punched myself in the face (which is entirely possible).

I managed to make it back to the house without any further incident, due to the fact that I was sweating quite a bit from my near-death experience so my pants were stuck to my waist.

Tomorrow I'm running in jeans.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A dramatic Rescue/Break-in

OMFG, enough about last week's imposter home invasion (yeah, sorry about not ever posting that story. I got kinda busy. Long story short, no one broke into my home, but a stranger was in my garage and he yelled at me. I'm a sensitive soul, so I didn't do anything in my own defense except move away).

I guess I should have set this up by first posting about the home invaders, because I later became one myself.

It all started when my cat decided he hated the dog and the cat moved out, only he didn't tell anyone. At first, he pulled a quick three-day disappearing act on us. I solved that by walking by the sliding glass door one evening and thinking, Hm. I haven't seen the cat in a few days, and then suddenly POOF! there he was at the door.

A week later, I noticed it had again been a few days since a feline sighting, so I would randomly walked past a window, pause, think to myself, Where is the cat? and quickly shoot a look at the window or door and expect to see the cat magically appear out of thin air.

Cut to three weeks later and I was pretty much giving up hope of ever again seeing the damn animal, and I'm fairly certain the multitudes of people who walked past my house daily thought I was insane because I was forever stopping as I passed the window, then flipping my head to the side as I inadvertantly locked eyes with them while they ventured by (for whatever reason, there are a ton of people who walk down that street exercising people, animals, children, etc).

I know the dog had a little something to do with it because he is used to "playing" with the cats at his other house (still ain't nobody got time for that story) and my cat wasn't having ANY of those shenanigans. Yet the dog continued to "accidentally" surprise the cat on the landing, which resulted in multiple scufflings and a lot of hissing. At least the dog had the decency to look guilty when I gave him The Look (raised eyebrow with a smirk, and usually a question like, Really? Was that necessary?).

During the time the cat was missing, we moved. Out of town. Forty miles away.

And my kids feared they would never again squeeze and love and hold and squish their beloved pet again.

Yesterday we went back to the old neighborhood to hand out flyers with a picture of the at, and our phone number.

We went to speak to the lady across the street.

Lady: Him? I just saw him yesterday.


Me: Seriously?! [questioning her sanity] WHERE?!

Lady: [pauses for dramatic effect, then points] There. In that abandoned house.

[cue creepy music, flashes of lightening and picture a skull and crossbones spray painted on the front door]

Me: Frick.

10: I'M GOIN' IN!

And she did. She went in through a broken window (relax, I checked for busted glass. There was a lot of it, but not anywhere near her). I totally would have volunteered to get a chance at contracting tetanus, but my ass wouldn't fit through that tiny window.

I stood nervously near the front door, after having instructed the 10 to meet me there so I could come in and help her search. The other two kids were milling around me, impatient to join the rescue of their beloved pet.

A moment. Maybe I should mention that the whole neighborhood knows the family who owns the abandoned, foreclosed home, so we were cool. Everyone knew what we were doing (though no one offered to help). It was like having an in with a street gang except nothing like that at all.

My 10 came rip-roaring around the corner, skidding on crap and yelled to me, where I was perched near the window.

10: MOM! He's HERE! HE'S COVERED! [takes off again]

Oh, holy hell. What does that mean? Is he dead? Alive? WHAT IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?

We had to try three separate doors before my 10 could let me in, the four of us spilling into the house and running toward our yowling cat.

It was definitely him, and the meowing was coming from the bowels of the biggest trash heap I've ever seen.

At first, I was gently moving things aside, like a toaster and other appliances. Then I realized it was all crap anyway, so I just started chucking it across the room.

Out poked a kitty face from that rubble and I swear to you, my kids almost burst into tears when they saw that mangy varmit clawing his way out.

I grabbed the cat, prayed that none of us needed that tetanus booster and we booked it out of there.

Our pet is home safe at the new house where, I shit you not, the dog greeted him with a toothy smile and a look of glee. The cat looked utterly pissed and shot me a look that said, Are you fricking KIDDING ME?

