Monthly Archives: September 2011

Yesterday’s Adventure (What, I gotta be clever all the time?)

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Yesterday was “Take Mom To The Dentist Day” again.  She’s having a series of things done and we never know up front which days might wind her up drugged, so I get to be designated driver again. (Seriously, if I ever decide to get drunk, she owes me at least 3 free butt-crack-of-dawn get-out-of-drunk-free passes now.)

Anyway, I tell her we’re just practicing for her inevitable senility. I intend to haul her around to her various appointments when she’s old and feeble and I’ve promised she can become a benign alcoholic as long as she can pay for her own booze. (What? It works; don’t knock it.)

Anyway, as I’ve explained before, I live in a somewhat rural area of the world. In order to get to her dentist’s office from here, we go through Farville, Goobertown and Brookland before we hit Paragould. It’s all trees and bean fields.

Bean Field

See? This is a bean field. Except the parts that are trees. I'll leave you to sort that out.

And for some reason, someone decided a few years ago that two lanes through the beanfields and trees weren’t quite enough, so it got a 4-lane highway. This is nice, especially since there’s never any traffic.  It gives you a better view of the bean fields. And the trees.

I’d post a picture of the trees, but that’s just unnecessarily cudgeling of the deceased equine. (Big words are basically my only talent. DON’T JUDGE ME.)

Anyhow, 4 lanes through the bean fields and random stoplights scattered throughout. I guess they’re so that we can pause and properly appreciate the bean fields. Normal trek takes about 20 – 30 minutes.  That is, of course, unless you’re me and unless it’s yesterday. But you’re not and it isn’t, so I’ll explain:

Yesterday, I seriously had to have ticked off some lesser god of asphalt or something and caused this 4-lane highway of indulgent convenience to become something other than its normally clear, carefree self.  In fact, it had become a traffic jam. Traffic STOPPED.  If you live in a regular metropolitan area, this is probably de rigueur  for you, but in an area where the highway has more lanes than cars, it’s a bit of an oddity.

TRAFFIC!

Seen here, the autopocalypse. Or maybe a Chrysler. Anyway, it's not moving.

See that over there?  That’s not normal. That doesn’t happen on this highway at this time of day. I’ve never even seen that many cars on this road at one time, leading me to believe they’d been there for at least a week. They were probably about to go cannibal.  I’m probably lucky to have escaped with my life (and Twizzlers)!

Okay, so actually at this point I was wondering what happened. The only thing I could think of was that it had to be a wreck. And it had to be a bad one. And I started going over CPR steps in my head just in case. (Step one is to take CPR classes, right?  Remind me to do that…).

The longer we waited the more I was certain that it wasn’t just a wreck. It was probably an earthquake and the whole road had caved in. Or, since I had been reading abnormal amounts of H. P. Lovecraft lately, Cthulhu was picking off cars one at a time. Either way, it was obviously not good.

So I used my handy-dandy iPhone app to tune into police band radio for my area only to find it had mysteriously gone off the air! I’m not really surprised, though, because when Cthulhu attacks, all kinds of weird crap happens. Or, um, so I’ve read. So no radio, no visual cues beyond the stopped traffic and no plan for riding out the autopocalypse beyond “Eat my Twizzlers before anyone else spots them.” I began to feel a bit less optimistic about  my chances for survival.

As we crept along, I tried to scootch ever so slightly into the turn lane to angle for a better view up ahead. No dice. See that white van? It was blocking me at every go. Probably Cthulhu sympathizers.

Eventually, though, we came to the part of the road called Farville Curve.  It happens rather handily to curve at that point and we had an opportunity to see what lurked ahead (and to provide me with a better estimate of how fast I’d have to eat my Twizzlers before Cthulhu stole them).

That’s when I saw this:

HOUSE!

See that? THAT'S NOT CTHULHU.