And again, all is right in the cat vs. dog world.

(the dog declined inclusion)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why does history seem to repeat itself so quickly?

Remember back when I mentioned briefly that I was almost homeless, but luckily a friend swooped in and saved me?

It was a brief mention here, because if I had given it any real thought I probably would have panic-vomited all over the place and ran home to Mumsie. Or turned into one of those au-natural moms, sold all my earthly possessions, bought a Volkswagon bus, traded my shoes for patchouli oil and camped in the woods for the summer.

Only, I'm 33 years old, I have three kids, and a cat, with joint-custody of a dog (ain't nobody got time for that story right now. Maybe later) and a penchant for running water. Also, I don't relish the idea of my home requiring unleaded (diesel?) fuel and being mobile.

While the idea of possibly securing actual Sasquatch footage was tempting, I felt that I should hold out for a few weeks, just to see what kind of stationary living quarters were available.

Cut to three months later and I still hadn't found a place.

I didn't panic. Should I have? Eh, I dunno. What does panic do for us, other than make us sweat and act inappropriately, which later leads to writing apology letters for things we've done while under the influence of fear?

I've learned one thing over the last year: Right when it would appear that you're out of time, something always pops up.

That thing would be another friend offering his house. And that means his dog can live at home again (which means I don't have to tell you that story after all), I won't have to panhandle on the corner, and we can all bathe daily.


Two years ago, when we left California, I would never have been able to smoke enough crack to imagine my life as it is today.

It's not a bad life.

I'm not complaining.

I've done a lot of growing (thank God it's not weight gain, for once. I meant personal growth), met some really stellar people, re-enrolled in college, and started from scratch, basically.

I can't say I've changed, and I cannot say I've remained the same.

We're always changing. In little ways we stagnate, improve, slide backwards.

But I invite any one of you to look back on the last year of your life. Even if it appears that nothing has changed, how different are our lives today, than they were a year ago?

We have to just keep on keeping on.

Also, check back tomorrow for the story of how I thought I was a victim of a home invasion. Apparently, when I showed up here to write that little gem, my subconscious took over and wrote this instead.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The War at Home

Scene: A typical weekday morning in my house. 0645 hours:

Me: [after the initial good morning pleasantries have been ignored] Get up, get up getup GETUPGETUPGETUP

11: LALALALALALALALA!! WEEEE!!! [running through house chasing Dog. Trips over nothing and does a swan dive onto the couch. Doesn't move, but somehow still manages to give the effect of chaos]

10: [has been in bathroom for forty minutes]


Me: 11, stop running through the house. Did you brush your teeth? 10! GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM! 6, you have to get up. We have to get out the door to school. 11, I said to stop-----AAACK! MY FOOT! DOG!

Scene: Saturday Morning, approximately 0600 hours

11: [silence]

10: [silence]

6: [silence]

Dog: [begs to go out to pee, chase a cat and, apparently, it's time to play because he brings me his ball]

Me: [bliss, sorta. I'm not playing ball with you, animal]

Approximately 0605 hours

11: [bang, crash, loud chewing]

Me: Son, what are you doing?

11: Eating candy. And playing with my closet door.

Me: WHY?

11: I'm bored.

Me: It's six o'clock in the morning. On a Saturday. Don't you want to sleep in?

11: No. 

Me: Well, can I sleep in?

11: Sure! [continues to bang around in his room, chew loudly and happily crash through a huge bin of Legos] HEY MOM? CAN I WATCH TV?


I will never understand how, on weekdays, kids cannot get up to save their lives, yet on the weekends they manage to be up before the sun.

Have a great weekend, peeps.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It was not your fault, but mine

Concerts should come with a warning label.

Something obvious like, Hey Ginger. Have a few beers but do NOT try to slide down the banister in the stairwell and Buy a better pair of boots.

And then I feel like I should have a warning label, like Will spill her beer and pick a fight in the ladies room over how many Emily's are allowed at the venue. Potential for fun, but usually someone ends up injured.

Because I think someone is always either falling, tripping, or being pushed at one point or another every time we go out.

So last night, Elle and I hit the City to see Mumford ad Sons.

Is it me, or does Mr. Mumford remind you of Brendan Frasier? Hubba Hubba. If it were 1993, that is.

Elle and I are simply ga-ga over Mumford. We love them. If it wasn't frowned upon in several societies, we would make off with the entire band, ferry them to a remote location where we would make a skin suit from their hides and wear it.

Too weird? Whatever. We aren't dangerous. Unless we are together.

Which we were, last night, in the city, surrounded by thousands of other Mumford Fans. I think I set the tone for the night early on when Elle and I were leaving her apartment. I slipped on the curb, busting the heel off my left boot. I nearly fell on my ass, which would have been a GREAT way to begin the evening. I had to borrow a pair of boots from Elle (the same boots I gave to her because I can't walk properly in them. You'll see what I mean later on).

We managed to make it to the venue without further incident. Elle knows a guy who could totally hook us up with free booze, so naturally that hunt took precedence over finding our seats. We almost found him, too. Six escalator rides and one near miss with the elevator door later, and we'd found him.

He didn't like me. I could tell from the way he slammed my beer on the counter, causing an eruption of foam to cascade onto the bar top. He chatted with my sister while completely ignoring me, except to toss an angry glare my way every few minutes. Whatever. Just because I always make my sister order my drinks for me doesn't make me unlovable.

There were several trips to the bathroom on several different floors of the venue. We enjoy variety. At one point, I thought it would be a GREAT idea to slide down the banister in the stairwell. All I will say is that while I was successful in my slide, it did NOT feel good and I am no longer able to sit without a jagged pain in my butt. Plus, I almost had to jump a girl in the bathroom for parroting my name overandoverandoverandover again. Seriously. How many of you would stand in a bathroom and call out the same name over and over again? Elle would say I was just mad because I kept answering her and she was ignoring me. What. That's rude.

This is what it looks like when it's set up for basketball, not a Mumford concert. Its huge. Imagine how big the entire venue is, and we were loose in that place. 
Unchaperoned. And drinking. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

Four beers later, Elle and I found our seats. Mumford came on, and we left to pee.

Seriously. I think women are at a disadvantage when it comes to our plumbing. We kind of CANNOT hold it or we will die, and we cannot pee into a beer bottle. Because the beer came in cups and they weren't empty yet.

Every time we left to use the bathroom, someone would snag our seats. The first time it was cool. I was nice, smiled, touched the guy on the arm in a way that let him know I would pound his face if he took my chair again (I'm fairly aggressive when I've been drinking) and sent him and his buddy on their way. The second and third time, it was annoying. The fourth time I spit on them.

Jay Kay. I'm a lady. I asked him if he had a moment to talk about Jesus Christ and we never saw him again.

Mumford gave a great show. They have an amazing sound and I adore them.

Here, take a listen.

Uh. It has the F word in it. 

Elle gets all grabby when she drinks and likes to pull me around by the hand. I was cool with that since we are sister-wives, so I let her drag me through the crowd, to the amusement of others. It was when we hit the stairs again that it happened. But it happened so fast I almost didn't realize what was going on until I was being laughed at, gasped at, everyone thought I was dead and there was talk of some jacktard posting the entire incident on their Facebook page.

I fell down the stairs.

I was not drunk.

Okay, I was almost drunk.

But it wasn't my fault. I slipped because I was wearing shoddy footwear, and Elle was ahead of me, hauling me behind her and I just sort of... went down.

I hit both my knees pretty hard (bruises to prove it) and I think I tore something in my rib cage. Seriously. I have to stand a certain way if I want to be able to breathe.

I brushed off the hands of people trying to help (or cop a feel, who knows) and tried to salvage any shred of dignity I had left.

After the show, we spilled out onto the street and knew immediately that we were lost.