Do you see that?  That’s not Cthulhu!  That’s a HOUSE.  I felt so cheated. Here I was prepping for disaster and hoarding my Twizzlers and all it was is a lousy oversized HOUSE.

Why they were dragging a house down the road, I’ll never know. We passed some more chunks of house, too, because they apparently had to saw the thing into thirds to get it to adequately block the entire highway. And right as I snapped this picture, that house tried to turn left into a bean field.

I live in a dumb state.

It swerved back through all 4 lanes of traffic and carried on its way for a bit until, I guess, the drivers sensed they were in mortal danger and pulled all chunks of the house off the main road long enough to let the 3 miles of cars that had piled up behind them cruise through.

It was the dumbest adventure ever. I had prepared myself for Cthulhu and I got a house — not even a full house.  A THIRD of a house!  Hey, lesser god of pavement or whoever?  Next time you plan to block the road, try to call up an elder god or at least (AT LEAST) get an airplane or something to block traffic.

I was sorely disappointed. So disappointed, in fact, that I actually feel kind of bad for dragging you through all of that for such an anticlimactic resolution.   So, hey, how about some ice cream?  Yeah?

Okay, not for real (for you, I mean, but for me).  A few days before, at Burger King, I asked for a vanilla cone. The woman handed me one and then her manager called out, “Ma’am?  I’m sorry. I can’t permit you to take that ugly cone.”  (My cone looked fine…. I was just gonna eat it, not frame it….).  Anyway, she took my apparently sub-standard comb and instead handed me this:

Cone

Note the aesthetic ... something.

It was basically a monstrous tower of ice cream. Hope that makes up for it.  You’re welcome.

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A moment….

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Sorry for the lack of updates as of late. I am currently devouring the entire works of H. P. Lovecraft. Yes, this is relevant.

…stay tuned….

Adventures in Babysitting (Part: “My Brother Doesn’t Read This Blog”)

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Well, last time we talked about how I am, more often than not, a danger to myself and others. What can I say? It’s a gift. I’ve been preternaturally clumsy my entire life. (I think that means I bump into ghosts. Not sure. I really need a better thesaurus.)

In addition to the poor nephew of the last post, I also have a niece. She’s of the more fragile age of … turning-3-tomorrow. So for now, she’s 2. TWO. It helps that she’s scarily precocious to the point that I *really* want to check her closet for a hidden laboratory, but I digress….

Look, this past weekend, I fell out of bed and only woke up when I landed on my face. I injured myself with a hairbrush and nearly blinded myself with eyeliner. I am not the first person who should come to your head to entrust something you’ve been working on for like 3 years and that you spent nearly 10 months cooking! But my brother and sister-in-law are adorable and naive and still think that I can’t totally warp their kid in the space of 6 hours. (Seriously, you’d think they’d know better….)

So they let me:

ME

Would YOU trust me with your kid? I didn't THINK so!

 

….with the malleable, still forming synapses of this:

 

K

Innocent, malleable, possibly forever warped now....

Now, lest I leave you with the wrong impression, despite yesterday’s claim that leaving your kid with me makes you automatically a bad parent, my brother and my sister-in-law are actually really good parents. This picture is of her, her stuffed Mickey pumpkin (named “saltypants”) and the bed she’s snoozing on at Disney World because that’s the kind of parents she has. She turns 3? They go to the magic kingdom of fun and sugar overloads.

They’re good parents. I’m pretty sure that’s why they have the kid and I don’t. God is apparently on top of this stuff.

Anyway, so when left with their precious, precocious and giggle-faced toddler, what did I do?

Well, first we got tattoos.

 

Not REAL ones. (Though I did tell her that when she’s ready for her first one to call me ’cause I’ll probably want one, too, and I’m totally the “cool” aunt.)  But we did get tattoos and we talked about the anti-feminist themes of major Disney princess movies and — okay, well, *I* tried to, but at that point she insisted we go make pretend pie in her Tinkerbell kitchen, so I think maybe my point was lost. I probably shouldn’t discuss complicated socio-gender concepts with her until she’s at least reading chapter books.