We spent about twenty minutes circling the venue trying to find our parking garage. There were about seven of them. Okay, maybe two. But we exited on the wrong side so we were completely disoriented.

And even when we did finally find the garage, we were stuck there for another twenty minutes because ten thousand million people were all leaving at the same time. That was okay because Elle and I entertained ourselves by singing along to the radio. We can really rock us some Imagine Dragons and Anna Kendrick.

Eventually we got out of there and sped home.

I can't really move today, but that's alright. I've just spent the day cruisin' the internet looking at flat footwear and chair cushions. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I don't even know how I feel about this

My 10 wrote this and presented it to me with a smirk on her face. Sweet.

Essay of my own
Have you ever stopped to think about how moms make it through the day? Well I did. My mom may seem harmless but, [really, why would you think she is harmless ?] she can turn into a pretty mean dragon if you ask me. My mom can also be as happy as a leprechaun who found a million pots of gold. Yep, she can. She can also help you with hard math equations like 12 times 12. [by the way it’s 144.]So, ask your mom how she gets through the day and tell me the answer .Ok, bye.
The End.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pinky and the Brain had a plan...


So I want to overthrow the United States Postal Service.

And I need you to help me.

Why? I will tell you.

Because I have the Anger of Injustice burning in my heart (or whatever it is Ginger's have in place of a heart) and I don't really have time to devise an appropriate plan to bring that horrible, terrible, piece of crap organization to its knees while someone punches it in the back.

Hey, that's kind of a plan.

But I need a BETTER one.

Why, you ask.

Remember when they stole and desecrated my mail?

And I swore revenge and promised never to use their (dis)service ever, ever again?

I sort of forgot about continuing education and my explicit need to order those overpriced textbooks online.

I tried to get the seller to deliver via FedEx or UPS, but the freaking fools are so dang fast they had it shipped about two hours before replying to my request.


Anyway, so now the USPS has confiscated my textbook (for Philosophy, which, HELLO, is not a class I can wing based on my own knowledge).

They have had it at their central processing plant for ten days (it shipped a month ago), and after having called about six people, the end result was a bunch of excuses.

USPS: Gee, we just have no way of FINDING it at the plant.

Me: How about this tracking number I gave you?


Me: Are you effing KIDDING ME? What is the point of a tracking number if you can't do anything with it?

USPS: W can locate your package with it.

Me: Okay. So find it.

USPS: It's not that simple.


USPS: You sound really mad.

I hate them. I don't hate often, but when I do, I want REVENGE.

Band together with me, Peeps.

Take whatever stamps you have and shove them....

No. I tell you what.


Wait, what? Everyone does that anyway? Fine.

I hope they fold.


(This is not a threat. Or anything that can have me arrested or imprisoned or be made into anyone's bitch or have a felony or stuff like that)

(Unless you can't do anything about my complaining and THEN IT'S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG, MOTHEREFFERS!)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Then there was that Day

Sometimes I come here with the intent to write about something specific I saw, or that happened to me. Usually it's funny. Sometimes it's rambling, and every once in a while it's real.

Occasionally I will get the urge to write my story. My life. The real one.

And yet I never get to that point.

I don't think I am ready to put it out there. There are parts of me that read like an open book (or a terrible soap opera playing in a foreign language) that are good for a laugh. There are things I do that make others cringe, which is why I write about them on the internet. It is more of a warning, really. An example of what NOT to do.

But this weight of uncertainty that has attached itself to me for the past year has been dragging me down as of late. It's affected everything. For lack of a shittier cliche, I have realized that I do not know who I am, only that I am drowning.

Don't get me wrong. I can recognize myself in a photograph. I'm the pissy redhead with the half smile that never reaches the eyes.


I might yuck it up here on Eloquence, but for a while I've been existing in a state of numbness. Blah.

Last week I stood in my bathroom, just looking at my reflection in the mirror. Staring at my eyes, mostly (this is where y'all can make those Ginger jokes about eyes being the windows to the soul, only Ginger's have so many stolen souls in there we can't figure out which one is ours).  And that's where you can see the effects. The eyes tell everything about a person.

I didn't recognize me.

Who is that, I wondered to myself. Because she looks lost. Sad. And in need of a good stylist. Look at those split ends.

So I made a decision.

I called the salon.

Oh, and also: There is never going to be another today. Ever. This is it. I can sit there, hovering in a state of what-the-eff-ever, or I can stand up and start moving. Any direction is better than none.

Screw this, I finally said to myself. I might not have the life I imagined, or the life I want. But Life is out there and I'm going to go find it, seeing as how I've been letting it lap me for months on end now. I used to have spunk and life and energy once. I guess I just put it down when the weight of my life became too heavy.

Well, I took a rest and now I'm ready to pick those things up again. I might let stupid things intimidate me and I'm kind of sensitive in a lot of areas. But really, who isn't? We all have battle scars from different wounds.

We can't let those things run our lives. Sure, some things are out of our control. It's all in how we handle what is thrown at our faces and what we decide to do with it.

Don't worry. I'm not going to talk about life and lemons and bitter lemonade. That kind of talk can get someone punched in the face.

Usually, you're not ready until you're ready.

Well. I'm finally ready.

So here I go.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Well that took an unexpected turn


I'm freaking out, Man.


... I am. And I'm not.

I started back to school today after a three week break and I guess I forgot how to act like a human being because I'm having the usual panic attack over the newness of my routine and the classes where I feel like the syllabus is threatening me and I kind of just want to take a Xanax and pass out.

Only I don't have any Xanax and I don't know how to get any. And even if I did, I would chicken out before I even took it because I've always had the fear that should I ever attempt any kind of street/scrip drug, I would have a terrible reaction and so something weird like knock on people's door asking if they had fresh chicken eggs and proceed to pelt them with a carton of eggs I got from my own fridge. Or I would call 911 and request that I be arrested because I hate the idea of breaking the law so much that my conscience would never rest until justice was served.

My God.

Yeah, so I just realized how I sound and I all I can say is that I hope those of you who know me in real life can appreciate the fact that I tend to exaggerate a little and I am actually not certifiably insane.

Those of you who do not know me... eh. Perceive this mess in whatever way you choose.

I can be a tad obsessive about a new situation (I know. I can hardly believe it either), but after I thoroughly freak myself out, work out all the kinks and what-if's, I calm down and no one even knows about the war inside my head.

Well. Except you guys. Sorry.

I do think I'm in love with my Philosophy teacher.

Because he's funny.

What would you rather subject yourself to: A teacher who nervously tries to engage the class and randomly laughs in the middle of words (true story), or a teacher who, when reviewing the syllabus and making it clear that he will not discriminate based on sex, race, or creed, then stops and asks, "Who here likes the band Creed?" And when I'm the only person to raise my hand, he tells me to get out because I shouldn't even be allowed to enroll in college with that kind of taste in music. Thank God I didn't tell him about my adoration of Nickelback (SHUT YOUR MOUTHS).

I'm not actually in love with him because in a weird way he reminds me of my brother (not Gary. The other one I haven't mentioned because he utilizes his jackassery in California, ten million miles away from Elle and I. And in case you forgot, Gary deployed. It's only Elle and I now). The teacher looks a little like my brother, has the same sense of humor, and great. Now you guys think I have some weird kind of Flowers in the Attic obsession going on.

This post needs to end. Abruptly.

I can't save it.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

The day I nearly got in a gang fight

So I was sitting here, not doing jack crap, just staring off into space when I started thinking about how I used to zone out in school during Geometry (which is probably why I nearly flunked that class) and then I remembered school starts Monday and I got a little icky over the matter.

I don't wanna go to school.

Pathetic, right? Two quarters in and I wish I didn't have to go.

I think it's more to do with the amount of change that I just went through (moving, vacation, other crap I haven't thrown out there for the entire online community to read, etc) and less to do with my apparent desire to return to Burger King.

Because I know that's what would happen if I cut back on school (relax, Mom! I'm not going to. I'm just typing out loud here).