So we made pie in the Tinkerbell kitchen and she took my order because she likes to play waitress and despite my attempts to get her to play bionuclear chemist FROM SPACE, she really wanted to play waitress.  So she took my order. A lot. I asked for chicken, but they were all out. (She frowned at her pink learning laptop while she informed me that there was a chicken shortage.) I asked for ice cream but got a lecture on eating my “reglaler food” first before I ruined my appetite.  So I asked her what they had and all they had was Clifford pizza and Bazagna.  I tried not to think about what cartoon pet pizza might signify and asked for the “Bazagna.”  I was told I had to eat “Bazagna and a bean” before I could have ice cream (in which they only carried pineapple flavour).

And you know, the longer I sit here and think about it, I realize what they were up to.  Suddenly, I’m not so sure who was babysitting whom….

 

Adventures in Babysitting (yes, I totally went there):

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Okay, as you have probably figured out by now, it’s a miracle I manage to dress myself most days. I was a smart kid in school if you ask my teachers, but I was one of *those* smart kids — I could recite pretty much anything I’d ever read, but I might have forgotten to wear pants. I like to think I’ve grown, but I’m pretty sure I just tell myself that to keep the despair from becoming lethal.

So it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that I am not a good babysitter. Let me stress this:  if you ever need a favour from me, I am happy to comply — including watching your kids. But if you leave your kid with me — and really, let me stress this again: don’t leave your kid with me — it makes you a bad parent. Automatically.

See, I have a nephew and this nephew has managed to survive my bumbling for, like, 10 years now. Almost 11. And I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s part Amazon and part Chiapet. Water him occasionally and he’s pretty much good to go.  But unless your kid has been genetically modified to be 30% cat with opposable thumbs and a tendency to announce things they need without provocation,  it’s a really bad idea to leave him, her or them with me.

I’m not a mean person and I even like (some) kids. It’s just that I’m that kind of absentminded person who will forget to, you know, feed them. I can’t keep plants alive.  I have a dog, but I pretty much remember to feed her because she barks when it’s time. (She’s smarter than I give her credit – but not much. It’s a total survival instinct. Total.)

Anyway, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s not that I mistreat kids. It’s kind of that I forget that they’re not necessarily going to forage for food or enlist my aid if they, I don’t know, catch fire. (Do kids catch fire? OMG ARE THEY FLAMMABLE?? I DON’T EVEN KNOW!)

If, however, you still doubt my fitness and think leaving your offspring with me is just the best thing ever, then I have to show you this. I didn’t want to, but you’re kind of forcing my hand here.  The following is a photo of a true incident occurring at my house Friday, Sept 2, 2011.

Seriously, he's not even pointed the right direction

Yes, he's asleep. No, I'm not sure how long. Yes, I took the pic before waking him up and putting him in bed. I think he doesn't know how chairs work.

To your left, you will see Exhibit A. Yes, he’s asleep. And upside down. In a chair. Without a shirt. With shoes on and the Wiimote nearby (in case of, um, zombies? I don’t know. That’s what they’re for, right? Zombies?).

I *thought* I was doing really well.  I fed him, got my butt kicked in Wii Baseball, even taught him something interesting about wombats — THEY ARE TOTALLY NOCTURAL — he was unimpressed, but I know he’s secretly about to wiki the crap out of those things.

He even helped me wind some yarn.

Then he sat down — right way up, I swear! — to watch something on Netflix. I sat down to check email and possible write about how I can’t drive or why the ghetto Sonic scares me and I hear snoring.

I didn’t think anything of it.

Later, I saw this. So what did I do? Snapped a picture, texted it to my mother and then woke him up and put him in bed.

Seriously. Don’t leave your kids with me.

Why My Mom Sometimes Thinks I’m A Lesbian

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Not a lesbian!

I'd link to this shirt, but Zazzle is down.