You know, Burger King wasn't all that bad. Sure, it made me hate the public as a whole and I used to daydream about a land where people didn't request thirty packets of ketchup with a value size fry because they just ended up smearing it all over the table, the booth, the tray, the trash cans, and the effing floor, but I did work my way up from a crew person to the store manager. I had to. The sheer amount of idiocy in that place drove me nuts. I couldn't get people to listen to me as a team member so I had to own them. Which I did. Sorta.

Recently a friend of mine asked why I stayed with the company for so long.

For the stories, really. Check this out.

One day, about three months after I started working there, I was running the Drive Thru window. Burger King was doing the Wild Wild West promotion (yes. I am aware that this dates me. To 1999, specifically) and we were selling sunglasses as part of the Wow Factor. There were two colors available: silver and gold. Each color came in a separate case, but arrived two weeks apart. We sold the silver pair first and had yet to receive the other color. This is how marketers get their revenge on fast food workers.

So I was on DT, taking this chick's order and she asked for the gold glasses. I told her we just had the silver and would she like those.

Apparently she did not because her response was, "Bitch did I ASK for the silver? Get your f*cking manager and meet me at the window," and then proceeded to screech away from the speaker and floor her ugly ghetto hooptie to the DT pick-up window.

May I remind you, I was brand-new to BK. I did not yet have a hate-filled heart and I was all about helping the customer. I was perplexed and really wanted to help her. I ignored the fact that she had just swear-vomited all over my ears and I met her at the window, a big stupid smile plastered on my face. Except she was stashed in the passenger seat, with some dude driving the car. Both were dressed like gang-banger wanna be's and there was a bag of weed on the middle console. Except I didn't know that's what it was at the time.

"Ma'am, I understand you want the gold glasses. We have yet to receive those, but I can show you the silver pair."

I was so nice to that crap-bag woman that my current self wants to invent a time machine and go back, punch my teenage self in the teeth and stab the woman in the car. But only in the leg. I wouldn't go to jail for her because judging from her temperment, it would only have been a matter of time before she smoked a bunch of crack, stole a car and ended up in prison. Oh, yeah, I would basically need to be a bionic woman before I went back in time so that I could out-run the police and also so that Crack Whore and I didn't end up as cell mates. I'm still working on that plan.

So her response to my inquiry was to call me a bitch, again, and to scream through the window that she just knew my boss was hiding the glasses in his office (which he wasn't, but the fact that she knew exactly where we kept promo items makes me now realize that she had to have worked for a BK in our area. Which makes me even more depressed that I was classified with people like that. Ew)

The Crack Whore then threatened to "kick my lily-white ass" if I didn't get her a pair of glasses.

Peeps, I was 19, naive, and scared of human beings. I thought I was going to die.

Besides, did she ACTUALLY think behaving in that manner was going to make me bow down, run to the office and acquiesce full heartedly to her request?

Um, NO. Because I was paralyzed.

There were a lot more swear words that I don't specifically recall, so I started to shut the window while I called out to my supervisor, Rich, for help.

At that point, homeboy sped off in the car (sans food) and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Until about 72 seconds later when the front doors blew open and homeboy came flying into the restaurant, screaming that he was going to kick my ass. He actually climbed up onto the front counter before two of my supervisors grabbed him and shoved him off.

Did I mention our district manager was there to witness this ordeal as well? It was the middle of lunch rush, so about half the city saw it as well.

I stood in the DT area, stunned and unable to comprehend what the hell was going on in front of me. The guy was screaming that I had called his wife a b-i-t-c-h, and I was flabbergasted. Back then, I didn't use a lot of swear words and I was upset that this individual was accusing me of calling his wife names when I had done nothing of the sort.

Eventually, the police showed up and hauled homeboy away (he happened to have two warrants for his arrest. Interesting) and I went about my business.

Only later, when my bosses pulled me into the office to see if I was okay, did we work out what had most likely set homeboy off.

What swear word rhymes with my boss' name, Rich?

You guessed it. When I was closing the window, I was also calling out to my boss for help. Dude totally went to jail thinking I was a liar. For about a week I was slightly concerned he would come back and stab me with his straw, but I never saw him again.

This is by far NOT the worst situation I encountered during my 12 year stint in the fast food business, but it's the most memorable. Because after this incident, I began to turn numb.

It's okay. You can't really work around people if you feel things.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Moving of my Stuff

Okay, so I kind of went on hiatus. Or took one. Or ... whatever it's called when you are Hiatal for a month. Wait. Doesn't that have something to do with hernias? I don't have that. I've just been busy. Let's roll with that.

So I moved. Yep. About three weeks ago I received a 20-day notice to vacate (no cool story there. My landlord was selling the townhouse). One night, I came home from slinging Girl Scout Cookies (AKA Devil's Fodder) and found a notice taped to my front door. Sweet. Such a personal way to find out you're about to be out on the streets.

But. I didn't even really freak out. Which is new for me. Because after the crap I've been through this last year, I expected myself to do something epic like burn the house down around me, or fill it with molting parrots or something equally weird.

I just pulled the paper off the door and went about my business.

And over the next few days, I fully expected to break down and lose it in some weird place like in line at the bank, or while sorting laundry.

I didn't, though, so instead of sitting around wondering why I wan't losing my shit, I went house hunting. Which suuuuucks.

I got pretty discouraged and was sharing my woes with a new friend when she just blurted out, "Well, I have a house."

Uh. Thank you. THAT MAKES ONE OF US.

"No, really." She said. "I have an empty house. You can totally live there."

And so I am.

Wanna know how that went? Well, over the course of three days, Elle, Rawr and I packed up my house, threw everything into the new house, cleaned the old house and the next morning I took off to California for a week. I needed to escape from my life, knowing full well that I had a disaster waiting for me at the end of my week.

Going back for a sec, I'd like to point out that whilst loading the moving truck, I only had one episode of crazy where I may have "thrown" a table off the back of the truck. Only substitute "thrown" for "tripped over the lawn mower and almost killed myself by falling off the back of the moving truck and while I was flailing my arms trying to save myself while my father watched the entire exchanged with a perplexed look on his face, I knocked my arm against the table and it crashed to the ground and broke into twelve pieces."

I said "thrown" because my dad thinks I was throwing a temper tantrum. I could see where he may have had that idea because I only grew up with a Ginger Temper and was slightly prone to psychotic episodes (THEN. Not now) and so he is basically always on the defense.

Anyway, so that's that. I'm on break from school for about three days, so I plan on relaxing and regrouping.

Except I have three kids, three "extra kids" to care for 5 days a week, a cat (who really was lost in the insulation for 36 hours) and a house to put together. I don't even want to TALK about what a nightmare I've had trying to transfer utilities. I guess you don't even need a kindergarten education to hold those jobs is all I'm saying.

So much for relaxing. I don't think any regular folks have time for relaxing, anyway. Everyone has too much crap to take care of. How the heck did we all get to busy and out of whack, anyway?

Hey. Do any of you like cardboard boxes? You can have as many as you want. Bonus: They're all full. And nothing is marked. It's basically like Bingo for Crap.

The way I see it, I'm looking around my new house and have no idea what's in those boxes. How bad do I really need that stuff if I can't even remember what it is?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Toodles, yo

So my brother totally ditched out on ANOTHER summer in the PNW.

Apparently, summers with his seesters are on his lists of avoidance because not only has he been elsewhere serving our country for the two summers since I moved here, now he went and signed himself up for a year in Afghanistan.


It's hot there.

And ugly.

Plus you know, that whole "war" thing that's been going on for a while.

He left this morning.

It's going to be fine, though. He's like 7 feet tall and about as big as a humvee, so I'm not all that concerned about his safety. People generally stay out of his way.

Then again, giants are typically slow to move on account of the fact that each arm and leg is about as big as a small child...

But yeah, he'll be fine.

Still going to miss him, though.

But hey, y'all know what that means, right?