Sometimes mothers think maybe their kids might be gay. And in fairness, most moms would probably know before most other people, whether they’d want to admit it or not.  My mom, however, despite having no discernible gaydar, sometimes thinks I’m a lesbian. And not even for the reasons other people might think I am. (Spoiler:  I’m not a lesbian. But if Queen Latifah or River Song asked me out, I’d totally go. Then again, I don’t know any sane people of either major gender who wouldn’t.)

Reasons you might think I’m a lesbian:

  • I’m 32 and not yet married. In my defense, I just turned 32 and wasn’t aware that hitting 32 as a single made me automatically lesbian. If that’s how it works, somebody should have sent me a “Welcome to Your Lesbian Life” letter or something, because otherwise, I’m just going to keep fumbling along as a straight chick.
  • I wear blue jeans a LOT.  Didn’t realize this, but apparently this makes some people think I’m a lesbian. I was all about thinking “I love blue jeans; why not wear them?” and people were seeing my jeans and thinking “I’ll bet she likes chicks.”
  • I didn’t really enjoy wearing makeup until I was in my mid-20s.  Again, I fail to see how this impacts my sexuality, but apparently it does. So for all you lesbians who wear makeup, take note: you’re apparently not good lesbians. Apparently.
  • I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends. Again, I think this just means I’m a fun person, but it seems to make people who don’t know me think I’m a lesbian. Somehow, the fact that I have as many or more straight friends doesn’t automatically make me straight. Weird.
  • Oh, this is the biggest one, I’ve been told: It doesn’t bother me if someone calls me a lesbian. Mostly ’cause I don’t think it’s an insult. And if it’s from a lesbian friend, I assume it means I look especially adorable that day.
Reasons my mother thinks I’m a lesbian:
  • My favourite movies are eclectic, but some of them involve gay men or lesbians or straight men/women playing gay men or lesbians or drag queens or transpeople or something. I don’t know. Somehow, the fact that I like In and Out and The Bird Cage and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is just proof positive I’m a lesbian. But, fair’s fair:  Netflix seems to think so, too.
  • I told her when I was a teen that I thought shaving was stupid — that guys have hairy legs and some guys are practically walking wombats of hair and that I never volunteered for this shaving shit. I didn’t say shit, though. I’d have gotten slapped for that. (Hi, mom! Ignore the word “shit,” please….).
  • It didn’t bother me that I didn’t start dating regularly till around high school. Why this is on the list, I don’t know. I spent all of elementary and junior high depressed and reading. I didn’t have time for dating.
I haven’t really asked her if there are other reasons, but I’m pretty sure these 3 points make up the whole list.  Oh, and the fact that yeah, the first list applies, too, but I’m happy anyway. (Is my life supposed to be miserable and empty because I’m not married and probably won’t have bio kids? SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL ME THESE THINGS.)
I guess I should also include this.
Reasons I’m not actually a lesbian:
  • I’m attracted to guys
Oh. That was a really short list. Crap.
Thing is, I don’t think many people are static in sexuality.  I think there are women who are going to identify as straight and even be happily married who will still be able to look at , say, //INSERT FEMALE CELEB HERE//* and recognize that she’s indeed terrifyingly awesome levels of hot.  And I think there are totally straight guys who can look at //INSERT MALE CELEB HERE//** and say the same. I’ve even got a straight male friend who, if he had to pick a male partner after the zombie apocalypse, has already chosen his because he seems like a sweetheart and would probably be good to cuddle.  And I think that’s totally normal. You don’t want to forget to plan for any possible eventuality when talking about a zombie apocalypse.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself stuck in a corner trying to repopulate the world with a jar of peanut butter and, really, at that point the zombies just win.
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* I was going to say that I left this intentionally blank(ish) because beauty is an undefinable quality based on complex unique and personal values — but really, it’s just because I know squat about pop culture and I was afraid I’d pick the wrong one.
** ibid.