The good kind not the boring ones.

Uh, and feel free to make suggestions. I will more than likely put anything in those packages.

(This is normally where I would post a lovely photo of my brother, but I don't have any of those due to the fact that I sort of broke my computer. I think it has a virus. Or else it's haunted.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

To My Dearest Sister on her Birthday

Today is Elle's 30th birthday.

I was like, Hey. I should get her a gift right? So I set off to the city where they have a wide selection of gifts. My car gets pretty bad gas mileage so I just decided to hitchhike. I'm not really afraid of strangers. Dunno why. Just never have been.

When I got to the city, I discovered I had left my wallet at home. 

Great. WTF was I going to do now?

Dude, before you get all judgy, you should know that I don't really have a lot of pockets. There's not really a convenient place to stash my wallet.

But then, all of a sudden I had an IDEA!

I totally knew how to make money. All I needed was a few kids. I looked around. Across the street was a woman and two kids. Bingo. I ran across the road and called out to the lady.

Her kids looked pretty excited. They started screaming and running in circles, and one of them was so excited he had tears in his eyes.

It was a little humid at this point so my hair looks a little different that usual.

Only I guess the mom didn't like redheads because she hit me with her purse and started screaming. and swearing and grabbing her kids out of my arms.

And I was like, Really?

Only she got even more mad and pulled out a nail file, which she used to stab me in the elbow, all the while screaming Police, so I ran. What? I panicked. I'm not used to getting jumped like that. Freaking wack-job. 

I escaped down the storm drain, where I waited for a while just to make sure I wasn't being followed. It was pretty hard to see down there, and the ground was covered in some kind of wet nasty crap that was seeping into my shoes. I needed to get out before some kind of contaminant ate my face off.

Sweet thing about storm drains: easy to get into, not so simple to escape from. I spotted a guy sitting on the sidewalk and called out to him.

Yo. A little help here?

He totally did not hear me. So I yelled a bit louder. The guy didn't hear me, but some kid in a rain slicker holding a balloon did. Which I thought was weird. It wasn't even raining out, but this kid was dressed head to toe in yellow. Maybe he thought he was a duck.

The kid asked what I was doing. I explained that I had fallen into the drain and now needed some help getting out. The kid gave me a distrusting look and left. Little jerk. I hope he floats away while I'm stuck down here, I thought.
But the man on the sidewalk had taken notice and came over to peer down into the hole. You really shouldn't be down there, he said. It's pretty gross and you could get stuck.

Yes, I said. Please tell me more about what hangs out in storm drains.

Dude pulled me out and I thanked him. He asked if I needed any more help, so I had to explain to him how I had left my wallet at home and needed to buy my sister a present. The man handed me some cash and said I just looked like the kind of person who would pay it forward. I thanked him again and gave him my old business card, the one with my high school photo on it, and told him I hoped so see him around some time.

No one's hair ever look good in high school, so I don't even want to hear it.

At this point, the day was nearly gone. I walked the streets, looking into the storefronts and trying to spot something that would really interest my sister. 

And then I spotted it. Smack dab on the wall near the window of one of those really crazy novelty stores. 

Ye-heh-es! She will LOVE THIS!

I hustled into the shop, where I stopped cold. 
 Uh, what is this?

 Don't look at me like that. You're wearing a giant clown on your sweater. Do you even know how ridiculous you look? Please.

I didn't like the way he made me feel, so I went to the back in order to pretend to use the bathroom so that I could really just wait for the sweater-guy to leave. Except they were doing remodeling in the bathroom and forgot to write a note and put it on the door, so when I stepped into the bathroom I fell into a hole.

This really is not my day, people.

I made it out of the bathroom, but I lost both of my shoes in the process. I let the lady at the front counter know about the bathroom situation and went around to the wall next to the window.

A huge poster of Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery pointing guns.
Sweet. Boondock Saints.

I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the mother of the kids who I had tried to entertain earlier. She was standing next to an officer.


Happy Birthday, Seester.  
I love you